5. “Gomorrah” Season 2 (available August 21)
Why Should I Watch It? Inspired by both the book by Roberto Saviano and the 2008 film by Matteo Garrone, “Gomorrah” feels a lot like your traditional American mob story, but this one is actually set in Italy. That means subtitles and expansive vistas, volatile emotions and family strife, garish homes and sparse apartments; “Gomorrah” has an authenticity to it that lends an extra layer of tension to the tightly wound thriller, and the common slugline of “‘The Wire’ in Italy” is largely earned.
Best Episode: Remember what I said about volatile emotions? Episode 3, “Mea Culpa,” grounds itself in Conte’s (Marco Palvetti) unstoppable vengeance against Ciro’s (Marco D’Amore) family, making for one of the more exciting episodes that also functions to set up quite a bit of Season 2.
6. “Atypical” Season 1 (available August 11)
Why Should I Watch It? Jennifer Jason Leigh co-stars as Elsa, the mother of a young man on the autistic spectrum. She’s “on her own journey of self-discovery,” which is as much as the synopsis tells us, but the fact that Jennifer Jason Leigh is a series regular on a Netflix original series is more than enough reason to try it out. Yes, the series focuses on her son, Sam (Keir Gilchrist), but many teen stories with prominent parent figures need the more mature members of the cast to make it work. “Parenthood,” “Friday Night Lights,” “The O.C.” — all would be lesser works without fully-fledged adult characters, so here’s hoping Leigh can join the pantheon of fan favorite parents.
Best Episode: We have yet to watch the screeners generously provided by Netflix, but we’ll have a review ready as soon as possible to answer this very question. Until then, look for Leigh, and you’ll be in good hands.
7. “The League” Seasons 1 – 7 (leaving August 30)
Why Should I Watch It? Take note: “The League,” in its entirety, is leaving Netflix on August 30. So if you’ve been putting off finishing the final season or starting the show in the first place, August is the time to get cracking on the largely improvised story of six friends who intensely covet their fantasy football league’s title. With NFL training camp underway and preseason games running throughout the month, it’s the perfect time to dig into this cult classic FX comedy. While you’re boning up for your league’s draft, let their expertise guide you. (Except Taco — don’t listen to Taco.)
Best Episode: Picking the best episode of “The League” is no easy task, but we’re going with our gut: “The White Knuckler.” The third episode of Season 2 features guest star Lake Bell (always a treat), but also doubly digs into racial issues within the group: Andre (Paul Scheer) is excited about expanding his practice with a black partner, Dr. Maxwell (Brandon Jackson), but his “Whites Only” party spoils the vibe in the most painfully awkward and overtly hilarious of ways. “The League” does well when it mocks itself for being so very white, especially when it’s about a sport dominated by black athletes, and “The White Knuckler” brings all the satiric elements together in whip-smart fashion.
The Rest of Incoming TV
“Crematorium” Season 1 (available August 1)
“Surviving Escobar – Alias JJ” Season 1 (available August 1)
“The Hollywood Masters” Season 1 (available August 1)
“The Royal House of Windsor” Season 1 (available August 1)
“Voltron: Legendary Defender” Season 3 (available August 4)
“My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic” Season 7, Episodes 1-13 (available August 8)
“Home: Adventures of Tip & Oh” Season 3 (available August 11)
“True and The Rainbow Kingdom” Season 1 (available August 11)
“Dinotrux” Season 5 (available August 18)
“Glitter Force Doki Doki” Season 1 (available August 18)
“Dreamworks Dragons: Race to the Edge” Season 5 (available August 25)
“Once Upon a Time” Season 6 (available August 25)