What’s new on Netflix? Hot on Hulu? Amazing on Amazon? Crossing the Streams scours the web to find the best shows and specials freshly available for online viewing. You’re welcome!
F IS FOR FAMILY (Netflix)
Imagine a cross between Family Guy and That ‘70s Show’ and you’ll get some sense of this R-rated cartoon, created by and starring stand-up/actor Bill Burr (Breaking Bad). The semi-autobiographical animated series, set in 1973, casts Burr as a version of his own father, a frustrated Archie Bunker type, with Laura Dern as his wife, Justin Long as their 14-year-old son and Sam Rockwell as their swinging neighbor. Just in time for those awkward holiday visits with your own dysfunctional family, it’s a good reminder that F is also for funny.
MAKING A MURDERER (Netflix)
A true-crime documentary in the tradition of The Jinx and Serial (not to mention countless episodes of 48 Hours Mystery), this riveting thriller follows the case of Steven Avery, a working-class Wisconsite who was imprisoned for 18 years for a crime he didn’t commit. After becoming an activist for the wrongly convicted, he was implicated in a murder and accused law-enforcement officials of framing him. Netflix has released the first four hours of the 10-episode series, and if you’re not hooked by the end of them, you oughta be arrested.
This six-part BBC drama just finished airing in the UK last month, and now you can see it all on Netflix. Stellan Skarsgard (Thor) stars as John River, a Detective Inspector who sees dead people — including his recently murdered partner (Last Tango in Halifax’s Nicola Walker) and a legendary poisoner (Ray Donovan’s Eddie Marsan, using his actual English accent). Written by The Hour’s Abi Morgan, River carries you along for a disturbing yet ultimately satisfying ride.
DEUTSCHLAND 83: SEASON 1 (Hulu)
Like The Americans, this six-part German thriller reheats the Cold War through the eyes of a 24-year-old East German native (Jonas Nay) who’s sent to the other side of the Berlin Wall as a spy in 1983. Also like FX’s '80s period piece, Deutschland makes great use of New Wave music, like Nena’s “99 Luftballons” as well as tracks by David Bowie, New Order and the Eurythmics. With Homeland having just completed its Berlin-set season, this show could fill the void for fans of John Le Carré-style suspense.
MIKE EPPS: DON’T TAKE IT PERSONAL (Netflix)
Filmed at the Orpheum Theater in Los Angeles, this special allows the stand-up to expound on topics ranging from rapper 2 Chainz (whom his mother mistook for Whoopi Goldberg) to growing up in a family with four different fathers (when it was pick-up time, “it looked like a cab stand… everybody waiting on their son”). Best known for comedic roles in movies like Next Friday and TV shows like Survivor’s Remorse, Epps has been stretching his dramatic muscles lately in projects like HBO’s Bessie and will soon be seen on the big screen in a biopic as his idol, Richard Pryor. His stand-up does Pryor proud.
Currently Senior Articles Editor for Closer Weekly, Bruce Fretts has written for The New York Times, Entertainment Weekly, TV Guide, Emmy Magazine, Fast Company, and Vulture. You can follow him on Twitter @brucefretts.