Netflix: Best New Shows in September 2021 + Full List

Netflix has new seasons of horror, musical, and comedy favorites in September, including “Midnight Mass” and “Dear White People.”

1. “Sex Education” Season 3 (available September 17)

Why Should I Watch? If you’ve yet to discover Laurie Nunn’s charming, sex-positive Netflix series, then you’re about to have a fantastic September. Starring Asa Butterfield, Emma Mackey, Ncuti Gatwa, and Gillian Anderson, “Sex Education” starts out as a show about Otis (Butterfield), the teenage son of a sex therapist (Anderson), who opens his own in-school counseling practice to help his fellow awkward students better understand their various wants and desires. Helped by his bad-girl crush Maeve (Mackey) and cheery best friend Eric (Gatwa), Otis may get in over his head from time to time — he may have the book smarts gleaned from his expert mother, but not the requisite experience — but his heart (and the show’s) is always in the right place.

Bonus Reason: Nunn’s hourlong episodes carry all the intelligence of their top-tier dramatic peers, but the teen romances, youthful exuberance, and tightly spun arcs make first two seasons fly by. While always worthy of a rewatch, “Sex Education” introduces its first new season since January 2020 this month — the wait has not been easy, but I’m sure still worth it.

2. “Dear White People” Volume 4 (available September 22)

DeRon Horton in “Dear White People”

Lara Solanki / Netflix

Why Should I Watch? It’s only fitting that Justin Simien’s college-set Netflix original wraps up in the customary four-year time span, but the initial curriculum sure didn’t include a musical final exam. That’s what audiences will be getting with “Dear White People’s” farewell season, as Winchester University’s graduating class will leave their mark on the fictional Ivy League institution by belting out ’90s-inspired numbers. Like the tagline/class motto states: “Sometimes the only way to move forward is to throw it back.”

Bonus Reason: “Dear White People’s” cast remains one of the more under-appreciated ensembles on television, so make sure to savor seeing them all perform together while you can. Logan Browning has flexed her remarkable range from the start; Marque Richardson can snag a quick laugh before planting you in the back of your seat; DeRon Horton so convincingly embodies a neurotic nerd that, years after his debut, it still takes a minute to realize that’s not who he is; Antoinette Robertson, Brandon P. Bell, Ashley Blaine Featherson, and the rest of the team all earn their time on camera, crafting a group of college kids both distinct and relatable. Enjoy them all now, but expect to see each of them later.

3. “Midnight Mass” (available September 24)

MIDNIGHT MASS (L to R) RAHUL KOHLI as SHERIFF HASSAN and ROBERT LONGSTREET as JOE COLLIE in episode 102 of MIDNIGHT MASS Cr. EIKE SCHROTER/NETFLIX © 2021

Rahul Kohli and Robert Longstreet in “Midnight Mass”

Eike Schroter / Netflix

Why Should I Watch? Were you enjoyably chilled by “The Haunting of Hill House”? Moved by “The Haunting of Bly Manor”? Awake through “Doctor Sleep”? Then “Midnight Mass” is right up your alley, as writer/director Mike Flanagan returns for another horror story bound to keep you up at night. A few of his favorite cast members return — including Rahul Kohli (“Bly Manor”), Henry Thomas (both “Haunting” seasons), and Kate Siegel (also from both “Haunting” seasons) — as well as the always-welcome faces of Zach Gilford (“Friday Night Lights”) and Hamish Linklater (“Legion”), but I imagine plenty of you have heard all you need to hear, before adding this to your queue. Proceed ahead, unblemished.

Bonus Reason: OK, OK. Maybe you know you’re going to watch “Midnight Mass,” but you’re still eager to know just a bit about what’s in store. Luckily, Netflix has kept its synopsis short, sweet, and spoiler-free, so here’s all you’ll get from us:

“Midnight Mass” tells the tale of a small, isolated island community whose existing divisions are amplified by the return of a disgraced young man (Zach Gilford) and the arrival of a charismatic priest (Hamish Linklater). When Father Paul’s appearance on Crockett Island coincides with unexplained and seemingly miraculous events, a renewed religious fervor takes hold of the community — but do these miracles come at a price?

4. “Money Heist” Part 5, Volume 1 (available September 3)

LA CASA DE PAPEL (L to R) JAIME LORENTE as DENVER, BELÉN CUESTA as MANILA, ÚRSULA CORBERÓ as TOKIO in episode 04 of LA CASA DE PAPEL.  Cr. TAMARA ARRANZ / NETFLIX © 2020

Jaime Lorente and Belen Cuesta in “Money Heist”

Tamara Arranz / Netflix

Why Should I Watch? As it enters its fifth and final season, the Spanish heist series has taken Netflix by storm, building an international fan base rabid to find out how far these bank robbers will get. The original premise saw a man called The Professor recruit eight thieves to steal more than $1 billion from the Royal Mint of Spain. After four years worth of twists and turns, the team is onto another heist, and as Season 5, Part 1 begins, they’ve been shut inside the Bank of Spain for more than 100 hours — with the army about to come knocking on the door.

Bonus Reason: For anyone waiting to watch “Money Heist” once the full story is available to stream, you’ll have to wait until the second volume of Season 5 drops in December. That being said, December isn’t that far away — wouldn’t you rather catch up now, enjoy the buzz around the final set of episodes, and then experience the ending at the same time as so many long-term fans? Sure you do! So get to it!

