You Have 6 New Netflix Treats To Binge This Weekend — Here’s What’s Worth Watching

This week on Netflix belongs to movie stars and true celebrities. On Friday, October 23, the streaming service will premiere taut period TV series The Queen’s Gambit, starring Anya Taylor-Joy. If you watched candy-colored romantic delight Emma. earlier this year, you know what Taylor-Joy can pull off. You’ve also seen Taylor-Joy in The VVitch, Thoroughbreds, Split (and its sequel Glass), and The New Mutants

Fellow silver screen staples Armie Hammer and Lily James also have a Netflix project this week: new movie Rebecca, based on Daphne du Maurier’s classic romantic thriller of the same name. If you’re been missing the Avengers cast in 2020, interview series My Next Guest Needs No Introduction With David Letterman offers more than 40 intense minutes with Iron Man himself, Robert Downey Jr. Letterman’s pumped-up talk show also counts Kim Kardashian, Lizzo, and Dave Chappelle as guests in its third season. 

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Elsewhere on Netflix this week you’ll find the quick return of Unsolved Mysteries and a few new foreign language offerings. 

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.

Unsolved Mysteries (Volume 2) 


What is it?: More true crime (that won’t give you answers). 

What is it about?: Six more — you guessed it — unsolved mysteries. Unsolved Mysteries volume 2 features various types of enigmatic cases, from a confounding number of spirits reportedly following a deadly tsunami to various suspicious deaths. Each of Unsolved volume 2’s episodes investigates its mystery in 47 minutes or less. 

See or skip?: See, if you prefer your spooky programming to anchor itself in reality. Watch “Tsunami Spirits” first to witness a mournful but stellar installment of the series. If you prefer your mysteries to come with a resounding bit of closure, skip this series. 

My Next Guest Needs No Introduction With David Letterman (Season 3) 


What is it?: An intense deep dive into celebrities you think you know. 

What is it about?: Letting Dave Letterman flex his long-honed interview muscles, five years after The Late Show with David Letterman left the airwaves. Kim Kardashian, Lizzo, Dave Chappelle, and Robert Downey Jr. are the respective subjects of season 3’s four episodes. 

The center of My Next Guest is a lengthy interview with each episode’s guests. Two of the episodes — featuring Kardashian and RDJ — were filmed in front of a studio audience prior to the COVID-19 pandemic; Chappelle and Lizzo’s episodes reflect new pandemic-safe production guidelines. To add nuance to the conversation, Letterman also spends some private time doing some activity with his visitors. For Kim Kardashian, that means taking the most famous woman in the world to a Los Angeles CVS.  

See or skip?: See, if you already have some affinity for Next’s guests. Kardashian is more honest than ever about the effect of the OJ Simpson trial on her family. Lizzo shows off her extremely rare flutes (one is named Blue IV). It’s the kind of insider access fans dream of seeing. But, if you don’t care about Letterman’s guests, skip. 

Rebecca


What is it?: A movie where the behind-the-scenes gossip is juicer than what’s on screen.  

What is it about?: Obsession. Rebecca opens with the speedy marriage of Mr. and Mrs. Maxim de Winter, respectively played by Call Me By Your Name’s Armie Hammer and Cinderella’s Lily James. Maxim is a widower and the wealthy owner of Manderley, a famed English estate. His new wife, on the other hand, is a working-class orphan.

Mrs. de Winter hopes to live up to Maxim’s ideals for a spouse, but she cannot shake the emotional ghost of her husband’s first wife, Rebecca. The withering machinations of Manderley’s property manager, Mrs. Danvers (Kristin Scott Thomas), don’t make the home any warmer for poor, love-struck Mrs. de Winter. 

See or skip?: You can skip. Armie Hammer and Lily Collins are a gorgeous pair of people, but they are miscast as Mr. and Mrs. de Winter. The age gap between Rebecca’s leads should give the audience pause, not cause them to lean forward in horny intrigue. Without that basic level of tension, Rebecca falls flat. 

If you want to watch a movie about a lonely blonde bride terrorized in a lavish English manor, watch the dangerously underrated Crimson Peak — just in time for Halloween.
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The Queen's Gambit (Season 1)


What is it?: A sports movie for people who love Emma

What is it about?: Beth Harmon (Taylor-Joy), a fictional chess prodigy. After an accident kills Beth’s mother (Chloe Pirrie), Beth is left to find her own way in a late ‘50s Kentucky orphanage. Surprisingly, the dreary locale puts her on the road to greatness when she starts learning chess during her stay. 

Over seven episodes, The Queen’s Gambit tracks Beth’s progress becoming the greatest chess player in the world. Despite her talents, Beth is tormented by generational personal demons and ones of her own making. 

See or skip?: See, if you’re intrigued by the reality of The Queen’s Gambit. The trailer for the miniseries paints the historical drama as a razor-sharp black comedy — like Succession or The Great. The Queen’s Gambit is not that show. Instead, it's an extremely serious (albeit gorgeous) study in the pitfalls of genius and ambition. Queen’s Gambit treats Beth’s passion, and talent, for chess with the same reverence as football drama Friday Night Lights or the tennis matches in Battle of the Sexes

If you’re looking for a zany performance from Taylor-Joy from the jump, you’ll be disappointed. The Queen’s Gambit premiere is led by Isla Johnston, the young actress playing Beth for her childhood years. At least Taylor-Joy is allowed to fully explore the extremes of Beth with one late-season crisis. 

Cadaver


What is it?: A Norwegian-language post-apocalyptic nightmare. 

What is it about?: Making you permanently suspicious of hotels and dinner theater. In the midst of nuclear winter, a starving family of three is invited for an evening stay at a hotel... where a meal will be provided. The trio — mom Leonora (Gitte Witt), dad Jacob (Thomas Gullestad), and their daughter Alice (Tuva Olivia Remman) — reluctantly agree to attend the festivities. 

The night takes a ghoulish turn once Alice disappears and her family realizes actual horror is afoot. 

See or skip?: Cadaver feels like a worst-outcome version of our current chaotic times. You can skip this movie if you simply don’t want to hang out in this terrifying world for an hour and a half.

Barbarians (Season 1) 


What is it?: A German-language battle drama (with a lot of actual Latin). 

What is it about?: Sticking to your roots. Barbarians — set in 9 AD around the forest hills of Germany — finds its hero in Arminius (Laurence Rupp). Arminius was born a German “barbarian” but was raised in Rome to worship the empire. When Rome is on the edge of a deadly clash with the Germanic tribes, Arminius must choose a side. 

See or skip?: See, if you already love fellow bloody period piece The Last Kingdom. Barbarians, like Last Kingdom, tests the allegiance of one vaguely hunky European man when he is faced with war. 

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