Back to IndieWire

The 15 Netflix Original Series to be Excited About in 2016

The 15 Netflix Original Series to be Excited About in 2016

“Chelsea Does”

What is it?
 “Chelsea Does” is a four-part Netflix Documentary Series featuring Chelsea Handler exploring four topics of personal and universal fascination: marriage, racism, Silicon Valley and drugs.  With her unique voice and provocative point of view, Chelsea will be seen confronting the topics that connect humanity, having the hard conversations about things that are not easy to talk about, and calibrating and learning who she is along the way. [official synopsis via Netflix]

I’ll like it if I like… when “Chelsea Lately” took itself (somewhat) seriously.

Why should I care? Chelsea Handler has always had a unique voice, and now she’s putting purpose behind it. That’s not to say helming “Chelsea Lately” or guest starring on “Web Therapy” and “This Means War” wasn’t important work, but in her investigative docu-series “Chelsea Does,” Handler is exploring difficult universal concepts and making them all the more relatable with her disarming, engaging humor. Oh, and her credibility certainly didn’t take a hit when “Chelsea Does” landed a screening slot at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival. 

“Chelsea Does” is scheduled to premiere January 23, 2016.

READ MORE: The 15 Biggest Dick Moves of the Year, or What Enraged TV Fans in 2015


What is it?
 “Love” follows nice guy Gus (Paul Rust) and brazen wild-child Mickey (Gillian Jacobs) as they navigate the exhilarations and humiliations of intimacy, commitment, love and other things they were hoping to avoid. “Love” is an unflinching, hilarious and excruciatingly honest take on modern relationships. [official synopsis via Netflix]

I’ll like it if I like… a blend of “Girls,” “You’re the Worst” and “Knocked Up.”

Why should I care? Judd Apatow is coming to TV — or better yet, he’s coming to Netflix! The groundbreaking director and prolific producer is bringing his brand of humor to the small screen yet again (after past projects like, oh, I don’t know, “Freaks and Geeks” and “Girls”), but “Love” marks the writer’s first series on a streaming platform. Credited as a co-creator alongside Lesley Arfin (“Brooklyn Nine-Nine”) and Paul Rust (who also co-stars), “Love” gives former “Community” star Gillian Jacobs her first starring TV role after spending some time in the indie film world. The actress has been heating up considerably since winning over a cult fandom on Dan Harmon’s ex-NBC series, including a guest star run on the latest season of “Girls.” Apatow has always been kind of hit-or-miss, with a prerogative for running long, but he’s never shied away from tackling big issues with a sharp wit, and episodic TV allows ample time to binge or take breaks. The audience can make their own call, which makes “Love” a perfect fit for Netflix’s growing subscriber base.

“Love” premieres all 10 episodes of its first season February 19 at 12:01am PT.

READ MORE: Review: Judd Apatow’s ‘Love’ Season 1 Isn’t Like Any Rom-Com You’ve Seen Before

Fuller House

What is it?
 In “Fuller House,” the adventures that began in 1987 on “Full House” continue, with veterinarian D.J. Tanner-Fuller (Candace Cameron Bure) recently widowed and living in San Francisco. D.J.’s younger sister/aspiring musician Stephanie Tanner (Jodie Sweetin) and D.J.’s lifelong best friend/fellow single mother Kimmy Gibbler (Andrea Barber), along with Kimmy’s feisty teenage daughter Ramona (Soni Nicole Bringas), all move in to help take care of D.J.’s three boys — the rebellious 12-year-old Jackson (Michael Champion), neurotic 7-year-old Max (Elias Harger) and her newborn baby, Tommy Jr (Messitt Twins). [official synopsis via Netflix]

I’ll like it if I like… “Full House,” we presume. 

Why should I care? When it comes down to it, “Fuller House” is bigger than just another revival. It could represent a turning point for Netflix: when the streaming giant stopped worrying about producing merely the best, most exciting original content and decided to expand their brand to include alluring, popular picks for a wider audience. Their past revivals — like “Arrested Development” and “Longmire” — may have set the stage for bringing back “Full House,” but those series had a high level of respect among critics and the community alike. “Fuller House” is more in line with “The Ridiculous Six,” the first in a four-film pact between Netflix and Adam Sandler. Existing subscribers may tune in out of morbid curiosity, but plenty of new subscribers (especially families looking for shows to watch together) will sign up out of sheer excitement — guilty or not.

“Fuller House” is scheduled to premiere February 26, 2016.

READ MORE: Does ‘Fuller House’ Risk Damaging the Netflix Originals Brand?

“Flaked” (UPDATED)

What is it?
 “Flaked” focuses on Chip (Will Arnett), a self-appointed guru who’s built a business on his own lies, but gets tripped up after falling for his best friend’s girl (Ruth Kearney, “The Following”). 

I’ll like it if I like…
The Gob sections of “Arrested Development” Season 4. 

Why should I care? Based on past experience, it’s hard to make a strong case for “Flaked.” Will Arnett’s work as a live-action lead tends to trend as far down as his supporting roles and voiceover work shoots up. Yet with only eight episodes ordered and Arnett himself credited as a co-writer and co-creator (alongside Mark Chappell, from “The Increasingly Poor Decisions of Todd Margaret”) and “Arrested Development” creator Mitch Hurwitz on board as an executive producer, “Flaked” has the most potential of any Arnett project since, well, ever. 

“Flaked” premieres globally March 11 at 12:01am PT.

READ MORE: Brian Grazer Says ‘Arrested Development’ Season 5 is Returning for 17 Episodes

“The Ranch”

What is it? Set in present day on a Colorado ranch, this multi-camera comedy series stars Ashton Kutcher, Danny Masterson, Sam Elliott and Debra Winger. The show follows Colt’s (Kutcher) return home after a brief and failed semi- pro football career to run the family ranching business with his older brother Jameson “Rooster” (Masterson) and father Beau (Elliott), whom he hasn’t seen in 15 years. Winger stars as Colt’s and Rooster’s mother, Maggie, who runs the local town bar. [official synopsis via Netflix]

I’ll like it if I like… “Two and a Half Men,” “That 70s Show” and Ashton Kutcher.

Why should I care? Well…honestly, we’re not sure. Ashton Kutcher never really turned into the magnetic screen presence many expected after “That 70s Show,” despite some sparks of real talent (see “No Strings Attached,” for real). Now he seems headed in the wrong direction, sticking with his new pals at “Two and a Half Men” and reuniting with his old “70s Show” buddy Masterson for what sure sounds like a comedy we’d see on CBS in the fall. But hey, Netflix allows for more freedom, and maybe Reo and Patterson have always had something more substantial to say than what was allowed in the broadcast arena. Chuck Lorre isn’t involved, so there’s at least some hope.

“The Ranch” premieres globally April 1 at 12:01am PT. 

READ MORE: The 25 Best TV Episodes of 2015

Sign Up: Stay on top of the latest breaking film and TV news! Sign up for our Email Newsletters here.

This Article is related to: Television and tagged , , ,

Get The Latest IndieWire Alerts And Newsletters Delivered Directly To Your Inbox