You Have 10 New Netflix Treats To Binge This Weekend — Here’s What’s Worth Watching

Netflix premieres a new show or movie with a major celebrity nearly every week. Over July 4th weekend, it was The Baby-Sitters Club with Clueless great Alicia Silverstone. This week, however, a whopping three Netflix debuts boast serious A-list talent. 

On Friday, July 10, viewers will get Down to Earth With Zac Efron, The Old Guard, and Stateless, all of which include very famous faces. As you can guess, sustainable travel show Down to Earth is led by High School Musical and The Greatest Showman prince Zac Efron. If you’ve seen a single promotional image for The Old Guard — a classic summer popcorn flick packed with immortal warriors — you know it stars Charlize Theron, one of our greatest modern action heroes (never forget Mad Max: Fury Road, or Atomic Blonde for that matter). Immigration drama Stateless comes from Cate Blanchett, who also appears in the limited series. Blanchett sings, dances, and placates her way through Stateless as a fictional self-help guru. 


Elsewhere on Netflix this week you’ll find two heartwarming documentaries, a number of foreign-language TV shows, and 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.

Down to Earth With Zac Efron (Season 1) 

What is it?: Something you can convince yourself is an extremely niche date with Zac Efron. 

What is it about?: Sometimes-bearded dreamboat Efron trying to understand how to live a truly sustainable and healthy life. Efron and co-host/friend Darin Olien travel around the world investigating sustainability developments in areas like energy, wellness, and food. That means you will have to watch the artist formerly known as Troy Bolton eat unexpected delicacies like dung-smoked lamb bacon for his own good. 

Think of Down to Earth as Netflix’s Goop series — but for bros. 

See or skip?: If you want to see modern Zac Efron fully is his element, see. Efron is thriving in Down to Earth (particularly in episodes where celebrity friends like Anna Kendrick join). But if Goop infuriated you, it’s unlikely you’ll enjoy Down to Earth. So, skip in that case. 

The Old Guard

What is it?: Your at-home blockbuster for the Sheltering At Home Era

What is it about?: A group of immortal, centuries-old-or-more warriors, led by Charlize Theron’s Andy (who is roughly 6,000 years old herself). The Old Guard’s Old Guard begins the film — directed by Love & Basketball helmer Gina Prince-Bythewood — with some good news: they found another battle-ready immortal to join their ranks. The new recruit’s name is Nile (If Beale Street Could Talk's KiKi Layne) and she is a grief-stricken Marine. 

Unfortunately, the Old Guard is also being hunted by Merrick (Harry Melling), who is the kind of supervillain determined to use our heroes' powers for personal capitalistic gain. Still, The Old Guard is equally interested in the existential horror and joy of immortality as it is with big shoot-em-up action sequences. 

See or skip?: See! To quote a recent Slack chat with R29 senior movie critic Anne Cohen, “It’s a good movie, not just ‘A good Netflix movie.’” 

Stateless (Season 1) 

What is it?: A powerful limited series created and produced by star Cate Blanchett

What is it about?: The punishing immigration system in Blanchett’s home country of Australia. Stateless follows four individuals whose lives collide at a detention center for “UNCs,” or “unlawful non-citizens,” as immigrants are described in the drama’s series premiere. One of Stateless' anchor characters is Sofie, played by The Handmaid Tale’s Yvonne Strahovski. Sofie, a woman suffering from mental health issues, has an immediately harrowing first episode, and her life only becomes more painful after she ends up in Stateless’ detention center — despite being an Australian citizen. Blanchett appears as Pat, a woman who runs a self-help trap that is central to Sofie’s eventual detention, and The Affair's Dominic West plays Pat's dangerously manipulative husband Gordon. 

Stateless’ shines when it focuses on Ameer (Fayssal Bazzi), an Afghani father and husband who ends up at the detention center. Other stories follow detention center guard Cam (Suicide Squad’s Jai Courtney) and Clare (Asher Keddie), Cam’s boss. 

See or skip?: Stateless is important viewing. Although the series is about Australia’s immigration system, it’s impossible to ignore the parallels between the events in Stateless and America’s own immigration sins. However, only see when you’re ready for heavy storytelling. 


The Claudia Kishi Club

What is it?: A delightful documentary. 

What is it about?: The fandom of Claudia Kishi, everyone’s favorite Baby-Sitters Club character. The 17-minute Claudia Kishi Club — directed by relative newcomer Sue Ding — explores what makes Claudia, the Japanese-American tween VP of the BSC, such an impactful character for real-life Asian-American readers.