5. “On the Verge” (available September 7)

On the Verge Julie Delpy Netflix

“On the Verge”

Courtesy of Netflix

Why Should I Watch? IndieWire fans probably only need one name paired with one descriptor to sign on for this Netflix original series: Julie Delpy, creator. OK, head on over.

Bonus Reason: Want a bit more? Delpy, the two-time Oscar nominee for “Before Sunset” and “Before Midnight,” created and stars in this 12-episode slice-of-life comedy about four women — a chef (played by Delpy), a single mom, an heiress, and an unemployed Los Angeleno — trying to find happiness, security, and new experiences in a pre-pandemic City of Angels. Co-starring Elisabeth Shue, Alexia Landeau, Sarah Jones, Timm Sharp, and Giovanni Ribisi, the half-hour series examines “women who had children pretty late in life — who used to have more freedom and discovered maternity at 38 rather than at 25,” Delpy said. “I wanted to talk about how women who have children navigate their lives, and how they juggle their personal and professional lives.”

6. “Saved by the Bell” Seasons 1 – 9 (available September 15)

Why Should I Watch? By now, you know if you’re the target audience for four core seasons of “Saved by the Bell” plus five more “seasons” of spinoffs, including “Hawaiian Style” and “Wedding in Las Vegas.” Nothing I can do or say will prevent you from consuming an unholy amount of classroom shenanigans, “White Lotus”-levels of cultural appropriation, and hairstyles banned in 49 states. (Florida, of course, is the exception.) So do what you have to do, just be safe.

Bonus Reason: It’s infuriating when your favorite show is split between two separate subscription streaming services, so even though I couldn’t care less about “Saved by the Bell,”  I have to warn those of you who do: Once you’ve consumed all that Netflix has to offer of Zack Morris & Co., you’ll have to head over to Peacock to keep the nostalgic times rolling. That’s where the “Saved by the Bell” reboot exists, complete with Slater, Spano, and yes, the now-governor Zack Morris. New episodes are on the way, so if you like what you see, maybe you’ll never have to leave Bayside High again.

7. “Chicago Party Aunt” Season 1 (available September 17)

CHICAGO PARTY AUNT - Rory O'Malley as Daniel and Lauren Ash as Diane Dunbrowski in CHICAGO PARTY AUNT, episode 1. Credit: Courtesy of NETFLIX/©NETFLIX 2021

“Chicago Party Aunt”

Courtesy of Netflix

Why Should I Watch? Netflix is pretty hit or miss when it comes to adult animated comedies. For every “BoJack Horseman” and “Big Mouth” there’s a “Paradise PD” and “Hoops.” “Chicago Party Aunt” stems from creators Chris Witaske, Jon Barinholtz (“MADtv”), and Katie Rich (“SNL”) and tracks Diane Dunbrowski, an aging party animal, and her college-aged nephew Daniel, when the latter moves in with the former. She learns from him, he learns from her, and a classic odd-couple story (driven by the generation gap and set in the grand city of Chicago) ensues. We’ll have to wait and see which side of the Netflix divide this one lands on, but here’s hoping the writers aim as high as Willis Tower for their good-time sitcom.

Bonus Reason: Listen, I love Chicago, so as long as the series isn’t so terrible that it disgraces the Cubs and Bears gear drawn into it — which, would have to be pretty bad, considering what both organizations have done to disgrace themselves — I’ll probably give it a go. If you feel the same way about America’s finest metropolis, then you’ll most likely follow suit. Good luck to us all.

The Rest of Incoming TV

“How to Be a Cowboy” Season 1 (available September 1)
“Turning Point: 9/11 and the War on Terror” (available September 1)
“Kid-E-Cats” Season 2 (available September 1)
“Q-Force” Season 1 (available September 2)
“Countdown: Inspiration4 Mission to Space” (available September 6)
“Untold: Breaking Point” (available September 7)
“Kid Cosmic” Season 2 (available September 7)
“The Circle” Season 3 (available September 8)
“Into the Night” Season 2 (available September 8)
“Lucifer: The Final Season” (available September 10)
“Metal Shop Masters” (available September 10)
“Pokemon Master Journeys: The Series” (available September 10)
“Jack Whitehall: Travels with My Father” Season 5 (available September 14)
“The World’s Most Amazing Vacation Rentals” Season 2 (available September 14)
“Nailed It!” Season 6 (available September 15)
“Too Hot to Handle Latino” (available September 15)
“Squid Game” (available September 17)
“Love on the Spectrum” Season 2 (available September 21)
“Jaguar” (available September 22)
“Bangkok Breaking” (available September 23)
“Blood and Water” Season 2 (available September 24)
“Ganglands” (available September 24)
“Jailbirds New Orleans” (available September 24)
“The Chestnut Man” (available September 29)
“MeatEater” Season 10, Part 1 (available September 29)
“Polly Pocket” Season 3, Part 1 (available September 29)
“Love 101” Season 2 (available September 30)
“Luna Park” (available September 30)
“Crime Stories: India Detectives” (available in September)
“Kota Factory” Season 2 (available in September)

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