Netflix Canada in October 2019: What's coming and going - Macleans.ca

Netflix Canada in October 2019: What’s coming and going

Here’s Jaime Weinman’s rundown of all the new shows and movies worth checking out this October on Netflix in Canada—and what to binge before they’re gone

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A scene from The Laundromat (Claudette Barius / Netflix)

Since last month, there’s been a new plot development in the ongoing story of Netflix losing access to other companies’ content. While Friends and The Office are still migrating to their corporate owners’ own streaming services, Netflix has paid big money for the streaming rights to Seinfeld. There have been few broadly popular sitcoms since The Office, and broadly popular sitcoms are the lifeblood of the rerun business, which is why there are bidding wars over shows as old and cellphone-free as Seinfeld and Friends. If Seinfeld’s owner, Sony, ever starts its own streaming service, then that’s where it will go, so Netflix’s long-term strategy is still the same: load up on so much new content that the algorithm will always have something to keep individual users hooked.

One of the things this month’s schedule emphasizes is that Netflix is a global business that’s bringing a lot of shows to countries that might not previously have gotten them. World TV rarely traveled as far as world cinema; even people who aren’t as old as I am can remember when our access to “international” television was mostly just British live-action and Japanese animation. But now, if we want it, we can get shows from many different countries in many different languages; even though the influence of U.S. TV is unavoidable, it’s becoming easier to be exposed to different shooting, storytelling and acting styles applied to the same television genres.

Here are some new additions of interest this October. The first one is of interest not only for the show itself, but for dropping another hint about Netflix’s possible future.

What’s coming and going on Netflix Canada in October: Featured reviews

Rhythm & Flow

October 9

It’s actually surprising to learn that this is being billed as Netflix’s first original music competition show; you’d think they’d have gotten around to that genre a long time ago. It aims to do for hip-hop what American Idol did for pop, with Chance the Rapper, T.I. and Cardi B as the judges. Another apparent first for Netflix is the distribution method: instead of releasing all 10 episodes at once, they’re releasing the season over a three-week period: four the first week, three on October 16, and the final three on October 23. Netflix claimed on Twitter that they did this to keep the identity of the winner a secret for a while, but that they won’t be doing it with other original shows (some licensed shows, like Riverdale, are already released weekly at the request of their owners). But their rationale for the decision could apply to a lot of other shows.

El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie

October 11

For a show that originally seemed dominated by one character and one performance, Breaking Bad has shown a surprising ability to generate spinoffs: first the prequel Better Call Saul, and now this stand-alone movie written and directed by series creator Vince Gilligan. Picking up where the original series left off, it will focus on Walter White’s sidekick Jesse (Aaron Paul), who was last seen getting out of town in the car that gives the movie its title. Several other Breaking Bad characters have been confirmed to appear, and Gilligan has promised that still others will turn up. But the most intriguing question this movie may answer is how Gilligan views his series and his characters. A common criticism of the Breaking Bad finale was that it bent over backward to redeem Walter White after spending years showing us why he was irredeemable. Will he have anything new to say about Walt? Because his presence will be felt in the movie, even if he doesn’t appear—though if we get a surprise Bryan Cranston cameo, that would certainly not be unwelcome.

The Laundromat

October 18

What’s notable about this film is how un-notable it is. There was a time not so long ago when it would have been a huge coup for Netflix to distribute a Steven Soderbergh film starring Meryl Streep, Gary Oldman and Antonio Banderas, not to mention name actors in almost all the supporting roles (including Sharon Stone, Will Forte, Melissa Rauch, David Schwimmer and Larry Wilmore). Now it seems normal, just another Netflix release that is based on a true story—in this case, the story of the Panama Papers, which exposed the secret illegal offshore accounts of the rich and mighty—and is getting so-so reviews. Still, it’s hard to resist at least trying a movie with that cast.

Brigada Costa del Sol

October 25

Netflix has a lot of period pieces, some of them true stories and others fictional. This Spanish 13-episode drama series may give a clue as to why: set in 1977, it immediately stands out in clips and stills for the ‘70s clothes, the ‘70s hair, and the sight of people lighting up cigarettes in places where they would never be allowed today. The premise is that four cops create a special squad to fight drug trafficking, and the trailer teases us with the things we would expect from a premise like that: nightclubs, chases, gunplay, and illegal cash payments. You could theoretically do all those things today, but you couldn’t have the cop with the 1970s collar and the cop who wears a vest with his suit, and that’s why period pieces rule.

