Culture

The very best Netflix watches in August (goodbye, social life)

While a trip to the cinema is always a treat, we're never short of immediate screenings thanks to Netflix. Summer may have settled, and after-work drinks are more likely to be calling, but an (actual) Netflix and chill never goes amiss. Fortunately for us, there's a fine selection of brilliant films and shows streaming right now from the heart of your home. So grab a glass of wine, indulge in some sweet treats and turn to your screen. These are the best options for your viewing pleasure in August...

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Dear White People

The show that follows the experiences of black students at an Ivy League university – from their run-ins with campus police to the racism they face from other students – Dear White People returns for a third series that turns everything you thought you knew about the show on its head. From the format to the characters, series three of Dear White People is more complex than ever and perfectly primed for weekend bingeing.

© Lara Solanki

279

Glow

Ding, ding! The Gorgeous Ladies Of Wrestling (Glow) return for round three of Netflix’s supremely daft comedy-drama, promising more big hair, more spandex and more body slams. Alison Brie’s Ruth “Zoya The Destroya” Wilder and her ragtag bunch of female brawlers hit the ring once again, as they head to Vegas to perform in a live show after their TV show was cancelled last series.

Out on 9 August.

© Ali Goldstein/Netflix

379

Tiffany Haddish Presents: They Ready

After wrapping up her “#SheReady” US stand-up tour earlier this year, Tiffany Haddish has enlisted the help of six other comics – including women, people of colour and LGBTQ+ performers – for her new Netflix show. Each of the performers is handpicked by Haddish, spotlighting the crème de la crème of underrated talent in the industry, as they attempt to dismantle the unfair bias that still stacks the odds against minorities in comedy.

Out on 13 August.

© Chelsea Lauren/Shutterstock

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Mindhunter

David Fincher and Charlize Theron bring back the spine-tingling series that follows two FBI agents investigating some of the world’s worst serial killers. This time tackling the crimes of Charles Manson and David Berkowitz, series two of the show promises to carry the same intrigue, repulsion and addictive hallmarks of other works in the Fincher portfolio.

Out on 16 August.

© Patrick Harbron/Netflix

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Simon Amstell: Set Free

Another stand-up special to keep you laughing until the end of summer, Never Mind The Buzzcocks’s Simon Amstell returns to the screen to open up about coming out to his father and relationships. Expect a witty set about finding strength in vulnerability.

Out on 20 August.

© RMV/Shutterstock

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Stranger Things 3

Can you believe that it’s been almost two years since we were last blessed with new episodes of Netflix’s cult hit Stranger Things? How time flies when you’re desperately counting the days until your favourite show’s return. Now, the kids of Hawkins are all grown up and dealing with the perils of adolescence, but, unfortunately for them, they have much, much greater evil to fight over their summer holidays too. From what we can tell, both friendships and the fate of the world appear to be at stake. Cancel any plans you might have on 4 July, because you’ll probably end up just wanting to stay in and binge this instead.

© Netflix

779

When They See Us

Ava DuVernay’s four-part series on the Central Park Five case is a harrowing watch, but absolutely brilliant in its poignancy. Following five black and Hispanic teenagers who were wrongly convicted of the brutal assault and rape of a woman in New York’s Central Park in 1989, When They See Us does not hold back in depicting the cruelty they endured both at the hands of the police and the public, but at no point does it feel gratuitous – it simply tells their true story. We recommend you stock up the tissues before you put this on.

© Netflix

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Black Earth Rising

Michaela Coel shot to fame for her award-winning comedy Chewing Gum, but Black Earth Rising proves that she shines just as bright in dramatic roles as she does when delivering a filthy punchline. Directed by Hugo Blick, this searing drama sees Coel take on the role of Kate, a human rights lawyer who becomes intertwined in the prosecution of a war criminal in Rwanda. The thing is, she herself was saved from mass murder in Rwanda by her adoptive mother, Eve, who is the very same person who decided to take on the case. As you can probably already tell, the whole situation is a little complicated and brings important questions about moral responsibility and mental health to the forefront.

© Sophie Mutevelian/BBC/Netflix

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Baby Driver

Ansel Elgort gets behind the wheel as Baby, a teenage getaway driver with tinnitus, in this fast-paced action film that is full of even faster car chases. Plot-wise, it tells the tale of a fairly mediocre romance that’s put at risk by Baby’s profession, but this is a film you watch for the music. To drown out his tinnitus, Baby constantly has his earbuds in and, as such, lives his life soundtracked by his extensive music collection that ranges from T Rex to Barry White, Queen to Sky Ferreira. Watch this and we guarantee your music knowledge will get a big boost.

© Shutterstock

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The Chef Show

Having directed Elf, Iron Man, The Jungle Book and the upcoming The Lion King remake, it seems that Jon Favreau has reached a stage in his career where he is just free to do whatever he wants. Enter The Chef Show, the new Netflix series that’s basically an extension of his 2014 film Chef, apart from he and celebrity chef Roy Choi don’t act, they simply travel around cooking and eating food. Featuring guest stars such as Tom Holland and Gwyneth Paltrow, this is probably one of the best shows for food porn currently on Netflix – and that’s saying something. Order dinner in and enjoy.

© Netflix

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My Next Guest Needs No Introduction With David Letterman

One of the most critically lauded talk-show hosts of all time, David Letterman’s four-decade-long career has seen him interview everyone from Bill Murray to Barack Obama – and now, after a 6,080 episode stint hosting his own shows on TV, it’s taken him to Netflix, with My Next Guest Needs No Introduction With David Letterman. Flipping the talk-show format on its head by only focusing on one guest throughout the duration of hour-long episodes, the first series of My Next Guest welcomed the likes of Malala Yousafzai, Jay Z and, yes, Obama to his stage for frank and revealing conversations about each individual’s life and career. Has he managed to adequately follow that stellar list of interviewees up for series two? Of course he has. This month, cancel your evening plans and prepare for some illuminating discussions with Kanye West, Ellen Degeneres, Tiffany Haddish, Lewis Hamilton and Melinda Gates.

© Netflix

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Black Mirror

Now that you’ve finally unlocked every possible ending to Bandersnatch, Black Mirror is back and, er, smaller than ever, with a new series comprising just three episodes – Bandersnatch having being such a huge undertaking that series five of the show had to be edited down. But don’t feel as though you’ve been shortchanged: from what we can discern from the trailers, series five looks to be a just as good as the others, playing host to megastars such as Miley Cyrus and Fleabag’s Andrew Scott, and apparently featuring episodes with a slightly lighter tone to complement some of the show’s darker, dystopian themes. See, it’s not all doom and gloom in the not too distant future – particularly since this will be landing on your screens very, very soon.

© Netflix

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