‘Justified: Complete Series’ – TV’s best pulp storytelling on Hulu

Justified: Complete Series (2010-2015) – Timothy Olyphant is U.S. Marshall Raylan Givens, a cowboy of a lawman whose brand as cowboy justice gets him demoted from his Miami posting and sent back to Kentucky, the home he thought he’d escaped once and for all. His new boss (Nick Searcy, a sharp leader with a laid-back […]

‘Crime Story’ – sixties gangsters free on IMDb TV

After helping turn Miami Vice into the defining neon crime show of its era, Michael Mann turned back the clock and put his stamp on Crime Story: Complete Series (1986-1988). Created by former Chicago cop Chuck Adamson with Gustave Reininger, the Mann-produced sixties-era gangster series made for a fabulous mix of genres (old-time gangster thriller, […]

Antony Starr and Ivana Milicevic star in the Cinemax series 'Banshee'

The Pure Pulp Pleasure of ‘Banshee’ on Amazon Prime Video

I like to think of Cinemax as the grindhouse version of HBO: not as exclusive, not as ambitious, not as high-toned (late night Cinemax wasn’t called “Skinemax” for nothing). And it’s the same when it comes to original programming, the cable TV mark of distinction. Where HBO boasts such impressive productions as The Wire and […]

The Complete ‘Babylon 5’ on Amazon Prime Video

Babylon 5: Complete Series (1994-1998) While it’s not so rare in the contemporary age of prestige cable TV and original streaming shows, Babylon 5 was unique in the annals of 20th century TV space opera: a genuine piece of epic science fiction storytelling. Creator J. Michael Straczynski’s ambitious story took five seasons to tell, more […]

‘Babylon Berlin’ – Wiemer noir on Netflix

Originally published on the Film Noir Foundation website The most expensive German TV series ever produced, Babylon Berlin (Germany, 2017-2018) is Weimar noir, a detective drama turned conspiracy thriller set against the backdrop of decadence and poverty and corruption in 1929 Berlin just before the Nazi party rode the swell of nationalism to power. Think […]

Michael Palin, Carol Cleveland, and the group in 'The Lumberjack Song'

The Essential ‘Monty Python’s Flying Circus’ on Netflix

And now for something completely different. In 1969, five overeducated British comics and an American illustrator ambushed the BBC with the strangest show in British history. How they got on the air is anyone’s guess (rumors of blackmail were quickly hushed, though the Python’s penchant for sheep gags… but enough of speculation), but their irreverent […]

Avery Brooks takes command of the third 'Star Trek' TV series 'Deep Space Nine.' Seven seasons available.

The Complete ‘Star Trek: Deep Space Nine’ on Netflix and Amazon Prime Video

Star Trek: Deep Space Nine – Seasons 1-7 (1993-1999), the generation after Next, began its seven season tour of duty aboard a rust-bucket space station in 1993, while The Next Generation was still flying strong. In fact, Enterprise Captain Picard makes an appearance in tumultuous the two part opening, “Emissary,” to convince Commander Sisko (Avery […]

Robert Carlyle and the cast of the SyFy series 'Stargate Universe'

The complete ‘Stargate Universe’ on Amazon Prime

Stargate Universe: Seasons 1-2 (2009-2011) – For a time, the Stargate franchise was the Star Trek universe of the SyFy channel. I confess I was never a fan of the original Stargate SG-1 series (which began on Showtime and then moved to SyFy) and never got past the first episodes of Stargate: Atlantis but Stargate […]

‘Farscape: Complete Series’ on Amazon Prime Video

Farscape (1999-2003), created by Rockne S. O’Bannon (who wrote the cult science fiction film Alien Nation) for the Sci-Fi channel (long before they rebranded themselves SyFy), is like no other SF show on TV. If you missed the trip through the wormhole, here’s the gist of it: Ben Browder is John Crichton, an American astronaut […]