Welcome back to Screen Rant’s monthly list of the best things on Netflix. This month, February, we’re here to dull the pain of what is arguably the worst 28 days of the year and tell you which 10 new additions to Netflix are worth shunning the harsh realities of the outside world for. That’s right, with our help you don’t need to go outside at all this month!
But, this being February, we’re also here for a much more important reason. We’re here because, in this month of commercialized greeting card holidays, this is the first Valentine’s Day since #NetflixAndChill has gained widespread recognition. So the odds are good that as the month wears on you’re going to start feeling lonely and desperate and looking for someone to #NetflixAndChill with, and as a result you’re going to need to find the best content on Netflix so you can get down to said chilling. Well, that’s why we’re here, loyal reader.
So without further delay, here’s 10 New Additions to Netflix You Need to Watch This February.
10. Better Call Saul (Season 1) – February 1
Let’s say you’ve started a new relationship. You’ve gone out for coffee, you’ve paid for at least one nice dinner, you’ve gone for a walk in some cool and trendy area of your city and made a few bantery jokes. Great. Now it’s time to show your new boyfriend or girlfriend who you really are; a person who sits on the couch all day and watches just enough TV to get physically ill. So why not enjoy that activity together with Better Call Saul?
Chances are that – if this isn’t your first relationship – you already watched Breaking Bad with your last partner. So the best thing to do now is start fresh with the stellar spinoff series focusing on Bob Odenkirk’s Saul Goodman. Better Call Saul is everything you could hope for; funny, dark, violent, subtly complex, and full of callbacks and homages to Breaking Bad. It’s the show every Breaking Bad fan deserves, but somehow better, fresher, and more exciting. And with the whole first season streaming in glorious 4K on February 1st, you’ll have enough time to soak in all its beauty before Season 2’s February 15th premiere date.
9. Full Metal Jacket (1987) – February 1
When Stanley Kubrick wrote and directed the Vietnam War film Full Metal Jacket, Apocalypse Now, The Deer Hunter, and Platoon had already come and gone. Considering that those three films have gone down in history as some of the best the war genre has to offer, Kubrick was up against a wall to make Full Metal Jacket not only memorable, but worthy to follow such heavyweights. Now, nearly three decades later, it’s safe to say that Kubrick succeeded, and if you’ve never seen Full Metal Jacket, your chance to rectify that oversight is now.
Though the cast never reached the heights that those in Apocalypse Now or Platoon did – the most famous names in Jacket are Vincent D’Onofrio and Adam Baldwin – the movie stands up to the test of time and remains as technically complex and thematically relevant as the day it was released. Now regarded as one of Kubrick’s best films and one of the essential movies in the war genre, Full Metal Jacket is more than a film student’s homework, it’s highbrow entertainment from one of the world’s greatest movie directors.
8. Talladega Nights (2006) – February 1
Speaking of highbrow entertainment, Talladega Nights is definitely not that. One of the first films released in that magical wave of late-2000s R-Rated Judd Apatow-produced comedies, Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby proved that the movie-going public had an insatiable appetite for Will Ferrell acting like a socially inept child; a role that – bless his sweet man-child heart – he’s still doing. Starring Ferrell, John C. Reilly and Sacha Baron Cohen, Talladega Nights took the world of NASCAR and gave it the comedic spin that it was always missing.
The craziest part of Talladega Nights is that it was released 10 years ago this year, which is nuts if you can still remember people quoting every line of the movie like it was yesterday. And while the film has (understandably) lost a lot of cultural ground to the Apatowian films that came after it, a decade later Talladega Nights is still as funny and ridiculous as it ever was. So give it a re-watch and then blame yourself and your Will Ferrell fandom for movies like Get Hard and Daddy’s Home.
7. I Love You Phillip Morris (2009) – February 3
An interesting footnote in the cinematic history of the last decade, you’d be forgiven for not knowing that I Love You Phillip Morris was a movie that came out and starred Jim Carrey and Ewan McGregor as con-artists, prisoners, and lovers. Caught up in release issues after US distributors had problems with the films explicit homosexual scenes, the film was completed in January 2009 but didn’t see release until nearly 2 years later in December 2010, after a French release and a re-edit.
Regardless of its unique release history, Philip Morris can now be looked at as a strange little movie with a dark sense of humor and a unusual tone that might explain why more people don’t know about it. Released at a time when no one cared about Ewan McGregor and Jim Carrey was getting less and less relevant, the movie showcased Carrey’s excellent performance in a character whose sympathy is never truly gained. But like the best movies you find on Netflix after 20 minutes of searching, Phillip Morris will at the very least keep you watching until the credits role, and for a movie that you didn’t know existed a minute ago, that’s pretty good.
6. Gaspar Noe’s Love (2015) – February 4
Let’s say you’re ready for your first Netflix and Chill session with your new significant other. It’s 10 days to Valentine’s Day, and you want to throw on something a little sexy but still sweet and charming and fun. Well, please don’t watch Gaspar Noe’s Love, because this Cannes film opens with full frontal male nudity and – originally shot in 3D – features, shall we say… fluids… coming right at the screen. So, unless you know for sure your partner is into all that, maybe save Love for another time.
