Man, Netflix – you are all over the place this September. A horror parody, an old and a new raunch-friendly animated series, a remorselessly bleak film from Angelina Jolie and, somehow, even more Narcos episodes? (Viewers may remember that last season jettisoned a pretty key character.) Streaming-wise, you’ll also get a trio of personal visions from comedy writers and a cavalcade of vintage-ish sitcoms courtesy of Hulu. Here’s what’s you’ll be logging on and checking out over the next month. (For our standard TV recommendations, click here.)
Big Mouth (Sep. 29th, Netflix)
Ah, puberty: the body hair, the awkwardness, the furtive sleepover masturbation. Childhood friends Nick Kroll and Family Guy writer Andrew Goldberg created this ‘toon about their pre-teen misadventures, with Kroll voicing his younger self and partner-in-crime John Mulaney lending his vocals to his animated best friend. Along with a host of comedy favorites (Fred Armisen, Jenny Slate, Jordan Peele, and Jason Mantzoukas all drop by; Maya Rudolph voices a “Hormone Monstress”), they’ll relive their glory days of middle school and summer camp, including one memorable talent-show rendition of Queen’s “Don’t Stop Me Now.”
Bojack Horseman, Season 4 (Netflix, Sep. 8th)
Right on schedule, here comes the late-summer depressive spiral that can only signal the arrival of Netflix’s chronic-bummer pony. At the end of last season, the melancholic movie star snapped himself out of a passive suicide attempt with what looked like a life-affirming epiphany. The new episodes will follow up and show if it sticks, while Princess Carolyn pursues a career pivot into talent management and Diane’s integrity gets tested at her new feminist blog gig. There’s also a young girl-horse with an inkling that Bojack may be her wayward father, and we’re sure he’ll accept this new responsibility with maturity and poise. That, or a Klonopin trip.
First They Killed My Father (Netflix, Sep. 15th)
For Cambodia in 1975, Loung Ung was a pretty typical girl – until despotic dictator Pol Pot sent his Khmer Rouge forces to enslave the local populations and she was conscripted as a child soldier. Angelina Jolie directs this unsparing adaptation of Ung’s chilling memoir; while a wisp of controversy has already begun to swirl around some alleged unconventional casting methods, the actress/activist/filmmaker has promised a sensitive, empathetic take on this delicate material. Pair it with Beasts of No Nation for history’s saddest double feature!
Little Evil (Netflix, Sep. 1st)
Everyone tells Gary (Adam Scott) that he shouldn’t take the weirdness from his new stepson Lucas (Owen Atlas) so personally. The goat-horn sock puppet the boy’s always playing with is nothing to worry about; lots of kids silently press their faces to glowing televisions in the dead of night, right? But when his wife (Evangeline Lilly) mentions she conceived the youngster during her stint in a Satanic death cult, Gary starts to get ideas. A comic riff on The Omen for those who missed 2013’s Hell Baby, it conflates the usual fear of life change with a more garden-variety terror over flesh-eating moppets.
The Lost City of Z (Amazon, Sep. 15th)
It’s strange to think that an adventure movie starring Charlie Hunnam and Robert Pattinson could have come out without most people noticing. Still, there’s no better time like the present to check out James Gray’s story of explorers in search of a fabled civilization deep in the Amazon. Naturally, the collision between the colonists and natives goes less than smoothly. Photographed as if through a filter of golden light and infused with the mad ambition of old-school epics, it’s a classicist’s dream come true – with plenty of eye candy for the RPattz fans, assuming they like burly beards.
The Mindy Project, Season 6 (Hulu, Sep. 12th)
After five seasons, over 100 episodes and one jump from a network to the Internet, creator/star Mindy Kaling’s plucky, unlucky OBGYN has searched for love and professional fulfillment. Will she find it in the show’s hard-won final stretch of episodes, and if so, which well-heeled suitor will claim her hand? As the grand saga of Mindy’s disastrous love life approaches a close, we’re all rooting for our hapless girl to find that elusive balance of medicine, motherhood and man-crushes.
Narcos, Season 3 (Netflix, Sep. 1st)
After mapping the DEA’s operations to bring down Pablo Escobar and his Medellín cocaine cartel, this crime drama will move focus to the equally notorious Cali outfit. The heir apparent to the narcotics throne in Colombia, the gang runs afoul of the same law enforcement that brought down their predecessor, though agent Javier Peña (Pedro Pascal) is now working without his regular partner Steve Murphy (Boyd Holbrook). Fingers crossed the show can fill the Escobar vacuum.
One Mississippi, Season 2 (Amazon, Sep. 8th)
The first season of Tig Notaro’s semi-autobiographical series centered on the comedian’s cancer diagnosis and the death of her mother. The comedian has continued to forge ahead by expanding outward – musing on the lasting effects of the Civil War, sending some disparaging words to Donald Trump and covering the big -isms (race, sex, class). If you watch only one trauma-centric sitcom about a deadpan stand-up coping with culture clashes and the impermanence of life this year, make it this one.
TGIHulu (Hulu, Sep. 29th)
In a high-profile buy last month, Hulu nabbed the rights to more than 800 episodes across five different programs from ABC’s Nineties TGIF sitcom block. That’s right: The complete runs of Full House, Hangin’ With Mr. Cooper, Step By Step, Family Matters and Perfect Strangers will all be available to satisfy all millennial-nostalgia needs. It’s the televisual equivalent of comfort food, warm and familiar.
Transparent, Season 4 (Amazon, Sep. 22nd)
The Pfefferman clan returns for another season of highbrow dysfunction, complete with a new love interest Maura (Jeffrey Tambor), love triangles that pivot into group sex and a trip to Israel for a spiritual Judaic experience. Jill Soloway’s genius-level, gender-bent family dramedy continues to be one of the most ambitious series currently airing on TV – a genuine gamechanger that seems to keep getting deeper, more daring and flat-out better the longer it’s on.