The Winter Olympics is over, film awards season is drawing to a close, and it’s time to focus once again on TV premieres. March is a busy month for Netflix, and here are seven new and returning shows to keep an eye out for.
Why Should I Watch It? In Season 1, “Marvel’s Jessica Jones” stood out from the comic book company-turned-entertainment behemoth’s other Netflix shows. Krysten Ritter gave a charismatic, smoky turn in a noir story with shades of superhero stuff. Jones’ P.I. made things fun with her zero-shits attitude, and the dark central story drew audiences into the private life our hero wanted to keep that way. Frankly, I don’t know much about Season 2: By knocking Ritter down from the lead to a co-star, “The Defenders” proved insufferable — get rid of Danny Rand already — so if Jones is dealing with any ramifications from her B-squad Avengers team-up, hopefully they’ll brief us in Episode 1. Otherwise, our only hope is she keeps drinking, fighting, and doing whatever the hell she wants.
Best Episode: IndieWire’s TV Editor Liz Shannon Miller reviewed the first five episodes of Season 2 and declares the second entry to be the best of the lot (so far). Though she’s excited to report the return of a fan favorite character as well as an unexpected pairing, what’s most exciting about Miller’s spoiler-free report is that Episode 2 features “some spooky bits.” Spooky? Nothing beats a spooky noir. Bring on Season 2!
Why Should I Watch It? Neil Patrick Harris is only four of the many reasons to be excited for “A Series of Unfortunate Events” Season 2, the follow-up to Barry Sonnenfeld’s excellent adaptation of Lemony Snicket’s books (or Daniel Handler’s, depending on your beliefs). In Season 1, Harris embodied Count Olaf, the villainous amateur actor trying to steal a fortune from three orphans, as well as three of his manufactured characters: Stephano, Shirley, and Captain Sham. Good but not too good in his deceptive disguises, Harris illustrated why “A Series of Unfortunate Events” works for adults and kids alike: The harder you look, the more rewarding it is — be it his technically proficient performance or the exquisite production design — but even from a quick glance, it’s so very fun.
Best Episode: Reviews are embargoed until March 23, so you’ll have to wait until a week prior to launch to find out if Season 2 lives up to Season 1. That being said, we’re most excited for “The Vile Village” episodes (which should be around Episode 4 or 5), in part because they’ll introduce Lemony Snicket’s brother, Jacques — played by Nathan Fillion.
Why Should I Watch It? “Love” is dead. OK, not yet, but in about six hours, it will be. The Netflix romantic comedy is coming to a close in Season 3, wrapping up the complicated love affair between Mickey (Gillian Jacobs) and Gus (Paul Rust) in 12 half-hour episodes. Rust, Lesley Arfin, and Judd Apatow’s series has been a bit bumpy in its first two years, but the mere fact that it’s ending on its own terms makes its final season intriguing. This crew has never settled for giving us the easy couples’ comedy (or drama), so how it wraps things up is anyone’s guess.
Best Episode: Reviews are embargoed until March 1 at 12pm ET, a.k.a. after this story ran, so you’ll have to wait until “Love” hits to find out which of the final episodes is the best. (Here’s hoping it’s the finale — nothing makes a love story like a good ending.)
Why Should I Watch It? From producers Mark and Jay Duplass comes a truly wild true story about Indian guru Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh and his mission to build a religious movement (a cult) in the plains of Oregon during the 1980s. The only problem — you know, other than the fact that it’s a cult — is where, exactly, Rajneesh settled. The locals are none too happy with their new neighbors, and a legal and spiritual war creeps up between the polar opposite groups. Told by “The Battered Bastards of Baseball” directors Chapman and Maclain Way in six high-flying episodes, “Wild Wild Country” examines how America’s tolerance for the separation of church and state was tested in an important conflict that’s been largely forgotten.
Best Episode: “Wild Wild Country” premiered at Sundance in January, so there are no embargoes on this one. OK, there is a requested embargo on reviews until March 11, but honestly, the whole series blends together after the first episode. As Dan Fienberg reports in his THR review, you’re going to want to binge the whole thing, and once you start, you’re not going to stop. So kick back and consider it a long, gripping, wild wild movie.