Five shows to stream this week: ‘Penny Dreadful,’ ‘High Maintenance,’ and more

five shows to stream penny dreadful one mississippi image 2
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 worth a watch.

This week: a Gothic literature crossover, a legendary noir anime, and the many adventures of a New York pot dealer.

Penny Dreadful season 3

penny dreadful shows to stream image 1

What could bring a cowboy, a gentleman adventurer, a witch, and Dr. Frankenstein together? A Halloween party, for one, but also Penny Dreadful. The show that draws on some of the biggest names in 19th century literature, creating the best monster mash on television. Dreadful opens with Sir Malcolm Murray (Timothy Dalton) and his compatriot Vanessa Ives (Eva Green) recruiting wandering gunslinger Ethan Chandler (Josh Hartnett) and Doctor Victor Frankenstein (Harry Treadaway) for a job. Murray’s daughter, Mina, has been abducted, and her kidnappers are vampires. Each member of the crew has their own dangerous secrets, and as they conduct their search for Mina, their dark pasts resurface.

Although its premise is over-the-top, Penny Dreadful moves at a restrained pace, taking time to explore the characters and build their relationships before escalating the action. While literary crossovers often fail to grasp what made their source material great, Penny Dreadful is respectful of its Gothic roots, focusing on the thematic richness of characters like Frankenstein and Dorian Gray, rather than simply trotting them out for name recognition. Visually, the show revels in the macabre, turning even scenes of intense gore into moments of beauty.

Amazon Netflix

Cowboy Bebop

cowboy bebop shows to stream

Cowboy Bebop is arguably one of the most popular anime series of all time, and it’s not hard to see why; from its bombastic, jazzy opening theme, to its chain-smoking, gunslinging protagonist, to its heavy noir atmosphere, everything about the show radiates coolness. Set in 2071, after humanity has spread out among the stars, the show follows the crew of the spaceship Bebop, a team of bounty hunters with checkered pasts and distinct personalities. The bounty hunters in question are Spike Spiegel (Steve Blum), an easy-going martial artist with a criminal past; Jet Black, an ex-cop who prefers to do things by the book; Faye Valentine, a hard-drinking gambler; and Ed, a hacker with a delirious personality.

Although it is an old show, the design of Bebop’s characters and locations are as striking as ever, presenting a future influenced equally by sci-fi and old-school crime films. Most of the show’s episodes are standalone stories, frequently jumping between tones and genres, so viewers get a taste of something different with every episode. Madly inventive and surprisingly poignant at times, Cowboy Bebop is the gold standard for anime.

Amazon Crunchyroll

One Mississippi season 1

one mississippi shows to stream image 1

Comedy, like fashion, seems to evolve in waves. Once, the pinnacle that all comics strove for was to get their own stand-up special, or a starring role in a movie. Today, it seems like every comedian wants their own autobiographical show, many of which are as dramatic as they are funny. The latest of these is Tig Notaro’s One Mississippi, which draws on several recent events in the comedian’s life — breast cancer, the death of her mother — to form a sometimes funny, sometimes grueling series.

Notaro plays a fictionalized version of herself, a radio-host who returns to her hometown when her mother is going to be taken off life-support. Grappling with her own medical problems, Tig decides to stay and reconnect with her remaining family, including her solemn stepfather Bill (John Rothman). One Mississippi is an examination of grief, as well as the reality that people must keep on living after trauma. Heavy stuff, to be sure, but Notaro peppers the show with moments of levity that keep it from feeling oppressive.

Amazon

James White

james white shows to stream image 1

As the title should indicate, James White maintains a singular focus on one character. James White (Christopher Abbott) is a man in his late twenties with neither a job nor a care in the world. The film opens with his father’s death, which for White is not a time to mourn, but an excuse for another bender. Always ravenous for the next party and quick to spew forth excuses for his behavior, James is an archetypal prodigal son. When his mother Gail (Cynthia Nixon) undergoes treatment for cancer, he tries to take care of her, and is finally forced to confront the realities he’s tried to escape.

James White is filled with believable characters and great performances, but the star of the show is undoubtedly Abbott, whose moments of tenderness reveal humanity in a character who seems almost beastly in his pursuit of pleasure. Director Josh Mond often keeps the camera close, creating an almost invasively intimate portrait of his protagonist.

