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Yes, I actually pay for Discovery Plus


Out of all the streaming services I use — Netflix, Hulu, Disney Plus, and Funimation — Discovery Plus is the one that I use the most. And I don’t even get it for free through some kind of promotion — I actually pay for it.

At just $4.99 per month (or $6.99 without ads), it’s one of the cheapest streaming options out there, and for me, those five bucks go a long way. Discovery Plus is a melting pot of all the unscripted reality shows from Discovery itself, HGTV, Food Network, TLC, Animal Planet, Investigate Discovery, The History Channel, and a handful of other networks that I haven’t even heard of before, like “Quest.” 

That means it has some of the most bizarre, disturbing, cringe-worthy, and downright disgusting TV shows that I’ve ever seen. I mean, that’s kind of expected for a streaming service that encompasses all the content from TLC, but combining all that weird reality TV with cheesy true-crime shows and Shark Week creates a hub full of junk — and I love it

For the record, I’m not one of those weirdos who like to watch people pop pimples: my taste in TV is much more refined. 90 Day Fiancé is my drug of choice. It documents the lives of Americans who find love abroad and have just 90 days to spend together in the US before they must make the decision to marry their lover or have them leave the country (all according to US visa laws).

Discovery Plus still has some glaring flaws that are hard to ignore

The show (and its various spinoffs) was the sole reason why I subscribed to Discovery Plus in the first place. I already watched 90 Day Fiancé on Hulu (along with some of the Investigate Discovery shows the service had), but when it moved over to Discovery Plus, I had no choice but to tack on a Discovery Plus subscription just to feed my addiction. 

This led me down the rabbit hole of all the other shows on Discovery Plus, including Sister Wives, Who the (Bleep) Did I Marry, Hoarders, Intervention, Amish Mafia, and a whole host of other shows that — let’s be honest — probably shouldn’t exist (i.e., Dr. Pimple Popper). And while Discovery Plus has all the absurd content that I enjoy watching, it still has some glaring flaws that are hard to ignore.

For one, the UI is absolutely awful when compared to other services like Netflix. I can’t click into a series’ full list of episodes from the show in my “Continue Watching” list, which means if I missed an episode or want to go back and browse through different seasons, I have to search for the show first and only then can I access its list of episodes. The UI, including the playback bar, is also incredibly laggy, which can make scrubbing through episodes (and navigating through the app in general) a huge pain. 

I’ve even used to encounter a bug where whatever I’m watching would freeze completely after an ad, forcing me to restart the entire app and boot up what I’m watching again, which would sometimes just cause the cycle to repeat itself all over again. (I haven’t experienced this in a while, so fingers crossed that it’s fixed).

The Max app could be great, or it could be the best of two of the buggiest worlds

Discovery Plus’ parent company, Warner Bros. Discovery, says it has plans to make some UI improvements when it brings some of Discovery Plus’ content to HBO Max to form “Max.” However, it made no mention of fixing this on Discovery Plus, which will remain as a standalone app for the same price, while Max will cost $9.99 per month with ads, $14.99 per month without, or $19.99 with no ads and 4K content. So basically, the Max app could be great, or it could be the best of two of the buggiest worlds.

Those potential UI improvements won’t be enough to convince me to drop Discovery Plus — even if HBO Max has The Last of Us and Succession. I’m too cheap to pay the extra money when my parents already have an HBO Max account that they can never remember the password to (asking them to change it is A Whole Thing). If they could actually give me the correct password to their account, then yes: I would ditch Discovery Plus after its content arrives on Max.

For now, though, I’m happy with Discovery Plus. It’s my go-to when I eat dinner, go to bed, and even on the weekends when I have nothing else better to do. I have access to nearly every popular streaming service at my fingertips, and yet, I’d only choose Discovery Plus once my 90 days are up.

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