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Welcome to 2016 folks and I hope you had a binge-filled festive holiday. This year promises to be a cracker in terms of Netflix Original content as they are doubling the amount of series and movies released in 2015. Here I’ll take you through the news on returning Netflix shows and a whole bunch of brand new things to get excited about. There’s lots to get through, so lets dig in.
Here are the returning Netflix shows getting a new season in 2016.
Better Call Saul (Season 2) – New episodes weekly from February 16th
The Emmy nominated prequel to Breaking Bad follows small time attorney Jimmy McGill as he transforms into morally challenged lawyer Saul Goodman.
Better Call Saul and its star Bob Odenkirk have been enjoying great critical acclaim since the first season aired last year. The show also set the record for being the highest-rated scripted series in the history of basic cable broadcasting, with an average of 6.9 million viewers overall. The new series will be coming out on a weekly basis from the second week in February, so no bingeing to begin with, but that would really be spoiling us.
House of Cards (Season 4) – Premieres March 4th
Frank Underwood has announced his candidacy for president and will stop at nothing to conquer Washington DC in this Emmy and Golden Globe winning political drama.
What’s not to love about Kevin Spacey, or Frank Underwood for that matter. There were some hints of negativity creeping into the critics’ reviews as the seasons passed so lets hope Season 4 gets them back on track and with the Presidential Elections in the world’s mind already, I can see this season doing very well for itself.
Marvel’s Daredevil (Season 2) – Premieres March 18th
Blinded as a young boy, Matt Murdock fights injustice by day as a lawyer and by night as the super hero Daredevil in Hell’s Kitchen, NYC.
Charlie Cox returns as The Man Without Fear in the highly anticipated second season of Daredevil. The hype has only increased, since its own stelar first season, as the brilliant Jessica Jones took the world by storm late last year. With Luke Cage’s solo series around the corner (no confirmed premiere date as of yet) and both Iron Fist and The Defenders to follow, the Marvel/Netflix team-up seems to be going from strength to strength. Plus I can’t wait to see Jon Bernthal’s The Punisher in action. Check out the teaser trailer below.
Orange is the New Black (Season 4)
A privileged New Yorker ends up on a woman’s prison when a past crime catches up with her in this Emmy winning series from the creator of weeds.
This was a slow burner for me, to be honest. It took a bad dose of the snots and an eight hour blanket-wrapped-binge to get me hooked. But here I am now, three seasons later and very much looking forward to season four. This isn’t the best show on Netflix and personally I think the show would be better without the main character Piper, but it’s still very enjoyable. The diversity of the characters and the talented cast make it an agreeable watch and it balances the comedy while still nailing some serious issues and dealing with the dramatic situations brilliantly.
Marco Polo (Season 2)
Set in a world of greed, betrayal, sexual intrigue and rivalry. Marco Polo is based on the famed explorer’s adventures in Kublai Khan’s court.
I thought season 1 looked kind of pants (or some other, more professional word for not very good) to be honest, so I didn’t watch it. If I’m 100% wrong, let me know, but for now I am good. The feature-lenght One Hundred Eyes special did look fairly bad-ass though, I have to admit.
Bloodline (Season 2)
When the black sheep son of a respected family threatens to expose dark secrets from their past, sibling loyalties are put to the test.
This has been on my must-watch list for a while now, but haven’t been able to give it any real attention. It received positive critical reviews and was nominated for two Emmy’s last year; Best Leading Actor (Kyle Chandler) and Best Supporting Actor (Ben Mendelsohn). I’ll probably wait until the announcement of the second season’s premiere to binge the lot and get stuck into the new episodes.
Grace & Frankie (Season 2)
Jane Fonda & Lily Tomlin co-star as two women forced to reinvent their lives in this funny, honest, Emmy nominated Netflix Original series.
Another one that I didn’t watch last year. It is supposed to be good, but there is so much choice out there, I have to be choosey. Or at least, I choose to be choosey. Two ageing women whose husband’s run off together resulting in them re-evaluating their lives just doesn’t scream WATCH ME… but hey, swings and roundabouts.
Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt (Season 2)
When a woman is rescued from a doomsday cult and lands in New York, she must navigate a world she didn’t think even existed anymore.
Written by Tina Fey & Starring 30 Rock’s Ellie Kemper, the first season of Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt was a certain level of good. “What level?” I hear you ask. Well, it is definitely watchable, funny in moments, cringe-worthy, overtly-awkward in parts, sometimes over-acted but not a bad way to spend half an hour. So I guess, maybe a 5/10 level. Not quite a good as 30 Rock but I can see how a lot of 30 Rock fans would like it.
Bojack Horseman (Season 3)
Meet the most beloved sitcom horse of the 90s. 20 years later he’s a curmudgeon with a heart of… not quite gold but something like gold…Copper?
I hear all the great things but still I haven’t watched it. I know, I know. I’m a bad man. But Ged Murray has and this is what he has to say:
Here’s an easy pitch; Will Arnett voices a washed up, substance abusing former sitcom star (who happens to be a horse) in a cartoon world populated by a mixture of humans and animals.What makes Bojack Horseman a stand out show isn’t the wacky premise. What makes this show different is its ability to balance silly, high concept gags, meaningful character development and extremely dark humour while miraculously managing to be hysterically funny. It manages to be more funny, raw and engagingly human than most live action shows could hope to be.
Sense8 (Season 2)
From the creators of The Matrix and Babylon 5 comes the tense series in which eight people can telepathically experience each other’s lives.
Sense8 was one of my favourite pieces of television from last year. It is incredibly well shot, well acted and the story drives on at a great pace. It finds the time to introduce and subsequently fall in love with all eight main characters while the whirlwind of backstory and trying to figure out what is going on keeps you at the edge of your seats. I felt it fell under the radar a bit and was slightly dismissed as just another “sci-fi”, when in reality it is one of the best action/dramas I have watched in a very long time. As well as dealing with the main plot of the telepathic folks it also deals with issues such as homophobia, transgender issues, arranged marriages in India, equality of women in Asia, and even the price of AIDS drugs in Africa.
It does this all with ease and I urge you to watch it.
It has come to light that filming is not set to start until May/June 2016 and the premiere of Season 2 will now not be until 2017.
Narcos (Season 2)
The true story of Columbia’s infamously violent and powerful drug cartels fuels this gritty new Emmy nominated gangster drama series.
Yet another Emmy nominated Netflix original. Narcos found a huge fan base very quickly and although many think that it should have wrapped up in one season, the hype and promise of more outlandish carry-on from the main man, Pablo Escobar, meant that a second season was bound to be a runner. Not for the faint-hearted, the first season was awash with blood and cocaine, the almost unbelievable (even when we knew it was based on reality) exploits of the cartel kept all viewers wanting more. And later this year, you will be getting exactly that.
In Part 2 I will take a look at the brand new Original series and movies from Netflix and there are plenty of top notch pieces of programming to get excited for.
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