*To be sung in the key of John Lennon’s "Happy Xmas (War Is Over)"*
So, this is New Years. And what have you done?
Another year older. A new one’s just begun.
You’ve watched House of Cards now. Orange is the New Black is done.
You’ve binged Daredevil and Bloodline. And Master of None.
BoJack ripped through your life, and left you an empty shell
Jessica Jones tried to fill it, but that went fast as well.
It’s 2016 now. And Netflix is here.
To comfort and hold you. And provide you with streamable cheer.
Yep, it’s a new year, and that means a whole new batch of Netflix additions. While 2015 was a banner year for the streaming giant in terms of returning and new original series and films, 2016 looks to have even more amazing content ready to be binged all at once. As we do every month, we’re here to make your life easier by picking out the 10 New Additions to Netflix You Should Watch This January.
10 We Need To Talk About Kevin (2011) – January 1
Ezra Miller had a great 2015, killing it his roles in The Stanford Prison Experiment and Trainwreck, showing his versatility and ability to stand out in both comedy and drama. And while 2016 may bring his first appearance as the Flash in Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice, as well as his role in Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, Miller shouldn’t just now be appearing on your radar. He should have been there since at least 2011, when he appeared as the title character in We Need to Talk About Kevin.
Miller’s hauntingly intense performance as a troubled teenager was one of the finest performances by a young actor in many years, and had Kevin featured his performance and not much else, that would be reason enough to watch. But the film is actually packed full of amazing scene-stealing, with Tilda Swinton and John C. Reilly lending equally standout performances to a film as well-written and tightly directed as any film has a right to be.
9 It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia: Season 10 – January 5
Only a bozo wouldn’t watch It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia. A bozo who doesn’t even know the joys of milk steak, jelly beans, and ghouls. And while all logic may tell you that no show can still be funny in its tenth year on the air, Always Sunny defies logic as it’s as funny, bold, original, refreshing, and breathtakingly ambitious as it ever has been.
So while Season 10 of Sunny hits Netflix on January 5th and Season 11 airs on FXX the next day, we still think that the gang’s best days are ahead of them. But until season 20 comes along and we can definitively say that yes, Always Sunny is better than ever, let’s just enjoy Season 10, which featured the best batch of episodes the show has ever produced. “The Gang Beats Boggs,” “The Gang Goes on Family Fight” and of course the stellar continuous-take episode “Charlie Work” rank among the series' best, and waiting even a second longer to watch for the first time or the tenth time means you’re waiting too long.
8 New Girl: Season 4 – January 5
When New Girl began is was a ratings juggernaut starring A-List movie star Zooey Deschanel as the ultimate adorkable girl. Now, five years later, the word adorkable is never spoken and the show has morphed into a low-rated ensemble comedy darling, starring much bigger movie star Jake Johnson.
At closer glance, the fourth season of New Girl is actually a much tighter and funnier show than years past. Everyone’s found their rhythm, settled into it, and we’re no longer worried about who’s dating who and who isn’t dating anyone. With the addition of Damon Wayans Jr. to the cast, New Girl filled the Happy Endings void that it was always on the cusp of filling, and that can only be considered the best TV news of 2015.
7 Parks and Recreation: Season 7 – January 13
Who would have ever thought that Parks and Recreation would last 7 Seasons? Always on the verge of being canceled, Parks and Rec got a final season renewal that gave the writers a chance to wrap up one of the most beautiful TV series of our time in one of the most beautiful batch of final episodes of our time. Season 7 was plotted expertly as it barreled toward its end game, giving every single one of its characters the most fitting send-off that could ever be imagined.
Funnier and more heartfelt than ever, Season 7 of Parks was everything the show did well in a perfectly serialized packaged. As the dust settles on the series and we approach a year since it left our lives, the only thing that takes the sting out of its no longer being on the air is the legacy it leaves behind. With the most talented writers and actors assembled this generation, Parks and Rec will no doubt be looked at as the most stunning example of The New Golden Age of Television; and you can stream it all right now.
