Here’s a look at what’s new on Netflix. Season nine of “Grey’s Anatomy” is up, but I’m so far behind that it’ll take me a while to get caught up. Maybe that’ll be my winter watching project.
I also loved “Side Effects,” and Paula Schwartz reported on the “Derek” premiere, so I’ll definitely be checking that out. Ricky Gervais is one of the wackier interviews I’ve done in my long career as an entertainment writer. He’s a hoot.
Oh, and be sure and check out “Call the Midwife.” It’s kind of a throwback to when TV was sweet and innocent, but the show takes place in London’s East End in the 1950s, so it covers the gamut from the midwives’ sometimes comical lives to the poverty-ridden folks in the neighborhood. Excellent series.
TV on Netflix:
Grey’s Anatomy: Season 9 (seasons 1-8 currently avail)
Ellen Pompeo stars in this Emmy-winning medical drama as Dr. Meredith Grey, a young surgical intern (and eventual resident) who’s caught up in a swirl of personal and professional passions with fellow doctors at Seattle Grace Hospital. Patrick Dempsey co-stars as Grey’s initial object of obsession, Derek “McDreamy” Shepherd, who doesn’t let his marital status stop him from romancing the hospital staff.
Portlandia: Season 3 (seasons 1-2 currently avail)
Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein send up the righteous, artistically inclined and 100% organic residents of Portland, Ore., in this sketch-based comedy series. Typical targets include artisanal light bulbs, feminist bookstores and indie rock.
The League: Season 4 (seasons 1-3 currently avail)
Fantasy football tackles reality in this semi-scripted look at a group of longtime friends whose annual hobby gives them an excuse to get together and escape their everyday lives in a blitz of trash-talking, deceit and ruthless extortion.
Rules of Engagement: Season 7 (seasons 1-6 currently avail)
Three diverse perspectives on love and relationships are examined in this ensemble sitcom about longtime married couple Jeff and Audrey, the newly engaged Adam and Jennifer, and cynical bachelor Russell.
Derek: Season 1 – A Netflix Original
Ricky Gervais creates and stars in Derek, a comedy-drama about a loyal nursing home caretaker who sees only the good in his quirky coworkers as they struggle against prejudice and shrinking budgets to care for their elderly residents. Read Paula Schwartz’ report on the “Derek” premiere.
Mako Mermaids: An H2O Adventure: Season 1
This sequel to “H2O: Just Add Water” follows a boy named Zac who turns into a merman after falling into a magical Pool. Zac’s new powers could spell trouble for the three young mermaids who guard Mako Island.
Call the Midwife: Series 2 (season 1 currently avail)
Set in the 1950s, this period drama based on the memoirs of Jennifer Worth follows new midwife Jenny Lee and the other midwives and nuns working in a nursing convent in an impoverished section of London’s East End. Read my review of “Call the Midwife.”
New Girl: Season 2 (season 1 currently avail)
This smart sitcom revolves around Jessica Day, a socially awkward schoolteacher who’s still trying to rebound from a recent breakup when she moves in with three single guys, all ready to help her understand the ways of the world. Read Connie Wang’s “New Girl” recaps here.
Family Guy: Season 10 (seasons 1-9 currently avail)
In Seth MacFarlane’s no-holds-barred animated show, buffoonish Peter Griffin and his dysfunctional family experience wacky misadventures, from kidnapping the Pope to being forced to put up scythe-bearing Death for a few days after he breaks his leg.
Louie: Season 3 (seasons 1-2 currently avail)
Written and directed by comic Louis C.K. — who plays a fictionalized version of himself — this FX series eschews sitcom structure for a loose format that lets single dad Louie be his irascible self — through vignettes, club performances and more.
The Walking Dead: Season 3 (seasons 1-2 currently avail)
In the wake of a zombie apocalypse that desolates the world as we know it, a group of survivors led by police officer Rick Grimes holds on to the hope of humanity by banding together to wage a never-ending fight for their own survival.
Other TV favorites to discover and re-discover on Netflix:
Bomb Girls: Season 2 (season 1 currently avail) – Avail 9/3, Army Wives: Season 7 (seasons 1-6 currently avail) – Avail 9/10, Switched at Birth: Season 2 (season 1 currently avail) – Avail 9/18, Last Man Standing: Seasons 1-2 – Avail 9/24, Twisted: Season 1 – Avail 9/26, Comic Book Men: Season 2 (season 1 currently avail) – Avail 9/29
FILM on Netflix:
Apollo 18 (2011)
Warren Christie, Lloyd Owen, Ryan Robbins, Ali Liebert, Andrew Airlie, Michael Kopsa , Erica Carroll
If you buy in to official statements, Apollo 17 was NASA’s last manned mission to the moon. But what if found footage of a secret Apollo mission that had taken place the following year could prove otherwise — and explain why we haven’t gone back?
Safe Haven (2013)
Josh Duhamel, Julianne Hough, Cobie Smulders, David Lyons, Noah Lomax, Ric Reitz, Red Wes
This adaptation of the novel by Nicholas Sparks centers on a mysterious woman who arrives in a small North Carolina town and begins a new life but remains haunted by the terrifying secret that prompted her to travel across the country.
I Don’t Know How She Does It (2011)
Sarah Jessica Parker, Pierce Brosnan, Greg Kinnear, Christina Hendricks, Kelsey Grammer, Olivia Munn
In this affable yuppie comedy, Kate Reddy is a successful executive, wife and mom whose personal and professional lives hang in precarious balance. When Kate takes on a new job challenge, she and her brood have some serious prioritizing to do.
The Kids are Alright (2010)
Julianne Moore, Annette Bening, Mark Ruffalo, Mia Wasikowska, Josh Hutcherson
Joni and Laser, the children of same-sex parents Nic and Jules, become curious about their sperm-donor dad and set out to make him part of their family unit. But his arrival complicates the household dynamics.
Side Effects (2013)
Rooney Mara, Jude Law, Channing Tatum, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Vinessa Shaw
Emily copes with her depression by taking antidepressant medication. But when her dire state apparently spirals out of control due to her husband’s prison release, she turns to a new medication that alters her life forever.
On Netflix: A double feature with the queen of pop!
Madonna: Truth or Dare (1991)
Madonna offers a no-holds-barred look at her life, taking viewers behind the scenes at her “Blond Ambition” tour. From the dressing room to the bedroom, the outrageous and always entertaining singer exposes her every secret — from her waning relationship with actor Warren Beatty to her friendship with Sandra Bernhard and her crush on future Evita co-star Antonio Banderas. Alek Keshishian directs this revealing and raucous rock documentary.
Madonna: MDNA: Live from Miami (2012)
The MDNA Tour was the ninth concert tour by American singer-songwriter Madonna. It showcased material from her twelfth studio album, MDNA (2012).
Past film favorites on Netflix:
50 First Dates (2004), Get Rich or Die Tryin’ (2005), Requiem for a Dream (2000), Saturday Night Fever (1977), There Will Be Blood (2007) – All Avail 9/1
Aftershock (2012) – Avail 9/6, Lilo & Stitch (2002) and The Emperor’s New Groove (2000) – Avail 9/9, Along Came Polly (2004) – Avail 9/15, Love Actually (2003) – Avail 9/16, Nine (2009)– Avail 9/18