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. But 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 February
-Velvet Buzzsaw (pictured). It's Nightcrawler director Dan Gilroy's supernatural thriller set in the rarefied air of the art world starring Jake Gyllenhaal as an eccentric art critic named Morf Vandewalt (which should give you some indication of what this movie is like), Toni Colette as a museum buyer and Rene Russo as the head of an influential gallery. It looks creepy, it looks absurd and it looks like it's intent on skewering the hollow pretension and greed of the cultural cognoscenti. (Feb. 1)
-High Flying Bird. Steven Soderbergh is a master at revealing the intricate machinations of a particular ecosystem, and those who are working to game it, whether it be in West Virginia (Logan Lucky) or Las Vegas (Ocean's 11) or rural California (Erin Brokovich). Here, he turns his gaze on the inner-workings of the NBA—the owners who want it all and the players who want to get what they deserve. (Feb. 8)
-The Breaker Uppers, your anti-Valentine's Day comedy from New Zealand (exec-produced by Taika Waititi), centering on two best friends who break people up in exchange for money. (Feb. 15)
Top Three Netflix Original Series Coming to Netflix in February
-Dating Around, a new reality show, harkening back to the halcyon days of Elimidate, that sets up one bachelor or bachelorette with five blind dates. (Feb. 14)
-Suburra, season 2, the follow-up to the breakout premiere season of the first Italian-produced series for Netflix, revolving around the criminal enterprises in a port town outside of Rome. (Feb. 22)
-Chef's Table, Volume 6. More food porn, this time from a world-renowned butcher in Italy, a James Beard-award winning chef in Charleston and the proprietor of an acclaimed Indian restaurant in London. Don't watch hungry. (Feb. 22)
Aggregate Grade of Netflix Originals: B. Nothing to write home about when it comes to the TV here, unless Dating Around becomes this generation's after-school MTV dating show. But between Velvet Buzzsaw and High Flying Bird, there's enough to look forward to here.
Top Three Non-Original Movies/Comedy Specials Coming to Netflix in February
-All four Jaws are back. Which is probably two more Jaws than you need, but still. (Feb. 1)
-The 40-Year-Old Virgin, Judd Apatow's modern classic. (Feb. 16)
-Pretty in Pink and Edge of Seventeen, which would make for a pretty good high school rom-com double feature come Valentine's Day. (Feb. 1)
Top Three Non-Original Series Coming to Netflix in February
-All we've got is Jeopardy! Collection 2. Which isn't nothing. The people have spoken, and they love Jeopardy!. (Feb. 28)
Aggregate Grade of Non-Originals: C+. Sure, we didn't mention that the American Pie trilogy is also returning to Netflix this month. (Not to mention, Olivier Assayas's eerie, Kristen Stewart-starring indie, Personal Shopper.) But overall, as compared to prior months, this one's pretty average.
Top Three Non-Original Movies/Comedy Specials Leaving Netflix in February
-Children of Men, Alfonso Cuarón's beautifully gloomy post-apocalyptic thriller starring Clive Owen. (Feb. 1)
-The Big Lebowski, the Coen brothers' '90s cult classic. (Feb. 1)
-Clerks, Kevin Smith's '90s cult classic. It would appear we're losing some '90s cult classics next month. (Feb. 1)
Top Three Non-Original Series Leaving Netflix in February
-Queer as Folk, seasons 1-5, the early aughts Showtime dramedy series about a group of gay friends in working-class Pittsburgh. (Feb. 1)
-Girl Meets World, seasons 1-3. Get your Boy Meets World nostalgia fix while you can. Or not. Maybe not.
Aggregate Grade of Non-Originals Leaving: B-. You've probably already seen The Big Lebowski and Clerks a million times by now, anyway...
The Final Grade
B. Let the takeaway here be to watch High Flying Bird and Velvet Buzzsaw as soon as you're free, and The 40-Year-Old Virgin if you're comatose after the Super Bowl on Sunday and just need something to mindlessly re-watch.