DC Comics’ movies can be a real drag for those of us who loved the sunny, silly supers played by Adam West and Christopher Reeves. Thankfully, however, the dank, dark brooding seen in “Man of Steel” and “Batman Vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice” has no place on the CW’s versions of that universe.
Does it go too far in the other direction? Well, I for one adored when Supergirl and the Flash tap danced singing “Super Friends”- but I’ll allow that might not be for everyone. Regardless, there is so much more to this wide, colorful superhero world, from time travel to parallel Earths. In “Supergirl,” “The Flash,” “Arrow,” “Black Lightning,” and “D.C.’s Legends of Tomorrow,” all on the CW, a multitude of heroes and villains carry out their epic battles in all kinds of mind-bending (but largely bloodless) scenarios. Powers range from the brilliant (blasts of energy everywhere!) to the bizarre (like the cameo by the half shark/half man). They even take deep dives into the comics, like conjuring the mischievous imp Mr. Mxyzptlk (to beat him, you must trick him into saying his name backward).
To contrast the fire bolts, there’s always plenty of emotion – our 20-something, symmetrically-faced heroes pine away with love, with regret, with family, with personal growth. Supergirl tackles a family member coming out, the Martian Manhunter mourns the destruction of his people. The Flash deals with his mother’s murder by another super. That said, the shows’ adherence to “telling not showing” means every feeling’s development has the nuance of a bulldozer. Morals tend to be a bit heavy-handed. I’ll take it, however, if it means we avoid the grim, gray world of the movies.
Weird, alternate worlds are a mainstay of the CW, which also is home to the new, rebooted “Charmed,” a show about teen witches, and “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend,” the musical rom-dramedy cult favorite. You’ll also find “Riverdale,” a teen drama based on the characters in the Archie Comics.
Whatever setting you like attractive Millennials to be in, you’re likely to find it on the CW. And thankfully, you don’t need cable to do so.
How to Watch the CW Online
As with most content on cable today, there are alternate ways to enjoy the channels and shows you want without forking over mountains of cash to a cable TV provider. The CW may be available in your area by simply using a TV antenna. However, if using a TV antenna isn’t feasible, here are a few of the cable subscription free ways you can stream the CW online.
Watch with the CW App
The CW app on your Apple TV, Roku, or other devices will allow you to watch CW shows on demand for free – but that only includes the latest few episodes (about five). The library available far from exhaustive but you will be able to see a lot of what the CW has been showing recently. In addition, there is an app called CW Seed which lets you watch entire seasons of old shows (like Pushing Daisies or Whose Line is it Anyway) without any subscription at all.
Watch the CW on Hulu
Hulu is another way you can stream the CW. However, CW is only available through Hulu in certain areas. You can see which live channels, including The CW, are available in your area by using this tool to see available Hulu channels by zip code.
Previously Hulu was known for their vast on-demand streaming library. Recently, they have added a Hulu Live TV service for $39.99 a month that offers Live History Online Streaming. Hulu Live TV also includes the following features:
- 50 hours of cloud DVR storage. (Upgrades available)
- Watch on 2 screens at once. (Upgrades available)
- Comes with 6 customizable profiles
- Includes entire Hulu streaming library
See our review of Hulu Live TV for more information and details on their service.
The CW on YouTubeTV
YouTubeTV also offers the CW streaming live in some areas, as well as limitless storage space for recording your shows. Your library of recorded shows can be streamed anywhere. The CW is included in the base package for $40 a month. You can read more about this service in our YouTube TV review or on their website.
The CW Streaming on DirecTV Now
AT&T’s DirecTV Now service is one way you can watch the CW in certain parts of the country. It is offered as part of their most affordable “Live a Little” package. The price is a bit steeper than some services but also offers the most channels. At $40 per month, you get more than 65 channels, while at the highest level of $75 a month you get over 125. Add premium channels for a small additional cost, like HBO or Cinemax for $5 a month or Starz for $8 a month. You can check out everything this service offers by taking advantage of their 7-day free trial or read about it in our DirecTV Now review.
The CW on Netflix
Netflix is a great way to watch all but the most recent episodes of shows on the CW. “Supergirl,” “The Flash,” “Riverdale,” “DC’s Legends of Tomorrow,” “Arrow,” and “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend” are all for there for the taking (with the exception of the current season). A Netflix subscription costs between $7.99-$13.99 per month depending on how many screens you need to watch at once.
Purchase Shows From the CW
If you are simply interested in a few shows from the CW, you can purchase the full run of the current season online from Amazon, Itunes or another service. This may be a cheaper option than purchasing a streaming service to deliver all the CW has to offer.
To buy the latest season of a CW show on Amazon, a season pass costs between $14.99-$29.99, which is less than many monthly services and makes sense if it’s the only show that you care about. You can also buy each episode at around $1.99-2.99 each. That said, there you may be interested in shows on other networks. In that case, you may be better off going with DirecTV Now. It ultimately depends on how many shows you are going to follow in a year. Almost every popular show is available online and once you purchase it, you own it. That means you can watch it whenever you want.
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