Need recommendations for what to watch on streaming in September 2021? You’ve come to the right place. We have picks for different watching scenarios depending on what you’re looking for, whether it’s something to watch on a date night, with the whole family, or to talk about with your friends and coworkers.
These shows and movies are streaming on Netflix, Hulu, HBO Max, or Amazon Prime Video, and will be coming out throughout the month. We’re pretty certain you’ll find something to obsess over on this list.
The below are just a handful of the many new and returning shows and movies coming to streaming services in September. Other great titles coming online that we didn’t have room for in this roundup include Season 3 of Netflix’s hit comedy Sex Education, Season 2 of Apple TV+’s splashy drama The Morning Show, and Jon Stewart’s return to variety TV, Apple TV+’s The Problem with Jon Stewart.
Now on to our picks.
What everyone will be talking about: Impeachment: American Crime Story [FX]
Trailer | September 7
It’s been more than four years since Ryan Murphy announced this epic limited series dramatization of the Clinton-Lewinsky scandal, and after un-cancellation and controversy, it’s finally here, with Monica Lewinsky herself producing and an impossibly star-studded cast that includes Clive Owen as Bill Clinton, Edie Falco as Hillary Clinton, and Billy Eichner as Matt Drudge. The series is led by Booksmart’s Beanie Feldstein as Lewinsky and Sarah Paulson as Linda Tripp, with Paulson going all the way over the top in the juicy role. Impeachment is getting mixed reviews so far, and no one is saying it’s anywhere near as good as the first two American Crime Stories, but its combination of subject matter, cast, and scandalous nature makes it must-watch TV. You’re going to have strong feelings about it one way or the other. [UPDATE: Impeachment isn’t streaming on Hulu, due to an earlier deal that grants streaming rights to Netflix. So you’ll either have to watch it live when it airs Tuesdays at 10 p.m. on FX, or buy episodes via an on-demand streaming service such as Amazon Prime Video.]
Watch first/Watch after: Scenes From a Marriage/I’m Sorry [HBO Max]
HBO’s latest limited series Scenes From a Marriage is based on a classic miniseries of the same name by legendary Swedish filmmaker Ingmar Bergman and stars Oscar Isaac and Jessica Chastain as the married people of the couple. It captures them at pivotal moments before, during, and after their divorce. It will surely be good, and it will even more surely be depressing. So you may want to relax after tense episodes of Scenes From a Marriage with a show about married life that’s much lighter: I’m Sorry, a hilarious sitcom that’s coming to HBO Max the day after Scenes From a Marriage premieres. I’m Sorry, which ran for two underrated seasons on TruTV before being canceled due to the pandemic, is a delightfully raunchy series about a woman (creator Andrea Savage) with a great family and a successful career who just can’t stop putting her foot in her mouth with her tendency to make inappropriate jokes. Like Scenes From a Marriage, it’s a grown-up show, but it’s much, much funnier.
A hidden gem: How to Be a Cowboy [Netflix]
Trailer | September 1
Netflix doesn’t have Yellowstone, but if you search for that show on the streaming service, you might find How to Be a Cowboy instead. It’s a reality comedy series starring Dale Brisby, a charismatic young cowboy who gained a following on social media with his funny videos about life on his rural Texas ranch. He’s parlayed that into an affable Netflix series. Brisby, who’s never seen without aviator shades and often wears t-shirts from his own merch store, is ironic in his cowboy posturing (his catchphrase is “you ain’t no cowboy”), but his commitment to riding, roping, and rodeoing is sincere. This show will make you want to quit your job and get an internship at the Radiator Ranch.
Date night: The Voyeurs [Amazon Prime Video]
Trailer | September 10
Amazon is looking to revitalize the long-dormant erotic thriller genre with this twisty, scandalous late-night movie. The Voyeurs gathers a cast of hot young rising stars – Euphoria and The White Lotus’ Sydney Sweeney, Detective Pikachu’s Justice Smith, Bohemian Rhapsody’s Ben Hardy, and The Society’s Natasha Liu Bordizzo – and puts them in a love rectangle. Sweeney and Smith are a young couple who can see into their across-the-street neighbors’ apartment and all the sexy shenanigans that go on in there. Pippa (Sweeney) finds herself getting pulled into the mess across the way, drawing her toward disaster like a moth to a flame. Put this one on with your partner, break out a bottle of wine, and see where the night takes you.
Family fun: Nightbooks [Netflix]
Trailer | September 15
If you want to instill a love of horror movies in your kids, or if you want to watch a movie for the whole family that’s a teensy bit scary – not too scary, but not not scary – you should gather your brood around the Netflix campfire for Nightbooks, a kids’ horror movie starring Breaking Bad’s Krysten Ritter. It’s a clever mashup of 1001 Nights and Hansel & Gretel, where a witch (Ritter) lures children into her enchanted apartment and makes them work for her – or else. She loves, no, needs to hear scary stories, and luckily for her the latest captured kid is Alex (Winslow Fegley), who happens to be an obsessive young horror fan who writes scary stories of his own. To stay alive, Alex has to tell her a different scary story every night. Meanwhile, he and his fellow captive Yasmin (Lidya Jewett) are trying to figure out a way to escape. Nightbooks is probably too intense for younger kids, but ages 9-13 will love it.
An international find: Blood & Water [Netflix]
Trailer | September 24
This South African teen soap is returning for Season 2 this month, so now is the perfect time to check out this clever show that comes with recommendations from Gabrielle Union and Lil Nas X. The twisty drama is set at Cape Town’s most prestigious private school and follows Puleng Khumalo (Ama Qamata), who begins attending the school to get closer to Fikile Bhele (Khosi Ngema), whom she suspects might be her long-lost sister Phumelele, who was kidnapped when she was a baby. That’s the setup, and the secrets only get more scandalous from there. In Season 2, the girls know the result of their DNA test, and there are plenty more reveals on the way. If you love teen dramas like Élite and Gossip Girl, this one is one of the best around, and its setting makes it unique.