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 April
-Unicorn Store. Brie Larson directs and stars in this post-grad-finds-her-way dramedy along with her Captain Marvel co-star Samuel L. Jackson, who plays a pink-suited salesman of a fantastical store that claims to sell whatever she needs—i.e., a unicorn(?). Trailer tasting notes include: Spike Jonze-style magical absurdism; Frances Ha millennial ennui; and Joan Cusack mom-vibes. (April 5)
-The Perfect Date, wherein newly cemented teen heartthrob Noah Centineo (of To All the Boys I've Ever Loved Before) more or less pretends to be someone's boyfriend, again—only this time, he's getting paid to do it, so he can afford college. In other words: it's The Wedding Date set in high school. (April 12)
-Someone Great, a new rom-com from producer Paul Feig (Bridesmaids) starring Gina Rodriguez as the recently-broken-up-with Jenny, an aspiring music journalist who plans one last hurrah with her friends in New York before moving to San Francisco. If it's anywhere near as good as last year's surprisingly funny girls-night-out Netflix comedy, Ibiza, this would be a win. (April 19)
Top Three Original Series Coming to Netflix in April
-You vs. Wild. Remember Bandersnatch? The Black Mirror choose-your-own-adventure spin-off that premiered on Netflix a few months back? Well, think that, but with celebrity wild-man Bear Grylls, facing the perils of the natural world instead of the virtual. According to Grylls, it's a first-of-its-kind interactive live-action series. (April 10)
-Huge in France. It looks to be a deliciously meta show in the vein of comedian-turned-auteur series, starring French stand-up and actor Gad Elmaleh as a version of himself, who moves to Los Angeles to reconnect with his disinterested male model son. Elmaleh is, indeed, huge in France; that the show exists on Netflix—and, given the streaming platform's international audience, probably only could exist because of Netflix—adds another layer of winking referentiality here. (April 12)
-Street Food. From the creators of Chef's Table comes a docu-series highlighting the best and brightest and food-porniest street food known to mankind (the first season focuses on Asian countries). Consider it a mouthwatering compilation of the most hunger-inducing parts of every No Reservations episode. (April 26)
Aggregate Grade of Netflix Originals: B. Some exciting stuff going on this month. Huge in France, by the looks of it, could be a sleeper hit, while You vs. Wild, regardless of its results, is doing something no show has ever done before. The quality of the movies is less certain. But we're hopeful.
Top Three Non-Original Movies Coming to Netflix in April
-Bonnie and Clyde, the iconoclastic, culture-shifting 1967 film starring Faye Dunaway and Warren Beatty. (April 1)
-American Honey, Andrea Arnold's under-appreciated snapshot of teenage drifters, hustling and stealing and falling in and out of love on the road, featuring Shia LaBeouf at his best. (April 27)
-Burning. Lee Chang-Dong's adaptation of the Haruki Murakami novel was widely considered one of the best foreign films of 2018. It's a slow and deliberate thriller—a kind of contradiction in terms—suffused with a mysterious melancholia, about a young writer who stumbles into a relationship with a girl he lived in his neighborhood and her wealthy boyfriend (played by Steven Yeun). (April 29)
Top Three Non-Original Series Coming to Netflix in April
-New Girl, season 7. The final season, while it shows the series stretching at the seams, is still a good time, and a sweet way to cap off one of the decade's best sitcoms. (April 10)
-Legacies, season 1. It's a CW show about supernatural teens—vampires, werewolves, etc—working to flip the script on their villainous instincts. (April 5)
-Señora Acero, season 5, a soapy Spanish-language series about a widow who takes over her husband's drug-trafficking business.
Aggregate Grade of Netflix Non-Originals: A-. The inclusions here of Burning and American Honey—two somewhat niche, but critically beloved films—is a bit unusual for Netflix, and a nice surprise. New Girl is sure to be binged by a new generation of college students who've already run through, or are too young to respond to, Friends.
Top Three Movies Leaving Netflix in April
-Billy Madison and Happy Gilmore, Adam Sandler's two finest (and most rewatchable) movies. (April 1)
-A whole bunch of James Bond movies, including Casino Royale, Diamonds Are Forever, Goldfinger and The World Is Not Enough, the mere mention of which is enough to make us want to revisit The World Is Not Enough. (April 1)
-Heat. Watch Heat. (April 1)
Top Three Series Leaving Netflix in April
-Blue Mountain State, seasons 1-3, an occasionally entertaining if shallow frat-boy series that probably definitely wouldn't fly in 2019. (April 1)
-Luther, seasons 1-4, the compellingly dark British detective series starring Idris Elba. You win some Elba, you lose some Elba.
-Star Wars: The Clone Wars, seasons 1-5. Holy hell there's so much Star Wars #content. (April 7)
Aggregate Grade of Non-Originals Leaving: B+. Of all the Sandler movies on Netflix to ditch, they're ditching the two best. And as far as series leaving Netflix go, Luther is more damaging to the collecting Netflix-watching conscience than most.
The Final Grade
B. From a quantitative perspective, the original offerings are bountiful; but while there's promise, it's not hard to imagine some (or most) of them being pretty unremarkable. What really sets this month apart is the influx of interesting and high-caliber non-original movies, which should soften the blow of losing Happy Gilmore right as golf season picks up.