7 New Netflix Shows in August 2020, and the Best Reasons to Watch – IndieWire

1. Hoops (available August 21)

Why Should I Watch? Between Big Mouth, F Is For Family, and The Midnight Gospel, Netflix has a strong slate of adult animated comedies, and thats without counting the services now ended but endlessly re-watchable episodes of BoJack. Hoops, starring and executive produced by Jake Johnson, looks to join those lofty ranks. Created by Ben Hoffman, Hoops follows Coach Ben Hopkins, a pathetic, angry, foul-mouthed high school basketball coach whos convinced he can make it to the big leagues if he can whip his wayward squad into shape. His father, Barry (voiced by Rob Riggle), is a former professional basketball star, and he wants to help his son succeed even though he knows hes a long way from being the man he should be. Hard-R hijinks ensue, with Chris Miller and Phil Lord (Clone High, Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse) also on board as executive producers.

Bonus Reason: If youre not familiar with creator Ben Hopkins, perhaps you know him by the stage name Wheeler Walker Jr., a (comedic) country singer whose first album, Redneck Shit, debuted on PornHub. Rolling Stone called that release unfathomably obscene and undeniably offensive for tracks like Cant Fuck You Off My Mind and Sit on My Face, and Walkers follow-ups only pushed the X-rated satire further. (Yup, thats another pull-quote from Rolling Stone.) Now, Hoffman is barely hiding behind another character via Coach Hopkins. Will the results be as extreme? Obscene? Offensive? Netflix has pushed those buttons to great success in other areas of late, so perhaps the strategy will help Hoops make a name for itself, too.


Why Should I Watch? If Netflix originals are doing a solid job with new adult animated offerings, than the streamers acquisition team is killing it in anime. After striking gold with Avatar the Last Airbender earlier this summer, Netflix invested in the sequel series to premiere this August. Created by Bryan Konietzko and Michael Dante DiMartino for Nickelodeon in 2012, The Legend of Korra follows the eponymous lead (voiced by Youre the Worst star Janet Varney) through four seasons (Books 1-4) of action, splendid (HD) visuals, and thoughtful commentary on real-world strife. Like Aang before her, Korra is an Avatar who can control the four elements: water, earth, fire, and air. Throughout the series, the hotheaded warrior has to maintain balance in a world facing political and spiritual unrest, though the final season sees her look inward in another imaginative pivot. Its quite a journey for anyone already caught up in the Avatar world

Bonus Reason: and great prep for Netflixs original adaptation. Back in 2018, the streaming giant announced plans for a live-action version of Avatar: The Last Airbender, hoping to do right by a beloved anime property that many felt was mishandled by M. Night Shyamalans 2010 movie. Theres still no word on a release date for the new series, but Netflix is certainly sparking renewed interest by releasing the original series and its sequel.

Why Should I Watch? Brandys beloved 90s sitcom, Moesha, is one of a handful of sitcoms focused on Black families that Netflix has licensed for release in the coming months. Originally planned for CBS before moving to its permanent home at UPN, the half-hour comedy centers on a well-off Black family living in the Leimert Park neighborhood of Los Angeles. Moeshas diary entries open and close most episodes (shortly before Carrie Bradshaws essays would do the same on Sex and the City), which capture the titular leads days in high school, as well as her family life. Whether youre looking for a little nostalgia during your time at home or eager to finally see an oft-discussed comedy thats been previously unavailable otherwise, Moesha will give you 50-plus hours of much-needed entertainment.

Bonus Reason: Besides making a star out of Brandy, Moesha followed the grand tradition of most great sitcoms by tackling a number of difficult issues head-on. (The later seasons take on an infidelity arc thats a real humdinger.) So dont worry: This isnt a guilty pleasure or braindead bingeing; Moesha pushes the envelope, too.


Why Should I Watch? Still looking for more animated offerings in August? Netflix has you covered with the third season of its kawaii counterculture cartoon, Aggretsuko. Originally the mascot for Sanrio, a Japanese company that designs, licenses, and specializes in super-cute products, Aggretsuko debuted as an anime musical-comedy in 2018, following an accountant named Retsuko who takes out her frustrations via death metal karaoke sessions. Episodes are pretty short about 15 minutes each but the length helps maximize the juxtaposition between crazy adorable creatures (Retsuko is a red panda) pursuing aggressively extreme outlets. (Retsuko eventually turns to marriage as solace from her office aggravations.) Try them out for yourself and see what all the much-deserved fuss is about.

Bonus Reason: One? Weve got five! For more hooks into Aggretsuko, check out our Season 1 breakdown. Heres a small taste: Retsukos name roughly translates to Rage-child in English, which is awesome by itself.

Courtesy of Netflix

Why Should I Watch? A six-part documentary series from Shaul Schwarz and Christina Clusiau (Trophy), Immigration Nation examines Americas immigration process through the daily lives of ICE agents, activists, lawmakers, attorneys, and a sizable number of undocumented immigrants. Schwarz and Clusiau, who shot footage for more than three years, look at an array of immigrant stories, including longtime residents and more recent arrivals, and asks the hard questions about how our nation can live up to the words inscribed on the Statue of Liberty.

Bonus Reason: Early reviews have been strong. Varietys Chief TV Critic Caroline Framke writes Immigration Nation provides a damning indictment of the labyrinthe systems that make ICE so powerful, and a wrenching examination of the human cost its policies have wrought. Times Judy Berman also utilizes the striking descriptor when calling the docuseries as damning for the executive branch as it is illuminating for civilians. Heres hoping the timing of this release encourages voters to do what they can to change things.

Why Should I Watch? Another popular UPN entry, The Game originated as a spin-off of the sitcom Girlfriends (which starred Tracee Ellis Ross) before running one season longer than its predecessor. Mara Brock Akil created both, and recent Emmy nominee Tia Mowry leads The Game as Dr. Melanie Barnett-Davis who, when the series begins, has given up an offer to study at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine to support her husbands professional football career. Melanie quickly befriends her new football family, including Tasha (Wendy Raquel Robinson) and Kelly (Brittany Daniel), while she learns to juggle her responsibilities to her sport with her passion for practicing medicine. Honestly, the real answer to Why Should I Watch? is simply Tia Mowry (now Tia Mowry-Hardrict), but for those who wanted a few more names or a hint at the plot, there you go.

Bonus Reason: In addition to Mowry, The Game featured a slew of famous or soon-to-be famous faces. Moesha star Brandy showed up in later seasons, along with future Insecure star Jay Ellis. Rick Fox, Lee Majors, and Janet Varney were all part of the recurring cast, while guest stars like John Singleton, Jennifer Hudson, MoNique, Gabrielle Union, Serena Williams, Vivica A. Fox, Cuba Gooding Jr., and Jennifer Lopez kept audiences on their toes week in and week out.

Courtesy of Netflix

Why Should I Watch? Whats cuter than animal-centered nature docs? How about an animal-centered nature doc focused on tiny animals? Exotic butterflies, everyday mice, weird-looking lizards, and more take the spotlight in this new Netflix docuseries that dramatizes little animals big adventures across the United States. Expect plenty of slo-motion shots and close calls for these Tiny Creatures, all in bright, beautiful high-definition.

Bonus Reason: Who better to narrate a docuseries on tiny animals than a big, burly man with a buttery baritone? Evil star Mike Colter will talk you through each little creatures story though heres hoping this show will avoid any demon sightings.

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7 New Netflix Shows in August 2020, and the Best Reasons to Watch - IndieWire

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