New to Netflix this April: Lost in Space, The Alienist and Happy!
There are a whole host of new content arriving on UK Netflix over the course of the next month. April sees the arrival of assorted Monty Python offerings as well as a number of notable Netflix original movies such as 6 Balloons and The Week Of.
The most intriguing releases arriving on Netflix in April however are a trio of vastly different new series. One is a blockbuster sci-fi adventure, one an edgy comedy drama and the other an intense psychological thriller.
Lost In Space – 13th April
Rebooting a beloved but noticeably dated sci-fi show from yesteryear famously worked wonders for Battlestar Galactica. The creators of Netflix’s upcoming Lost in Space revamp will undoubtedly be hoping for similar levels of success.
This updated version of Irwin Allen’s classic 1960s series will once again focus on the adventures of the Robinson family. The Robinson’s are an intrepid band of colonists who find themselves inadvertently stranded on an unforgiving alien planet.
The bonds of family and the stresses associated with surviving in an inhospitable environment will once again take centre stage. However, judging by both the trailer and recent interviews, a far more intense experience awaits the family this time around.
The cast is led by House Of Cards’ Molly Parker and Black Sails’ Toby Stephens as husband and wife team John and Maureen Robinson. The family will be joined on their adventure by the mysterious Dr Smith, here played by Parker Posey.
Stephens recently told Collider:
“It’s a more modern take on the ’60s version. If you look at it now, it’s charming, but it seems so innocent. Whereas this is a version that is for our time. I’m hoping it will still have humor and humanity in it, but it has obviously gotta be for a modern audience.”
It will be interesting to see how the original premise is updated and also how the studio puts their own stamp on a classic Sci-Fi story.
The Alienist – 19th April
This period drama based on Caleb Carr’s celebrated crime novel originally aired on TNT in America. It’s a heady combination of crime drama, grisly murder mystery and intense psychological thriller.
The story is set in 1896 and focuses on the serial murders of young male prostitutes in New York City. In the wake of the attacks, police commissioner Teddy Roosevelt assembles a team to quietly but quickly solve the case. The team is led by a criminal psychologist and includes unlikely help in the form of a newspaper illustrator and headstrong female receptionist.
As well as unravelling the wider mystery, the show also chronicles the early days of psychology and forensic investigative work at a time when such practices were largely ignored. Daniel Bruhl, Luke Evans and Dakota Fanning provide additional Hollywood wattage to the show’s hugely impressive cast.
Initial reviews from the States have been undeniably been fairly mixed thus far. Despite this uneven reception however, The Alienist has still had its fair share of plaudits and certainly remains an intriguing prospect.
Happy! – 26th April
The slightly more low-key arrival on Netflix this month is the bizarre crime dramedy Happy!. The show is based on a comic book series of the same name by Grant Morrison.
Happy! is undeniably a distinctive concept for a comedy series. The story focuses on Nick, an alcoholic former cop turned hitman who almost dies after a shooting. However, after being revived by medics, Nick discovers he can now see a blue cartoon unicorn named Happy who turns out to be the imaginary friend of a kidnapped girl. Happy then recruits Nick to help him track down his missing friend.
It has been billed as both a dark comedy and as a dramedy, so clearly we can expect a show with plenty of gallows humour as well as some sombre moments thrown into the mix. Christopher Meloni (Oz and Law & Order SVU) plays the cynical Nick, while the always excellent Patton Oswalt will voice the titular unicorn.
It’s an extremely surreal premise which may limit the show’s appeal slightly. For fans of slightly more obscure comedy however, it’s certainly one to look out for.
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