Based on the award-winning novel by James McBride and adapted into a eight-part limited series by Ethan Hawke and Mark Richard, The Good Lord Bird is an Antebellum-era period drama that charts the abolitionist efforts of John Brown – a controversial and deeply religious man who sought to end slavery in the United States. It looks action-packed, heartfelt, and hilarious, and we explain how to watch The Good Lord Bird online from anywhere in our guide below.
Cable viewers can switch over to Showtime every Sunday from October 4 at 9pm ET/PT (or 8pm CT) to catch this eight-part series. Each episode is an hour long and the final episode airs on November 22.
If you’re without cable, then OTT service Sling TV will let you add Showtime to your core package, or enjoy it for free as part of a current promotional offer.
Set during the time of Bleeding Kansas – seven years of violent civil confrontations about the legality of slavery – what we’re shown is largely historical fact. “Most of this happened” we’re told at the outset. However, the events of the show are channelled through the fictional character of Henry Shackleford - or ‘Onion’ as he’s later dubbed - a young slave in Kansas territory in 1856 when Brown passes through, granting the boy his freedom and receiving him into his ramshackle band of abolitionists.
In addition to Hawke as the rambunctious Brown, Hamilton’s Daveed Davis plays fellow abolitionist Frederick Douglass. He’s the Yin to Brown’s Yang, displaying peevish distemper at Brown’s unruly ways to comedic effect. Rounding out the cast are Wyatt Russell as First Lieutenant J. E. B. Stuart, McKinley Belcher III as Broadnax, and Rafael Casal as Cook.
With a tone somewhere between Django Unchained and 2019’s Harriet, we’re psyched to see this provocative yet entertaining romp through American history. Keep reading as we explain how to watch The Good Lord Bird online and stream this new Showtime miniseries wherever you are.
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How to watch The Good Lord Bird online from outside your country
If you’re abroad for work or out of the country on vacation then geo-blocks will prevent you from streaming this compelling period drama from Showtime (or your country's broadcaster), whether live or on-demand.
Luckily, there’s an easy solution. Downloading a VPN will let you to watch The Good Lord Bird online no matter where you’re currently based. This simple piece of software changes your IP address, so you can access each episode live or catch-up with the series, just as if you were at home.
There are hundreds of VPNs to choose from but our top pick would be ExpressVPN. It's quick, secure, and straightforward to use. It's compatible with various devices too, including Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV Stick, the Xbox, PlayStation, and both iOS and Android software.
What makes ExpressVPN even more tempting is its flexible 30-day money back guarantee. Better than that though, if you sign up for an annual plan you'll get a 49% discount and 3 months extra FREE - a brilliant deal on an essential bit of software.
Once downloaded, search for the location of your home country or select it from the pre-defined list, click ‘connect’, and boom! You’ll be able to watch The Good Lord Bird online without any problem.
How to watch The Good Lord Bird online in the US
American viewers have myriad ways to view Showtime’s The Good Lord Bird. Those with a TV provider with Showtime as part of your cable package can watch it live as it airs, from October 4 at 9pm ET/PT, and 8pm CT.
For those who’ve cut-the-cord, there are plenty of OTT platforms streaming Showtime.
Sling TV is one of the best value: offering between 33 and 45 core channels, Premium extras, and substantial on-demand content – all for $30 a month. Plus, Sling always has an enticing promo or two. You can currently get $10 off Sling + Showtime, Starz, and Epix access for your first month. But if you decide to keep Showtime after your trial period ends, you’ll pay $10 a month to access the Showtime bundle, which consists of 9 channels.
To get top-tier Showtime content without any filler – no useless channels and no ads – then the television network has its own VOD platform, Showtime Now. For $10.99 a month, you can stream The Good Lord Bird AND watch hit programmes like Dexter, The Chi, Billions, Shameless, and lots more. Oh, and new customers can enjoy their 30-day free trial first.
Amazon Prime Video will also let you add Showtime programming to your basic subscription plan (which is $12.99 per month) for an extra $10.99 monthly. It comes with a 7-day free trial though, so you can try before you buy.
Finally, Hulu is a good option if you want lots of on-demand content and hit TV shows, as well as the possibility of subscribing to their impressive Live TV service. And yes, new subscribers can also enjoy a no-strings-attached 7-day free trial before exchanging any hard-earned cash.
Away from home when The Good Lord Bird takes to the air? Simply download the best VPN as detailed above and you’ll be free to watch this original period drama online from anywhere.
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How to watch The Good Lord Bird online in Canada
America’s neighbors up north can enjoy episodes of The Good Lord Bird on Crave at the same time they’re broadcast in the US – that’s every week from October 4. The VoD service's entry-level fee is CND$9.99 a month (inc. taxes) and proffers access to iconic HBO and Showtime content, Crave Originals, and a slew of movies. Plus, new subscribers get a week-long free trial before having to pay a thing.
If you find yourself far from home, you’ll struggle to connect to the VOD service you’re registered to in your usual country of residence. But don’t worry. Download a service like Express VPN and you’ll be streaming regionally-restricted content in no time.
Who will show The Good Lord Bird in the UK?
Unfortunately, there’s no news as to when Brits can expect their fill of this Ethan Hawke-starring, 19th-century Midwest drama. What we do know is that, before broadcast was delayed thanks to pesky Covid-19, it was touted to debut on Sky Atlantic and become available to stream on Now TV. This is likely still the case, but it will probably now be some time after its run has ended on Showtime.
Intrepid travellers who’ve left their country to visit Blighty can still access their preferred streaming service, and so enjoy dozens of new hit show live and on-demand…if they download a VPN. It’s the best way to get access to regionally-blocked content no matter where in the world you are.
How to watch The Good Lord Bird online in Australia
Australians have good reason to celebrate, because VoD service Stan will be streaming The Good Lord Bird from Sunday, October 4, in tandem with the show’s US release.
Its $10 a month Basic plan provides single-stream, SD quality access to classic and cutting-edge TV series, Stan originals like Bloom and The Other Guy, and blockbuster movies. But upgrading to its Standard (S$14) or Premium ($19) plans will increase the number of devices you can stream to, while also offering an improved HD or 4K Ultra HD viewing experience. Plus, any newbies to the world of Stan can indulge themselves with a whopping 30-day free trial.