Tap into Crackle’s growing selection of great free-to-watch TV shows

It has never been easier to be a television connoisseur. Streaming services only continue to expand, adding more preexisting and original titles to their lineups. For a while now, however, streaming TV (like network television) has been dominated by the “Big Three” of Netflix, Amazon, and Hulu. But Sony’s fledgling streaming service, Crackle, has been building its own library, and while it has nowhere near the depth of a service like Netflix, the site has amassed a modest selection of great shows, some of which are hard to find elsewhere. Right now the pickings are still slim, but Crackle is likely to keep growing. Here are some of the best shows currently available on Crackle.

Choose your genre:

Drama

Crackle Logo FinalThe Shield

the shield

The “golden age” of television (generally cited as starting in the early 2000s) has ironically been shaped by shows that are dark. The Sopranos, Breaking Bad, The Wire: the great dramas of our age are defined by antiheroes and moral decay. Oft forgotten in the talk of artful television is one of FX’s earliest productions, The Shield. Premiering back in 2002, The Shield chronicles the operations of the LAPD, specifically their corrupt Strike Team. Led by Vic Mackey (Michael Chiklis), the Strike Team employs sinister methods in their war on crime, breaking laws and bones to make arrests. Their corruption extends beyond merely an “ends justify the means” style of crime fighting. They also profit off crime, extorting protection money from more easily cowed criminals.

In contrast to the broad infrastructural analysis of The Wire, The Shield keeps its focus fairly tight, examining the personal struggles of the Strike Team and their less corrupt colleagues. It’s a bleak and often violent show, on par with the many great dramas that have come to overshadow it.

Crackle Logo FinalDamages

damages screenshot

Villain protagonists are the concept du jour in contemporary television, and Damages takes that idea further than most shows, following the misdeeds of a law firm that routinely employs blackmail, theft, and even murder to get what they want. Rose Byrne plays Ellen Parsons, an attorney fresh out of school who takes a job working for Patty Hewes (Glenn Close). Hewes is completely amoral, stopping at nothing to win cases, and viewing Ellen as her protege, she hopes to teach the young lawyer to swim with the sharks. Ellen’s struggle is as much against her own shedding of ethics as it is against rival attorneys.

Damages eschews the case-of-the-week formula typical of legal dramas, instead building season-long arcs that emphasize character development and byzantine plots. With a body count rivaling Game of Thrones, it’s not a show for those who get easily attached to characters. Given its strong cast and audacious morality, however, there are few legal dramas of its caliber.

Next Page: Comedy

Home Theater

Now-canceled ‘Daredevil’ was one of Netflix’s most popular shows

Netflix recently canceled Marvel's Daredevil just a month after the premiere of the show's third season, despite reports indicating that it was one of the service's most popular shows.
Movies & TV

'Prime'-time TV: Here are the best shows on Amazon Prime right now

There's more to Amazon Prime than free two-day shipping, including access to a number of phenomenal shows at no extra cost. To make the sifting easier, here are our favorite shows currently streaming on Amazon Prime.
Movies & TV

From 'GLOW' to 'Haunting of Hill House,' these are the best Netflix Originals

Netflix's stable of content has grown quickly, and the streaming service now boasts dozens of shows produced in-house. Looking for the cream of the crop? These are our picks for the best Netflix Original series.
Home Theater

Cutting the cord? Let us help you find the best service for live TV streaming

There's a long list of live TV streaming services available to help you cut the cord and replace your traditional TV subscription. Each is different in important ways, and this guide will help you find the best one for you.
Podcasts

'Avengers: Endgame' trailer chills, 'Game of Thrones' teaser, $100M 'Friends'

This week on Between the Streams, we'll talk about the Avengers 4 trailer (aka Avengers: Endgame), the latest nothing of a Game of Thrones teaser, Netflix's $100 million barter to keep Friends, and much more!
Emerging Tech

Feast your eyes on the wildest, most elaborate Rube Goldberg machines ever built

Want to see something totally mesmerizing? Check out several of the best Rube Goldberg machines from across the internet, including one that serves cake and other that do ... nothing particularly useful.
Home Theater

The best movies on Netflix in December, from 'Buster Scruggs’ to endangered cats

Save yourself from hours wasted scrolling through Netflix's massive library by checking out our picks for the streamer's best movies available right now, whether you're into explosive action, witty humor, or anything else.
Home Theater

Sling TV ramps up its base programming with Discovery Networks for free

Sling TV has grown a great deal since its launch. Now there are more channels and more packages to chose from, with prices to match, and more is being added all the time. Everything you need to know is right here.
Movies & TV

The best shows on Netflix, from 'Haunting of Hill House’ to ‘Twilight Zone’

Looking for a new show to binge? Lucky for you, we've curated a list of the best shows on Netflix, whether you're a fan of outlandish anime, dramatic period pieces, or shows that leave you questioning what lies beyond.
Movies & TV

Out of movies to binge? Our staff picks the best flicks on Hulu right now

From classics to blockbusters, Hulu offers some great films to its subscribers. Check out the best movies on Hulu, whether you're into charming adventure tales or gruesome horror stories.
Movies & TV

The best Christmas TV episodes and specials

To help get you in the spirit of the season, we've compiled a list of the best Christmas TV episodes and specials. Whether it's free episodes on your favorite streaming service, or stop-motion classics, look no further.
Movies & TV

The best new movie trailers: ‘Avengers: Endgame,’ ‘Bumblebee,’ ‘Alita,’ and more

Everyone loves a good trailer, but keeping up with what's new isn't easy. That's why we round up the best ones for you. This week, it's the first trailer for Avengers: Endgame, as well as new trailers for Alita: Battle Angel and Bumblebee.
Movies & TV

The best movies on Amazon Prime right now (December 2018)

Prime Video provides subscribers with access to a host of fantastic films, but sorting through the catalog can be an undertaking. Luckily, we've done the work for you. Here are the best movies on Amazon Prime Video right now.
Movies & TV

Best new shows and movies to stream: ‘The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel’ and more

Need something to watch this weekend? Check out our list of the best new shows and movies to stream right now. On the list this week: The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel season 2, Neo Yokio: Pink Christmas, and more.
1 of 4