This sexually explicit film from director Gaspar Noe was created specifically to shock and push the boundaries of cinema, but for a film with an NC-17 rating, Love actually has a simple little story at its core and is more than just a collection of nude scenes and sensual 3D. And while the “storylines” and “acting” don’t bring anything new to the world of cinema, it’s nice to see that in such a gratuitously explicit film there are at least attempts at a script being followed, and some level of art trying to be achieved; despite all the obvious gimmicks and reproductive matter being literally flung into your face.
5. Mad Men (Season 7 Part 2) – February 5
If Don Draper were here right now, he’d probably condescendingly ask someone (most likely a woman) “What do you want me to do?” And that’s just who Don Draper is. He’s the guy who always seems too busy, too cool, too depressed and drunk to know what you want him to do. “What do you want me to do, Betty?” “What do you want me to do, Joan?” “What do you want me to do, Screen Rant reader?” Yep, after 7 Seasons, we’ve pretty much figured out Don Draper, and yet he seems as confused as ever regarding what you want him to do.
So while Don may be lost, you don’t have to be, because what we want you to do – and what you should want to do – is watch the final episodes of Mad Men, which will be on Netflix February 5th. Technically still part of 2014’s 7th Season, these final seven episodes feel like a brand new season, bringing the story of Don Draper and the people that surrounded him for decades to a satisfying close. Speeding up the glacial pace of the episodes that came before it, while still matching the existential void and pitch perfect themes of the preceding seasons, the final episodes of Mad Men proved that perfect TV finales do exist; they just take a Don Draper level genius like Matthew Weiner to pull them off.
4. The Returned (Season 2) – February 17
Picture this: You’ve invited your girlfriend or boyfriend over to your place. You’re a casual person so you leave the door open a crack; inviting them inside at their own leisure. They walk inside to see you watching Netflix. “Oh,” they think, “how original.” But what’s this? The show you’re watching has subtitles? It’s French? It’s filled with glorious shots of a small French town and beautiful homes out of Architectural Digest? “Wow,” they say as their mind does some quick intellectual somersaults, “I’ve clearly picked the right person to be with.”
And yes, that is the exact scenario that will happen when you turn on Les Revenants, known in English as The Returned. One of TV’s most visually and emotionally thrilling shows, The Returned will make you feel smart while simultaneously being a brilliantly entertaining genre show that is actually about zombies. Filled with twists and turns and nudity and French people and especially nude French people, The Returned is must-see-TV, and Season 2 takes the show to a new level by amping up the mythology and answering old questions while raising new ones. It’s TV meant for binge viewing, and thanks to the subtitles, when you watch 8 episodes in a row you’ll at least felt like you accomplished something.
3. Love (Season 1) – February 19
Included on our list of the most exciting upcoming Netflix Originals, Love was created by Judd Apatow, series star Paul Rust, and Lesley Arfin. Starring Rust and Community’s Gillian Jacobs, the series already has a two-season order and the first 10 episode season is set to debut on February 19th; and it couldn’t come at a better time.
Valentine’s Day and Netflix and Chilling aside, we’re most excited for the debut of Love because it brings a Judd Apatow created series back to our TV screens (or tablets, phones, watches) for the first time since Undeclared. Hopefully filling the holes in our collective hearts since we watched Master of None way too quickly back in November, Love is set to feature Apatow’s perfect blend of laugh out loud humor and dramatic sentimentality, all wrapped up in a high-end Netflix show that will fit right into the New Golden Age of Television, and set the stage for the spectacular slate of shows that Netflix is set to debut in 2016.
2. Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon: Sword of Destiny (2016) – February 26
Sadly, as far as we know, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon: Sword of Destiny is not actually a secret installment of Netflix’s Arrested Development focusing on the sword that GOB used to make his socks wet with blood. Apparently, this is a sequel to Ang Lee’s 2000 film Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, which we assume someone must have asked for, because here it is as a high profile release on Netflix.
This martial arts film was one of the first films announced by Netflix, and after being boycotted by all major theatrical distributors in the United States, Netflix stayed the course and decided to release it all on their own. Since then, Netflix has proven this to be a spectacular release model, as Ridiculous Six and Beasts of No Nation have gone on to be massive hits for Netflix, and perhaps to all the fans holding out 16 years for a sequel to Crouching Tiger, Sword of Destiny will satisfy their misplaced urges and prove that Netflix really can make anything work.
1. Fuller House (Season 1) – February 26
Do you have fond memories of watching Full House when you were younger? Do you remember laughing out loud at all the hijinks that occurred in that titular full house? Well, I don’t know what to tell you, other than that your feelings might change if you went back and watched Full House again. But regardless of that, this is 2016 and TV revivals are all the rage, so that’s why Netflix is bringing you Fuller House, a sequel to the original series that’s set to bring back the entire cast, minus Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen, for a full 13 episodes of nostalgia-filled entertainment.
Taking place in present-day San Francisco, Fuller House will follow recently widowed D.J., now the mother of three sons, as she enlists Stephanie and her best friend Kimmy to help raise her boys; and presumably make her house fuller! John Stamos will be stopping by along with Bob Saget and Dave Coulier, all with the intention of – you guessed it – making that damn house full; or dare we say it, fuller. While the series was originally announced as a limited series, Netflix is now billing these 13 episodes as Season 1, so we can only assume that if enough people watch, D.J. Tanner’s house will remain fuller for years to come.
Which new addition are you most excited to see this month? Or do you have plans “live” your “life” away from Netflix? Suddenly you’re too good for us? Either way, let us know what you think in the comments!