April is a great month. The hours of light are stretching longer into the evening, the trees start to bud, and that sweet, sweet tax return arrives in the mail, which basically feels like free money even though it’s definitely not. Maybe you’ll prematurely stuff your peacoat far into the depths of your closet and find yourself going for walks, taking deep inhalations of that springy, earthy smell, and turning to your friends and yelling, “This is life! This is living!” Hey, when spring grabs hold, there’s not much you can do to stop it.
This month’s new-to-Netflix lineup is further proof that April rocks and that T.S. Eliot was very incorrect when he said, “April is the cruelest month.” Poor guy probably always owed to the IRS at the end of the year. Here are some of the best new things for your eyeballs.
For the Lover of Both Dogs and Mockumentaries
Watch: Best in Show
Who are the types of people who breed dogs for kennel club shows? This mockumentary by writer and director Christopher Guest shows you the seedy and hilarious underbelly of the high-brow world of dog breeding and showing. Guest, who is known for popularizing the “mockumentary” style of shooting, relies largely on improvisation for Best in Show, as well as his other popular mockumentary films, including A Mighty Wind, This Is Spinal Tap and Waiting for Guffman. If you love The Office or Parks and Rec, you will absolutely love this movie, as Guest’s style arguably laid the foundation for the success of the mockumentary sitcom. It’s got a Portlandia-style sense of self-aware humor to it, plus it has people who look like their dogs.
Available: April 1st
Strain Pairing: Dogwalker OG
Munchies: In the spirit of canines, why not whip up a batch of Puppy Chow?
For Fans of Post-Bunker Humor
Watch: Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt Season 2
The brains behind 30 Rock, Tina Fey and Robert Carlock, bring us season two of their wacky Netflix original Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt on April 15. The jokes are just as fast and funny in this sitcom starring Ellie Kemper as a cult survivor who strikes out on her own to start a life in New York City after spending years underground in a bunker. While in season one we see Kimmy navigate some of the basics of life – getting a job, dating, and finding a roommate – we can expect that no matter what new life troubles are thrown her way in season two, she’ll face them with the same combination of naïveté, grit and determination that makes her such a strange yet lovable character.
Available: April 15th
Strain Pairing: NYC Diesel
Munchies: Since Kimmy still has the palate of a child, load up on plenty of chocolate and candy.
For Those of You Yearning for Zihuatanejo
Watch: The Shawshank Redemption
The Shawshank Redemption was selected by the Library of Congress in 2015 to be preserved in the National Film Registry due to its cultural and aesthetic significance. In short: this is a really good movie. Based on a novella by Stephen King, the movie takes place in his home state of Maine and tells the story of Andy Dufresne, who is sentenced to life in prison for murdering his wife and child. The movie takes us inside the walls of Shawshank State Penitentiary to learn about the alliances, betrayal and oppression that inmates face in a high-security facility. If you’re a fan of Orange Is the New Black but have never sat down to watch Shawshank, you’re in for a treat.
Available: April 1st
Strain Pairing: Star Killer
Munchies: To celebrate your freedom, why not go for the least prison-type food possible: sushi.
For Folks Who Want to Learn About Law as Salaciously as Possible
Watch: How to Get Away with Murder Season 2
This TV drama series on ABC centers around law school professor Annalise Keating (Viola Davis), who teaches a class on criminal defense that she refers to as “How to Get Away with Murder 101.” The second season of this murder- and betrayal-filled show has earned Viola Davis the Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance in a Drama Series and secured executive producer Shonda Rhimes as an unstoppable creator of salacious and ensnaring dramas (she’s also behind Grey’s Anatomy and Scandal). Of course, this is nothing like the boring Torts classes you heard so much about from your friends slogging through law school.
Available: April 16th
Strain Pairing: Outlaw
Munchies: Rhimes’ one controversial opinion might be that she hates thin crust pizza. Order in a deep dish in her honor.
For Those of You Who Have Never Caught a Glimpse of Dirk's "Diggler"
Watch: Boogie Nights
From a nightclub dishwasher to a wealthy porn star, Boogie Nights tracks the rise of Eddie Adams (Mark Wahlburg), a baby-faced high school dropout who takes on the porn star persona of Dirk Diggler after a director (Burt Reynolds) takes him under his wing based on his good looks and natural charm. The film, set in southern California’s San Fernando Valley, helped director Paul Thomas Anderson get on the map during his twenties. (He then went on to create well-regarded classics including Magnolia, There Will Be Blood and The Master.) Watching young Eddie succumb to the addiction to money, power and sex feels like witnessing a slow-motion trainwreck in a similar vein as The Wolf of Wall Street. For many reasons, you can’t look away.
Available: April 1st
Strain Pairing: Money Maker
Munchies: It’s set in Los Angeles – what better excuse do you need for chips and guac?
Image Sources: IMDb