It’s finally May. We all made it here together. We might have spent November through April wasting away at the hands of Netflix, but it all paid off because we now have a full range of quotes from Master of None and Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt to bust out in the appropriate situations. Netflix got us through some tough times this winter, but now it’s time to leave it behind and get back to a healthy life.
But wait, Netflix is having none of that. They’re adding a ton of great new stuff this May, probably just to ruin our lives and force us to never stop streaming. But that’s okay, who needs a healthy life when we have a life full of binging quality entertainment?
Let the warm weather watching commence this month by checking out our list of the 10 New Additions to Netflix You Need to Watch This May.
10 Kevin Hart Presents (2015) – May 1
Kevin Hart decided that being one of the world’s most famous comedians, as well as being in nearly every movie that has ever come out, is not enough. Kevin Hart wants his name everywhere, and he’ll come pretty close to that goal on May 1st when not one but three titles with Kevin Hart’s name on them will be added to Netflix. And Kevin Hart isn’t even the star of these titles; that’s how good he is at getting his name on things.
Kevin Hart Presents is launching with little fanfare or marketing behind it, but the three “episodes” are set to showcase different entertainers that Kevin Hart deemed worthy enough. From Keith Robinson: Back of the Bus Funny, to Lil Rel: RELevent, to Plastic Cup Boyz, there should be enough content here for you to flip through and decide whether or not you’re ready to take Kevin Hart’s word on whether something is worth watching or not.
As a side note: Kevin Hart’s name appeared nine times in this entry. Good job, Kevin Hart (10 times now)!
9 Pleasantville (1998) – May 1
Tobey Maguire and Reese Witherspoon star in the pleasantly pleasant Pleasantville, an under-the-radar film that has all the makings of a Netflix classic. Throw it on when you’re looking for a movie that everyone can’t help but enjoy, and you’ll be in for a pleasant (okay, stopping now) surprise, as everything about Pleasantville is delightfully charming.
With great performances by Maguire, Witherspoon, as well as William H. Macy, Joan Allen, and Jeff Daniels, Pleasantville is a high concept romantic comedy where two modern day teenagers find themselves living in a 1950s sitcom. It’s a film that, in less capable hands, could have turned out to be gimmicky, but with Gary Ross (Seabiscuit, The Hunger Games) writing and directing it’s a fun trip to the 50s without ever losing sight of the heart and comedy that makes it so enjoyable in the first place. With a great script and innovative filmmaking techniques, Pleasantville has something for every type of cinema fan, and it’s the type of film that deserves to be watched now rather than sitting in your Netflix List for 6 months.
8 Sixteen Candles (1984) – May 1
Like last month’s Netflix addition The Princess Bride, Sixteen Candles is another cinematic classic that many people have unfairly shrugged off because of its perceived “chick-flick-ness.” Not only is this criminally unfair, but it’s also an issue of “why does that matter?” Even if Sixteen Candles was purely a “chick-flick” that focused solely on Molly Ringwald’s character – which couldn’t be further from the truth – that wouldn’t make it any less of a masterpiece.
Sixteen Candles is one of writer and director John Hughes’ greatest works, and just like The Breakfast Club or Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, it’s a painfully funny film about the painfully unfunny hardships of growing up. It has all the nostalgia and music you could want from an 80s teen comedy, but it also has all the hard-edged sentimentality and insight into adulthood that only a John Hughes movie could have. It’s something that should be required viewing for everyone, so if you’ve been putting off watching Sixteen Candles you can luckily rectify that mistake right now.
7 Grace and Frankie (Season 2) – May 6
When Grace and Frankie launched on Netflix last year it brought something new to the prestige comedy genre; a low-key mentality. Grace and Frankie’s first season wasn’t a runaway critical hit and it didn’t generate as much water cooler buzz as shows like Orange is the New Black or House of Cards, but the show had its fans and it went about its business in a sure-footed way; it established the type of show it would be off the bat and it essentially said “he we are, take it or leave it.”
While many people who tuned in ultimately chose to “leave it,” the spectacular veteran cast – consisting of Jane Fonda, Lily Tomlin, Martin Sheen, and Sam Waterston – had a compelling chemistry that made the series worth watching for that reason alone. Grace and Frankie’s shiny high-concept hook, about two marriages ending after the husbands admit they’ve been in a relationship with each other, has since worn off and Season 2 finds the series dealing with this as a normality, and as a result the show is able to breathe a bit better and live with its cast, characters, and writing delivering all the joy and entertainment that comes with this show. And that’s certainly not a bad thing.
6 Chelsea – May 11
Another Netflix Original in a month chock-full of them, Chelsea shouldn’t be confused with January’s Chelsea Does, another experimental Netflix Original that starred Chelsea Handler. This particular Chelsea show has nothing to do with the prior one, as this one is unlike anything Netflix has ever done before; but it’s very similar to what Chelsea Handler has done before.