Dolemite is My Name

October 25

Ever since Ed Wood came out 25 years ago, Scott Alexander and Larry Karaszewski have found an unusual niche in Hollywood screenwriting: they write biographical films about celebrities who aren’t revered enough to get a typical Hollywood biopic. Their newest film, directed by Craig Brewer (Hustle & Flow), stars Eddie Murphy as Rudy Ray Moore, a struggling entertainer who found his own personal niche in the 1970s by creating an outrageous, profane pimp persona. Premiering last month at the Toronto Film Festival (where the film and Murphy’s performance got very positive reviews), it’s partly a successor to the team’s Andy Kaufman biopic Man on the Moon, and it’s also been compared to Ed Wood because it deals with his struggle to make a very low-budget movie. With one difference, though: Dolemite was a hit. It’s not a spoiler to say that.

Coming and going in October

Coming Soon

My Next Guest with David Letterman and Shah Rukh Khan

(Netflix Original)

The next instalment in Letterman’s series of super-in-depth celebrity interviews will feature the Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan: the interview was taped in May, and Khan brought Letterman to India to shoot the behind-the-scenes segments in June. However, while some outlets have reported that the episode will air Oct. 11, Netflix has not yet (as of this writing) provided an official air date.


Available Oct. 1

Carmen Sandiego: Season 2

(Netflix Family)

In the animated series that combines the 1980s/1990s nostalgia boom with the modern boom in serialized TV and elaborately-retold origin stories, Carmen Sandiego continues her educational globe-trotting while being pursued by two different secret organizations.

Nikki Glaser: Bangin’  

(Netflix Original)

“You think it, she says it out loud,” says the trailer for Netflix’s first comedy special of the month. Glaser previously turned her sexually frank comedy into a short-lived Comedy Central talk show, but her appearance on Netflix’s “The Standups” was more successful, and now she has an hour of time and no Comedy Central censors.

A.M.I.

Canadian horror movie about an artificial intelligence that, surprisingly, goes bad.

Agent: Season 1

South African series about a soccer (aka football) agent.

Find Yourself: Season 1

Workplace comedy/romance, starring Victoria Song and Song Weilong, about a woman who finds herself falling for her intern.

 

Other Movies Coming to Netflix:

Amityville: The Awakening (2017)
The Boondock Saints II: All Saints Day (2009)
Contagion (2011)
Girls Trip (2017)
I Spit On Your Grave (2010)
I Spit On Your Grave 2 (2013)
The Rolling Stones: Olé Olé Olé! A Trip Across Latin America (2016)
Se7en (1995)
Sinister Circle (2016)
The Swan Princess (1994)


Available Oct. 2

Living Undocumented

(Netflix Original)

Selena Gomez executive-produced this docuseries that tries to deal with the controversies over U.S. immigration law by telling the stories of eight families, each facing the possibility of deportation.

Ready to Mingle (Solteras)

(Netflix Film)

A comedy film (also known in English as “Bachelorettes”) from Mexican writer-director Luis Javier Henaine, about a woman who is dumped by the man she expected to marry, and joins a class for lonely single women who don’t look much like lonely single people do in real life.

Rotten: Season 2

(Netflix Original)

Another season of the docuseries that aims to expose the horrible secrets behind the production of food we consume. On the anti-menu this time are sugar, chocolate, avocados, and other things we will still eat no matter what we learn from this show.

Kim’s Convenience: Season 3

The most recent season of the CBC comedy about the Kim family and their Toronto convenience store.

 

Other Movies Coming to Netflix:

Batteries Not Included (1987)

The Best Man Holiday (2013)

Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story (1993)

Elizabeth (1998)

Fried Green Tomatoes (1991)

Liar Liar (1997)

Pride & Prejudice (2006)


Available Oct. 3

Seis Manos

(Netflix Anime)

This adult animated series, set in Mexico in the 1970s, is the story of three martial-arts warriors who try to get revenge on the drug lord who killed their mentor and wind up fighting literal demons. It’s a mashup of kung fu movies with From Dusk Till Dawn, and Mike Colter (Luke Cage) is on hand as an American DEA agent, because U.S. audiences must have at least one U.S. character.


