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 April
-6 Balloons, a drama from up-and-coming director Marja-Lewis Ryan starring Abbi Jacobson and Dave Franco, based on the real-life experience of the film's producer, about a sister (Jacobson) dragging her heroin-addicted brother (Franco) around in search of a detox center over the course of a single day. It premiered at SXSW to rave reviews, and is an interesting dramatic turn for Jacobson, who's mostly known for her comedic work on Broad City. (April 6)
-Kodachrome, wherein a neglected son (Jason Sudeikis) accompanies his dying father (Ed Harris) on a road trip to develop a role of hard-to-develop film. Judging from the trailer, it might make you cry. Jonathan Tropper, a best-selling novelist, penned the script. (April 20)
-Mercury 13, a documentary about the 13 women who underwent the same tests as the "Mercury 7" for space travel 1961, but were ultimately sidelined because of their gender. (April 20)
Top Three Netflix Original Series Coming to Netflix in April
-Bobby Kennedy for President, a four-hour docu-series highlighting the political legacy of one-time Attorney General and U.S. Senator Robert F. Kennedy, who was a leading candidate for the democratic nomination for president when he was assassinated, at the age of 42, in 1968. (April 27)
-Chef's Table: Pastry, a mini-series version of the standard Chef's Table, focused exclusively on pastries, the porniest of food porn. Prepare your dessert cravings accordingly. (April 13)
-Lost in Space, season one. It's somewhat of a reboot of the 1965 series of the same name, which revolved around the misadventures of the family Robinson, whose spaceship goes perilously off-course on the way to a new colony. It looks pretty family-friendly, but in a fun, Spielberg-ian way. (April 13)
Aggregate Grade of Netflix Originals: C+. We will not settle for Lost in Space and The Boss Baby: Back in Business, which I didn't mention above for fear of incurring your readerly wrath. A relatively weak month for originals, despite a few solid docs and promising indies (as well as an Adam Sandler movie, which looks...not great).
Top Three Movies/Comedy Specials Coming to Netflix in April
-Scarface, Brian de Palma's excessively violent crime movie, starring Al Pacino in perhaps his most iconic role. (April 1)
-The Lost Boys, Joel Schumacher's classic coming-of-age-y horror film, starring a classic cadre of '80s teenage stars, like Jason Patric, Kiefer Sutherland, Corey Haim and, of course, Corey Haim's dog.(April 1)
-Body of Lies, the Leonardo DiCaprio-Russell Crowe spy drama, directed by Ridley Scott, that's probably due for a re-watch. (April 1)
Top Three Shows Coming to Netflix in April
-Jane the Virgin, season four. It's the popular CW comedy starring Gina Rodriguez, as a university student who accidentally becomes artificially inseminated with her boss's sperm. (No exact date yet.)
Aggregate Grade of Non-Originals: C. We've got a strong infusion of '80s rewatchables, but nothing life-changing (or binge-worthy) on the show front.
Top Three Movies/Comedy Specials Leaving Netflix in April
-American Pie and American Pie. Goodbye, sweet princes. (April 1)
-The Whole Nine Yards. If you haven't watched this Matthew Perry-Amanda Peet contract killer-related comedy from 2000, you should do so before it leaves
the public consciousness Netflix forever. (April 1)
-The Shawshank Redemption (April 1) and Christopher Nolan's The Prestige (April 21), which I'm grouping together for purposes unknown, except that they're both very serious, weirdly rewatchable movies.
Top Three Shows Leaving Netflix in April
There are none!
Aggregate Grade of Non-Originals Leaving: C-. The movies, as always, feel like a loss. But the fact that we're not losing any shows this month should come as a welcome surprise for anyone who hasn't gotten around to watching the 18th season of Law & Order: SVU yet (or, you know, any other series).
The Final Grade
C. Compared to past months, April's pretty weak. Sure, we're not losing much. But from the list that's available now, we're not gaining as much as we usually do, either—at least not on the "stop-everything-you're-doing-and-watch-this" front. Hopefully those festival darlings, like 6 Balloons and Kodachrome, bear fruit. And maybe I'll finally get around to watching The Lost Boys.