Watching: The Best New Titles on Netflix, Amazon and More This Month

April's streaming highlights.

Author Headshot

By Eleanor Stanford

Editor on the Culture Desk

Dear Watchers,

Chances are you have a lot more time at home to stream TV and movies at the moment. Maybe you’ve been checking out some of our recommendations of old favorites, but there is also a batch of great new titles hitting streaming services in April. Here’s our pick of the best new stuff, plus a roundup of all the best new titles in all genres.

Streaming services occasionally change schedules without giving notice.


New to Netflix

Alan Aisenberg, left, and Mike Castle as the Rodman brothers in “Brews Brothers.”Kevin Estrada/Netflix

‘Brews Brothers’

Starts streaming: April 10

Looking to escape with something silly and irreverent? This new slacker comedy comes from the creative team of the brothers Jeff (“The League”) and Greg Schaffer, who one would hope get on along better than the two fictional Rodman brothers, who run a struggling brewery together. “Brews Brothers” has some real “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia” energy — a surprising number of bodily fluids and dildos become involved in their chaotic beer-making process. You can occasionally tell that this is a show about millennials not made by millennials (“craft beer is my generation’s Pinkberry” a brewery employee says at one point), but the brothers’ ragtag group of co-workers is entertaining. And, they have a really cute dog.

‘The Innocence Files’

Starts streaming: April 15

“We’re the court of last resort,” Peter Neufeld, a co-founder of the Innocence Project, which works to exonerate wrongfully convicted Americans, explains at the start of this nine-part documentary. The Innocence Project can only take on about 1 percent of the cases it receives letters about, and this series breaks down how the American justice system fails people into three parts: the evidence, the witness and the prosecution. Roger Ross Williams (“Life, Animated”), Alex Gibney (“Taxi to the Dark Side”) and Liz Garbus (“What Happened, Miss Simone?”) serve as executive producers. This series is not a light watch, but it is thorough, damningly revealing how easy it is to be wrongfully put on death row.

‘Too Hot to Handle’

Starts streaming: April 17

If you were disappointed that Netflix’s “Love Is Blind” premiered a couple of weeks before we all headed into coronavirus isolation, have I got some good news for you. “Too Hot to Handle” is yet another outrageous dating “experiment” from the streaming giant: Here, we are investigating whether “deeper and more meaningful connections” will form when sex is banned. In order to create as much unscientific drama as possible, the show is set in a beachside villa populated by “the hottest, horniest, commitment-phobic swipesters” — if you think this sounds like “Love Island,” you’re not far-off — who are then told by a digital personal assistant called Lana that they can’t have sex. Amounts are deducted from the prize money every time there is sexual contact between contestants, and my guess is at this point in this description, you know whether you’ll be watching or not.

‘Never Have I Ever’

Starts streaming: April 27

Mindy Kaling drew on her teenage years in California to create this half-hour coming-of-age show. We meet Devi (Maitreyi Ramakrishnan), a first-generation Indian-American, at the beginning of her sophomore year in high school. She’s determined to get her and her besties boyfriends, but the rest of the school is more interested in the fact that she’s out of the wheelchair she’d been using since a mystery paralysis took hold after her dad died of a heart attack. Devi is having a tough time, and “Never Have I Ever” grounds her struggles in sessions with her therapist (a wonderful Niecy Nash) and knowing narration from John McEnroe — yep, the tennis player — as well as moments of awkward teenage hilarity. “Never Have I Ever” is a show that respects the complexity of teenagers’ feelings, and it’s refreshing to see an actual teenager, Ramakrishnan, play the lead, and do it so well.

Also arriving:

April 1

“David Batra: Elefanten I Rummet”

“How to Fix a Drug Scandal”

“The Iliza Shlesinger Sketch Show”

“Nailed It!” Season 4

“Lethal Weapon”

“Taxi Driver”

“The Death of Stalin”

“The Matrix” Trilogy”

April 7

“Terrace House: Tokyo 2019-2020: Part 3”

April 17



New to Amazon

Abby Ryder Fortson in “Tales From the Loop.”Jan Thijs/Amazozn

‘Tales From the Loop’

Starts streaming: April 3

This beautiful new sci-fi series created by Nathaniel Halpern (“Legion”) is based on the paintings of the Swedish artist Simon Stalenhag, which feature scenes of giant robots stalking across rural landscapes. “Tales From the Loop” borrows his eerie aesthetic: The people of Mercer, Ohio, do live alongside robots, but the real threats seem to come from the “underground,” where people work on a mysterious machine called the Loop that messes with all sorts of rules we take for granted — gravity and linear time, to name just two. In Mercer, when a kid says an abandoned house is haunted, he means bricks are flying up into the sky from the chimney. Each hourlong episode tells a different story of how the Loop affects the Mercer community, thoughtfully grappling with big, ethical and emotional questions along the way.

