Another new streaming service? Tara Ward checks out what AMC+ has to offer and if you should subscribe.
What’s all this then?
AMC is the major American studio behind television hits like Better Call Saul, Breaking Bad and Mad Men, as well as the second season of New Zealand comedy Good Grief. AMC+ is the channel’s new streaming service that launched here on the weekend, offering a variety of exclusive and original content not previously available in New Zealand.
Do I really need another streaming service in my life?
That depends on how much you love zombies and vampires, and specifically, how big a Walking Dead fan you are. AMC+ launched with the premiere of some big name dramas, including Interview with A Vampire, a contemporary reinvention of Anne Rice’s classic novel.
There’s also two highly anticipated Walking Dead spinoffs: Tales of the Walking Dead (an anthology series featuring Anthony Edwards, Parker Posey and Samantha Morton) and The Walking Dead: Dead City, starring fan faves Jeffrey Dean Morgan and Lauren Cohan. Basically if you’re dead or walking, AMC+ is the streaming service you need.
What other shows on AMC+ might tickle my fancy?
AMC+ launched with a heap of original content starring a lot of famous people. Notable mentions include psychological thriller Dark Winds (executive produced by George R.R. Martin and Robert Redford) which follows two Navajo police officers in the 1970s southwest and is currently sitting on a 100% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, and That Dirty Black Bag, a spaghetti western starring Preacher’s Dominic Cooper.
Crime fans should check out Chicago police drama 61st Street, which was created by Peter Moffat (the BAFTA-winner behind Your Honor and The Village) and executive produced by Michael B. Jordan, or revenge thriller The Beast Must Die, starring Jared Harris (Chernobyl). There’s also Irish gangland drama Kin, starring Charlie Cox (Boardwalk Empire) and Ciaran Hinds (Game of Thrones), and animated spy thriller Pantheon, which features the voices of Daniel Dae-Kim (Lost) and the late William Hurt.
Spy dramas are all well and good, but where’s an Australian vampire thriller when you need one?
Well, your dream just came true. AMC+ also has vampire thriller Firebite, which follows two Indigenous Australian vampire hunters as they battle the last remaining colony of vampires in the outback. Yael Stone (Orange is the New Black) stars.
What other shows can we expect to see?
Over the next few months, AMC+ will premiere more original content, most notably Anne Rice’s Mayfair Witches and The Walking Dead: Deadly City, which focuses on characters Maggie and Negan as they journey to post-apocalyptic Manhattan.
But it’s not all serious stuff. AMC+ also has the first three seasons of Documentary Now!, the Emmy-nominated parody series created by SNL alumni Fred Armisen, Bill Hader and Seth Meyers. Each episode is shot in the style of a documentary film and honours “the most important stories that didn’t actually happen”, with guest stars like Dame Helen Mirren, Jack Black and Anne Hathaway. Season four drops later this month, with appearances from Alexander Skarsgård and Cate Blanchett.
How much will AMC+ sting me?
AMC+ offers subscribers a premium streaming bundle (prices range between $7.99-$9.99 per month) that includes two other streaming services: Acorn TV (home to countless British dramas like Poldark, Shetland and Whitstable Pearl, as well as local favourites The Brokenwood Mysteries and My Life is Murder) and Shudder (which specialises in horror, thriller and supernatural content).
This means you can subscribe to all three services for one price, which is pretty good bang for your buck. Alternatively, if you want your relationship with Poldark to be uncomplicated by zombies, Acorn TV and Shudder are available as stand alone subscriptions at $7.99 per month.
How do I subscribe?
Click here for a free seven-day trial.
What’s the verdict?
Even if you’re not a zombie or vampire fan, AMC+ is worth checking out. It has plenty of original, quality content that you can’t watch elsewhere in New Zealand, and you can also binge watch other big name AMC shows like Mad Men and The Son. The content is predominantly serious and intense, but with the premium bundle that includes the lighter-fare on Acorn TV, you’re definitely getting value for money.