Your Streaming Guide to the Thanksgiving Holiday

by Stacy Lambe 9:15 AM PST, November 25, 2015
Photo: Netflix

When it comes to Thanksgiving weekend, marathoning TV is almost as traditional as gathering around the dinner table. Of course, this year there is no shortage of options on TV -- but if you’re sick of all the commercials that go with it, then try creating your own, custom marathon with Amazon, HBO Now, Hulu, and Netflix. Here are just a few ideas below:

James Bond Marathon

Photo: Sony

After years of marathons on Spike and more recently on SyFy, watching James Bond has become a Thanksgiving tradition. But now you can control just exactly when you watch which 007 flick. If you’re not a fan of the Timothy Dalton years, then you can skip over them in favor of the Sean Connery classics. Hulu has most of the films, though, none of the Daniel Craig flicks are streaming. For a Bond-inspired treat, watch Fleming: The Man Who Would Be Bond, the BBC mini-series starring Dominic Cooper as the famed author. All four episodes are on Netflix.

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Binge-Watch New Shows

Photo: Netflix

There are plenty of shows to binge-watch or catch up on over the extended break – and if you still haven’t seen The Wire, then get cozy with your HBO Now account. Otherwise, try out some new favorites from Amazon, Hulu, and Netflix. The latter just released its second Marvel adaptation, Jessica Jones, which is a delicious mix of noir and female heroism and Aziz Ansari’s new comedy, Master of None, cannot be missed. Meanwhile, Hulu has stepped up its original content game with Casual, its first real Emmy contender, and the hilarious fourth season of The Mindy Project, which will stream its mid-season finale in December. And if you want to indulge in some nostalgic fun, then Amazon’s Red Oaks will do the trick. That or you can go for the high-brow thriller, Man in the High Castle, which recently came under fire for its Nazi-themed ad campaign. And if you didn’t catch the latest season of Project Greenlight when it aired on HBO, go back now and watch the entire thing plus The Leisure Class, the original film it created during the documentary process.

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Feast on Food-Related Programs

Photo: Bravo

If you can't get enough at the dinner table, then try gorging on a few standout food programs -- everything from documentaries and reality competitions can be found online. Go inside the world of top chefs with the Netflix original docu-series, Chef’s Table, or three seasons of The Mind of a Chef, also streaming on Netflix. On Hulu, you can watch the first 12 seasons of Top Chef in preparation for the new season returning to Bravo on Dec. 3. If you want to learn how to cook, then try Barefoot Contessa: Back to Basics on Netflix or From Martha’s Kitchen -- a real throwback -- on Hulu. And while Iron Chef has yet to make it online – which is a true tragedy -- you can watch the first season of the American version on Netflix.

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All Your Favorite ‘Friends’ Thanksgivings

Remember that one with Monica’s head in a turkey, or when Brad Pitt stopped by to ruin Rachel’s day, or when Chandler was confined to a box? Well, thanks to Netflix, every season of Friends can be streamed online -- and you can relive every Turkey Day moment in true marathon fashion. If the Friends Thanksgiving-themed episodes don’t do anything for you, then check out Bob’s Burgers on Hulu. The show has turned out some wonderfully kooky holiday-inspired episodes the past few seasons.

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'90s Throwback


If Friends put you in the mood for more '90s nostalgia, then try mixing it up with these other classics. Hulu has A Different World, Beverly Hills, 90210, Melrose Place, and Seinfeld. Buffy the Vampire Slayer and The X-Files can be streamed on both Hulu and Netflix. You can watch Twin Peaks on Netflix before it returns to Showtime. The streaming service also has Frasier and Saved by the BellAnd it wouldn’t be any weekend or holiday break without constant repeats of Law & Order on TV. But why bother with commercials when Hulu (and commercial-free) subscribers can bypass most of that. Every season up until the most recent episode of SVU is streaming. Fans of the original (or the other spin-offs) can watch on TNT this Saturday and Sunday.

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