Not to be confused with my latest YouTube channel obsession from Josh Gad… Reunited Apart, which if you haven’t watched yet, just stop what you are doing and watch all of the episodes.
While Josh is reuniting cast members over Zoom, I am talking about watching shows with your friends and family in your own homes, but just like you are together.
Many of the most popular streaming services are starting to develop features to allow you to have a watch party on their platform. Both Hulu and Plex have implemented beta versions of this currently, and I’m sure other platforms are not far behind.
You can already do this through Netflix through a 3rd party, but Netflix itself does not yet have the capability.
Watching together with Hulu
When you load up Hulu on your computer through a browser, there is a new icon on shows that look like a few people together in a circle (HEY! They aren’t social distancing!!)
When you click the icon you can start the party, which will send you to this other screen
On this screen you can copy the link that your friends can enter into their own web browser and start the movie or TV show. There is a chat window so you can even type out your commentary so you can truly feel like you are watching together.
Watching together with Plex
I’m a HUGE fan of Plex. I’ve always thought of it as my own personal Netflix chock full of all my favorite movies and TV shows. Since I own a plethora of DVD’s (read over 900) my Plex server is pretty robust. I have even ripped my favorite workout DVD’s of which I also have a plethora.
Since you are already able to share your libraries with other users, you can also start a watch party on Plex with any of the users you have already invited to your library, or have invited you to theirs. With the Plex watch party, you don’t have to use your laptop, you can use the Plex app through your phone, or even the Roku.
Watching together with Netflix
As I mentioned previously, Netflix hasn’t developed it’s own feature for this quite yet, but using the Chrome browser extension Netflix Party will get you the same results.
Other’s that haven’t gotten on board yet are Disney+ and Vudu, but I am hopeful these services will join the online party in the near future. I love seeing businesses adapting to the new normal and helping us have some of the things we love back.
Now, don’t mind me, I’m going to go pick up some popcorn from my local movie theater who is selling it while the theaters are closed, and watch an old classic with my best friend in Oregon. I mean, is there really a number for how many times we can watch That Thing You Do together? I submit that there is not.