‘High Flying Bird’
Starts streaming: Feb. 8
Steven Soderbergh’s latest experiment in iPhone filmmaking takes a stripped-down approach to the wheeling and dealing of professional basketball. Written by Tarell Alvin McCraney, who scripted “Moonlight,” “High Flying Bird” takes place during a lockout that’s draining millions from the sport. André Holland stars as a sports agent who devises an unconventional and disruptive plan around his new blue-chip rookie client. At a time when the real N.B.A. is thriving, Soderbergh and McCraney work to expose the racial and economic dynamics of the league, which favor the priorities and pocketbooks of white owners over the mostly black athletes who drive ticket sales.
Starts streaming: Feb. 22
Another from the Sundance-to-Netflix pipeline, “Paddleton” reunites co-writer and star Mark Duplass and the director Alex Lehmann, who worked together on the stellar coming-home drama “Blue Jay.” Though it addresses the issue of assisted suicide, “Paddleton” is another low-key Duplass production that’s more about relationships than politics, focusing on the bond between a terminally ill layabout (Duplass) and his neighbor (Ray Romano) in a crummy apartment building. The two have to travel a great distance to get the necessary drugs, which gives the film the shambling quality of a road movie, albeit one that pauses frequently to indulge the lifestyle of two middle-age slackers.
Starts streaming: Feb. 1
From “Slums of Beverly Hills” to “Orange Is the New Black,” Natasha Lyonne has specialized in playing hot messes, beating back misfortune with acerbic wit and self-deprecation. Lyonne’s highly anticipated new series “Russian Doll,” which she created with Amy Poehler and Leslye Headland, takes those qualities to dark new extremes, casting her as a panicked young woman stuck in a grisly “Groundhog Day” scenario. Every night she goes to the same New York City party, and every night she dies in some horrific fashion. What lesson is the universe trying to teach her? Presumably the show will have the answer.
One of the benefits of Netflix and its niche-driven programming is that the standard models for successful television shows are thrown out the window and past trends can be revisited. Norman Lear’s original series “One Day at a Time” hailed from an era of socially conscious entertainment that has long since passed. Its Netflix revival, built around a Cuban-American family in Los Angeles, has successfully carried the same spirit into the issues of the day. If the third season is anything like the first two, it will draw laughter and tears from the everyday issues facing a household with two matriarchs: a single mother and nurse (Justina Machado) who suffers from PTSD from her time in the military, and her feisty mother, played by the legendary Rita Moreno.
Starts streaming: Feb. 14
Let’s be absolutely clear about this: It’s likely that “Dating Around” will be a trashy television show, an attempt by Netflix to enter the sordid and inauthentic world of reality romance. That doesn’t mean it won’t be a guilty pleasure. Each episode of “Dating Around” follows a single person through five blind dates, with the hope that one of them will yield a second date. It premieres on Valentine’s Day, for maximum compare-and-contrast to viewers’ real-life love connections.
Starts streaming: Feb. 14
Hosted by the Los Angeles Times reporter Christopher Goffard, “Dirty John” was a popular true-crime podcast for a reason: It tells the bizarre and frightening story of a wealthy middle-age interior decorator who was seduced and nearly destroyed by a violent scam artist. Coming to Netflix shortly after a successful run on Bravo, the TV adaptation loses some of the podcast’s ambience and storytelling economy, but Connie Britton is ideally cast as a big-hearted woman with bad taste in men, and Eric Bana is solid as the fake anesthesiologist who takes advantage. Juno Temple and Julia Garner co-star as her skeptical adult daughters.