Hope you've got enough popcorn
Netflix ushered in the digital video streaming, binge-watching revolution. Not content to provide access to other movie studios' films and TV shows, Netflix has turned into its own version of HBO, creating a wealth of high-quality drama, comedy, documentary, and genre shows and films and putting them right at your fingertips.
2016 aims to continue that trend, as Netflix has revealed its upcoming slate of original series for the coming year. There are the expected returns of popular shows like Jessica Jones, Orange Is the New Black, and House of Cards, as well as the acquisition of the modern BBC classic, Black Mirror. But what about the new stuff, the shows that have the potential to be your next weekend obsession? Read on to find out all of the exciting new content you can expect to hit your streaming device of choice over the next several months.
Release date: February 19, 2016
What it's about: Judd Apatow (Trainwreck) co-wrote and produced this nakedly funny look at the modern romance, deftly riding that sweet-spot between endearing and raunchy. Nerd and perpetual goodie-goodie Gus (Paul Rust) crosses paths with with the freewheeling Mickey (Gillian Jacobs), and the two form an unlikely bond over their own frustrated dealings with the opposite sex.
Release date: March 11, 2016
What it's about: Will Arnett (Arrested Development) stars as Chip, a man living in Venice, California who's built up an idealized and highly fragile image of himself - and all of it seems to come crashing down when he falls for the object of his best friend's fascination. Fans of the bleak, existential comedy featured in Arrested Development and Bojack Horseman will probably find a lot to like here.
Lost & Found Music Studios
Release date: April 1st, 2016
What it's about: Netflix's tween-focused programming gets a solid bump from a show about a group of kids who write songs together at the titular recording studio. If you've got a kid who digs the line-up on Nickelodeon or The Disney Channel, they'll probably get a kick out of this.
Release date: April 1st, 2016 (First ten episodes)
What it's about: From the producers of Two and a Half Men comes a sitcom reuniting That 70's Show stars Ashton Kutcher and Danny Masterson, alongside Sam Elliott and Debra Winger. Kutcher plays Colt, a washed-up athlete and city slicker who returns home to his family's ranch after his career goes south.
Kong: King of the Apes
Release date: April 15, 2016
What it's about: Everything about this show sounds ridiculously amazing. It's a children's animated series that seeks to provide a modern, sci-fi spin on the classic movie ape. Set in the far-flung future of 2050, Kong: King of the Apes pits the gigantic gorilla against a villain who owns an armada of robotic dinosaurs. Framed for a crime he didn't commit, Kong ends up on the run from a nation who wants him dead - though he has a little help from a group of youngsters who know the truth. It seems like the kind of absurd, high-concept Saturday morning cartoon that I can get behind.
Release date: May 5, 2016
What it's about: Prefer your House of Cards-style government intrigue and drama with a little more European flair? Then you should probably keep an eye on Marseille, which stars Gerard Depardieu as Robert Taro, mayor of the French coastal city. Election season is approaching and Taro, as the incumbent, aims to continue his legacy, regardless of what it takes.
Release date: June 3, 2016
What it's about: Here's one for the little tykes in the family. Word Party is a new show from The Jim Henson Company (Sesame Street) designed to teach preschoolers a variety of new words. The show will make use of the Henson Digital Puppetry Studio, which allows performers to act out digitally animated characters like they would real-life puppets. The Jim Henson Company provides a wealth of entertaining and educational programs for children of all ages, and Word Party should continue that trend. Now, I'm not personally interested in it, but thanks to my 18-month-old son, I'll probably have the whole show memorized by the 37th play-through.
Release date: July 15, 2016
What it's about: Matt and Ross Duffer (Wayward Pines) are writing and directing this throwback to the supernatural thrillers of the 1980's. Stranger Things takes place in Indiana, where a missing child case leads friends and family on a trail that leads them into the darkest corners of the city. Winona Ryder (Heathers) stars, and I'm definitely getting some real Twin Peaks vibes from this one.
The Get Down
Release date: August 12, 2016 (Part One)
What it's about: Baz Luhrmann's (Moulin Rouge!) vision of 1970's New York comes to life in this musical drama about the birth of hip-hop, disco, and punk rock, told through the lives of a group of South Bronx kids. This series has some serious street cred, too, with creative input from hip-hop and electronic music pioneers Grandmaster Flash, DJ Kool Herc, and Afrika Bambaataa.