What You Should Watch
History of Swear Words (January 2): Nicolas Cage comes to Netflix in a typically quirky way, as the host of a six-part documentary series about the origins and history of six words, only one of which—“Damn”—we can print in a family publication. Guests include both academic experts who can discourse on the origin of the words, as well as people like Sarah Silverman who are intimately familiar with using them.
Pretend it’s a City (January 8): In 2011, Martin Scorsese released Public Speaking, a documentary about Fran Lebowitz, the snarky writer who has become one of New York City’s most famous humorists and sought-after public speakers, even though she has writer’s block and hasn’t published a book in decades. After giving her a small part in The Wolf of Wall Street, Scorsese is back with this documentary series, where he sits down with Lebowitz to get her views on various subjects, but particularly the city they both love the most. Though as the title implies, Lebowitz may give New York some tough love.
Fate: The Winx Saga (January 22): “Animaniacs” isn’t the only recent show that’s aimed at adult viewers of a children’s cartoon, and “Riverdale” isn’t the only gritty reboot of a not-so-gritty franchise. The Italian cartoon series “Winx Club,” created by Iginio Straffi, ran from 2004 to 2019 in two different incarnations, becoming a major hit in both Italy and America with its Harry Potter-esque story of the students at a school for magical fairies. After the animated series ran its course, Straffi moved into live action with a show that he described as “edgier and darker” than the original, aiming to appeal to grown-ups who watched the original incarnation when they were kids, though the basic setup is the same: a novice fairy, Bloom (Abigail Cowen), arrives at the school and has adventures with her new magically-powered roommates.
The Dig (January 29): “The Crown” may be on hiatus, but Netflix will never run out of British period pieces with well-regarded actors. This film takes place in the England of 1939, where Edith Pretty (Carey Mulligan) asks archaeologist Basil Brown (Ralph Fiennes) to find out if there is anything interesting on a plot of land she owns, and their lives are changed forever when it leads to the discovery of a gigantic ship that served as a medieval burial site. The film (originally announced with Nicole Kidman in the role of Edith) is based on John Preston’s 2007 novel of the same name, which (like “The Crown”) uses real people and events but feels free to make things up if it makes for a better story.
Bonding: Season 2 — NETFLIX ORIGINAL
Zoe Levin and Brendan Scannell play two down-on-their-luck friends trying to make a living in the S&M business.
June & Kopi — NETFLIX FILM
Indonesian filmmaker Noviandra Santosa directed this movie about a stray dog adjusting to her new home.
The Netflix Afterparty — NETFLIX ORIGINAL
Netflix has something in every genre, including the genre of self-promotion: a panel of comedians, including David Spade, London Hughes and Fortune Feimster, convenes to chat about the shows and movies we should be watching on Netflix.
Coming to Netflix on January 1, 2021
Dream Home Makeover: Season 2 — NETFLIX ORIGINAL
Hosts Shea and Syd McGee, who run an interior design company based in Utah, show their guests how to get homes that are perfectly suited to their needs.
Headspace Guide to Meditation — NETFLIX ORIGINAL
This animated series is the first of three shows that Netflix is producing with the creators of Headspace, the meditation app. In eight episodes, the co-creator of the app gives us an illustrated lecture on how to make our lives calmer through a few minutes of meditation per day.
The Minimalists: Less Is Now — NETFLIX DOCUMENTARY
Joshua Fields Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus, creators of the book Minimalism and the Netflix documentary of the same name, return to advise us to own as little stuff as possible.
Monarca: Season 2 — NETFLIX ORIGINAL
In this drama about a group of siblings vying to take over their father’s business empire in Mexico, the characters have new competition in the form of their cousin Sofia (Fernanda Castillo).
What Happened to Mr. Cha? — NETFLIX FILM
Cha In‑pyo Cho Dalhwan plays a washed-up movie star whose attempts to revive his career are complicated when he gets stuck in a crumbling building.
Coming to Netflix on January 2, 2021
Asphalt Burning (Børning 3) — NETFLIX FILM
Another entry in Norway’s answer to the Fast & Furious franchise, in which Roy (Anders Baasmo Christiansen) enters a car race in Germany after being jilted by the woman he loves.
Coming to Netflix on January 4, 2021
Coming to Netflix on January 5, 2021
Gabby’s Dollhouse — NETFLIX FAMILY
Animated/live action hybrid series from DreamWorks, based on the preschooler book “The Little Dollhouse” by Jan Lebeyka, about Gabby (Laila Lockhart Kraner) and the talking animals that live in her dollhouse.
