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7 New Netflix Shows to Binge in March, and the Best Reasons to Watch

Netflix has quite a slate of March TV options, including DJ Idris Elba, the return of "Arrested Development," and animated robots.

TURN IT UP, CHARLIE

Idris Elba in “Turn Up Charlie”

Nick Wall/Netflix

5. “After Life” Season 1 (available March 8)

"After Life" Netflix Ricky Gervais Kerry Godliman

Ricky Gervais and Kerry Godliman in “After Life”

Rich Hardcastle / Netflix

Why Should I Watch? Ricky Gervais and Netflix haven’t been the dream partnership fans may have imagined when they first started collaborating. His latest Netflix stand-up special didn’t do him any favors, and his last two movies didn’t exactly wow anyone. But before everyone forgets what the comedian is capable of when his outrageous antics click into compelling character-driven stories, let’s remember “Derek” — “Derek” was very, very good for a season or so, and yes, it dive-bombed at the end, but Gervais’ last TV series was a moving, caring, and compassionate start. “After Life,” a six-episode dark comedy, reunites Gervais with “Derek” costar Kerry Godliman, and maybe that’s all it takes for the serious-minded funnyman to find the right spark again.

Bonus Reason: That being said, he’s walking a fine line with this one. Gervais plays Tony, a happy and kind man who purposefully steers himself in the opposite direction after his wife dies. Suicidal and lost, Tony decides to “punish the world” (per the Netflix synopsis) and stop caring about what he says and does. That’s a pretty thin premise, really; how far Gervais takes his vengeful antipathy and why he decides to pull back toward kindness (if he does) will determine if “After Life” is another rambling diatribe about atheism or an even-handed assessment of life’s value. Or, you know, it could just be funny. We shall see.

6. “Santa Clarita Diet” Season 3 (available March 29)

Santa Clarita Diet

Timothy Olyphant and Drew Barrymore in “Santa Clarita Diet”

Saeed Adyani / Netflix

Why Should I Watch? I’m not one to advocate for waiting around until a show gets good — usually a futile pursuit, always a painful one — but “Santa Clarita Diet” literally did the best thing it’s ever done with Season 2’s very last line: It promised to get weird. And really, it hasn’t yet. It’s been gross, sure. It’s even been unique, but usually for the wrong reasons. (Why do the actors always seem to be in on the jokes they’re making?) But when the severed head of Nathan Fillion unveils itself as a living, breathing, whiskey-soaking being unto itself — to someone other than Drew Barrymore’s undead real estate agent or her in-the-know hubby, Timothy Olyphant — then “Santa Clarita Diet” opened itself up to a broader, more inviting, and yes, weirder world. If it stops trying to be a traditional sitcom with a zombie twist and actually embraces being a full-on zombie comedy, then it might stand out for the right reasons. Give it an episode to see if it gets there. After all, we’ve come this far already.

Bonus Reason: Timothy Olyphant is really trying here. He tries so hard, he nearly pulls the whole show up from the heap of overstuffed and unworthy Netflix originals. He’s worth appreciating, even if you don’t keep watching after paying proper tribute.

7. Movies! Lots and lots of new, enticing movies.

TRIPLE FRONTIER (2019) - pictured Ben Affleck ("Redfly")Photo by Melinda Sue Gordon / Courtesy of NetflixTF_DAY14-0322.RAF

Ben Affleck in “Triple Frontier”

Melinda Sue Gordon/Netflix

Why Should I Watch? Movies? Why should you watch movies? For one, there are just as many big ticket movies this March as there are TV shows. But speaking as someone who watches far too much TV and thus lives in a permanent state of delayed gratification, movies are a great way to get closure, fast. Movies don’t take six seasons to deliver a proper resolution. Movies don’t abruptly end halfway through because not enough people showed up to the theater. Movies don’t hold back the best fights, kisses, or twists until the very last second. They give you the goods in one quick 90-minute package — that is, unless you’re watching a Marvel movie. (Cinematic universes are the bane of this TV critic’s moviegoing catharsis.) So go ahead. Take a break from your binge, and enjoy a complete, satisfying story in one sitting.

Bonus Reason: Oh, you wanted to know why you should watch these movies? You don’t even know what “these movies” are, so here’s a list with reasons for each:

a. “Triple Frontier” (March 13)
Why? Because “All Is Lost” director J.C. Chandor assembled quite the boys club for a morally questionable off-the-books military operation: Ben Affleck, Oscar Isaac, Garrett Hedlund, and Pedro Pascal are your main cast members. Enjoy.

b. “The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind” (March 1)
Why? Chiwetel Ejiofor’s directorial debut earned solid marks out of Sundance, plus it’s adapted from a compelling true story / autobiography.

c. “Girl” (March 15)
Why? Trans critics may disapprove of how this Belgian film was cast, but the story itself has garnered high marks.

d. “The Highwaymen” (March 29)
Why? Woody Harrelson expands the Carcosa Cinematic Universe with a buddy cop tale about the real-life pursuit of Bonnie and Clyde.

e. “The Dirt” (March 22)
Why? If you’re a Mötley Crüe fan, this is very much your jam. If not, you’ll need to possess an interest in extreme rocker antics, which tend to make for memorable movies.

For more, better movies, with more, better reasons — just wait ’til IndieWire’s David Ehrlich chimes in this Friday.

The Rest of Incoming TV

“On My Block” Season 2 (available in March)
“Larva Island” Season 2 (available March 1)
“Northern Rescue” Season 1 (available March 1)
“Romance is a Bonus Book” (Korea) (available March 2)
“Patriot Act with Hasan Minhaj” Volume 2 (available March 3)
“Secret City: Under the Eagle” Season 2 (available March 6)
“The Order” Season 1 (available March 7)
“Bangkok Love Stories: Hey You!” Season 1 (available March 8)
“Bangkok Love Stories: Innocence” Season 1 (available March 8)
“Formula 1: Drive to Survive” Season 1 (available March 8)
“Hunter X Hunter” Seasons 1-3 (available March 8)
“Immortals” Season 1 (available March 8)
“Shadow” Season 1 (available March 8)
“Terrace House: Opening New Doors” Part 6 (available March 12)
“If I Hadn’t Met You” Season 1 (available March 15)
“Las munecas de la mafia” Season 2 (available March 15)
“Queer Eye” Season 3 (available March 15)
“Robozuna” Season 2 (available March 15)
“YooHoo to the Rescue” (available March 15)
“Green Door” Season 1 (available March 16)
“Carlo & Malik” Season 1 (available March 22)
“Charlie’s Colorforms City” (available March 22)
“Historia de un crimen: Colosio” (available March 22)
“Most Beautiful Thing” (available March 22)
“Selling Sunset” (available March 22)
“Ainori Love Wagon: Asian Journey” Season 2 (available March 28)
“Osmosis” Season 1 (available March 29)
“The Legend of Cocaine Island” (available March 29)
“Traitors” (available March 29)
“How to Get Away with Murder” Season 5 (available March 30)
“El sabor de las margaritas” (available March 31)
“Trailer Park Boys: The Animated Series” (available March 31)

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