Netflix new arrivals | Our top picks this week

What are the top five new movies and TV shows streaming this week?

Black Mirror season 5

The brilliant Charlie Brooker has created three more incredibly compelling episodes for the latest series of his mind-bending anthology series Black Mirror. Without spoiling too much of the plot, they all focus on exploring three different types of relationships that start to either evolve into something different or unravel entirely due to new technology. 

Andrew Scott, recognizable to most as the priest from the latest season of Fleabag, gives a fantastically intense lead performance in Smithereens. The left field casting choice of singer Miley Cyrus also proves incredibly effective in the context of Rachel, Jack and Ashley Too where she plays a former teen idol who’s struggling with industry pressure. 

Jessica Jones season 3

The final thirteen episode outing for the alcoholic, super strong PI (Krysten Ritter) is also the last remnant of Netflix’s Marvel deal after it and the three other Defenders shows were cancelled. Although it unfortunately suffers from some all-too familiar pacing issues, there’s still a lot to be enjoyed in this dark, noir-tinged series.

All of the performances are excellent and a clever reimagining of an obscure villain makes for a chilling foe who’s significantly better than last season’s. The exploration of the relationship between the troubled Jessica and sister Trish (Rachael Taylor) is another highlight, especially now that the latter also has superpowers which changes their whole dynamic. 

Happy season 2

SyFy’s delightfully unhinged series about ex-cop Nick Sax (Christopher Meloni) and a small unicorn named Happy (Patton Oswalt) gleefully dives even further into absurdity for its second season. There’s buckets of blood, cartoonish levels of violence, plenty of crude humour and a plot about a demonic children’s entertainer (Christopher Fitzgerald) trying to liven up Easter.

The dialogue is naturally incredibly hammy but that just adds to the overall weird charm of the show as do the impressively committed performances. Meloni is clearly having a great time, throwing himself enthusiastically into every situation so that Nick is hilarious, awful and pitiable all at once.

Tales of the City

Netflix’s continuation of the beloved 90s series is part reimagining, part sequel again following a now 50 year-old Mary-Ann (Laura Linney) as she returns to free-spirited landlady Anna Madrigal (Olympia Dukakis) and the colourful residents of her boarding house at 28 Barbary Lane after 20 years away. 

Like the original, it’s able to perfectly balance exploring topical issues around sexuality and gender in a realistic way that doesn’t feel preachy with an old-fashioned sweetness. The whole cast, particularly the always great Linney and Dukakis, share a fantastic chemistry and it’s always nice to see a show where everybody seems to genuinely care about each other. 

Dark season 2

In the months since its release in December 2017, this German sci-fi thriller has become something of a cult hit for Netflix. Set in the fictional perpetually rainy German town of Winden, it blends together the chilling mystery of several child disappearances with touching human drama and time travel in a way that’s smart, tense and brilliantly creepy.  

The trailer for season 2 doesn’t give a whole lot away, but it seems to heavily suggest much of it’ll be devoted to trying to figure out exactly what led to the apocalyptic disaster Jonas (Louis Hofmann) glimpsed at the end of last season when he travelled ahead to 2052. 

How much is Netflix?

There's three tiered Netflix packages available, Basic, Standard and Premium, all of which come with their own advantages and disadvantages.

The Basic package is just £5.99 a month but only allows you to watch on one screen (whether that be a laptop, TV, phone or tablet) at a time and doesn't give you access to HD or 4K Ultra HD. With the Standard package at £7.49 a month, you're able to watch on two screens at a time in (providing your bandwidth is adequate) HD or 4K Ultra HD.

For £8.99 a month, the top Premium package, you're able to enjoy content on up to 4 screens at the same time (a perfect option for families) in both HD or 4K Ultra HD.

How can I watch Netflix?

You can either access Netflix on a browser on a standard desktop or laptop computer or through the reliable Netflix app which is available across a whole range of devices including smartphones, tablets and smart TVs.

Netflix have recently introduced the offline viewing feature which allows you to download a TV show or film to watch when you're offline. Unfortunately, not everything is available to watch in this way but it's easy to check what is by selecting the “Available for Download” option from the dropdown menu.

What else is on Netflix?

Netflix is home to an absolutely staggering range of content across every genre from riotously funny comedy to to your children's favourite cartoons and a fantastic mix of both American and British TV shows.

It's own selection of original programming is constantly growing, buoyed by the success of shows like House Of Cards, Stranger Things and Orange is the New Black

How often is new content added?

There's no real time schedule for when new content is added to Netflix, but it doesn't usually go longer than three days without adding anything new. 

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