With more streaming content available than ever before, we’ve made things easier for you by hand-picking ten of the best Netflix Original Series to keep you up well past your bedtime. These are some of the streaming market leader’s best series to date.
10. Making a Murderer
Such was the popularity of this true-crime investigation into the case of a small town Wisconsin murder that it prompted a judicial review of the subjects’ incarceration. Examining every aspect of the case from the ground up, the story of Steven Avery and Brendan Dassey’s wrongful imprisonment teems with intrigue about police corruption and evidence tampering, raising the bar for production values in the true-crime genre.
A gripping dramatisation of the life of notorious Colombian drug kingpin Pablo Escobar, Narcos took a while to get going. However, now heading into its third season, Escobar’s character has emerged as frighteningly sympathetic even as the show never shies away from the monstrosity of his actions. Must-see viewing for fans of the crime genre.
8. The Get Down
Netflix’s most expensive show to date, The Get Down explores the birth of hip hop amidst the vibrancy of New York in the late 70s. Co-produced by Baz Luhrmann of Moulin Rouge! and The Great Gatsby fame, this show has his trademark epic musical numbers fuelled by a neck snapping soundtrack of funk and soul breaks. Truly a one-of-a-kind show.
7. The Crown
This sumptuous historical dramatisation of the young Queen Elizabeth II’s life oozes glamour and high production values. Excellent turns by the lead actors and an intriguing exploration of the divide between the personal and the political, this is one of the fresher explorations of the British royal family to date.
6. Marvel’s Luke Cage
There’re lots about Luke Cage that makes it stand out from the rest of Marvel’s TV Netflix offerings. A lovingly realised blaxploitation aesthetic brought the community hero’s Harlem neighbourhood to life with a score curated by noted hip-hop producers the Rza and Adrian Young. Confronting issues of race and police brutality helped ground some of the sillier mad science aspects of the plot, and it managed to avoid the midseason slump many of suffered by Netflix’s other Marvel titles.
5. Marvel’s Daredevil
The first collaboration between Marvel and Netflix had a lot riding on it. Trying to marry costumed heroics with mature storytelling was never going to be easy, but Daredevil pulled it off with aplomb. Great acting, intelligent plotting and high-calibre fight choreography brought the world of Hell’s Kitchen’s blind lawyer vigilante Matt Murdock to life on the small screen as never before, paving the way for the Jessica Jones, Luke Cage and Iron Fist shows that followed.
4. Bojack Horseman
At first glance, Bojack Horseman seems like another in a long line of jaded adult animation dipped in stoner humour. As the show proceeds, however, it’s clear we’re dealing with a very different animal (sorry). Sharply satirical, manically-paced and surprisingly poignant, what emerges is as smart and well observed a meditation on depression and fame as you’re likely to find on television today.
3. Stranger Things
Harking back to all things the 80s, Stranger Things plays like a blend of Stephen King novels, Close Encounters/E.T.-era Spielberg and old-school chillers, whilst featuring some of the finest child acting of recent years. The synth-heavy vaporwave-style soundtrack also gained a broad swath of admirers.
2. Orange Is The New Black
Maybe the most quintessentially Netflix show of all, the women’s prison drama has certainly proved to be its most popular. Jumping from character to character, the show explores its protagonists’ incarceration with a mixture of drama and humour, where the tone can go from slapstick laughs to emotional gut-punches on the turn of a sixpence. Whatever the formula is, it’s working, with the show currently renewed up to the seventh season.
1. House of Cards
Netflix’s first original in-house drama helped put the streaming service on the map as a creative force. Loosely taking its premise from the 1990 British original, the show revolves around Kevin Spacey’s murderously ambitious congressman Frank Underwood and the lengths he’ll go to for power. Frenetically written and tensely paced, the show plays out as an addictive hybrid of The West Wing and The Sopranos, all anchored by Spacey’s hypnotic performance.
What’s your favorite Netflix Original Series? Let us know in the comments or on social media!