March madness isn’t just for basketball fans.
Streaming customers have plenty of reasons to cheer this month, including a crush of original content debuting on Netflix.
The streaming giant serves up two new shows along with a trio of old favorites.
- “Bloodline” – Kyle Chandler of Early Edition and Friday Night Lights fame stars in this family drama set in the Florida Keys. The folks who delivered “Damages” are behind the new show, which boast a movie-worthy cast (Sissy Spacek Ben Mendelsohn, Sam Shepard, Chloe Sevigny and Linda Cardellini). (March 20)
- “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt” – Tina Fey is part of the creative team behind this new comedy starring “The Office’s” Ellie Kemper as a woman who flees a doomsday cult and begins a new life in New York City. NBC famously rejected the show. Did they fear another low-rated critical darling like “30 Rock,” or is a streaming scenario the best fit for this “Unbreakable” story? (March 6)
- “Mad Men: Season 7” – (March 22) The acclaimed AMC drama is nearing an end, which means viewers can catch up now before the show’s final episodes start airing later this year.
- “Archer: Vice – Season 5” – The not-for-kiddies animated romp returns with a fresh new storyline. Now, the show’s stars are ditching their spy games for a life of crime. (March 7)
- “3rd Rock from the Sun: The Complete Series” (March 15) The show that introduced Joseph Gordon-Levitt to the country while reminding us how good an unhinged John Lithgow could be is back in our lives. These wacky aliens survived 6 seasons on NBC. It’s amazing there hasn’t been talk of a reboot, reunion or even a “shared’ universe extension. Maybe the show’s streaming life will spark just that.
Shout Factory TV, the new streaming alternative, counters with a tribute to veteran director Werner Herzog. The 16 Herzog films added to the service span three decades of the filmmaker’s creative life. The selections include:
- “Aguirre, the Wrath of God” – This fictional tale, inspired by real events, tracks a band of explorers seeking the golden city of El Dorado. Herzog wrote the film’s screenplay in less than three days.
- “Ballad of the Little Soldier” – The 45-minute documentary captures child soldiers enmeshed in the Miskito Indian resistance of Nicaragua.
- “Nosferatu, the Vampire” – This 1979 film features Klaus Kinski in the title role. The actor endured four hours of makeup daily for the part.
- “My Best Fiend” (March 16) – Herzog captures the often volatile partnership he had with frequent collaborator Kinski. Roger Ebert describe the film as being about two men “who both wanted to be dominant, who both had all the answers, who were inseparably bound together in love and hate, and who created extraordinary work – while all the time each resented the other’s contribution.”
Shout Factor TV also brings back some TV classics to today’s streaming consumers:
- Gerry Anderson’s “Stingray” (6 episodes) – Created by TV pioneers Gerry and Sylvia Anderson (Thunderbirds, Space: 1999), the supermarionation classic features WASP (World Aquanaut Security Patrol)
Rodgers and Hammerstein’s “Cinderella”
This 1965 remake of the original 1957 version starring Julie Andrews is timed to coincide with the Hollywood “Cinderella” hitting theaters this month. The title, starring Lesley Ann Warren, Stuart Damon, Ginger Rogers and Celeste Holm, will only be available for one month.
“The Goode Family”
Mike Judge’s often hilarious attempt to mock a liberal clan never got the chance to catch on. Now, viewers can watch all 13 episodes and see what might have been. The show teased these hybrid driving vegans but never in a mean spirited fashion.
Shout Factory TV also rolls out several notable films this month, including “Kentucky Fried Movie,” “The Ruling Class,” “To Be or Not To Be” (1942) and “The Trip to Bountiful.”
Acorn TV, the streaming destination for many British programs, offers the U.S. premiere this month of the BBC period drama “Jamaica Inn” (March 16) starring “Downton Abbey” star Jessica Brown Findlay and Matthew McNulty.” The miniseries follows a woman forced to live with smugglers after the death of her mother. The production co-stars Ben Daniels, Shirley Henderson and Sean Harris.