If you’re mining for gold or diamonds, you’re bound to dig up a lot of rocks and dirt along the way. This could not be truer for Netflix. In our search for our next favorite binge, the journey is often filled with endlessly slogging through the ‘dirt’ and seeing as we’re crossing off shows to watch just about every week, we need refills. All. The. Time. Luckily for you, we have even more dos and don’ts when it comes to shows for you. Here is another guide of Netflix originals ranked from worst to best.
The choice can be overwhelming for some, so we’ve had a dig around to show you some underrated gems as well as some of the most popular shows available, to help you decide what to binge-watch next.
Haters Back Off! (WORST)
Seasons: 2 seasons, 16 episodes.
Starring: Colleen Ballinger, Angela Kinsey, Steve Little, Francesca Reale, and Erik Stocklin.
Description: Haters Back Off! centers around a young girl called Miranda Sings, who is desperate to become a huge YouTube star, and doesn’t care who she tramples on the way up. Unfortunately, she lacks the talent required to be a hit singer, but is clueless and purely interested in self-promotion. As Netflix put it, “… a commentary on society today and our fascination with fame.”
Why it's a stinker: Well, it looks like the haters won this time. This snooze fest of a series was cancelled after two seasons, but only after it breathed life into a cringe-worthy star. Haters Back Off! is a lackluster series that fails to translate the viral success of Miranda Sings's deluded and outlandish personality.
Seasons: 2 seasons, 120 episodes.
Starring: Chelsea Handler
Description: The talk show, which isn’t Chelsea Handler’s first, airs three times a week on Netflix and covers social and political topics from a global perspective, as well as interviewing celebrity guests. Despite some of the heavy discussion points, Chelsea tries to inject some of her humor into the show.
Why it’s a stinker: Chelsea has a specific type of humor that brings up feelings of love and hate at the same time. Unfortunately, this doesn’t translate when dealing with issues of a global scale, which are often politically or socially sensitive. It was announced that Netflix would not be renewing the show for a third season.
Seasons: 2 seasons, 16 episodes.
Starring: Gérard Depardieu, Benoît Magimel, Géraldine Pailhas, and Nadia Farès.
Description: The story focuses on the Mayor of the charming port city of Marseille. After 20 years in power, he and his former protege are at odds over when he will hand over the reins. There are plenty of challenges for the Mayor, as he deals with corruption, crime, and drug lords.
Why it’s a stinker: Despite being the first French-language series to be released internationally on Netflix, it was canceled after two seasons. It received a very negative reception in France, where critics felt it was dated and cliche. The response to the series was more positive outside of France, but there was still the feeling of it being an average series.
Seasons: 2 seasons, 12 episodes.
Starring: Jennette McCurdy, Jesse Carere, and Jim Watson.
Description: Between is set in a town called Pretty Lake, where a deadly disease kills anyone older than 22. This strange phenomenon causes the city to be quarantined, and so the inhabitants are left to their own devices. The show brings up a number of themes, including the desire for trapped people to escape, social power vacuums when a town is left to its own devices, and what happens when you leave young people in charge of a community.
Why it’s a stinker: Between received pretty lukewarm reviews, with critics describing it as “lacking depth and tension.” The acting is sub-par, except for McCurdy, and the character development is poor. You do not feel connected to the story, and it lacks that hook that will make you want to watch the next episode.
Real Rob (WORST)
Seasons: 2 seasons, 16 episodes.
Starring: Rob Schneider, Jamie Lissow, and Miranda Scarlett Schneider.
Description: The Real Rob is somewhere between a sitcom and a reality show, where all the cast plays themselves, but the script is written by Rob Schneider and follows the everyday happenings in his professional and personal life.
Why it’s a stinker: We are not sure how this series survived its first season, let alone its third. If you love Rob Schneider, then you’ll probably enjoy this for what it is. So, unless you have an unusual interest in his life, we suggest watching something else.
Seasons: 2 seasons, 14 episodes.
Starring: Will Arnett, David Sullivan, Heather Graham, Kirstie Alley, and Ruth Kearney.
Description: Flaked is about a guy called Chip, who is a recovering alcoholic and, supposedly, a self-help guru. Trying to stay one step ahead of the game, Chip gets himself into all kinds of situations, including falling for a girl. The catch here is that someone is already in love with her, and he happens to be Chip’s best friend.
Why it’s a stinker: Flaked was produced by Will Arnett, who created the series alongside Mitch Hurwitz, best known for his hit show Arrested Development. However, Flaked did not receive the same reception, despite the collective genius of these two minds. Flaked benefits from an all-star cast, but this didn’t rescue it from being a complete flop. Something doesn’t translate onto the screen and, unfortunately, we have to agree with the critic who called it “dull and pointless.”