Amazon Netflix

High Maintenance new episodes

high maintenance shows to stream image 1

The popular web series High Maintenance is making the leap to full-fledged series, having been picked up for a new season by HBO. The show follows a character known only as The Guy (Ben Sinclair), a marijuana delivery man living in New York City. Each episode is a vignette in which The Guy delivers weed to whomever is the subject of the story. While episodes of the web series were small and very intimate, episodes in the new season are longer, and the show is experimenting with different formats and story structures. Although pot is the unifying force in High Maintenance, the series is much more than a simple stoner comedy. The humor stems from the characters, which the show manages to develop into fully-developed people despite their brief time on-screen.

HBO

Movies & TV

2019 Oscar predictions: Who’s going to win, who should win, and who got snubbed

Will Roma finally give Netflix an Oscar? Can Bohemian Rhapsody translate its awards-season momentum into an Academy Award for Rami Malek? Will Black Panther get blanked? Here are our predictions for the 2019 Oscars.
Home Theater

The best Dolby Atmos movies for your home theater sound as good as they look

If you've got your hands on some sweet Dolby Atmos gear, the next step is to find films that take advantage of it. These are our picks in several genres for the best Dolby Atmos movies currently available on Blu-ray and streaming services.
Deals

It’s time to check out the best Apple Watch deals for February 2019

The Apple Watch has surged to prominence in recent years. If you're in the market for an iOS wearable, we've sniffed out the best Apple Watch deals available right now for all three models of this great smartwatch.
Deals

Amazon cuts prices on the Apple Watch Series 3 for Presidents’ Day

The Apple Watch Series 3 is seeing the same price cut we saw during the Amazon sale just last week. So if you're hoping to pick up an Apple Watch for less than $250, this $50 discount from Amazon can make that happen for you.
Movies & TV

Best new shows and movies to stream: Deadpool 2, The Umbrella Academy, 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: Deadpool 2, The Umbrella Academy, Lorena, and more.
Movies & TV

Netflix confirms Haunting of Hill House season 2 with new cast and locale

Netflix has not only confirmed that horror hit The Haunting of Hill House will get a second season, but also that the next season of the supernatural drama will feature a new cast, new location, and new source material.
Movies & TV

How big screens and small explosions shaped the VFX of Solo: A Star Wars Story

The early years of the Star Wars saga's famous smuggler Han Solo were brought to the big screen in Solo: A Star Wars Story, with a lot of help from an Industrial Light and Magic visual effects team led by Rob Bredow. Here's how they did it.
Movies & TV

LeBron James’ Space Jam 2 gets an official release date

LeBron James has brought on Black Panther director Ryan Coogler to produce his upcoming Space Jam sequel, with Terence Nance attached to direct the film. Space Jam 2 is expected to hit theaters in July 2021.
Movies & TV

Battle of the movie ticket sites: How to make sense of the fledgling industry

MoviePass may be the industry leader in subscription-based movie ticket sales, but the company's troubles have opened the door for competitors AMC Stubs A-List, Sinemia, and Cinemark Movie Club. Here's how the services compare.
Movies & TV

Oscar Effects

Every year, five films are nominated for an Academy Award in the “Visual Effects” category. Each of the projects nominated this year offer a unique, inside look at the amazing tricks filmmakers and their talented effects teams use to…
Home Theater

Bask in the glory of your home theater with these 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray movies

What good is a 4K TV if you don't have the means of pushing it to its limits? Here are our favorite 4K Ultra HD Blu-rays, all of which are nothing short of stunning. It'll make you wonder why you haven't always watched movies this way.
Podcasts

Oscars predictions, Obi-Wan TV show, Jessica Jones canceled

This week on Between the Streams, we prepare for the 2019 Academy Awards on Sunday. We'll share our favorites and predictions, and discuss a host of other topics, from an Obi-Wan TV show to the first look at Jordan Peele's Twilight Zone.
Movies & TV

The best shows on Netflix right now (February 2019)

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.
Home Theater

The best movies on Netflix in February, from 'Buster Scruggs’ to 'Roma'

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.