History of Swear Words — NETFLIX ORIGINAL
See introduction for details
¡Nailed It! México: Season 3 — NETFLIX ORIGINAL
The Mexican edition of Netflix’s baking series, where amateur chefs get to be humiliated by trying to bake cakes from hard-to-follow recipes.
LA’s Finest: Season 1
Leaving Netflix on January 5, 2021
Crazy Rich Asians
Coming to Netflix on January 6, 2021
Surviving Death — NETFLIX DOCUMENTARY
Documentary series, based on a book by Leslie Kean, which tries to examine the mystery of what happens after death by talking to people who were declared dead and then revived.
Tony Parker: The Final Shot — NETFLIX DOCUMENTARY
Biography of San Antonio Spurs basketball star Tony Parker, a French citizen born in Belgium to an American father and Dutch mother.
The Blues Brothers
The Mummy Returns
The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor
The Scorpion King
Coming to Netflix on January 7, 2021
Pieces of a Woman — NETFLIX FILM
Martin Scorsese executive-produced this film adaptation of the stage play by Kornél Mundruczó (who directed the film, in his first English-language effort) and Kata Wéber (who wrote the screenplay), starring Vanessa Kirby as a woman trying to deal with the aftermath of losing a baby in childbirth.
Coming to Netflix on January 8, 2021
Charming — NETFLIX FILM
A Canadian take on the animated fairy-tale musical, with the voice of Wilmer Valderrama as Prince Charming, who is cursed to lose his charm unless he finds his true love.
The Idhun Chronicles: Part 2 — NETFLIX ANIME
The adaptation of Laura Gallego’s “The Idhún’s Memories” reaches the second of three parts, where the young wizards have grown up a bit but are still learning more of their connection to the magical world of Idhún.
Inside the World’s Toughest Prisons: Season 5 — NETFLIX ORIGINAL
British journalist Raphael Rowe was once wrongfully convicted and sent to prison; now, in this reality series, he gets paid to spend time in high-security prisons around the world.
Cobra Kai: Season 3 — NETFLIX ORIGINAL
The ‘80s nostalgia boom is going strong with this continuation of The Karate Kid, with Ralph Macchio and William Zabka reprising their film roles and leading rival groups of Karat Kids.
Lupin — NETFLIX ORIGINAL
Assane (Omar Sy) finds himself following in the footsteps of the classic French gentleman-thief character of Arsène Lupin, and uses his Lupin-like thievery skills to rob from a rich family that killed his father.
Mighty Little Bheem: Kite Festival — NETFLIX FAMILY
A special edition of the Indian animated children’s series, which follows the character of Bheem (from the series “Chhota Bheem”) as a baby.
Pretend It’s a City — NETFLIX DOCUMENTARY
See introduction for details
Stuck Apart (Azizler) — NETFLIX FILM
Engin Günaydin plays Aziz, a man trying to navigate a midlife crisis, in this comedy film from Turkey.
The Tax Collector
Leaving Netflix on January 8, 2021
Mary Poppins Returns
Coming to Netflix on January 11, 2021
CRACK: Cocaine, Corruption & Conspiracy — NETFLIX DOCUMENTARY
Documentary filmmaker Stanley Nelson (Freedom Riders) directed this documentary about the 1980s crack epidemic and the devastating impact on Black and Brown communities, both from the epidemic itself and the government response to it.
Coming to Netflix on January 13, 2021
Night Stalker: The Hunt for a Serial Killer — NETFLIX DOCUMENTARY
Documentary about Richard Ramirez, the serial killer who terrorized Los Angeles in 1984-5, and the detectives who were on his trail.
Coming to Netflix on January 15, 2021
Bling Empire — NETFLIX ORIGINAL
Reality show about a group of Asian and Asian-American millionaires in Los Angles, and the secrets and conflicts beneath their carefree and expensively-dressed façade.
Carmen Sandiego: Season 4 — NETFLIX FAMILY
Another batch of episodes from the reboot of the edutainment franchise, where Carmen continues to travel the world and teach us about landmarks, but this time the stories are slightly more serialized.
Disenchantment: Part 3 — NETFLIX ORIGINAL
Ten more episodes from Matt Groening’s animated series about Bean (voiced by Abbi Jacobson), who deals with the comedic complications of being a princess in a fairy-tale kingdom.
Double Dad (Pai Em Dobro) — NETFLIX FILM
Maisa Silva plays a teenager, raised in a hippie commune, who takes advantage of her mother’s absence to sneak out into the outside world in search of the father she never knew.
Outside the Wire — NETFLIX FILM
Mikael Håfström directed this science-fiction drama, starring Anthony Mackie as a robotic military officer in a futuristic world that’s in danger of being blown up.
