What to stream: ‘The Politician’ on Netflix, ‘The Family Man’ on Amazon, the new TV season on Hulu

Here’s what’s new and ready to stream now on Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu, HBO Now, video-on-demand, and other streaming services …  The weekly column is featured in The Seattle Times, The Oregonian, The Spokesman-Review, and other newspapers.

Cable-cutters can keep up with many prime time network series on Hulu. Among the new shows now available are legal drama “Bluff City Law” with Jimmy Smits and Caitlin McGee;

  • mystery thriller “Emergence” with Alison Tollman and Donald Faison;
  • serial killer drama “Prodigal Son” with Tom Payne and Michael Sheen;
  • comedy “Perfect Harmony” with Bradley Whitford and Anna Camp;
  • melting pot comedy “Sunnyside” with Kal Penn;
  • sitcom spin-off “Mixed-ish” with Arica Himmel and Tika Sumpter;
  • Portland-set private eye drama “Stumptown” with Cobie Smulders.

You can also see over two dozen returning shows, including hit family drama “This Is Us“;

Episodes arrive on Hulu (with limited commercial interruption) a day after their respective network debuts.

The Politician,” the first series created by Ryan Murphy exclusively for Netflix, is a teen musical melodrama starring Ben Platt as a wildly ambitious high school kid running for class president of his elite private school. Gwyneth Paltrow and Jessica Lange co-star in the satirical series. Eight episodes now streaming on Netflix.

An underpaid spy (Manoj Bajpayee) keeps his dangerous life a secret in “The Family Man” (India, with subtitles), an espionage thriller with a twist of workplace comedy. The new series was produced for Amazon Prime India. Ten episodes on Amazon Prime Video.

Gaby Hoffmann, Amy Landecker, Jay Duplass, and Judith Light carry the tunes in “Transparent: Musicale Finale,” which brings the Emmy-winning comedy to an end without its original star Jeffrey Tambor (who left the show after harassment allegations). On Amazon Prime Video.

Great music sustains “Yesterday” (2019, PG-13), a romantic comedy about a failed singer-songwriter (Himesh Patel) who wakes up in a world where The Beatles never existed and performs their songs as his own. Lily James and Ed Sheeran costar, Danny Boyle directs from an original script by England’s romcom king Richard Curtis (Love Actually). On Cable on Demand, VOD, and DVD, and at Redbox.

Classic pick: if silent movies leave you cold, try Buster Keaton’s action-packed comedy “Steamboat Bill, Jr.” (1928, silent with score), which is hilarious and warmhearted and features some of the most amazing stunts captured on camera. Streams free on Kanopy, free through most library systems.

Pay-Per-View / Video-On-Demand

Shaft” (2019, R) is a multi-generational sequel to the private eye classic with Usher joining previous “Shaft” stars Samuel L. Jackson and Richard Roundtree. Also new:

  • horror reboot “Child’s Play” (2019, R) with Aubrey Plaza and the voice of Mark Hamill;
  • Luc Besson’s action film “Anna” (2019, R) with Sasha Luss as a supermodel/assassin;
  • documentary “Pavarotti” (2019, PG-13) from director Ron Howard;
  • essay film “Around India with a Movie Camera” (2018, not rated) created from archival footage of India from 1899 to independence in 1947.

Available same day as select theaters nationwide is “10 Minutes Gone” (2019, R) with Bruce Willis and Michael Chiklis, from direct-to-video veteran Brian A. Miller. Also new are two horror films:

  • Logan Miller in “Prey” (2019, not rated) from Blumhouse;
  • The Curse of Buckout Road” (2017, not rated) costarring Henry Czerny and Danny Glover.


A serial killer appears for one night every nine years in “In the Shadow of the Moon” (2019, not rated), a murder mystery with a science fiction twist. Boyd Holbrook is the cop who follows the case for decades and Cleopatra Coleman, Bokeem Woodbine, and Michael C. Hall costar in the Netflix Original movie from director Jim Mickle.

Wong Kar-Wai’s romantic action drama “The Grandmaster” (China, China, 2013, PG-13, with subtitles) stars Tony Chiu-Wai Leong as legendary martial arts master Ip Man. Ziyi Zhang and Chang Chen co-star and Yuen Wo Ping provides the choreography, which Wong turns into something more like a dance on screen. It was nominated for two Oscars, including one for its rich cinematography.

Kristin Scott Thomas stars in World War II mystery “Sarah’s Key” (2010, PG-13), from the novel by Tatiana de Rosnay.

The animated short feature “Sound & Fury” (2019, not rated) is a companion piece to the new album by country artist Sturgill Simpson.

True stories: the short documentary “Birders” (Mexico, 2019, with subtitles) celebrates those who monitor and protect birds that migrate across the US-Mexico border.