6 Degrassi: The Next Class – January 15
Degrassi is an institution that cannot be destroyed. The Canadian high-school show has been around in some form or another since 1979 (take that, Simpsons!), and after bouncing around from cast to cast and network to network, it’s now on Netflix! Degrassi: The Next Class is exactly that, the next class of kids in the Degrassi series. And while, as far as we can tell, Drake won’t be here this time around (though the jokes tying Drake to Degrassi will most likely never cease), Degrassi is still Degrassi and this version of Degrassi looks to be about as Degrassi as Degrassi has ever been.
Whether this show is your thing or your kids' thing, it’s definitely going to be a thing, and it’ll probably outlive us all. While it started on publicly funded Canadian TV and is now moving to the high-tech world of online streaming, we have no doubt that Degrassi will gracefully move into the next frontier of television and beyond, most likely to be offered on VR Eye Implants at some point in the future. Long live Degrassi!
5 The Overnight – January 15
This great Sundance comedy about a couple who invites another couple and their child over for a playdate has a stellar cast and is as funny and unpredictable as films come. And yet, not a lot of people are talking about this film. Especially considering that the film features full-frontal nudity courtesy of Adam Scott (granted, it's a prosthetic, but still...). So the question is, what kind of world do we live in where more people aren’t talking about The Overnight?
But this fact of our upside-down world is where you can make your move and look like a cool person with great indie film taste. Maybe you can even host your own couples night, or bring a date back to your place for something that rhymes with “Neck Flip and Hill,” bask in Adam Scott’s body, and enjoy a fantastic comedy called The Overnight!
4 Z Nation: Season 2 – January 17
Is The Walking Dead too commercial for you? Did World War Z make too much money in theaters for your taste? Do you prefer your zombie stories to be “underground” and “indie” so that you can say you “saw it before it was cool?” Well, I guess Z Nation fits in with your hipster zombie sensibilities, because no one is quite talking about it, but it definitely does exist. And now Season 2 is on Netflix. So, I don’t know, give it a shot?
3 Sharknado 3 – January 22
It’s tough to say anything new about Sharknado, because anything there ever has been to say about it has been said in every corner of the internet. By now you know it’s a ridiculous film with awful effects about a tornado that crosses paths with some sharks and those sharks turn into a sharknado and wreak havoc on a city, or something, probably?
So, since everything about Sharknado has already been said, we’ll just say that Sharknado 3 will be on Netflix. It’s just like the other two Sharknados. If you liked those, you’ll like this. If you didn’t like those, you won’t like this. If you liked those and aren’t sure if you’ll like this, don’t worry, because they will be making Sharknado films for all of eternity. When we’re all dead and Netflix is just a big red omnipotent entity floating in the sky, Sharknado and Degrassi will be roaming the Earth churning out stories that someone, somewhere, at some point must watch. Otherwise they’d stop making these things. Right?
2 Chelsea Does: Season 1 – January 25
The only original Netflix series coming in January, Chelsea Does is a four part docu-series hosted by Chelsea Handler. Each of the four 'films' are set to explore a range of subjects, including drugs, marriage, racism, and Silicon Valley. Chelsea Does is separate from Handler’s talk-show, which is set to be the first news-oriented program on Netflix.
While not much else is known about Chelsea Does, look for Handler to bring her unique sense of humor – seen in her Netflix special Uganda Be Kidding Me – to a format that isn’t seen much these days.
1 Frozen Planet – January 28
Before Netflix started producing its own content that was great to binge, Netflix was spectacular for one thing: watching nature documentaries non-stop. It still is great for that, but these great documentaries are often overlooked in the age of riveting scripted television, and they usually get pushed to the bottom of our lists until one night at 3AM we rekindle our love for nature filmed in glorious HD.
The 2011 British series Frozen Panet, from the same people who brought us Planet Earth, focuses on life in the Antarctic and Arctic. Featuring polar bears, arctic wolves, and penguins, Frozen Planet is perfect for those times when your senses are overwhelmed and you’ve watched all of Making A Murderer and you just can’t take life anymore. So when that moment strikes, as it undoubtedly will, sit back and relax with Frozen Planet.
Did we miss any keepers? What do you want to see from Netflix? Let us know in the comments!