Best new shows and movies to stream: ‘Bojack Horseman,’ ‘Portlandia,’ more

Best new shows and movies to stream Bojack Horseman
Online streaming is bigger than ever, and with so many streaming services adding new shows and movies every week, it can be nearly impossible to sort through the good and the bad. If you need something to watch and don’t want to wade through the digital muck that washes up on the internet’s shores, follow our picks below for the best new shows and movies to stream on Netflix, Hulu, HBO, Amazon Prime, and other services.

On the list this week: A crushingly black comedy, an inspiring biopic, and more.

Bojack Horseman season 4

best new shows and movies to stream Bojack Horseman season 4

The standard narrative arc of a life, according to many TV shows, involves characters climbing, sometimes with difficulty, toward some resolution. That’s rarely the case in real life, though — real life is full of false starts and relapses, because even if you can jump the external hurdles, you still might trip yourself up. Netflix’s surreal animated series Bojack Horseman knows this all too well, following characters who struggle not just to find happiness, but to hold onto it, often reaching self-actualization only to sabotage themselves. The show’s focus is Bojack Horseman (Will Arnett), a former sitcom star who continually tries to find fulfillment, both in his career and his personal life, but can never quite get out of his own way. This all might make Bojack Horseman sound heavy, and it is, but it is also frequently funny, balancing its Sisyphean personal drama with absurd parodies of celebrity culture and politics.

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Portlandia season 7

best new shows and movies to stream bojack horseman season 4 portlandia 7

It seems improbable that a sketch comedy show set in a city of moderate size on the West Coast could last for seven or more seasons, but Portlandia has managed to chug on. Part of that is due to the show’s willingness to mix up its format (playing around with season-long arcs), and part of it is surely Portland’s emergence as a microcosm of 21st-century counterculture, a place where the affluent and the hip congregate in a milieu of artisanal goods and gentrification. Portlandia’s co-creators/stars are Fred Armisen, formerly a Saturday Night Live cast member, and Carrie Brownstein, an actress and guitarist for Sleater-Kinney. The show skewers the more ridiculous aspects of modern, cosmopolitan living through surreal sketches; an early standout features diners inquiring if the chicken they will be served ate only local foods, going so far as to leave their table and visit the chicken farm.

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Hidden Figures

best new shows and movies to stream bojack horseman season 4 hidden figures

Although astronauts like John Glenn got the lion’s share of the glory for NASA’s missions into space, the mathematicians crunching numbers behind the scenes were essential to the success of the program. Those mathematicians included Katherine Johnson, an African-American woman and the subject of Theodore Melfi’s Hidden Figures. The film follows Johnson (Taraji P. Henson) from her time in the segregated computers division at the Langley Research Center to her acceptance into the Space Task Group, where she used her knowledge of geometry to help guide rockets beyond orbit. Hidden Figures is a triumphant biopic that sheds light on people who have gone too long unsung.

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One Mississippi season 2

One Mississippi

In its first season, Tig Notaro’s One Mississippi was a bittersweet comedy that followed a radio host named Tig (played by the real Notaro) who returns to her hometown of Bay St. Lucille, Mississippi, after her mother’s death. While there, Tig reconnected with her brother, Remy (Noah Harpster), and stepfather, Bill (John Rothman), learning secrets about the family and her mother in particular. Season 2 picks up with Tig having settled in Bay St. Lucille, starting a new radio show, and pursuing new relationships while trying to adjust to a culture she had left behind. Strong performances and a sly sense of humor make this sitcom stand out from the rest.

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Lars and the Real Girl

Lars and the Real Girl

Lars Lindstrom (Ryan Gosling), quiet and uncomfortable with human contact, lives in the garage of his family home, which he shares with his brother, Gus (Paul Schneider), and Gus’ wife, Karin (Emily Mortimer). Lars’ emotional problems keep him from having relationships, so Gus and Karin are delighted when he tells them he met a woman on the internet — at least until they discover she is a life-size doll. On the advice of a psychiatrist, Gus, Karin, and the rest of their small town decide to pretend the doll is real, playing along with Lars’ delusion until he can move past it. Lars and the Real Girl is a beautiful, funny story of loneliness, and people coming together to help someone in need.

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