Despite numerous setbacks over the years, Netflix is still the king of streamers. Its content is pretty hit or miss, but when it scores, it scores big, with mega hits like Stranger Things, Bridgerton, and Wednesday breaking the internet and reshaping the pop culture landscape. Few, if any, streamers have the same television clout as Netflix, which still reigns supreme when it comes to genre-pushing television content.
Not all Netflix shows can reach Money Heist levels of success, and that’s okay. That doesn’t mean they’re any less good or worthy of finding an audience. Indeed, Netflix has several hidden gems among its impressive catalog that should be getting more attention from viewers. These overlooked shows are great, whether because of their premise, cast, production values, or a combination of everything. And while some might no longer be producing new episodes, they remain a highly recommended watch, especially for those viewers who are always on the lookout for new and entertaining content.
Alias Grace (2017)
Based on Margaret Atwood’s 1996 novel of the same name, Alias Grace follows Grace Marks, a young woman accused and convicted of the murder of her employer and his housekeeper. Sarah Gadon stars as Grace, leading an ensemble including Edward Holcroft, Zachary Levi, and Oscar-winner Anna Paquin.
Alias Grace is a gripping, addictive six-episode mini-series that viewers will surely binge-watch in one sitting. With impressive production values and a layered performance by a never-better Gadon, the show is a faithful adaptation of Atwood’s novel. The fact that it’s based on a real-life story only increases the show’s must-watch value, especially for fans of true-crime and period pieces.
Dear White People (2017-2021)
Logan Browning stars in Dear White People, a television adaptation of the 2014 eponymous film starring Tessa Thompson. The plot centers on several students attending the fictional Ivy League Winchester University and dealing with race dynamics during their day-to-day lives.
Blending real-life pressing issues with a touch of comedy, Dear White People is an insightful and clever look at modern race relations. Despite its often humorous approach, the show doesn’t evade or make light of the tough questions it poses. However, it exploits the absurdity in these timely situations, thanks to a sharp and biting screenplay that refuses to settle for simple answers.
Johnny Flynn shines in the British sitcom Lovesick. The show follows Dylan, a hopeless romantic with a messy love life, who must contact his many previous sexual partners after being diagnosed with chlamydia. Future seasons would continue dealing with Dylan’s love life while focusing on his dynamic with his two closest friends, Evie and Luke.
What Lovesick lacks in originality, it makes up for in charm. An insightful, witty look at modern relationships and love, the show is among the most relatable pieces of television, especially for older millennials. Elevated by Flynn’s delightful performance and featuring a genuinely clever and refreshingly down-to-earth approach, Lovesick is the perfect romance show on Netflix for those seeking a classic love story with a twist.
Feel Good (2020-2021)
Feel Good is based on the experiences of writer, creator, and star Mae Martin. The show presents a fictionalized version of Martin, a struggling stand-up comedian, and her blossoming romance with George, a repressed English woman reluctant to come out of the closet. Charlotte Ritchie co-stars as George, with Friends icon and Emmy-winner Lisa Kudrow as Linda, Mae’s mother.
Praised for its honest approach and sharp writing, Feel Good received acclaim from critics. Martin honestly and deftly navigates thorny issues like drug addiction and PTSD with a decidedly humorous tone, resulting in a comedy that remains funny without sacrificing its teeth. Elevated by Kudrow’s biting and scene-stealing performance, Feel Good might not always be an easy watch, but it’s surely a worthy one.
When it comes to comedy, no one does it like Phoebe Waller-Bridge, and Crashing is the perfect example. Created by, written, and starring Waller-Bridge alongside an ensemble including Jonathan Bailey and Damien Molony, the show follows a dysfunctional group of English twenty-somethings living together as property guardians of a run-down hospital.
Crashing has many elements fans have come to expect of a Waller-Bridge show: hilarious absurdist comedy, razor-sharp dialog, and a group of over-the-top performances that balance hilarity with genuine emotional weight. The result is an often ridiculous but ridiculously entertaining sitcom that ranks among Netflix’s best comedies and further cements Waller-Bridge as a once-in-a-generation talent.
Seven Seconds (2018)
Regina King won her third Primetime Emmy Award for the underrated drama Seven Seconds. The show centers on the consequences of an accident where a Narcotics detective runs over and injures a Black teenager. Although he covers it up with the help of his fellow police officers, complications follow as racial tensions increase.
Seven Seconds is a powerful exploration of racial dynamics in the modern-day USA. Featuring an impressive cast and a timely, if discomforting, plot, the show is a vital watch that ranks as one of Netflix’s best original shows. It pulls no punches in its portrayal of racial issues, to its detriment, but Seven Seconds remains a compelling show for fans of deep and thought-provoking dramas.
Blood Of Zeus (2020-Present)
Adult animation is experiencing a moment; indeed, we might be living in its golden age, and Blood of Zeus is among the prime examples. The show heavily uses several elements from Greek mythology and centers on Heron, a demigod son of Zeus, as he struggles to save Earth and Olympus from powerful dark forces.
Featuring impressive animation and an overabundance of the many iconic elements that make Greek mythology such a timeless source of inspiration, Blood of Zeus is an epic and thrilling ride. The show benefits from its ambitious action set pieces and a cast of stellar voice actors but soars on its willingness to explore adult themes with a refreshingly unrestrained approach.
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