Netflix is seeing stars

OK, we need to talk Netflix, for a few reasons, but mainly because I’m a big fan of its original programming, as anyone who reads this column will know.

How many of you have finished the third season of House of Cards yet? At the time of writing it only came out a couple of days ago, so I’m only a few episodes in, but so far I’m sold by this Frank as president angle. It’s nice seeing him so powerful, but still more of an underdog than he’s been yet.

Another reason is the company has made a couple of announcements worth noting, namely that the third season of Orange is the New Black will be released June 12, so book some time off work. Also announced is the release of new series Wet Hot American Summer: First Day of Camp, a prequel series based off the completely insane but very funny 2001 movie. The show, which stars all of the original cast, many of whom have since become big stars (Paul Rudd, Bradley Cooper, Amy Poehler), drops on July 17. So, again, take some time off.

My last bit of Netflix fodder is to mention to premiere of another new show, Bloodline, on March 20. From the co-creators of Damages, Bloodline is a thriller about the return of a black sheep brother and the trouble he stirs up. I’m genuinely excited about this show based on the astounding cast, which includes Sissy Spacek, Sam Shepard, Linda Cardellini, Ben Mendelsohn and, Coach Taylor himself, Kyle Chandler, who has been pretty quiet since the end of his last series, Friday Night Lights, one of my all-time favourites.

There are some other shows returning worth mentioning, especially the final season of Mad Men, kicking off its seven-episode final run on April 5. Seven episodes isn’t nearly enough time for me to say goodbye to one of the richest shows of the best decade, but I guess we’ll all have to make due.

HBO is getting fired up too, with the return of Game of Thrones, Veep and Silicon Valley, all on April 12. Not too shabby. The prestigious channel is also premiering its much talked about new documentary Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief. The doc, based on a popular book, has been making the rounds at film festivals and has already been drawing considerable ire from the “church” in question. See what all the fuss is about on March 29.


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