3 Netflix shows we can’t wait to see in May 2024

Three people stand in the countryside in Bodkin.

Netflix killed it in April. From artsy thrillers like Ripley to supernatural fare like Dead Boy Detectives to the stalker drama Baby Reindeer, the streamer produced enough original content to justify its ever-increasing subscription rates …  for now, at least.

Netflix‘s May programming slate doesn’t appear to be as packed as April, but there are a few shows on our radar that are worth checking out. There’s a big-budget adaptation of an acclaimed novel, a low-key comic mystery set on the Emerald Isle coast, and a show about a man and his puppet on a quest to find a missing child.

A Man in Full (May 2)

A woman walks behind a man in A Man in Full.

He may not be in fashion right now, but there was a time when author Tom Wolfe was all the rage. His novels about America’s upper class, particularly The Bonfire of the Vanities, captured the imagination of critics and readers worldwide, and his thoughts on capitalism, race, sex, democracy, and the role of personal politics in everyday life made his books attractive to Hollywood. His acclaimed 1998 novel, A Man in Full, is finally being adapted by Netflix, and it should satisfy both fans of Wolfe and those who love a nice, juicy miniseries.

The show pivots aground Charlie Crocker (Jeff Daniels), a prominent member of Atlanta’s high society and real estate tycoon who is defending his personal and professional interests from ruin. Those vultures circling Charlie’s increasingly vulnerable empire include his wife, Martha (Diane Lane), and deceptive co-worker Ray Peepgrass (Tom Pelphrey), both of whom give Charlie nothing but headaches. Throw in a scandal involving an heiress and a famous athlete, sexual misconduct allegations, and the threat of a citywide race riot, and you have yourself a recipe for one of Netflix’s most memorable dramas of the year.

Bodkin (May 9)

Two men look at each other in Bodkin.

It’s never not a good time to watch a mystery series set in a bucolic coastal town. It’s even better when it’s set in Ireland, where those lush green hills hide all sorts of beauty — and dark secrets. Fortunately, Netflix has a new show that will scratch that rural thriller itch with Bodkin, a seven-episode limited series that stars Saturday Night Live vet Will Forte plus a gaggle of the U.K. television industry’s finest character actors like Siobhán Cullen and David Wilmot.

When three strangers go missing in a small town on the coast of Ireland, a ragtag band of podcasters, led by Forte’s Gilbert, descend on the town to investigate … and make some money in the process. But when they begin to uncover secrets that implicate the whole town, they soon discover that it’s hard to separate what is real and what is imagined. Bodkin sounds a bit like X-Files, but with a dark, comic twist. It also could be Netflix’s next surprise streaming success like Baby Reindeer, only without the severe emotional trauma. (We think.)

Eric (May 30)

A man and a boy sit on a subway train in Eric.

New York City in the ’70s and ’80s is often romanticized as being a wild, unruly place where graffiti adorned everything and rules were broken almost by the minute. It’s this time and place that Eric, a new six-part limited series starring Doctor Strange actor Benedict Cumberbatch, takes place in, and which serves as one of the chief reasons why you should watch it.

Cumberbatch stars as Vincent, a down-on-his-luck puppeteer who cares for his 9-year-old son, Edgar. When Edgar suddenly disappears, Vincent becomes obsessed with finding him, and turns to the only things that he thinks can help him: Eric, his 7-foot-tall puppet. Yes, it’s that kind of show, but this blend of realism (you really believe you’re in NYC before it was cleaned up in the ’90s) and absurdity (how many large puppets do you talk to on a daily basis?) is what makes Eric so interesting. The quality of the show has yet to be determined, but by the premise alone, Eric is sure to be memorable.