Ah, Netflix. The streaming service has reached a near-ubiquitous status in our current culture, finding its way into more than 200 million homes around the world and driving discussion about TV on a weekly basis. By now, it’s not a question of whether or not you have access to Netflix. It’s not even a question of if you’re going to watch Netflix. It’s merely a question of what you’re going to sample on the service this month.
In 2021, the query is growing all the more variable. Acquired staples like “The Office” and “The West Wing” are gone, forcing viewers to replace their perma-loop series, and the pandemic disrupted Netflix’s routine release of many favorite recurring originals. (When will we see “Ozark” Season 4? Not in April!) Netflix itself seems focused on new shows anyway, whether it’s the constant sampling of experimental content (like docuseries that interpret the dictionary or soothing sounds that double as mental health exercises) or the now-regular axe-drop on shows that have hit their third or fourth season.
So each month, IndieWire is going to help. Our long-running monthly list of the best new Netflix shows aims to sort through the heaping stack of content thrust upon subscribers and provide clarity into each buzzy series. Maybe it’s a new season, maybe it’s a new series; either way, we want to help shed a little light on how it came to be, who’s the target audience, and why you might be hearing about it in the weeks ahead. Each month, IndieWire will share whatever insights we have into each new show, all to better help you choose what to watch. So read on for this month’s Netflix’s picks, and be sure to scroll through to the bottom to see a full list of releases.
1. “Shadow and Bone” (available Friday, April 23)
Why Would I Watch? If you’re a fantasy fan — or intrigued by the various attempts to launch new TV and film universes — then “Shadow and Bone” should catch your eye. Adapted from Leigh Bardugo’s adventure novel of the same name, the new series follows an orphan with extraordinary powers who joins an army of magical soldiers in the hopes of stopping a monstrous force called… “the Shadow Fold.” The first trailer for the series plays like fantasy gobbledygook, where Jessie Mei Li’s lead can create life-saving light to fight back literal darkness, but one can assume things will make more sense after a few hourlong episodes than after a two-minute preview. This is, after all, part of the “Grishaverse.” (No, this is not John Grisham’s cinematic universe, sorry.)
Bonus Reason: Eric Heisserer serves as showrunner and writer for the eight-episode first season, and while the showrunner is typically an integral figure toward determining a series’ success or failure, this one is even more intriguing. Heisserer wrote the screenplay for “Arrival,” one of the trickier adaptations out there: It ended up on The Black List before Denis Villeneuve turned it into a blockbuster hit, and Heisserer landed an Oscar nomination for Best Adapted Screenplay. Since then, he wrote the screenplay for Netflix’s 2018 breakout “Bird Box,” as well as the Vin Diesel sci-fi dud “Bloodshot,” but the man clearly has good insights into turning the written word into an affecting screenplay. Let’s see what he can do with “Shadow and Bone.”
2. “Life in Color with David Attenborough” (available Thursday, April 22)
Why Would I Watch? When “Planet Earth” first premiered, the BBC docuseries earned great acclaim for its majestic depictions of our planet’s natural beauties, unparalleled footage of exotic species, and insightful discussion of deteriorating environments. It was also an instant favorite among potheads. The soothing pace, vivid colors, and David Attenborough’s gentle narration — combined with the rise in HDTV and Blu-ray — made for a decadent experience when stoned, or so I’ve been told, and now, 15 years, dozens of nature docs, and 36 states offering legal, medicinal weed later, Netflix is leaning into the doc’s original allure with “Life in Color,” a three-part nature docuseries narrated by Attenborough and featuring “revolutionary camera technology created specifically for the series” that allows viewers to “experience how colors invisible to the human eye play a vital role in animal interactions.” It is literally a nature docuseries about never-before-seen colors. I mean, this is going to be great. It is going to be great. Prepare accordingly.
Bonus Reason: Life remains stressful. Any time that be devoted to appreciating the beauty of the outside world and reminding us to do our part to preserve it is time well spent. So take a break, turn on “Life in Color,” and let the dulcet tones of David Attenborough whisk you away to a better place.
