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Big Shows on the Small Screen

A shortlist of some Amazon, Hulu and Netflix offerings


As TV viewing practices shifted in recent years to online streaming, spawning terms like "cord- cutters" and "binge watching," anticipation morphed into anxiety. The volume of shows available on streaming sites can be downright daunting and, while content providers curate viewers' tastes with eerily accurate algorithms, often the best suggestions come from people who know and like you. We here at Boise Weekly like you very much, so we put together a list of series—both original and otherwise—you may have missed, which are available on the three big streamers: Amazon, Hulu and Netflix.

Amazon Prime original: Bosch (2014, drama, two seasons)

This series is based on the bestselling novels of author and show co-creator Michael Donnelly and was the first original drama from Amazon. Bosch stars Titus Welliver (Lost, Sons of Anarchy, The Good Wife) as veteran LAPD Detective Hieronymous "Harry" Bosch, a maverick cop who won't play department politics and believes regardless of age, race or income, everyone counts. The source material dates back about 20 years, but the well-paced show feels fresh and Welliver is brilliant in the title role. Bonus: Fans of The Wire will recognize Jamie Hector (Marlo Stanfield) as stylish detective J. Edgar, and Lance Reddick (Lt. Cedric Daniels) as ambitious Deputy Chief Irvin Irving. Bonus bonus: Amazon has ordered a third season. Other noteworthy Amazon originals: Hand of God starring Ron Perlman (Hellboy, Sons of Anarchy) and award-winners Transparent, starring Jeffrey Tambor (Arrested Development), and Mozart in the Jungle, starring Gael Garcia Bernal (Rosewater)

Hulu original: The Path (2016, drama, new episodes air Wednesdays)

Like Bosch, The Path, created by Parenthood's Jessica Goldberg, is a take on well-covered ground: In this case, instead of a bullpen, the action takes place in a compound inhabited by members of the Meyerist Movement, a "religion" founded in the era of peace, love and hippies. Acolytes "level up" through study, climbing a "ladder" toward "the light" with the help of psychedelic drugs. The dialogue is a little dull, but The Path stars shine bright: Hugh Dancy (Hannibal) as unofficial but charismatic interim leader Cal; Aaron Paul (Breaking Bad) as Eddie, who is suffering a crisis of faith; and Michelle Monaghan (True Detective) as Sarah, Eddie's wife, Cal's crush and, more importantly, a woman of deep, unwavering faith. If storylines involving the Feds, ex-Meyerists, Cal's demons, the movement's fallen leader, and Eddie and Sarah's teenaged son Hawk—played by incredibly adept young actor Kyle Allen—are well-fleshed out, The Path has promise.

Also on Hulu are some dynamite shows from across the pond, including Miranda, which stars British comedian Miranda Hart in this semi-autobiographical comedy about a woman in her mid-30s looking for love and happiness while struggling against societal conventions of what beauty and adulthood should look like—difficult for a woman who is more than 6 feet tall and wants to put a ball pit in her bedroom.

This BBC series, which originally aired in 2009, is laugh-until-it-hurts funny, and is comprised of three seasons and two specials, which wrap up the show in a beautiful (and tearful) bow. American audiences may know Hart from the Melissa McCarthy comedy Spy and may recognize Miranda's love interest Gary, played by Tom Ellis, star of the 2016 FOX com-drama Lucifer, also streaming on Hulu. Other Hulu must-sees are 2004's Green Wing, an off-the-wall sitcom set in a hospital where the doctors and administrators are nuts. With innovative camera work and surreal situations, Green Wing is an unbelievably clever comedy, starring Julian Rhind-Tutt (The Madness of King George), Tamsin Greig and Stephen Mangan—Greig and Mangan are together again in the Showtime comedy series Episodes, which stars Friends' Matt LeBlanc as Matt LeBlanc.

Also be sure to check out Campus, another unconventional comedy from Green Wing creators; Single-Handed, a cop drama/thriller set in a remote Irish village; and Glasgow, Scotland-based drama, The Book Group.

Netflix originals: Daredevil (2015, action-drama, two seasons); Jessica Jones (2015, action/drama, one season); Master of None (2015, comedy-drama, one season)

Starring Charlie Cox, Deborah Ann Woll and Elden Henson, the second season of Daredevil is almost as bloody and action packed as the first. The new season sees Daredevil (Cox) juggling his dual life as lawyer Matt Murdock by day and superhero by night; romantic interests and supernatural threats to Hell's Kitchen, all while facing off against morally ambiguous vigilante, The Punisher.

Krysten Ritter (Breaking Bad) and David Tennant (Dr. Who) face off in Jessica Jones, another comic book-superhero-brought-to-the-small-screen series. Try to keep up as super-powered Jessica Jones (Ritter) beats and sleuths her way through New York to find the manipulative sociopath Kilgrave (Tennant) before he can amplify his mind-control powers. Season 2 is scheduled to be available January 2017.

In Master of None, creator and star Aziz Ansari (Parks and Recreation) evokes the levity and gravity of real life as fictional character Dev. With his friends, Dev wrestles with everyday issues like parents, feminism, racism and sex. New episodes are expected in 2017.

Along with award-winning original programming—like Emmy winner House of Cards—Netflix also has shows not available to cord-cutters, such as seasons 1-6 of FX's animated comedy Archer, starring the world's most flippant, irresponsible yet accomplished spy. Archer is one of the smartest shows on TV, with laugh-out-loud writing and stars one of the most talented, ubiquitous voices in the business, H. Jon Benjamin as Sterling Archer (he also voices Bob Belcher on Fox's Bob's Burgers). Netflix also has Season 1 of 2015's Norwegian futuristic political thriller Occupied (subtitled). Norway's new Green Party government responds to climate change by switching to reusable energy—no more production of oil and gas. Fearful, the EU allows Russia to invade Norway and restart its rigs, starting a chain reaction of global implications. Occupied was created by Jo Nesbo, the Norwegian author of best-selling crime novels, including The Redbreast and The Snowman, which are books in Nesbo's Harry Hole series.