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 May
-Anon, a sci-fi thriller about a cop (Clive Owen) in a technologically-advanced surveillance state (think: Minority Report, kind of) investigating the suspicious goings-on of a sexy, anonymous hacker (Amanda Seyfried), directed by Andrew Niccol, the Academy Award-winning writer/director responsible for Gattaca and The Truman Show. (May 4)
-Ibiza, a buddy comedy about a trio of friends, played by Gillian Jacobs, Vanessa Bayer and Phoebe Robinson, who take a trip to, and probably a pill in, Ibiza, produced by Will Ferrell and Adam McKay. (May 25)
-Steve Martin and Martin Short: An Evening You Will Forget for the Rest of Your Life, a new special, featuring musical acts, sketches, witty conversation and the like, from the two legendary comics. (May 25)
Top Three Netflix Original Shows Coming to Netflix in May
-Dear White People, season two. Justin Simien's series about hyper-articulate students at a fictional Ivy League college is consistently one of the sharpest, sexiest shows on TV, in addition to providing a sophisticated dialectic about issues of race in America. (May 4)
-The Rain, season one, a buzzed-about Danish series about hunky survivors in a post-apocalyptic world ravaged by poisonous rain clouds. (May 4)
-The Break with Michelle Wolf, a new weekly talk show from The Daily Show alum and unlikely White House Correspondents' Dinner provocateur. (May 27)
Aggregate Grade of Netflix Originals: A. This is a great month for new shit. And I know this because of what I had to leave out due to the rigid rules of my own ambiguously designed grading format: a new season of Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt (May 30), a festival-circuiting zombie movie, Cargo (May 18), new John Mulaney and Tig Notaro specials (May 1 and May 22) and two new Letterman interviews, with Tina Fey and Howard Stern, respectively (May 4 and May 31).
Top Three Movies/Comedy Specials Coming to Netflix in May
-Faces Places, the Academy Award-nominated Agnes Varda documentary/road movie. (May 5)
-The 40-Year-Old Virgin, the ur-Judd Apatow comedy starring Steve Carrell, Seth Rogen and Paul Rudd. (May 16)
-Pixar's Coco. Everyone loves Coco. (May 29)
Top Three Shows Coming to Netflix in May
-A Girlfriends' Guide to Divorce, season 4, a sexy Bravo series about recent divorcées doing Desperate Housewives-y things. (May 15)
-The Game 365, seasons 15 and 16. For your additional sports documentary-related needs. (May 15)
Aggregate Grade of Netflix Non-Originals: B-. Solid movie lineup, particularly with regards to Faces Places, which just came out last year; less-than-solid show lineup, unless you're one of those people who swear by season 15 of The Game 365.
Top Three Movies/Comedy Specials Leaving Netflix in May
-GoodFellas, Martin Scorcese's highly-revisitable mafia drama. (May 1)
-Ocean's 11. You never want to see this one go, no matter how many times you've seen it before. (May 1)
-Field of Dreams. Did we know this was even on Netflix in the first place? No. Will we miss it now that we do? Yes. (May 1)
Top Three Shows Leaving Netflix in May
-Phineas and Ferb, seasons 1-4. You'll have to rely on a different cartoon for your weird late-night stoned cartoon binges. Not that you have those...(May 2)
-The Secret Life of the American Teenager, seasons 1-5 (May 2). We don't think you'll miss this ABC Family soap, starring a pre-Big Little Lies Shailene Woodley. But just in case...
Aggregate Grade of Netflix Non-Originals Leaving: B. We're going to miss the movies, the shows not so much.
The Final Grade
B+. This is a very promising month for original content, from Dear White People to Anon, which looks like it may break the cycle of very average Netflix movies. Our only knock is the relatively poor influx of non-original shows, against what's leaving. But we'll get over it. Happy streaming.