The Rain (WORST)
Seasons: 2 seasons, 14 episodes.
Starring: Alba August, Lucas Lynggaard Tønnesen, Mikkel Følsgaard, Jessica Dinnage, and Angela Bundalovic
Description:The Rain is about a brother and sister who emerge out of a bunker six years after apocalyptic rains, which carry a deadly virus, cause most of the population of Scandinavia to be wiped out. The siblings leave the bunker in search of their father, who was a scientist, and left the bunker but never came back. Along the way, they meet other survivors, and together they go in search of a safe place as well as the sibling's father, who they hope has found a cure to the virus.
Why it’s a stinker: A post-apocalyptic drama is not an original concept, and although the barren wastelands of Scandinavia provide a beautiful backdrop for the series, the storyline itself is severely lacking. There are convoluted plot twists which are hard to believe, and there is weak character development. All in all, The Rain is rather forgettable, so we say, don’t waste your time on it.
Anne with an E (WORST)
Seasons: 3 seasons, 27 episodes.
Starring: Amybeth McNulty, Geraldine James, R.H. Thomson, Dalila Bela, Lucas Jade Zumann, and Aymeric Jett Montaz
Description: Based on the book, Anne of Green Gables, written in 1908, Anne with an E tells the story of a young girl who is adopted by brother and sister, Matthew and Marilla Cuthbert. They had thought they were adopting a boy, but upon arrival at the train station, they are presented with Anne, who is full of personality and boundless energy. After some initial problems, including the disappearance of Marilla’s brooch and Anne running away, they decide to reconcile, and Anne begins to settle into life with the Cuthberts.
Why it’s a stinker: Anne of Green Gables is a children’s classic, and unfortunately, this series does not do it justice. There is some lovely cinematography and staging, but the script doesn’t do anything to enhance the show, and is, in fact, quite dull. This show is more likely to put you to sleep than keep you on the edge of your seat, so sadly it’s a thumbs down. You’re better off reading the book!
Marco Polo (WORST)
Seasons: 2 seasons, 20 episodes.
Starring: Lorenzo Richelmy, Benedict Wong, Zhu Zhu, Olivia Cheng, and Tom Wu.
Description: Marco Polo is a historical drama based on his early years in the court of Kublai Khan, who was the Khagen of the Mongol Empire and created a famous dynasty called the Yuan who ruled from 1271 – 1368. The drama follows the life of Benedict Wong, who was the Kublai Khan. The story explores a world of war and greed.
Why it’s a stinker: The series was produced by the Weinstein company, so the cinematography and costumes are excellent. But this is not enough to mask the poor script and weak character development. The makers were trying to create another epic fantasy story, but instead ended up with a stale version of what already existed.
Seasons: 2 seasons, 20 episodes.
Starring: Kathy Bates, Chris Redd, Elizabeth Alderfer, Dougie Baldwin, and Tone Bell.
Description: Disjointed tells the story of pot activist,Ruth Whitefeather Feldman, played by Kathy Bates. She employs her newly graduated son and a group of his friends to come and run a medical marijuana dispensary for her. Unsurprisingly, Ruth enjoys some recreational smoking too, and so the show has a chilled-out vibe.
Why it’s a stinker: The plot line isn’t clever, and the humor is pretty average with lots of obvious jokes and references to “sticking it to the man.” Kathy Bates carries the show, but her talent is wasted on a series like this.
'Wet Hot American Summer: Ten Years Later' (WORST)
Seasons: 1 season, 8 episodes.
Starring: In addition to the returning cast, the show stars Adam Scott, Alyssa Milano, Jai Courtney, Melanie Lynskey, Anne-Marie Johnson, Joshua Malina, and Dax Shepard.
Description: The series brings the gang back together after 10 years. It is set both at camp and in New York City. During the reunion, it's clear how much they have all changed, and how much love still exists between them all. Beth announces her intention to sell Camp Firewood, and the group goes about trying to stop her through a set of mischievous tricks and antics.
Why it’s a stinker: Whereas part of us feel like this is a nice conclusion to a great story, there is another part which says its always better to finish things on a high. Wet Hot American Summer: Ten Years Later leaves things on a bit of a low point. They don’t have all of the original cast, the jokes are stale, and there is no effort concerning plot or continuity. This is just an opportunity to see the same thing again, but with people wearing 90s outfits.
Seasons: 1 season, 10 episodes.
