New Netflix First: Sacred Games

Sacred Games, Netflix’s first original Indian drama, launches today, along with new seasons of Anne With an EComedians in Cars Getting Coffee: Freshly Brewed and Somebody Feed Phil: The Second Course.

Streaming in Hindi and English, the Mumbai mob drama is the first of several Indian productions Netflix will release globally.

“There are great stories everywhere, but there are really four or five centres of TV and film (worldwide),”  Erik Barmack, VP, international originals at Netflix, told Reuters. “Mumbai is certainly one of them, and it is important for us, because we are going to be actively invested in India.”

Early reviews have been positive. “Netflix strikes gold with stylish Indian thriller,” the UK’s Metro said.

With criminal kingpins, authority conspiracies and likeable cop duos, it’s tempting to label Sacred Games as the Indian Narcos – but the first four episodes are more concise and stylishly executed than its Colombian rival. If you’re pining for a fresh, addictive thriller bursting with style, Sacred Games is the perfect excuse to shield from the summer heat.

Sacred Games has just the right mix of style and sass to make for a riveting thriller,” NDTV said.

Episode 1 whets the appetite by creating the foundation of the tension and intrigue that made the 900-page novel such a huge hit. It also shows promise of capturing the book’s amazing sweep that, while focusing on the sordid aspects of politics, policing and society in India’s glittering financial capital, took in its wide embrace, the major historical signposts of contemporary India.

Season two of the enchanting Anne of Green Gables picks up a year after the first.

“The Anne of Green Gables reimagining from the streaming giant is anything but twee and the second season will fill your heart with even more joy than the first outing,” The Express said.

Season two is expansive as multiple storylines are introduced, including Gilbert Blythe’s (Lucas Jade Zumann) travels. Fans will remember the local teen heartthrob and Anne’s school friend left the sweeping landscapes of Prince Edward Island after his father’s death in a bid to see the world.

The story strand is significant as Anne With An E boldly tackles racism through the introduction of its first Afro-Caribbean character in the form of Degrassi alumni Dalmar Abuzeid as Gilbert’s friend and fellow ship worker Sebastian.

The first Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee ordered for Netflix features Dave Chappelle, Zach Galifianakis, Hasan Minhaj, Kate McKinnon, John Mulaney, Ellen DeGeneres and Jerry Lewis among others.

New York magazine said the format remains the same but argues Seinfeld’s out of sync with contemporary comedy: “No one would ever accuse Seinfeld of being woke, but there are times in Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee when he seems to be the anti-woke.”

One of the best things about Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee is how short the episodes are. That may sound like a backhanded compliment, but it’s an honest piece of praise. Given how bloated so much television is these days, the concise nature of this series is one of its best assets.

Somebody Feed Phil is named after Everybody Loves Raymond producer Phil Rosenthal, who the Los Angeles Times dubbed TV’s “unlikeliest food star

“If you haven’t seen the show, the premise is this: A permanently wide-eyed Rosenthal travels to a far-off destination — Thailand, Israel, Mexico City — with khaki pants, an untucked polo shirt and an open mind. He meets locals, eats food, learns about the culture then offers viewers a sort of ‘if I can do it, you can do it’ take on the destination.”

Also new today are the children’s series Free Rein and White Fang.

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4 Responses to “New Netflix First: Sacred Games”

  1. Will we see Netflix Ultra released in NZ for HDR content and the reduction in services for the lower price points? Australia and the US are speculating that its only a matter of time so Netflix can pay for its burgeoning content costs …

  2. Did you hear back from Sky? I trying to ask what are they doing to be “looking” into HD. They have avoided answering the one question. Can you ask for me? Many thanks.

  3. Hi Chris. I’m planning a post early next week. I just need to ask Sky a couple more questions before tying everything together …

  4. I imagine an Ultra tier will be inevitable here, Mike. Even without the HDR rationale, I suspect Netflix, given its global growth and explosion in original content, would be finding ways of eking extra dosh from subscribers.(Everyone who bemoaned what they thought was the monopoly of Sky should be careful what they wish for.) It frustrates me I have to pay top-dollar for a four-screen Netflix option to receive the 4K option when I would prefer a single screen rate with a small premium. It’s like Sky charging an HD Ticket — it’s good value if you take sports and movies but lousy if you predominantly watch news and entertainment and are limited to only the FTA channels and SoHo in 1080i, and re-run showcase Sky Box Sets in quasi-HD. Forbes ran a very good analysis of the Ultra issue.

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