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 Original Movies/Comedy Specials Coming to Netflix in March
-Amy Schumer Growing. It's the second standup special the comedienne has filmed for Netflix, and it will feature Schumer's brash riffs on her new marriage (she tied the knot last year) and her pregnancy (she's currently pregnant). But also, sex stuff. (March 19)
-The Dirt, a long-gestating biopic of Mötley Crüe, helmed by filmmaker Jeff Tremaine, who got some experience capturing outrageous shenanigans on camera when he directed Jackass. According to Rolling Stone, the autobiography on which it's based "contains some of the grittiest, raunchiest, supposedly true stories recorded, with scenes depicting the abuse of drugs, alcohol and groupies." Machine Gun Kelly plays Tommy Lee; Pete Davidson is involved; Tom Kapinos, who created the occasionally brilliant Showtime series, Californication, co-wrote the script. So, yeah. This should be fun. (March 22)
-The Highwaymen, a reimagining of Bonnie and Clyde from the perspective of the two former Texas Rangers who brought them down, played by none other than Kevin Costner and Woody Harrelson. We're here for Woody Harrelson any time he wants to play a detective. (March 29)
Top Three Original Series Coming to Netflix in March
-After Life, a dark comedy starring Ricky Gervais as a widower who lashes out at the world by punishing everyone else with his lacerating wit and no-holds-barred attitude—so, in other words, by becoming a version Ricky Gervais. (March 8)
-Queer Eye, season 3. The fab five returns for another season of (necessarily) feel-good reality TV makeovers. (March 15)
-Turn Up Charlie. Ah yes. This is the Idris Elba-stars-as-a-DJ series. It features the under-appreciated Piper Perabo and entails Elba's DJ character becoming a "manny." Needless to say, we're proceeding with caution.
Aggregate Grade of Netflix Originals: C. This month's offerings amount to a veritable grab bag of curiosity-piquing projects, but without any assurance of quality. The Dirt could be great; or it could be awful. Idris Elba as a DJ-turned-manny could be hilarious; or it could be laughable. Ultimately the list is interesting, if not totally convincing. Yet should these picks end up being less-than-satisfying, there's always David Fincher's animated anthology series, Love, Death & Robots, season 2 of On My Block and the second half of Arrested Development season 5.
Top Three Non-Original Movies Coming to Netflix in March
-A Clockwork Orange, Stanley Kubrick's mind-bending adaptation of Anthony Burgess's iconoclastic novel. (March 1)
-Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, Ang Lee's nearly two-decades-old action movie, which is probably due for your rediscovery. (March 1)
-The Notebook. The now-classic period romance starring Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams is on Netflix for the first time. And apparently, the streaming platform has incited outrage by changing the ending...(March 1)
Top Three Non-Original Series Coming to Netflix in March
All we get is season 5 of the Viola Davis-starring How to Get Away with Murder. (March 30)
Aggregate Grade of Non-Originals: C-. As always, the movie lineup is solid (and there are more, including Doubt and The Hurt Locker, which our own rules prohibited us from including here). But the TV shows are weak. And we feel it only right to dock some points for altering the conclusion of one of the most beloved on-screen romances of the 21st century.
Top Three Non-Original Movies Leaving Netflix in March
-The Breakfast Club, John Hughes's classic coming-of-age story set in an all-day detention. (March 1)
-The Gift, Joel Edgerton's testy 2015 thriller, starring a deliciously punchable Jason Bateman. (March 1)
-Role Models, David Wain's underrated buddy comedy starring Paul Rudd and Seann William Scott, which is firmly in the Apatow extended universe, but goofier. (March 1)
Top Three Non-Original Series Leaving Netflix in March
-Party of Five (seasons 1-6), the classic '90s sitcom about five orphaned siblings (which is apparently in line for the reboot treatment). (March 31)
-The Real Ghostbusters (seasons 1-5), the animated spin-off series of the 1984 original. (March 31)
-Drop Dead Diva (seasons 1-6), a Lifetime comedy about an aspiring model who dies and finds that her soul has resurfaced within the body of a plus-sized attorney named Jane. We are as surprised as you are (presumably?) that this show exists.
Aggregate Grade of Non-Originals Leaving: C+. As opposed to most other months, there is a substantial loss of streamable television in March. Whether or not said loss is significant depends on your attitude towards late-'80s animated series and Lifetime.
The Final Grade
C. From where we're standing—i.e., February—March is a relatively unremarkable month for Netflix. There are a few potential breakouts in the bunch, sure—particularly on the TV side of things. But other than the blessèd (or cursèd) image of Idris Elba spinning discs, there's nothing we absolutely can't wait to see.