March is when most streaming services break out some of their biggest original programming.
House of Cards returns March 4 on Netflix, while Hulu launches its big new drama The Path — starring Breaking Bad's Aaron Paul — on March 30. Meanwhile, Amazon Prime will debut the second season of Bosch, a show you probably didn't watch last year but one Amazon insists is a hit, starting March 11.
But there are plenty of other options too. Amazon Prime is adding classic films galore, the fifth season of Louie is hitting several streaming services, and HBO Go is welcoming a very recent Oscar winner.
Here are my five top picks for newly added programming on each of the four top streaming services.
New in March on Netflix
Scarface (available March 1)
Say hello to Al Pacino's little friend, etc., etc. You already know all the best quotes from Scarface, but it is worth watching the violence-drenched crime epic just to see how they play out in the context of an over-the-top opera of criminal activity. Pacino has been better — but he's never been bigger.
Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan (available March 1)
The movie that saved an entire film franchise, Wrath of Khan is pretty universally acclaimed as the best Star Trek film to date; it's the movie that sparked the theory that even-numbered Trek movies are good and odd-numbered ones are bad. Come for William Shatner yelling, "KHAAAANNNN!"; stay for the surprisingly emotional ending.
Louie, season five (available March 4)
The shortened fifth season of FX's Louis C.K.–starring vehicle was a little looser than the show's much more serialized fourth season, but it contained some incredibly good moments, like Louie's night spent with an overly emotional cop and a season finale about the ignominies of being a comedian on the road. (Also available on Hulu and Amazon Prime.)
Netflix Presents: The Characters (available March 11)
I usually try to avoid recommending streaming original series I haven't yet seen, but the premise of this one is so weird that I can't resist. The Characters gives several different comedians (including Orange Is the New Black's Lauren Lapkus) their own TV show, and each episode is actually an episode of one of the comedians' respective shows. I'm not even sure I understand it, which is why I have to watch it.
Happy Valley, season two (available March 16)
If you haven't seen the first season of English police drama Happy Valley, which is currently available on Netflix, go watch it right now. It's the kind of darkly thoughtful, character-driven mystery show that the Brits excel at, with Sarah Lancashire giving a terrific performance as a cop who comes up against a crime that reminds her of her own daughter's death. Season two promises even more bleak brilliance.
New in March on Hulu
Capote (available March 1)
The late Philip Seymour Hoffman won his only Oscar for this film, in which he plays the author Truman Capote during the period when Capote was researching his true crime classic In Cold Blood. But the film is more than Hoffman's terrific performance. It's intelligently directed by Bennett Miller, and features lively work from Catherine Keener as Harper Lee.
Dawson's Creek and Party of Five (available March 1)
Hulu has acquired streaming rights to the Sony TV library, which means this pair of iconic '90s soaps is coming to a Roku near you. The former is the more famous of the two — thanks to its hyper-earnest teen drama and ensemble cast — but the latter, about a family of young orphans, is a better show, particularly in its first three seasons.
Dr. No (available March 1)
Hulu is adding a bunch of James Bond movies this month, so why not go back to where it all began, with the very first (and still one of the very best). Sean Connery is at peak charm in Dr. No, and though the movie has a lower budget than you'd expect (and, thus, fewer giant stunts), a surprising number of elements from the Bond template are already in place.
Camp (available March 18)
This movie about a bunch of kids at theater camp stars a young Anna Kendrick and just might be the greatest movie ever made. (Okay, that's hyperbole, but I do love this weird little flick, warts and all. Maybe you will, too!)
The Path (available March 30)
I've seen the first three episodes of this new Hulu drama, and I want to see more. Weird and mesmerizing, it follows a couple who are in a religious group that sure seems like a cult, at least from the outside. The husband (Aaron Paul) starts to think it's bunk. The wife (Michelle Monaghan) remains a believer. And Hugh Dancy plays the organization's charismatic leader!
New in March on Amazon Prime
American Psycho (available March 1)
This classic film about a cutthroat businessman in 1980s New York — who is also cutthroat in other, much more literal ways — is almost always available on one streaming service or another. But if you somehow haven't seen it yet, now's the time to experience Christian Bale at his most shark-like.
Ghostbusters (available March 1)
Prepare for the arrival of the new, female-driven Ghostbusters (which comes out this summer) by returning to the original comedy classic from the '80s. With one of the greatest comedy casts ever assembled, this movie is better than it has any right to be. (Just avoid the sequel, which is mostly dreadful.)
The Seven Year Itch (available March 1)
The great comedy director Billy Wilder made this film, which is now most famous for Marilyn Monroe standing atop a subway grate and having her dress blown upward. It's not his best film — though he made so many good films that that's not saying too much — but its portrayal of a long-married man tempted by a woman who looks like Marilyn Monroe is fun.
The End of the Tour (available March 3)
Jason Segel plays the author David Foster Wallace, while Jesse Eisenberg plays a journalist assigned to profile the writer. Though the film was met with irritation from Wallace's biggest fans, it's actually a surprisingly moving portrayal of depression and the impossibility of ever capturing another person in words.
Gattaca (available March 3)
Here's some wild, late-'90s paranoia about genetic engineering in which DNA is prophecy, setting up a class strata that is apparently rigid and unassailable. Would you believe the movie's hero attempts to assail it? It's a classic sci-fi plot.
New in March on HBO Go
Friday Night Lights (available March 1)
This very good high school football movie is now better-known for spawning the even better TV series that was based on it. But the movie, with Billy Bob Thornton as a small-town coach, is still worth watching, with gorgeous cinematography and an evocative score by rock band Explosions in the Sky.
Raising Arizona (available March 1)
The Coen brothers have made many other films since Raising Arizona. They've probably made better ones. But they haven't made a funnier one. Raising Arizona is about a criminal and the cop who falls for him, and their decision to kidnap one-fifth of a famous set of quintuplets; it's pure chaos.
Spy (available March 5)
This sleeper hit stars Melissa McCarthy as a woman who's employed by the CIA behind the scenes but has secretly always longed to work in the field. Watch it if only for Jason Statham's unlikely, hilarious performance.
A Girl in the River: The Price of Forgiveness (available March 7)
The 2016 Academy Award winner for Best Documentary Short Subject is available on HBO just a little over a week after the actual ceremony. It's about a young woman who challenges the idea of honor killing — in which a family member can kill another family member who has supposedly brought shame upon the family through their actions.