New on Netflix UK: July’s must-watch film and TV

Returning favourites, underrated gems and binge-able box sets

There’s a lot of choice on Netflix UK. In fact, each viewer spends 18 minutes (18 whole minutes!) on average trying to decide what to watch on the streaming platform. To put that in context, that’s almost as long as an episode of The Office.

But fear not, we’ve gone through all the new shows, docs and films arriving on Netflix UK this month and whittled them down to the very best.

Here’s what you should be watching on Netflix UK in July 2020:

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Best new series: Stateless

What is it? A gripping Aussie drama that follows refugees held at an immigration detention centre, as well as newly-arriving guards working there. It’s based on the real-life story of Cornelia Rau and underlines the flaws in the immigration detention system. It premiered in Australia earlier this year, with NME Australia’s Luke Buckmaster praising its willingness to discuss the country’s identity and politics.

Star Talent: Stateless boasts an impressive cast that includes Yvonne Strahovski (AKA Serena from The Handmaid’s Tale), Cate Blanchett, Dominic West, Jai Courtney (Suicide Squad), Fayssal Bazzi and more.

What they say: “There’s a profound anxiety about where we’re all heading and the erosion of empathy and, of course, that’s the space where the drama takes place,” Blanchett says. “None of us are interested in preaching to the converted.”

For fans of: Orange Is The New Black, The Handmaid’s Tale

Release date: July 8

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Returning favourite: The Umbrella Academy

What is it? The first season of this comic book series followed superpower-wielding long-lost relatives as they grappled with the death of their father and, of course, the impending end of the world. At the time, we called it “a vibrant antidote to brooding superhero stories” and a series that “comes good with a zippy pace and fun cast”. Now it’s back for season two.

Star Talent: Ellen Page, Robert Sheehan, Mary J. Blige and more. Plus, the comic book’s author, My Chemical Romance’s Gerard Way, behind the scenes.

What they say: “There’s a lot of new and then there’s a lot of the same. It’s a lot of both, but it’s definitely a thrill ride this year,” the show’s music composer Jeff Russo told Comicbook.com.

For fans of: Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency, Jessica Jones, Altered Carbon

Release date: July 31

Underrated gem: The Baby-Sitters Club

What is it? If Stranger Things made us long for the ’80s, then The Baby-Sitters Club will surely provoke some big nostalgia for anyone who grew up in the ’90s. Based on the much-loved, best-selling book series of the same name, this new reboot of the tweener classic may move the setting to modern day, but there’s plenty of head-nods to the decade: there’s even a retro landline phone! The story follows a group of five teenage girls who start a babysitting business, learning lots about life, friendship and themselves along the way in true coming-of-age fashion.

Star Talent: Sophie Grace, Malia Baker, Momona Tamada, Shay Rudolph and Xochitl Gomez star in the main roles, alongside Alicia Silverstone (Clueless). The writing room, meanwhile, boasts alums of Glow and Broad City.

What they say:The Baby-Sitters Club was my Star Wars… It’s a show about people who are just trying to be better, and kids who are maybe leading the way,” says director and executive producer Lucia Aniello.

For fans of: The Edge Of Seventeen, Never Have I Ever, Stranger Things

Release date: July 3

Best new documentary: Unsolved Mysteries

What is it? Way before shows like Ghost Adventures or true crime series like Making A Murderer were all the rage, US TV staple Unsolved Mysteries combined all the different strands of mystery – both paranormal and simply unexplained – into its long-running docu-series, which aired from 1987 to 2010. Now returning for a reboot on Netflix, the updated version promises to “fuse signature elements from the original series with contemporary immersive, character-driven storytelling”, with stories “rooted in the experiences of ordinary people who have lived the unthinkable — from the trauma of a loved one’s unexplained disappearance or horrific death, to the shock of a bizarre paranormal encounter.”

Star Talent? The show’s revival has been helmed by 21 Laps Entertainment, most famous for being the production company behind Stranger Things.

What they say: “[We] made an early decision to have our storytelling dive deeper and establish a more intimate connection with the audience,” says Stranger Things executive producer Shawn Levy. “To do that, you need time. The people we’re interviewing on screen are often revisiting deeply painful experiences that are traumatic and not easy to discuss.”

For fans of? Making A Murderer, The Jinx

Release date: July 1

Most binge-able: Good Girls Season 3

What is it? Think Breaking Bad but following a trio of suburban mothers. The first season premiered in 2018 and saw Beth, Ruby and Annie turn to a life of crime to make ends meet. The second season, which aired last year, had them immerse themselves further into that world after they – like Walter White before them – realised they like the power that comes with it.

Star Talent: Christina Hendricks from Mad Men, Mae Whitman from Arrested Development and stand-up comedian Retta lead the well-arranged cast.

What they say: “This year, [the characters] are like ‘we might know what we’re doing a little bit here’. Which is untrue, because they’re getting way in above their heads,” says Hendricks.

For fans of: Weeds, Breaking Bad, Ozark

Release date: July 26

Now’s the time to watch: BlacKkKlansman

What is it? Spike Lee has masterfully explored race relations and the Black experience over the course of his 34 year career and now is a vital time to delve into his filmography. 2018’s BlacKkKlansman – which arrives on Netflix UK for the first time this month – follows an African American police officer who attempts to infiltrate the local chapter of the KKK. Upon its initial release, we called it “a riotous comedy about despicable racism”.

Star Talent? John David Washington (son of Denzel) as Detective Ron Stallworth, alongside Adam Driver, Topher Grace, Alec Baldwin and more.

What they say: “[My goal was to] make a hip, period film that resonated with the crazy world that we live in today,” says Lee.

For fans of? Get Out, Malcolm X, Chi-Raq

Release date: July 24

The best of the rest

You may also enjoy these other titles arriving on Netflix UK over the course of the month…

#Anne Frank – Parallel Stories (July 1)

Released to mark the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz, Helen Mirren shines a light on stories from Holocaust survivors, including readings from Anne Frank’s famed diary.

The Old Guard (July 10)

A superhero film following a group of immortals who fear that their secrets are about to be revealed. Starring Charlize Theron, Chiwetel Ejiofor and more.

Cursed (July 17)

An Arthurian reimagining with a cast including Katherine Langford (13 Reasons Why), Devon Terrell (Barry) and Lily Newmark (Pin Cushion, Sex Education). The synopsis reads: “Armed with mysterious powers and a legendary sword, young rebel Nimue joins forces with charming mercenary Arthur on a mission to save her people.”

Last Chance U season five (28 July)

Even if you’re not a fan of American football, let alone the relative niche of JUCO league college football, there’s enough that’s relatable about Last Chance U on a human level for you to get hooked as you follow the young athletes’ careers in their last chance at making it.

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