What’s new on Hulu? Amazing on Amazon? Binge-worthy on Netflix? Crossing the Streams spans the web to find the best TV shows and specials freshly available to watch online. You’re welcome!
MARCO POLO (Netflix)
Even if the only thing you know about the titular explorer is the swimming-pool game that bears his name, you’ll still get swept up in this epic drama’s 10-episode first season. Lorenzo Richelmy oozes star quality as Marco, and his female co-stars — including ex MTV China VJ/singer Zhu Zhu and Joan Chen, an old hand at costume dramas going back to her work on 1987’s Oscar-winning The Last Emperor — are almost as beautiful as the scenery. (The show was shot in Italy, Kazakhstan and Malaysia.) Plus: naked women doing martial arts! What more do you want?
JACK IRISH (Acorn TV)
Can’t get Guy Pearce’s performance as an investigator in Christopher Nolan’s Memento out of your mind? Check him out as a different kind of P.I. — a criminal lawyer-turned-debt collector and finder of missing persons — in this trio of Australian TV movies based on Peter Temple’s mystery novels. Should you still want more, don’t get your Irish up: Two more telefilms and a six-episode series are in the works.
This South Korean action drama, which has been subtitled into English, follows a mainstream-media TV reporter (Yoo Ji-Tae) who gets mixed up with a guerrilla news agency. He joins forces with a gorgeous tabloid hack (Park Min-young) and an Internet journo code-named Healer (Ji Chang-wook), who just happens to have kick-ass fighting skills. Guess The Interview’s James Franco and Seth Rogen aren’t the only ones involved with Korean intrigue these days.
THE GAME (Amazon)
Not to be confused with the BET sitcom (or the rapper) of the same name, this six-episode drama plays like a British version of The Americans. Set in 1972 London, it concerns Daddy (the always-amazing Brian Cox), the head of MI5, as he tracks Soviet sleeper agents who have been awakened to enact a dangerous mission known as Operation Glass. And as anyone who’s seen Cox’s bone-chilling turn as the original Hannibal Lecter in 1986’s Manhunter can testify, you don’t want to mess with Daddy.
NICK OFFERMAN: AMERICAN HAM (Netflix)
Where does Parks & Recreation’s Ron Swanson end and Nick Offerman begin? It’s hard to tell after watching this stand-up special, filmed at New York City’s Town Hall, in which Swanson…er, Offerman, offers his 10 tips to prosperity, plus advice on carpentry, carnivorousness and masculinity. Real-life wife (and P&R sex partner) Megan Mullally appears in filmed segments, and Offerman also shares original songs. No doubt this show would top Ron Swanson’s Pyramid of Greatness.
Currently Senior Articles Editor for Closer Weekly, Bruce Fretts wrote TV Guide Magazine‘s wildly popular “Cheers & Jeers” column for 10 years. His work has also been published in the New York Times, Vulture.com, Fast Company, New York Daily News, Digital Spy, DuJour Magazine, the Sundance Channel’s website and RogerEbert.com. You can follow him on Twitter @brucefretts.