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!
THE AFFAIR: SEASON 2 (YouTube)
Showtime has made the second season premiere of its Golden Globe-winning infidelity drama available on YouTube ahead of its Oct. 4 premiere. The show expands its point of view from a novelist (The Wire’s Dominic West) and a waitress (Ruth Wilson) to also include his estranged wife (the always-great Maura Tierney) and ths mistress’ embittered ex-husband (Joshua Jackson). Alas, the YouTube version censors the episode’s nudity, but it’s still a revealing peek at one of TV’s best dramas.
PARENTHOOD: SEASON 6 (Netflix)
Even if the Emmys spoiled the finale for anyone who hasn’t seen it, it’s still worth catching up with the last season of NBC’ acclaimed family drama. You don’t have to be John Boenher to weep over the many emotional events in the lives of the Braverman family: a wedding, a funeral, a graduation, a birth and more. Plus, two actors best known for sitcoms — Coach’s Craig T. Nelson and Everybody Loves Raymond’s Ray Romano — doing great dramatic work.
EMPIRE: SEASON 2 (Hulu)
Last season’s biggest hit is back and bigger than ever, with Lucious Lyon (the electric Terrence Howard) in a cage on murder charges, and ex-wife Cookie (shoulda-been-Emmy-winner Taraji P. Henson) hellbent on making his empire crumble. The Season 2 premiere also features showy guest shots from Chris Rock — in New Jack City mode as a cannibalistic crime boss — and Oscar winner Marisa Tomei as a lesbian powerbroker. Plus, cameos by Al Sharpton, Don Lemon and Vogue vet Andre Leon Talley and music by Swiss Beatz. No wonder this show rules.
THE WALKING DEAD: SEASON 5 (Netflix)
If you’re not up to speed before the Season 6 premiere on Oct. 11 — or if the spinoff Fear the Walking Dead hasn’t satisfied your craving for zombie action — you can now devour the fifth season of AMC’s monster smash on Netflix. New cast members include Wire alums Lawrence Gilliard, Jr. as a recovering alcoholic ex-army medic and Seth Gilliam as a priest who offers the survivors refuge, plus Everybody Hates Chris’ Tyler James Williams as a naive Virginian and Hello Ladies’ Christine Woods as a cop. And watch for the return of a few familiar faces, like Lennie James’ grief-stricken Morgan Jones and David Morrissey’s presumed-dead Governor.
BLOOD & OIL: SEASON 1 (Hulu)
A considerably glitzier portrayal of North Dakota than FX’s Fargo, ABC’s new prime-time soap brings Miami Vice’s eternally cool Don Johnson to the Midwest as an energy baron who takes on a newcomer to town (Gossip Girl grad Chace Crawford) over the biggest discovery of crude oil ever. Hulu’s also the home for Blood & Oil’s Sunday-night ABC companion, Quantico, with breakout star Priyanka Chopra as a fugitive FBI agent.
Currently Senior Articles Editor for Closer Weekly, Bruce Fretts has written for The New York Times, Entertainment Weekly, TV Guide, Time, Emmy Magazine, Fast Company, and Vulture.com. You can follow him on Twitter @brucefretts.