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7 New Netflix Shows to Check Out in August 2019, and the Best Reasons to Watch

August gets all the critically acclaimed Netflix series rejected by the Emmys, from "Mindhunter" to "Dear White People."

"GLOW" Betty Gilpin and Alison Brie

Betty Gilpin and Alison Brie in “GLOW”

Ali Goldstein/Netflix

5. “Rocko’s Modern Life: Static Cling” (available August 9)

"Rocko's Modern Life: Static Cling" Netflix

“Rocko’s Modern Life: Static Cling”


Why Should I Watch? Originally set to air on Nickelodeon, the original home of “Rocko’s Modern Life” sold distribution rights to its revival movie and now Netflix will debut the modern-day return to O-Town. Picking up 20 years after the series finale (which aired about 23 years ago), “Rocko’s Modern Life: Static Cling” finds Rocko, the exasperated wallaby, and his friends Heffer (an exuberant steer) and Philbert (an anxious turtle) returning to an Earth that’s very different than when they left for the final frontier. Suddenly, their hometown is awash with coffee shops, food trucks, cell phones, and many other modern conveniences many of us take for granted. The movie turns a lot of these common conceptions on their head, asking what the real value is of staring at your screen more than you gaze at your partner, but the satirical cartoon is as visually comical as it is filled with layered, written jokes — this is going to be a good time, and more than just former fans who’ve grown up to be TV critics should give it a shot.

Bonus Reason: “Rocko’s Modern Life” is embracing its revival with a meta twist: When Rocko is confronted with all this change, he seeks comfort in the mad new world and tries to revive his favorite TV show. How that goes for Rocko won’t just shed light on a culture overrun by reboots, remakes, and revivals, but it could tell us whether or not this is indeed the last chapter in “Modern Life” or if Rocko will be back to revisit the ever-changing world again.

6. “Jane the Virgin” Season 5 (available August 8)

Gina Rodriguez, "Jane the Virgin"

Gina Rodriguez, “Jane the Virgin”

The CW

Why Should I Watch? “Jane the Virgin” has earned raves throughout its five-season run on The CW. After wrapping up July 31, the series finale will be available on Netflix just days after its initial airdate thanks to a soon-expiring CW-Netflix deal that allows such quick turnaround — and thank goodness this one slipped in before the deal expires. Jennie Snyder Urman’s satirical telenovela has grown beyond its initial premise and found exciting new storylines, relationships, and issues to explore, making for an addictive, positive, and enjoyable viewing experience. So if you’ve been waiting to watch until it’s over, now’s the moment to dig in.

Bonus Reason: Between “Mindhunter” and “13 Reasons Why,” you need as many great, feel-good shows as you can find this August. “Jane the Virgin” isn’t just better than your other options — you’ll feel better when it’s over, too.

7. “13 Reasons Why” Season 3 (available August 23)

13 Reasons Why Season 3

“13 Reasons Why”


Why Should I Watch? You should not be watching “13 Reasons Why,” and unlike with “The Dark Crystal” above, there’s not an exception to that statement. I know ranking this at No. 7 might seem like an endorsement, but consider this a warning, like, “check out” these reasons not to watch “13 Reasons Why.” After all, many things have gone wrong with this troublesome drama since it launched. For one, it was never designed to go beyond one season, but the perceived success in viewership pushed Netflix to greenlight additional episodes… which proved disastrous. While the first season squeaked by on its mysterious premise and strong central performances, the sequel dropped to a Metacritic average of 49. While some critics said it was merely unnecessary (a classic example of Netflix bloat, making content for the sake of content), others saw insensitive, exploitative, sadness porn. The story of one girl’s suicide and its motivating factors was dissected beyond the breaking point in a preposterous lawsuit and irresponsible side plots involving rape and sodomy (of two separate students). To be fair, Season 3 could rebound and take its characters in a whole new direction (Netflix promises no suicides will take place this season), but a qualitative turnaround seems unlikely at this stage. So, please “check out” the bolded options below for better options in August.

Bonus Reason: The further attention paid to “13 Reasons Why” because of its follow-up seasons resulted in the first season being edited years after release. Now, original footage has been removed of the controversial suicide scene, leaving defenders angry and critics mystified by the timing. Why now? Well, because there’s already a Season 4 in the works, and if Netflix is going to keep pushing this show, they don’t want the same old skeletons resurfacing to haunt new seasons. Too bad they can’t edit out all of Season 2, or erase it from our memories.

The Rest of Incoming TV

“Ask the Storybots” Season 3 (available now)
“Basketball or Nothing” Season 1 (available now)
“Derry Girls” Season 2 (available now)
“She-Ra and the Princesses of Power” Season 3 (available now)
“Patriot Act with Hasan Minhaj” Volume 4 (available now)
“No Good Nick” Part 2 (available August 5)
“Dollar” Season 1 (available August 8)
“The Naked Director” Season 1 (available August 8)
“Wu Assassins” Season 1 (available August 8)
“Cable Girls” Season 4 (available August 9)
“The Family” (limited series available August 9)
“The InBESTigators” Season 1 (available August 9)
“iZombie” Season 5 (available August 9)
“Sintonia” Season 1 (available August 9)
“Spirit Riding Free: Pony Tales” (available August 9)
“Tiny House Nation” Volume 1 (available August 9)
“Knightfall” Season 2 (available August 9)
“The 100” Season 6 (available August 14)
“Cannon Busters” Season 1 (available August 15)
“45 rpm” Season 1 (available August 16)
“Apache: La vida de Carlos Tevez” Season 1 (available August 16)
“Better Than Us” Season 1 (available August 16)
“Diagnosis” Season 1 (available August 16)
“Frontera Verde” (limited series available August 16)
“QB1: Beyond the Lights” Season 3 (available August 16)
“Victim Number Eight” Season 1 (available August 16)
“Hyperdrive” Season 1 (available August 21)
“Love Alarm” Season 1 (available August 22)
“Hero Mask” Season 2 (available August 23)
“Rust Valley Restorers” (available August 23)
“Million Pound Menu” Season 2 (available August 27)
“Trolls: The Beat Goes On!” Season 7 (available August 27)
“Droppin’ Cash” Season 2 (available August 28)
“Workin’ Moms” Season 3 (available August 29)
“Mighty Little Bheem” Season 2 (available August 30)
“Styling Hollywood” (available August 30)
“True and the Rainbow Kingdom: Wild, Wild Yetis” Seasons 1-2 (available August 30)
“Luo Bao Bei” Season 1 (available August 31)

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