July promises to be a month of frights, fun and (weirdly enough) fur on Netflix. The hottest summer month reliably does some of the platform’s biggest numbers, with marquee content often being scheduled to coincide with viewers kicking back on vacation. We can expect the arrival of new seasons for hit shows like Never Have I Ever, Outer Banks, and Virgin River, as well as the latest cinematic outings from households names like Felicity Jones and Gillian Jacobs.
And the pleasant surprises just keep on coming, too, as Netflix announced earlier this week the rolling-out of a new feature that will allow Android users to start watching downloaded content before the download is finished. Ever get 30 percent of the way through a download and decide you can’t wait to start? Have shoddy wifi or a maxed-out data plan? Netflix sees you. They’ve got you. And iOS users need not fret about being left behind, as the feature will be tested on Apple devices in the coming months.
What’s more unusual this July, though, is that something wicked this way comes. Do you feel a chill in the air? That might be Netflix, beaming a frightful trilogy known as Fear Street to your screens throughout the month. “Stranger things” are indeed afoot, as Maya Hawke and Sadie Sink team up with a cohort of other plucky teens to survive the night.
The theme of cursed Netflix content continues with the debut of Sexy Beasts, a dating show with a trailer that went viral on Twitter for all the wrong reasons when it dropped earlier this week. It’s understandable that producers are feeling the pressure to stand out in an ever-more saturated reality show landscape, but this is truly something else. What’s this particular show’s hook? Well, read on to find out… if you dare.
1 / 8
Fear Street Part 1: 1994
Get ready for some goosebumps. Positioned as the potential movie event of the season, Fear Street is a Netflix Original movie trilogy based on the smash-hit R. L. Stine series of the same name. Set in the ’90s, nostalgia abounds—retro tech, neon colours, and a roller rink as a slasher setpiece—alongside the terror. In Fear Street, a group of kids take on an evil force that’s haunted their idyllic town of Shadyside for centuries. The first chapter of the R. L. Stine movie trilogy will be released early this July, with Parts 2 and 3, taking us back to 1978 and 1666, will be dropping on 9 and 16 July, respectively.
Watch Fear Street Part 1: 1994 from 2 July.
2 / 8
Brought to us by the mad genius of Sandi Tan (she of Shirkers infamy), this new docuseries seeks to dive into the ways and whims of those who love their cats. The show will seek to dispel some of the myths and negative stereotypes around the “cat people” of the world, showing what it really means to love such fiercely independent creatures. From riding the waves to playing instruments to starting successful fundraisers, our four-legged feline friends each have a story—and every one of them is the cat’s meow. And for those of you who aren’t convinced, there’s always season 2 of Dogs, which drops on the same day.
Watch Cat People from 7 July.
3 / 8
If the phrase “Pappy Van Winkle bourbon heist” piques your curiosity, then this is the newest true-crime obsession for you. Billed as a six-part docuseries chronicling three true tales of ordinary people (almost) getting away with extraordinary crimes, Heist will follow a 21-year-old woman’s daring robbery of a Vegas casino, Cuban immigrants using tips picked up from binging crime shows to steal $7.4 million, and “Pappygate,” a whiskey-soaked scandal that ignited a media firestorm. A unique blend of original interviews and reenactments will colour this fast-paced series. This year’s Tiger King, perhaps? Score!
Watch Heist from 14 July.
4 / 8
Never Have I Ever
Devi’s back and badder than ever. When the first season of Never Have I Ever premiered on Netflix last April, it was an instant hit, a coming-of-age cringe comedy with a heart of gold. Now, the Mindy Kaling-created series is reviving its irascible charm once more. This time around, Devi has to decide between her crushes, Ben and Paxton, as she grapples with an impending move to India. To kick the angst up a notch, a new “Indian girl who’s prettier and cooler,” as Devi puts it, transfers to her high school. And with the tweenager still grappling with unresolved grief over her father’s passing, things are bound to get a whole lot worse before they finally get better. But that’s the timeless appeal of a show like Never Have I Ever—we know that things always will.
Watch the second season of Never Have I Ever from 15 July.
5 / 8
If you’re ever having trouble sleeping, it’s inadvisable to throw something like Deep up onscreen—it’ll ensure you will never sleep again. The Thai mystery thriller deals with the deadly consequences of sleep deprivation, as four insomniac medical students volunteer for a lab experiment that goes disastrously wrong. In the vein of films like Flatliners, Deep promises to be a pulse-pounding rollercoaster with a sharp, young voice. The Netflix Original is a collaboration between local powerhouse Transformation Films and Bangkok University film students. The project has the potential to open doors and break ceilings for other young filmmakers, if it can prove that storytelling and imagination truly have no age limit.
Watch Deep from 16 July.
6 / 8
Call it The Masked Singer for dating. The moment we’ve all been waiting for is here. A fever dream framework that’s already both upset the furry community and been ordered for a second season, Sexy Beasts looks absolutely insane. Hellbent on a mission to prove that personality is more important than physicality, the dating show will put chemistry to the test with the use of extreme animalian makeup and prosthetics. A panda asks a yak if he has health insurance. A dolphin and a grasshopper have drinks. A beaver says, “Ass first, personality second.” A baboon and a devil kiss. How? It is not for us to ask “how”—or even “dear God, why?” No, here’s the real question: Is love blind? We’ll soon find out. (While rooting for the dolphin.)
Watch Sexy Beasts from 21 July.
7 / 8
The Last Letter From Your Lover
Don’t leave your love story unwritten. A young journalist in London becomes obsessed with a series of letters she discovers that recounts an intense star-crossed love affair from the 1960s. Directed by Augustine Frizzell, of 2018 indie darling Never Goin’ Back, her newest venture stars Felicity Jones, Shailene Woodley, and boyfriend-of-Taylor-Swift Joe Alwyn. An alliterative mouthful if there ever was one, The Last Letter From Your Lover elegantly interweaves parallel love stories, all deliciously complicated by family obligations and missed opportunities. It’s a heartbreaking adaptation of the stay-up-all-night novel of the same name, by the author of Me Before You. Mixing historical romance with intoxicating mystery, this one’s bound to be spellbinding.
Watch The Last Letter From Your Lover from 23 July.
8 / 8
It’s time to head back to the OBX. With the Pogues and the Kooks at each others’ throats again, only one pack will get to rule the island they all call home. After season 1’s huge cliffhanger, viewers were left desperate to know what’s next for John B., Sarah, Kiara, JJ, and Pope. The hunt for the $400 sunken treasure is on, and—with stakes this high—murderous intent is all but guaranteed. With John B. and Sarah on the run for their lives in the Bahamas, how does the “artful dodger” Cleo, a new character, factor in? Who is this mysterious new enemy, Limbrey? Will the Pogues ever find time to do their homework? Uncharted waters lie ahead, and we’re on tenterhooks waiting to traverse them.
Watch the second season of Outer Banks from 30 July.