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Solving the problem of so many good TV shows, so many platforms

Martin Freeman (seated) in FX's
Martin Freeman (seated) in FX's "Fargo," the second season of which premieres on Oct. 12. All you need to watch the show is a cable subscription.
Chris Large/FX

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Most would agree that the explosion of quality TV content is a good thing for entertainment consumers.

But there’s a problem. Once you’re turned on to a new show and you want to start watching, where the heck do you go to get it? With television shows spread out over Netflix, Hulu, HBO Go, traditional cable packages and network programming — and many, many more outlets — finding out where you need to go for your TV fix is becoming increasingly difficult.

No one has all the answers yet, but we decided to call up someone who watches a ton of TV and might have some advice.

Grantland staff writer Andy Greenwald spoke with The Frame’s host John Horn and broke down what you need to watch some of this season’s best TV.

I’m gonna start from scratch and there’s a bunch of shows I want to watch, so tell me what I’m going to have to do to find these shows. I hear “Difficult People” is a good show. Where am I going to find that?

“Difficult People” is a Hulu exclusive. So though you just cancelled it, you’re probably going to have to get it back. Although I would note that Hulu is making two episodes out of the five available for free, so as long as you have an internet connection you could watch two episodes of “Difficult People.”

“Fargo” season two premieres in October. Gotta check out “Fargo.” How am I going to watch “Fargo”?

To watch “Fargo” season two you really only have one option, which is get your cable going and make sure your package has FX. However, if you want to watch “Fargo” season one, you can subscribe to Hulu. That way you get “Difficult People” and “Fargo” season one. Those are the only places you can go.

Okay, season two of “Transparent” is going to come on probably in December. What do I have to do to get that?

You’re going to have to join Amazon Prime, which I know you just quit. But on the plus side, you’ll be able to watch season one of “Transparent,” you’ll be able to watch season one of “Catastrophe,” which is really good, and you’ll get fair to decent shipping on your bulk paper towel orders.

Okay, “Narcos.” It’s a new show. How do I watch “Narcos”?

You wanna watch “Narcos,” you gotta get Netflix. That’s your only choice.

“Last Week Tonight” with John Oliver is one of my favorite shows. I’ve got HBO Go — will it be on HBO Go?

It is on HBO Go, but you might want to consider getting HBO Now, because in order to subscribe to HBO Now, you do not need to have an active cable subscription. So that is one way to get all of HBO’s content without having to have a cable bill on top of it.

And finally, I’ve got two boys who are huge fans of Chelsea in the English Premier League, so I want to watch a lot of soccer. What do I have to do to get English Premier League soccer on my TV?

I was going to suggest buying some airplane tickets to the U.K., but if that’s out of the question, all of the Premier League matches are available through NBC’s various services.

But not on NBC?

Of course not, that would be far too complicated. You’re going to have to get the cable package again, and then you can get the NBC sports additional channels and then you’ll be able to watch all of them at any time — the point being, bring your wallet.

I think the point is cord cutting doesn’t really work if you want to watch stuff. But I guess that’s the lesson that the cable and satellite companies are counting on.

It’s kind of interesting because everyone is interested in building a la carte options for themselves, and cutting cords and just getting their own services. But the point is, when you go from one big bill to ten little ones, you might not end up saving that much money.

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