Broadcast TV has, a bit surprisingly, been dominating the TV buzz over the past week thanks mostly to the huge premiere of “Roseanne,” in addition to several other midseason bows. But Netflix is gearing up for its own big push as it slides several premieres into April and May in order to make the Emmy eligibility cutoff.
This month’s big Netflix premieres include a high-profile remake, a new twist on a popular food series, the return of one of its buzziest international series, a new auto-themed show and more. Here are some of the key Netflix shows you’ll want to binge this month:
1. “Lost in Space” (available April 13)
Why Should I Watch It? Netflix has been angling for a sci-fi hit since “Sense8,” and its big-budget reboot of Irwin Allen’s ’60s CBS series may fill the void “Altered Carbon” couldn’t quite plug. Toby Stephens (“Black Sails”) plays John Robinson, the commander of an expedition to colonize a distant planet, but he and his family face unexpected hardships when their spaceship crashes on an unknown planet after flying through a rip in spacetime. With the help of an anxious robot, the Robinson family must battle a strange alien and “their own personal demons” before they can escape the planet. Both a family show and an adventure series, “Lost in Space” tries to offer something for everyone — much like the 1998 film, which starred Gary Oldman (for artistic credibility), Heather Graham and Jared Harris (for sex appeal), and Matt LeBlanc — for “Friends” fans, a.k.a. everyone.
Best Episode: Reviews are embargoed until April 2, so our lips are sealed. That being said, after two hours with Netflix’s “Lost in Space,” there’s still reason to be excited for the rest… unlike the 20-year-old movie.
2. “Chef’s Table: Pastry” (available April 13)
Why Should I Watch It? “Chef’s Table” has proven to be a fascinating series capable of reinventing itself each season without diverting from the revealing and rapturous recipe that guarantees a delicious episode every time. Now, in its latest concoction, the Netflix original series is taking on one of the most beloved cooking shows ever: “The Great British Bakeoff.” Though the “Chef’s” recipe isn’t altered to include competition, any reality-based baking show focused on deserts has to be compared to the hugely popular series from across the pond. Can this four-part examination of the world’s most renowned international pastry chefs stack up? With Milk Bar and Room4Dessert on the menu, we’re certainly ready for a sampling.
Best Episode: As jazzed as we are for Christina Tosi’s episode, it’s the trip to Italy — visiting Corrado Assenza’s Caffé Sicilia — that should have viewers salivating.
3. “3%” Season 2 (available April 27)
Why Should I Watch It? The first Portuguese-language Netflix series and second non-English original ever, “3%” was a sleeper hit for the streaming network when Season 1 debuted in November 2016. Set in a dystopian future where most people live in horrific poverty, but a select few make it to paradise, “3%” is titled after the percentage of 20-year-old candidates who pass the grueling tests required to live the good life. Season 1 looked at a group going through that very process, and Season 2 will give us our first glimpse at “the Offshore” (a.k.a. where the wealthy few get to live). If any of that sounds like your thing — sci-fi dystopias or “Hunger Games”-style survival challenges — “3%” might be for you.
Best Episode: Netflix hasn’t made screeners available yet, but you can check out your first look at Season 2 here.
4. “Bobby Kennedy for President” (available April 27)
Courtesy of Netflix
Why Should I Watch It? “Gideon’s Army” and “Trapped” director Dawn Porter uses never-before-seen and recently revived footage as well as an impressive array of talking heads to examine what America gained and what was lost in the life of Bobby Kennedy. Pegged to the 50th anniversary of his 83-day presidential bid, the four-part docuseries includes interviews with William Vanden Heuvel, Dolores Huerta, Rep. John Lewis, Harry Belafonte, Paul Schrade, Marian Wright Edelman, and Peter Edelman. And for anyone in the New York area, “Bobby Kennedy for President” is set to debut at the Tribeca Film Festival two days before it hits Netflix.
Best Episode: It’s four hours long — watch the whole thing! (And look for our review soon.)