Netflix has released a lot of original content between up to this point — including smash hits House of Cards, Orange Is the New Black, Narcos, and Master of None — but 2016 is slated to be Netflix’s most original and most exciting year yet.
By year’s end, not only can you expect to see at least 13 new high-quality original series, but also a new teen drama series, a new talk show with Chelsea Handler, and 11 new animated series for kids. At less than $10 per month, there’s no doubt about it: Netflix is absolutely worth the price.
Here’s the bottom line: Netflix’s track record has proven that it can rival even the best of cable channels — including HBO and AMC — and if it can keep up that level of quality in 2016, Netflix might just end up being the best and most rewarding “channel” for original programming of them all.
Love is a comedy series starring Gillian Jacobs (best known as Britta from Community) and created by Judd Apatow and Lesley Arfin. It aims to be a down-to-earth look at dating that explores romantic relationships from both male and female perspectives.
Netflix actually ordered two seasons for this show — the first having 10 episodes and the second having 12 episodes — which means they must believe that it has a lot of promise. It airs on February 19, so look out for it! Even if it’s half as good as Master of None, it will still be awesome.
2. Fuller House
If you weren’t aware, Netflix has decided to reboot Full House. Rumors about the potential sequel floated throughout early 2015, and when it was officially announced as acquired by Netflix in April, fans of the show went nuts. This reboot is aptly titled Fuller House.
All but one of the original characters will be reprised by their respective actors (the missing one being Michelle Tanner, played by the Olsen twins) and they will all make an appearance in one form or another, but only D.J. Tanner, Stephanie Tanner, and Kimmy Gibler will have main roles.
The first season, which airs on February 26, will contain 13 episodes. The nostalgia is obviously strong — and the teaser exploits that nostalgia perfectly — but many, including myself, are holding their breath in hopes that the sequel lives up to the original. All we can do now is wait and see if it does.
As proven by its production of Narcos, Netflix has no plans to limit itself to the English language. With Narcos being primarily filmed in Spanish, it was basically a foreign drama series, and with the upcoming Marseille, Netflix is doing it again — except in French.
Marseille is a political drama that centers on Robert Taro, the mayor of Marseille who has to deal with drug lords, labor unions, and corrupt politicians as he aims to win the coming elections. Netflix does drama well, and this is unlikely to be an exception.
The series is written and directed by some of the best writers and directors in France, and will be produced entirely in France, so expect it to have that touch of French authenticity. Marseille is set to debut in March.
3% is another one of Netflix’s forays into foreign-language programming, except this one is unique due to its science-fiction backdrop. This series will be primarily filmed in Portuguese and produced in Brazil.
In this fictional world, society is split into two sides: one of progress and one of devastation. Those on the side of devastation are given the chance to cross over, but the process is grueling — and only 3 percent of those who try even succeed (hence the title)
Interestingly, 3% will be shot in Ultra HD 4K, so if you want to take full advantage of the experience, you’ll need to go ahead and buy a 4K television. No release date has been announced yet other than “late 2016”.
5. Marvel’s Luke Cage
So far, Netflix has produced two superhero drama series set in the Marvel universe — Daredevil and Jessica Jones — and both have been critically-acclaimed successes. This was all part of a deal that Netflix struck, to produce at least four 13-episode series set in the Marvel universe.
With Daredevil and Jessica Jones complete, the next in the sequence will be Luke Cage, a character who played a supporting role in a few of the episodes in Jessica Jones. Considering how well the first two turned out, I think it’s safe to say that Luke Cage will be just as good.
6. Stranger Things
Previously known as Montauk, Stranger Things is a supernatural drama series centered on the story of a boy who mysteriously vanishes into thin air in 1980s-era Montauk, New York. It comes from the same creative minds that adapted Wayward Pines.
The series stars Winona Ryder and will premiere with a first season run of eight hour-long episodes. No release date has yet been announced.
