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5 hidden gems on Netflix you have to watch in August

It’s August, and Netflix has begun to add its latest batch of classic and original properties to its digital library. From exciting new releases like Heartstopper season 2 and the live-action version of One Piece to already-beloved hits like Paddington and Despicable Me, there is a lot of content for streamers to immerse themselves in the last full month of this sweltering summer.

While they have the time this month, audiences should sit down and watch these five gems that they might have missed surfing through Netflix.

Bee Movie (2007)

Barry Benson in "Bee Movie."
DreamWorks / DreamWorks

You can’t go wrong with a comedy helmed by Jerry Seinfeld. In this underrated DreamWorks hit, a young bee, wary about his future, decides to leave his hive and explore the outside world, where he meets a human woman and decides to sue humanity for taking and selling bee honey.

This strange movie may have become a joke in itself, thanks to the memes on social media. However, there are so many hilarious and quotable moments that have made it one of DreamWorks’ most unique animated films. After just one viewing, audiences will have its jokes buzzing around in their heads to the point that they’ll have to watch it again and again.

The Big Short (2015)

Steve Carell and three other men in "The Big Short."
Paramount Pictures / Paramount Pictures

The Big Short follows a group of economic experts as they react to the impending financial crisis in the late 2000s after one of them predicts the infamous housing market crash years in advance. If this description is already losing the reader, please wait.

Despite its complicated premise, this film takes a subject as boring and confusing as economics and narrows it down to a hilarious and thought-provoking comedy that anyone can invest themselves in. And with its all-star cast (which includes a surprise cameo from Barbie actress Margot Robbie) and terrific writing, this movie zeroes in on how a greedy and corrupt system has and continues to destroy millions upon millions of lives worldwide under the shroud of its own complexity.

Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (1986)

The main cast of "Ferris Bueller's Day Off."
Paramount Pictures / Paramount Pictures

“Life moves pretty fast; if you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.” These are the words Ferris Bueller lives by every day, and the incredible adventure he has with his friends is something streamers don’t want to miss. After faking an illness to skip school, Ferris, his girlfriend, and his best pal borrow a Ferrari and enjoy their day to the fullest while trying to keep their game of hooky a secret (though Ferris doesn’t do a particularly good job with the latter).

Pretty much every scene in this John Hughes masterpiece has been referenced and parodied throughout pop culture, so pretty much everyone has become familiar with it. Nevertheless, audiences will never get tired of watching the antics Ferris and his crew get into on the streets of Chicago. And with Principal Rooney bumbling around Ferris’s yard, there is no shortage of moments that will keep viewers watching.

Coming to America (1988)

Arsenio Hall and Eddie Murphy in Coming to America."
Paramount Pictures / Paramount Pictures

This cult classic follows an African prince who moves to America to escape an arranged marriage and live a modest life, hoping to find a woman who can love him for who he is and not for his royalty. In this fish out of water story, Eddie Murphy makes an enormous splash playing the wide-eyed Akeem (amongst other roles) as he tries to assimilate into the rough and tough kingdom of Queens working at McDowell’s (not McDonald’s).

And with it featuring Arsenio Hall, Shari Headley, John Amos, James Earl Jones, and Samuel L. Jackson, this film still reigns supreme as a charming and uproarious fairy tale and a crowning achievement in ’80s comedy.

Ugly Betty (2006-2010)

Betty Suarez in "Ugly Betty."

With America Ferrera on the rise for her standout performance in Greta Gerwig’s Barbie, audiences can now look back on the revolutionary TV show that made her a household name. This underrated series follows the titular woman as she scores a job at a prestigious fashion magazine, despite not being considered fashionable herself. Though she finds herself working in a toxic and challenging environment, Betty soon wins the hearts of her coworkers with her quirky and kindhearted energy. Basically, it’s Ted Lasso but for clothes.

Though it received quite a lot of fanfare for its witty and progressive narrative, the show was shockingly canceled during its fourth season, leading to widespread hopes for a reboot or movie. Ugly Betty may not get the revival that fans have hoped to see. But after seeing how Suits experienced a massive resurgence after dropping onto Netflix, chances are that this show will hit the platform’s Top 10 really soon.

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Anthony Orlando
Anthony Orlando is a writer/director from Oradell, NJ. He spent four years at Lafayette College, graduating CUM LAUDE with a…
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