If there was ever a time to need a guide for new Netflix TV shows and movies over July 4th weekend, it’s 2020. Last year, I recognized that the pull of ringing in the holiday at a rooftop bar or summer BBQ might be stronger than the draw of sitting alone in the dark watching Stranger Things season 3. But as states across the nation begin to re-shudder bars, restaurants, and beaches in the face of spiking COVID-19 cases, the peace of your living room may seem particularly inviting this time around.
Luckily, there is a lot of Netflix content to binge starting on Friday, July 3. Unlike 2019, there isn’t a single mega-blockbuster that will dominate your Fourth of July weekend timeline (sorry, Stranger fans). Instead, the streamer is serving up several smaller niche series for specific viewers. For those in need of a serious dose of nostalgia (or a treat to watch with their kids), there’s The Baby-Sitters Club reboot starring Cher Horowitz herself, Alicia Silverstone. For audiences missing the mythology-heavy thrills of Stranger Things, there’s brand-new supernatural series Warrior Nun. Elsewhere, you’ll find the revival of a true crime touchstone (Unsolved Mysteries), a popcorn comedy starring two New Girl faves (Desperados), and so much more.
These are all the new Netflix offerings broken down by plot, genre, and whether you should watch something immediately or skip for now. Keep reading for the lowdown on all of these Netflix treats, including their trailers.
Warrior Nun (Season 1)What is it?:
So much bigger and better than you may assume from the endearingly daffy name. What is it about?:
Ava (Alba Baptista), a paraplegic teenager and orphan who dies under mysterious circumstances in her Andalusian Catholic care facility. After a series of extremely dramatic supernatural events, Ava is brought back from the dead by a mystical halo, which is the lynchpin of a super-secret demon-fighting organization inside the Catholic church. With the halo, Ava becomes the Warrior Nun, the latest champion for God on earth.
Ava — initially a strict non-believer — must decide whether she wants to accept her destiny as the Warrior Nun and protect the world from evil — inside of the church and out. See or skip?:
See, if you enjoyed similar supernatural series like The Order
or I Am Not Okay With This
. Warrior Nun
is definitely focused on world-building and big action, but it is also gorgeous and
funny, if you pay attention.
The Baby-Sitters Club (Season 1)What is it?:
A brand new take on a time-honored book series. What is it about?: The Baby-Sitters Club books
, now as a lovable and modern tween TV series. As with the original series, the story begins when Kristy Thomas (Sophie Grace) — daughter of Alicia Silverstone’s Elizabeth Thomas-Brewer — comes up with the idea of the Baby-Sitters Club, a one-stop-shop for expert childcare in her neighborhood of Stoneybrook.
From there, Kristy recruits a group of fellow middle school girls — all with different backgrounds and personalities — to fill out her new business. Baby-Sitters
introduces young talent including Malia Baker, Momona Tamada, Xochitl Gomez and Shay Rudolph as beloved Baby-Sitters
characters Mary-Anne Spier, Claudia Kishi, Dawn Schafer, and Stacey McGill, respectively.See or skip?:
See if you’re looking for nostalgic good time — Baby-Sitters
is exactly as sweet and thoughtful as you hope. Episodes are also smartly between 22 and 27 minutes long, including the credits.
Unsolved Mysteries (Season 1)What is it?:
A reboot of the network-hopping true crime icon. What is it about?:
More unsolved mysteries. In 1987, NBC premiered Unsolved Mysteries
, a docuseries about titillating crimes and unexplained phenomena. Since then, the series appeared on CBS, Lifetime, and Spike TV. Now Mysteries
has arrived on Netflix for a new season of chilling conundrums.
Expect episodes on aliens, missing people, and French family tragedies. See or skip?:
See, if you’re a true crime obsessive
— and start with the episode about the alleged Berkshires UFO sighting. You know you want to.
Say I Do (Season 1)What is it?: Queer Eye
for weddings. What is it about?:
Surprising unexpecting people with the weddings of their dreams — in a matter of days. Although Say I Do
comes from the producers of Queer Eye
, the beloved reality show’s Fab Five does not appear in this new series. Instead, interior designer Jeremiah Brent (husband to Oprah-fave Nate Berkus)
, fashion designer Thai Nguyen, and chef Gabriele Bertaccini lead the proceedings as they each handle a sector of the quickly planned nuptials.
