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!
MARCO POLO: SEASON 2 (Netflix)
Cleverly timed to fill the epic-adventure void left by the season finale of Game of Thrones, the sprawling historical drama returns with a second round of 10 episodes. Marco Richelmy stars as the titular legendary warrior and explorer, with Benedict Wong as the emperor Kublai Khan and Twin Peaks alum Joan Chen as the empress Chabi. The highest-profile additions to the cast this season is Michelle Yeoh (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon) as a mysterious character named Lotus — and you know she’s going to engage in some serious swordplay — and Gabriel Byrne as Pope Gregory X. But once again, Marco Polo never explains the origin of the swimming-pool game of the same name. Perhaps in Season 3…
CRIMSON PETAL & THE WHITE (Acorn)
A very different kind of costume drama, this four-part adaptation of Michael Faber’s best-selling novel follows a 19th-century British prostitute (The Hour’s Romola Garai) as she seduces a perfume heir (Bridesmaids’ Chris O'Dowd) with a mentally unstable wife (Amanda Hale). Garai is a revelation as Sugar, but the 2011 miniseries’ tastiest performance comes from Gillian Anderson as her terrifying madam, Mrs. Castaway. Also watch for How to Get Ahead in Advertising’s always-delicious Richard E. Grant as a doctor.
ALL OR NOTHING: A SEASON WITH THE ARIZONA CARDINALS (Amazon Prime)
If you just can’t wait for the NFL preseason to start, check out this docu-series about the 2015 NFC championship game runners-up. The eight one-hour episodes — all available now — are narrated by Jon Hamm, who, like the Cards, started out in St. Louis. But the real stars are Coach Bruce Arians, quarterback Carson Palmer, wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald and the rest of the squad. It’s produced by NFL Films, so of course, the in-game footage is awesome.
NIGHT TRAIN WITH WYATT CENAC (SeeSo)
NBC Universal’s new streaming comedy service debuts a stand-up series hosted by the Daily Show veteran, who shares his typically edgy take on the Confederate flag controversy: “I feel like it wouldn’t have been such a big debate if it wasn’t such a cool- looking flag. The Confederacy, what they stood for — horrible things — but their aesthetic? Timeless.” Others along for the ride are Janeane Garofalo, Eugene Mirman, John Hodgman, and 30 Rock’s Scott Adsit, so get on board!
Produced, written and directed by Hans Rosenfeldt, the creator of the Swedish series The Bridge, this eight-part crime drama stars Pushing Daisies’ Anna Friel as the title character, a London ex-detective who’s called back on the job after a long-dormant serial killer seemingly strikes again. This happens just after her husband leaves her, and Marcella ends up investigating on-line dating as well as prostitution as part of the case. Bonus for Battlestar Galactica fans: Jamie Bamber co-stars as a Detective Inspector.
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.