3. “Kingdom” Seasons 1 – 3 (no longer available after Friday, April 30)
Why Would I Watch? Our love for “Kingdom” should be pretty clear by now, but in case you missed past recommendations, know this: Byron Balasco’s MMA series is an exquisitely acted and rousingly produced family drama, borrowing the best bits from “Friday Night Lights” and “Warrior” to create one of the most compelling hourlong shows of TV’s latest golden age. Now, you might be asking, “If it’s that good why haven’t I heard of it?” Well, “Kingdom” only existed on DirecTV’s Audience Network before premiering on Netflix in July 2020, which means you could only watch it if you had a DirecTV subscription. Netflix righted that wrong last year, but now it’s about to drop off the streamer — so don’t miss it. Who knows when you’ll have another chance to appreciate the gritty glory of Venice Beach fight culture?
Bonus Reason: People might be aware of a man named Nick Jonas. I don’t know. I’ve heard he sings a bit. But he’s also in “Kingdom,” as the youngest member of the Kulina family and an up-and-coming fighter in his own right. Jonas not only has the physicality to play a convincing MMA member, but he’s got the broody swagger of a young Ben McKenzie, making him the perfect solemn foil to Jonathan Tucker’s outrageous older brother.
Eddy Chen / Netflix
4. “Dad, Stop Embarrassing Me!” Season 1 (available Wednesday, April 14)
Why Would I Watch? If you can’t tolerate TV without Jamie Foxx, then a) the last 20 years must’ve been a tough, and b) I’ve got good news. “Dad, Stop Embarrassing Me!” sees the Oscar winner leading a throwback multi-cam sitcom as Brian Dixon, a successful business owner and single father to Sasha (Kyla-Drew), a teenager who just moved in with her dad after her mom passed away. Helping the new primary caregiver out are his dad (David Alan Grier) and sister (Porscha Coleman), completing a modern family ready to raise this young woman right. The new Netflix show is a broad comedy playfrom an actor who broke through in his self-titled sitcom, “The Jamie Foxx Show,” so get ready to see a comedian revisiting his roots (Foxx plays multiple characters) and a parent embracing their new role. (Corrine Foxx, his daughter, also serves as an executive producer.)
Bonus Reason: Further cementing Foxx’s nostalgia trip, his new series is executive produced by Bentley Kyle Evans, who also EP’d — you guessed it — “The Jamie Foxx Show.” (If you want a side-by-side comparison, though, you’ll have to subscribe to BET+ for streaming access to “The Jamie Foxx Show.”)
5. “The Circle” Season 2 (available Wednesday, April 14)
Why Would I Watch? Netflix’s reality-competition series first premiered in the early days of the global pandemic and rode America’s lockdown to above-average buzz. Now, we’ll see if “The Circle” — which essentially turns social media into a competition, where contestants are isolated in their apartments and curate online personas to be judged by fellow players — can sustain interest beyond its awkward origins.
Bonus Reason: I mean, “The Circle” basically creates a recorded bubble of many people’s daily lives. You get to judge people’s social media profiles, only instead of getting trapped in a jealousy spiral while scrolling through a perfectly curated Instagram grid, you can peak behind the curtain and see how these posters actually behave in real life. If that sounds fun to you, by all means.
BBC/© Mammoth Screen/Roland Neveu
6. “The Serpent” Season 1 (available Friday, April 2)
Why Would I Watch? For starters, “The Serpent” is an eight-part limited series about a ‘70s era conman. It’s based on a true story and was shot on location in Thailand and the UK. If you’re a fan of the genre, you should already be hooked — but just in case, this original series was co-produced by the BBC, which ensures a certain level of quality. We’ll let Steve Greene “The Recommendation Machine” cover the rest, courtesy of his spoiler-free review: “What begins as an alias — the origins of which the audience sees in fits and starts as the series progresses — comes to encompass all of what allowed him to grow his intercontinental passport- and jewel-laundering scam, ensnaring a growing net of murder victims and accomplices and enemies along the way. In the process, the show surrounding him becomes a thorny biography with beguiling and cunning narrative choices alike.”
Bonus Reason: Tahar Rahim is a very good actor, with a very strong screen presence, and he should be working as often as he pleases. Those who’ve seen “Un Prophete,” “The Last Panthers,” “The Looming Tower,” and “The Eddy” know what I’m talking about, and hopefully anyone tempted into “The Serpent” then goes back to find these other gems.
