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Christmas Gift Guide

'Stranger Things'

'Black Mirror'

'The Grand Tour'

'The Crown'

'The Tick'

'The Get Down'

'Good Girls Revolt'

'Tallulah'

'Luke Cage'

'Daredevil'

'11.22.63'

'Gilmore Girls'

'Dead Rising: Endgame'

'The OA'

'Mascots'

'The Collection'

'True Memoirs of an International Assassin'

'Special Correspondents'

'The Do-Over'

'The Ranch'

'Chelsea'

'White Rabbit Project'

'Chance'

'Orange is the New Black'

'Marseille'

'Narcos'

'Sneaky Pete'

'Bojack Horseman'

'Goliath'

'Casual'

'Crisis in Six Scenes'

'Shut Eye'

'Startup'

'3%'

'Jean-Claude Van Johnson'

'The Path'

'Kong: King of the Apes'

'Lego Friends: The Power of Friendship'

'Reggie Watts: Spatial'

'Ali Wong: Baby Cobra'

'Hannibal Buress'

'Iliza Shlesinger: Confirmed Kills'

'Haters Back Off'

'Lovesick'

'Lady Dynamite'

'Easy'

'Barry'

'The Siege of Jadotville'

'Last Chance U'

​'Into The Inferno'

'Audrie & Daisy'

'White Helmets'

'Captive'

Netflix, Amazon, Hulu and Crackle all create original movies and TV shows for online viewing. The '80s-tastic "Stranger Things" was one of the year's biggest streaming hits on Netflix.

Caption by / Photo by Netflix

Netflix bought Channel 4's sci-fi anthology series, "Black Mirror," for more twisted tales of technology that'll leave you shaken -- at least until you pick up your phone again.

Caption by / Photo by Netflix/Laurie Sparham

The former "Top Gear" team of Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May hit the road with a pile of Amazon cash in "The Grand Tour."

Caption by / Photo by Amazon Video

The first UK production for Netflix is "The Crown," which tells the story of the British royal family in sumptuous style.

Caption by / Photo by Robert Viglasky/Netflix

The superpower of Peter Serafinowicz is comedy in "The Tick," one of several pilots streamed on Amazon that were then picked up as a full series.

Caption by / Photo by Amazon

Baz Luhrman tells the story of hip-hop with lavish musical extravaganza in "The Get Down," a hugely expensive and visually impressive production that somehow didn't get the praise it deserved. Perhaps that's because it landed around the same time as runaway word-of-mouth hit "Stranger Things."

Caption by / Photo by Netflix

One of Amazon's unsung gems is 1960s-set "Good Girls Revolt," which entertainingly and quite originally depicts the flipside of "Mad Men," Sadly, it hasn't been picked up for a second season.

Caption by / Photo by Amazon

Ellen Page stars in the film "Tallulah" on Netflix, one of the movies snapped up by the deep-pocketed streaming service.

Caption by / Photo by David Newsom/Netflix

Netflix extends its run of hard-hitting Marvel shows with "Luke Cage," a series entertainingly indebted to blaxploitation classics and boasting a badass hip-hop soundtrack.

Caption by / Photo by Netflix

The second season of Marvel's "Daredevil" introduces Jon Bernthal as the Punisher, who gets his own show next year.

Caption by / Photo by Netflix

James Franco is one of the proper stars attracted to streaming as he tries to save JFK in Hulu's time-travel series "11.22.63."

Caption by / Photo by Hulu

"Gilmore Girls" has been resurrected on Netflix to finally finish the story.

Caption by / Photo by Saeed Adyani/Netflix

Sony's Crackle service has streamed a second movie based on the Dead Rising video game series.

Caption by / Photo by Crackle

Alice Krige and Brit Marling help Netflix close out the year with intriguing drama 'The OA."

Caption by / Photo by JoJo Whilden/Netflix

Comic genius Christopher Guest gives the "Spinal Tap" mockumentary treatment to the world of sporting "Mascots."

Caption by / Photo by Scott Garfield/Netflix

Amazon Prime goes high fashion with "The Collection," a glamorous visit to a scandalous Parisian atelier.

Caption by / Photo by Amazon

Not every original production is a success. For example, Netflix movie "True Memoirs of an International Assassin," starring Kevin James, was deeply unfunny.

Caption by / Photo by Matt Kennedy/Netflix

Ricky Gervais claims Netflix had given him a free hand to write and direct "Special Correspondents," in which he stars with Eric Bana. Sadly, there is nothing special about this lackluster and laugh-free affair.

Caption by / Photo by Kerry Hayes/Netfilx

"The Do-Over" is the second movie in Adam Sandler's four-film contract with Netflix, which means we're halfway through the ordeal.

Caption by / Photo by Tony Rivetti Jr., SMPSP/ Netflix,

Sam Elliott and Debra Winger give strong performances in the cowboy comedy "The Ranch" on Netflix, but the old-fashioned studio sitcom format feels awkward amid the herd of more heavyweight and innovative productions found on streaming services.

