4. “Last Chance U” Season 2 (available July 21)
Why Should I Watch It? The winner of the IDA Award for Best Episodic Series in Season 1, “Last Chance U” debuted its first six episodes to largely positive critical reactions. It’s an engaging docu-series tracking the lives of college football stars who struggle with on- and off-the-field issues, but have the potential to do great things — in football and in life. They could have the talent to make it to the NFL, or they could have the skills to snag a spot at a better scholastic university. Each episode blends personal drama with the high stakes of the games themselves for a viewing experience worth it for fans and non-fans alike.
Best Episode: The best episodes are the ones where we see results. East Mississippi College has a reputation for sending students to four-year universities, often with athletic scholarships to help them on their journey. Nine of Coach Buddy Stephens’ former players even made it to the NFL. The series is surprisingly insightful when choosing its moments, capturing the plays and decisions that make players intriguing subjects with promising futures. We invest because of the filmmaking, and that’s what makes for a gripping documentary.
5. “Joe Mande’s Award-Winning Comedy Special” (available July 25)
Why Should I Watch It? Joe Mande has written for some of our favorite TV shows of the decade, including “Parks and Recreation” and “Kroll Show,” all the while sustaining an incredibly entertaining Twitter feed and touring the country doing spot-on stand-up. (Watch a clip of his appearance on “Conan” above.) Mande describes his performances as “inspirational and motivational stand-up comedy speaking engagements,” and that alone should warrant attention. Netflix is flooded with comedy specials, including the “series” mentioned next on this list, but Mande is one to make sure you don’t miss.
6. “The Standups” Season 1 (available July 4)
Why Should I Watch It? Listed as a “stand-up comedy series,” the new Netflix release features six 30-minute episodes of six separate stand-up specials. Each episode is devoted to a new up-and-coming comedian who was filmed in the Cicada Restaurant and Club in Los Angeles, CA. The line-up? Nate Bargatze, Deon Cole, Fortune Feimster, Nikki Glaser, Dan Soder and Beth Stelling.
Best Episode: I’m not sure Deon Cole and Nikki Glaser still count as “up-and-coming” stand-ups, given Cole has two series on the air right now (“Black-ish” and “Angie Tribeca”) while Glaser hosted her own Comedy Central series “Not Safe With Nikki Glaser” (and co-hosted the MTV show “Nikki & Sara Live” before that). But they’re definitely the episodes to look forward to, given how charming each can be on TV and in their previous stand-up specials. Netflix is obviously hoping the allure of these two draws eyes to other stand-ups, and we are, too.
7. “Castlevania” Season 1 (available July 7)
Why Should I Watch It? Inspired by the landmark Nintendo game, “Castlevania” is an anime Netflix upgrade for the NES generation. Promising genuine drama and stylish visuals, the first look video (above) should appeal to the many players who got invested in the story, which focused on the last surviving member of the disgraced Belmont clan. He’s trying to save Eastern Europe from extinction from none other than Dracula himself, and this blockbuster story is being written and produced from Warren Ellis, a man who knows a thing or two about saving the world. Our nostalgia beacons are going haywire, and we’ll see if “Castlevania” can live up to 30 years worth of hype.
Best Episode: We don’t have episodes yet, but we’re fairly certain the first entry will tell us all we need to know about the series. Video game adaptations are a tricky business, and usually the good can be sorted from the bad fairly quickly.
The Rest of Incoming TV
“Capo ‘El amo del tune'” Season 1 (available July 1)
“Deep Water” Season 1 (available July 1)
“El Barco” Season 1 (available July 1)
“Hostages” Season 2 (available July 1)
“Offspring” Season 6 (available July 1)
“Spice Up” Season 1 (available July 1)
“Yours Fatefully” Season 1 (available July 1)
“The Ultimatum” Season 1 (available July 1)
“The Originals” Season 4 (available July 1)
“Witnesses” Season 2 (available July 1)
“World at Your Feet” Season 1 (available July 1)
“Yes We Can!” Season 1 (available July 1)
“El Chema” Season 1 (available July 2)
“iZombie” Season 3 (available July 5)
“Dawn of the Croods” Season 4 (available July 7)
“Degrassi: Next Class” Season 4 (available July 7)
“Luna Petrunia” Season 2 (available July 7)
“Rake” Season 4 (available July 15)
“West Coast Customs” Season 4 (available July 15)
“Girlfriends’ Guide to Divorce” Season 3 (available July 18)
“The Worst Witch” Season 1 (available July 21)
“Daughters of Destiny” Season 1 (available July 28)
“Being Mary Jane: The Series” Season 4 (available July 31)