It might not be a traditional TV network, but Netflix has a busy September reminiscent of its cable competitors. Arrivals include the launch of a new Marvel franchise and a charged second season of its true-events-inspired drug tale, Narcos. Netflix also picks up several documentaries dealing with heavy topics or murder, suicide and war. But then, it lightens things up two comedy specials and new kids' shows.
Chef's Table: France, Season 3 09/02/2016
Netflix's documentary series isn't just for lovers of food (although that's certainly part of its appeal). It's for anyone who enjoys a good personal story about how creative people struggle to make their dreams happen. Filmmaker David Gelb (Jiro Dreams of Sushi) modeled the visual style on BBC's Planet Earth series, so it's big and beautiful. Season 3 profiles French visionaries Alain Passard (L’Arpege), Michel Troisgros (Maison Troisgros), Adeline Grattard (Yam'Tcha) and Alexandre Couillon (La Marine).
Easy, New Series 09/22/2016
Indie filmmaker Joe Swanberg wrote and directed this eight-part series, with each episode focusing on different characters and life circumstances in Chicago. Big names include Orlando Bloom (The Lord of the Rings) and Malin Akerman (Watchmen).
Kazoops!, New Series 09/02/2016
This Australian animated musical series for preschoolers follows a little boy, Monty, and his pet pig, Jimmy Jones, on imaginary adventures.
Kulipari: An Army Of Frogs, New Series 09/02/2016
Based on the trilogy of children's books by Denver Broncos vet Trevor Pryce, this animated series is a story of epic battles in the animal kingdom. The frogs are under assault by scorpions and spiders bent on wiping them out. Amidst it all, one young amphibian aspires to join the great frog warriors, the Kulipari. The battle scenes are pretty intense, so check the show out before you let your little ones watch.
Longmire, Season 5 09/23/2016
Netflix rescued this modern western from the ash heap of A&E for its fourth season, and now it's back with Season 5. Walt Longmire (Robert Taylor) is a western-movie-style character in a (somewhat) modern setting as the sheriff of fictional Absaroka County, Wyoming. Still recovering from the loss of his wife, Longmire gets a kick in the pants from his new deputy, Vic — played by Katee Sackhoff with the same sassy grit she brought to Starbuck on Battlestar Galactica. Lou Diamond Phillips plays close friend Henry Standing Bear—an ally in Longmire's troubled relationship with the neighboring tribal authorities.
Marvel's Luke Cage, New Series 09/30/2016
A spinoff from the Netflix show Marvel's Jessica Jones, Luke Cage is literally indestructible — the unwilling product of a sci-fi experiment. A classic reluctant hero, he takes on the baddies in Harlem the way Jessica Jones and Daredevil do in Hell's Kitchen. It has the same dark, brooding style of its Netflix-Marvel counterparts.
Narcos, Season 2 09/02/2016
Whoa! Season 2 of this series based on true story of Colombian drug lord Pablo Escobar (Wagner Moura) is a feast of gunfire and explosions. In the first season, DEA agents under Steve Murphy (Boyd Holbrook) launched a huge operation to capture Escobar, and it failed. Now they've forged a dark alliance to go to war with the Medellín Cartel.
Veggietales In The House, Season 4 Kids 09/23/2016
It's the innocent counterpart to Sausage Party. This Netflix animated series follows a pair of mismatched produce: straight-laced Bob the Tomato and wacky Larry the Cucumber (both technically fruits, by the way). It's adapted by DreamWorks Animation from the Christian values-themed VeggieTales animated stories.
Other TV Shows
- The Blacklist, Season 3 09/07/2016
- Bones, Season 11 09/22/2016
- Gotham, Season 2 09/19/2016
- Portlandia, Season 6 09/24/2016
- Shameless, Seasons 5-6 09/01/2016
- The Walking Dead, Season 6 09/15/2016
Movies, documentaries and specials
Amanda Knox, 09/30/2016
Young American exchange student Amanda Knox suddenly gained salacious infamy when she was charged in 2007 for the brutal killing of her roommate Meredith Kercher in the Renaissance-era Italian town of Perugia. The investigation focused on her and her boyfriend, Raffaele Sollecito, and plunged into the intricate details of their sex lives. Twice convicted and twice acquitted, Knox now opens up, as does her prosecutor Giuliano Mignini, in this documentary that seeks a balance among all perspectives in the saga.