7. “The Innocent” Season 1 (available Friday, April 30)
Why Would I Watch? To date, I have seen two adaptations of Harlan Coban novels. The first was the 2006 critical favorite “Tell No One,” a French thriller about a man whose long-dead wife resurfaces shortly before he’s accused of a separate murder. The second was the 2018 Netflix limited series “Safe,” which stars Michael C. Hall as a widower whose daughter’s disappearance sends him down an ever-deepening rabbit hole of local revelations. Both the film and the series start off with heavy drama and then build twists on top of twists until they reach largely satisfying conclusions. Is it fair to expect “The Innocent” to do the same? Maybe, maybe not. Delivering a juicy, gasp-inducing mystery time and time again isn’t easy, but Coban has been pumping them out for years. Now it’s up to the creators of “The Innocent” to deliver one more stunner. (Full disclosure: There’s another Coban adaptation on Netflix already: “The Woods,” a six-part limited series that hit the streamer in June 2020. I missed that one, so now there are two “new” Cobans to catch up on! Oh boy!)
Bonus Reason: OK, maybe you want to know what “The Innocent” is actually about. Per Netflix, the new series follows Matt (Mario Casas), a newlywed trying to start his life over nine years after a jarring tragedy, but his wife, Olivia (Aura Garrido), gets a shocking call during a business trip that brings back the past — and this time, he might not be found innocent. Ooo, sounds wild. Let’s do this!
The Rest of Incoming TV in April
“Magical Andres” Season 2 (available April 1)
“Prank Encounters” Season 2 (available April 1)
“Worn Stories” (available April 1)
“Secrets of Great British Castles” Season 1 (available April 1)
“Family Reunion” Part 3 (available April 5)
“The Last Kids on Earth: Happy Apocalypse to You” (available April 6)
“The Big Day” Collection 2 (available April 7)
“Snabba Cash” Season 1 (available April 7)
“This Is a Robbery: The World’s Biggest Art Heist” (available April 7)
“The Wedding Coach” (available April 7)
“The Way of the Househusband” (available April 8)
“Nicky, Ricky, Dicky & Dawn” Seasons 1 – 4 (available April 12)
“The Baker and the Beauty” Season 1 (available April 13)
“Mighty Express” Season 3 (available April 13)
“My Love: Six Stories of True Love” (available April 13)
“Law School” Season 1 (available April 14)
“Fast & Furious Spy Racers” Season 4: Mexico (available April 16)
“Why Are You Like This” (available April 16)
“Luis Miguel – The Series” Season 2 (available April 18)
“PJ Masks” Season 3 (available April 19)
“Izzy’s Koala World” Season 2 (available April 20)
“Zero” Season 1 (available April 21)
“Fatma” Season 1 (available April 27)
“Go! Go! Cory Carson” Season 4 (available April 27)
“Sexify” Season 1 (available April 28)
“Headspace Guide to Sleep” (available April 28)
“Yasuke” Season 1 (available April 29)
“Pet Stars” (available April 30)
“The Unremarkable Juanquini” Season 2 (available April 30)
1. “Waffles + Mochi” (available March 16)
Why Would I Watch? Puppets and Michelle Obama are a pretty unbeatable combination, but “Waffles + Mochi” offers far more imagination, inspiration, and flavorful insanity than that. Two best friends from The Land of Frozen Food are set free when Mrs. Obama opens a supermarket and needs two capable chefs to cook up diverse dishes for her new customers. So Waffle (who looks like a blue reptile that slithered inside a sheep) and Mochi (a pink rice cake by way of Lucy Sparrow) set off in their flying shopping cart to learn various recipes and cooking styles from around the globe.
Bonus Reason: If keeping your children occupied isn’t your primary motivation in choosing entertainment, “Waffles + Mochi” offers a slew of fun cameos from famous faces, including Jack Black, Rashida Jones, Zach Galifianakis, Mandy Moore, and Common, not to mention chefs like Samin Nosrat and Massimo Bottura. Oh, and did we mention Michelle Obama is the host? You’re gonna say no to Michelle Obama? Shut your mouth, you are not.
2. “Last Chance U: Basketball” (available March 10)
Why Would I Watch? From the creators of “Last Chance U” (Football) and “Cheer”(leading), comes the basketball equivalent docuseries. The new eight-episode series follows an East Los Angeles community college squad filled with former Division I recruits and high-potential players who want to get to the next level of competition — and life. Coach John Mosley is there to help them, but he’s on a mission himself. As with previous editions, “Last Chance U” is about more than just winning. It’s about carving out a better life.
