After a January in which Netflix unveiled a trifecta of multimillion dollar Disney flicks (Solo: A Star Wars Story, Ant-Man and the Wasp, Incredibles 2), the streamer’s February offerings seem … relatively quaint by comparison. But while Netflix newcomer The Edge of Seventeen might not feature any CGI-heavy space battles, Hailee Steinfeld accidentally sending her high school crush a very explicit Facebook message is just as compelling. Likewise, Personal Shopper sees Kristen Stewart wearing lots of cozy sweaters and encountering a CGI ghost—it’s great in its own right.
That’s just a couple of the new offerings available this month—Amazon Prime is also getting The Matrix trilogy!—that are worth checking out. Here is The Ringer’s guide to the best new additions arriving on Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Hulu in February, as well as some recent favorites and random recommendations from staffers.
What’s New to Streaming in February
A selected list of movies and TV shows coming this month that The Ringer is very excited about.
Legion Season 2 (Hulu, February 3)
Miles Surrey: While Legion has sometimes lacked purposeful and coherent direction, the completion of David’s sinister transformation has given the series a clear focus moving forward. No longer is the series the origin story of a supervillain—it can now explore the possibilities of that villain operating at the height of his godlike powers. Going forward, Legion can still provide what it does best—a cornucopia of visuals that coalesce into something equal parts beautiful and horrifying—and add in a story that’ll finally be worth investing in.
Patriot Act With Hasan Minhaj (new episodes coming to Netflix on February 10)
Rob Harvilla: There is much to love here, and to work with; Patriot Act is a weekly affair with a 32-episode order, guaranteeing [Hasan] Minhaj the long runway Michelle Wolf deserved. You will root for him, hard, especially in those moments when he manages to be cool without trying to be cool. His perspective, shamefully unique in this context, is his not-so-secret weapon.
The Matrix Trilogy (Amazon Prime, February 1)
Harvilla: The Matrix was a shocking, glorious, once-in-a-lifetime event that proved how unrepeatable it was by leaving nothing but abject misery in its mighty wake. Myriad wayward cinematic franchises ripped off its bullets-and-leather aesthetics, but not its wit or heart or cerebrum; the social movements it inspired are considerably worse. It was a jet-black unicorn Hollywood has spent almost 20 years trying to clone, with comically disastrous results (the Angelina Jolie goof Wanted, the Underworld movies, the collected works of Zack Snyder).
The Edge of Seventeen (Netflix, February 1)
Allison P. Davis: Hailee Steinfeld’s Nadine is a great awkward, relatable teen narrator. The film hits all the tropes: She goes to a house party, she has a crush, she has a meltdown, she has a nurturing-yet-borderline-inappropriate relationship with a quirky teacher (Woody Harrelson). It even manages to include just the right amount of social media and computer usage, rather than going all “cool hacker teen” just for the sake of appealing to the youth. Truly, it’s a charming, heartfelt tale about coming of age during the time of red Solo cups and lockers.
Don’t Worry, He Won’t Get Far on Foot (Amazon Prime, February 8)
Adam Nayman: With its inspirational arc and straightforward visual style, Don’t Worry, He Won’t Get Far on Foot is one of [Gus] Van Sant’s more conventional movies, and yet it’s weirdly the best showcase for his gifts in a while: He plays the notes, and the result is music.
One Day at a Time Season 3 (Netflix, February 8)
Alison Herman: Beyond [Norman] Lear’s own involvement, One Day at a Time adds something extra to the social-issue sitcom revival. The series isn’t a straight remake of one of television comedy’s classical forms — it’s a collision of that form with one of the genre’s newest. The combination is more seamless, and more natural, than it sounds. And it’s helped to create a new species of show altogether, one that initially sounds like a paradox: the multicamera dramedy.
Personal Shopper (Netflix, February 1)
K. Austin Collins: Personal Shopper is a movie about making contact — with the ghostly dead, as well as with the distant, digitized living. With the self, most of all. Each of these are specters, in their own way. And what [Olivier] Assayas exploits is our willingness to believe they exist.
Some New-ish Things You Might’ve Missed
Because it’s hard to keep up with everything, here are a few things that have premiered somewhat recently that may be worth catching up on.
