True crime fans will 100% want to keep an eye out for documentary series Night Stalker: The Hunt For A Serial Killer, which… well, which does exactly what it says on the tin. And The Dig, starring Lily James and Carey Mulligan, brings to life the 1939 excavation of Sutton Hoo.
Elsewhere, we’ve got the much-anticipated adaptation of Aravind Adiga’s award-winning novel, The White Tiger, starring none other than Priyanka Chopra Jones herself. There’s also Fate: The Winx Saga, Nicolas Cage’s History Of Swear Words, and Surviving Death.
Emotionally-charged new film Penguin Bloom, starring Academy Award nominee Naomi Watts, offers up an amazing true story of hope and renewal. And there’s also a new series of Dream Home Makeover – ideal timing if you fancy sprucing up your home for 2021.
And, of course, we have the much-needed (especially after the year we’ve all had!) Headspace Guide To Meditation in the mix, too.
Essentially, there truly is something here for everyone to enjoy. And don’t worry: there’s plenty more documentaries, films, and TV series to get stuck into on top of all those goodies, too.
With that in mind, then, here’s our pick of what’s new on Netflix this January.
Please note that this article will be updated regularly to include new titles.
Dream Home Makeover: Season 2 – 1 January
Syd and Shea McGee – aka the husband-and-wife duo behind rustic interior design sensation Studio McGee – are the stars of Dream Home Makeover. Each episode sees them tackle one home design project, from budget-friendly makeovers to money-is-no-object transformations. Which means that, yeah, their show is packed full of relatable (and home-beautifying) DIY tips.
All About Nina – 1 January
In this brutal romance, Mary Elizabeth Winstead stars as Nina Geld, a brilliant stand-up comedian onstage but an emotional mess offstage. When she meets a nice and charming man, though, she is forced to face her troubled past, and sees her life flipped upside down in the process.
The Minimalists: Less Is Now – 1 January
“Now is the time for less,” the people behind this intriguing documentary film recently explained to Radio Times.
“With The Minimalists’ new documentary, Less Is Now, we wanted to show people that minimalism is not a radical lifestyle – it’s a practical lifestyle. No matter who you are, or where you are in life, it’s never too late to let go, start over, and live a meaningful life with less stuff.”
Joshua Fields Milburn and Ryan Nicodemus have built a movement out of minimalism. So, if you fancy embracing all of those “less is more” vibes in 2021, then their film should be at the top of your must-watch list.
Monarca: Season 1 – 1 January
This Mexican drama has proven a hit with critics and viewers alike, and for good reason. It centres on a billionaire tequila tycoon who, along with his family, thrives in a corrupt environment that caters to Mexico’s business elites.
Headspace Guide To Meditation – 1 January
Headspace Guide to Meditation explores the foundation of meditation and how it can help us be more present and less distracted in our daily lives.
Each episode focuses on a different benefit – from managing stress to embracing gratitude – and begins by teaching the approach and techniques, then concludes with a guided meditation.
Headspace co-founder and former Buddhist monk Andy Puddicombe will lead every step of the way as he narrates the eight 20-minute episodes, his voice paired with playful animation and soothing music. And, after the events of 2020, we feel a little meditative self-care is exactly what the doctor ordered, quite frankly.
The Netflix Afterparty – 2 January
The Netflix Afterparty, a weekly comedy aftershow, will be a first-of-its-kind 18-episode Netflix series hosted by London Hughes, Fortune Feimster and David Spade (who also executive produces).
Each episode will focus on one of the latest Netflix films or TV shows to hit the cultural zeitgeist, with the stars of the title taking part in interviews, pop culture discussions and sketches.
And, each week, the co-hosts will also be joined by a different Netflix comedian to round out the panel. Sounds good, right?
Korean Porkbelly Rhapsody – 4 January
This cooking TV series is a love letter to South Korean favorite dish, Pork Belly. And, yes, you better believe that it will have your mouth watering in no time…
A Love So Beautiful – 4 January
Love is every bit as tough as it is sweet for the lovestruck teenagers at the centre of this Netflix Original series. Because, you guessed it, A Love So Beautiful sees the ups and downs of school, family and growing up test the affection between a budding artist and her handsome but indifferent classmate and neighbour.
History Of Swear Words – 5 January
As profound as it is profane, this funny and engaging documentary – hosted by none other than Nicolas Cage – takes a deep-dive into the origins, pop culture usage, science and cultural impact of swear words, such as “fuck,” “shit,” “bitch,” and more.
Back To Life – 5 January
After serving a sentence of over a decade in prison for a terrible crime she committed in her teens, Miri Matteson (Daisy Haggard) is able to return home to her small town. But, while Miri would like nothing more than to move on from her dark past, her neighbours aren’t prepared to forget what happened all those years ago.
This BBC dramedy, which aired to critical acclaim in 2019, sees Miri go about rebuilding her life. To make a start, she moves back in with her parents – a disaster which soon leads to her finding herself with no friends, no job, and no clue about how to start again.
Watch the trailer below:
Surviving Death – 6 January
Based on best-selling author and journalist Leslie Kean’s book of the same name, the six-part series Surviving Death weaves together innovative new research with firsthand accounts from those who’ve been close to – and even experienced – death. Think scientists, mediums, paranormal experts, child psychiatrists, and more.
It is in this way that the series hopes to take viewers on an extraordinary journey into a world beyond human existence as we know it.
Pieces Of A Woman – 7 January
Starring The Crown’s Vanessa Kirby, A Pieces Of A Woman sees a heartbreaking home birth leave a woman grappling with the profound emotional fallout, isolated from her partner and family by a chasm of grief.
