Streaming TV season becomes more of a mainstream flow
Streaming TV delivers an early holiday present this December with the second season of transitional family hit “Transparent,” the show that put Amazon Instant Video on the map as an original-series force. Along with big-name Netflix faves “House of Cards” and “Orange Is the New Black,” the Jeffrey Tambor comedy won critical acclaim that demanded attention from both online viewers and industry awards.
Now streaming has reached a tipping point. The Internet is increasingly connected to TV sets, Blu-ray players, game systems, and web devices like Roku, Apple TV and Chromecast. Now many, if not most of us, watch streaming shows on our big-screen TVs, making it an equal playing field with network and cable channels.
Or maybe a more favorable field. Binge-watching got big when Netflix started dropping all episodes of an original-series season at the same time — on Fridays, no less, inviting a weekend viewing spree that some fans feel immerses them more deeply. (Hulu sticks mostly to weekly episode rollouts.)
Streaming is changing the ways we watch TV in more ways than delivery. This year’s busy and big-money premiere slate shapes up as the biggest push ever to challenge the traditional network-cable way of watching.
“Doc Martin” (Acorn.tv, Oct. 5): Imported British series: Martin Clunes’ amiable seaside medical dramedy starts Season 7.
“Casual” (Hulu, Oct. 7): Single brother and sister coach each other through dating, from Jason Reitman.
“SuperMansion” (Crackle, Oct. 8): Stop-motion animation comedy from the “Robot Chicken” folks, with the voices of Bryan Cranston, Keegan-Michael Key, Seth Green.
“Red Oaks” (Amazon, Oct. 9): Comedy of 1980s college student working at country club.
“Hemlock Grove” (Netflix, Oct. 23): Horror series Season 3.
“Master of None”(Netflix, Nov. 6): Aziz Ansari comedy chronicles an indecisive New York actor.
“The Art of More” (Crackle, Nov. 19): Hour drama of auction house intrigue stars Dennis Quaid, Christian Cooke, Kate Bosworth.
“Marvel’s Jessica Jones” (Netflix, Nov. 20): Krysten Ritter and David Tennant in second of four big Marvel actioners.
“The Man in the High Castle” (Amazon, Nov. 20): Alternative history dramatizes fallout of Allies losing World War II, from Philip K. Dick novel.
“Transparent” (Amazon, Dec. 4): Season 2 with gender-shifting Jeffrey Tambor and his equally in-transition family.
Dates to be announced
“With Bob and David” (Netflix sketchcom with Bob Odenkirk, David Cross)
“F Is for Family” (Netflix animated series, from Bill Burr)