Netflix offers a trove of original content in February, including two new series, a movie and a documentary. Some of the newcomers are revivals of old franchises — something Netflix likes to do, if with mixed results. Netflix also drops two comedy specials, including one with Hannibal Buress, who launched the Bill Cosby rape firestorm through a joke. Hold on tight.
Better Call Saul, Season 1 (Feb. 1)
Saul Goodman of Breaking Bad — like Sir John Falstaff in Shakespeare's Henry the IV plays — was such brilliant comic relief that he earned his own gig. In place of The Merry Wives of Windsor, we have Better Call Saul, a prequel with comedian Bob Odenkirk playing hapless Irish attorney Jimmy McGill, before he reinvented himself as shady Jewish lawyer Goodman.
Cooked (Feb. 19)
Credit: NetflixIt's hard to think of food today without thinking of Michael Pollan (pictured above, right), author of Botany of Desire and In Defense of Food. This four-part docuseries looks at how people have harnessed the four elements to make tasty treats (for example, roasting with fire).
Fuller House, Season 1 (Feb. 26)
Sequel to the 1987 to 1995 series Full House, this Netflix original reunites the cast members (minus the Olsen twins), with the youngsters grown up and with kids of their own. Flipping the original plot of a widower living with his brother and best friend, Fuller House is the story of a widow who asks her sister and BF to move into her San Francisco home to help raise their kids together.
Love, Season 1 (Feb. 19)
Netflix tries its hand at dating comedies, and brings in some seriously funny people. Love was created by Judd Apatow (Knocked Up) and Paul Rust (Comedy Bang! Bang!). Rust stars alongside the hilarious Gillian Jacobs, in what looks like a similar role to flunky Britta on Community.
Mad Men, Season 7, Part 2 (Feb. 5)
With its gorgeous outfits, sets and near-religious following, Mad Men was a pillar of TV drama for nearly a decade. As the characters grew, so did America, from the repressed early '60s to the flowering of the counterculture at the end of the decade. These final episodes wrap up the tortured tale of Don Draper. Will he continue to fall (as the animations in the opening credits indicate), or will he find redemption?
Movies and Specials
Atonement (Feb. 16)
Keira Knightley, current queen of British period dramas, stars as Cecilia in this tale of lovers driven apart during World War I. It's not geopolitics that separates her from her love Robbie (James McAvoy), but a betrayal by her younger sister and over-imaginative writer, Briony.
Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon: Sword of Destiny (Feb. 26)
It's finally here. A decade and a half after the flying martial arts hit, the Crouching Tiger saga returns with Michelle Yeoh reprising her role as warrior Yu Shu Lien. Gone, however, is director Ang Lee — as well as the subtitles in this English-language edition. Netflix has a mixed record with reviving old titles; but this one should make a good watch for the stunts and visuals alone.
Dope (Feb. 10)
This huge hit from unknown talents is hard to categorize. On one level, it's the story of kids in a bad part of Los Angeles who get mixed up in a drug deal gone wrong. But how many movies like that open with a lengthy explanation of how Bitcoin works? Shameik Moore completely owns the role of Malcolm, a high-school geek obsessed with '90s hip-hop, trying to dodge trouble while aspiring to study at Harvard. He and his pair of friends navigate a seemingly impossible dilemma, outsmarting crooks and killers as only a gang of geeks could.
Hannibal Buress: Comedy Camisado (Feb. 5)
The man who launched the Bill Cosby rape scandal really isn't afraid to say anything. Buress has a raw, seemingly unrehearsed style — softened by his pronounced geekiness. This is his first Netflix special.
Theo Von: No Offense (Feb. 26)
Louisiana native Theo Von works the backcountry accent in his clever shtick as a wide-eyed observer of modern life. He returns to New Orleans for what is also his first Netflix special.