7. The Crown
The Crown is a biographical drama series about the British royal family, namely the inside story of Queen Elizabeth II and her many prime ministers as it spans across several decades. Not much else is known at the moment.
Claire Foy will play the Queen, Matt Smith (of Doctor Who fame) will play her husband, John Lithgow will play Winston Churchill, and the show will mainly take place at Buckingham Palace and 10 Downing Street. The first season will consist of 10 episodes, but no air date has been announced yet.
8. The Get Down
The Get Down is a musical drama series. I know that immediately conjures up the show Glee, but I assure you, The Get Down will be nothing like that. It’s co-created by Baz Luhrmann (who co-wrote Moulin Rouge! and The Great Gatsby) and Shawn Ryan (who created The Shield and Terriers), so this show is in good hands.
In short, The Get Down is set in the South Bronx region of New York in the 1970s and explores the social environment that ultimately gave birth to hip-hop, punk, and disco. Luhrmann has apparently been developing the concept for 10 years, so prepare for greatness.
The first season will debut as a 13-episode run, each one hour long.
If you like Will Arnett’s work in both Arrested Development and BoJack Horseman, then you’ll be happy to know that he has another Netflix-related show coming out this year called Flaked. It’s a comedy series — of course — and it’s going to be great.
The most exciting bit of news about Flaked is that it will be co-developed with Mitch Hurwitz, whom fans will recognize as the creative genius behind Arrested Development. Flaked follows Chip, a self-help guru who struggles to stay ahead of his own lies.
10. The Ranch
If you’re a fan of That 70s Show, then you’ll want to keep an eye out for The Ranch. Ashton Kutcher and Danny Masterson — who played Michael Kelso and Steven Hyde, respectively — star as brothers in this comedy series.
To cut a long story short, they live on and maintain a Colorado ranch and struggle to keep the family business going when Kutcher’s character returns home. Elisha Cuthbert will also play a main character, but details on her involvement are sparse at the moment.
Interestingly, Netflix will apparently be experimenting with the show as it’s set to air twice every year in 10-episode batches. What this means for the future of Netflix programming, we can only speculate.
Set in the late 1700s, Frontier is an adventure drama series that explores the clash between Native tribes and European settlers during the height of the North American fur trade.
Netflix has promised a lot of “close-quarter hatchet fights”, so that’s something to look forward to. The series will star Jason Momoa, whom you may recognize as Khal Drogo from Game of Thrones. No release date has yet been announced.
12. Lady Dynamite
Lady Dynamite is a comedy mockumentary series based on the life of Maria Bamford and it stars, you guessed it, Maria Bamford. Mitch Hurwitz — the genius behind Arrested Development — will be executive producer with Pam Brady as showrunner, and the first season will be 13 half-hour episodes.
13. The OA
Little is known about The OA except that it’s a drama series created by Brit Marling and Zal Batmanglij. Both will write for the show, but the former will star and the latter will direct. The first season will comprise of eight hour-long episodes.
Which New Netflix Originals Excite You?
Netflix is really setting out to prove that cable TV is no longer the top dog for original programming, and the truth is, television is simply better when consumed as streaming video. Netflix was always great, but these original series are likely to cement its position as superior to cable.
So if you’ve been contemplating whether you should cut the cord, let this be a gentle nudge in that direction. Not only is Netflix great, but there are dozens of other streaming services that offer quality content. If you haven’t already, get started today!
Do any of these shows intrigue you? How do you feel about Netflix’s original programming compared to cable channels like HBO and AMC? Please let us know what you think in the comments below!
Image Credits: Gillian Jacobs by Gage Skidmore via Flickr, City of Marseille by Michal Bednarek via Shutterstock, Winona Ryder by andersphoto via Shutterstock, Queen Elizabeth by Tom Magliery via Flickr, Will Arnett by s_bukley via Shutterstock, Kutcher and Masterson via DJDM/WENN, Jason Momoa by Jaguar PS via Shutterstock, Maria Bamford by Debby Wong via Shutterstock, Brit Marling by Featureflash via Shutterstock