Starring: Naomi Watts, Billy Crudup, Sophie Cookson, Lucy Boynton, Melanie Liburd, and Karl Glusman.
Description: This is a psychological thriller in which Jean Holloway, played by Naomi Watts, is a psychologist who develops dangerous relationships by secretly infiltrating the lives of her patients. Finding herself completely entangled, Jean starts to behave more erratically as she tries to separate herself from this web of deception, struggling to differentiate between fantasy and reality.
Why it’s a stinker: The show was not renewed after its first season and received weak reviews overall. This was partly due to the fact that its title, Gypsy, can be used as a derogatory term for many Romani people. The cast was strong, but they seem to be dragged through this somewhat clunky storyline which never really takes flight.
She's Gotta Have It (WORST)
Seasons: 2 seasons, 19 episodes.
Starring: DeWanda Wise, Anthony Ramos, Lyriq Bent, Celo Anthony, and Chyna Layne
Description: The series is based on Spike Lee’s iconic book of the same name, which follows the story of a young woman in Brooklyn trying to juggle family, career, life, and love. Love itself seems enough to handle, as she tries to navigate three open relationships with Jamie, Mars, and Greer. Each has his own traits and characteristics, and despite her wanting to embrace this level of sexual freedom, it’s the men who struggle to accept her independence.
Why it’s a stinker: Anything written and directed by Spike Lee has the potential for greatness, but this new version doesn’t deliver on the original. However, it does a good job in capturing Brooklyn’s unique character. Bringing this story up-to-date is a tricky task, and despite not fulfilling its promise, the show was renewed for a second season. Let’s see if that one is any better than the first.
Hemlock Grove (WORST)
Seasons: 3 seasons, 33 episodes.
Starring: Bill Skarsgård, Famke Janssen, Landon Liboiron, Penelope Mitchell, and Freya Tingley.
Description: Hemlock Grove is a fictional town in Pennsylvania where strange things seem to happen. Peter Rumancek arrives in the town and befriends Roman Godfrey, heir to the town’s wealthiest family. Together they set about trying to solve some brutal murders that have recently taken place. The two must work together and shed light on these cases while keeping their own secrets in the dark. The show was produced by horror master, Eli Roth.
Why it’s a stinker: The premise for Hemlock Grove may not be original, but it had enough intrigue to ensure the first season was a hit. Later seasons suffered from a disjointed storyline and lack of consistent pace. The cast was a pleasant mix of familiar and new faces, and there was plenty of horror and gore to keep the viewer on edge. However, seasons 2 and 3 felt very stop-start and as a result, received some poor reviews. The show was not renewed after its third season.
Seasons: 1 season, 13 episodes.
Starring: Britt Robertson, Ellie Reed, Johnny Simmons, Alphonso McAuley, and Dean Norris.
Description: Girlboss is based on Sophia Amoruso’s autobiography, which tells the story of how she launched her own fashion business while working at the San Francisco Academy of Art University as a campus safety host. Sophia, who has plenty of personal issues, learns how to run her own fashion business as she goes along, with all the challenges you might expect along the way.
Why it’s a stinker: The show feels like it’s trying too hard. Sophia may come across like she doesn’t care what people think of her, but in reality, she cares a great deal. She is right to care, as she is representing her brand and its identity, which are not well portrayed in this series. There is an abundance of sex and profanity, so it’s not something you may want to show a young girl as a model of inspiration for women in business. Something just doesn’t add up, and for that reason, it was canceled after its first season. A rare misfire for Netflix.
The Ranch (WORST)
Seasons: 4 seasons, 80 episodes.
Starring: Ashton Kutcher, Danny Masterson, Sam Elliott, and Debra Winger.
Description: The Ranch is set in a fictional town in Colorado called Garrison, and tells the story of a dysfunctional family, the Bennetts, living on a ranch called Iron River. The family consists of two brothers, their father and his estranged wife. Colt Bennett, played by Kutcher, returns to the Ranch after a fifteen-year absence to try out for a semi-pro football team and decides to stick around to help his father and brother out on the ranch.
Why it’s a stinker: Despite its award-winning cast, we fear The Ranch won’t win any awards at all. The humor is weak, as is the character development. It is pretty easy viewing, as it doesn’t demand much thinking, but then it doesn’t give much either. Not something you need to put on your must-see list.
Fuller House (WORST)
Seasons: 5 seasons, 67 episodes.
Starring: Candace Cameron-Bure, Jodie Sweetin, Andrea Barber, Soni Nicole Bringas, Elias Harger, and Michael Campion.
