From Waco: American Apocalypse to Gunther’s Millions, Pamela, a love story, and Madoff: The Monster of Wall Street, Netflix has already given us a slew of fantastic documentary releases this year — and the first quarter isn’t even over yet. I have to say, maybe it’s a function of getting older, but the more time that passes (not to mention the more I cover the streaming giant’s endless supply of new releases), I find myself more drawn to its documentaries like these, as opposed to new TV series that may or may not make it beyond a season or two. And I don’t see that changing anytime soon.
In fact, I’ll even go so far as to say: If you’ve only got limited time and a limited amount of information to go on, what I’ve found is I almost always feel more satisfied after having taken a risk on a Netflix documentary compared to a new series or feature film. Of course, different strokes, right?
New Netflix documentaries
For now, the two Netflix documentary titles we’ll take a closer look at below include one release coming next week, and then another that’s hitting the streamer in April. Coincidentally, both also have a tie to the coronavirus pandemic.
Longest Third Date
That’s especially the case for Longest Third Date, a documentary coming on April 18 in which a couple — Khani Le and Matt Robertson — meet on the dating app Hinge and, as the title suggests, decide to do something spontaneous and crazy for their third date.
The pair decides to fly to Costa Rica, which had all the makings of quite an adventure already — and fate decided to add one more complicating factor to the mix.
They arrived in March of 2020, not knowing … well, that they would be staying a while, thanks to COVID-related lockdowns that made it impossible to leave for an extended period of time. “The documentary details the true story of two strangers’ journey to love during unprecedented times — a multi-month date that puts their compatibility to the ultimate test,” Netflix explains about the documentary.
“Edited and produced from the extensive footage aspiring vlogger Matt captured during their experience, the film captures everything from the shock of both realizing they’d be stranded in Costa Rica, to quarantine cooking, to impromptu dance parties and having to explain their circumstances with family and loved ones back home.”
As for this next Netflix documentary, meanwhile, it’s coming even sooner — next week, in fact.
The 8-episode Netflix docuseries Emergency: NYC, which comes from the creators of Netflix’s Lenox Hill, introduces viewers to doctors, nurses, and EMTs across several hospitals in Manhattan, Queens, and Long Island — including at Lenox Hill Downtown, Lenox Hill Hospital, North Shore University Hospital, Cohen Children’s Medical Center and the SkyHealth helicopter service in Long Island.
There are 2.7 million emergency medical calls every year in New York City, the docuseries explains at one point, and the aim here is to present the human stories behind a selection of those calls — including the stories of victims frantically wheeled into emergency rooms as well as of the first responders and doctors racing to save their lives.
“At the height of the COVID-19 pandemic in New York City,” Netflix explains about the upcoming series (coming on March 29), “hospitals were overwhelmed by an influx of patients they oftentimes didn’t even have room for. As COVID-related emergencies lessened, however, trauma doctors were faced with a different wave of patients: Those whose conditions worsened while they were stuck at home, and those who became victims of violent crimes, which increased after COVID restrictions were lifted.”