From left, scenes from “Everything Sucks!” and “Babylon Berlin.”Netflix; Beta Film
If it seems as though each time you log into Netflix there are a dozen new original series on offer, it might be because that’s essentially what’s happening. According to Variety, the company’s chief financial officer, David Wells, announced in February that Netflix was aiming to host around 700 original shows worldwide by the end of 2018. In the United States, some of these are shows produced by Netflix, and some are foreign shows for which Netflix has purchased the rights. Either way, it’s more television than any one person can consume.
In order to help you prioritize your queue, we’ll periodically sift through the latest original programming on Netflix and let you know which shows we think are worth watching. This inaugural roundup features crime thrillers, teen comedies, food shows and one of the craziest documentary series in recent memory.
Liv Lisa Fries in “Babylon Berlin.” Beta Film
“Babylon Berlin” has everything: Communists, fascists and flappers! Pornographers, cops and gangsters! Set during the Weimar Republic and created with the filmmaker Tom Tykwer (“Run Lola Run”), this hit German crime drama combines the decadence of “Cabaret” with the grit of a contemporary police procedural. At the center of its sprawling story are Gereon Rath (Volker Bruch), a vice-squad detective scarred by his experiences in World War I, and Charlotte Ritter (Liv Lisa Fries), a typist and sometime prostitute who wants desperately to join the all-male police force. For those who hate reading subtitles, there is a dubbed version available on Netflix. But it’s distractingly awkward, so consider giving the show a shot in its original language first.
Bhagwan Rajneesh in “Wild Wild Country.”Netflix
Wild Wild Country
After appearing in one of last year’s best Netflix original films, “Mudbound,” Carey Mulligan returns to the streaming service with another stirring performance. “Collateral” casts her as Kip Glaspie, an ambitious detective inspector whose investigation into the murder of a pizza delivery man leads her to a far more complicated mystery. With lots of incisive commentary on immigration in post-Brexit Britain and a top-notch supporting cast that includes Jeany Spark, John Simm, Billie Piper and Nicola Walker, this mini-series isn’t just for thriller addicts. Bonus: You can — and will probably want to — watch the entire four-episode season in an afternoon.
A scene from “Ugly Delicious” .Netflix
If you’re a fan of Anthony Bourdain’s globe-trotting food-adventure shows, add this series to your queue. With episodes organized around dishes rather than destinations, “Ugly Delicious” sends David Chang, the chef and Momofuku restaurateur, to culinary capitals from Los Angeles to Copenhagen to Tokyo in order for him to sample the best incarnations of everyday meals like pizza and barbecue. Accompanying Chang is a boisterous, rotating cast of pals including Jimmy Kimmel and the “Walking Dead” actor Steven Yeun. In the sweetest episode, “Homecooking,” the host and his longtime collaborator, the food writer Peter Meehan, join Chang’s mother in her kitchen to prepare a Korean-American Thanksgiving feast.
Nicole Byer and Jacques Torres in “Nailed It! ”Netflix
Television can never get enough baking competitions, most of which follow the same basic recipe: Talented pastry chefs + high-concept creations + expert judges = sculptural desserts that are a feast for the eyes. “Nailed It!” swaps out the professional contestants in favor of hapless novices who try their damnedest to replicate elaborate wedding cakes and other decorative sweets. The result is Food Network meets Cake Wrecks, with a lot of heart. As host, the comedian Nicole Byer strikes the perfect balance between encouragement and ridicule, and the competitors’ self-aware humor ensures that the show never feels as if it’s taking cheap shots.
Regina King in “Seven Seconds.” JoJo Whilden/Netflix
In this crime drama from Veena Sud, the creator of “The Killing,” a black teenager is struck by a car while riding his bike and is left for dead. But “Seven Seconds” isn’t a whodunit. We know from the beginning that the hit-and-run collision is an accident, that a white police officer named Peter Jablonski (Beau Knapp) is the culprit and that his colleagues help him cover it up. The question is: Will the burned-out prosecutor assigned to the case (Clare-Hope Ashitey) and her detective partner (Michael Mosley) figure out what happened? And if they do, will a jury punish four cops for what they did to a black teen? “American Crime” fans, take note: That show’s standout actress, Regina King, gives a similarly moving performance in this series as the victim’s mother.
A scene from “The End of the ____ing World.”Netflix
The End Of The _ _ _ _king World
British TV may be best known for Monty Python and costume dramas, but it is also home to some of the most daring teen programming in the English-speaking world. (See: “Skins,” “My Mad Fat Diary,” “Misfits.”) “The End of the ____ing World,” which comes to Netflix by way of Britain’s Channel 4, is an exceptionally dark, suspenseful comedy about two disturbed teens who run away together. But one of these road-trippers, James (Alex Lawther), is only feigning interest in his companion, Alyssa (Jessica Barden). What he really wants is to kick off his psycho-killer career by murdering her — or so he thinks.
Elijah Stevenson and Sydney Sweeney in “Everything Sucks!”Scott Patrick Green/Netflix
For a lighter teen comedy, try this charming show about outcasts living in the aptly named town of Boring, Ore., in the mid-1990s. Our heroes are the nerdy A.V. clique and their slightly older, slightly cooler peers in the drama club — two warring factions that unite to make an absolutely ridiculous movie. Odd-couple romances, betrayals, family conflicts, journeys of self-discovery and montages set to period-appropriate songs ensue, so it’s no wonder that “Everything Sucks!” has earned comparisons to “Freaks and Geeks.” While it doesn’t quite live up to that hype, the show is funny, sweet and sure to hit all the right nostalgia buttons for viewers in their 30s.
Source: The New York Times