Description: The original version of Full House aired between 1987 and 1995, and was based on the story of a young widow who raises his three young daughters with the help of his brother-in-law, Jesse and his best friend, Joey. Set in the same house, the new series is a continuation of the same story. It will all feel very familiar, using the same kind of humor and storylines that leave you feeling nostalgic for the original. The Tanner family’s adventures aren’t over just yet. Now, DJ, one of the young daughters, is fully grown and running the Tanner-Fuller household, along with sisters Stephanie and Kimmy at her side. Mom jokes, corny learning lessons, and a whole lot of group hugs are a staple on Fuller House.
Why it’s lukewarm: It is precisely this sense of nostalgia that pulls it through, as opposed to any original plot lines or incredibly witty dialogue. It has that same old sense of feel-good fun, but we don’t expect it to be winning awards anytime soon. We also think it’s a shame that Mary-Kate and Ashley didn’t return to reprise the role of Michelle, which they shared as children.
The Punisher (WORST)
Seasons: 2 seasons, 26 episodes. A second season is due to be released in January 2019.
Starring: Jon Bernthal, Ebon Moss-Bachrach, Ben Barnes, Amber Rose Revah, and Jason R. Moore.
Description: The Punisher follows the story of a Marvel character called Frank Castle, a former marine who goes around New York taking revenge on those responsible for the death of his family. Along the way, Frank uncovers a much larger conspiracy against him and his family, and begins to get mixed up in all kinds of dangerous military activities.
Why it’s a stinker: The premise for the Punisher is not a bad one, but it feels as though there isn’t quite enough of a storyline to stretch it to the 13 episodes that were produced. The show would have been much better off condensing the content into six episodes with a faster pace. The show could have quite literally packed a punch.
Iron Fist (WORST)
Seasons: 2 seasons, 23 episodes.
Starring: Finn Jones, Jessica Henwick, Jessica Stroup, Rosario Dawson, Tom Pelphrey, and David Wenham.
Description: Part of the Marvel series, Iron Fist is based around the character of Danny Reid, who had been presumed dead for the last 15 years. When he miraculously reappears, he is given the power of an iron fist. Danny is then trained to become a warrior by monks and is sent back to reclaim the last 15 years of his life and fulfill his destiny as a Marvel superhero.
Why it’s a stinker: Iron Fist does not have the same magical pull as other Marvel shows and suffers from a lack of character development. The show needs some serious rewriting and editing, because so far it lacks cohesiveness, and doesn’t seem to know where it's headed.
Seasons: 2 season, 22 episodes.
Starring: Debby Ryan, Dallas Roberts, Christopher Gorham, Alyssa Milano, Michael Ian Black, and Christine Taylor
Description: The main character in the show is a girl named Patty, or Fatty Patty, as she used to be called in school. Fed up on being picked on and fat shamed, Patty decides to get her mouth wired shut, so she is unable to eat properly, resulting in her losing lots of weight. Her new appearance makes her the most popular girl in school and Patty decides to use this against all those who were so cruel in the past. She enters a beauty pageant as part of her journey for revenge and sets in motion a number of chaotic incidents.
Why it’s a stinker: Insatiable has the opportunity to address fat shaming and body issues in a sensitive and meaningful way. Yet, somehow, it has managed to take the low road, discussing body image issues through a shallow and immature perspective. It’s one of those shows that you wish never existed and definitely shouldn’t show to young and impressionable kids who will think being skinny is the only way to make friends.
Dad Stop Embarrassing Me (WORST)
Seasons: 1 season, 8 episodes. Starring: Jamie Foxx, David Alan Grier, Kyla-Drew, Porscha Coleman, Jonathan Kite, and, Heather Hemmens. Dad Stop Embarrassing Me is a comedy streaming series, and although it was created by Jamie Foxx, it was a huge disappointment and lasted just one season. It's about a dad, who welcomed his teen daughter to live with him with all of life's obstacles it brings with it.
Why it’s a stinker: This is basically a 1985 daytime sitcom in a 21st-century disguise. We are not sure what causes the fall; if it's a bad script or a lacking of potential, one thing is for sure, after watching this you kind of forget Jamie Foxx is a comedian.
Seasons: 3 seasons, 18 episodes. Starring: Jason Momoa, Greg Bryk, Kyle M. Hamilton, Alun Armstrong, Landon Liboiron, Zoe Boyle, Jessica Matten, Christian McKay, Evan Jonigkeit, and, Shawn Doyle. Frontier is a historical Canadian drama taking place between the late 16th century and early 17th century. It chronicles the days of fur trading between America and Canada and deals with corruption and illegal trade.
