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!
THE PATH (Hulu)
Breaking Bad’s Aaron Paul returns to series TV in this provocative new drama from producer Jason Katims (Parenthood, Friday Night Lights). He stars as a family man caught up in a cult led by a megalomaniac (Hannibal’s Hugh Dancy. But his effort to escape is complicated by the allegience of his wife (True Detective) and family members to their fearsome leader. The first two episodes are available on Hulu now, with the first season’s next eight installments rolling out every Tuesday. Any resemblance to Scientology is probably not unintentional.
THE RANCH (Netflix)
Ashton Kutcher reunites with That ‘70s Show co-star Danny Masterson and Two and a Half Men creator Chuck Lorre for this sitcom about a semi-retired semi-pro football player who recluctantly returns to his family’s homestead to help run the place. Masterson plays his alcoholic brother, but the show’s real stars are old Western icon Sam Elliott and onetime Urban Cowgirl as the boys’ parents. It’s a bit disorienting to see a traditional four-camera sitcom with a laugh track as a Netflix original, but at least the show does deliver some genuine laughs.
THE O.C.: SEASONS 1-4 (Hulu)
California, here we come… again! Before Ben McKenzie became the young Commissioner Gordon on Gotham, he starred in this 2003-2007 Fox drama as Ryan Atwood, a rough-and-tumble street kid who gets taken in by wealthy Sandy Cohen (Peter Gallagher) and his family in posh Newport Beach, Calif. The show also launched the careers of Mischa Barton (who was just kicked off Dancing With the Stars), Adam Brody, Rachel Bilson and more. All 92 episodes are now available on Hulu, including the annual mashup-holiday “Chrismukkah” specials. What’s Chrismukkah, you ask? Eight days of presents, followed by one day of many presents. It’s a Christmas mitzvah!
FAST GIRLS (Acorn TV)
Slow down, it’s not what you think. Lily James (Downton Abbey, Cinderella) stars in this inspirational 2012 British film as Lisa, a posh competitive runner who must get in step with a street-smart rival, Shania (Being Human’s Lenora Crichlow), to try and help the U.K. team take down the U.S. at the world championships of track and field. Watch for Rupert Graves (A Room with a View, The Madness of King George) as Lisa’s dad. Think of it as Bend It Like Beckham without the soccer balls.
British documentarian Ben Gonyo spent two years of his life immersing himself in the world of multi-player video games like World of Warcraft and interviewing such enthusiasts as comedian Jay Mohr and former Major League Baseball pitching legend Curt Schilling about their obsessions. It’s become a billion-dollar industry, but some say it may be destroying lives. Of course, that assumes the players had lives to begin with…
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.