On a recent podcast, we talked about what makes a “Netflix Original” and listed the Netflix series we think you should watch. As a follow up to that podcast, we present our list of the 24 Best Netflix Originals of All Time. (Well, at least as of April 2019!)
These best Netflix originals are in no particular order, and loosely organized by genre.
Sci-Fi (ish) & Scary
- Stranger Things: After the mysterious and sudden vanishing of a young boy, the people of a small town begin to uncover secrets of a government lab, portals to another world, and sinister monsters. This is the top Netflix original we think you MUST WATCH. Go. Watch it now.
- Black Mirror: Set in the near future, this anthology series explores the unintended consequences of technology. It’s amazing, intriguing and thought-provoking.
- The Haunting of Hill House: Flashing between past and present, a fractured family confronts haunting memories of their old home and the terrifying events that drove them from it. It’s got scary moments, but it’s also a beautiful story about grief and trauma.
- Lost in Space: The Robinson family is selected to colonize the Alpha Centauri star system. Before they reach their destination, alien robots attack and they, along with many others, are forced to crash on a nearby planet. This is a great family-friendly show.
- Ozark: The quiet suburban life of Marty Byrde and his family are disrupted when his longstanding but honest money laundering scheme goes awry. This show is all about the trickle down effect of making a small decision with large consequences. Another show you MUST SEE, we’ve devoted a whole podcast to it.
- Daredevil: A blind lawyer by day, vigilante superhero by night. Matt Murdock fights the crime of New York as Daredevil. Any Marvel fan will enjoy this series and its excellent characters. This show also has five related shows: Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, Iron Fist, Defenders, and The Punisher. This post will help you figure out the correct order to watch the Marvel Netflix series.
- Jessica Jones: Jessica is a reluctant superhero working as a private detective. Just as good as Daredevil, this show is serious, sarcastic, and addresses issues such as rape, assault and PTSD. It has a cast of fantastic supporting characters, including the fabulous David Tennant, that sometimes steal the show.
- After Life: After Tony’s wife dies unexpectedly, his nice-guy persona is altered into an impulsive, devil-may-care attitude taking his old world by storm. Written, directed, and starring Ricky Gervais. We can not say enough good things about this show.
- Umbrella Academy: A disbanded group of adopted siblings with special powers reunites after their father, who trained them to save the world, dies. Give this series a chance, it really ramps up about halfway through and the payoff is worth it.
- Alias Grace: This show fictionalizes the notorious 1843 murders of Thomas Kinnear and his housekeeper Nancy Montgomery in Canada West. Two servants of the Kinnear household, Grace Marks and James McDermott, were convicted of the crime. This is just one season and tells an incredibly good story.
- You: A brilliant bookstore manager uses the internet and social media to gather intimate details and get close to the woman of his dreams. It quickly becomes an obsession as he quietly and strategically removes every obstacle – and person – in his way. It’s trashy and sexy, but sometimes you need a little bit of that in your life.
- The Crown: This series tells the story of Queen Elizabeth II as a 25-year-old newlywed faced with the daunting prospect of leading the world’s most famous monarchy while forging a relationship Prime Minister Winston Churchill. It’s a fascinating look behind the public facade of the monarchy.
- House of Cards: The first ever Netflix original is still a very compelling watch if you enjoy political drama.
- Orange is the New Black: Another ground-breaking Netflix original, this series centers around inmates in a women’s prison.
- The OA: Having gone missing seven years ago, the previously blind Prairie returns home, now in her twenties with her sight restored. While many believe she is a miracle, others worry that she could be dangerous. This show is another of our absolute favorites. Here’s a recap of Part 1.
- Dark: Gritty and, well, dark, this show is set in a German town where the disappearance of two young children exposes the relationships among four families. This show is a labyrinth of time and family relationships. You may need a flow chart. It’s German, so watch it dubbed.
- Russian Doll: A comedy-drama about Nadia, a woman who dies over and over and keeps returning to the night of her 36th birthday party. But it’s way more clever, dark, and edgy than its Groundhog Day-like premise would suggest. It delivers plot twists and gut-punches as it explores mortality, grief, redemption, and forgiveness.
- Making a Murderer: The story of Steven Avery, who served 18 years in prison for the wrongful conviction of sexual assault and attempted murder of Penny Beerntsen. He was released, then subsequently convicted in 2007 for the murder of Teresa Halbach.
- The Keepers: The story of the unsolved murder of nun Sister Cathy Cesnik, who taught English and drama at Baltimore’s Archbishop Keough High School. Her former students believed that there was a cover-up by authorities after Cesnik suspected that a priest at the school was guilty of sexual abusing students.
- The Staircase: This documentary covers the trial and further developments of the the case of Michael Peterson, convicted of murdering his wife, Kathleen Peterson.
- Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt: After being rescued from a doomsday cult and underground bunker in which she lived the past fifteen years, Kimmy Schmidt moves to New York City to have a normal life. The first couple seasons of this show are hilarious, but the later seasons wane.
- Atypical: Sam, an 18-year-old on the autism spectrum, decides it’s time to find a girlfriend, a journey that sets Sam’s mom on her own life-changing path as her son seeks more independence. Great acting and heartwarming, yet funny, moments in this series.
- Santa Clarita Diet: Joel and Sheila Hammond are everyday suburban real estate agents until Sheila has a physical transformation into a zombie and starts craving human flesh. This show is a fresh take on the “zombie” genre. And with no apocalypse.
- Grace & Frankie: Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin star as Grace and Frankie, two women whose lives are turned upside down when their husbands announce they are in love with each other and want to get married. Great cast and lots of funny moments.