CuriosityStream and Me

Dept. of Curious Nerds and Documentary Geeks


So here’s how it happened. I finally signed up for CuriosityStream late one night after having watched my football team play to another dour goalless draw, and in my weakened state, stumbled upon the streaming service that I had heard of but never investigated fully.

It’s definitely not the worst late night emotional purchase I’ve ever made.

But also, yay documentaries!

That’s the other thing you need to know about CuriosityStream. If you’ve never heard of it, and don’t know what I’m talking about, CuriosityStream is another online streaming service that launched in 2015, but unlike the Netflix’s or the Disney+’s of the world, is purely focused on factual entertainment content. And by this I mean documentaries and documentary-lite series. Kinda like we used to get on National Geographic and the Discovery Channel, before the former changed its name to Nat Geo to be more hip and cool, and the latter went heavy on reality programming.

Seriously. What the f*ck is this shit.

Right off the bat, I will say that CuriosityStream’s target market is fairly niche. On the face of it, this doesn’t look like the streaming site that will entertain the entire family. That said, if you are the responsible adult in your household, you can’t really go wrong with getting a subscription and introducing your children to the wide and wonderful world of non-fiction programming.

The service ranges from content for curious kids, like Mission Unstoppable with Miranda Cosgrove, a series that breaks down STEM in the wider world, to Behind The Artist, a series that takes a deep look at the world of art ranging from Van Gogh, to Le Corbusier, to Roy Lichtenstein. CuriosityStream’s library of content is deep, and regardless of your interests, it will probably have something for you. From fashion, to tech, history and dinosaurs (yes, I categorized dinosaurs as it’s own thing because it deserves to be), and travel, CuriosityStream really does have everything for everyone. That is if non-fiction shows are your thing.

How can you not love a place that has David Attenborough as a category??

Signing up for the service however is a much harder sell. With over-the-top media services getting a little over the top, is there really an interest (and the money) for one that is so focused on content that may not be to everyone’s liking? That’s a question only you can answer, but if you look around online, there are many a promotional code that will provide you with a decent discount to a year’s access. And honestly, if documentaries and non-fiction content is your cup of tea, then at about RM80 (USD20) for a year, is that really so bad?

In my 4 weeks or so with the service, I’ve learned about LEGO (The Secret World of Lego), the state of American comic shops (My Comic Shop Country), watched a two episode special on Willy Wonka-esque chef extraordinaire Heston Blumenthal’s mission to create a typical British meal for a British astronaut (Heston’s Dinner In Space), learned about the history of Versailles (Versailles Rediscovered), learned about the science of cute (The Science of Cute), gone on a culinary and cultural journey through Cuba (Cuban Food Stories), and gone back in time to discover history through fashion (A Stitch In Time). 

This may have been the best RM80 that I’ve spent this year. If only all dour football games could lead to this I’d be much better off for it.

And this isn’t even my full watchlist!

It’s worth noting that if you sign up for CuriosityStream via a qualifying promotional code, you also get free access to Nebula, a creator owned streaming service with some of the best YouTube creators on it, like Adam Neely, Polyphonic, Lindsay Ellis, The Royal Ocean Film Society, and Patrick Willems.

Sure you can get most of Nebula’s content for free on YouTube, but if you can get it for free (via a paid subscription to CuriosityStream), properly support content creators, and NOT give money to a giant Internet conglomerate, why not?

Also, there are no ads to have to skip.

Bahir likes to review movies because he can watch them at special screenings and not have to interact with large groups of people who may not agree with his idea of what a movie going experience is. Bahir likes jazz, documentaries, Ken Burns, and summer blockbuster movies. He really hopes that the HBO MAX Green Lantern series will help the character be cool again. Also don’t get him started on Jason Momoa’s Aquaman (#NotMyArthurCurry).

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