Bonus Reason: “Last Chance U” premieres Wednesday, March 10. If you watch an episode every day, you’ll be primed for the play-in round of the NCAA Tournament, starting Thursday, March 18 — and you’ll have plenty of time left in the lead-up to watch the conference tournaments and fill out your bracket. March Madness is the best time of year for basketball fans, and now Netflix is here to make it even better.
3. “Operation Varsity Blues: The College Admissions Scandal” (available March 17)
Why Would I Watch? In 2019, Lori Laughlin and Felicity Huffman dominated headlines when federal prosecutors revealed an investigation into a criminal conspiracy that helped the uber-wealthy’s kids cheat their way into college. That investigation was called “Operation Varsity Blues,” an abysmally uncool title for an absolutely wild scheme run by Rick Singer, who illicitly placed children from more than 750 families into the universities of their choosing. Now, director of “Fyre: The Greatest Party That Never Happened” Chris Smith is blending interviews and recreations to show exactly how Singer pulled off the scandal for as long as he did. Matthew Modine will play the white-haired Newport, CA criminal, along with other stand-ins, in scenes that recreate real recordings from FBI wiretaps. If you want to understand what happened beyond the headlines, this doc is for you.
Bonus Reason: I mean, who doesn’t like Matthew Modine?! “Full Metal Jacket”? “Vision Quest”? “Short Cuts”!? Look ‘em up.
4. “The One” Season 1 (available March 12)
Why Would I Watch? Speaking of illicit matching… what single person hasn’t thought, in the midst of endless swiping or too many bad dates, “God, why can’t someone just tell me who I should be with?” “The One,” based on John Marrs’ book, is set a decade after a company claims it can match people with their best possible partner using one simple DNA sample. Millions have taken the test and coupled up, but now, secrets are spilling out. The company founder is being investigated. And bodies are turning up cold. “The One” looks like a “Black Mirror” episode extended into a serialized narrative, but perhaps writer Howard Overman (“Misfits”) can make it work.
Bonus Reason: If you are asking yourself those questions, “The One” looks like more of a cautionary tale than a dream scenario, so maybe watching will put your restless mind at ease. Keep looking. The right partner is out there.
5. “Pacific Rim: The Black” Season 1 (available March 4)
Why Would I Watch? If you’re a “Pacific Rim” ride-or-die fan, then you’ve likely already devoured all seven episodes of this anime pseudo-sequel, but for those less enamored with Guillermo del Toro’s 2013 “robots vs. monsters” movie, “The Black” offers a new way in. Set in the distant future, after the Kaiju (giant, Godzilla-like monsters) have risen from the ocean and taken over Australia (yes, the entire continent), two stranded siblings discover a dormant Jaeger (giant robot) and use it to find their parents and get out of their dangerous home alive. So rather than the fate of the world hanging in the balance, “Pacific Rim: The Black” tells a more personal story of perseverance, family, and big ol’ smash fests.
Bonus Reason: While del Toro isn’t involved in this one, neither is Charlie Hunnam. Also, this is not “Pacific Rim: Uprising,” and the visuals look damn good. So you win some, and you lose some… take that as you will.
6. “Country Comfort” Season 1 (available March 19)
Why Would I Watch? Any show that starts in the iconic Nashville bar Tootsie’s can’t be all bad, right? “Country Comfort” is a cheery multicam sitcom starring Katherine McPhee as an aspiring country singer who takes a childcare job when her career suffers a setback. Suddenly, Bailey is a fish-out-of-water nanny to five troublemaking kiddos. Their mother died a year earlier, they’ve already sent nine nannies running, and their father, a rugged cowboy named Beau (Eddie Cibrian), is apparently incapable of wrangling them alone. So long as Bailey’s happiness doesn’t hinge on giving up her profession to take care of kids, maybe this four-quadrant sitcom has something more to offer than a pretty shot of a pink country music institution.
Bonus Reason: Janet Varney might be playing the wicked stepmother role in “Country Comfort,” but the voice behind Korra in “The Legend of Korra” and the actor behind Becca in “You’re the Worst” is reliable source of joy for viewers. Let’s see what she can do with this one.
