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The Best Netflix Original Series

Netflix stepped onto the entertainment scene in 1997, and they keep ruffling feathers in the entertainment industry. And in 2013, Netflix also decided to start creating their own shows. The innovative company’s first big hit was House of Cards. Since then, they’ve rolled out plenty of other original hits.

From traditional series, to documentaries – the Netflix production house is gaining more momentum by the minute! They produce some in-house. And others are co-produced in collaboration with other studios. The following is a list of the current best original Netflix series to binge watch.

American Vandal

Seasons: 2
Genres: Teen TV Shows, TV Comedies, Crime TV Shows
Age restriction: 16+
Starring: Tyler Alvarez, Griffin Gluck, Jimmy Tatro

Deadpan, raunchy, irreverent

27 cars are vandalized in a high school faculty parking lot, with crude phallic images. The school’s resident slacker and class clown is pinpointed as the perpetrator and expelled. But two other student’s decide to scrutinise the incident. A documentary-style investigation ensues, and everyone is a suspect…

The series is mockumentary, satirically poking fun of true-crime documentaries such as Making a Murderer and Serial. Focusing on the usual “Did he really do it?” angle creates a suspense-filled and binge-friendly series.

Chef’s Table

Seasons: 6 volumes
Genres: Food & Travel TV, Docuseries, US TV Shows
Age restriction: 16+

Have you ever wondered about the day-to-day responsibilities and experiences of well-known chefs? This documentary web series focuses on various successful restauranteurs and features their personal stories, mixed with culinary content.

It is presented in the traditional documentary style, which can become a bit dull at times. But the intriguing emotional backstories will offer you a greater appreciation for the world of fine dining. A few of the memorable chefs include Massimo Bottura (season 1), Dominique Crenn (season 2), and Ivan Orkin (season 3). It’s a refreshingly break from the reality show competition style cooking shows. There’s also a Chef’s Table France to explore.

The Crown

Seasons: 2
Genres: Political TV Shows, Period Pieces, British TV Shows
Age restriction: 16+
Starring: Claire Foy, John Lithgow, Matt Smith

The Crown is a high-calibre British period drama, in the league of Downton Abbey. It follows the still-reigning Queen of England, Queen Elizabeth II (91) across the various periods of her life. The series starts with her marriage to Prince Philip of Edinburgh, 1947.

The series is a big hit, with great historical accuracy. It follows an interesting format, with the role of Queen Elizabeth and other main characters recast from season to season. In the first two seasons Claire Foy portrays Queen Elizabeth, alongside Vanessa Kirby and Matt Smith (Dr. Who). Netflix confirmed that Olivia Colman (Peep Show) will be taking over in season three, with Helena Bonham Carter as Princess Margaret. Netflix wants to produce six seasons in total (60 episodes)

Daredevil

Seasons: 3
Genres: TV shows based on Comics, Crime TV Shows, TV Action & Adventure
Age restriction: 18+
Starring: Charlie Cox, Deborah Ann Woll, Elden Henson

Gritty, dark, exciting

One of many Marvel shows on Netflix. Charlie Cox in the title role creates a firm foundation for the series. It is similar to Christopher Nolan’s Batman movies, focusing on the darker side of Marvel Studios’ superheroes.

A blind vigilante dedicates his days to protect Hell’s Kitchen in New York City, as a lawyer. And at night he continues to do the same, but with a more violent edge to his protection methods. The supporting cast brings a good balance to the show. These include Deborah Ann Woll (True Blood) and Elden Henson (The Mighty Ducks). The colourful villains include Vincent D’Onofrio as deranged Kingpin, and Jon Bernthal as The Punisher. Unfortunately Netflix decided to cancel the series by season 3, as part of an attempt to reduce the number of co-produced series.

Dark

Seasons: 1
Genres: German TV Shows, TV Mysteries, TV Thrillers
Age restriction: 16+
Starring: Louis Hofmann, Oliver Masucci, Jördis Triebel

Mind-bending, chilling, ominous

This one is perfect for a serious show lover, with a dose of the dramatic. It’s a foreign-language series, in German. But it will be worth your while to follow along with the subtitles. The storyline might remind you of Stranger Things, although Dark has much darker undertones.

It’s set in Winden, a small town covered in eternal shadowy clouds. The mysteries include missing children, strange laboratories, and supernatural occurrences. This might sound like a very predictable formula, but you will be pleasantly surprised by the twists and turns. Multiple storylines are weaved together, so get ready to concentrate and follow the complicated life in a small town.

