Sometimes instead of committing 2 hours to a film, we enjoy sitting down with a good show that gives us those built in breaks where we can get up and move around. Netflix has TONS of incredible programming, and while some are marketed well and everyone gets to watching them (Strangers Things, House of Cards, Orange is the New Black, etc), there are a lot of shows that don’t get the love they deserve. These are not by any means my favorite series on Netflix, and none of the shows mentioned will be ones that began on other networks (i.e. Black Mirror, Lucifer, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt). The purpose of this list is to offer 10 shows that fall under very different genres so to give a recommendation that works for you no matter what your viewing interests are.
1. The Toys That Made Us
This is particularly marketed towards children of the 80’s and 90’s as it is a docuseries about toys that range from Barbie to Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles to Star Wars to My Little Pony. It is an absolutely fascinating series that speaks to the cultural impacts of all of these toys. There are currently 12 episodes that are all roughly 45-minutes each, and they make for very easy, yet informative, watching. It is rated TV-14 so it is for the most part family friendly. Once you’re done with this series, The Movies That Made Us is equally as good, but seeing as it has episodes about movies such as Die Hard, it is rated TV-MA.
2. The Circle
I will be the first to tell you that reality TV that doesn’t involve cooking is the cesspool of television. However, my roommates put this on three nights ago, and it hooked me. Basic premise is people are isolated and the only interaction they have with other contestants is through “social media” and at the end of each day, they have to vote a contestant out. The twist is that there are planted catfish in the group. It is hard to explain why it is good, or even if it is, but it is super addictive and entertaining: definitely better than The Bachelor/Bachelorette. Rated TV-MA. If you want something that is more family friendly or is a cooking reality show, Nailed It! is a great option.
3. The Dragon Prince
Netflix’s original children’s programming is incredible. Between Trollhunters, She-Ra, and Voltron: Legendary Defender, there was so much that I could focus on, but I decided on the show with a 100% rating on RottenTomatoes. This show is a computer animated fantasy show that offers a fantastic story, mostly clever humor, and great characters. This is a wonderful show that you won’t feel bad about having your kids watch and will not feel isolated because it is a “kid show”. An incredible show that is truly for everyone. Rated TV-Y7.
4. The Umbrella Academy
Taking the comic book recommendation slot, this show is based on a series by Dark Horse Comics. There’s the obvious Marvel options (Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Punisher), but this is a series I feel like gets lost in the shuffle. Obviously, there is a huge crowd and fanbase for this show already, but not nearly as many people have seen it as say Series of Unfortunate Events or Stranger Things. This is a fantastic show and I hope everyone gives it a shot. Rated TV-14.
5. Big Mouth
People love their raunchy animated comedies, but a lot of people haven’t given this one a shot due to the odd art style and uncomfortable subject matter. In short, this is a show about middle-schoolers going through puberty, and yes, this show addresses EVERYTHING. It is hilarious, but not for the prude. If you are fans of shows such as South Park or Bojack Horseman, you need to watch this show. Rated TV-MA.
6. The Haunting of Hill House
This is a great first season to what is to become a horror anthology series. All of the actors and actresses are fantastic and the story has fantastic turns. There are tons of great creepy and horror moments within each episode and at the end of the day, a great show to curl up and watch. Second season is scheduled to come out later this year, so be sure to catch up before then.
7. Queer Eye
I know the main theme of these suggestions are shows that people haven’t seen, but this show is too incredible. Every episode is full of so much love and heart. This show revives my faith in humanity every time I sit down and watch. If you are looking for a show to make you feel happy during these dark times, please watch this incredible show. Rated TV-14.
8. The Crown
This is an incredible British show that chronicles the life of Queen Elizabeth II from the 1940’s to present day. It is a beautiful watch with fantastic dialogue and pacing. It takes so many intriguing things and absolutely draws you in. It is almost always in Emmy conversations, so if you haven’t gotten around to it, now is the perfect time. Rated TV-MA
9. Russian Doll
This is an incredible edgy comedy that is an amazing mix of hilarious, terrifying, and moving. Basic premise is a woman has to struggle with the intricacies of life while constantly reliving the same day and dying at the end over and over again. This is an amazing comedy with an amazing lead performance by Natasha Lyonne. Rated TV-MA
10. The Witcher
Based on a best-selling book series that has spawned video games, tabletop games, anime, and comics, The Witcher is an incredible adaptation. While it may seem like the Netflix version of HBO’s Game of Thrones, the two are not alike in any way. This series is entirely original from everything else on television and ushers in a amazing fantasy world for a brand new audience. Netflix is poised to make this their new Stranger Things once the final season of the latter comes out later this year. The Witcher is incredible and everyone (within the suitable audience range) needs to watch it. Rated TV-MA.