The coming weeks and months are going to be jam-packed with so many top-tier new Netflix releases as we get closer to the end of the year. The streaming giant is debuting everything from a new season of The Crown to a Scott Pilgrim anime that I absolutely cannot wait for, plus Zack Syder’s “space opera” Rebel Moon, and a dark and twisty new film from director David Fincher (starring Michael Fassbender as a hitman). That’s all a bit farther down the road, however. As for the new Netflix content coming to our phones, tablets, and TV screens much sooner — as in, over the next several days, now that September has arrived — that’s what this post is all about.
Netflix is closing out the third quarter of the year with new releases that include everything from returning favorites (a new season of Virgin River) to more experiments in the streamer’s most successful genres (like Korean drama as well as new documentary titles). We’ve highlighted six such titles, below, to consider adding to your own watch list — and, as always, our latest week-ahead Netflix snapshot is part of a broader mix of Netflix coverage that’s intended to help you figure out what to watch next, other examples of which include:
- The 85 best shows on Netflix
- 5 of Netflix’s grittiest, must-watch crime series that I can’t recommend enough
- The most-watched movies of all time on Netflix
Let’s now dive in and take a closer look at some of the biggest upcoming new titles.
Virgin River Season 5 is finally here
So many Netflix shows come and go, yet Virgin River endures — a rare TV show from the streaming giant that’s not only made it to the fifth-season mark but also has an even rarer sixth season already ordered.
While we’re at it, let’s not stop there. Anecdotally, I never come across anyone (on- or offline) who raves about this show, let alone mentions it as a favorite. Dig into the Rotten Tomatoes audience reviews for the most recent season of the show — which is based on the series of novels from Robyn Carr — and it’ll leave you scratching your head over the show’s improbable longevity (“Worst season ever … soap without bubbles.” “Too many characters with too many problems.” “Sorry, but this show is a series of Lifetime Movies episodes.”)
And yet, here we are.
Season 5 of Virgin River promises more romance, as well as “paternity drama, rural drug kingpins, and general small-town theatrics,” not to mention a massive wildfire threatening the town. Continues Netflix’s description of what’s in store for fans: “Issues of motherhood push Mel to make a big decision about her future at the clinic while her pregnancy unexpectedly sparks an emotional connection to her past.
“To further prove himself to Mel, Jack squares off with some long-overdue confrontations — with his own demons, and of course, with Charmaine. And as Doc and Hope’s respective impairments throw their identities into question, the doctor and the mayor must find solace in their community, in their young new family, and in each other.”
I’m by no means the target demographic for a show like Virgin River, but I suppose I can understand the allure. First of all, you can’t talk about this show without raving about the setting (which is supposed to be Northern California, though the show is shot in Canada). It’s breathtakingly picturesque. Then there’s the fact that the show does not depict real life; it’s a small-screen simulacrum of a certain kind of warm and fuzzy small town, with characters that include the town mayor, the local doctor, the bar owner, nurse practitioner, and too many others to list here. It’s something nice to escape to — that’s my guess, at least, as to the draw of a show that’s still got enough viewership for Netflix to keep it going this long.
In addition to the presence of a new showrunner (Patrick Sean Smith), Virgin River fans should also know that Netflix is delivering the new season in two parts. The first includes a 10-episode batch, coming this Thursday, while Part 2’s pair of holiday-themed episodes arrive on Nov. 30. Part 1 release date: Sept. 7.
The final season of a dark British crime drama
Moving right along, the upcoming week’s new Netflix releases also include the third and final season of Top Boy, which will reunite us with Dushane, Sully, and the rest of the Summerhouse crew on the streets of East London one last time.
Ominously, the new season promises “no loose ends” and picks up following the conclusion of Season 2 — when Sully’s action completely changed his business relationship with Dusane. Now, according to Netflix, “the two of them will endure new problems as everything they’ve built comes under threat from forces outside and within their empire. The rules that Sully and Dushane have lived by their whole lives are tested in an ever-changing world in a final chapter that will decide who can reign as Top Boy of Summerhouse.”
More Netflix new releases for K-drama, documentary, and reality show fans
As for what other Netflix releases will hit the streamer next week, here’s a look at the rest of what I expect will drive significant viewing time on the platform.
Selling the OC Season 2: The California sun, West Coast cool and glamour, beautiful women, and multimillion-dollar real estate listings. Of course, we could only be referring to Netflix’s Selling the OC franchise, which is back for an 8-episode sophomore season.
The show is basically wealth porn, flaunted by statuesque real estate agents in high heels that will probably not appeal to anyone who’s not already a reality show fan. The Oppenheim Group, of course, is the same brokerage depicted in Netflix’s hit series Selling Sunset, which itself has a seventh season on the way — so it shouldn’t come as a surprise that there’s also interest in companion shows like this one, too.
“Reputations, romances, and relationships are on the line when The Oppenheim Group’s Orange County team returns for season two of Selling The OC,” Netflix teases. “These young and hungry agents will risk everything while navigating a hot real estate market and even hotter rumors.” Release date: Sept. 8.
A Time Called You: K-drama fans, your next binge is about to arrive.
Here’s what to know about Netflix’s new 12-episode drama, A Time Called You: “Jun-hee (Jeon Yeo-bin) lives restlessly trying to recover from (the) grief of her long-time lover, Yeon-jun (Ahn Hyo-seop), who died in a sudden accident a year ago,” explains the official synopsis.
“She lives an empty life, feeling like Yeon-jun is still alive somewhere, when one day [she] receives a mysterious photo and a package from an anonymous person. A photo of a girl who looks exactly like herself, a boy who looks exactly like Yeon-jun, and an unknown boy standing in front of the ’27 Record Shop.”
That package also contains an old cassette player. Jun-hee inserts the cassette, and so begins a time travel mystery she needs to unravel. Long story short: The 2023 version of Jun-hee wakes up as Min-ju in 1998. As if that wasn’t weird enough, the first boy she sees looks exactly like her long-lost lover. I have a feeling this one is going to be another Netflix K-drama classic. Release date: Sept. 8.
Scout’s Honor — The Secret Files of the Boy Scouts of America: As for this next Netflix release, it’s an altogether different sort of project — an uncomfortable yet urgent film that will shock and horrify.
As he did with his 2021 Netflix documentary series Turning Point: 9/11 and the War on Terror, filmmaker Brian Knappenberger has once again shined a light in a dark place, bringing attention to a horrifying child sex abuse scandal that shatters any wholesome notion the viewer might otherwise have held about the Boy Scouts program.
“I don’t care if I bring the whole temple down,” one interviewee ominously declares at one point in the film. “This is an abomination.” Release date: Sept. 6.
Spy Ops: Last but not least, whether it’s a documentary about the godfather of spy fiction or a cracking good Cold War drama about a Stasi agent, there’s almost nothing I love more (entertainment-wise) than a good spy story.
This 8-episode docuseries features interviews with officers, operatives, and spies, including representatives of agencies like the CIA and MI-6, to share insider stories about spycraft, coups carried out by secret agents, and various and sundry Cold War campaigns. The only thing better than a spy novel or feature film about secret agents? The real deals, talking about what working in the shadows is actually like. Release date: Sept. 8.
This new series, by the way, is the perfect companion to an existing Netflix docuseries — the 8-episode Spycraft, which is all about the tools, tricks, and technologies of the secret world.