Published on October 9th, 2017 | by Kirk Hiner0
BEST Apple TV Channels: Night Flight Plus
“It’s time now once again for Dynaman!”
Whereas most people my age throw back to The Breakfast Club, Family Ties or Thriller when they want to wax nostalgic about the ’80s, I return to Dynaman. I won’t explain why; I’m not sure I could. Dynaman was kind of like Power Rangers but instead of inserting American actors into Japanese fight sequences, they inserted ’80s pop music and overdubbed comedy. It’s the kind of thing you could only find on late night cable, and only on Night Flight on the USA Network.
Night Flight—a variety television show that ran from 1981 to 1988—catered to people like me by filling the gap of bizarre content left behind when UHF channels began fading out. Music videos, ’50s sci-fi TV shows, exploitation films…Urgh! A Music War. It wasn’t just the kind of stuff that kept me entertained for four hours on weekend nights, it altered what I consumed for entertainment.
It’s fitting, then, that I discovered Night Flight Plus in much the same way I discovered the show in the mid-80s: by surfing. I was searching the web for Dynaman so I could show my kids, and turned up www.nightflightplus.com. The subscription service—complete with an Apple TV compatible app—is available for $4.99/month or $39.99/year, and I’d honestly be happy to pay that just to watch Dynaman on demand.
But Night Flight Plus offers so much more than that (which is good, because currently only three of the six Dynaman episodes are available). The original show was fantastic at presenting crazy amounts of content lumped together by various themes, and Night Flight Plus serves that up ever better. You can stream anything from their catalog at your convenience, and that catalog is vast. Yes, there’s all that great content from the ’80s (you can even watch full episodes as they originally aired), but the catalog continues to grow with the type of stuff they would’ve shown back then anyway.
You can see horror ranging from schlock to Donnie Darko, archival interviews with musicians such as Tom Petty and David Bowie, dozens of concerts and documentaries (fans of Bob Dylan and/or Devo will be able to binge here), and libraries dedicated to ’80s anime, spaghetti westerns, the Beatles, professional wrestling, stand-up comedy and…Dr. Ruth?
Remember reading about the US Festival? You know, the one organized by Steve Wozniak? That’s here, too.
Night Flight Plus does a good job of keeping you abreast of what’s new via their weekly email digest, but honestly, I prefer to find what’s available directly through my Apple TV. Reverting back to those weekend nights in high school, I’ll launch the channel and start with an episode of Dynaman, watch a few music videos, then dig a bit deeper. A profile on Nick Rhodes? Sure…I’m not ashamed to say I’m still a fan of Duran Duran. 3 Fantastic Supermen? Gotta be better than one maudlin Superman. Best of Vancouver Vol 1. wrestling? You had me at Rick Rude. And Honkey Tonk Man.
If you prefer to stream shows that everyone is talking about at work, Night Flight Plus isn’t going to be your thing (unless you work with me, that is). But if you’re the type who starts those conversations off with “You’re not going to believe I watched/discovered this weekend,” then as Dr. Ho once said, “Hmmmmm check this out!”