Pinkfong & Baby Shark’s Space Adventure
Leaving Netflix on January 15, 2021
Waco: Limited Series
Coming to Netflix on January 16, 2021
Outlander: Season 5
Coming to Netflix on January 19, 2021
Hello Ninja: Season 4 — NETFLIX FAMILY
Animated series about kids who can turn into ninjas and have family-friendly, educational ninja adventures.
Coming to Netflix on January 20, 2021
Daughter From Another Mother (Madre solo hay dos) — NETFLIX ORIGINAL
Ludwika Paleta and Paulina Goto star in this comedy series about two women from different social worlds who discover they have accidentally been raising each other’s babies.
Spycraft — NETFLIX ORIGINAL
Documentary about the real-life espionage gadgets made by real-world equivalents of Q from the James Bond films.
Coming to Netflix on January 21, 2021
Call My Agent!: Season 4 — NETFLIX ORIGINAL
The final six episodes of the series about the adventures of four agents at a major talent agency in Paris.
Riverdale: Season 5 — NETFLIX ORIGINAL
Weekly re-broadcasts of the CW series that has managed to make an edgy, dark version of Archie Comics more famous than the squeaky-clean originals.
Gigantosaurus: Season 1
Leaving Netflix on January 24, 2021
Captain America: The First Avenger
Coming to Netflix on January 22, 2021
Blown Away: Season 2 — NETFLIX ORIGINAL
Is it possible to find new topics for a reality competition show? Canada proved it was, by giving the world this show where contestants compete in the art of glass-blowing.
Busted!: Season 3 — NETFLIX ORIGINAL
In this mix of reality and scripted TV (to the extent they can be separated), a group of South Korean celebrities are asked to solve mysteries in every episode, leading up to a big season-ending episode where a bigger mystery is solved.
Fate: The Winx Saga — NETFLIX ORIGINAL
See introduction for details
Jurassic World: Camp Cretaceous Season 2 — NETFLIX FAMILY
Last season on the serialized animated Jurassic Park spinoff, a dinosaur park turned out not to be as safe for humans as advertised. This season, the characters continue running from dinosaurs.
So My Grandma’s a Lesbian! (Salir del ropero) — NETFLIX FILM
Spanish director Ángeles Reiné helmed this film about an elderly woman who comes out as a lesbian and schedules a wedding with the woman she loves.
The White Tiger — NETFLIX FILM
Adaptation of the Man Booker Prize-winning novel by Aravind Adiga, about a young man (Adarsh Gourav) who will do just about anything to work his way up from poverty to wealth.
Coming to Netflix on January 23, 2021
Love (ft. Marriage and Divorce) — NETFLIX ORIGINAL
Series about the career and relationship problems of three women who work on a successful South Korean radio show. Starring Sung Hoon, Lee Tae Gon, and Park Joo Mi.
Coming to Netflix on January 26, 2021
Go Dog Go — NETFLIX FAMILY
Animated series based on the classic children’s book by P. D. Eastman, about dogs who drive cars.
Snowpiercer: Season 2 — NETFLIX ORIGINAL
Even before the pandemic, Netflix sure had a lot of series about humans who go through apocalyptic events. This series, starring Jennifer Connelly and Daveed Diggs, is about a group of apocalypse survivors who are confined to a train that perpetually circles the Earth.
Coming to Netflix on January 27, 2021
50M2 — NETFLIX ORIGINAL
A former hitman (Frank Gerrish) masquerades as a tailor in order to hide from his ex-bosses in this eight-episode series from Turkey.
Penguin Bloom — NETFLIX FILM
Naomi Watts stars in this film, based on a true story, about a woman left paralyzed after an accident and the little magpie (the title character) who helps her and her family appreciate life again. Directed by Glendyn Ivin.
Coming to Netflix on January 29, 2021
Below Zero (Bajocero) — NETFLIX FILM
Lluís Quílez directs this thriller, set against an icy landscape, where a cop does battle with criminals who want to stop him from taking one of their own to prison.
The Dig — NETFLIX FILM
See introduction for details
Finding ‘Ohana — NETFLIX FILM
Kea Peahu and Alex Aiono play two Hawaiian-American teenagers who spend a summer in Oahu and find it more exciting than they anticipated. Directed by Jude Weng and written by Christina Strain.
We Are: The Brooklyn Saints — NETFLIX DOCUMENTARY
Rudy Valdez, who won an Emmy award for producing the documentary “The Sentence,” directed this four-episode series about a football program for young boys in inner-city Brooklyn.
Leaving Netflix on January 31, 2021
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2