Netflix: 10 of the best new shows and films to watch in April

Ma Anand Sheela is back; more true crime, and the transformative power of clothes

Worn Stories

April 1st
In an almost reversal of the Marie Kondo Method, Worn Stories asks why we are attached to certain items of clothing, the ones that we just cannot bear to bin. Based on journalist Emily Spivack's best selling book, Worn Stories unpicks the psychology behind the clothes we love, from the sartorial sentimentality of family heirlooms to the pieces that have our own personal history stitched into them. Interviewing a diverse selection of contributors including space-bound astronauts and glitter encrusted drag queens, the eight-part series explores the transformative power of clothes, how they shape our independence, contribute to our confidence and communicate our personality to the world.

The Wedding Coach

April 7th
From Say I Do to the recent Marriage or Mortgage, Netflix has seemingly cornered the niche market of nuptial entertainment. The Wedding Coach sees comedian Jamie Lee come to the aid of couples who are suffering from the pressure of planning the perfect wedding. Accompanied by a "plus one" from the comedy world, Lee attempts to refocus the attention of the couple on their relationship rather than the impossibly dreamy but ultimately unobtainable image of the immaculate Instagram wedding. The undue stress of the wedding industry with its mason jars, sweet stations and signature cocktail bars is such a pre-Covid concern that the show is almost fantastical in whisking viewers back to a time of elaborate celebration that feels positively decadent.

This Is a Robbery : The World’s Biggest Art Heist

April 7th
This sprawling four-part true crime documentary recounts the story of the break-in at Boston's Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in 1990 that saw thirteen priceless works of art stolen. Paintings by Rembrandt, Vermeer and Degas were included in the cache with the robbery remaining unsolved. What may have initially seemed like a glamorous Thomas Crown Affair escapade devolves into a familiar story of organised crime and inevitable brutality and bloodshed. Director Colin Barnicle examines the densely layered case that investigators believe includes the involvement of several crime families from the Italian mob to connections with the IRA. An international whodunnit This Is A Robbery is an intricate etching of the criminal underworld and those who believe they are as immortal and untouchable as the purloined masterpieces.

Why Did You Kill Me?

April 16th
Why Did You Kill Me? is the latest true crime offering from Netflix that details the death of Crystal Theobald. After her daughter is murdered in a gang related hit, Crystal's mother Belinda Lane vows to bring those responsible to justice and ends up on a dark, decade-long journey through cyberspace hunting her daughter's killers. The documentary endeavours to unravel the complexities of the anonymity of social media and the blurring of the desire for justice and vigilante behaviour that can ricochet through families leading to fatal consequences. As Belinda travels through the subterranean life of her daughter, the documentary not only uncovers the young girl's murderers but also tries to piece together who Crystal was.

Why Are You Like This

April 16th
Taking its cue from Lena Dunham's Girls and with shades of the broad socio-political elements of the Bold Type, Australian millennial dramedy Why Are You Like This follows a trio of friends who are navigating the dizzying whirl of life in their twenties. Mia, Austin and Penny deal with everything from misogynistic co-workers to complicated dating protocols putting their friendship to the test and questioning their faith, sexuality and social conscience along the way. Breezy and more farcical than its contemporaries, Why Are You Like This may not have the edge of Dunham's series or the insight and subtlety of underrated Norwegian show Young and Promising but its irrepressible zesty spirit captures the thrill of making youthful mistakes.


April 21st
Zero is a new kind of superhero origin tale. Set in the suburbs of Milan it tells the story of a shy young teen Omar (Giuseppe Dave Seke) whose social "invisibility" turns into a literal superpower where he can slip through the streets unnoticed and view people at their most unguarded. When he discovers that his neighbourhood is under threat from a criminal gang intent on destroying the community, Omar/Zero teams up with a new group of friends determined to defend their home. With Zero, writer Antonio Dikele Distefano is pushing the superhero genre into his own milieu, combining the reality of his upbringing as a second-generation Italian and the freedom of the fantasy realm to create a contemporary capeless crusader.

Searching for Sheela

April 22nd
2018's Wild Wild Country, the documentary that uncovered the story of the guru Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh and his devotees infiltration into the Oregon desert is the gold standard of the dubious Netflix docu-series genre. Compelling and brilliantly astute, the Way brothers film sensitively depicted the followers' dreams of Utopia and the controversial teachings of the guru. As the community stretched the small towns tolerance, conflict arose inside and outside of the group – as well as accusations of bioterror, mass druggings and arms stockpiling.

The true star of the series was  Ma Anand Sheela, the fearless forthright spokeswoman for the guru who attracted her own disciples and eventually fled the compound and the authorities to safety in Europe. Searching for Sheela is a follow-up of sorts, detailing Sheela’s life in Switzerland after the Rajneesh movement and documenting her return to India.

Shadow and Bone

April 23rd
Shadow and Bone is Netflix's current attempt to seize the imagination of the cloak and dragon fans. Another serving of fantasy fare, the series is based on Leigh Bardugo's worldwide bestselling Grishaverse novels. The typically convoluted plot revolves around orphaned mapmaker Alina Starkov (Jessie Mei Li) who discovers she has an extraordinary power that may, when harnessed, be able to solve the problems of her war-torn homeland. As Alina trains to be a soldier she also tries to learn more about her new found abilities that come to the attention of the charismatic General Kirigan (Ben Barnes). Meanwhile, dark forces are awaiting to manipulate her as she is thrown into a world of deceit and paranoia where her allies may be revealed to be her enemies.

Headspace: Guide to Sleep

April 28th
The team up between the mindfulness organisation and Netflix continues with their helpful and much needed Guide to Sleep. As with the Headspace Guide to Meditation this is a seven part animated series, it looks at our relationship with rest and covers subjects such as insomnia, anxiety, sleeping pills and the omnipresent blue light of technology while providing methods to promote a healthier sleep cycle.

The Innocent

April 30th
This splashy Spanish crime drama is the fourth Harlan Coben adaptation by the streaming giant. Following on from the success of Safe, the frankly bonkers British version of The Stranger and last year's chilling Polish retelling of The Woods comes The Innocent, another puzzling thriller destined to infuriate viewers. The Innocent sees Mateo (Mario Casas) readjusting to life in the outside world after being imprisoned for almost a decade. His idyllic domesticity with pregnant wife Olivia (Aura Garrido) is disrupted by a shocking phone call that pulls Mateo back into a nightmare that threatens to destroy the happiness he has fought for.

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