Despite a global pandemic and then a Hollywood strike, Netflix continues to give its 247 million subscribers a plethora of quality entertainment. Though the streamer isn’t putting out as much from a quantity standpoint, the quality is through the roof.
The first quarter of the new year brings a mix of drama, mystery, romance, sci-fi and hilarity. There is a little something for everyone and every mood here. Subscribers have already started the binge with Griselda, which premiered Thursday, January 25, and blew viewers away.
According to Samba TV, which measures audience data, 1.7 million U.S. households watched episode one of Griselda during the L+3D window, with Hispanic households over-indexed by 46% based on viewership. Of the Top 25 largest demographics, Miami, FL, over-indexed the most (+118%), followed by Philadelphia, PA (+39%) and San Francisco, CA (+35%).
Each of the below series is very different, but there is a common thread in their ability to transport you into another world through incredible storytelling, phenomenal ensemble casts, and mind-blowing world-building.
Griselda (January 25 / Six Episodes) –
Sofía Vergara proves that she has serious acting chops with her portrayal of Griselda Blanco Restrepo, the ruthless Colombian drug lord who took over Miami’s male-dominated drug cartel in the 1970s and ‘80s.
In a recent interview, Vergara talked about the personal loss her family suffered during the narco epidemic in Colombia and her 15-year journey to tackle this role. Vergara knew she had to team up with the right people to tell this story and asked to meet with executive producer and showrunner Eric Newman.
The two first met in 2015 while working on hit television series. She was on Modern Family and he was working on Narcos and Narcos: Mexico. “I left that first meeting believing that not only could she do it, but that she had to do it,” Newman told me.
The Tourist (February 1 / Fourteen Episodes) –
This mystery revolves around a man (Jamie Dornan) who wakes up in the Australian outback with no memory after a terrible car crash. Though he has no idea who he was before the accident, he quickly learns that his life is in imminent danger.
He must follow a series of clues to discover his identity before his past catches up with him. I love the wacky cast of characters that he encounters along the way, including Danielle Macdonald as Helen Chambers, and Shalom Brune-Franklin as Luci, two women who help him find his way.
The Tourist consists of two seasons: Season One will premiere on February 1 and Season Two will premiere on February 29. This series is so gripping, I have to warn you that you could lose sleep with the old “just one more episode” binge-watching dilemma. Each episode ends with a cliffhanger that will leave you wanting and needing to know more about this mystery man.
One Day (February 8 / Ten Episodes) –
This is truly one of the best romantic dramas I have ever seen. It’s reminiscent of another Netflix series From Scratch in that it will elicit all the feels.
One Day is a love story between two best friends that spans decades (When Harry Met Sally fans will love this aspect of the story) and is based on the bestselling novel by David Nicholls.
Viewers are bound to fall in love as the story of Emma Morley (Ambika Mod) and Dexter Mayhew (Leo Woodall) unfolds. The two run into one another on July 15, 1988, the night of their graduation, and speak for the first time. They spend an interesting night together, and the next morning, go their separate ways. Their story, however, is far from over.
Each episode picks up on this day over the following years as we follow Dex and Em as they grow and change, move together and apart, and experience joy and heartbreak. Grab a few boxes of tissues; you are going to need them.
3 Body Problem (March 21 / Eight Episodes) –
Game of Thrones fans have been waiting for D.B. Weiss and David Benioff’s next epic tale, and this sci-fi series will scratch that itch, but not because the two series are similar. They are very different. The commonality is their signature storytelling, which traverses time and space on such a grand scale.
This time, the duo partnered with Alexander Woo (The Terror: Infamy, True Blood). The trio served as co-creators, executive producers, and writers. I feel lucky to have been in the first batch of press to watch the first two episodes; I was awestruck.
Based on the four-part book series “The Three-Body Problem” by Cixin Liu and Ken Liu, the story follows the repercussions of a young woman’s fateful decision in 1960s China that reverberates across space and time into the present day.
When the laws of nature inexplicably unravel before their eyes, a close-knit group of brilliant scientists join forces with an unorthodox detective to confront the greatest threat in humanity’s history.
The Gentlemen (Coming This Spring / Eight Episodes) –
Guy Ritchie and Matthew Read co-wrote this genre-blending series that follows Eddie Horniman (Theo James) as he unexpectedly inherits his father’s sizable country estate, only to discover it’s part of a clandestine cannabis empire. Moreover, many unsavory characters from Britain’s criminal underworld want a piece of the operation. Determined to extricate his family from their clutches, Eddie tries to play the gangsters at their own game.
As he gets sucked into the world of criminality, he begins to find a taste for it. This is a wild, wacky ride that Netflix describes as a comedy, drama, and action series. It’s all that and a bag of chips!
As always, happy binge-watching!
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