What’s new on Hulu? Amazing on Amazon? Binge-worthy on Netflix? Crossing the Streams scours the web to find the best shows and specials freshly available for online viewing. You’re welcome!
JESSICA JONES (Netflix)
It’s a superhero show for people who hate superhero shows: Breaking Bad casualty Krysten Ritter alluringly embodies the title character, a recovering costumed crusader who now works as a private eye and only occasionally employs her superpowers. It’s more film noir than comic book, as Jessica works for a lesbian lawyer (The Matrix’s Carrie-Ann Moss), beds down with fellow reluctant crimefighter Luke Cage (The Good Wife’s Mike Colter) and pursues mind-controlling maniac Killgrave (Doctor Who’s David Tennant), who scarred her for life. Aside from a few references to The Avengers and Daredevil, you’d hardly know this is a Marvel series — just one that’s simply marvelous.
THE ART OF MORE (Crackle)
Crackle’s first scripted series is this cracklingly good thriller set in the high-stakes world of art-auction houses. Dennis Quaid, who also executive-produces the show, stars as a billionaire (inspired by Donald Trump) who puts his collection up for sale, triggering a deadly bidding war. Kate Bosworth costars as one of his suitors (in every sense of the word) and The Princess Bride’s Cary Elwes steals scenes as a quirky collector who takes a former smuggler (Christian Cooke) under his wing. Chances are, by the end of the 10-episode first season, you’ll want More.
THE MAN IN THE HIGH CASTLE (Amazon)
Executive-produced by Ridley Scott (The Martian) and Frank Spotnitz (The X-Files), the drama posits what would have happened to America if Hitler had won World War II. Familiar faces in the cast include Clash of the Titans‘ Alexa Davalos as a martial-arts expert living in Japanese-controlled San Francisco, Eleventh Hour’s Rufus Sewell as a ruthless Nazi trying to crush a rebellion in NYC and Road Trip’s DJ Qualls as a Frisco factory worker. Oh, and it’s based on a novel by Phillip K. Dick, whose book Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? was turned by Scott into a little movie called Blade Runner.
MAYDAY (Acorn TV)
This five-part BBC mystery from 2012, about a teenage girl who goes missing on the titular holiday, boasts an impressive ensemble: Game of Thrones’ Aiden Gillen as a brooding widower, Equus’s Peter Firth as a self-made millionaire, Maleficent’s Lesley Manville as his unhappy wife, Hotel Rwanda’s Sophie Okonedo as an ex-police officer and Becoming Human’s Leila Mimmack as the vanished girl and her twin sister. It’s like Broadchurch, but less depressing (as if anything could be more depresssing).
THE GOOD SOLDIER (Acorn TV)
Robin Ellis, the original Poldark, stars in this early ‘80s adaptation of the 1915 Ford Madox Ford novel that originally aired on Masterpiece Theatre. Ellis plays an American who, along with his wife, meets a British couple (featuring Sherlock Holmes’ Jeremy Brett as the title character) at a German spa on the eve of World War I. Lies and deception are ultimately revealed, rendering the title highly ironic. Watch for a pre-Cheers John Ratzenberger in a cameo. Cliffy!
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.com. You can follow him on Twitter @brucefretts.