International TV: a former spy, now teaching Shakespeare, is called back into service in the “Bard of Blood” (India, with subtitles). Also new:

Skylines: Season 1” (Germany, with subtitles), a drama set in the music industry;

Kid stuff: a teen social media celebrity becomes a court-ordered wilderness club leader in the live-action comedy “Team Kaylie: Season 1” (TV-PG) for teens and tweens. Also new is the animated adventure “Dragons – Rescue Riders: Season 1” for younger viewers.

More streaming TV: Australian mystery thriller “Glitch: Season 3” and non-fiction shows “Abstract: The Art of Design: Season 2” and “Explained: Season 2.”

Stand-up: “Jeff Dunham: Beside Himself” (2019, not rated).

Amazon Prime Video

Mistaken identity pulls a Hollywood screenwriter (Ebon Moss-Bachrach) into a blackmail scheme in “The Big Take” (2018, not rated), a showbiz thriller with an old school private eye twist. Dan Hedaya, Bill Sage, Zoë Bell and Robert Forster costar.

Fido” (2007, R), a social satire of the undead used as menial servants, is one of the best zombie comedies. Carrie-Anne Moss, Dylan Baker, and Billy Connolly star.

International affairs: Vincent Zhao stars in Yuen Woo Ping’s over-the-top action drama “True Legend” (China, 2010, R, with subtitles), featuring appearances by Jay Chou, Michelle Yeoh and David Carradine.

International TV: “A French Village: Seasons 1-4” (France, 2009-2012, with subtitles) follows the inhabitants of a rural town during the Nazi occupation of World War II. The hit drama from France played on PBS in some American cities.


Disney’s animated “Pocahontas” (1995, G), featuring the voices of Mel Gibson, Irene Bedard, and Christian Bale, is one of the last classics of old school animation. It won Oscars for the score and original song “Colors of the Wind.”


American Horror Story: Apocalypse,” the eighth season of Ryan Murphy’s anthology series, is streaming on Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Hulu.


The Lego Movie 2: The 2nd Part” (2019, PG) animates the world of interlocking toys for a new adventure involving invaders from outer space.

True stories: “Buzz” (2019, TV-MA) profiles the very private Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and celebrated author Buzz Bissinger.

Available Saturday night is “Isn’t It Romantic” (2019, PG-13), a spoof of romantic comedy clichés starring Rebel Wilson and Liam Hemsworth.

Showtime Anytime

The fourth season of the documentary series “The Circus: Inside the Wildest Political Show on Earth,” is now on all Showtime platforms. New episodes each Sunday.


The family friendly adventure “A Dog’s Way Home” (2019, PG) with Ashley Judd is now streaming on all Starz platforms.

Acorn TV

Doc Martin: Series 9,” the hit British drama starring Martin Clunes as a prickly surgeon turned country doctor, comes exclusively to the U.S. on Acorn TV. New episodes arrive each Thursday, a day after their respective UK premieres.


Celebrate the 50th anniversary of Monty Python’s Flying Circus with the vintage comedy series “Ripping Yarns” (1976-1979) from Michael Palin and Terry Jones and the 1980 BBC production of “The Taming of the Shrew” starring John Cleese.


The Embassy” (Spain, with subtitles) is a drama set at the Spanish Embassy in Thailand and “Murder by the Lake” (Germany, with subtitles) is a crime drama set at Lake Constance, where a partnership of German and Austrian detectives solve crimes. New episodes arrive each Tuesday.

The Criterion Channel

“Directed by Christian Petzold” spotlights four features from the German director, including the Criterion Channel debuts of the mysterious “Yella” (2007), romantic thriller “Jerichow” (2008), and hard-hitting drama “Barbara” (2012), all starring the brilliant Nina Hoss. With subtitles.

Also on Criterion, “Directed by Lina Wertmüller” spotlights seven features by the Italian filmmaker who was the first woman ever nominated for Best Director at the Oscars, including the satirical “Love and Anarchy” (1973), battle-of-the-sexes comedy “Swept Away” (1974), and Oscar-nominated black comedy “Seven Beauties” (1975), all starring Giancarlo Giannini. With subtitles.


Andy Serkis stars as punk rock icon Ian Dury in “Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll” (2010, not rated). It’s now streaming on Kanopy, along with:

  • Frantz” (France, 2017, not rated, with subtitles), an historical drama set between the two world wars directed by François Ozon;
  • War Witch” (2013, not rated, with subtitles), a devastating drama about a child soldier in an unidentified sub-Saharan African nation;
  • Hara-Kiri: Death of a Samurai” (Japan, 2012, not rated, with subtitles), Miike Takashi’s remake of Masaki Kobayashi’s feudal drama;
  • Joseph H. Lewis’ “The Big Combo” (1955), a tough film noir starring Cornel Wilde as an obsessive cop and Richard Conte as an arrogant mobster.

Kanopy is available through most public library systems.

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Sean Axmaker is a Seattle film critic and writer. He writes the weekly newspaper column Stream On Demand and the companion website, and his work appears at RogerEbert.com, Turner Classic Movies online, The Film Noir Foundation, and Parallax View.

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