Fyre: The Greatest Party That Never Happened (on Netflix) and Fyre Fraud (on Hulu)
Harvilla: Netflix’s Fyre takes the proverbial cheese sandwich—[Chris] Smith, who directed 1999’s Sundance darling American Movie and 2017’s Netflix jam Jim & Andy: The Great Beyond, is far more adept at both creating dramatic tension and delivering coherent information. Whereas Hulu’s Fyre Fraud is wilder, and shoddier, and far bitchier, and thus arguably better attuned to the spirit of the ongoing farce in question. Also, to its credit, Fraud includes the line, “If you’ve never been out on bail before, that’s the time in your life when you want to be committing the least number of crimes.” It might take more than one movie to fully sate your hunger for Fyre Festival schadenfreude. It might take more than two.
Tidying Up With Marie Kondo (on Netflix)
Herman: The word I keep returning to when attempting to describe the appeal of Tidying Up is “intimate”: People’s homes are a reflection of their lives, and in talking about what they’d like to change or fix about their space, [Marie] Kondo’s clients inevitably lay bare some of their most personal hang-ups. As with Queer Eye, makeovers frequently come with a mission that’s as much emotional as material.
Conversations With a Killer: The Ted Bundy Tapes (on Netflix)
Harvilla: Ted Bundy was, we are constantly reminded, a handsome and awkwardly charming guy who also happened to be “a piece of garbage in the shape of a human being,” in the words of prosecutor George Dekle, who got Bundy convicted for the abduction and murder of a 12-year-old girl. This show humbly aims to remind us that pure evil sometimes wears a pretty face, or as Bundy himself puts it, “People don’t realize that murderers do not come out in the dark with long teeth and saliva dripping off their chin.”
Sex Education (on Netflix)
Herman: The vast majority of American teen television treats adolescent sexuality as a matter of either/or: Either teens are having sex or they’re not, and if there’s anything to explore beyond that binary, you’d never know it from what you saw on your screen. Sex Education, refreshingly, is interested in far more than just the “what” of its central subject. There’s also the how, when, where, and why—and once Sex Education starts peeling back those layers, it wastes no time in making the most of this untapped potential.
Lodge 49 (on Hulu)
Surrey: The bizarre, perplexing nature of Lodge 49 doesn’t feel out of place in a television landscape awash with mystery box storytelling—the device used by the sort of shows that reward multiple viewings and an attentive audience scoping out clues. The sort of shows that require active participation—like decoding a puzzle to uncover a trailer, as both Westworld and Mr. Robot have done—that can feel like exhaustive homework to some, but exciting to others. But what makes Lodge 49 genuinely idiosyncratic, at a time when television dramas have never been more abundant, is that its underlying mysteries are inessential to enjoying the series. Lodge 49 isn’t just a “modern-day fable”—it might feature TV’s first-ever low-stress, opt-in-only-if-you-want mystery box.
Black Earth Rising (on Netflix)
Herman: By its very nature, a globe-spanning legal saga entails a massively complicated plot, drawing on both history and current political dynamics of which the audience may not be aware. It’s a smart move on its face, then, to place actors like [Michaela] Coel and [John] Goodman at the action’s center. Goodman, as my colleague Rob Harvilla wrote last week, has a paternal, jocular energy that’s been shorthand for “we’re having a good time” since the (still-going) Dan Conner days. Coel, meanwhile, may have seen a kindred spirit in [series creator Hugo] Blick, having created, written, and starred in her own breakout vehicle Chewing Gum, a semi-autobiographical farce about a sex-starved immigrant kid in London’s public housing.
The Punisher Season 2 (on Netflix)
Surrey: [Frank Castle] hasn’t lost his instinct to protect people or his willingness to leave anonymous goons in a pool of their own blood. He’s still the Punisher—and now he’s taken it upon himself to protect this girl, Amy, who holds something so valuable that people are willing to kill for it. If this sounds familiar, well, you’ve probably watched Logan or You Were Never Really Here—or played The Last of Us. The Punisher’s second season doesn’t get any points for creativity, but this is a formula—violent antihero vows to protect girl at all costs, goes through the wringer to ensure that happens—that has satisfying returns.
