1. “Ozark” Season 3 (available March 27)
Why Should I Watch? If you’re a fan of dark crime stories, “Ozark” probably pulled you in a while ago. Directed, produced, and starring Jason Bateman, the Netflix drama about a family of money launderers trying to escape the tightening grasp of their cartel bosses is a perennial awards player and cultural talking point. But like the remote destination’s lakeside tourists, “Ozark” doesn’t come without its baggage. Some of the aforementioned “buzz” is centered around how hard it is to see what’s going on, and awards shows are often unreliable bellwethers of quality. Plus, Season 2 marked a dramatic downshift in the propulsive pleasures “Ozark” Season 1 offered, so can Season 3 recover? Reviews are embargoed, so I can’t possibly say — but there’s a reason this is the No. 1 March offering, and it ain’t because “Archibald’s Next Big Thing” is bad. (Bless you, Tony Hale, for never creating bad things.)
Bonus Reason: What can be said about Season 3 is that it makes a six-month time jump, skipping from one bummer of a ribbon cutting to the opening of the Byrde family’s brand new riverboat casino. Speed and efficiency are welcome choices in any Netflix drama, as is an increased intrinsic connection between character and plot: Marty (Bateman) and Wendy (Laura Linney) are reacting very differently to the piling pressure, and their partnership is put in the spotlight as the couple’s power dynamics fluctuate. “Ozark” still feels like it’s on the road to nowhere — what possible end could there be for this family, other than death and disappointment? — but if you were bummed out by Season 2 taking the slow lane, hop back in. Season 3’s moved into the carpool slot.
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2. “Ugly Delicious” Season 2 (available March 6)
Why Should I Watch? The food-centric docuseries from renowned Chef David Chang returns for more variant episodes about breaking bread and breaking barriers. Some of the most successful foodie shows find more to talk about than just the chosen meal, and “Ugly Delicious” appreciated every ingredient in its lengthy recipe. Season 1 was widely praised for its efforts to broach deeper discussions with rich dishes, as well as the different styles filmmaker Morgan Neville used to tell each story, from sitcom spoofs to animated segments. “Ugly Delicious” isn’t just a show for people who love food; it’s a show for people who love adventure, knowledge, and great storytelling.
Bonus Reason: Joined by experts in cuisine and hungry famous folks, Chang travels around the world with everyone from Netflix celebs like Nick Kroll and Aziz Ansari to food writers Chris Ying and Helen Rosner. The enthusiasts offer a layman’s point-of-view to similarly interested but inexperienced viewers, while the pundits help elicit points everyone else may have missed. Season 1 kept the blend potent and sweet, and Season 2 looks to do the same.
3. “Self-Made: Inspired by the Life of Madam C.J. Walker” (available March 20)
Why Should I Watch? A lengthy title well-earned, “Self-Made: Inspired by the Life of C.J. Walker” is actually a truncated version of its own inspiration: The four-part Netflix series is adapted from A’Lelia Bundles’ biography of the eponymous Walker — who is Bundles’ great, great grandmother — “On Her Own Ground: The Life and Times of Madam C.J. Walker.” Her novel chronicles the rise of Sarah Breedlove, who came from nothing and built an empire by marketing hair and beauty products to black women in the late 1800s. Breedlove made her name as Madam C.J. Walker — using the surname of her third husband and “madam” out of respect for the French pioneers in the women’s beauty industry — and when she died in 1919, she was the wealthiest self-made woman in America, hence the new, slightly shorter Netflix title.
Bonus Reason: If the fascinating true story above isn’t enough of a reason, just look at the creatives behind “Self-Made”: Octavia Spencer is the titular star and executive producer, joining a cast that includes Tiffany Haddish, Carmen Ejogo, Blair Underwood, and Kevin Carroll. Elle Johnson and Janine Sherman Barrois serve as co-showrunners, with directing duties split between Kasi Lemmons (“Harriet”) and DeMane Davis (“Queen Sugar”). Need one more name? How about LeBron James? The basketball superstar is also on board as an executive producer.
4. “On My Block” Season 3 (available March 11)
Why Should I Watch? Well-received if not widely seen by critics, “On My Block” has made it to a third season thanks to its unique blend of comedy and drama, a strong cast, and consistent delivery of fun. Co-created by Lauren Iungerich, Eddie Gonzalez, and Jeremy Haft (with Iungerich serving as showrunner), the first two seasons of this coming-of-age story focuses on four freshmen in high school as they navigate the ups and downs of teenage life. Set in inner city Los Angeles, “On My Block” doesn’t shy away from realistic issues like gang violence and deportation fears, but the narrative momentum keeps things on the up and up.
Bonus Reason: With “One Day at a Time” out at the streamer and “Dear White People” ending, Netflix doesn’t have as many diverse, critically-acclaimed comedies as it once did. “On My Block” had its episode order lowered from 10 to eight this season, so there’s more reasons than just your own enjoyment to jump on board this series now, in order to ensure a renewal — and more shows like it.
