Top 3 new shows to watch on Netflix for August 2023

Sex, drugs and the high seas, here’s what’s to stream

Joe Locke and Kit Connor in Heartstopper
(Image credit: Teddy Cavendish / Netflix)

Netflix is set to offer some major new shows for the month of August. Everything from the highly anticipated return of a fan-favourite coming-of-age drama to a limited series surrounding the drugs industry to a live-action adaption of one of the most beloved animes in the world. Simply put, there’s plenty of programming to choose from. 

With Netflix rolling out dozens of new shows to keep you entertained for days on end, there’s nothing worse than logging onto the streamer only to be overwhelmed by its many new offerings, left to scramble and search for days until you end up watching The Office again for the umpteenth time. Not this time, Michael Scott! 

That’s why every month T3 rounds up what’s trending, what’s got people talking and what we expect to be the next big thing. We also like to consider the quality factor, considering your time to unwind and relax is more important than ever. One thing to be aware of is that this roundup is specifically designed for Netflix users in the UK. That said, the good news is that any Netflix Originals – including every show will find in these picks – are available in all territories. Huzzah! Now that's out of the way, let’s jump into the top new shows to watch on Netflix for August 2023. 

Heartstopper - season 2

Joe Locke in Heartstopper

(Image credit: Samuel Dore / Netflix)

Securing a publishing deal at the age of 17, British author Alice Oseman published Hearstopper in 2019, only to partner with Netflix two years later to adapt the web comic. The LGBTQ+ rom-com drama went on to become a cultural hit, rocketing into Netflix’s Top 10 English titles in 54 countries with a second and third season subsequently commissioned. 

16 months on, Heartstopper is back and will continue to explore Charlie (Joe Locke) and Nick’s (Kit) relationship as they deal with exams, a prom, a school trip to Paris and the challenges that come with being openly gay. Like its debut season, Heartstopper has earned nothing but positive acclaim for critics – sitting at a 100% Rotten Tomatoes rating, at the time of writing. So it's fair to say the hype is real. 

Heartstopper season two will be available to stream on Netflix from August 3rd, 2023. 

PainKiller - limited series 

John Rothman as Mortimer Sackler, Matthew Broderick as Richard Sackler, Sam Anderson as Raymond Sackler in episode 103 of Painkiller

(Image credit: Keri Anderson / Netflix)

Following on from Dopesick on Disney Plus, Netflix is now releasing its own fictionalised retelling of the opioid crisis in America, exploring its origins and aftermath. Based on the book Pain Killer by Barry Meier and the New Yorker article ‘The Family That Built an Empire of Pain’ by Patrick Radden Keefe, the six-episode drama is led by Uzo Aduba, Matthew Broderick and Taylor Kitsch. While Dopesick focused on the “epicentre of America’s struggle with opioid addiction,” PainKiller is set to address the beginnings of the crisis with manufacturer Purdue Pharma very much being put under the spotlight. 

Painkiller will be available to stream on Netflix from August 10th, 2023.

One Piece

Iñaki Godoy as Monkey D. Luffy, Emily Rudd as Nami in season 1 of One Piece.

(Image credit: Netflix)

Is this finally the one to break Netflix’s live-action anime curse? High hopes have been set for the fantasy swashbuckling adventure. Based on Japan’s highest-selling manga series in history by Eiichiro Oda, the story follows young adventurer Monkey D. Luffy who has longed for freedom since he can remember. From this, he sets off on a perilous journey to find the legendary fabled treasure, One Piece, to become King of the Pirates. To make this a reality, Luffy will need to assemble a crew, find a ship to sail, search the vast blue seas, outpace the Marines, and outwit dangerous rivals at every turn. 

Set to star Iñaki Godoy as the titular character, the main cast also features Japanese actor Mackenyu, Fear Street alum Emily Rudd as well as Jacon Romero Gibson and Taz Skylar. The trailer for One Piece gives off a fun, colourful and campy vibe that looks to fill an absence in the market left by Pirates of the Caribbean. Let’s hope it sticks the landing. 

One Piece will be available to stream on Netflix from August 31st, 2023.

Looking for something different? Well, make sure to read up on our top picks for the best Netflix series worth binging in 2023 as well as our recommendations for the best Netflix movies to watch in August 2023, including a new Gal Gadot blockbuster that looks to challenge the Mission: Impossible series. 

Matt Poskitt
Freelance Writer

Matt is a freelance writer for T3, covering news and keeping up with everything games, entertainment, and all manner of tech. You can find his work across numerous sites across the web, including TechRadar, IGN, GamesRadar, Tom's Guide, Fandom, NME, and more. In his spare time, Matt is an avid cinema-goer, keen runner and average golfer (at best). You can follow him @MattPoskitt64