Naia Cucukov, who executive produces Netflix’s Baby-Sitters adaptation, Sarah Kuhn, who pens the Heroine Complex novels about Asian-American superheroes, Gale Galligan, a Baby-Sitters graphic novel artist, and more influential Claudia stans appear. 

See or skip?: See when you need to smile.

Dating Around: Brazil (Season 1)

What is it?: More Dating Around — this time in Brazilian Portuguese. 

What is it about?: The exact same thing as the OG Dating Around: finding out what happens when one single person goes on five first dates with identical schedules and very different people. As with the American version of the format, you can expect to see queer pairings along with some older daters in Dating Around: Brazil

See or skip?: See if you’re open to watching a reality series in a language other than English. Dating Around, no matter the language, is one of television’s most fascinating dating shows since it focuses on low-stakes, everyday romance rather than the elaborate, condensed search for a spouse.

However, you should skip if you’re going to watch Dating Around: Brazil with English dubbing. It’s just not the same.  

Mucho Mucho Amor

What is it?: An extremely lovable documentary about a Puerto Rican legend. 

What is it about?: Walter Mercado, the iconic astrologer who ruled television for decades in the most fabulous capes known to man (or woman). Mucho Mucho Amor — a title that references Mercado’s signature on-air farewell —  investigates how Mercado became internationally beloved for his work, along with the previously unknown way the spotlight was stolen away from him. The most emotional sections of Amor reveal Mercado’s intimate home life and his open-hearted attempt to return to his millions of adoring fans. 

See or skip?: See. Mucho Mucho Amor is only an hour-and-a-half long, but will fill you with days of inspiration. Prepare to leave the doc a huge Mercado fan, even if you didn’t enter that way.

The Twelve (Season 1) 

What is it?: A Flemish-language crime drama. 

What is it about?: Deciding the fate of a woman named Frie Palmers (Maaike Cafmeyer), who is accused of murdering her best friend and her own young daughter. The Twelve works hard to unravel the truth of Frie’s actions, but is also focused on the lives of its twelve jurors — and what it truly means to judge someone else’s life. 

See or skip?: See if you miss the weekly courtroom dramas that traditionally air throughout the broadcast TV season. Otherwise, you can skip.

Was It Love? (Season 1) 

What is it?: A weekly Korean-language rom-com. 

What is it about?: An embarrassment of romantic riches. Noh Ae-jung (Song Ji-hyo) is a single mom who held onto her career dreams after having her daughter Noh Ha-nee (Uhm Chae-young), but forgot all about love. Now that Ha-nee is a teenager, the universe has apparently decided it’s time for Ae-jung to get back into the dating scene. So, four uniquely compelling suitors fall at Ae-jung’s feet. 

See or skip?: Was it Love shakes up the traditional 20something single gal rom-com structure by giving us a heroine in her late 30s with serious responsibilities. See, to encourage more of this kind of storytelling — and because Was It Love is quite fun.

Japan Sinks: 2020 (Season 1)

What is it?: This week’s new anime, which is inspired by a classic Japanese sci-fi novel. 

What is it about?: The aftermath of a series of cataclysmic earthquakes, all of which set Japan on a course to permanently fall into the ocean. Japan Sinks revolves around one family and their fight for survival. 

See or skip?: Japan Sinks is beautiful. But it also has a very, very grim premise. Considering the already-grave times, you can skip Skinks for now and watch it later.

Jim Jefferies: Intolerant

What is it?: A special where a 42-year-old white man says, “Here’s the thing about millennials” — aka the most exhausted phrase in stand-up.  

What is it about?: Finding out whether or not Australian comedian Jim Jefferies “will shit himself.” This a direct quote from Intolerant’s trailer. Mercifully, the special isn’t an hour-long description of Jefferies’ bowel movements. Instead, the central story of Intolerant details a terrible date the comedian recently had, during which he ate cheese despite knowing he is violently lactose intolerant (get it?). 

The road to completing Jefferies' tale is filled with detours about his family, his drinking, and other genuinely funny observations. Still, in the first 20 minutes of Intolerant, Jefferies criticizes “Millennials” — clearly using the term as an incorrect catch-all for anyone under 30 — for an extended period of time over our appreciation for selfies and sunset pictures. It is a scene that will be very familiar to anyone who has seen comedy from other middle-aged comedians like Jerry Seinfeld or Joe Rogan.  

See or skip?: Skip. You don’t have to listen to Jim Jefferies call you a “fucking low-rent cunt.” 

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