What's Hot on US Netflix in August 2018

Debby Ryan in Insatiable
Debby Ryan in "Insatiable" | © Netflix

Animated adult series loom large this month – while Insatiable looks like a mistake.

August 3

Like Father

In Lauren Miller Rogen’s comedy, Kristen Bell plays a workaholic bride stood up at the altar. Kelsey Grammer is the workaholic dad she hasn’t seen since she was five. Together, they get drunk and end up on the Caribbean cruise she’d planned as her honeymoon. The stage is set for recriminations and reconciliation, plus her meeting with a new love interest (Seth Rogen, the director’s husband).

Marching Orders

This reality series follows various “marching wildcats” of Daytona, Florida’s 300-strong Betthune-Cookman band, as they face fierce competition from within and without. “The Pride,” as it is known, is regarded as one of the best bands in the country. It appeared in the 2002 film Drumline and has performed at the Super Bowl.

August 4

Flavors of Youth

From CoMix Wave Film, the company that made Your Name, comes this gorgeous adult Japanese animation movie embracing love, loss, joy, and regret, all filtered through sensual childhood memories. Three stories unfold in different cities: “Rice Noodles” contrasts the gastronomic delights of a man’s youth with his current fast food diet; in “A Little Fashion Show,” a model loses her appetite for her job when a newcomer steals the spotlight; in “Love in Shanghai,” a cassette tape spirals a graduate student back to his past.
August 10

72 Dangerous Animals: Latin America

“Nature’s greatest killing machines” is how one one observer sums up the bestiary of “extreme animals” filmed for this documentary series. They include variously snapping, biting, constricting, and stinging creatures – snakes, scorpions, lizards, wild cats, and monsters of the deep. Some viewers will find them beautiful; others, not so much.

All About the Washingtons

Husband-and-wife team Joseph (aka Rev Run) Simmons and Justine Simmons play fictionalized versions of themselves in this 10-part family sitcom. It focuses on a rap legend whose retirement prompts his wife to start a career of her own. Kiana Ledé, Nathan Anderson, Leah Rose Randall, and Maceo Smedley play the kids who must judge whether dad’s parenting skills are as effective as mom’s.


Netflix may have bitten more than it can chew with this dark 13-part comedy about an overweight girl, Patty (Debby Ryan, initially seen in a fat suit). Over the course of a summer, she morphs into a slender hot girl who decides to exact revenge on her tormentors when they return to school. Not only that, but a lawyer (Dallas Roberts) and his wife (Alyssa Milano) try to help her maximize her new look by becoming the country’s top beauty pageant winner. Insatiable sounds antiquated on paper and has already started a controversy for promoting fat-shaming.

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

Veteran Mike Newell directed this bittersweet period romance, set in 1946, about a London writer (Lily James) who decides to visit Guernsey after receiving a letter from a mystery literary club that formed during the island’s Nazi occupation. Once she’s there, of course, she doesn’t want to leave – the rugged writer (Michiel Huisman) of the letter having much to with that. The film is based on the novel by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrow, and should tap the same nostalgia as the neglected Their Finest.

August 17


The new animated show from Matt Groening, creator of The Simpsons, is an adult medieval fantasy about a flawed, hard-drinking princess (voiced by Abbi Jacobson) who goes on the run with her sidekick Elfo and personal demon Luci. It’s hard to tell if Groening’s contemporary humor will translate to a period setting, or if injecting a little badassness into the Disney princess stereotype will truly work.

The Motive

The latest dark drama from director Manuel Martín Cuenca (Cannibal) is based on a novella by Javier Cercas and set in Seville. It concerns a would-be novelist whose search for a plot turns him into a psychopath. A hopeless writer, Alvaro (Javier Gutiérrez) leaves his adulterous wife (Maria León) and holes up in his apartment building, whose denizens he uses as fodder for his novel. He’s not content to eavesdrop on them, however, but starts to mess up their lives to fuel his fiction.

To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before

Jenny Han’s YA novel is the source of director Susan Johnson’s romcom about a high-school junior, Lara (Lana Condor), who writes love letters – for her eyes only – to the five boys she crushes on. This girl’s worst nightmare comes true when the letters are leaked to the boys in question and she has to deal with the mortifying consequences. Janel Parrish, Noah Centineo, and John Corbett co-star.


Inspired by Deborah Halber’s book The Skeleton Crew, this is a promising 10-part Polish thriller about Internet sleuthing. After witnessing a possible murder that the police won’t touch, 30-year-old Ola (Marta Nieradkiewicz), newly relocated to Lódz, recruits a network of armchair detectives to help her solve the crime (and presumably not get killed herself).

August 23


Finnish noir, anyone? Newly widowed mom-of-two Sofia Karppi (Pihla Viitala) returns to work as a Helsinki homicide detective and investigates the case of a thirtyish woman whose body is found on a construction site. It’s complicated by the interference of the grieving husband.

August 24

The After Party

In this hip-hop movie, a rapper goes viral under the wrong circumstances but gets a second shot at making it when he gains admission to a frenetic New York after-party. Kyle Harvey, Harrison Holzer, and Shelley Hennig star. The film features guest appearances by Wiz Khalifa, French Montana, DJ Khaled, and others.

The Innocents

Shapeshifting is the subject of this British supernatural thriller. Teens June (Sorcha Groundsell) and Harry (Percelle Ascott) run away together to follow love’s young dream, only to find that June unwittingly turns into a bearded heap of maleness. Guy Pearce plays the mysterious professor who explains why this is not, in fact, uncommon. Where is Joseph Campbell when you need him?
August 31

The Laws of Thermodynamics

Mateo Gil, writer of the original Vanilla Sky and The Sea Inside, crafted this intricate comedy. It’s the story of a a neurotic astrophysicist (Vito Sanz) who dumps his girlfriend (Irene Escolar) for a supermodel (Berta Vazquez), then insists their relationship conforms to the laws of thermodynamics. Surely he should know that love isn’t an exact science?

Paradise PD

Another adult animated series given a Netflix launch, Paradise PD depicts the misadventures of a small-town US police department staffed by some of the most inept cops imaginable. The show was created by the Brickleberry team Waco O’Guin and Roger Black. The voice talent includes Tom Kenny, Sarah Chalke, Dana Snyder, and Cedric Yarbrough.
Notable films launching on Netflix in August include Batman Begins, Chernobyl Diaries, Constantine, Million Dollar Baby, Silverado, Steel Magnolias, The Aviator, The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (all August 1); No Country for Old Men (August 11); Hostiles (August 15). The second season of Ozark begins August 31.

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