What’s new on Netflix? Hot on Hulu? Amazing on Amazon? Crossing the Streams scours the streaming services to find the best shows and specials freshly available for online viewing. You’re welcome!
HOUSE OF CARDS (Netflix)
Call it Fuller House of Cards. In an attempt to Trump the real-life dramatics of Campaign 2016, the political drama has enlisted a gaggle of new cast members to support Machiavellian President Frank Underwood (Kevin Spacey) and his First Lady, Claire (Robin Wright). Ellen Burstyn, who won an Emmy as the mother of another Hillary Clinton-like figure in Political Animals, plays Claire’s estranged mom, and three-time Emmy winner Cicely Tyson appears as a Texas congresswoman whose district figures into Claire’s political plans. Plus, Party of Five vet Neve Campbell comes on board as a consultant to Claire, and The Killing’s Joel Kinnaman takes on Frank as his Republican potential opponent in a general election. Refreshingly, there’s no discussion about the size of Frank’s hands — only if he’ll ever be able to wash the blood off them.
CUCKOO: SEASONS 1-2 (Netflix)
Between Saturday Night Live and Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Andy Samberg crossed the pond to star in the first season of this Brit-com, as an American hippie who gets engaged to a med student from a proper family. (Wanna feel old? Helen Baxendale, aka Ross’ British bride on Friends, plays the bride-to-be’s mum!) Samberg wasn’t too busy with Brooklyn to return for Season 2, so he was replaced by Taylor Lautner as a Yank who shows up claiming to be Samberg’s son. Now, that’s Cuckoo!
THE COMEDIANS: SEASON 1 (Hulu)
Sadly, the first season of The Comedians will also be its last, as FX canceled the low-rated sit-com starring Billy Crystal and Josh Gad. The show wasn’t just underrated by Nielsen: Critics didn’t seem to get the sharp-edged humor of casting Crystal and Gad as worst-case versions of themselves, clashing over the generation gaps in their senses of humor as they’re forced to work together on a sketch series. Watch for guest appearances by Mel Brooks (who was nominated for an Emmy), show runner Larry Charles (Seinfeld, Borat), and Rob Reiner (who directed Billy in The Princess Bride and When Harry Met Sally…).
FATHER TED: SEASONS 1-3 (Acorn TV)
The beloved British sitcom about a trio of disgraced priests living on a fictional island off the coast of Ireland is now streaming in its entirety. Tragically, Dermot Morgan, who played the titular Ted, died of a heart attack at the age of 45 only one day after shooting the show’s finale in 1998. But his comedy lives on, as Father Ted has attained a growing cult following over the last two decades. Speaking of stayin’ alive, the Bee Gees’ Maurice Gibb loved Ted so much, he was allegedly buried with a DVD set of the complete series.
SAMMY J AND RANDY IN RICKETTS LANE (SeeSo)
I know what you’re thinking: Another Australian musical-comedy about a hapless lawyer who shares his house with a degenerate purple puppet? This six-episode sitcom plays like Avenue Q Down Under. Fun fact: All the episodes are named after Kevin Costner movies: “The Postman,” “Field of Dreams,” “Waterworld,” “The Bodyguard,” “Dances with Wolves” and “Malibu Hot Summer.” And if you don’t remember the last one, you might know it by its alternate title: Sizzle Beach USA.
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.