7. “Weeds” Seasons 1-7 (no longer available March 31)
Why Would I Watch? For one, this is your last chance — at least for the foreseeable future. All seven seasons of Mary-Louise Parker’s dark-comic crime drama are leaving Netflix at the end of the month, and there are no confirmed plans for its return to streaming soon after. (While it would seem logical for “Weeds” to pop up on Showtime’s streaming service, its original network, or the newly launched Paramount+, which is owned by Showtime’s parent company, ViacomCBS, the rights are actually controlled by Lionsgate, which just made a rather odd deal to license “Mad Men” across multiple services. So who knows where it will end up.)
Bonus Reason: “Weeds” is good! Created by “Orange Is the New Black” mastermind Jenji Kohan, the addictive suburban drama features the enviable cast of Parker, Justin Kirk, Elizabeth Perkins, Kevin Nealon, and Romany Malco. It’s emotionally grounded, yet unafraid to get weird, and it’s one of the easier marathon sessions you can partake in this month. Light up, give it a go, see where it leads.
The Rest of March’s Incoming TV
“DC Super Hero Girls” Season 1 (available March 1)
“Power Rangers: Beast Morphers” Season 2 (available March 1)
“Word Party” Season 5 (available March 2)
“Murder Among the Mormons” (available March 3)
“Pacific Rim: The Black” Season 1 (available March 4)
“Pokemon Journeys: The Series” Part 5 (available March 5)
“Nevenka: Breaking the Silence” (available March 5)
“Bombay Begums” Season 1 (available March 8)
“The Houseboat” Limited Series (available March 9)
“StarBeam” Season 3 (available March 8)
“Dealer” Season 1 (available March 10)
“Marriage or Mortgage” (available March 10)
“Love Alarm” Season 2 (available March 12)
“Paradise PD” Part 3 (available March 12)
“The Lost Pirate Kingdom” (available March 15)
“Abla Fahita: Drama Queen” Season 1 (available March 15)
“Zero Chill” Season 1 (available March 15)
“Under Suspicion: Uncovering the Wesphael Case” (available March 17)
“Alien TV” Season 2 (available March 19)
“Formula 1: Drive to Survive” Season 3 (available March 19)
“Sky Rojo” Season 1 (available March 19)
“Who Killed Sara?” (available March 24)
“Millennials” Season 3 (available March 25)
“Big Time Rush” Seasons 1-4 (available March 26)
“The Irregulars” Season 1 (available March 26)
“Nailed It! Double Trouble” (available March 26)
“Rainbow High” Season 1 (available March 29)
“Haunted: Latin America” (available March 31)
1. “The Crew” Season 1 (available February 15)
Why Would I Watch? If you’re a fan of Kevin James, then you’ll certainly want to make a pit stop for this comedy series. The former “King of Queens” and titular Kevin of “Kevin Can Wait” leads “The Crew,” a multi-cam sitcom centering on a NASCAR crew chief (played by James) and his dedicated crew, whose lives are thrown into disarray when their owner retires and puts his daughter, Catherine (Jillian Mueller), in charge. The young, intrepid new boss has lots of ideas on how to revolutionize the racing team, and it’s up to James to learn when to accept change for the better and buckle down on the tried and true ways of yesteryear.
Bonus Reason: NASCAR fans should know this is an officially licensed TV series, complete with two producers from the National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing. But the rest of “The Crew” is made up of James’ family favorites. Showrunner and writer Jeff Lowell is technically the outsider, coming from one of Netflix’s longest-running comedies, “The Ranch,” but director Andy Fickman (“Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2,” “Kevin Can Wait”), EP Jeff Sussman (“The King of Queens,” “Paul Blart”), and EP Todd Garner (“Paul Blart 2”) are all in the star’s circle of trust. So again, if you like James — or if you just enjoyed watching syndicated reruns of “King of Queens” while doing dishes — perhaps “The Crew” is the right fit for you.
2. “The Sinner” Season 3, “Jamie” (available February 6)
Why Would I Watch? Did you like “The Sinner” Season 1 (starring Jessica Biel) or “The Sinner” Season 2 (starring Carrie Coon)? Of course you did, they were good! So why not take a flier on Season 3, which continues Harry Ambrose’s detective story (played by Bill Pullman) as he pursues a new case involving Jamie Burns (the new season’s star, Matt Bomer).
