Whether you’re an adult or a student, the leaves changing color means that a significant change in your life is just around the corner. For adults, it’s the impending drain of Autumn, Winter, and Spring arriving to suck away the joy that was what little Summer you were able to enjoy. For students, it’s the return of school and homework and essays. But no matter who you are or where you’re from, you’re never too old to blow off your responsibilities and watch reckless amounts of TV in order to procrastinate irresponsibly. And that’s where we here at Screen Rant – as well as the fine folks at Netflix – fit in to help you.
With so much change and uncertainty arriving with the cooler weather, why not curl up under a blanket inside and live vicariously through the actions and words of a character on your favorite TV series? Let your troubles melt away like rain drops on a dewy window and bury your face in the comfort of classic movies and the excitement of new Netflix originals.
We only get one life, so let’s live it – by watching all the Netflix that we possibly can. This Autumn, kick back, drink come apple cider, and mellow out with 13 New Additions To Netflix You Should Watch This September.
13 Babel (2006) – September 1
Babel was a version of 2004’s Best Picture winner Crash that didn’t get all the hate, but it also didn’t get any of the recognition either. Fronted by Brad Pitt and directed by Birdman and The Revenant superstar Alejandro González Iñárritu, the film is a globe-spanning adventure that weaves several narratives together expertly into one spectacular tale that’s all at once controversial and unflinching.
Drama on a scale that we don’t see much of anymore – that is, stories without high-octane explosions, superheroes, or special effects – Babel is effective in its simplicity, but that doesn’t mean it’s a simple film. With the various stories woven together in different languages, Babel doesn’t spoon-feed its audiences, and it remains a stronger film because of this. Put this film on Netflix if you’re in the mood for something cerebral to make you feel smart and worldly, and definitely don’t watch it if you just want to zone out for a few hours. Babel is many things wrapped into one package, but a relaxing and fun-filled film it is not.
12 Defiance (2008) – September 1
There’s something about director Edward Zwick that doesn’t get people excited, despite his filmography amounting to one entertaining and thought-provoking thrill ride after the next. Some cite his heavy-handed approach as the reason why no one is lining up for the next Zwick film, but we ask, what’s the harm in a well-constructed movie that lays on the real life tragedy a little thick? Is something exploitative if it’s true, and if its best intentions are to portray horror in a humanistic way? Of course, this was the case with Zwick’s Blood Diamond and Defiance, back to back films that – perhaps for the reasons listed above – failed to light the box office on fire.
Daniel Craig and Liev Schreiber star in this film about four brothers leading a group of Jews through Europe to escape the horrors of the Second World War. Low-key when it matters and pulse-pounding when it needs to be, Defiance is a deftly paced movie that should be watched on Netflix – not because you probably didn’t see it in theaters – but because it’s actually a well-made film that could serve as a case study for why people ignore good movies.
11 Jaws (1975) – September 1
This is Steven Spielberg’s original masterpiece, and all these years later, regardless of whether or not you've seen it, there are few more watchable movies out there than Jaws. Its appeal doesn’t rest strictly in its spectacle either, but following the summer of 2016 where blockbusters were panned across the board for being shallow money-makers and nothing else, Jaws shows that the original blockbuster had enough heart to fill a giant man-eating shark, and maybe that’s what makes this film such an enduring classic to this day.
A tale of family, divorce, fear, and hope as much as one shark’s unquenchable bloodlust, Jaws is uniquely Spielberg in that its simplicity still manages to hit you decades after its original release. A tight story flows into perfectly paced direction, and it all adds up to what is perhaps the greatest monster flick of all time. Push play on Netflix and before you know it the end credits of Jaws are rolling and you’re looking to see what else Netflix recommends. And while Netflix may very well recommend the other Jaws sequels (all of which are being added to the streaming service on September 1st), we would say stay away from the shallow waters of the Jaws imitators that share the original’s name and producers. That’s an entire ocean that’s not worth wading into.
10 Saving Private Ryan (1998) – September 1
Another spectacular entry into the Spielberg cannon, Saving Private Ryan is truly one of the most important films of modern cinema. It remains as affecting today as it did when it was released nearly two decades ago, and the story of Tom Hanks’ army captain leading a team to find and bring home Matt Damon’s character is a well-told one to be sure.
