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Painkiller, Zombieverse, and More of the Best Netflix Releases in August 2023

These are the can't-miss series hitting the streamer next month.
  • Contestants Ro Hong-chul, Yiombi Patricia, Lee Si-young, and DinDin in Zombieverse. (Photo: Netflix)
    Contestants Ro Hong-chul, Yiombi Patricia, Lee Si-young, and DinDin in Zombieverse. (Photo: Netflix)

    Netflix is ending summer with a bang, rolling out more than 51 new titles in the month of August. Steamy romances, over-the-top reality shows, ripped-from-the-headlines stories — there’s a little bit of everything premiering on the streamer this month. Among the new titles are some highly anticipated series, like Season 2 of Heartstopper and the manga-inspired epic One Piece (which received an honorable mention for our trailer of the week), plus some other returning favorites and lesser-known series that are still worth your attention. Here are eight must-see shows premiering on Netflix in August.

    The Big Nailed It Baking Challenge (August 4)

    Over the course of seven seasons, Nailed It! hosts Nicole Byer and Jacques Torres have had more questionable baked goods than any regular person could handle. But this spin-off will grant them a reprieve — eventually. Instead of simply letting the worst of the worst try their best at some creative baking challenges, The Big Nailed It Baking Challenge attempts to turn 10 amateur bakers into pros. Two experts, Robert Lucas and Erin Jeanne McDowell, guide the contestants through basic baking practices to prepare them for each challenge. The last baker standing wins $100,000.

    Fatal Seduction, Volume 2 (August 4)

    The first half of this South African erotic thriller from Steven Pillemer (The Brave Ones) premiered in July, ending on a cliffhanger. Now the series is back, with Nandi (Kgomotso Christopher) and Jacob (Prince Grootboom) picking up their torrid affair right where it left off. The series follows Nandi, who cheats on her husband only because she thinks he cheated on her first. It’s a decision that ends with the murder of her best friend, and Nandi getting wrapped up in the dark secrets surrounding the investigation. At the end of Volume 1, Nandi made a discovery that changes everything, and in Volume 2 she returns to her husband to get to the bottom of her friend’s death.

    Zombieverse (August 8)

    How would you really fare during a zombie apocalypse? It’s easy enough to create a plan of attack while watching a fictional show, but this South Korean unscripted series puts contestants right in the middle of a zombie attack to test their ability to survive. A group of 10 people must make it through a series of challenges in a version of Seoul filled with actors playing the undead and plenty of special effects mimicking the city’s complete destruction. Along the way they must decide if they have a better chance of making it out as a group or alone — or if they just should just accept their fate and join the world of the undead.

    Ladies First: A Story of Women in Hip-Hop (August 9)

    This four-part docuseries looks back on 50 years of hip-hop, highlighting the women who have shaped the genre from the very beginning. Each episode dives into female artists’ influence on not only the music, but the cultural, racial, and political movements surrounding the genre, highlighting early performers like Queen Latifah, MC Lyte, and Sha-Rock alongside the next generation of superstars like Latto, Saweetie, and Tierra Whack.

    Painkiller (August 10)

    The Sackler family is at the center of yet another series, after Hulu’s Dopesick and HBO’s The Crime of the Century; this time, Matthew Broderick stars as Purdue Pharma head Richard Sackler. Micah Fitzerman-Blue and Noah Harpster (the writing team behind the film A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood) use Barry Meier’s book Pain Killer: An Empire of Deceit and the Origin of America’s Opioid Epidemic as the roadmap for the fictionalized series, offering a new take on a subject that’s gotten both the dramatization and documentary treatment in recent years.

    At Home With the Furys (August 16)

    In April 2022, heavyweight boxing champion Tyson Fury retired from the ring, supposedly for good — this reality show started as a documentation of his life as a family man after deciding to leave boxing behind. But it becomes clear that he can’t stay away when the world’s strongest man challenges him to one more fight. The result is a series following him balancing life as a husband, father, and his inescapable reputation as one of the best fighters in the world.

    Mask Girl (August 18)

    This Korean dark comedy, based on a web comic of the same name, starts with a simple premise: a woman who is insecure about her looks dons a mask to become “Mask Girl,” a popular streaming personality. But the spirited trailer shows that her double life comes with a side of murder, violence, and mystery.

    The Ultimatum: Marry or Move On Season 2 (August 23)

    Netflix’s social experiment is back, this time with five new couples (all straight ones this time) deciding whether they should get married, date someone new, or leave single. Once again, the pairs appear on the show because one person in the relationship delivered an ultimatum. Each person then spends three weeks in a trial marriage with someone else before returning to their original partner and deciding their fate for good. Expect plenty of tears, surprise pairings, and perhaps a Lachey or two along the way.

    Look for more promising premieres from Netflix and other programmers in our monthly preview, running on July 31. You can check out a complete list of Netflix’s comings and goings here.

    Brianna Wellen is a TV Reporter at Primetimer who became obsessed with television when her parents let her stay up late to watch E.R. 

    TOPICS: Netflix, At Home with the Furys, The Big Nailed It Baking Challenge, Fatal Seduction, Ladies First: A Story of Women in Hip-Hop, Mask Girl, Painkiller, The Ultimatum: Marry or Move On, Zombieverse