Kevin Hart gets serious, puppets put out an unprecedented feast, and yet the strangest thing on Netflix this November is still “Tiger King 2.”
“Cowboy Bebop” (available November 19)
Why Should I Watch? Calling the original anime “Cowboy Bebop” a cult classic doesn’t quite do justice to its impact on animation, television, and culture at large.
Hajime Yatate’s neo-noir space western originally ran in the late ’90s, hopping across two Japanese TV networks to air its 26 episodes before becoming the first anime title to premiere on Adult Swim here in the States (circa 2001).
Often referred to as a bridge for animation fans to invest in anime, as well as Western audiences to appreciate a medium originated in the East, “Cowboy Bebop” is also just a flat-out wild time.
Bounty hunters are called cowboys, the Earth is practically uninhabitable, and space is the de facto travel frontier.
Aboard the spaceship Bebop, a group of “cowboys” hunt down dangerous convicts for the right price, led by Spike Spiegel (John Cho), Jet Black (Mustafa Shakir), and Faye Valentine (Daniella Pineda). There is also jazz. What’s not to love?
“True Story” (available November 24)
Why Should I Watch? Wesley Snipes. OK, maybe that’s too simple of an answer, but it’s also the correct answer.
Snipes, an onscreen icon thanks to “Major League,” “New Jack City,” “White Men Can’t Jump,” “Demolition Man,” and many more, has enjoyed a low-key resurgence of late, thanks mainly to an award-worthy turn in “Dolemite Is My Name,” but also excellent cameos (in “What We Do in the Shadows,” where he semi-resurrects Blade) and strong supporting turns (in middling sequels like “The Expendables 3” and “Coming II America”).
Here, he plays the wayward older brother of a world-famous comedian (Kevin Hart), who gets his baby bro into big trouble after one bad night on the town.
Whether he’s the villain or a lost soul, watching Snipes is always an arresting experience and “True Story” gives us seven hour-long episodes to appreciate his range.
Bonus Reason: Unlike Snipes’ recent roles (and virtually all of Hart’s), “True Story” isn’t a comedy. This Netflix dramatic thriller comes from “Narcos” showrunner Eric Newman, and “Watchmen” Emmy winner Stephen Williams directs the first three episodes (while serving as an executive producer).
Toss in music supervisor extraordinaire Liza Richardson and “True Story” has loads of top talent in front of and behind the camera. Let’s see how it plays out.
“Big Mouth” Season 5 (available November 5)
Why Should I Watch? “Big Mouth” remains one of the best ongoing Netflix series out there.
Co-creators Nick Kroll, Andrew Goldberg, Mark Levin, and Jennifer Flackett continue to create identifiable and endearing adolescent stories that work to shatter the persistent embarrassments felt by puberty-stricken teens.
Season 5 tackles the extreme ends of young romance by exploring how pure, unchecked adoration can quickly transform into misplaced hate, as Nick (voiced by Kroll) and Jessi (Jessi Glaser) get their first visits from the Love Bugs (played by Pamela Adlon and Brandon Kyle Goodman), while Missy (Ayo Edebiri) falls prey to a Hate Worm who’s just getting warmed up.
And don’t fret: Everyone’s favorite monsters — the Hormone Monster (Kroll) and Monstress (Emmy winner Maya Rudolph) — are still harassing kids like Andrew (John Mulaney), who can’t help but get turned on by everything.
Bonus Reason: Can you say, “Holiday Special”? Featuring an array of animation styles (including the Christmas classic stop-motion technique), Season 5 features a snowy spectacular like you’ve never seen before.