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!
BEASTS OF NO NATION (Netflix)
And you thought Idris Elba’s Stringer Bell on The Wire was a badass. In this intense drama, he plays a West African warlord who trains young boys in guerrilla warfare tactics. Netflix is engaging in some guerilla warfare of its own, releasing the critically acclaimed film simultaneously in theaters for Oscar consideration and on its streaming service worldwide. Beasts also marks the big-screen directorial debut of Cary Joji Fukunaga, who won an Emmy for Season 1 of True Detective.
THE AWESOMES: THE GAYFATHER (Hulu)
It’s a Hulu crossover as the hysterical Billy Eichner — cocreator and star of the streaming service’s sitcom Difficult People — guest voices on Seth Meyers’s superhero cartoon as “The Gayfather.” He tries to recruit the superfast Zip “Frantic” Danger (SNL’s Taran Killam) to join his gay mafia, while Prock (Meyers) and Muscleman (The Mindy Project’s Ike Barinholtz — another Hulu star!) go on the road with Perfect Man (Josh Meyers) in search of his birth parents. Plus, the evil Dr. Malocchio (Bill Hader) returns to Earth. Suffice it to say Hader, Eichner and Co. are even more animated than usual.
ANTHONY JESELNIK: THOUGHTS AND PRAYERS (Netflix)
The outrageous stand-up — best known for his take-no-prisoners sets on Comedy Central’s roasts as well as his hosting gig on Last Comic Standing — goes into the belly of the beast by taping his latest special at the historic Fillmore Theater in San Francisco, or, as he calls it, “the most politically correct city in the world.” The topics of his jokes include childhood cancer, the Challenger space shuttle disaster and 9/11, so if you’re easily offended, move along — there’s nothing to see here.
DNA (Acorn TV)
If you’ve been wondering what Scottish actor Tom Conti’s been up to since earning an Oscar nomination for 1984’s Reuben, Reuben, check out his work in this 2004 miniseries as Joe Donovan, a genius criminologist who suffers a mental breakdown but is coaxed out of retirement after a serial killer leaves his name in blood at a crime scene. The series was originally entitled Donovan but has been renamed, perhaps to avoid confusion with Ray Donovan. After all, you can’t spell “Donovan” without DNA.
THE PRINCIPAL: SEASON 1 (Netflix)
Not to be confused with the 1987 James Belushi movie of the same title, this new Australian drama stars Alex Dimitriades (who won awards for the original Aussie version of The Slap) as a history teacher who’s appointed to the titular position at an infamous boys’ school in Sydney. Just when he seems to be getting through to the students, one of them is found dead on school grounds. Watch for Aden Young, sans his Southern accent from Sundance Channel’s electrifying Rectify.
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.