This Friday is the first of the month, which means Netflix is unloading a huge shipment off the back of its content truck. We're digging through the crates to give you a list of the best shows and movies released on Netflix this week.
The beginning of the month is generally when streaming services add licensed movies to the library, and Feb. 1 on Netflix is no exception. This month's slate is heavy on august franchises, including three films from the American Pie expanded universe -- the core trilogy of American Pie, American Pie 2 and American Wedding. None of that spin-off garbage or that misbegotten fourth movie. There are also some indie hits, some kid stuff, that one movie about the dancing British boy and Jaws. For everything that's coming to Netflix in February, click here.
It's a relatively light week for new Netflix originals, with only one American series and one American movie (sorry, rest of the world, but TV Guide is a North American publication [though we're also available in Australia]). We'll get to those in a minute. But first, if you want even more hand-picked recommendations, head over to our Watch This Now! page.
(All titles are out Friday, Feb. 1 unless otherwise specified.)The Biggest Releases
Russian Doll, Season 1
This dark comedy comes from co-creators Natasha Lyonne, Leslye Hedland and Amy Poehler. Headland and Lyonne are writers, Lyonne stars and Headland directs. Orange Is the New Black's Lyonne bleeds New York attitude as Nadia, a woman who keeps dying and coming back to relive the same party over and over, Groundhog Day style. You may want to find out why, but mostly you'll just want to hang out with her because she's hilarious. And at just eight zippy 25-minute episodes, this is an easy binge.
Jake Gyllenhaal is back in weirdo mode for this Netflix original, and honestly, the once and forever Donnie Darko has no better mode. This satirical thriller reunites Gyllenhaal with Nightcrawler writer-director Dan Gilroy, and does for the Los Angeles art world what Nightcrawler did for Los Angeles local news: highlights the greed and depravity. Most L.A. stories seem to be about greed and depravity, don't they? Unlike most L.A. stories, though, this one has cursed paintings. So that's different. The cast includes heavy hitters like Toni Collette, Rene Russo and John Malkovich.
This Taiwanese dramedy made a splash in its home region, earning a best picture nomination at the Golden Horse Awards, the Chinese equivalent of the Oscars, and winning best actress for star Hsieh Ying-hsuan. It tells the story of a young man named Song Chengxi (Joseph Huang), his mother, Sanlian (Hsieh), and his father's boyfriend, Ah Jie (Roy Chiu), the latter of whom received the insurance payment when Song Zheng Yuan (Chen Ru-shan) died. It gets complicated when Song Chengxi sides with Jie. It's a timely film, as Taiwan legalized same-sex marriage in 2017. (Trailer)
Free Rein: Valentine's Day
This is a Valentine's Day-themed feature-length special of the British kids' show Free Rein. It's about horse girls on an island. One of the girls is Shireen Baratheon from Game of Thrones (she gets burned alive on this show, too, weirdly enough). If there's a horse girl in your life, she might like this. (Trailer)
Siempre Bruja (Always a Witch), Season 1
This Colombian young adult dramedy is about a teenage witch from the 17th century who, just as she's about to be burned at the stake (lots of burning at the stake talk in this column), gets magically transported to the present. So now she has to learn about apps and stuff. (Trailer)
True: Happy Hearts Day: Season 1
This seems like one of those disturbing knockoff kid's show videos from the weird part of YouTube. (Trailer)
Bordertown, Season 2
It's not the Seth MacFarlane animated series; far from it. This is the brooding Finnish crime show (is there any other kind?), and the border is between Finland and Russia. Warning: The trailer is dubbed, though Season 1 is available to watch in Finnish with English subtitles. (Saturday, Feb. 2 / Trailer)
Romance Is a Bonus Book (New episodes every Saturday starting Feb. 2)
It's a Korean romantic dramedy series. The description on Netflix -- "A gifted writer who's the youngest editor-in-chief ever at his publishing company gets enmeshed in the life of a former copywriter desperate for a job" -- and the trailer -- which seems to be about a guy firing his housekeeper who's secretly in love with him so she applies for a job as his assistant -- don't seem to line up, but maybe it's one of those things where the trailer doesn't do a good job of showing what the show is actually about? I don't know, it looks cute. (Trailer)
Ray Romano: Right Here, Around the Corner
I don't know how much Netflix paid Ray Romano to do his first stand-up special in 23 years, but I bet it was a lot! Can I just say, Ray Romano looks way better now than he did during the Everybody Loves Raymond days, doesn't he? That beard is really workin', Raymundo! (Tuesday, Feb. 5 / Trailer)
Stop searching, start watching! TV Guide's Watch This Now! page has even more TV recommendations.
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