Audrie & Daisy, 09/23/2016
The virtual world inflicts real pain. This documentary explores the lives of two teenage girls on opposite sides of the country who are each driven to attempt suicide after repeated, brutal online attacks and sensationalist media attention.
Cedric The Entertainer: Live From The Ville, 09/16/2016
The stocky, fedora-bedecked comedian, actor and longtime emcee (Showtime at the Apollo) has a fun, goofy style that's a bit of a relief compared to the hard-hitting comedy of the day. Enjoy this earlier clip.
Disney's Zootopia, 09/20/2016
Netflix doesn't get many recent films, but this was too big to pass up. The animated buddy-cop story takes place in a city populated entirely by animals. A rabbit rookie officer teams up with a fox con artist to track a missing person — er, animal — the latest in an ongoing series of abductions. The great cast of voice actors includes Ginnifer Goodwin, Jason Bateman, Idris Elba, Alan Tudyk and Shakira.
No one wants to think about death, but at some point everyone has to. This short documentary, shot at Highland Hospital in Oakland, California, shows the decisions made at the end of life about when to stop trying for a cure and when to start easing the patient's final moments.
Iliza Shlesinger: Confirmed Kills, 09/23/2016
Iliza Shlesinger has opinions about politics, relationships and pop culture, and she's blunt about them. She has a tough-but-funny style that you will probably either love or hate. This clip from an earlier show gives you a sense of her comedy.
The prolific star, Kevin Bacon, made it big in this hyperbolic tale about a big city kid who moves to a tiny Midwestern town. Rock 'n' roll and dancing are illegal, but he just can't stop moving. It's worth watching just for the ultra-'80s soundtrack.
The Imitation Game, 09/28/2016
For decades, no one knew who one of the greatest heroes of World War II was. It had to be that way. Pioneering computer scientist Alan Turing led an elite British team that broke the Nazi Enigma code, allowing the Allies to listen in on all of the Reich's sensitive radio communications and take countermeasures. But Turing had another secret: He was a gay man in a culture where that was a crime, and that put his life in jeopardy. Benedict Cumberbatch stars as Turing, and Keira Knightley plays Joan Clarke — the only woman on the team, and the one who best understands him.
Steven Spielberg's 1975 horror classic pits a quaint beachside town against an unstoppable great white shark. Roy Scheider, Robert Shaw and Richard Dreyfuss star in the original. Netflix also offers all the lousy sequels.
Saving Private Ryan, 09/01/2016
It's an odd premise: Allied soldiers are sent into occupied France to save one man, the sole survivor among four brothers who fought in the war. But it provides a powerful vehicle to show the ferocity of war, even at the time when it was clear the Allies would win. The opening scene of the battle of Omaha Beach is one of the most powerful and disturbing in cinema. Tom Hanks plays Captain Miller, who leads the team to rescue Private Ryan (Matt Damon).
Top Gun, 09/01/2016
It's cheesy in all the right ways. The Cold War, the Tom Cruise phenomenon and Kenny Loggins' musical career were all at their high points in this slick action film about a rebellious, hotshot pilot who has a lot of skill, and even more attitude. The signature work of late director Tony Scott, Top Gun is enriched by actors Kelly McGillis, Anthony Edwards, Meg Ryan and Val Kilmer.
The White Helmets, 09/16/2016
Another short documentary, this film shows the lives and work of the White Helmets in Syria: the ironically named peacekeepers sent by the UN. They can't stop the fighting, but they can try to help victims survive.
What Else to Stream
Already seen everything on this list? Check out our list of the best shows to binge watch to keep the stream going.