1. “Turn Up Charlie” (available March 15)
Why Should I Watch? Idris Elba made a TV show combining his two passions: acting and DJ’ing. Imagining John Luther strapping on a headset and bobbing his head to club bangers should be enough reason to watch, but if you need more, know Elba’s eponymous Charlie is not only a struggling disc jockey; he’s also the onscreen successor to Vin Diesel’s “Pacifier” and Kevin on “This Is Us” — a manny. When Charlie sees one last shot at stardom, he takes a gig watching his famous best friend’s daughter (played by Frankie Hervey), thus completing the sex symbol triumvirate: a DJ (and thus, presumably a good dancer), a ladies’ man (it’s in the Netflix plot summary), and a responsible father figure (or, at least, he’s trying to be).
Bonus Reason: To clarify, yes, Elba is a creator, producer, and star of “Turn Up Charlie,” but the eight-part first season also features a particularly under-utilized thespian: Piper Perabo. The former Golden Globe nominee and MTV Movie Award winner hasn’t been properly utilized since her four-episode arc on NBC’s quickly canceled Matthew Perry series, “Go On.” Perhaps Elba knows how to maximize her talents — at the very least, she’s going to be seen by a good number of Netflix subscribers, so hopefully a little more appreciation gets out into the world.
2. “Delhi Crime” (available March 22)
Netflix / Ivanhoe Pictures
Why Should I Watch? Premiering its first two episodes at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival, what was then called “Delhi Crime Story” got quickly snatched up by Netflix in no small part because of its addictive pace — an uncomfortably enrapturing experience thanks mainly to the story’s attention to detail. Tracking a heinous crime in India (that really happened), Richie Mehta’s meticulously researched investigation follows the multiple branches of Delhi’s police force as they tirelessly work to find the culprits and bring them to justice. It delves into the personal lives of its lead investigator, Vartika Chaturvedi (played by Shefali Shah), and select other parties, but the urgency revolves around nailing down the truth before it escapes into the city itself.
Bonus Reason: This series isn’t for everyone. Above is the polite summary of a show that’s anything but when it comes to divulging the grisly details of the crime in question. If you’re a true crime buff, or merely someone with a strong stomach, you’ll be just fine — this isn’t a gore fest — but if you’re sensitive to stark descriptions of wretched acts, steel yourself accordingly.
3. “Love, Death & Robots” Season 1 (available March 15)
Why Should I Watch? From “Deadpool” director Tim Miller and Oscar-nominee David Fincher comes “Love, Death & Robots,” an adult animated anthology series made up of 18 episodes ranging from five to 15 minutes a piece. Though the lack of an Oxford comma puts the Netflix original down in the count early, it’s hard to deny the creative appeal of these minds — plus Jennifer Miller and Josh Donen (“Mindhunter”), son of Stanley Donen, who died February 23 — when put in such an open conceptual setting. The episodes aren’t restricted by content (they’re R-rated, for sure) or genre (the official synopsis says sci-fi, fantasy, horror, and comedy are all in the mix). Can they coalesce into a powerful overall experience? Will they actually have something to say about life’s essentials (or, you know, robots)? Time will tell, but an experimental short-form series on a Netflix budget is pretty enticing by itself.
Bonus Reason: Animation fans should be happy with the diversity on display. “Love, Death & Robots” features old-school two-dimensional, hand-drawn graphics as well as state-of-the-art, photo-realistic CGI. There’s also an episode titled “Sucker of Souls,” which is about a bloodthirsty demon battling… cats. So, yeah, we gotta see that.
4. “Arrested Development” Season 5, Part B (available March 15)
Why Should I Watch? By now, you know if you should watch or not. Following the creative fallout in Season 4, the long wait for news on Season 5, and the controversial roll-out of the finished product, “Arrested Development” has tested the patience of even its most loyal fans. While the first block of new episodes was the best the show’s seen since its original run, this less-than-auspicious release — two weeks out, and still no trailer? — indicates a lowered overall interest rate. Netflix knows exactly how many people watched Season 5a, just as it knows how many shut it off before finishing. That doesn’t mean the new season is bad, it just means there’s less cultural pressure to watch it.
Bonus Reason: OK, OK. If you’re curious how “Arrested Development” resolves itself (assuming this is the end), then Season 5b might just provide it. Oscar (Jeffrey Tambor) Is on the run with Buster (Tony Hale); Lindsay (Portia de Rossi) is still hoping for a political future, and Gob (Will Arnett) is lost without his true love. How the family comes together (or doesn’t) has always been at the crux of the loose plots, so why not see how creator Mitch Hurwitz decides to wrap his long, winding series?