A showcase of acting, but also of the gut-wrenching realities that a well-made film can inflict on an audience, Saving Private Ryan is realism and gore with the perfect amounts of heart and hopefulness thrown in for good measure. It’s still shocking to this day how many people break out the old “oh yeah, I’ve never seen Saving Private Ryan,” and for that reason it’s worth showing to your friends at every possible moment. It’s also the perfect film for date night, not only to show your sensitivity and willingness to cry at the film’s infamous final scene, but to remind you what a true Oscar-winning film looks like before Oscar season ramps up for the year.
9 Shameless (Season 5-6) – September 1
Pardon the pun, but it’s quite a shame that the whole world isn’t constantly talking about Showtime’s Shameless. After six phenomenal seasons that have only seen the writing and performances get stronger, Shameless has proven time and time again that it should be an Emmy contender in nearly every major category. Perhaps it's the underdog tale of the underseen Gallagher family that works for Shameless – maybe it’s a narrative that fits the show perfectly – either way, we think this comedy drama hybrid is what every series currently on TV should aspire to be.
With the fifth and sixth seasons now premiering on Netflix ahead of the show’s pushed-up fall premiere, fans and newcomers seeking out Shameless will find it to be one of the most binge-able series they’ve ever queued up on Netflix. Unbelievably crude and surprisingly heartwarming, Shameless has the unique ability to show something truly shocking and then follow it up with a genuinely tear-inducing moment. But if writing and performances aren’t enough of a reason for you to watch what might just be TV’s greatest series, then consider that by watching Shameless you’re indulging in one of the small screen’s best kept secrets, and you’re directly responsible for helping the Gallaghers live to fight another day.
8 Chef’s Table: France – September 2
Food porn in the truest sense of the phrase, the first installments of Chef’s Table existed purely to film gorgeously plated food in spectacular 4K. That mission hasn’t exactly changed, it’s just focused its efforts to filming gorgeous plated food in spectacular 4K based exclusively in France. And when the food is this gorgeous, there doesn’t need to be much more to it than that.
Designed to make our mouths water and to cause us to regret our choices at 2AM when we’re hungry but find that none of the Michelin starred restaurants near us are currently open, there’s a chance that Chef’s Table: France will end up improving your cooking skills, but there’s a certainty that it will improve your cultural knowledge. Throw this on in the background of a cooking-a-meal date, a low-key get together, or a casual night at home and you’ll instantly look like someone who knows the difference between sautéing and flambéing. And if you don’t, you just need to watch more Chef’s Table.
7 Narcos (Season 2) – September 2
When Narcos premiered on Netflix last year, it quickly became one of the best dramas on the service not named Orange is the New Black or House of Cards. Gaining a respectable following and becoming something of a prestige drama for the streaming giant shortly after its premiere, the series provided a well-made thriller to those looking for quality entertainment in a serialized package.
Now with Season 2, Narcos looks to build on its first season buzz and become a show that exists in the mainstream rather than just on the periphery of it. A show this stylish and tightly-wound shouldn’t be something that’s only heard about through your friend’s buddy’s roommate who watches everything on Netflix; it should be entertainment for all! Hopefully with some amped up marketing and a personalized recognition system that knows your taste in good TV, Netflix will recommend Narcos to its many subscribers and give them two seasons worth of not-so-drug-free joy in the process.
6 Crash (2004) – September 6
So you’ve just watched Babel and now you’re interested in seeing Crash, just for comparison’s sake. Well, you’re in luck, because here it is for you judge once and for all if it’s really as abysmal as everyone wants you to believe it is.
Focusing on an intertwining story of racism and class in modern day Los Angeles, Crash gets a lot of flak for being a manipulative look at race that has more style than substance. Even having been ripped apart by its own director, Paul Haggis, the film ended up winning Best Picture in one of the category's most surprising upsets in history. Now, over a decade later, and nearly everyone agrees that the film may not have even deserved to be nominated. But it’s also possible to accept that, yes, Crash does have its merits, and while it’s not a perfect film, there’s still something to be said for its frank look at race as told in an entertaining and unique way.
5 The Walking Dead (Season 6) – September 15
Is The Walking Dead still good, you ask? Were you one of the many who jumped on the show after its initial promise of unlimited zombie chaos, only to fall off the train after one too many brooding stares just off screen by a main character? Have you heard tales of mass maniacs and serial killers torturing Rick and his gang of survivors since then, and now you’re tempted to jump back in since your Sunday night TV schedule has cooled off considerably?
