Netflix went from a simple post-season streaming service to something closer to a standalone network when it started producing original programming - and some pretty great original programming at that. Sure, we Canadians get the proverbial shaft when it comes to unhindered access to past seasons of our favourite shows, but we get all the same original programming as our U.S. counterparts. (But they have Trump, so let's not be too upset with the drawbacks of cultural separation between the borders.)
So far Netflix doesn't follow the traditional season premiere calendar as the regular networks whose series generally start in either September or as mid-season drop-ins come January. Netflix staggers the release dates of each series, which thank god for because otherwise we'd all be bleary eyed and facing disciplinary action at work from missing meetings due to all night binge-watching.
Here are some highlights from the Netflix line up for the coming year:
Fourth installment available March 4th, 2016
The political drama starring the smarmy, scheming, amazing Kevin Spacey as Frank Underwood and the incredible Robin Wright (I still think of her as "Jenny,") as his wife, Claire. He is now President Underwood, which, although unsavoury, still can't be as bad as maybe the real-life Trump will be. At any rate, the writers have lots of fodder given today's current political shit show, errr...climate.
House of Cards is finally back for season four in just a few weeks - March 4th, to be precise. That's just in time for some serious March Break binge watching, so make sure you get the kids into a day camp this year.
Second installment available April 15, 2016
The Emmy-nominated show is back! Netlflix describes Kimmy Schmidt thusly:
"After living in a cult for fifteen years, Kimmy decides to reclaim her life and start over in New York City. Armed with just a backpack, light-up sneakers, and a couple of way-past-due library books, she’s ready to take on a world she didn’t even think existed anymore."
Substitute "New York City" for "Southern Ontario" and basically you've just described my marriage. April can't come soon enough and that's not my winter-hatred coming through. Ellie Kemper makes even the worst seem not just okay, but super-happy-fun-ball, and her enthusiasm is pretty infectious. If you haven't watched before, hit the first season hard - you've got about 12 weeks to catch up.
Second installment available May 6, 2016
Here are the four primary reasons to watch this intelligent and funny show: Jane Fonda, Lily Tomlin, Martin Sheen, and Sam Waterston. Sheen and Waterston play Robert and Sol, law firm partners, who, in the 70s decide to now also become sexy-time-romantic partners. Great! you say, Well done for living your authentic life! Well, yes. But two people who maybe don't see it quite the same are Frankie and Grace, their wives, who aren't exactly fans of one another. Now thrown together in a situation they weren't expecting, the two women forge a difficult - and hysterical - friendship despite their polar opposite personalities.
If you watch at night, do so on the couch because your laughing is going to wake the snore monster beside you.
Fourth installment available June 17, 2016
Remember how we all went bananas when this show first came out? I remember watching the trailer for he first episode and thinking, "Yeah. I dunno. Lady jail?" but OITNB has gone from first-time streaming provider experiment to bona fide hit. People love they way the episodes are available in bulk because waiting a week for another episode to air is so 2009. But now the inmates are back for a fourth go-round and most of your favourites are here.
Season three left some viewers a bit unsatisfied and please, if you're listening Netflix powers-that-be, can someone on this show be happy for more than five freaking minutes this season?
Second installment available March 18, 2016
Netflix knows what sells and hot guys fighting crime in gritty urban centres while wearing leather is really very nice. MOAR PLEASE.
Wish granted, Netflix says:
The Netflix original series Marvel’s Daredevil returns with the highly anticipated second season of its epic live-action adventure series (season 1 of Marvel’s Daredevil is now streaming). About the show: Blinded as a young boy but imbued with extraordinary senses, Matt Murdock (Charlie Cox) fights against injustice by day as a lawyer, and by night as the superhero “Daredevil” in modern day Hell's Kitchen, New York City.
Bonus: The soundtrack is incredible and it suits the gritty, hard bass line of the metropolis-at-night backdrop perfectly.