With the grown-up Marvel shows moving to Disney+, the Netflix catalogue is a little bit poorer this month – but there are still plenty of shows and movies to enjoy while you wait for Better Call Saul to return next month. The current Netflix crop includes thrilling Formula 1 action, time-travelling tomfoolery and violent historical dramas too – but there are also some shows whose quality takes a nose-dive in the final season. So if you're looking for something on Netflix to sink your TV teeth into, here are some to check out – and one to avoid.
Want another great Netflix Original TV show to watch, too? I missed this Netflix TV series about demon hunting nuns – but now I'm hooked!
Watch: The Adam Project
I'll watch pretty much anything with Ryan Reynolds in it, apart from Green Lantern. This seems to be dividing fans almost as much as that comic book misadventure: while the tale of a time-travelling pilot (Reynolds) teaming up with his 12-year-old self has delighted many, the use of CG to digitally de-age villain Catherine Keener has proved less than popular.
CG aside, I'm in the Like camp: it feels like all my teen movie favourites mashed together, and Reynolds is always good fun: his charisma helps paper over the plot holes and the odd bit of confusion. Some negative reviews have criticised the way it nods to pretty much every 1980s SF blockbuster you can imagine, but for me that's a big part of the fun. It's a great, fun family film, the two Adams are superb and if you don't think about it too much it's a great big charming cheeseburger of a movie.
Watch: Formula 1 Drive To Survive
This documentary series takes you behind the scenes of Formula One, and the latest season covers the 2021 World Championship. It's as gripping as any drama, and this latest tranche features the battle between Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen as one of the key narratives. You don't need to be a F1 fan to appreciate the machinations and controversies here: although the cars may look like the stars, this is really a programme about extremely stressed people spending enormous amounts of money on things that could blow up any minute in a sport where the stakes are truly massive.
It's important to note that Drive To Survive is ultimately focused on entertainment, not absolute accuracy: speaking to the BBC, Mercedes' Toto Wolff claimed that "they create a spin to the narrative. They put scenes together that didn't happen... but we're creating entertainment." Max Verstappen has made similar allegations, which the programme-makers deny. All documentaries are framed to an extent – you can shape a story by what you include, what you choose to exclude and how you present people – and while I'm sure some of that goes on here it's certainly not as blatant as it is in the likes of Tiger King.
Watch: The Last Kingdom
Currently the second most watched show on Netflix UK, The Last Kingdom is based on Bernard Cornwell's Saxon Stories and features hacking, slashing, Saxons and Vikings to excellent effect. It's absolutely beautiful to look at, the plots are top notch and the action scenes are suitably thrilling, and with an impressive 91% on Rotten Tomatoes – including a spectacular 100% for Season 3 – it's clearly loved by viewers and reviewers alike.
The current season, season 5, appears to be the final one: Netflix announced its cancellation last year. Five years is a long time for any Netflix Original to last, but it's a shame when there are still more Cornwell books to adapt. But that means there are still over forty episodes for you to enjoy.
Avoid: The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina
When I get into a show, I really get into it – so if the later seasons disappoint, I feel like I've been let down for investing all my time into it. You could call it Lost Syndrome, and it seems to be the case with this teen horror drama: it starts really well and delivers a lot of fun, but the fourth and apparently final season squanders all the love. The Rotten Tomatoes ratings for each season tell the story: Part 1 got 91% from the critics, part 2 got 82% and part three got 90%. And then Part 4 dropped to 68%.
Collider called the fourth season "messy, wandering and inconsistent"; Autostraddle said the episodes were "a drag" and "too damn long" and Mashable described the ending as "a destructive, hopeless note". Even the positive reviews said season 4 was the weakest of all, that it was rushed and that it probably wouldn't "give the fans the satisfaction that they want".