Netflix's reign over television and more recently movies is nothing new anymore. The streaming service's stellar original programming has become synonymous with quality, innovative content, that often creates a buzz upon release. Netflix's method of releasing entire seasons at once has also changed the way we view TV, giving rise to "binge watching" shows at once.
Recent successes such as Stranger Things and The OA have only cemented the public's appetite for new Netflix properties, and thankfully for us, they've delivered. Having announced over 1,000 hours of new original programming this year, the first lot of releases includes mysteries, crime thrillers, war and sex documentaries. Basically there's something for everyone.
So without further ado, here are the 6 upcoming Netflix shows you'll end up binge watching next.
13 Reasons Why
Creator: Brian Yorkey Release Date: March 31, 2017
Earlier this year Selena Gomez premiered the trailer for Netflix's new teen-drama 13 Reasons Why, with the pop star acting as one of the show's executive producers. Based on the bestselling book of the same name, the story revolves around a high school girl, Hannah, who commits suicide, leaving behind a set of 13 cassette tapes singling out 13 fellow students who played a role in her death.
It's one part Twin Peaks, one part Veronica Mars, with the mystery and intrigue arriving through the unfolding of backstory rather than a classic whodunnit. A key theme is bullying, particularly in the digital age, giving 13 Reasons Why much more gravitas than your standard teen high school drama. It's smart and realistic in its depiction of teens, but also sweeps you up in its clever storytelling. A guilty pleasure that's actually a really well-produced show, 13 Reasons Why was literally made for binging.
Five Came Back
Series Director: Laurent Bouzereau Release Date: March 31, 2017
This three-part documentary series, based on Mark Harris' book Five Came Back: A Story of Hollywood and the Second World War, tells the story of how five famed Hollywood directors – John Ford, William Wyler, John Huston, Frank Capra, and George Stevens – disrupted their careers at home and went off to document the war.
Directed by famed documentarian Laurent Bouzereau, narrated by Meryl Streep, and featuring five great modern directors – Steven Spielberg, Francis Ford Coppola, Guillermo Del Toro, Paul Greengrass, and Lawrence Kasdan – discussing the classic directors' work, Five Came Back is no small effort, and it shows in its storytelling and level of depth.
Hot Girls Wanted: Turned On
Series Director: Rashida Jones Release Date: Spring 2017
*NB: The above is a recent press interview about the show, as an official show trailer is yet to be released.
Rashida Jones has her directorial debut with this documentary series which follows on from the original Hot Girls Wanted documentary film by Jill Bauer, who also acts as producer on the show. Focusing on pornography in the digital and download era, the six-episode series highlights a different facet per episode, including dating apps and men in porn.
Looking at the intersection of sex and technology, the series aims to debunk the myths surrounding porn, especially with regards to the young adults who are consuming it. The average age that a teen views pornography for the first time is 11, which is often before they receive sex education, creating unrealistic ideas of what sex is. Hot Girls Wanted: Turned On is a smart, progressive take on sex in the modern world, which doesn't try to shame but instead educate.
Creators: Mark Olshaker, John Douglas, Joe Penhall Release Date: October 2017
David Fincher is behind Mindhunter, a crime thriller based on the book Mind Hunter: Inside the FBI’s Elite Serial Crime Unit – enough said. Attached as a producer and director of three episodes, the series revolves around two FBI agents in 1979 who interview imprisoned serial killers in the hopes of closing unsolved cases.
The teaser doesn't give much away, and with its October release date, details are still scarce, but that hasn't stopped us from being awfully excited for this one. Dare we call it early and say Mindhunter will be Netflix's show of the year. Only time will tell.
Creators: Baran bo Odar, Jantje Friese Release Date: Winter 2017
As Netflix adds a bunch of new European content this year, the first title from Germany is supernatural series Dark. Created and directed by burgeoning director Baran bo Odar and produced by the team behind Oscar-winning film The Lives of Others, Dark tells the story of a fictional small town, Winden, and how four families lives are turned upside down when two children disappear under mysterious circumstances.
Touted as a "German Stranger Things", the tone is much more sinister and geared towards an adult-oriented audience. Needless to say the crew behind it are top notch and rooted in film production, instilling a very cinematic feel to the show. Fans of supernatural thrillers will easily knock this one out in a weekend.
Producers: Cattleya Release Date: 2017
*Note: the above trailer is for the film which the series is based on, as an official show trailer is yet to be released.
Created by the producers of the TV show Gomorrah, Suburra is Netflix's first ever Italian-language original series, and continues the story (however, as a prequel) to the film of the same name which was released in 2015. In Ancient Rome, the Suburra was a district where politicians, the church, and the underworld met to carry out deals. Undoubtedly, this intersection of power still plays out today, with the show chronicling this gritty side of the Eternal City.
Suburra is a hard and fast crime show, made by filmmakers who are very familiar with the genre, and set in a city where corruption runs through its history, making Suburra a highlight of Netflix's original and foreign-language programming this year.
Netflix shows no signs of slowing down its reign on film & TV, which is why the next frontier is to win their first Best Picture Oscar. Read about it here.