Les Misérables’

Starts streaming: April 10

This is not Victor Hugo’s “Les Misérables,” it’s Ladj Ly’s. The French director does set his film in the Parisian suburb of Montfermeil, also a setting of Hugo’s book, where Ly grew up and still lives. In this Montfermeil, however, we watch tensions between police and residents escalate into outright warfare. The film opens in 2018, just after France wins the World Cup, as Stéphane (Damien Bonnard) joins the police force in Montfermeil. As the 1995 drama “La Haine” attests, violence has long been a feature of certain Parisian suburbs, where immigrants and their children forced out of the city discover that the better lives they hoped for in France is hard to come by. The film offers an urgent depiction of modern-day French injustice and racism; by the end, it’s clear that the film’s title refers to everyone involved.

Also arriving:

April 3

“Invisible Life”

April 17

“Bosch” Season 6

“Selah and the Spades”


New to HBO

From left, Bob the Drag Queen, Shangela and Eureka in “We’re Here.”Johnnie Ingram/HBO


Starts streaming: April 12

The glorious Merritt Wever is Ruby, a married woman in her 30s who has a longstanding pact with her college boyfriend: when he texts her “RUN,” she replies the same, drives to the airport, gets on a plane to New York, heads to Grand Central and boards an overnight train to Chicago, where she finds said ex, Billy (Domhnall Gleeson). But this is not a neat romantic comedy in which deciding to be together is the end of the story. The pair’s desire, fear and longing threaten to burst right out of the train carriages, and they are guarded, unsure if they can trust each other with why they were both so quick to leave their lives behind. This tense half-hour comedy feels a lot like a play, which makes sense — its creator, Vicky Jones, has a background in theater production and writing. She also worked with Phoebe Waller-Bridge on “Fleabag” and “Killing Eve,” and “Run” has some of those shows’ dark humor and dense emotion.

‘We’re Here’

Starts streaming: April 23

In this tear-jerker, three of the most charismatic queens from the “RuPaul’s Drag Race” franchise — Bob the Drag Queen, Shangela and Eureka — travel the country transforming small-town residents into drag queens for one-off performances of their own. “We’re Here” owes a big debt to both “Drag Race” and “Queer Eye,” and at times it can feel like it’s working hard to show bigoted locals interacting with the queens. But the transformees’ personal stories of discrimination, loneliness and empowerment are genuinely moving, and the producers don’t shy away from exploring the complexity of being queer in America.

Also arriving:

April 1

“Die Hard”

“The Kids Are All Right”

“Slumdog Millionaire”

April 12

“Insecure” Season 4

April 25

“Bad Education”

April 27

“I Know This Much Is True”

New to Apple TV Plus

From left, Chris Evans, Jaeden Martell and Michelle Dockery in “Defending Jacob.”Apple TV+.

‘Defending Jacob’

Starts streaming: April 24

Apple adds some more A-list muscle to its streaming library with this tense mini-series: Chris Evans and Michelle Dockery star as wealthy Bostonians whose 14-year-old son, Jacob, is accused of killing a classmate. The eight episodes are suffused with dark blues and grays as the family’s merry, comfortable life unspools and long-held secrets start coming out. It turns out Evans’s Andy has been battling darkness his whole life, but it’s all new to Dockery’s Laurie, and the pair’s differing reactions to a parent’s worst nightmare are delicately portrayed. J.K. Simmons guest-stars and is, as always, a scene-stealer.

Also arriving:

April 3

“Home Before Dark”

New to Hulu

‘Risky Business’

Starts streaming: April 1

Watching this comedy feels like opening a time capsule and being transported back to 1983, when Tom Cruise was a fresh-faced newcomer and coming-of-age movies centered on rich, peacocking white boys. Written and directed by Paul Brickman, Cruise plays Joel, a teenager who’s not as academically successful as his friends, nor as successful with women. When his parents go on holiday, one of said friends convinces him to take a “what the [expletive]” approach to life and hire a sex worker for the night. Cue ensuing chaos. “Risky Business” holds up surprisingly well, with a great soundtrack and some standout, stylish moments.

Also arriving:

April 1

“Bend It Like Beckham”

“Blazing Saddles”

April 8


April 9

“Little Joe”

April 16

“What We Do in the Shadows” Season 2

April 29

“Normal People”

Like this email?

Forward it to your friends, and let them know they can sign up here.

Have feedback?

Email us at

Tips and advice to help you live a little smarter

Since you receive Watching, we think you’ll like the Smarter Living newsletter as well. Every Monday, get a weekly roundup of the best advice from The Times on living a better, more fulfilling life. Sign up here.

Need help? Review our newsletter help page or contact us for assistance.

You received this email because you signed up for Watching from The New York Times.

To stop receiving these emails, unsubscribe or manage your email preferences.

Subscribe to The Times


Connect with us on:

facebook twitter instagram

Change Your Email|Privacy Policy|Contact Us

The New York Times Company. 620 Eighth Avenue New York, NY 10018