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!
DIFFICULT PEOPLE: SEASON 2 (Hulu)
The laugh-out-loud sitcom starring Julie Klausner and Billy Eichner as bitter celebrity wannabes returns with two new episodes, and subsequent installments rolling out every Tuesday. The openers are packed with big-name guest stars, including Tina Fey (as herself—she gets roped into filming a last will and testament for Julie’s hysterically needy mom, played by SCTV vet Andrea Martin) and Nathan Lane (as himself—he gets roped into helping Julie and Billy with their ill-conceived riff on the Ice Bucket Challenge), plus stand-up John Mulaney and Dancing With the Stars/America’s Next Top Model winner Nyle DiMarco (as Billy’s latest love interests). Nothing difficult about it: This is one of the funniest shows you’ll ever stream.
HAPPY ENDINGS (Crackle)
It’s not the happy ending devotees of ABC’s cult comedy were hoping for, as rumors that the show would continue to produce new episodes for another outlet after its three-season run on network TV haven’t come to fruition. But now you can stream all 57 episodes for free on Crackle, at least. The fast-paced ensemble comedy has seen its stars move on to such shows as New Girl (Damon Wayans, Jr., who actually started out there) and The Mindy Project (Adam Pally). It also provided welcome exposure to a number of talented veterans who guest-starred as some of the primary sextet’s parents: Megan Mullally, Michael McKean, Julie Hagerty and, yes, Damon Wayans Sr.
THE LAST KINGDOM: SEASON 1 (Netflix)
It’s like Game of Thrones without the dragons. Also based on a series of novels—in this case, Bernard Cornwell’s ten-book Saxon Stories—it’s set in the 9th century, when England was divided into seven kingdoms. Among the stars are such recognizable actors as Rutger Hauer (Blade Runner) , Matthew Macfadyen (Ripper Street), and Ian Hart (The Bridge). But as with GoT, don’t get too attached to any of the characters. The good news is the survivors will be back for a second season, which just started shooting in Budapest.
JERICHO (Acorn TV)
Not to be confused with Skeet Ulrich’s post-apocalyptic drama of the same name, this period piece plays more like a British version of AMC’s soon-to-conclude Hell on Wheels. Jessica Raines (Call the Midwife) stars as a widowed mother who opens up a boardinghouse in the rough-and-tumble titular town where a railroad is being built. Among her guests are a mysterious American played by The Wire’s Clarke Peters, who still doesn’t get to use his native English acccent even though he’s doing a U.K. drama. Blimey!
BRAHMAN NAMAN (Netflix)
Think of it as an Indian spin on American Pie. Set in the 1980’s, this raunchy comedy follows a trio of geeky South Indian trivia-quiz champions (Shashank Arora, Tanmay Dhanania and Chaitanya Varad) who tackle the ultimate challenge: losing their virginity. It’s directed by Quashiq Mukherjee—or, as he’s billed in the credits, Q—and it’s in English, so no subtitle-reading is required.
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.