Caption by / Photo by Greg Gayne/Netflix

Netflix experiments with the chat show format with one led by Chelsea Handler (right), shown here with actress Gwyneth Paltrow.

Caption by / Photo by Adam Rose/Netflix

Former "Mythbusters" stars Grant Imahara, Kari Byron and Tory Belleci returned with a new science series, "The White Rabbit Project," on Netflix.

Caption by / Photo by Netflix

The current golden age of TV drama is known for its troubled protagonists, and streaming shows have no shortage of conflicted and often unpleasant characters. For example, Hugh Laurie follows his hit show "House" with another difficult man in Hulu's "Chance."

Caption by / Photo by David Moir/Hulu

There were plenty of troubled women in "Orange is the New Black" when the prison show returned to Netflix for a dramatic fourth season.

Caption by / Photo by Netflix

Political intrigue-packed "Marseille" was the first French show from Netflix. Zut alors!

Caption by

Speaking of unsympathetic protagonists, "Narcos" continues the fascinating story of drug lord Pablo Escobar.

Caption by / Photo by Juan Pablo Gutierrez/Netflix

Giovanni Ribisi plays the sneaky lead in Amazon pilot "Sneaky Pete," which was ordered to a full series.

Caption by / Photo by Jeff Neumann

He may be an animated horse, but he's one of the most unsympathetic characters on TV. The new season of "Bojack Horseman" on Netflix was still a compelling watch, especially during the clever silent episode.

Caption by / Photo by Netflix

Billy Bob Thornton is another big name playing a troubled role in Amazon's "Goliath."

Caption by / Photo by Amazon

There are family troubles and a few laughs in Hulu's "Casual."

Caption by / Photo by Hulu

Woody Allen brought his period drama "Crisis in Six Scenes" to Amazon Prime Video.

Caption by / Photo by Amazon/YouTube

Jeffrey Donovan is a troubled psychic in Hulu's "Shut Eye."

Caption by / Photo by Hulu

Sony's Crackle streaming service started up "StartUp," the steamy story of Miami criminals including Martin Freeman, who back a bitcoin-like cryptocurrency for their own nefarious ends.

Caption by / Photo by Crackle

Netflix goes to Brazil for the dystopian sci-fi series "3%."

Caption by / Photo by Pedro Saad/Netflix

Amazon's series sees the muscles from Brussels Jean-Claude Van Damme playing himself, only as a secret agent.

Caption by / Photo by Erica Parise/Amazon

Aaron Paul stars in cult-themed drama "The Path" on Hulu.

Caption by / Photo by Greg Lewis/Universal Television

Speaking of larger-than-life protagonists, there is plenty of monkey business from Netflix with "Kong: King of the Apes."

Caption by / Photo by Netflix

Kids shows are big on Netflix and Amazon. Among the hits, friendship is build brick by brick in "Lego Friends: The Power of Friendship" on Netflix.

Caption by / Photo by Netflix

Netflix brought a whole slate of established and up-and-coming comics to the stage for comedy specials. Among them was Reggie Watts with his blend of music and laughs.

Caption by / Photo by Michael Rowe/Netflix

Ali Wong's stand-up special "Baby Cobra" hit a bump on Netflix.

Caption by / Photo by Alex Crick/Netflix

Comedian Hannibal Buress was among the comedy specials on Netflix this year.

Caption by / Photo by Marcus Price/Netflix

Comedian Iliza Shlesinger hit Netflix for a comedy special.

Caption by / Photo by Timothy Hiatt/Netflix

Online sensation Miranda Sings went from YouTube clips to Netflix show "Haters Back Off."

Caption by / Photo by Katie Yu/Netflix

Netflix picked up British comedy series "Scrotal Recall" and renamed it "Lovesick."

Caption by / Photo by Neil Davidson/Netflix

Maria Bamford blew up in the wacky "Lady Dynamite" on Netflix.

Caption by / Photo by Saeed Adyani/Netflix

"Easy" is a Chicago-set comedy-drama anthology series written, directed, edited and produced by Joe Swanberg for Netflix.

Caption by / Photo by Netflix

Plenty of real-life stories were told on streaming services this year. Feature-length drama "Barry" tells the story of a young Barack Obama on Netflix.

Caption by / Photo by Netflix

Jamie Dornan battles both political intrigue and enemy soldiers in "The Siege of Jadotville," based on true events.

Caption by / Photo by Karen Ballard/Netflix

Among the slate of Netflix documentaries was the compelling "Last Chance U."

Caption by / Photo by Netflix

Idiosyncratic director Werner Herzog has a lot of lava for volcanoes in Netflix doc "Into The Inferno,"

Caption by / Photo by Netflix

Heartbreaking Netflix documentary "Audrie & Daisy" tackles modern attitudes to sexual assault.

Caption by / Photo by Netflix

Powerful Netflix documentary "White Helmets" confronts the devastation of war-torn Syria.

Caption by / Photo by Netflix

Netflix documentary series "Captive" explores high-profile kidnappings.

Caption by / Photo by Jean Louis Schuller/Netflix
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