With the warming temperatures, we’ve flocked to the outdoors for some much-needed fun and relaxation. Nice weather can do wonders for your mood, but once you’ve had your fun in the sun, Netflix has a slew of selections for you to stream. Here are some highlights of what’s coming and leaving the platform in April.
Along with other book fans, I am eagerly anticipating the debut of “Shadow and Bone” on April 23, adapted from Leigh Bardugo’s bestselling Grishaverse novels. The fantasy series, helmed by Eric Heisserer (“Arrival,” “Bird Box”) and with Bardugo as one of its producers, combines the plot of the original book trilogy with preceding, never-before-seen events from the “Six of Crows” duology. Newcomer Jessie Mei Li stars as protagonist Alina Starkov, who discovers a unique power that could turn the tide of the war in her country. Ben Barnes and Archie Renaux co-star alongside Li, while Freddy Carter, Amita Suman and Kit Young play the original members of the misfit gang came to be known as the Crows.
In line with Netflix’s promise of major original movies released every week, Idris Elba and Caleb McLaughlin star as estranged father and son in “Concrete Cowboy,” coming out on April 2. McLaughlin plays Cole, who is introduced to the world of urban horseback riding by father Harp (Elba) in northern Philadelphia. The Fletcher Street Urban Riding Club in the film is based on the Black horseriding community in Philadelphia. The following week, on April 9, features superhero comedy “Thunder Force,” starring Melissa McCarthy and Octavia Spencer. The two play estranged best friends reunited when scientist Emily Stanton’s (Spencer) experiment accidentally superpowers Lydia (McCarthy).
Capitalizing on the true crime genre is the limited series “The Serpent,” coming out on April 2 and set in the mid-’70s on Asia’s “hippie trail.” Tahar Rahim stars as the notorious murderer Charles Sobhraj.
Looking for a laugh? Comedy Netflix original series “Dad Stop Embarrassing Me!” drops on April 14, starring Jamie Foxx as a single father and cosmetics brand owner who has to navigate parenthood when his teenage daughter (Porscha Coleman) moves in with him. Previously-released comedies of “Tyler Perry’s Madea’s Big Happy Family” with Tyler Perry and “Yes Man” with Jim Carrey will be available on April 1.
Led by Gaten Matarazzo of “Stranger Things,” hidden-camera comedy series “Prank Encounters” returns with season two on April 1 — fitting for April Fool’s Day. “The Circle,” the social-media reality show that hits perhaps a bit close to home, also returns with season two on April 14. Contestants are quarantined in separate apartments in the UK and tasked with daily challenges. They can only communicate with each other through a speech-to-text social media platform that allows them to create a bio, direct message and create a group chat. As if that isn’t what most of us have already been doing for the past year amidst the pandemic.
Another Netflix original reality series to keep an eye out for is “The Wedding Coach,” dropping on April 7, and features comedian Jamie Lee as she attempts to help six engaged couples traverse the rocky terrain leading up to the big day.
Can’t get enough of romance? Fortunately, Netflix is bringing back some fan favorites for you to indulge in, including “Legally Blonde,” “Friends with Benefits” and “The Time Traveler’s Wife,” available on April 1.
On the documentary-side of the streaming service, Netflix is bringing a bevy of options this month about a variety of topics. Available on April 1, there’s season two of “Magical Andes,” exploring the views of the titular South American mountains; docuseries “Secrets of Great British Castles”; and “Worn Stories,” about humans’ connections to clothes. “Coded Bias,” available April 5, describes how AI discriminates against dark-skinned faces and MIT Media Lab researcher Joy Buolamwini’s advocacy for US legislation against bias in algorithms. Crime docuseries “This Is a Robbery: The World’s Biggest Art Heist” features the story of two men in the ‘90s who stole 13 works of art from the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston, coming out on April 7. And to keep up with the drama occurring across the pond, queue up “Diana: The Interview that Shook the World” when it’s available on April 11.
If you’re looking for some chills, “2012” features the apocalyptic disaster that never was (maybe paling in comparison to what we’re experiencing now) and “Insidious” rose to acclaim in the horror genre after its release in 2010. Along with horror film “The Possession,” these films will be available on April 1. “What Lies Below,” a sci-fi horror from last year, will be available to watch on April 4. Horror thriller “Crimson Peak,” with Tom Hiddleston, Mia Wasikowska and Jessica Chastain, will be available on April 16.
Other original and earlier releases to add to your watch list include: “The Pianist,” “The Fisherman’s Diary,” “The Stand In,” “My Love: Six Stories of True Love,” “Law School,” “Why Did You Kill Me?”, “Stowaway” and “August: Osage County.”