As with Queer Eye
, Say I Do
is as much about makeover magic as it is learning about the lives of each episode’s subjects, including their most painful tragedy. See or skip?:
If you love Queer Eye
, see Say I Do
. However, you should know the series premiere is a bit jarring since I Do
’s experts are not properly introduced in full for over 20 minutes. Also, bring the tissues, as Say I Do
traffics in the same heartbreaking trauma as its predecessor often does
DesperadosWhat is it?:
A very New Girl
-ish movie. What is it about?:
How far you would go to keep the allegedly perfect guy. Saturday Night Live
alum Nasim Pedrad — who also played the delightfully no-nonsense cop Aly on New Girl
— is Wesley, a single woman on the lookout for The One. Wesley believes she has finally met him after running into Jared (professional handsome person Robbie Amell
But after Jared seemingly ghosts Wesley, she sends him a wildly hostile drunken email. The only problem is, Jared didn’t
disappear on Wesley — he was just in a terrible accident. Stunned by the twist, Wesley and her friends (Sarah Burns and Anna Camp) decide they’ll stop at nothing to keep Jared from ever reading the email. As the cherry on top of the action rom-com sundae, Lamore Morris — aka Pedrad’s New Girl husband Winston Bishop
— plays Sean, the man Wesley dated before Jared. See or skip?:
This is for all you Netflix rom-com lovers and Aly-Winston shippers. See, if you’ve already binged through Always Be My Maybe
, Someone Great
, and The Lovebirds
Cable Girls (Final Season: Part 2)
What is it?: The end of Spanish-language period drama Cable Girls.
What is it about?: Solidifying the message of Cable Girls. When we check back in on the series, Spain is now solidly under the control of Francisco Franco’s dictatorship. Doña Carmen de Cifuentes (Concha Velasco) — originally believed to be dead — serves as the series’ final big bad, as she captures some of the Cable Girls women and traps them in a “reeducation” center that is actually a torture facility.
Heroine Lidia Aguilar Dávila (Blanca Suárez) dedicates her life to saving the hundreds of women put in danger by Carmen and the Franco regime. This way, Lidia may just be able to give Cable Girls some semblance of a happy ending.
See or skip?: See, if you're looking to lose yourself in a sumptuous period piece. However, if you haven’t watched Cable Girls before, start from the beginning. There is simply too much history here to start with the last few episodes of the final season.
George Lopez: We'll Do It for HalfWhat is it?:
An immediately political stand-up special from George Lopez. What is it about?:
A powerful — if distinctly Boomer — celebration of the Latino identity in America
right now (old-guard comedian Lopez never says “Latinx”). Lopez traverses traditional stand-up topics like family in-fighting, going to the doctor, and growing up, while keeping the conversation laser focused on his perspective as a Mexican-American man in his late 50s.
As We’ll Do it For Half
wraps, it’s obvious the special is a love letter to all Latinx people around the world, including the millions Lopez will never meet. See or skip?:
See, if you grew up on The George Lopez Show
and are curious about Lopez’s current comedy sensibilities. You can skip if you’re not a stand-up fan.
However — like Eric Andre’s Legalize Everything hour last week
— Lopez does have a prescient Half
section that speaks to the times. In Half
, Lopez criticizes the dangerous trend of white people unnecessarily calling the police on innocent Black people
. Everyone should see that bit, which begins around the special's 42-minute mark.
Southern Survival (Season 1)
What is it?: America’s Test Kitchen for country-fried survival.
What is it about?: The people who work at BattlBox, a box-based subscription service dedicated to sending customers the best survival gear out there. Each episode of Southern Survival explores a different category of products, from fire-fighting technology to vacation must-haves. These fact-finding missions are accompanied by explosions, shots of the American flag, and manly hollering.
See or skip?: You can skip unless you’re planning to jump out of an airplane or require a plethora of survival knives tomorrow. Southern Survival feels a little too much like an infomercial for BattlBox, rather than an in-depth docuseries about the developments in survival preparedness.
Under the Riccione SunWhat is it?: A solid companion to Summertime
. An Italian-language YA flick. What is it about?:
Finding yourself while summering on the Italian coast. Under the Riccione Sun
follows a group of teens who meet in the titular seaside town and naturally all develop crushes on each other. Quickly, the teens must work through their bubbling hormones and emotions before the season runs out. In classic Riverdale fashion
also tackles the romantic life of some of the central parents. Baby’s Lorenzo Zurzolo and Sergio Ruggeri star
, along with Ludovica Martino of Italy’s SKAM adaptation
. See or skip?:
See when your cabin fever is at its worst. Breezy Riccione
is this week’s vacation-in-a-movie.
Ju-On: Origins (Season 1)What is it?:
The first television take in the Ju-On franchise
. What is it about?:
Continuing the themes of the Grudge
movies. 2004’s The Grudge
is an American remake of 2002's Ju-On: The Grudge
, the first theatrical release in filmmaker Takashi Shimizu’s series of grudge-based horror movies.
Over 15 years later, Origins
attempts to understand where the darkness of the Ju-On
movies came from in the first place. Origins
is centered around one specific, seemingly cursed home. The series’ first season skips around timelines and characters to uncover the traumatic history of Origins
' house of horrors. See or skip?: Origins
gets pitch black quickly, depicting sexual abuse, child abuse, and more brutality to explain the evil at the center of its narrative. Skip, if this sounds too triggering for you.
Some more new Netflix treats to consider:
- Deadwind (Season 2)
- Thiago Ventura: POKAS
- BNA (Season 1)