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The 15 Netflix Original Series to be Excited About in 2016

The 15 Netflix Original Series to be Excited About in 2016

“The Crown”

What is it?
 “The Crown” tells the inside story of two of the most famous addresses in the world — Buckingham Palace and 10 Downing Street — and the intrigues, love lives and machinations behind the great events that shaped the second half of the 20th century. Two houses, two courts, one Crown. Each season of “The Crown” will explore the political rivalries and personal intrigues across a decade of Queen Elizabeth II’s reign, exploring the delicate balance between her private world and public life. Season 1 begins with a 25-year-old Princess faced with the daunting prospect of leading the most famous monarchy in the world while forging a relationship with the domineering, war-hardened Prime Minister Winston Churchill. [official synopsis via Netflix]

I’ll like it if I like… “The Queen,” “Frost/Nixon” and “The Special Relationship” with a dash of “Billy Elliot” and the 11th Doctor.

Why should I care? “The Crown” is, on paper, a legit awards contender already. Written and created by Peter Morgan — the two-time Oscar nominee for “The Queen” and “Frost/Nixon” — and directed (in part) by three-time Oscar nominee Stephen Daldry (“The Reader,” “Billy Elliot”), “The Crown” is equally impressive in front of the camera with the likes of Matt Smith (“Doctor Who”), John Lithgow (“Dexter,” “3rd Rock from the Son”) and Claire Foy (“Wolf Hall,” “The Promise”). With historical figures clashing in a period context, “The Crown” is set up perfectly to be an Emmys darling, and — with a little luck — Morgan, Daldry and that cast can keep it from feeling like eating our vegetables. 

Netflix has not announced a release date, but “The Crown” is expected in 2016.

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“The OA”

What is it? Netflix is keeping a tight lid on the plot of Brit Marling and Zal Batmanglij’s upcoming drama, but the two have partnered before for the well-received indie films “Sound of My Voice” and “The East.” Odds are the eight-episode first season will follow in their thrilling footsteps (and, based on the show’s Netflix page, possibly include a wee bit of sensuality).

I’ll like it if I like…
“Sound of My Voice,” “The East” and/or Brit freakin’ Marling

Why should I care? Considering we don’t know much outside of Marling and Batmanglij’s involvement — the team are writing the series together, with Marling set to star and Batmanglij possibly directing — if you’re not sold by now, just wait. More info will be coming, but really, we’ve told you all you need to know already.

Netflix has not announced a release date, but “The OA” is expected in 2016.

READ MORE: Netflix Gets More Indie With Brit Marling/Zal Batmanglij Original TV Series


What is it? “Frontier” is a drama following the wild fight over the North American fur trade during the late 18th century. Negotiations are made with violence rather than reason, and the multiple perspectives incorporated to tell the story should provide a voice to everyone involved in the battle, from Native tribes to Europeans.

I’ll like it if I like… “Hell on Wheels” (pessimistically), “Deadwood” (optimistically)

Why should I care? A six-episode period drama from “San Andreas” director Brad Peyton, “Frontier” is a series — not a miniseries — about fur trading. Yes, fur trading. While we expect any series starring the massive Jason Momoa to incorporate one or two one-on-one battles, the idea of those battles being over the material that makes coats seems a little…thin. Still, Peyton has an eye for big screen spectacle and Momoa will be a hot commodity by the time this hits Netflix, so there are still plenty of reasons to believe in life on the “Frontier.”

Netflix has not announced a release date, but “Frontier” is expected in 2016.

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What is it? The first Netflix original series to be shot in Brazil, this Portuguese-language thriller is set in a world that’s been sharply divided between two extremes: progress and devastation. People are given a chance to make it to the “better side,” but only 3 percent succeed. 

I’ll like it if I like…
the idea of pairing “City of God” with “The Hunger Games.”

Why should I care? “3%” comes from the creative mind of Cesar Charlone, who served as cinematographer for director Fernando Meirelles’ “City of God,” “The Constant Gardener” and “Blindness.” Oscar-nominated for “City of God,” Charlone also has some solid writing experience under his belt with the 2007 Cannes award-nominee “The Pope’s Toilet” and a more recent festival player in “La Redota” (2011). Considering the haunting imagery of his camerawork and the challenging material being captured,  “3%” could prove to be an ideal combination of beauty and brains.

“3%” is expected to be released in late 2016.

“A Series of Unfortunate Events” (UPDATED)

What is it?
 Based on the novels by Daniel Handler (aka, Lemony Snicket), “A Series of Unfortunate Events” focuses on three orphaned kids who fight to overcome their oppressive new “father,” Count Olaf, as they search for the real reason for their parents’ death. 

I’ll like it if I like…
“Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events” (starring Jim Carrey) and/or Handler’s popular novels.

Why should I care?
Update: Neil Patrick Harris has been cast as Count Olaf in the upcoming adaptation, but it also lost Mark Harris, its showrunner — and have yet to find a replacement (as of January 16). 

Reportedly starting production in the spring of 2016, there’s certainly no guarantee “A Series of Unfortunate Events” will be ready in the next 365 days. But we can always hope. A fake teaser trailer (above) lit the internet on fire in 2015 and the popular children’s books are rich for an artistic TV adaptation. Throw in the inventive direction of Barry Sonnenfeld (also attached as an executive producer), and “A Series of Unfortunate Events” sure seems to be on the right track to streaming stardom. Here’s hoping for a Christmas present from Lemony Snicket.

“A Series of Unfortunate Events” is expected to be released in late 2016.

READ MORE: Watch: Lemony Snicket’s Dark World is Brought to Life in Fake Viral Teaser for Netflix’s ‘A Series of Unfortunate Events’

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