Bonus Reason: OK, so maybe Jessica Biel isn’t your bag, and somehow you slept on another brilliant Carrie Coon performance. That’s OK! (I mean, it’s not OK. Biel didn’t do anything to you, and Coon is one of our finest thespians.) But you can still enjoy “The Sinner” Season 3 sans backstory. Derek Simonds’ anthology mystery starts a new case each year, and while you may have a few questions about Harry’s backstory (Pullman is the series’ one constant), they won’t get in the way of enjoying this twisty new tale.
3. “Ginny & Georgia” Season 1 (available February 24)
Why Would I Watch? Have you been watching too much “Gilmore Girls”? Are you in need of a change, but can’t will yourself to leave the cozy mother-daughter story in Stars Hollow? Well, you’re in luck. Netflix has pumped out a brand new original series about Ginny (Antonia Gentry), a mature-for-her-age 15-year-old girl who moves to a small town in New England with her 30-year-old, not-mature-enough mom, Georgia (Brianne Howey). After bouncing around for years, the three-person family (including brother Austin) is hoping to settle down, but they’re not exactly ready to open an inn. “Ginny and Georgia” promises much higher stakes than the family squabbles and boy trouble that troubled Lorelai and Rory, as Georgia has the police on her back as soon as she gets settled. OK, so maybe this isn’t a cozy show, but hey, it’s got to try something different.
Bonus Reason: Scott Porter — aka Jason Street, aka Six, aka QB1 on “Friday Night Lights” — co-stars as Mayor Paul Randolph, who’s presumably the aforementioned New England town’s elected official and, based on the series’ trailer, a possible love interest for Georgia. For years now, Porter has been popping up as a delightful surprise in shows like “Harley Quinn,” “Archibald’s Next Big Thing,” and non-voiceover/in-person roles like “Why Women Kill,” “The To Do List,” and “The Good Wife,” so it’s about time he gets another rewarding series regular role, like he had on “Hart of Dixie.” Here’s hoping this is it.
4. “Good Girls” Season 3 (available February 16)
Why Would I Watch? Over three seasons, Jenna Bans’ NBC comedic thriller has garnered quite a fan base. Christina Hendricks, Retta, and Mae Whitman star as the eponymous and sardonic “Good Girls,” whose decision to rob a supermarket (as a Robin Hood sort of maneuver to strike back against bad men taking everything from them) quickly spirals out of control. The series limped out of the gate a bit when it debuted in 2018, but it’s since capitalized on its bold storytelling choices and found great uses for its uber-talented cast. If you’re in the mood for a light heist comedy mixed with good melodrama, this one will likely win you over.
Bonus Reason: Mae Whitman. Mae Whitman is the bonus reason, because Mae Whitman is an excellent actor. The former “Parenthood” star just keeps getting better, bringing her deep emotional chops from the Jason Katims’ tearjerker, innate comic timing, and formidable levels of sass to a character she can spin in any damn direction she pleases. And that’s a valuable skillset for a show that likes to pivot in new directions. Enjoy.
5. “Behind Her Eyes” (available February 17)
Why Would I Watch? “Behind Her Eyes” sounds like a fairly typical set-up, if a bit outdated. Louise (Simona Brown) is a single mother working as a secretary who has an affair with her married boss, David (Tom Bateman). Soon enough, she’s drawn to his wife, Adele (Eve Hewson), and the two become friends. But there’s far more going on than a simple workplace affair. Louise has vivid, colorful dreams that lead Adele to tell her she’s special, just like her, and the more Louise comes to learn about each member of the couple, the more their marriage reveals itself to be something… different. Based on the 2017 novel by Sarah Pinborough, “Behind Her Eyes” aims to put its own stamp on the love triangle as erotic thriller.