The Best Netflix Original Series

Dear White People

Seasons: 2
Genres: Social Issue TV Dramas, TV Dramas, TV Comedies
Age restriction: 16+
Starring: Logan Browning, Brandon P. Bell, DeRon Horton

Witty

In 2014 a forward-thinking young director, Justin Simien, created a film depicting the challenging dynamics in a fictional Ivy League college. Winchester University (predominantly white, with a scattering of black students) served as a blank canvas to explore issues of group and individual identities in the school’s social ecosystem.

Netflix sat up and took notice of the remarkable film, and approached Justin to expand on the concepts, fleshing it out into a series. Its second season kicked off in 2018, and the show is scheduled for a third season as well. Sam White (Logan Browning) creates a stir among the students with her outspoken radio show, called Dear White People. The director manages to tackle controversial topics in a tactful way. And the show offers different viewpoints on major issues such as identity, romance, socialization, and education.

Easy

Seasons: 3
Genres: TV Comedies, US TV Shows
Age restriction: 16+
Starring: Aubrey Plaza, Judy Greer, Jane Adams

Understated, Witty

Created by Joe Swanberg (Win It All), the series is a collection of short stories about relationship challenges in the 21st century. The short 30-minute vignettes share stories from the lives of a wide variety of people in modern day Chicago.

The cast include big names such as Orlando Bloom, Dave Franco, and Emily Ratajkowski who inhabit the complicated characters with ease. Some stories might leave you wanting more, but the relatable stories are highly entertain, albeit short. Find out how other people deal with relationship barriers, ranging from redefining gender roles to figuring out communication across language divides.

GLOW

Seasons: 2
Genres: TV Dramas, TV Comedies, US TV Shows
Age restriction: 16+
Starring: Alison Brie, Betty Gilpin, Marc Maron

Offbeat, witty, irreverent

The Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling (GLOW) wowed audiences with their wrestling skills during the mid-80s. Netflix saw the entertainment potential to create a series about the show and the behind the scenes dynamics. Two seasons are currently available, and it is renewed for a third.

A desperate actress (Alison Brie) joins a low-budget women’s wrestling program, that’s run by a dodgy director (Marc Maron). She’s joined by a crew of colourful, wacky fellow performers. Follow their journey of dealing with personal issues while attempting to create a successful show. Brie and Maron are joined by Betty Gelpin, Sydelle Noel, Britney Young, and British rocker Kate Nash. Together they create an entertaining glimpse into the strange entertainment world of ladies wrestling.

Godless

Seasons: 1 (limited series)
Genres: TV Dramas, US TV Shows
Age restriction: 16+
Starring: Jeff Daniels, Michelle Dockery, Jack O’Connell

Gritty, dark

Created by the two-time Oscar nominee, Scott Frank (Out of Sight, Logan). This Western drama miniseries racked in a handful of Primetime Emmy Award nominations for Netflix. The perfectly planned seven-episode story arc emerges you in the 1880s. In a small mining town a catastrophic mine accident kills almost all the men in the town. The women left behind must pick up the pieces and rebuilt their lives.

They are doing just fine until a mysterious stranger decides to use the town as his hideout. The gunslinger is on the run from his former mentor, a bloodthirsty leader of an outlaw gang. Jeff Daniels plays the cruel gang leader on the hunt. Michelle Dockery (Downton Abbey) and Merritt Wever (Nurse Jackie) plays a pair of pioneer women who upholds the town. The cinematography is stunning, the dialogue witty, and awesome action scenes pull it all together beautifully. Dockery, Wever, and Daniels were nominated for their performances.  Wever and Daniels both won their Emmy nominations categories.

The Haunting of Hill House

Seasons: 1
Genres: TV shows based on books, TV Mysteries, TV Dramas
Age restriction: 16+
Starring: Michiel Huisman, Carla Gugino, Timothy Hutton

Chilling, scary, suspenseful

Stephen King described this series as “close to a work of genius”. Horror film writer and director Mike Flanagan created it, who produced Ouija: Origin of Evil and Oculus. The series is an adaptation of a 1959 novel by Shirley Jackson, with the same name.

It follows the family who moves into the Hill House, dreaming about renovating it. But soon each family member has their own scary paranormal encounter, which will haunt them for years to come. And it all ends with a mysterious tragedy, that finally drives the family out of the haunted house. Get ready for timeline-hopping as you explore Hill House through each family member’s eyes and then catch up with them years later. It’s one of the best horror stories of recent years.

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