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 October
-Joe Rogan: Strange Times, the latest special from the psychedelic-proselytizing comic, whose popular podcast was made even more popular when Elon Musk came on and smoked a blunt. (October 2)
-Private Life, a talky little New York dramedy about a middle-aged couple (Paul Giamatti and Kathryn Hahn) trying their damnedest to conceive. It premiered at Sundance, and is directed by Tamara Jenkins (who recently co-wrote the script for 2018's most underrated rom-com, Juliet, Naked). (October 5)
-The Kindergarten Teacher, another Sundance darling, this one starring Maggie Gyllenhaal as the titular teacher, who becomes obsessed with a child poet prodigy in her class, and goes to extraordinary (and psychologically boundary-pushing) lengths to nurture his talent. (October 12)
Top Three Netflix Original Series Coming to Netflix in October
-Big Mouth, season 2. It's the return of Nick Kroll and John Mulaney's intelligent, hilarious, oft-musical animated series documenting with roundabout accuracy the biological trials and tribulations of three pubescent teens. (October 5)
-The Haunting of Hill House, a new horror series based on the gothic novel by Shirley Jackson. Given the buzz (and the trailer), you might want to consider this your required pre-Halloween viewing. (October 12)
-Patriot Act with Hasan Minaj, the latest weekly comedy/news series from a Daily Show alumni. If the others are any indication, this one should be good. (October 28)
Aggregate Grade of Netflix Originals: A-. The series are as strong as ever, and we didn't even have the space to include the dark, Kiernan Shipka-Sabrina reboot. On the movie side, we're pretty happy with the two little indies and the one not-so-little Joe Rogan special.
Top Three Non-Original Movies/Comedy Specials Coming to Netflix in October
-Billy Madison, which is only one of the most rewatchable movies of all-time. (October 1)
-The Shining. Stanley Kubrick's iconic horror movie, featuring the quintessential Jack Nicholson performance, is canon. Naturally, October is the perfect time for this to come back into your life. (October 1)
-Once Upon a Time in America, because there's never not a good time to sink into a classic DeNiro gangster movie. (October 1)
Top Three Non-Original Series Coming to Netflix in October
-Gotham, season 4. So we've done our requisite internet research and concluded that the Batman extended universe police drama is apparently...not bad? (October 1)
-Schitt's Creek, season 4. Another season of another show that anyone who watches it will tell you is "criminally underrated." (October 11)
-Great News, season 2. The first season of this well-received yet little-seen Tina Fey exec-produced workplace comedy is already on Netflix, and there are only two seasons in total. In other words, you could get through these pretty quick if you put your mind to it. (October 2)
Aggregate Grade of Non-Originals: B-. Nothing to write home about here, even if we are happy to have Billy Madison at our disposal whenever we want it.
Top Three Non-Original Movies/Comedy Specials Leaving Netflix in October
-Adventureland. The banter-y '80s Jesse Eisenberg-Kristen Stewart rom-com, directed by Greg Mottola (Superbad), is, in retrospect, one of the best teen rom-coms of the aughts. (October 1)
-Boogie Nights. If nothing else, watch (or re-watch) Paul Thomas Anderson's classic in honor of Burt Reynolds, who passed away earlier this month. (October 1)
-Eyes Wide Shut. We gain one Kubrick film, we lose another. C'est la vie de Netflix. (October 1)
Top Three Non-Original Series Leaving Netflix in October
-Freaks and Geeks, season 1. If you haven't seen the Apatowian '90s high school series, starring Seth Rogen, Jason Segal, James Franco and other funny people you know from other funny things, now's the time. (October 1)
-90210, seasons 1-5. The reboot of the Beverly Hills-based teenage soap will be washed clean next month. (We apologize for the pun.) (October 8)
-About a Boy, seasons 1-2. Sure, maybe you don't need to see the ill-fated TV version of the eponymous, Hugh Grant-starring British movie (and Nick Hornby novel). But maybe you do. Maybe you do...(October 14)
Aggregate Grade of Non-Originals Leaving: A-. The movies, as always, are significant. But Freaks and Geeks is notable insofar as it's been a stalwart of Netflix, where it's experienced a second life.
The Final Grade
B-. We're getting some great stuff here, particularly with regards to scary shit you want to watch with friends/dates in the days leading up to Halloween. But we're losing a bit more, in terms of quality and rewatchability, than during a typical Netflix month.
Be that as it may: stream away...