Well, hey, it’s not going to cost you anything to find out if The Walking Dead is still for you, as you can now catch up with everything you missed before Season 7 premieres this September. Maybe you’ll find that The Walking Dead doesn’t need to be perfect, but rather that you’re now mature enough to accept a show with no clear end goal in sight. Either way, as always, Netflix is here for you. Watch some Walking Dead, watch all the Walking Dead, but whatever you do, be sure to thank Netflix for finally putting to rest that age old question: “Is The Walking Dead still good?”
And don't forget to be eternally grateful that it wasn't shoehorned into being a procedural by the folks at NBC.
4 Penny Dreadful (Season 3) – September 17
The final chapter in the endlessly compelling Penny Dreadful saga is now on Netflix, and if you’re thinking of putting off watching this series, you’re doing yourself a huge disservice. One of the most compelling and original shows to come along in years, Penny Dreadful is an atmospheric trip through Victorian-era London, and throughout its three season run, it did nothing but constantly delight and inspire audiences.
Full of legendary literary characters that collide in meaningful and exciting ways, Penny Dreadful was one of the few horror series on television, and what’s more, it actually aspired to excel above jump scares and American Horror Story-esque shock. In the last few years, there’s never been a show that’s felt as high class as Penny Dreadful – and maybe that’s just the British accents – but more likely, it’s John Logan’s intricate and sprawling writing that feels somehow above the lofty standards set by the New Golden Age of TV.
3 Zootopia (2016) – September 20
One of the few breakout hits of the last year, Zootopia would feel right at home under the Pixar banner. So perhaps it’s fitting that in a year when Pixar released the (still great) sequel, Finding Dory, Disney ended up with one of the most original movies to come out in years, and it’s one that follows Pixar’s formula to a T. Funny, heartfelt, and beautifully animated, Zootopia crafted a world inhabited by talking animals that we’d want to live in, and in doing so, it set itself up for a long-lasting franchise that hopefully doesn’t run out of gas before it gets going.
It’s also nice to see Netflix release a new film to tide over those who are sick of TV and have seen the older movies on this list one too many times. Add to that the adults who want their twice-yearly fix of quality animation but can’t bring themselves to go into a movie theater and pay for what many see as children’s entertainment, and we have ourselves the first real reason to argue that a night home on Netflix is a better choice than going to the cinema this fall.
2 Easy (Season 1) – September 22
Joe Swanberg has been making a career out of scraping together a few cents, throwing some actors in a room, and calling it a movie. This micro-budget style of filmmaking has given rise to the mumblecore movement, and like any good movement, it’s now time that Netflix gets in on the action.
Easy is the next Netflix original comedy/drama to obsess over, watch too quickly, and then find yourself in a pile of your own regret when you realize that it’s all over for another year. This time – rather than something fronted by Aziz Ansari or shepherded to TV by Judd Apatow – Easy is an eight episode anthology series set in Chicago that will have a number of high-profile stars each providing their own semi-improvised take on love, dating, technology, and culture. With the likes of Jake Johnson, Aya Cash, Malin Akerman, Orlando Bloom, and Dave Franco making appearances, look for Easy to be that endlessly good-looking series that gleams at the top of your Netflix page until you finally give in, watch it all in one night, and then repeatedly tell your friends about it for the next two months.
1 Marvel’s Luke Cage (Season 1) – September 30
First it was Daredevil that came along and proved to us what a Netflix-caliber Marvel TV series could look like. Then, Jessica Jones pushed the limits of that style by never letting up on the throttle and giving us even more dark and dreary comic book mayhem. Then the final nail in the CW and ABC coffin; Daredevil Season 2 came along and The Punisher’s involvement in that series proved to us that superhero TV doesn’t need to be childish or cheesy, it can kick ass and give fans everything they want without ever compromising. So yeah, our hopes are understandably high for Luke Cage and its buzzy first season premiere on September 30th.
Poised to be filled with as much punching, kicking, and gritty New York City sets as the rest of Netflix’s Defenders series, by now we know what we’re getting with Luke Cage. Not only have we seen him teased throughout other Netflix-Marvel shows, but Cage has been a fan favorite character for many years now, and his inclusion in the Netflix-Marvel Universe is one that has fans ready to cancel their subscription to every other streaming service and declare allegiance to the Red and White House of Binge-ing for years to come.
Which of these new additions are you most looking forward to? Are there any we missed? Let us know in the comments!