fb-pixelThis week’s TV: Free streaming, Pats’ ‘Dynasty,’ and Jon Stewart Skip to main content

This week’s TV: A guide to free streaming, the Pats’ ‘Dynasty,’ and Jon Stewart returns to the ‘Daily Show’

The British police drama "Luther," starring Idris Elba, is among the many shows streaming for free on Tubi.Photo Credit: Robert Viglasky, © BBC

Your TV GPS, Globe TV critic Matthew Gilbert’s look at the week ahead in television, appears every Monday morning on BostonGlobe.com. Today’s column covers Feb. 12-18.

We’re more than a decade into the streaming revolution, but I still hear from readers who resent having to pay for TV and refuse to go for it. They settle for broadcast TV, which is overstuffed with reality TV and game shows, and perhaps they dabble in some basic cable material. They’re missing a lot.

I always recommend — and I will once more — that readers subscribe to a streamer for a month or two, watch its offerings, then switch. Once you sign up for a Netflix or a Paramount+, you really don’t need to keep automatically renewing every month. It’s not a utility.


But there are free streaming services, too. That’s right, there are a number of TV outlets online where you can watch without a monthly fee. The only price you pay is in the time you spend watching ads. Here are just a handful of those services, with only a very few of the many series they offer.

Freevee: The free branch of Amazon Prime offers shows, movies, and some original content. You’ll find “Lost,” “The Twilight Zone,” “Judy Justice” (Judge Judy’s show), “Bosch: Legacy,” “Sprung,” “All in the Family,” and “Jury Duty.”

Tubi: Owned by Fox, it’s loaded up with movie and TV titles from British crime series like “Broadchurch,” “The Fall,” and “Luther” to American oldies such as “Miami Vice,” “Columbo,” and “NYPD Blue.”

Pluto TV: I like their slogan, which is “Stream now. Pay Never.” You’ll find movies and TV shows including “I Love Lucy,” “Beverly Hills 90210,” “Midsomer Murders,” “The Walking Dead,” and “RuPaul’s Drag Race.”

Crackle: This one has been around for 20 years, and it features movies, TV shows, and originals such as “The Oath” with Sean Bean. You’ll find “The Beverly Hillbillies,” “The Carol Burnett Show,” and one of my favorites, “Wilfred,” among its many titles.


Hoopla: You can access this service with a library card. You’ll find “Dark Winds,” “Interview With the Vampire,” the British “The Office,” and “Wolf Hall.”


1. The cast is one of the big draws of “The New Look,” a World War II drama set in the world of fashion during the German occupation of Paris. Ben Mendelsohn — he was the ne’er-do-well brother on “Bloodline” — plays Christian Dior and Juliette Binoche plays Coco Chanel, with Maisie Williams on board, too, as Dior’s sister, a resister who winds up in a camp. Also on board: John Malkovich, Emily Mortimer, Claes Bang, and Glenn Close. (Trailer here.) Another big draw: the dramatic setting. The fact-inspired series tracks the various levels of connection — both willing and forced — between the designers and the Nazis. It is from Todd A. Kessler, who co-created “Damages” and “Bloodline,” which brought Mendelsohn a supporting actor Emmy in 2016. Filmed in Paris, the series premieres Wednesday on Apple TV+.

From left: Bill Belichick, Tom Brady, and Robert Kraft, from "The Dynasty: New England Patriots," a new 10-part docuseries from Apple TV+ premiering Friday.APPLE TV+

2. Of particular interest to the region: “The Dynasty: New England Patriots,” a 10-part docuseries about the six-time Super Bowl champions, premieres Friday on Apple TV+. It’s from Brian Grazer and Ron Howard’s Imagine Documentaries, and it’s based on Jeff Benedict’s book. The roster of interviewees is long and impressive, and it includes Tom Brady, of course, along with Bill Belichick, Robert Kraft, Adam Vinatieri, Drew Bledsoe, Rob Gronkowski, Bill Parcells, and Roger Goodell. In the trailer (here), Danny Amendola says, “We worked for Bill, but we played for Tom.”


3. On Monday, PBS is premiering a four-hour docuseries called “Gospel,” airing locally on GBH 2 at 9 p.m. Hosted by Henry Louis Gates, it explores the history of Black religious music and preaching and the relationship between the two. Gates talks with clergymen, singers, and scholars about their connection to the music, and the show’s interviewees include Dionne Warwick, US Senator Raphael Warnock, and professor Michael Eric Dyson. You can expect awe-inspiring musical performances of gospel favorites and tributes to Mahalia Jackson, Aretha Franklin, Sallie Martin, and Shirley Caesar. The rousing trailer is here.

4. On “The Vince Staples Show,” rapper and actor Vince Staples — who was on “Abbott Elementary” in season two — plays a version of himself having unusual adventures in Long Beach, Calif. The five-episode scripted comedy, which premieres on Thursday on Netflix, gives us a Staples who is, as the press material puts it, “navigating life as a kind of famous, kind of rich, kind of criminal (but not really) rapper.” (Here’s the trailer.) Vanessa Bell Calloway and Andrea Ellsworth are part of the recurring cast, while Naté Jones, Arturo Castro, Scott MacArthur, Bryan Greenberg, and Myles Bullock make guest appearances.


Jon Stewart returns to "The Daily Show" Monday for a once-a-week turn behind the anchor desk.Victoria Will/Victoria Will/Invision/AP

5. On Monday at 11 p.m., Jon Stewart returns to host Comedy Central’s “The Daily Show” once a week, to help his old series as it heads into the November election without a regular host. On Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays, the show will continue to feature substitute hosts, most of them current “Daily Show” correspondents. Stewart’s return — he left in 2015 — will give him a chance to comment on Donald Trump, after having missed out on Trump’s previous presidential campaigns in 2016 and 2020. Stewart will also serve as an executive producer, which will enable him to help reshape the show and ready it for its post-election life.


“Life & Beth” All 10 episodes of the second season of Amy Schumer’s comedy series arrive. Hulu, Friday

“This Is Me . . . Now: A Love Story” A Jennifer Lopez special to promote her new album. Prime Video, Friday

“The People’s Choice Awards” NBC, E!, Peacock, Sunday, 8 p.m.


“One Day” A miniseries based on David Nicholls’s novel. Netflix

“Mr. & Mrs. Smith” A light-hearted action-romance series from Donald Glover. Prime Video

“Masters of the Air” The WWII miniseries companion to “Band of Brothers” and “The Pacific.” Apple TV+

“The Woman in the Wall” A mystery drama about a Magdalene Laundries survivor. Paramount+, Showtime

“Belgravia: The Next Chapter” A sequel to Julian Fellowes’s 2020 miniseries. MGM+


“All Creatures Great and Small” Season four of the soothing drama. GBH 2

“True Detective: Night Country” Season four, set in Alaska, stars Jodie Foster. HBO, Max

“Criminal Record” A British crime drama with Cush Jumbo and Peter Capaldi. Apple TV+

“Colin From Accounts” An Australian rom-com with a unique meet-cute. Paramount+

Matthew Gilbert can be reached at matthew.gilbert@globe.com. Follow him @MatthewGilbert.