1. “Black Mirror” Season 5 (available June 5)
Why Should I Watch? At this point, what choice do you have? Between its mind-bending sci-fi stories, topicality, and aggressive advancement of the medium itself, new episodes of “Black Mirror” always dominant TV discussion for a few weeks a year. If you want to stay current with the culture (and can handle the darkness), you pretty much have to watch.
Creator Charlie Brooker’s latest season is a bit shorter than previous entires — “Bandersnatch” took up a lot of time, you guys — but the three episodes are getting a prime spotlight on Netflix: They’ve each got their own trailers, stars, and synopses, all of which you can see here. Just remember: It’s called “Black Mirror” for a reason. These are all bound to pretty… bleak.
Bonus Reason: In “Rachel, Jack and Ashley, Too” (Episode 3), Miley Cyrus plays a pop star named Ashley who’s hawked to young ladies through a miniature white robot with the singer’s voice, but its own personality.
…or is the little device actually Ashley? Either way, you’ll get to hear Miley Cyrus scream at teens to “get this cable out of my ass,” which, is pretty amusing unto itself. Enjoy the simple pleasures while they last.
Oh! And don’t miss Yahya Abdul-Mateen II in his first Netflix role since “The Get Down” ended. Since breaking out in Baz Luhrmann’s one-and-done musical series, Abdul-Mateen has racked up quite a resume, from “The Greatest Showman” and “Handmaid’s Tale” to “Us” and the upcoming “Watchmen” series on HBO. He’s one to watch.
2. “Documentary Now!” Season 3 (available June 3)
Cate Blanchett in “Documentary Now!”
Why Should I Watch? Cate Blanchett plays performance artist Marina Abramović in a spoof of Matthew Akers’ 2012 film “Marina Abramović: The Artist Is Present.” That’s it. That’s all you need to know.
Bonus Reason: Out of respect for Ms. Blanchett’s incredible talent and mass appeal, as well as what little self-respect I still carry, I shall not give another reason to watch “Documentary Now!” You have all the reasons you need.
3. “Marvel’s Jessica Jones” Season 3 (available in June)
Krysten Ritter in “Marvel’s Jessica Jones”
Why Should I Watch? As the best Marvel-Netflix series, it’s fitting “Jessica Jones” will also be the last of the Disney-owned superheroes to release a new season on the original streaming giant. Despite popular series, synergy has split the two entertainment behemoths, as Marvel will debut its own shows exclusively on Disney+, while Netflix hopes you like someone in “The Umbrella Academy” as much as you like J.J. Either way, pour one out for “Jones” by bingeing her swan song. It may be the end, but she can still go out on top.
Bonus Reason: I mean, it’s Krysten Ritter. Though the series itself has had some ups and downs, Ritter encapsulates her eponymous hero so thoroughly it’s impossible to imagine anyone else in the role. Someone else can don Daredevil’s red mask, but Ritter’s zero fucks attitude, badass fight choreography, and pained inner lining helped make her the one and only Jessica Jones. Here’s hoping the business folks can find a way to bring her back into the Marvel fold.
4. “Armistead Maupin’s Tales of the City” (available June 7)
Laura Linney and Olympia Dukakis in “Tales of the City”
Nino Munoz / Netflix
Why Should I Watch? When Mary Ann Singleton (played by Laura Linney) left her family in San Francisco to pursue a career elsewhere it was a bold, inspirational, and affecting choice. It was the mid-’70s, and when Armistead Maupin first wrote it, the decision was seen as a reflection of the second-wave feminist movement for which San Francisco was a major hub. Now, Mary Ann (still played by Laura Linney) is returning to the Bay Area, as well as her chosen family at 28 Barbary Lane, headed by Anna Madrigal (Olympia Dukakis). For the limited series sequel, showrunner Lauren Morelli is looking to stay current, break new ground, and inspire a new generation. Filled with LGBTQ characters to match its status as an iconic queer story, “Tales of the City” isn’t taking its status lightly — there’s a reason it’s dropping during Pride Month.
Bonus Reason: So what kind of updates can fans expect? For one, Anna Madrigal will be played by both Dukakis and Jen Richards, a transgender woman who will embody the transgender character in flashbacks. That’s an important step forward for onscreen representation, and Morelli isn’t stopping there. She’s also expanding the household with new young characters, and updating the narrative arc to center on current issues: Ellen Page joins the cast as Mary Ann’s daughter, Shawna, who helps Mary Ann acclimate to a new generation of queer people, and also helps her save their beloved home from destruction as San Francisco’s rapid gentrification threatens Barbary Lane.
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