21 Netflix Original Series That Deserve All the Awards
Ever since Netflix started rolling out its own original series, it's continued to push the envelope when it comes to originality, diversity, and incredible storytelling. Whether your thing is dark comedies, supernatural thrillers, or tear-jerking dramas, Netflix has hundreds of original shows for viewers to stream and love — but naturally, some stand out among the rest. While some series have amassed millions of fans and some still fly under the radar, a handful of Netflix series are true works of art, and if you haven't watched them yet, you're totally missing out. Here are just some of the best shows that Netflix has to offer.
This insanely popular sci-fi series follows an adolescent crew living in 1980s Indiana as they discover supernatural forces, secret government threats, and a young girl with telekinetic powers. Don't be too surprised if you find yourself looking for the Demogorgon around every corner after watching this one.
Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt
In this hilariously weird series, a former mole woman, an outrageous out-of-work actor, an eccentric landlord, and a delusional divorcée bumble through dysfunctional relationships and life in New York City. The catchy theme song alone makes this show an absolute winner.
Voiced by an all-star cast of comedians that includes Nick Kroll, John Mulaney, Jessi Klein, Jason Mantzoukas, Jenny Slate, Fred Armisen, Maya Rudolph, and Jordan Peele, this raunchy animated series follows a group of teenage friends as they embark on the first stages of puberty. We doubt that you'll find a series on Netflix that's weirder or funnier than this one.
Grace & Frankie
Grace & Frankie revolves around two nemeses-turned-BFFs who both flee to their shared beach house property after their husbands leave them (for each other), and they must learn to live together, despite their very different personalities. Who knew that your soulmate might not turn out to be your husband, but your husband's lover's ex-wife instead?
Orange Is the New Black
One of Netflix's first original series (and one of its most-watched original series) ran for a wonderful seven seasons, telling the story of privileged New Yorker Piper Chapman, who was sent to a minimum-security prison due to her involvement with a drug runner 10 years earlier, as well as a gang of delightfully colorful characters. It's filled with drama, romance, and tons of hilarity, and it's an absolute must-watch for everyone.
Anyone who lives for royal family drama is going to want to tune into this epic royal drama series, as it follows the reign of Queen Elizabeth II and all the landmark events that took place during the second half of the 20th century. The Crown is so dedicated to accuracy — thanks to writer Peter Morgan — that it's difficult to remember sometimes that the cast is made up of actors rather than real royals.
Master of None
Loosely based on Aziz Ansari's real-life experiences, Master of None takes a familiar premise and makes it feel refreshingly offbeat. This show also revolves around a group of New York-based friends and their personal struggles with careers and romances, but it also portrays struggles with identity, generational differences, and sexuality that you're not as likely to find on similar series.
If you're looking for an incredible display of female badassery, then look no further than GLOW. This comedy series takes the Spandex and big hair of the '80s and combines it with the glitter and glamour of female wrestling, making for a show that is utterly original and incredibly entertaining.
This intense crime drama tells the story of the DEA's battle with Colombian drug kingpin Pablo Escobar and the Cali Cartel for its first three seasons. The series also includes a companion series focusing on drug trafficking in 1980s Mexico, following the infamous Félix Gallardo, the leader of the Guadalajara Cartel. If you loved the darker side of Breaking Bad, then you'll love learning about the origins of the modern drug war through this series.
Orange Is the New Black's Natasha Lyonne stars in this dark comedy series about a woman caught in a Groundhog Day-type loop, repeatedly attending the same party, dying, and waking up the next day unharmed. Lyonne also serves as an executive producer for the show alongside Amy Poehler and Leslye Headland, so if you have any doubt about how funny it is, you shouldn't. Netflix already announced a second season, so if you haven't watched this one yet, now is the time to catch up.
Chilling Adventures of Sabrina
This Netflix series gets the Riverdale treatment, offering a dark new twist on the original Archie comic book character Sabrina as she is forced to choose between the human world and the witch world as her 16th birthday nears. The series follows the titular Sabrina (played by Mad Men's Kiernan Shipka) as she finds herself torn between a cute warlock, Nicholas, and her mortal boyfriend, Harvey, while also trying to balance her friends, her new school, and her newly discovered darker side, and it's a wild ride.
The House of Flowers
This dark comedy follows the lives of a wealthy and dysfunctional Mexican family who owns a flower shop, and the matriarch's attempts to save face after her husband's affair (as well as all of the family's secrets) come to light. Though season two just premiered on Netflix, it's already been confirmed that we'll be getting a third season as well.
The Haunting of Hill House
Based on the 1959 Shirley Jackson novel of the same name, this supernatural horror series follows the five Crain siblings as they struggle to come to terms with their childhood, when a house flipping gone wrong left their mother dead and the children haunted. The second season of this series is going to take on Bly Manor, the house at the center of Henry James's dreary tale The Turn of the Screw, and follow a governess who is hired to care for two children at a remote estate, and we are so ready to be haunted once again.
Based around four women working at the brand-new National Telephone Company in 1920s Madrid, this series follows Lidia, Carlota, Ángeles, and Marga as they discover new talents, find their voices, and overcome their own private tragedies. Boasting incredible acting and awesome costuming, this show has flown under the radar for far too long, and since the fourth season just dropped, you have plenty of episodes to binge.
In this French-language Belgian crime drama, a police detective named Yoann Peeters moves back to his hometown after suffering through a horrible loss, only to find himself drawn into a dark new case. While everyone believes the victim to have committed suicide, Peeters believes that only he can see the death for what it really is: murder.
One Day at a Time
This clever sitcom reboot of the classic Norman Lear series revolves around a Cuban-American family following the matriarch's divorce as they navigate life's challenges together. The perfect mix of heart and laughs, this show is easy and enjoyable to binge, and it's no surprise that fans rallied for a fourth season.
In this '70s-set serial killer drama, the FBI's serial crime unit takes on some of the most prolific murderers of all time, studying their psyches and using new technology to crack cases. Cases include that of serial killer and necrophile Edmund Kemper — who murdered 10 people, including his mother and grandparent— and the horrific Atlanta Child Murders, which involved the kidnapping and murdering of at least 29 black children between 1979 and 1981. This one isn't easy to watch, but it's fascinating all the same.
This adult animated comedy follows the titular BoJack, a humanoid horse who was once the star of a '90s sitcom, but is now boozed-up, washed-up D-lister hoping to make a Hollywood comeback. With a cast of voice actors that includes Will Arnett, Amy Sedaris, Alison Brie, Paul F. Tompkins, and Aaron Paul, this series (which was the first adult animation series from Netflix) is incredibly funny and an incredibly smart look at addiction, self-destructive behavior, and the human experience.
This true crime satire revolves around amateur filmmakers Peter and Sam as they take on teenage deviants — such as the phallic-tagging prankster and the mystery "Turd Burglar" — at local high schools. It may sound totally bizarre in premise, but believe us when we say it's very smart and totally original.
Starring Jason Bateman, Laura Linney, and Julia Garner, among others, this show follows a Chicago financial adviser who is forced into money laundering in the Missouri Ozarks — and who takes his family along with him. There he forms an unexpected partnership with a 19-year-old woman from a crime-ridden family, and yes, this show totally lives up to all the hype.
In Sex Education — starring Gillian Anderson and Asa Butterfield — an inexperienced high school student, who ironically has plenty of sexual knowledge thanks to his sex therapist mother, decides to team up with a bad girl and open an underground sex therapy clinic at school. It's hilariously implausible, it's insanely raunchy, it seems to take place in a mysterious vacuum of time, and it's brilliant. The best part: Season two is already in the works.