8 new streaming series to watch on Netflix and Amazon this fall
Amazon, Sept. 9
Tig Notaro had a no good, very bad year in 2012. And it's been well documented -- the standup comedian faced an intestinal disease, her mother's unexpected death, a breakup and breast cancer -- through an HBO comedy special, a Netflix documentary and a bestselling book. So it makes sense she chose to encapsulate it all into a six-episode half-hour "traumedy" series. And we're glad she did. Since it's not all autobiographical (she says it's "85 percent real"), Notaro gets to rewrite her memories and explore new ways to approach her grief. The devastating moments are lightened through Notaro's deadpan delivery of sarcastic jokes. Notaro reminds us that the best comedy comes from pain. We all need a release in the form of laughter. So when you're faced with crippling diarrhea while your mom is gasping her last breaths, it's okay to find the humor.
Netflix, Sept. 23
This cast, you guys. Orlando Bloom. Malin Akerman, left. Jake Johnson. Yes, we're going to keep going. Marc Maron. Dave Franco. Hannibal Buress. Emily Ratajkowski. This eight-episode comedy series from indie film director Joe Swanberg is set in Chicago as all these people navigate love, sex and technology. This anthology series joins a long list of rom-ish-coms. We're not sure what Girls, Master of None, You're the Worst, Broad City and Crazy Ex-Girlfriend haven't already said about modern romance, but with this much star power, we'll tune in.
Marvel's Luke Cage
Netflix, Sept. 30
Fans fell in love with Mike Colter as Luke Cage in Netflix's Jessica Jones. Now the diamond-skinned superhero is back for a standalone series, following Luke after the experiment that gave him super strength and as he becomes a fugitive trying to rebuild his life in Harlem. The teaser and trailers for the newest Marvel superhero series show exactly what fans want: epic fight scenes and Luke Cage strolling through New York like he owns it and walking away from gunfights without a scratch. Let's hope there's a solid story behind all the brawn.
Crisis in Six Scenes
Amazon, Sept. 30
Woody Allen's television directing debut is a long time coming for Amazon, which, after a couple of years of negotiations, gave the Oscar-winning filmmaker complete creative freedom (and a reported $15 million paycheck). This six-part, one-season comedy series is set in the 1960s and stars a perfectly cast Miley Cyrus as a young hippie who meets an uptight New York family, played by Allen, Elaine May, John Magaro and Rachel Brosnahan. We're excited for full Allen neuroses paired with a flower child Hannah Montana.
Amazon, Oct. 14
All hail king of TV legal dramas David E. Kelley. The Practice, Ally McBeal and Boston Legal were all on networks, so we're intrigued to see what he does without content and structure restrictions. Goliath sidestepped Amazon's early-release pilot process, but the trailers already show a darker tone. The eight-episode series will follow one case as one scrappy lawyer (Billy Bob Thornton) takes on a big aerospace company. Dwight Yoakam and William Hurt also star.
Good Girls Revolt
Amazon, Oct. 28
Mad Men spoiled us. Matthew Weiner set the bar high on workplace period dramas. But from the pilot episode already available on Amazon, the difference is clear: There's no need to focus on the men really at all. Starring Anna Camp (Pitch Perfect, True Blood) and newbies Erin Darke, and Genevieve Angelson, the series is based on a book about a group of young female researchers at a news magazine who seem to be doing much more reporting than the men they work for. And without any of the recognition. That is until Nora freaking Ephron (Grace Gummer, right) joins the staff. She sparks a revolution that will reverberate throughout the season as the conveniently different girls (one hippie, one wife and one boss lady) explore this new world of feminism. And at a time currently when more celebrities "don't like labels" and are resisting the term "feminist," we're happy this show exists.
Netflix, Nov. 4
Anglophiles and lovers of royal families will want to add this one to their must-binge list. The series explores the reign of Queen Elizabeth II and the impact her queendom had on her personal and professional relationships. The rumored $100 million 10-part series from Netflix follows the Queen from the earliest years of her reign to the present day. No word yet on an endorsement from Her Majesty. Claire Foy (Wolf Hall) plays Queen Elizabeth II, with Matt Smith (Doctor Who) as Prince Philip, right.
Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life
Netflix, Nov. 25
If ever a TV show deserved to be put through the modern revival machine, it's Gilmore Girls, the hourlong WB/CW dramedy that ran for seven seasons beginning in 2000 and is coming back as four 90-minute installments. It fits all the requirements: semisuccessful show with a cult following; left to languish in its final season after its creator -- the verbose goddess Amy Sherman-Palladino -- was unceremoniously ousted; found new fandom when it started streaming on Netflix in 2014. Sherman-Palladino, who ran the original show for six seasons, is back, along with her writing partner-husband Daniel Palladino and nearly all of the original cast: Alexis Bledel, Lauren Graham and Kelly Bishop. With that much original DNA, here's hoping the Palladinos can adequately re-create the magic of small-town Stars Hollow, and the hyper, pop culture-packed dialogue that fueled it. --Michelle Stark, Times staff writer