A random collection of movies and TV shows that are a little more off the beaten path, for when you’re in a certain kind of mood.
What to Watch If You Want to Appreciate the Fleeting Beauty of Our Natural World: For more than a decade, the BBC has laboriously tracked some of Earth’s most wondrous animals on land and under the sea with two installments of the Planet Earth and Blue Planet series. (All four docuseries are available on Netflix.) I finally watched both sequels this month; they’re incredible. Both highlight the curious traits and idiosyncrasies found across all forms of life—in Blue Planet II, a little tuskfish somehow discovered the best way to break open a clam’s shell is to use its mouth and bang the shell repeatedly against a jagged piece of coral. (It takes literal hours, the dude is committed.) Both also underscore that many of these environments, and the animals residing within them, are living on borrowed time; we’ve accelerated global warming to the point that coral reefs worldwide could become extinct as soon as 2040. It’s not all doom and gloom, but we do need to help the animals we share our Earth with. Watching Planet Earth and Blue Planet could at least be a start, and might inspire you to make a few ecological compromises in your life. —Surrey
What to Watch If You Need a Good-Bad Shark Movie In Your Life: When you need the prototypical so-bad-it’s-good shark film to watch, Deep Blue Sea—which used to be on Netflix, but will now be available starting this month on Hulu—covers all the bases. Weird shark research lab underwater? Check. Insanely smart sharks that turn on said research lab? Check. Samuel L. Jackson, dying in the middle of a monumental speech by a laughably fake-looking CGI shark? Check. Really, you can’t lose. And I don’t care what anyone says, LL Cool J’s lips are the real hero in the film and its accompanying music video. —Jordan Ligons
What to Watch If You Think the Hellboy Reboot Looks Underwhelming: As someone very attached to Guillermo del Toro’s Hellboy universe, I took deep personal offense at David Harbour’s take on the character in the recently dropped remake trailer. What is happening with his face, and why did he take a page from the Joss Whedon “quippy superhero” handbook? Sure, it’s just the first trailer, but I don’t need to see more to know that this new version will fall short of both Del Toro’s films, the best of which hits Hulu this month. Hellboy II: The Golden Army is a bonkers fantasy epic that gives us everything from kickass superhero squads to elves, monsters, and uh, Barry Manilow? No one should go into the 2019 Hellboy without first experiencing the OG Ron Perlman performance, and it doesn’t get any better than watching him come to blows with his paranormal boss, who happens to be made of smoke and voiced by Seth MacFarlane. —Kate Halliwell
What to Watch If You Need to Remind Yourself the Golden State Warriors Weren’t the Original Monstars: I will be kicking up my feet (while wearing my Space Jam 11s, of course) to take a trip down memory lane with this hardwood classic. Of course, I’m talking about Space Jam. Michael Jordan and Bugs Bunny gather the best—and not-so-best—hoopers to face the Monstars and save humanity’s future via the Looney Tunes animated (cinematic?) universe. Honestly, the best part about watching Space Jam in 2019 is the fact the modern-day Monstars equivalent actually exists in the Golden State Warriors’ starting five. In this sense, Space Jam is a prescient look at the sport of basketball, and ought to be studied as such. —Ligons
What to Watch If You Like The Bachelor but Wish It Was Way Raunchier: If you thought American reality TV was depraved, you gotta check out what they’re doing in the U.K. Love Island (streaming on Hulu) shares a general premise with shows like Bachelor in Paradise and Are You the One?—a group of attractive young people live in a tropical location together in the hopes of finding love, money, Instagram fame, and so on—with a couple of major tweaks. First, everyone is from the British club scene, meaning that they are all absurd humans, but also that the show doubles as a sort of ethnographical document complete with its own dictionary. (“Pied off” means “dumped;” a “dogface” is a less than reputable person.) Second, the censorship rules in the U.K. are remarkably more lax than they are in the United States, which means much of Love Island is filled with a litany of curse words (in British accents!) and a shocking amount of sexual content. (Being able to hear it has to be the worst part.) It all makes for an unbelievably fun, addictive viewing experience. And once you watch it, the jokes about virginity on The Bachelor will feel like church talk. —Andrew Gruttadaro