Bonus Reason: I’ll be honest: At first, the only reason this title stood out to me was because I thought it was another remake of “The Secret in Their Eyes.” For those unfamiliar (or with less vivid memories), “The Secret in Their Eyes” was first a 2009 Argentinian crime drama from director Juan José Campanella, which uses a time-hopping story structure to examine a 25-year-old rape and murder case, as remembered by two investigators. After winning the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film, the story (based on Eduardo Sacheri’s novel “The Question in Their Eyes”), was remade starring Chiwetel Ejiofor, Nicole Kidman, and Julia Roberts, in a 2015 movie that promptly bombed. What does this have to do with “Behind Her Eyes”? Nothing. I just wanted to be honest. This is mainly a confession of my own shoddy, unreliable memory, but, you know, it could also work as a backup of sorts: If “Behind Her Eyes” isn’t your jam, seek out “The Secret in Their Eyes” instead. The remake is streaming on Netflix, though I would highly advise you seek out the original instead.
6. “Firefly Lane” Season 1 (available February 3)
Why Would I Watch? If you are the long-suffering Katherine Heigl fan, waiting for her to find a new hit series and thus return to your home on a regular basis, then… this… is… it? “Firefly Lane” quickly climbed to the No. 1 program on Netflix during its first week of release, proving there’s either an insatiable appetite for more Dr. Izzie, more dramas about female friendship, or more Sarah Chalke! Hey, she was on “Scrubs”! People liked “Scrubs,” and people liked her in it. What a one-two punch of former ABC TV stars this turned out to be. My goodness. Anyway, “Firefly Lane” is a time-jumping soap about best friends forever, and what obstacles get in the way of their childhood dreams and lifelong friendships. If that’s what you’re in the mood for — and apparently, many of you are — then go nuts.
Bonus Reason: I mean, it’s gotta be the cast? One or the other, maybe both. As IndieWire’s Kristen Lopez writes in her spoiler-free review:
“Firefly Lane” is determined to wring tears and laughter out of you, and it does. It’s just that more often than not, it does so unintentionally and for all the wrong reasons. But you can’t lay the show’s problems at the feet of its heroines, who are all varying ranges of great. Chalke and Heigl make the series far more entertaining than it has any right to be.
7. “Bates Motel” Seasons 1-5 (available until February 19)
Why Would I Watch? Because it’s leaving! While Netflix saw many of its big-ticket acquisitions depart the platform last month, February still has a few series dropping off the service, and “Bates Motel” is definitely the best of the bunch. (Though horror film fans may want to check out “The Gift” before it’s gone.) A&E’s scripted original series “Bates Motel” does the unthinkable: It expands on Alfred Hitchcock’s classic, going so far as to reimagine the Marion Crane story in “Psycho,” and succeeds at every turn. Thanks to the best kind of scenery-chewing performances from Vera Farmiga and Freddie Highmore, as well as tight, tense scripts from showrunner Kerry Ehrin, “Bates Motel” is a twisty delight for all five seasons. Watch it however you can before it’s gone, even if it means skipping showers (which, you know, you may want to do anyway).
Bonus Reason: Oof, I mean, what’s left to say about a show that’s been off the air for a few years and regularly praised? I guess If you’re looking for a TV show based on a classic horror movie, “Bates Motel” is a sure-thing. Its three Emmy nominations, intense cult following, and plenty of critics’ endorsements all speak to its guaranteed quality. The new CBS drama “Clarice” — based on Thomas Harris’ classic character and picking up shortly after “The Silence of the Lambs” — well, it can’t exactly promise the same. So if you have to choose one, go with “Bates Motel.” There are more episodes available anyway.
The Rest of February’s Incoming TV
“Love Daily” Season 1 (available February 1)
“My Dead Ex” Season 1 (available February 1)
“The Unsetting” Season 1 (available February 1)
“Zac and Mira” Seasons 1 and 2 (available February 1)
“Kid Cosmic” Season 1 (available February 2)
“Mighty Express” Season 2 (available February 2)
“Tiffany Haddish Presents: They Ready” Season 2 (available February 2)
“Hache” Season 2 (available February 5)
“Invisible City” Season 1 (available February 5)
“iCarly” Seasons 1 and 2 (available February 8)
“Crime Scene: The Vanishing at the Cecil Hotel” (available February 10)
“Capitani” Season 1 (available February 11)
“Buried by the Bernards” (available February 12)
“Nadiya Bakes” (available February 12)
“Behind Her Eyes” (available February 17)
“MeatEater” Season 9, Part 2 (available February 17)
“Tribes of Europa” Season 1 (available February 19)
“Two Sentence Horror Stories” Season 2 (available February 24)