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. And keep in mind: Netflix is a fickle beast, meaning they could always drop something out of the blue. So don't get mad at us.
Top Three Netflix Original Movies/Comedy Specials Coming to Netflix in September
-The Land of Steady Habits, a new dramedy about existential suburban ennui from the director of Enough Said, Nicole Holofcener. Think: American Beauty, kind of, but with Ben Mendelsohn. (September 14)
-Hold the Dark, a psychological thriller from the director of the criminally under-seen thriller, Green Room, about a wolf expert (Jeffrey Wright) who's brought to a mysterious Alaskan village to investigate the disappearance of a local boy, presumably by wolves (but probably not by wolves). (September 28)
-Quincy, a documentary of Quincy Jones by his daughter, Rashida Jones. If it's anything like this interview, this should be good. (September 21)
Top Three Netflix Original Series Coming to Netflix in September
-Maniac, the much-ballyhooed limited series from director Cary Fukunaga (True Detective), starring Jonah Hill and Emma Stone as two patients in a pharmaceutical drug trial gone awry. It looks like, as Stone's character says in the trailer, some "multi-reality brain magic shit." (September 21)
-American Vandal, season two. The true crime parody returns with a new mystery to solve: the mystery of the turd burglar. (September 14)
-Bojack Horseman, season five. The deceptively deep, critically-heralded animated series returns. (September 14)
Aggregate Grade of Netflix Originals: A-. Maniac is one of the most anticipated series of the year, both on Netflix and in general. And with American Vandal and Bojack Horseman, the streaming giant is bringing back two of its critical darlings (whether or not Vandal can work for a whole other season remains to be seen).
Top Three Movies/Comedy Specials Coming to Netflix in September
-Black Panther. Yes, that Black Panther. (September 1)
-Role Models, David Wain's super underrated and highly rewatchable buddy comedy starring Paul Rudd and Sean William Scott. (September 16)
-The Breakfast Club, because John Hughes's classic is always worth revisiting. (September 1)
Top Three Series Coming to Netflix in September
-The Walking Dead, season 8, in case you need to catch up on the longest-running zombie show imaginable. (September 23)
-Blacklist, season 5, should you require a quick James Spader fix. (September 12)
-Call the Midwife, season 7. What, you haven't already seen seasons 1 through 6? (September 10)
Aggregate Grade of Netflix Non-Originals: B+. A strong showing for the movies, particularly with Black Panther; a less strong showing for TV shows, unless you've been waiting anxiously for season 7 of Call the Midwife.
Top Three Movies/Comedy Specials Leaving Netflix in September
-The Dark Knight. It's easily the best and most rewatchable of superhero movies (don't @ me). (September 1)
-Moonrise Kingdom, Wes Anderson's twee coming-of-age story with love letter-writing and whip pans galore. (September 12)
-Just Friends, which is one of my personal favorite Christmas movies. (September 1)
Top Three Series Leaving Netflix in September
-Lockup: County Jails: Collection 1. It's the kind of docuseries/reality show that you can imprison you (pun intended), if you're not careful. (September 1)
-Rules of Engagement, seasons 1-7. Get your David Spade while it's hot. (September 11)
Aggregate Grade of Non-Originals Leaving: B. As always, the movies leaving are good. We didn't even have room to mention Forgetting Sarah Marshall, Dead Poets Society and Casino, all of which are worth clearing a Thursday night for.
The Final Grade
A-. This is a strong month for originals. Maniac is a must-watch, and even if you haven't seen American Vandal, you can (and should) still catch season 2. Happy streaming.