Set to be Netflix’s first ever talk show, Chelsea is skipping the binge-all-at-once model that made Netflix famous and is instead opting for a three day a week schedule. Airing every Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday for 90 episodes a year, each episode will be 30 minutes long and filmed in front of a live studio audience. It’s daytime talkshow television for an audience that doesn’t necessarily want to watch such things during the daytime, or on television. As a result, the show can’t air live, but it does get released approximately 12 hours after each episode is filmed. It’s a unique Netflix experiment from the experienced hands of Chelsea Handler, and if you’re into that kind of thing then here it is starting May 11th.
5 Goosebumps (2015) – May 11
It’s not often that Netflix will add a high-profile new release, but here we are only a few months after Goosebumps hit theaters last Halloween and it’s making an appearance just in time for that guilty-pleasure late-summer-night binge. Goosebumps – whether you have kids or just remember the R.L. Stein book series from when you were a kid – is the perfect film to throw on after a hard day and just enjoy at low brainpower setting.
The Jack Black-starring film has everything you could ever hope to see in a Goosebumps film, and even a few things that will pleasantly surprise you. Not only does the film perfectly replicate the creepy atmospheric vibe that the books and 90s TV show had, but it boasts fun performances and surprisingly great effects work to pull off a movie that probably shouldn’t have worked as well as this did.
4 Lady Dynamite (Season 1) – May 20
Netflix has been crushing it in the original comedy department lately, and with hits like BoJack Horseman, Master of None, and Flaked on its roster, we have no doubt that Lady Dynamite is going to be a dynamite new series that we’ll watch in 3 days and then be sad that it’s all over. Created by star Maria Bamford, Mitch Hurwitz, and Pam Brady, the pedigree behind this series are immense and expectations are sky high, but everything we’ve seen looks like the series is ready to deliver.
Based on Maria Bamford’s personal life, Lady Dynamite is set to be uniquely Netflix; that’s to say it’s not the kind of show that would be on NBC on a Thursday night. Dark, profane, and so incredibly absurd, Lady Dynamite is everything that makes Netflix great, and it doesn’t waste our time trying to be anything else. It’s the type of show that you’ll either love or hate after five minutes, so either way you should give it a try when it starts streaming on May 20th.
3 Bloodline (Season 2) – May 27
Season 1 of Netflix’s Bloodline was as underrated and forgotten as Netflix shows come. Despite TV’s best cast in Kyle Chandler, Ben Mendelsohn (both of whom already have Emmy nominations for this series), Sissy Spacek, Linda Cardellini, and Norbert Leo Butz, the show was met with a confusing sigh from critics and audiences that just didn’t give it enough time before judging it. Maybe people are sick of the mysterious anti-heroes, or maybe peak-TV fatigue set in at the wrong time, but we’re here to tell you that Bloodline is one of the best shows on Netflix or anywhere else, and you absolutely need to watch every minute of it.
It’s rare to find a series so filled with greatness, and even rarer to have no one to talk about that show with. From the acting, to the writing, to the most gorgeous cinematography ever put on the small-screen, Bloodline is a show worth getting excited about. Maybe it’s not a show to binge, as the slow-burn elements work best if you’ve had some time to sit with them, but it’s absolutely a show that’s deserving of its Netflix prestige. It’s something you can watch at your own speed as you let the story wash over you. Just make sure that whatever you do you don’t let this one pass you by.
2 Chef’s Table (Season 2, Part 1) – May 27
There’s something about food filmed in slow-motion with 4K cameras that just makes everything else in life seem worthless. And that’s exactly what Chef’s Table brings to the table that is your Netflix account; it makes you hungry and jealous and upset and in love and full of longing for good food and good company and something to do with your life other than watching all of these things on a screen in front of you. But we wouldn’t have it any other way.
Streaming Part 1 of an exciting Season 2 starting May 27th, Chef’s Table is still bringing us close-up stories of some of the world’s most brilliant and eccentric chefs and the food that they create. It’s educational and inspiring, and it might teach you how to cook like a world-class chef, or it might make you hungry for a Michelin-starred meal. What it will definitely do is ruin your appetite for fast food. It’ll also be endlessly entertaining and visually appealing, so devour this series with your eyes before your stomach realizes how hungry it is.
1 The Do-Over (2016) – May 27
There’s something about Netflix’s second film in its four-film Adam Sandler deal that looks like Sandler’s earlier, better work. But then we think back to all the times we’ve thought that same exact thought over the years. And then we think back to a few months ago when Sandler burned us yet again with The Ridiculous Six. Sure, it was the most-viewed movie in Netflix history, but we’d like to think that half of Netflix’s audience is monkeys with remotes in their hand, because that’s the only thing that would explain anyone watching The Ridiculous Six.
But here we are now with The Do-Over, a film that blends action and David Spade in with the usual Sandler shenanigans. We want to give Sandler the benefit of the doubt – especially considering that we’re all Netflix subscribers here and thus the film is literally free for us to watch – but even a free Adam Sandler film scares us. We’ve had our heart broken too many times now. But some brave soul can ahead and give The Do-Over a watch, and let us know in the comments how it was. That’s the only way we can all be safe.
Which new Netflix release are you most excited for this month? Are you ready to watch Adam Sandler’s The Do-Over and hope it’s a do-over from his last 15 or 20 films? Let us know in the comments!