Courtesy Netflix.com

Courtesy Netflix.com

Is Today the Greatest Day in Netflix History?

Today, September 14, 2018 (5 Tishrei, 5779 on the Hebrew calendar; Happy New Year Jewish friends!) might be greatest day in the history of Netflix. Given that the streaming powerhouse is producing content with the force and reach of the hurricane currently bearing down on the Carolinas, the title of “greatest day in Netflix history” may not last more than a few weeks. But today, at least, the honor seems secure. Here’s why:

American Vandal: Season 2

The first season of American Vandal might have been the funniest thing we watched last year, TV or otherwise. A flawlessly executed true crime mockumentary built around more dick jokes than a roast of a PI, American Vandal was hilarious, well-cast and original, while remaining compelling as a who-done-it.

Because it was a stand-alone mystery, American Vandal didn’t exactly beg for a sequel but the trailer for the second season looks very promising. The meta winks in the original seem to be a starting point for the new season: Following the success of their original show, Peter and the documentary crew turn their attention to a new high school prank that leaves students with contemporaneous bouts of diarrhea. The incident is referred to as The Brownout; the culprit is known as Turd Burglar. I’m already dead.

Bleach

Bleach is a well-known and beloved title for fans of manga and anime. I am not one of those people, nor do I speak Japanese, but dang if the trailer above didn’t grab my interest. To be fair, Death Note, one Netflix’s previous forays into live-action anime, was widely despised, but the reviews for Bleach have been positive thus far.

BoJack Horseman: Season 5

There are two types of people in this world: Those who gave up on BoJack Horseman after a handful of episodes and those who recognize it as one of the best shows on television. Like its title character, BoJack is an oddly-shaped hybrid of Hollywood satire, expert punsmanship and crushing psychological drama about the intersection of celebrity, addiction and mental illness.

It’s an acquired taste, to be sure, but like a sweet and savory bite of chicken and waffles, it’s delicious once you get past your original skepticism. The new season, in which BoJack gets cast in a gritty procedural along the lines of True Detective — “It’s confusing, which means the show is daring and smart” — has already received some of the best reviews of its run.

Norm Macdonald Has a Show

To put it charitably, this has not been a good week for Norm Macdonald. Norm was a little too candid about #MeToo with The Hollywood Reporter, which lead to him getting bounced from the Tonight Show, which lead to an apology that tossed in the words Down Syndrome, and finally, an apology for that apology.

A lot of these were problems of Norm’s own making, but in general, I think this tweet nails it (my brain nearly broke under the ironic strain of Macdonald getting booted from Jimmy Fallon over an interview in which he defended and endorsed Fallon’s apolitical humor):

In any event, all 10 episodes of Norm’s new talk show Norm MacDonald Has a Show are now on Netflix. He’s lined up an interesting gamut of guests, including Drew Barrymore, Judge Judy, M. Night Shyamalan and Jane Fonda and it should be interesting to see how his deadpan style works in the context of an interview show.

The Land of Steady Habits

Finally, Netflix continues its play for prestigious indie filmmakers — upcoming titles include Paul Greengrass’ docudrama 22 July (Oct. 10), the Coen Brothers’ anthology collection The Ballad of Buster Scruggs (Nov. 16) and Alfonso Cuaron’s Roma, which just won top prize at the Venice Film Festival — with The Land of Steady Habits. The latest from acclaimed writer-director Nicole Holofcener, the dramedy starring Ben Mendelsohn arrives just days after its premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival. While not quite as well-reviewed as her previous films, The Land of Steady Habits still looks like a welcome addition to Netflix’s growing library of original arthouse fare.