Available Oct. 4

Big Mouth: Season 3

(Netflix Original)

The great thing about animation is that in late 2017, Netflix premiered a half-hour comedy about seventh-graders going through puberty, and two full years later, they’re still in seventh grade. However, this time we’re promised that the end of seventh grade is on its way, though not that eighth grade will arrive.

El Dragón: Return of a Warrior

(Netflix Original)

This Univision crime drama series, created by the Spanish novelist Arturo Pérez-Reverte, is about a financier (Sebastián Rulli) who returns from Tokyo to his native Mexico to take over the family drug cartel. In a throwback to the jet-setting limited series of the 1980s, it was shot on location in five different countries.

In the Tall Grass

(Netflix Film)

Another entry in the long series of movies where Stephen King takes something mundane and makes it scary, this film (based on a novella King co-wrote with Joe Hill) is about two siblings who pull over to the side of a country road and get lost in a field of tall grass, because evil lurks in the grass.

Outlander: Season 4

In the most recent season of the time-travel fantasy series based on the books by Diana Gabaldon, characters travel to the U.S. South in the era of slavery.

Peaky Blinders: Season 5

(Netflix Original)

Another historical series, but without time travel; the title refers to a British crime family, and the show tells their story from the end of World War I onward. This season deals with the aftermath of the 1929 stock market crash.

Raising Dion

(Netflix Original)

A down-to-earth approach to the superhero genre: Nicole (Alisha Wainwright) discovers that her young son is starting to develop superpowers, and must keep his abilities a secret while probing the mystery of how he got them.

Super Monsters: Season 3

(Netflix Family)

This animated series, a Canadian/American co-production, is sort of like “Tiny Toons” for monsters: taking place at Pitchfork Pines Preschool, its characters are the children of werewolves, Frankenstein monsters, vampires and witches, but in a child-friendly way.

Super Monsters: Vida’s First Halloween

(Netflix Family)

The latest in a series of extended-length, standalone specials spun off from the “Super Monsters” series.

 

Other Movies Coming to Netflix:

District 9 (2009) 


Available Oct. 5

Legend Quest: Masters of Myth

(Netflix Family)

The second season of Netflix’s original animated series, a spinoff of Mexico’s popular “Leyendas” franchise, about a 19th-century kid who fights monsters with his three supernatural friends.

 

Other Movies Coming to Netflix:

Despicable Me 3 (2017)


Available Oct. 7

Heartland: Season 12

The CBC’s drama about a family ranch in Alberta is already the longest-running hour-long drama series in Canadian TV history, and with this season of 11 episodes, it passed the 200-episode mark.

Match! Tennis Juniors

(Netflix Original)

A tennis prodigy tries to be a good tennis player and a good student at the same time.

 

Other Movies Coming to Netflix:

Justice League (2017)


Available Oct. 8

Deon Cole: Cole Hearted

(Netflix Original)

The comedian, best known to audiences for his supporting role on “Black-ish,” gets his first Netflix stand-up special, taped live in Charlotte, North Carolina.

The Spooky Tale of Captain Underpants Hack-a-ween

(Netflix Family)

Harold and George, the main characters of the long-running “Captain Underpants” children’s franchise, fight back against a new law that criminalizes Halloween.


Available Oct. 9

Rhythm + Flow

(Netflix Original)

See introduction for details

Schitt’s Creek: Season 5

This is the season that got four major Emmy nominations for the Canadian comedy, including best comedy series, best actor (Eugene Levy) and best actress (Catherine O’Hara). It didn’t win, but it still has one more season to go.


Available Oct. 10

Riverdale: Season 4

(Netflix Original) (weekly episodes)

The CW’s melodramatic take on the Archie Comics franchise is an example of a licensed show that Netflix distributes weekly: they’ll get each episode the day after it airs on the parent network.

Ultramarine Magmell

(Netflix Anime)

Based on the Chinese manga series by Dainenbyō, about a new continent that suddenly appears on earth, and the people who explore its mysteries.


