If you’re in search of a high-octane crime drama to binge on Netflix, there are certainly no shortage of quality TV series that fit the bill. The streaming giant is home to everything from the superlative Narcos and franchise to the British gangster saga of Peaky Blinders — as well as one of my personal favorites, Sweden’s dark and gritty Snabba Cash. The Netflix releases coming next week to kick off 2024, meanwhile, include another can’t-miss crime drama: The Brothers Sun, about a powerful Taiwanese triad family starring Michelle Yeoh.
Across its eight episodes, the eldest son of that family heads to Los Angeles to protect his mother Eileen (Yeoh) and his naive younger brother after the head of the family is shot by a mysterious assassin. That younger brother, by the way, has been completely sheltered from the truth about his family, until now. A transpacific gang war, deadly assassins, bad guys jockeying for power — talk about ringing in 2024 with a bang.
The series explores “what it means to be a son, what it means to be a brother, and also what it means to try and keep a family together,” showrunner Brad Falchuk, who also serves as a writer on the series, said in a Netflix promotional interview. “We do an extreme version of it because they’re a crime family and there are people shooting at them and trying to kill them, but the conflicts they’re having, the problems they’re having internally, the emotional problems are very, very universal.”
Yeoh plays the fierce Mama Sun, in her first lead role since her Oscar-winning performance in 2022’s Everything Everywhere All at Once. The series, adds director Kevin Tancharoen, is packed with drama, black humor, and tons of action. “I’ve always believed that the best type of genre is where there happens to be a little bit of medicine in that popcorn, but popcorn has to be first,” he told Netflix’s Tudum site.
“I think that makes the viewing experience a lot more enjoyable, when you’re not aware of some of the subconscious medicine that you’re having, because you’re so entertained by the popcorn. I just want everyone to have a lot of fun, because these characters are a lot of fun. And I hope at the end of it, you feel like you’re a family member.”
Moreover, while The Brothers Sun is one the biggest of the coming week’s new Netflix releases, it’s also not the only one worth checking out. As for the other major Netflix titles that we think will be worth your time over the next seven days, here’s a rundown of some of the other notables — from documentaries to a new feature film starring a beloved Schitt’s Creek star, and more.
Bitconned: These next two Netflix releases coming in just a matter of days are both documentary titles. Bitconned, from director Bryan Storkel, is a film about Ray Trapani — a guy who’d wanted to be a criminal ever since he was a young boy.
“In 2017, amidst the economic frenzy of the Bitcoin boom,” Netflix explains, “there was no better place for scammers than cryptocurrency. So when Ray’s friend approached him with the idea of creating a debit card for crypto, Trapani jumped at the chance.
“There was only one problem: he had no idea how to do that. But thanks to fake LinkedIn profiles, paid celebrity endorsements, and the online community’s insatiable desire to “get rich quick,” Centra Tech was soon raking in millions of dollars a day. Was it real? No. But did it work? Maybe.” Release date: Jan. 1.
You Are What You Eat: A Twin Experiment: Not every Netflix documentary, of course, has to be a gritty, eye-opening dive into some larger-than-life character or under-explored facet of the world. Case in point: This next Netflix release, a docuseries about twins and diets, embarks on an experiment. We already know that twins have a deep and unique bond with each other. And that gave researchers an idea — what if you switched their diet and lifestyle over a period of several months, would that reveal any new insights about how food impacts the body? (Spoiler: Yes, it will.) Release date: Jan. 1.
Good Grief: For those of you Schitt’s Creek fans who’ve been missing the actors who brought to life the eccentric but supremely likable Rose family, good news: Dan Levy is back, this time with the film Good Grief which marks his debut as a feature-film writer and director. Levy also stars as Marc, with a larger-than-life writer husband who suddenly dies. After the death shatters Marc’s world, he takes two of his friends on a soul-searching trip to Paris. Now streaming.
Berlin: Finally, we teased this next Spanish-language crime drama among last week’s Netflix releases, and now it’s here. The eight-episode Berlin is a prequel spinoff of La Casa de Papel, aka Money Heist, one of the biggest Netflix series of all time.
In the original series, the fan-favorite character “Berlin” leads a team of criminals all codenamed after cities who execute a daring heist of the Royal Mint of Spain. The prequel, meanwhile, is focused on his character well before the events of Money Heist — when Berlin is planning a daring heist of his own, one that entails stealing $44 million worth of jewels in Paris.
He taps a team of savvy criminals, including cybersecurity mastermind Keila; his close friend Damian; Cameron, a risk-taking loose cannon; weapons expert Bruce; and a locksmith named Roi. The ensuing romance, intrigue, and adventure make this one a definite must-watch for the millions of fans around the world who loved Money Heist. Now streaming.