Netflix Having a Very Foreign September

A TV show is a TV show, right? Well, not really. Not every original series is created the same, and that’s usually the case with foreign programming. Anyone who’s watched foreign shows and/or original series knows that foreign programming offers an amazing variety of plots, characters, and stories. Thanks to the various streaming services, American viewers like you and me are treated a host of programming from a variety of countries. Next month, Netflix will release a variety of new movies and TV series. Some of them are from a variety of other countries.

The Variety of Foreign Netflix Originals

Netflix is coming out with some original content in September. By now, this should come as no surprise; the streaming service is known for its many – some say too many – original shows. The month of September is marked with some shows from a variety of countries known for producing some great original content. Let’s take a look at September’s foreign releases:

  • Bard of Blood (season 1): This Indian tv series is based on the espionage novel of the same name. It’s first season is scheduled to be an eight-episode thriller that revolves around Kabir Anand (Emraan Hasmi), and ex-RAW agent. The series was filmed in Hindi, Urdu, and English, and it premieres on September 27.
  • Criminal (season 1): Frankly, this one seems strangely interesting. Criminal is set in a police investigation room, where a doctor confesses to a murder. Initial research suggests that only three episodes will be released on Netflix on September 20. A French, German, and Spanish version all release on the same day. Criminal stars David Tennant, Hayley Atwell, Clare-Hope Ashitey and Youssef Kerkour.
  • Skylines (season 1): This German drama series is centered upon a hip-hop producer in Frankfurt, Germany who signs onto a record label that has ties to organized crime. The series stars starring Peri Baumeister, Sahin Eryilmaz, and Edin Hasanovic, and debuts on September 27.
  • Terrace House: Tokyo 2019-2020: This is a spin-off of the Japanese reality show Tokyo 2019-2020. American viewers can watch this series beginning September 10, but Netflix Japan has been streaming this reality show since May.
  • Vagabond (season 1): This South-Korean series focuses on one person’s investigation into a mysterious plane crash that killed a man’s nephew and 199 other people. The series is supposed to be filled with plenty of mystery and intrigue. Vagabond debuts on September 19.

This is Probably a Good Idea…

…Because these foreign programs might bring something fresh and new to Netflix. And by “new,” I mean new subscribers. In July, it was reported that the streaming service provider lost $16 billion in market value as a result of losing US subscribers. It was Netflix’s first loss in US subscribers since 2011. At that time, it’s number of international subscribers grew, though not as much as Netflix had planned. The company was expecting five million global adds for the quarter, but only receiver 2.7 million.

With its investment in foreign programming, it’s possible that Netflix is playing the 80/20 rule, aka the Pareto principle. It theorizes that 80 percent of an event’s effects come from 20 percent of the causes. In business, this gets interpreted as 80 percent of a company’s results come from 20 percent of its efforts. I don’t know if all this is true or not. I’m just saying that I find it interesting that Netflix is offering what seems like more foreign programming after seeing some growth in that area. Could the execs think American audiences will appreciate successful foreign releases over American original shows?

What I’ll be Watching in September…

Unbelievable, which is an American miniseries that debuts on September 13. It follows a teenager who lied about being attacked. Her claim the subsequent police investigation that came to that conclusion. The series is based off a Pulitzer Prize-winning article, and stars Toni Collette, Merritt Wever, and Kaitlyn Dever. Does this sound interesting? If so, check out the Unbelievable trailer:

The Deuce is something else I’ll be watching next month. Yeah, I know I’m switching gears a bit by going from Netflix to HBO GO, but this column is about streaming, right? The Deuce’s third season premieres on September 9. The series gives an insider’s view to the gritty side of New York City’s streets during the late 1970s. Government and police corruption, violence, and the drug epidemic are a few of the topics covered in this HBO original series. Since this third season is also the show’s last, I predict some bittersweet binge watching going down at Casa del Buckler.

While I like Netflix, I have to admit that I’m a huge HBO fan. Since Solid Signal is an AT&T Preferred Dealers, and AT&T owns HBO, it feels like we’re all part of the same team. But that’s only part of the reason why I like HBO’s original programming. The other part is that the shows are just that good. The Deuce is one in a long line of excellent original HBO series that stretches all the way back to The Sopranos. Yes, The Deuce is ending, but I’m sure its absence will be filled with another HBO original series that’s just as good or better.

So, now you know what I’ll be watching during the ninth month of the year. What about you?