5. “All American” Season 2 (available March 17)
Why Should I Watch? In the spirit of “The O.C.” — television’s last, great nighttime soap — “All American” asks what would happen if a star athlete from the wrong side of the tracks got picked up and dropped into the rich part of town. Call it timing (who doesn’t want to see the wealthy get taken down a few pegs in 2020?), call it nostalgia (I literally will watch any show that reminds me of the Cohen family), call it whatever you want: “All American” is a damn entertaining show that’s proven over two seasons it’s got the legs to sustain both its petty, fleeting drama and significant, ongoing beefs. Enjoy.
Bonus Reason: In the grand tradition of “Friday Night Lights”— no, no, no. Let’s not compare the two. Just because they’re both about football, they’re both about high school football, and they’re both well-liked by this critic, doesn’t mean they’re after the same thing. One is the greatest television show ever made, tackling tricky young adult issues as well as it presented a complex yet loving marriage, and one is really good at delivering weekly hits of drama. I should spend some more time with “All American” before closing the door on all comparisons, but it’s safe to say they’re not the same shows.
6. “Feel Good” Season 1 (available March 19)
Why Should I Watch? Inspired by comedian Mae Martin’s past experiences, “Feel Good” follows a young stand-up comedian named Mae who’s history of addiction infiltrates her love life when she meets a young woman named George (Charlotte Ritchie). The two fall for each other, hard, and Mae has to learn how to separate her addictive behavior from her new relationship. Is it love? Is it an addiction to love? Is it both? As one can imagine, the answers are complicated, but the award-winning stand-up (who’s suffered from substance abuse issues) should know how to depict them honestly.
Bonus Reason: Playing Martin’s mother, Linda, is none other than Lisa Kudrow! No stranger to playing the scene-stealing parent (see: “Booksmart,” “Easy A”), the former “Comeback,” “Web Therapy,” and, yes, “Friends” star is an endorsement in and of itself — she doesn’t have to take just any project, but she said yes to this one. Let’s find out why.
7. “Archibald’s Next Big Thing” Season 2 (available March 20)
Why Should I Watch? Listen, I really like “Archibald’s Next Big Thing.” I do. Everything about this adventurous chicken is endearing, from Archibald’s weird rope sweater to Tony Hale’s curious falsetto. There are many inspired creative choices to admire, but I don’t have kids, so I only watched three episodes. Well, four episodes. OK, I watched half the first season, and that’s it! (Man, Netflix really hooks you, huh?) Point being, I didn’t watch the whole thing, nor do I watch a ton of animated kids’ shows — “Puss N Boots” being the very proud exception — so I don’t know if this is the best family show on the market, or even a great family show in general. All I know is it’s a well-made, vividly animated, and heartwarming story that this 30-something non-father enjoyed while trying to fall asleep in a foreign country. (Darn jet-lag.) Take that for what it’s worth, but hey: That sweater really is something.
Bonus Reason: “Archibald’s Next Big Thing” is based on Tony Hale and Tony Biaggne’s bestselling children’s book, and the beloved character actor-turned-author put together an impressive cast list for his first series with a creator credit. Hale voices the lead, Rosamund Pike serves as the narrator, Adam Pally is a series regular, and the guest cast list includes Casey Wilson, Rob Riggle, and Julia Louis-“The Queen”-Dreyfus. While all accomplished actors outside the voice recording booth, just hearing Hale and his former “Veep” co-star verbally spar once again is more than worth sampling. And who knows? Next thing ya know, 12 episodes will have zipped by.
The Rest of Incoming TV
“ARASHI’s Diary – Voyage” (new episodes streaming now)
“Go! Go! Cory Carson” Season 2 (available now)
“Castlevania” Season 3 (available March 5)
“Paradise PD” Part 2 (available March 6)
“The Prosecutor” Season 3 (available March 6)
“Carmen Sandiego: To Steal or Not to Steal” (available March 10)
“The Circle Brazil” (available March 11)
“Dirty Money” Season 2 (available March 11)
“Hospital Playlist” (available March 12)
“100 Humans” Season 1 (available March 13)
“Bloodride” Season 1 (available March 13)
“Kingdom” Season 2 (not the Frank Grillo/Jonathan Tucker classic) (available March 13)
“The Valhalla Murders” (available March 13)
“Women of the Night” Season 1 (available March 13)
“The Boss Baby: Back in Business” Season 3 (available March 16)
“Black Lightning” Season 3 (available March 17)
“Altered Carbon: Resleeved” (anime special available March 19)
“Dino Girl Gauko” Season 2 (available March 20)
“Greenhouse Academy” Season 4 (available March 20)
“The English Game” Season 1 (available (available March 20)
“YooHoo to the Rescue” Season 3 (available March 25)
“7SEEDS” Part 2 (available March 26)
“Unorthodox” (available March 26)
“Car Masters: Rust to Riches” Season 2 (available March 27)
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