Despite the controversy swirling around this one due to Shia LaBeouf’s involvement, it’s worth noting that Kirby’s performance has been tipped for a nomination at the 2021 Oscars after winning the Best Actress prize at the Venice Film Festival back in September.
Pretend It’s A City – 8 January
In this stunning limited series, you can wander the streets of New York City and see it through the eyes of wry writer, humourist, and raconteur Fran Lebowitz.
Lupin: Season 1 – 8 January
Loosely based on the adventures of fictional thief Arsène Lupin, this addictive Netflix Original follows janitor Assane Diop (Omar Sy), whose life is turned upside down when his father dies after being accused of a crime he didn’t commit.
Some 25 years later, Assane is still desperate to avenge his dad’s death. And so, just like that, he decides to steal Marie Antoinette’s necklace from the Louvre. As you do.
Crack: Cocaine, Corruption & Conspiracy – 11 January
In the mood for a meaty documentary? Crack: Cocaine, Corruption & Conspiracy delves into the powerful drug trade that plagued America in the 1980s.
Night Stalker: The Hunt for a Serial Killer – 13 January
“In the sweltering summer of 1985, a record-breaking heatwave hit Los Angeles, along with a series of murders and sexual assaults that at first seemed disconnected,” reads the official Netflix synopsis for Night Stalker: The Hunt For A Serial Killer.
“The victims were men, women, and children. They ranged in age from six to 82. They came from different neighborhoods, racial backgrounds and socioeconomic levels. Never before in criminal history had a single killer been responsible for such a grisly array of crimes.
“Racing against the clock to stop this nocturnal monster were a young detective named Gil Carrillo from the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department and the legendary homicide investigator Frank Salerno. As they worked tirelessly to solve the case, the media hounded their tracks, and panic gripped California.”
The Heartbreak Club – 14 January
In this compelling romantic drama, the shy owner of a floundering cafe soothes his heartbreak when he finds solace in the Javanese love songs of Didi Kempot.
Penguin Bloom – 15 January
In 2013, Samantha Bloom (Naomi Watts), her husband Cameron (The Walking Dead’s Andrew Lincoln) and their three sons left their home in Australia for a holiday in Thailand. While enjoying a view, Sam fell off of a rooftop due to what was later determined to be a rotted railing, breaking her vertebrae in two places.
Paralysed from the chest down, Sam — a lifelong outdoorswoman, surfer, and traveler —was unrecognisable to herself, and spent long months in a depression that made her question who she could be in the world and in her own family.
A year later, though, her children brought home a wounded baby magpie. Warily eyeing the black-and-white bird the kids affectionately named “Penguin,” Sam bonded with the household’s new member, beginning a process of emotional healing that surprised her husband and sons, her mother (Jacki Weaver), and herself.
And, as te trailer makes all too clear, Netflix’s Penguin Bloom promises to bring that amazing true story of hope and renewal to life in painstakingly emotional detail.
Double Dad – 15 January
While her mother is abroad, an 18-year-old woman who has lived in a hippie commune all her life sneaks out into the real world to find her biological father.
Daughter From Another Mother – 20 January
In this Mexican comedy series, two very different mothers decide to join their families after realising that their six-month-old babies were accidentally switched at birth. No reviews out yet, so the jury’s out on whether this one will be any good or not – but it certainly has the potential to deliver some serious Sister Sister energy, doesn’t it?
Riverdale: Season 5 – 21 January
Riverdale fans will no doubt be intrigued to learn that, while the upcoming series opens with Archie and friends attending prom, the TV series then jumps seven years into the future to see where the Riverdale High students end up.
White Tiger – 22 January
“Society has trained Balram (Adarsh Gourav) to be one thing – a servant – so he makes himself indispensable to his rich masters,” reads the official Netflix synopsis for White Tiger. “But after a night of betrayal, he realises the corrupt lengths they will go to trap him and save themselves.”
On the verge of losing everything, Balram rebels against a rigged and unequal system to rise up and become a new kind of master.
Cue an epic and darkly humorous tale (the film’s tagline is “eat or get eaten up”) about his ascension from poor villager to phenomenally successful entrepreneur.
Fate: The Winx Saga – 22 January
“Fate: The Winx Saga follows the coming-of-age journey of five fairies attending Alfea, a magical boarding school in the Otherworld where they must learn to master their magical powers while navigating love, rivalries, and the monsters that threaten their very existence,” shares Netflix.
From creator Brian Young (The Vampire Diaries), Fate: The Winx Saga is a live-action reimagining of the Italian cartoon Winx Club from Iginio Straffi.
Booksmart – 24 January
In this brilliant teen comedy, best friends Amy (Kaitlyn Dever) and Molly (Beanie Feldstein) realise that they have been cast aside by their surroundings for being bookworms and pretentious. Cue them deciding to let loose and make up for the lost time, with somewhat disastrous consequences…
Snowpiercer: Season 2 – 26 January
Set more than seven years after the world has become a frozen wasteland, star-studded series Snowpiercer centres on the remaining people, who inhabit a gigantic, perpetually-moving train that circles the globe.
The Dig – 29 January
As World War 2 looms, a wealthy widow hires an amateur archaeologist to excavate the burial mounds on her estate. When they make a historic discovery, the echoes of Britain’s past resonate in the face of its uncertain future.
Kayleigh Dray is Stylist’s digital editor-at-large. Her specialist topics include comic books, films, TV and feminism. On a weekend, you can usually find her drinking copious amounts of tea and playing boardgames with her friends.