Around this time every month, the powers that be at Netflix release their list of what’s coming to and leaving the platform in the month to follow. It’s a time to reflect. A time of mourning. A time of hope.
To help you wade through that emotional soup, and help you decide what to watch in the weeks to come, we’re putting together the Monthly Netflix Report Card, a highly scientific, yet mostly arbitrary, very subjective assessment of the streaming giant’s gains and losses.
The final grade will take into account the three biggest gains in the Netflix original movies and shows/comedy specials, as well as the three biggest gains and losses in standard movies and shows/comedy specials. As months go on, we’ll look to improve our criteria as much as possible.
Top Three Netflix Original Movies/Comedy Specials Coming to Netflix in December
-Voyeur, the buzz-worthy documentary about the morally complex writing and publication of Gay Talese’s controversial book, The Voyeur’s Motel, in which he tells the story of Gerald Foos, a humble motel owner who watched his patrons have sex. (December 1)
-Bright, the Will Smith fantasy-crime film about a human and orc cop in an alternate Los Angeles full of elves and fairies and stuff, who must put aside their differences and work together to find a weapon that, in the wrong hands, could destroy the city. So it’s kind of like every cop movie ever. But with orcs. This should be...interesting. (December 22)
-Judd Apatow: The Return, the first comedy special from Judd Apatow that marks his return to standup after 25 years.
Top Three Netflix Original Shows Coming to Netflix in December
-The Crown (season 2), which must be receiving some newfound interest in the wake of the impending nuptials between Meghan Markle and Prince Harry. (December 8)
-Easy (season 2), prolific indie filmmaker Joe Swanberg’s pleasing, relationship-driven vignettes set in Chicago. (Read our interview with Swanberg on season one here.) (December 1)
-Wormwood, legendary documentarian Errol Morris’s four-and-half-hour docudrama miniseries about the CIA’s experiments with LSD, with re-enactments starring Peter Sarsgard. (December 15)
Aggregate Grade of Netflix Originals: B. A few solid returning shows and prestige documentaries, but nothing major. It’s also quite possible that Bright is very bad.
Top Three Movies/Comedy Specials Coming to Netflix in December
-Full Metal Jacket, Stanley Kubrick’s canonical Vietnam movie. (December 1)
-Ace Ventura (Pet Detective and When Nature Calls). No explanation necessary. (December 1)
-Creep 2, the much-anticipated sequel to the breakout found footage horror film. (December 23)
Top Three Shows Coming to Netflix in December
-Halt and Catch Fire (season 4), the little-watched yet critically adored AMC series. (December 1)
-TURN: Washington Spies (season 4), the Revolutionary War-era AMC drama. (December 1)
-Planet Earth II. (December 25)
Aggregate grade of movies/shows coming to Netflix: C-. Nothing particularly stands out here, other than Creep 2—particularly in the show department.
Top Three Movies Leaving Netflix in December
-Bedazzled. The re-watchability of this underappreciated Elizabeth Hurley-Brendan Frasier classic makes this is a significant loss. (December 1)
-Nightcrawler, Dan Gilroy’s sneaky-great thriller from last year, featuring an outstanding, shocking performance from Jake Gyllenhaal. (December 10)
-Lucky Number Slevin, a twisting, turning crime drama and another great re-watch, with a fantastic ensemble cast—Josh Hartnett, Ben Kingsley, Stanley Tucci, Bruce Willis, Lucy Liu...(December 10)
Top Three Shows Leaving Netflix in December
-It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, seasons 1-11. Any chance a younger generation of middle-schoolers had of discovering the comedic brilliance of Always Sunny has just gone out the window.
Aggregate Grade of Movies/Shows Leaving: B+. Always Sunny is big.
The Final Grade
C+. This is a relatively weak month for originals, compared to previous months, unless you count Voyeur and Wormwood—admittedly, two projects I'm excited to watch. And while the return of The Crown and Easy is good news—particularly if you're looking for stuff to binge over the holidays—those two hardly compensate for the loss of 11 (!) seasons of Always Sunny. Not to mention, Bedazzled. Watch Bedazzled.