New Offerings from Netflix
By Kathleen Thompson |
The “less is more” motto doesn’t apply to Netflix’s entertainment model. The streaming giant has prolifically released original shows, blockbuster films and thought-provoking documentaries for over two decades, and this year is no exception. Netflix recently revealed that it will drop $17 billion on content in 2021, the same amount it spent last year and up from $15 billion in 2019. That’s due in part to vaccine rollouts, which have enabled the company to resume production in every major global market apart from India and Brazil. Here are a few upcoming shows to get excited about.
Emily in Paris is the hit rom-com viewers and critics love to hate. While it’s been lambasted for being culturally insensitive and somewhat one-note in terms of characters and plotlines, it’s also the streamer’s most popular comedy series of 2020 and was nominated for two Golden Globe awards. After premiering last October, it was watched by 58 million households in its first 28 days. Darren Star (of Sex and the City fame) created the show starring Lily Collins in the titular role as a 20-something marketing whiz from Chicago who unexpectedly lands her dream job with a luxe Parisian agency, Savoir. She doesn’t speak French and much gets lost in translation when interacting with new colleagues, yet lovely adventures and whirlwind romances ensue.
Master of None returned in May following a four-year hiatus during which time creator Aziz Ansari faced allegations of sexual misconduct, though the comedian was never charged. After some uncertainty regarding the fate of the Emmy-winning series, its highly anticipated third season delivers five episodes focused on fellow cast member Denise, played by actor and writer Lena Waithe. Ansari stays mainly behind the camera while Denise and her wife, Alicia (Naomi Ackie), face marriage strains and fertility struggles.
Thrills So Good
Who Killed Sara premiered on March 24 and quickly stole the spotlight as Netflix’s most popular foreign language series ever, drawing close to 55 million viewers in its first month. The Mexican thriller stars actor Manolo Cardona as Alex Guzmán, a man determined to avenge his sister’s murder after being unjustly framed for the crime and spending 18 years in prison. Netflix confirmed a second season of the series a few days after its release—which is perhaps unsurprising, given that it ranked among the streamer’s top 10 most popular shows for weeks. Season two, released May 19, sees Alex getting revenge while confronting dark family secrets.
Covert dealings have likewise driven Ozark plotlines for three seasons, since its debut in 2017. The much-awarded crime thriller is now returning for a fourth and final installment, which will air as 14 episodes in two parts. Netflix announced that the Missouri-set saga about a money-laundering couple will be “going out with a bang,” featuring returning stars Jason Batemen and Laura Linney along with a few surprise guests. Strict Covid-protocol shooting started in November 2020 and is expected to wrap later this year.
For the Ages
Superhero shows abound these days, but Jupiter’s Legacy puts a slightly unique spin on the popular theme. Adapted from comic books by writer Mark Millar and artist Frank Quitely, the series features a first-ever generation of superheroes who came into their powers in the 1930s. Now part of the elder generation, they’re hoping to pass the torch to their teenage kids, who struggle to live up to their parents’ shining example.
The Kominsky Method likewise delves into the lives of aging heroes, though there’s nothing supernatural about this set. Michael Douglas stars as Sandy Kominsky, a once-successful actor turned Hollywood acting coach. Season three will serve as the final chapter, in which Kominsky mourns the loss of his friend and agent (Alan Arkin), while navigating a complicated relationship with his ex-wife (Kathleen Turner).
Bonus tip! Stranger Things, arguably one of Netflix’s most-anticipated series returns, will be back in early 2022. Had production of everyone’s favorite ‘80s-era thriller stayed on schedule, the latest installment would have hit early this year. Covid concerns shut down the set last March, but nine new episodes—some set in Siberia—are expected by next spring. Bridgerton season two will likewise make its 2022 debut. The streamer’s number-one original series smashed all ratings records earlier this year, and cameras began rolling on new episodes in April. The latest installment focuses on Lord Anthony Bridgerton and his love interest. Seasons three and four have likewise already been confirmed by Netflix, giving us plenty of Victorian scandals and romance to anticipate. Happy watching!