Available Oct. 11

El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie

(Netflix Television Event)

See introduction for details

The Forest of Love

(Netflix Film)

Sion Sono (Love Exposure) wrote and directed this new feature film based on a true story about con artistry and murder.

Fractured

(Netflix Film)

While on vacation, Sam Worthington brings his injured daughter to the nearest emergency room. Soon both his wife and daughter disappear and the hospital disavows any knowledge of their existence. Worthington must find out the truth while making us all even more afraid of hospitals than we already are.

Haunted: Season 2

(Netflix Original)

A combination of documentary footage and re-enactments is used to tell the stories of people who claim to have had real-life encounters with supernatural beings.

Insatiable: Season 2

(Netflix Original)

The first season of this comedy/melodrama, about a fat high school girl who becomes a skinny beauty contestant (a premise similar to the Joan Rivers-scripted TV film The Girl Most Likely To…, available on Blu-Ray but not on Netflix) became one of Netflix’s most controversial productions due to accusations of fat-shaming. This season continues the story of murder, revenge and beauty pageantry.

La influencia

(Netflix Film)

A horror film about a woman who returns home to look after her dying mother, and finds herself literally haunted by the past.

Plan Coeur: Season 2

(Netflix Original)

In the first season of this half-hour comedy series from France (also called “The Hook Up Plan”), Elsa (Zita Hanrot) was dating a man who was really a male escort, hired to boost her self-esteem. Now she’s back in Paris dealing with the fallout of the first season.

The Awakenings of Motti Wolenbruch

(Netflix Film)

A Swiss film about a young Orthodox Jew (Joel Basman) who starts to have doubts about his upbringing when he falls in love with a non-Jewish girl.

YooHoo to the Rescue: Season 2

(Netflix Family)

More episodes from the revival of South Korea’s “YooHoo & Friends” children’s franchise, about a team of animals who travel the world to help animals in need and learn lessons about the places they travel to.


Available Oct. 12

Banlieusards

(Netflix Film)

The French rapper Kery James co-directed this film (also known in English as “Street Flow”) about one brother who is a respectable law student, another brother who is a mobster, and their younger brother who is trying to decide which one of them to be influenced by.


Available Oct. 14

Martin Matte: La Vie, La Mort…Eh La La..!

(Netflix Original)

The first Netflix special for the Quebecois comedian, who discusses his personal life and dealing with trolls on social media platforms.


Available Oct. 15

No titles.

Movies Coming to Netflix

Citizen Kane (1941)

Dennis the Menace (1993)

 

Movies Leaving Netflix

Reservoir Dogs (1992)


Available Oct. 16

Ghosts of Sugar Land

(Netflix Original)

This documentary, which won a prize at the Sundance Film Festival, takes place in suburban Texas with a group of young American Muslims searching for their missing friend, who is alleged to have joined ISIS.


Available Oct. 17

The Unlisted
(Netflix Family)

This live-action series from Australia, co-produced with Toronto’s Sinking Ship Entertainment, is a family-friendly government paranoia thriller. Two identical twins uncover a conspiracy to take control of all kids, not just in Australia, but the whole world.


Available Oct. 18

The Yard (Avlu)

(Netflix Original)

Yet another drama about a women’s prison, this show (sometimes called “The Prison Yard” in English) is a Turkish adaptation of an Australian soap opera. The protagonist (Demet Evgar) has been jailed for killing her husband, and gets caught in a fight between two rival prison gangs.

Baby: Season 2

(Netflix Original)

In the second season of this Italian drama series, the story of two wealthy Roman teenage girls who moonlight as sex workers, the protagonists Chiara and Ludovica continue to discover that this doesn’t go as smoothly as they might have anticipated.

Eli

(Netflix Film)

Another in a long line of horror movies telling us not to trust medical professionals: the title character, played by Charlie Shotwell, is suffering from a mysterious disease, and an equally mysterious doctor may be his only hope for treatment—but the cure may be worse than the disease.

Interior Design Masters

(Netflix Original)

An eight-part reality competition show from the BBC. In each episode, 10 amateur designers are given a space to spruce up, and at the end of the series, the winner gets to become a well-paid professional.

