Earlier in the week, Netflix presented their 2017 programming slate to members of the press. Tapping into the eclectic tastes of their 93MM+ subscribers, Netflix promises “more than 1,000 hours of new series, films, stand-up specials, documentaries and more.”
While it’s safe to say the return of fan favorites “Orange is the New Black” and “Chef’s Table” will please the masses — and seconds seasons of “The OA” and “Stranger Things” have big shoes to fill — these new projects really caught our interest. Here are seven new Netflix shows we can’t wait for in 2017.
Bill Nye Saves the World
After originally making a name for himself in the ’90s, Bill Nye now makes his triumphant return to television in “Bill Nye Saves the World.”
At a point in our nation’s history when the validity of science — even the existence of confirmed facts — is being debated more and more, Netflix has presented Nye with a platform — it’s a talk show, you guys! — to present his unique perspective on the most important issues facing our society today. Plus: Celebrity guests, doing odd experiments! What more could you ask for?
“Bill Nye Saves the World” premieres all 13 episodes on April 21.
Marvel’s Iron Fist
The final Defender is about to arrive. Marvel’s latest series to hit Netflix will tell the tale of the very Caucasian billionaire Danny Rand (Finn Jones) who returns to New York after being missing for years, “Arrow”-style. Acclimating to his newer, more magical and Asian self-image pits Rand against all sorts of criminal elements, minorities, and nonstop accusations of cultural appropriation. Get ready, Marvel fans — if you were thrilled by the martial arts scenes in “Daredevil,” and offended by the backlash against “Doctor Strange’s” weird whitewashing, “Iron Fist” will definitely suit your needs.
“Marvel’s Iron Fist” Season 1 officially drops on March 17.
When it comes to the story of Anne (Amybeth McNulty) and her life in Avonlea, tone is everything: She’s a strange, harsh, sweet girl in a strange, harsh, sweet world, and that’s a lot to pull off (ahem, PBS). Netflix has previously stated their take will be “timeless” and explore “topical issues including themes of identity, feminism, bullying and prejudice.” So, at the very least, we can expect some real thought-provoking subject matter underneath that beaming smile.
“Anne” will premiere May 12 to Netflix.
Dear White People
Picking up where the brilliant 2014 film left off, Netflix’s “Dear White People” follows a set of Winchester University students as they grow through issues of identity and self-discovery, exploring crucial societal issues through the satirical lens of its predecessor. The anger, eloquence, humor and compassion of the film set the perfect tone for a successful binge-watch: We can’t wait to spend hours with these kids.
“Dear White People” Season 1 streams April 12.
Shrouded in a web of mystery and intrigue, Netflix’s new “Castlevania” series is scripted by Warren Ellis (“RED,” “Iron Man”) and produced by Adi Shankar (“Dredd,” “The Grey”): The story will allegedly be based on the third NES game in the original series — “Castlevania III: Dracula’s Curse” — a prequel to the original “Castlevania” game that follows Trevor Belmont as he hunts the evil an elusive Dracula. Shankar previously posted to Facebook that the new series will “flip the vampire sub-genre on its head.”
“Castlevania” Season 1, Part 1 premieres later in 2017.
The Magic School Bus Rides Again
It’s a fair bet to say that most of us have fond memories of PBS’s “Magic School Bus.” In each episode, a class of kids would learn about the world through field trips on the Magic School Bus. Led by the uncanny Ms. Frizzle — originally voiced by Lily Tomlin — the show was the perfect mix of fun, magic and mystery to set the standard for edutainment to this day. Now, a reboot for the modern age is coming, and Kate McKinnon is taking over as the voice of Ms. Frizzle, which…
“Magic School Bus: Rides Again” premieres later in 2017.
“Julie’s Greenroom” is what happens when the brilliant minds at Jim Henson Studios team up with legendary 81-year-old actress Julie Andrews, with the intention of making some unique children’s entertainment — which feels both classic and modern at the same time.
Andrews — a co-creator of the series — stars as Ms. Julie, the director of the Wellspring Center for the Performing Arts. Each episode will feature an original song, and a guest celebrity teaching about various aspects of the world of performing arts. From Alec Baldwin and Ellie Kemper to Idina Menzel and Carol Burnett, the talent involved is sure to spark joy and inspiration for the “Greenies” — the child puppets created by the Jim Henson Creature Shop — and the rest of us at home.
“Julie’s Greenroom” will premiere on Friday, March 17 on Netflix.