This week in Netflix streaming releases kicks off today with the premiere of a new Netflix original series, the police procedural “Happy Valley.” Set in England, the show stars Sarah Lancashire as Sergeant Catherine Cawood, who investigates a kidnapping while juggling life and work. Following in the tradition of “Fargo” and “True Detective,” “Happy Valley” uses the mystery to spin off into other interesting areas. The show’s first season lasts six episodes.
“Happy Valley” isn’t the only Netflix Original offering this week. “BoJack Horseman” is Netflix’s first animated series for adults. Will Arnett voices the titular character, a horse who also happens to be a former sitcom star. Amy Sedaris, Paul F. Tompkins, Aaron Paul and Alison Brie also voice characters on the show, which helps expand Netflix’s ever-growing slate of bold original programming. The show premieres August 22.
The original Netflix shows premiering may be the highlights of the week, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t more great films and television programs coming to the service. August 25 brings a pair of television shows: Season 1 of “Being Mary Jane,” starring Gabrielle Union, and the fifth season of the acclaimed NBC drama-comedy “Parenthood,” starring Peter Krause, Lauren Graham, Dax Shepard, Jason Ritter and many more.
August 26 brings a pair of movie premieres: the 2004 sequel “Barbershop 2: Back in Business,” which brings back the cast of the first “Barbershop” for more follicular hijinks, as well as the 2012 indie drama “The Motel Life,” starring Emile Hirsch and Stephen Dorff as a pair of down-on-their-luck brothers whose luck only manages to get worse and worse. Dakota Fanning and Kris Kristofferson also star.
August 28 brings “The Protector 2,” the sequel to one of the most acclaimed martial arts films in recent memory. The amazing Tony Jaa returns to dispense his own acrobatic brand of justice against elephant poachers.
View photos of the cast of “Happy Valley” and “BoJack Horseman” in the slideshow above. More details on this week's releases is below:
Happy Valley: Season 1 (Netflix Original)
Yorkshire police sergeant Catherine Cawood pursues the man who assaulted her late daughter, unaware he is now part of a secret kidnapping plot.
BoJack Horseman: Season 1 (Netflix Original)
In a Hollywood where humans and animal-people coexist, the half-man, half-horse Bojack Horseman struggles to figure out what do with the rest of his life following a showbiz career that peaked early then burned out, leaving him a fallen star.
Being Mary Jane: Season 1
Gabrielle Union, Lisa Vidal, Margaret Avery, Omari Hardwick, Latarsha Rose, Aaron D. Spears, B.J. Britt
Rich and glamorous news anchor Mary Jane Paul juggles work, friends, relationships, and family as she searches for "Mr. Right."
Parenthood: Season 5
Four grown siblings juggle parenthood, relationships, careers and more as they cope with life's ups and downs in this family drama set in Berkeley, Calif. Meanwhile, their parents face an unraveling marriage and their own parenting challenges.
Barbershop 2: Back in Business (2004)
Ice Cube, Cedric the Entertainer, Sean Patrick Thomas, Eve, Michael Ealy, Leonard Earl Howze, Harry Lennix, Robert Wisdom, Queen Latifah, Troy Garity
Barbershop owner Calvin finds his mom-and-pop business -- which serves as a roosting place for the neighborhood's barber-chair philosophers -- threatened when a glitzy, high-class hair salon opens across the street in this comic sequel.
The Motel Life (2012)
Emile Hirsch, Stephen Dorff, Dakota Fanning, Kris Kristofferson, Joshua Leonard, Noah Harpster
In this affecting indie drama, two luckless brothers -- inseparable because of a pledge they made to their dying mother -- are forced to take it on the lam after one of them is involved in a fatal hit-and-run accident.
The Protector 2 (2014)
Tony Jaa, JeeJa Yanin, Dan Chupong, Kazu Patrick Tang, Marrese Crump, RZA, Petchtai Wongkamlao
In this action-packed sequel, martial arts expert Kham wages new battles with animal poachers who work for an organization planning to use his beloved elephant Khon as part of a plot to carry out a coup d'état.