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Best New Shows and Movies on Netflix This Week: Sex Education, Ares

Plus: Tiny houses, viral outbreaks, and ghost brides

Tim Surette

Looking for something new to watch on Netflix? Here is a list of all the best new shows and movies released on Netflix the week of Jan. 17-23.

This is the last week of new releases before Netflix is completely complicit in the downfall of society. Yep, this is the final week before Gwyneth Paltrow's The Goop Lab hawks its pseudoscience as a docuseries, bringing facial threading, "snowga," and psychic powers to the masses for a buffet of self-improvement techniques crafted by basement scientists. There's a 1,000 percent chance that you learn more about making yourself happy from this week's top pick, Season 2 of Sex Education, than Gwyneth's cult of placebo wellness. Relish it while you can.

All titles are out Friday, Jan. 17 unless otherwise noted.

If you're looking for even more hand-picked recommendations, click over to our Watch This Now! page.

The Biggest Releases

Sex Education, Season 2
Teens love to have sex! There are probably teens having sex where you are right now. But being teens, they're almost certainly fumbling around with their privates trying to figure out what goes where or how things work. This Netflix comedy with dramatic elements (a "dramedy," if you will) is set at a British high school where a student, the son of a licensed sex therapist, takes it upon himself to educate his peers on the ol' ins and outs of sexy times. The series' open approach to fornicatin' is a welcome addition to the raunch-com stylings of teen sex comedies, and its equal treatment of LGBTQ stories makes it properly woke. Season 1 was great, and Season 2 is more of the same -- but should it have grown more? That's what she said!

Ares, Season 1
How many secret societies do you belong to? Three? Seven? I belong to 12, and it's wonderful. But I might have to add one more, whatever secret society is at the heart of this Dutch thriller. Set in Amsterdam, Ares follows some college students who are admitted to a secret society (or possibly a very elaborate fraternity) where power comes at a price. I'm guessing that price is murder or some sort of blood magik ritual, but it's hard to tell from the cryptic trailer. Ceremonies witnessed by mysterious figures in hoods? Painful branding initiations? Fancy beverages? Sounds like a good time. (Trailer)

Everything Else

October Faction, Season 1

The graphic novel from Steve Niles and Damien Worm comes to life in this Netflix adaptation, which follows a couple (Tamara Taylor and J.C. MacKenzie) who moonlight as monster hunters for a secret organization. They're also parents to 17-year-old twins, and you can bet your butt that at one point the dad says that having twins is harder than any monster he's ever faced. This is one of those Canadian productions that kind of shows up out of nowhere, but there might be some fun to be had in it?

Pandemic: How to Prevent an Outbreak
That slight tickle in the back of your throat is going to kill us all, according to this intensely scary docuseries detailing how infectious outbreaks spread like wildfire. While scientists lecture you about how the entire world will succumb to a new bird flu in a matter of weeks, there's also a large part dedicated to slamming some sense into the anti-vaccination movement, which is currently playing Russian Roulette with the global population. (Trailer / Wednesday, Jan. 22)

Tiny House Nation, Season 2
Have you heard about this "tiny house" movement? People cram themselves and their whole lives into a shed and call it a house? It's supposed to be good for the environment and incredibly affordable, apparently. I applaud these people for their sacrifices, more space for me and my McMansion. (No trailer, but sleep in a closet for the same effect.)

Hip Hop Evolution, Season 4
If you thought hip hop was just "I said a hip hop, hippie to the hippie" while people roller skated, you're wrong. And an embarrassment. Hip hop has evolved! Season 4 of this docuseries looks at the rise of Southern hip hop, T.I., mixtapes, and more. (Trailer)

Nailed It! Germany, Season 1
OK, this is getting crazy now. Netflix's competition series featuring amateur bakers poorly attempting to re-create artful confections expands again, this time to Germany. Strudel collapses incoming. (Trailer)

Tyler Perry's A Fall From Grace
Tyler Perry -- who writes all his own scripts to his own detriment -- keeps churning out the content with this romance-turned-deadly thriller about an older woman who is wooed by a younger man and boy does this look stinky. (Trailer)

Family Reunion, Season 1 (continued)
The family continues to reunite in the second half of the first season of this family comedy. And people dance. (Trailer / Monday, Jan. 20)

Fortune Feimster: Sweet & Salty
Southern comedian Fortune Feimster cracks jokes about Chili's. (Trailer / Tuesday, Jan. 21)

Word Party, Season 4
Tilly the Turtle is beginning to talk, and there's suspicion that she might be a Chinese nationalist. (Trailer / Tuesday, Jan. 21)

Airplane Mode
In this Brazilian film, a social-media-obsessed teenager gets sent to stay with her grandfather where there's no cell service. A true tween horror movie. (Trailer / Thursday, Jan. 23)

The Ghost Bride, Season 1
The first Malaysian original series from Netflix is set in 1890s Malacca and features a young woman who must marry a dead guy, and then her dad almost dies by some curse, so in order to save her dad's life she must solve her dead fiancé's murder? SIGN ME UP! (Trailer / Thursday, Jan. 23)

Stop searching, start watching! TV Guide's Watch This Now! page has even more TV recommendations.

The 52 Netflix Originals You Should Be Watching

(Disclosure: TV Guide is owned CBS Interactive, a division of ViacomCBS)

Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin, Grace and Frankie

Ali Goldstein/Netflix