The House of Flowers: Season 2

(Netflix Original)

Writer-director Manolo Caro created this comedy-drama about a family that runs a flower shop in Mexico City. The first season began with a death, and Netflix promises that they will start the new season by grieving another loss—possibly the mother of the family, since the actor who played her has quit the show.

The Laundromat

(Netflix Film)

See introduction for details

Living with Yourself

(Netflix Original)

A dark comedy series where a man undergoes a treatment that is supposed to make him a better person—only to find that the treatment actually created a clone that wants to replace him. Paul Rudd (whose Ant-Man is also coming to Netflix this month) executive-produces and plays both the man and the clone, but he’s still got a long way to go before he can play as many clones as Tatiana Maslany.

MeatEater: Season 8

(Netflix Original)

Since this reality series started in 2012, host Steven Minella has been going hunting around North America to kill his own food and tell us how delicious it tastes. 2019 will be no different.

Mighty Little Bheem: Diwali

(Netflix Family)

Based on the Indian computer-animated series, this holiday special follows Bheem, a super-strong baby, as he prepares to celebrate the festival of lights.

Seventeen

(Netflix Film)

In this Spanish drama film, a troubled 17-year-old boy (Biel Montoro) escapes from a juvenile detention centre in search of his dog.

Spirit Riding Free: Pony Tales Collection 2

(Netflix Family)

This is not to be confused with “Spirit Riding Free,” Netflix’s animated series about a girl named Lucky who loves horses. That show just finished its eighth season. This is a spinoff, consisting of shorter videos about Lucky, her friends, and their horses.

Suits: Season 8 New Episodes

The next-to-last season of the legal drama, the longest-running series in the history of the USA network (for comparison, their acclaimed drama Mr. Robot will end this year after only four seasons).

Tell Me Who I Am

(Netflix Original)

Ed Perkins’s documentary tells the story of Alex Lewis, who woke up after a motorcycle accident in 1982 and couldn’t remember his name or anything else about himself. He relied on his identical twin brother Marcus to tell him about his life, but was Marcus telling him everything?

Toon: Seasons 1-2

(Netflix Original)

This is not an animated series; it’s a Dutch comedy series about a little-known commercial composer named Toon (Joep Vermolen) who gets an unwanted taste of fame when he appears in a video that goes viral.

Unnatural Selection

(Netflix Original)

This is not the “Star Trek: The Next Generation” episode about the potential ethical issues raised by genetic engineering; it’s a documentary where real scientists talk about the potential ethical issues raised by genetic engineering.

Upstarts

(Netflix Film)

Udai Singh Pawar directs this original film about three young small-town men whose friendship is tested when they try to launch a startup business in the big city.


Available Oct. 20

No titles

Movies Leaving Netflix

Halloween (1978)
Cabin in the Woods (2012)
Scream 1 (1996)
Scream 2 (1997)
Scream 3 (2000)


Available Oct. 21

Echo in the Canyon

Only the Brave


Available Oct. 22

Jenny Slate: Stage Fright

(Netflix Original)

The popular comedian and actor (Obvious Child) gets her first Netflix comedy special. In addition to the usual stand-up segments, it includes childhood videos and interviews with her real-life family, to create a complete portrait of her life.


Available Oct. 23

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

(Netflix Original)

Another reality series about how good it is to eat, travel, and hang out with celebrities: in each episode, host David Chang and a guest star will go to a different city, see the sights, and eat the food, while we try to live vicariously through them.

Dancing with the Birds

(Netflix Original)

Documentary about birds around the world and their mating rituals, only some of which involve dancing.

Master Z: The Ip Man Legacy

2018 martial arts drama starring Max Zhang, a sequel to the Ip Man films.

 

Movies Leaving Netflix

Ant-Man (2015)


Available Oct. 24

Daybreak

(Netflix Original)

A post-apocalyptic series that might be a bit less depressing than all the other post-apocalyptic series: after Glendale, California has been wiped off the map, a teenager named Josh (Colin Ford) searches for his girlfriend while trying to stay out of the way of all the violent survivor gangs. Based on the graphic novels by Brian Ralph.

Revenge of the Pontianak

A Malaysian village is attacked by a supernatural being out for revenge on a man who betrayed her.


Available Oct. 25

Assimilate

John Murlowski co-wrote and directed this Invasion of the Body Snatchers-style horror film about people who are killed and replaced by clones.

