You know how new DVDs and Blu-rays always come out on a Monday? Netflix laughs in the face of such regimented scheduling and instead releases all of its new TV shows and movies whenever the heck it feels like it.
That can make keeping track of all of the new stuff a first-world nightmare of epic proportions.
But help is at hand: here we highlight all of the best new stuff on Netflix. And yes, that does mean we've left out all of the rubbish (I'm looking at you, Frontier). So with no further ado, allow us to guide you, truffle pig-like, to the finest and freshest streaming fungus.
Note: the newest stuff is at the top of the list, with subsequent pages showing the shows and movies we added previously
A SERIES OF UNFORTUNATE EVENTS
On paper, A Series of Unfortunate Events sounds horrible. Child abuse, killer leeches and a relentless serial killer all sound like ingredients in a decidedly unpleasant recipe for adults rather than a piece of family entertainment, but those familiar with the original novels and/or the Jim Carrey film with roughly the same name will know that the grime and darkness pretense is actually a vehicle for goofy characters and storybook charm.
The TV series is faithful to the original stories, following the lives of orphans Violet, Klaus and Sunny Baudelaire, who find themselves in the 'care' of the cruel Count Olaf, here played with delightful nastiness by Neil Patrick Harris.
J. K. Simmons’ portrayal of a neurotic jazz conductor still haunts our inner insecurities to this day. Verbally and physically abusive to his students in a bid to push them beyond their limits to absolute musical greatness, each and every scene with him and lead student Andrew Neiman is crackling with tension.
Does he get results? Yes, but at a cost we’d never be willing to pay. We’ll stick to shredding on the triangle, thank you very much.
BLACK MIRROR - SEASON 3
Black Mirror has made the move from Channel 4 to Netflix in sumptuous, unsettling style. Not only has the platform given Charlie Brooker and his team the freedom to tell more stories (this run has six episodes rather than the usual three) and let each one run without ad breaks for as long as it needs to, it's also given them a budget big enough to expand the scale, scope and special effects. The feature-length final episode, Hated in the Nation, is a perfect case in point.
What hasn't changed is the overall theme. Each episode may tell a standalone story, but they're all connected by the threads of modern humanity's relationship with technology, the internet and social media.
Make no mistake, this is unnerving stuff, enhanced by the fact that the stories are generally set in a very near future that's all too recognisable. But fear not, the trademark blacker than black humour has also been retained, so you'll guffaw almost as much as you'll squirm. This is must-see television for anyone who's obsessed with tech.
If you’re a fan of Christopher Guest you’ll know exactly what to expect here - a gentle mockumentary centred around the oddball enthusiasts of a marginal hobby. This time, as the title suggests, it’s sports mascots in the spotlight, with the annual Golden Fluffy Awards bringing together the finest mascots from across the globe.
It’s really formulaic stuff that generally delivers titters of amusement rather than belly laughs, but there are some stand-out performances. Chris O’Dowd as “the bad boy of mascotery”, Silicon Valley’s Zach Woods as the henpecked half of a husband and wife mascot team, and Jane Lynch as a snobby judge and ex-mascot all make it well worth sitting through the film’s flatter sections.
Has there been a more high-profile murder case this millennium than that of ‘Foxy Knoxy’ – the American student arrested as a 20-year-old in Perugia for the murder of her British flatmate Meredith Kercher?
Nearly a decade later she’s back home in Seattle having been acquitted by an Italian court. But if she didn’t do it, who did?
Considering the amount of coverage the case received at the time – coverage that the film is keen to criticise for being OTT – it’s probably not surprising that it doesn’t reveal anything particularly new, although it does introduce us to tabloid journalist Nick Pisa, a man who makes Piers Morgan look like a shining example of his profession.
Knox’s one-to-one interviews are the most compelling part of the film, revealing a thoughtful, articulate woman who’s had plenty of time to think about what happened that day. It’s just a shame the film spends so long going over old ground, rather than examining what it’s like to live in the shadow of such a distressing crime.
Bulletproof widower Luke Cage was one of the best characters in Netflix’s Jessica Jones, and while he struggles a little to carry his own series (it takes ages to get going), there's enough brooding and bad guy bruising here to keep Marvel TV fans plenty entertained. The occasions that Cage engages rampage mode are as enjoyable as you'd probably imagine.
If the show was as witty and clever as it thinks it is it would be an instant classic, but for now Daredevil remains the benchmark for superheroes on telly.