Entertainment: Clicked In To Music, Movies, and Games
The company behind the current film Flushed Awayand the popular Wallace and Gromit characters offers lots of amusing short films in the "Showreel" section of its site. Honestly: Where else can you find a clay animation flea with a Scottish accent?
Want to stay ahead of the hits in popular music? Tune in to this site, which offers streaming audio of British radio programs. It knew Gnarls Barkley's "Crazy" was a hit months before it reached the States (even though the band is American). And the listening options cover everything from indie rock to world beat.
Don't feel like blowing $600 for that new PlayStation 3? With GameTap, all you need is a broadband connection (plus $9.95 a month) and you can play hundreds of classic video games on a PC. Granted, the graphics don't compare with the new console systems. But do you really need high-def to play Pac-Man?
Suffering from withdrawal now that those outrageously over-the-top negative campaign commercials are off the air? This humor site is a reliable place to head for jokes about partisan sniping. It would be nice if the company produced a few more videos in the vein of its classic Bush vs. Kerry "This Land" clip. But members always are uploading new jokes.
The point of watching TV is that you're too lazy to read. So why come to this site, which posts smart summaries of the latest episodes of TV shows? Because whether it's the snarky comments writers make about the contestants on America's Next Top Model or the intense debates that happen in the fan forums for Battlestar Galactica and Lost, this site makes your favorite shows more fun.
Downloading Hollywood movies over the Internet still is nowhere near as easy as popping in a DVD or using your cable company's on-demand option. But Vongo is a good start: unlimited movie downloads (including hits like Memoirs of a Geisha and Hitch) for $9.99 a month.
Just think: The next generation of the Web (and entertainment) all started with a Saturday Night Live rap about cupcakes posted on this video site. What's kept the revolution rolling are the equally (and sometimes unintentionally) amusing clips ordinary people post every day.
This story appears in the November 20, 2006 print edition of U.S. News & World Report.