Altered Carbon, Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee, Open House: Top picks from Netflix for January
This January, Netflix rolls out its massive inventory of over 80 originals (series, films and documentaries) along with a collection of much loved, much watched shows and films from across the world.
Keeping in mind that Indians were second only to Mexicans in binge watching popular shows (88 percent of Indian Netflix subscribers binge watch), it’s a relishing line up. For those who won’t choose a Naagin or cower under the threats of Crime Patrol, and for those who have nothing to watch on TV other than screaming talking heads, cooking shows or sports, Netflix brings a truly varied platter of entertainment.
Here are the top picks for January and early February. Please do note, the streaming giant may add more programs in February.
The Frozen Dead - January 1
This French series is cold, creepy and subtle in its thrills. Glace, renamed The Frozen Dead, is about a police officer finding a serial killer while investigating crime in a small town in the French Pyrenees. Typically French in its treatment, the Frozen Dead is for slow binge watching; it grows on you with each episode. Charles Berling, Julia Piaton and Pascal Greggory deliver engaging performances in this thriller.
Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee - January 5
The web series is already a cult success, but Jerry Seinfeld’s drive with fellow comedians endures as it brings more than laughs; it reminds you of the lightness of being. Add to that, gorgeous vintage cars that he drives around. Textbook light viewing, this funny web series might find takers here in India as Seinfeld reruns continue to play out. Rebranded by Netflix as an original, the series will have 24 episodes streaming this year.
Rotten - January 5
How rotten is the food on your plate today? Picking up from an incomplete but much needed narrative of Fast Food Nation and Food Inc, Rotten is a documentary series about where the food and farming industries are headed worldwide, and the impact they leave on the environment. Zero Point Zero, the production company behind the Anthony Bourdain shows, takes a sobering look at the food industry; exposing frauds, to food alterations in 6 episodes.
The Polka King - January 12
Having acquired the film at Sundance last year, Netflix rebrands The Polka King as an original. Tracing the real story of Jan Lewan, a Polish band leader who set up multiple businesses before building a Ponzi scheme for his fans, the film features Jack Black and Jason Schwartzman in leading roles. Directed by Maya Forbes, this comedy comes highly rated and promises a throwback to Jack Black’s funny, likeable movies of the Nineties.
Somebody Feed Phil - January 12
As most data studies and surveys show, Indians love to watch food shows. So Phil Rosenthal, the creator of Everybody Loves Raymond, brings a visual culinary feast with his show, Somebody Feed Phil, where he travels to different countries for a taste of local fare. Old wine, new bottle? Here’s one recipe (for entertainment) that does seem to work every time.
Open House - January 19
Beyond ambitions to break into the blockbuster franchise film market, Netflix has fine tuned the art of making a small film, with well honed actors and a solid, innovative filmmaking team. Open House, their forthcoming horror film to release on January 19, is one such film. Starring Dylan Minnette, Piercey Dalton and Patricia Bethune, it’s about a mother and son, who suffer tragedy when the father dies. They decide to move into a relative’s holiday home, a place open for visits by buyers on Sundays only. Minnette is the star of Netflix’s Thirteen Reasons Why, from last year. Eerie, unexplained incidents and the solitude of a snow clad small mountain town bring alive the milieu of classic horror.
Dirty Money - January 26
Alex Gibney ,the Oscar winning documentary filmmaker of Taxi to the Dark Side, produces this six part docu series that tackles corruption, financial scandal, scams and corporate greed, touching upon issues with the Trump administration in an episode. Multiple directors tackle different subjects in each episode, with first hand accounts and voices. This promises to be a cerebral, informative watch to understand the current fast changing, politico- economic landscape and its potential consequences.
A Futile and Stupid Gesture - January 26
This film has a classic B Movie feel to it. Its treatment remains true to it’s subject, a look at the rise and fall of National Lampoon, a cult American humour magazine that witnessed a complete fall from it’s pedestal of popularity. Bawdy, rude and comic, the film is directed by David Wain and stars Will Forte as comedy writer Doug Kenney, the key character in this story. It’s yet another Sundance acquisition now called an original.
Altered Carbon - February 2
This is sci-fi meets crime drama. Altered Carbon travels ahead to a dystopian world, more than 300 years in the future, playing out in a society where human consciousness can be digitized and transferred to new, younger human bodies. Crime is still committed in this universe. It’s high on production quality, and resembles a sleek Hollywood thriller. Joel Kinnaman, who we know from House of Cards, plays the lead in this grungy, graphic sci fi drama that holds similar appeal as Sense 8 and Black Mirror.
Star Trek- Discovery will return to complete it’s first season with weekly episodes. There’s also a second season for Kathy Bates starrer series, Disjointed, a stone comedy taunted by critics, and the funny, bittersweet Grace and Frankie Season 4. Starring Jane Fonda, Lily Tomlin in leading roles, this one is evergreen humor. A crime drama Drug Lords will premiere on January 19 but has been kept under wraps for now.
Updated Date: Jan 05, 2018 13:42 PM