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Taylor Swift, ‘3 Body Problem,’ ‘Shōgun’ highlight a blockbuster March for streaming

From ‘Road House’ to March Madness, here’s what’s worth streaming this month Big names, big budgets and big events are on tap for March’s streaming calendar.

However you look at it — from Kate Winslet’s steely glare to Jake Gyllenhaal’s ripped abs; from Netflix’s $160 million series “3 Body Problem” to Apple’s $200 million movie “Napoleon”; or from “Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour” to March Madness — it’s a blockbuster month.

But streaming price have soared of late, making things a bit more challenging for consumers who don’t want to miss out on the best stuff. That’s where a strategy of churning — that is, adding and dropping services month to month — comes in. It takes some planning, but pays off in monthly savings. Keep in mind that a billing cycle starts when you sign up, not necessarily at the beginning of the month.

Also read: Amid ‘streamflation,’ consumers are spending more on TV streaming than ever

Each month, this column offers tips on how to maximize your streaming and your budget — rating the major services as “play,” “pause” or “stop,” similar to investment analysts’ traditional ratings of buy, hold or sell — and picks the best shows to help you make your monthly decisions.

Here’s a look at what’s coming to the various streaming services in March 2024, and what’s really worth the monthly subscription fee:

Netflix ($6.99 a month for basic with ads, $15.49 standard with no ads, $22.99 premium with no ads) A hugely expensive, sprawling and fantastical story spanning continents and generations, based on a beloved book series and helmed by David Benioff and D.B. Weiss — what could go wrong?

Fans of “3 Body Problem” (March 21), based on Liu Cixin’s acclaimed sci-fi trilogy, surely will hope for a better ending, at least, than Benioff & Weiss’s last big hit — “Game of Thrones.” The good news: These books are already written, so there’s a clear end to the story (which turned out to be the downfall of “Game of Thrones”). The bad news: The books span galaxies and centuries — there’s A LOT to cover. Summarizing the expansive plot is pointless, but suffice to say Earth makes contact with aliens and things don’t go well. While offering thought-provoking and chilling examinations of existential crisis, the books are light on character development (there’s much room for Benioff & Weiss to work their magic there), and the first one — which this season is based upon — is the densest and arguably the weakest of the three. It’s wildly ambitious storytelling on an epic scale — each of its eight episodes reportedly cost about $20 million, making it one of Netflix’s most expensive series ever. I have no idea how they’re going to pull it off. But the same was said about “Game of Thrones.” { height:0; position:relative; padding-bottom:56.25%; } > iframe { position: absolute; left: 0; top: 0; width: 100%; height: 100%; } Netflix NFLX, +2.72% also has Season 7 of the delightful food/travel show “Somebody Feed Phil” (March 1), with stops in Kyoto, Iceland, Dubai and more; more real-estate drama with Season 2 of “Buying Beverly Hills” (March 22); and director Guy Ritchie’s “The Gentlemen” (March 7), a series sequel to his movie of the same name tells the story of a man (Theo James) who inherits an estate in the English countryside, only to discover it’s part of a huge cannabis empire as he gets sucked into the world of gangsters.

On the movie side, there’s “Spaceman” (March 1), a sci-fi drama starring Adam Sandler as an astronaut struggling with his marriage back on Earth who makes a new best friend in a space spider named Hanus (voice of Paul Dano); Lindsay Lohan has the Ireland-set rom-com “Irish Wish” (March 15); Regina King stars as trailblazing Rep. Shirley Chisholm in the biopic “Shirley” (March 21); and there’s a French-language remake of “The Wages of Fear” (March 29), the classic 1953 suspense film about a group of men transporting an explosive cargo across dangerous terrain.