Brigada Costa del Sol

(Netflix Original)

See Introduction for details

Brotherhood

(Netflix Original)

Brazilian creator-director Pedro Morelli brings us this eight-episode crime series: in 1990s São Paulo, a lawyer (Naruna Costa) must work against a criminal gang run by her own brother (Seu Jorge).

Dolemite Is My Name

(Netflix Film)

See introduction for details

Greenhouse Academy: Season 3 

(Netflix Family)

Another family-friendly paranoia drama series, about two rival student groups at a prestigious boarding school and the elite conspiracy that both groups are in the process of uncovering.

The Kominsky Method: Season 2

(Netflix Original)

Chuck Lorre, the king of traditional sitcoms, has recently been branching into the more prestigious world of single-camera sitcoms with equal success. This show won a surprise Golden Globe award for best comedy series and stars two veteran actors, Michael Douglas (who also won a Golden Globe) as a washed-up actor turned acting coach and Alan Arkin as his agent.

Nailed It! France (C’est du gâteau!) and Nailed It! Spain (Niquelao!)  

(Netflix Original)

Netflix’s bake-off show, where bad bakers try to make good cakes, gets two more international spinoffs.

Prank Encounters

(Netflix Original)

Gaten Matarazzo (Stranger Things) hosts a hidden-camera show where people are hired for what they believe to be real jobs, only to be subjected to a series of scary pranks. When the show was announced, there was some backlash over the alleged exploitation of people looking for work. Netflix replied by assuring the world that the contestants never expected the jobs to be permanent.

Rattlesnake

(Netflix Film)

From Australian writer-director Zak Hildich (These Final Hours): when a girl is bitten by a rattlesnake, her mother (Carmen Ejojo) must kill another person in exchange for the cure.

It Takes a Lunatic

(Netflix Original)

Documentary about producer, director and acting teacher Wynn Handman, a key figure in the history of New York theatre whose students have included Denzel Washington, Joanne Woodward and Richard Gere, and who is still teaching at the age of 97.

Workin’ Moms: Season 3

The most recent season of the CBC half-hour comedy about four women trying to balance paid work and motherhood.


 Available Oct. 28

A 3 Minute Hug

(Netflix Original)

Documentary about a brief reunion for families separated by U.S./Mexico immigration enforcement.

Little Miss Sumo

(Netflix Original)

Director Matt Kay’s documentary about Hiyori, a female sumo wrestler fighting in the ring and fighting against the rules that keep her from wrestling professionally.

Shine On with Reese: Season 1

All nine episodes to date of Reese Witherspoon’s DirecTV talk show.

 

Other Movies Coming to Netflix

Roman Israel, Esq. (2017)


Available Oct. 29

Arsenio Hall: Smart & Classy

(Netflix Original)

In the early 1990s, Arsenio Hall’s talk show was such a huge deal that an appearance on it was widely credited with helping Bill Clinton become president. He’s done many things since then, including a winning run on Celebrity Apprentice with another guy who became president, and now he’s making his Netflix debut with a stand-up special where he reflects on his career and modern politics and comedy.

 

Movies Leaving Netflix

Wonder Woman (2017)


Available Oct. 30

Flavorful Origins: Yunnan Cuisine

(Netflix Original)

This documentary series continues to look at Chinese regional cuisine, this time, the cooking of the Yunnan province and the people who prepare it.


Available Oct. 31

Creeped Out: Season 1

This British/Canadian co-production is a horror/fantasy anthology in the tradition of The Twilight Zone and Amazing Stories, but aimed at a young audience. It makes its Netflix debut with the first 13-episode season.

The Deep: Season 3

The adventures of a family of deep-sea explorers continue in this Australian/Canadian animated series, based on the graphic novel.

Kengan Ashura: Part ll

(Netflix Anime)

Adaptation of the manga series about modern-day gladiators.

Nowhere Man

(Netflix Original)

Billed as Netflix’s first original series in Mandarin Chinese, this Taiwanese production focuses on three prison inmates, including one who needs to break out to save someone he loves.

Wentworth: Season 7

One of the longest-running of the many series about women in prison, this Australian series has survived important cast changes and continues to tell the story of dramatic goings-on at Wentworth Prison.