Why it’s a stinker: One of the few things good about this series is Jason Momoa, and not because of his great acting skills. It's like a bland avocado with no salt or lemon juice. This series has all the best ingredients, however, no one on board has any clue how to season the story, how to spice things up, and turn it into a great show.
The 7 Lives of Lea (WORST)
Seasons: 1 season, 7 episodes. Starring: Raïka Hazanavicius, and, Khalil Ben Gharbia. The 7 Lives of Lea is a French fictional drama. Lea attends an outdoor party and discovers a dead body. The following day she wakes up 30 years prior to this incident, with the same soul but in a different body. The series follows Lea in several personalities and in different realities.
Why it’s a stinker: The storyline is too complicated to follow. It revolves mainly around depression and has its share of violent scenes that don't contribute to the plot.
Resident Evil (WORST)
Seasons: 1 season, 8 episodes. Starring: Ella Balinska, Tamara Smart, Siena Agudong, Adeline Rudolph, Paola Núñez, and, Lance Reddick. If you were around in the 1990s and were a lover of video games, you are most likely familiar with the name Resident Evel. The Netflix production is based on the video game story spread between two timelines. It tells the story of a pair of twins, one of which experiences a dramatic twist in life.
Why it’s a stinker: Resident Evil is one of those shows you want someone to quietly remove from the TV schedule and pretend it never happened. There are Mickey Mouse episodes with a better storyline than this. How did Netflix manage to ruin something that already existed and wasn't as bad to begin with?
Hype House (WORST)
Seasons: 1 season, 8 episodes. Starring: Chase Hudson, Nikita Dragun, Thomas Petrou, Larri Merritt, Mia Hayward, Alex Warren, Jack Wright, Kouvr Annon, and, Vinnie Hacker. Hype House features the lives of the famous content creators of Tik Tok. The show was lacking interest by the viewers, who even threatened to disconnect their Netflix accounts following the release of the show.
Why it’s a stinker: Isn't threatening to disconnect an account, enough? I mean, how much clearer does Netflix need its viewers to be? The show manages to showcase the young and the rich content creators of LA, as being miserable, depressed, and boring.
Chasing Cameron (WORST)
Seasons: 1 season, 10 episodes. Starring: Cameron Dallas. This show focuses on Cameron Dallas, a social media influencer and a member of the group called Magcon (Meet and greet convention). The show covers Cameron's road to fame and the uncompromising price he has to pay.
Why it’s a stinker: This show is supposed to be suited for teens, however, there are no educational topics covered at all, not to mention signs of the sort of adults we want our teens to grow up into. The only thing this reality coverage gives is more screen time for Cameron.
Richie Rich (WORST)
Seasons: 2 seasons, 21 episodes. Starring: Jake Brennan, Brooke Wexler, Kiff VandenHeuvel, Lauren, Taylor, Joshua Carlon, and, Jenna Ortega. Richie Rich was created by DreamWorks Animation for a Netflix production. Richie develops a way of growing clean energy vegetables and ends up making loads of dollars. Basically, it's a show that emphasizes why underaged children should be handed loads of money.
Why it’s a stinker: It's supposed to be inspired by the comic character of the same name, however, there is no resemblance whatsoever between the 1953 character and this 2015 interpretation. Besides, teaching kids that you can become a billionaire just by selling vegetables you don't eat is not really educational. Parents spend days upon days trying to convince their kids to eat their greens.
Seasons: 1 season, 10 episodes. Starring (voiced by): Jake Johnson, Ron Funches, Cleo King, Natasha Leggero, A. D. Miles, and, Rob Riggle. Hoops is an adult-only animated comedy series that, unsurprisingly, lasted for only one season. It featured the life of a high school basketball coach who believes he can change the path of his life through his own team by pushing them into the big league.
Why it’s a stinker: First and for all, the language. Just because the show is intended for adults, it doesn't necessarily mean Ben Hopkins, the basketball coach, can have a vocabulary that consists only of dirty words. The graphics of the show are nothing to be proud of and resemble many other animated shows seen before. Because the show was canceled after just one season, the writers, assuming a second season would follow, never bothered changing the end and the viewers are left on a cliffhanger.
Sexy Beasts (WORST)
Seasons: 2 seasons, 18 episodes. Sexy Beasts is a reality show exported from the UK. It's just like any other dating show, however, everything is coated in layers of fantasy land, with the contestants dressing up as animals and mythical creatures.
Why it’s a stinker: In a nutshell, Sexy Beast is a show about obnoxious people, doing absolutely nothing that is worth our time. As this is a reality show, there is no written script, however, the participants do transform into unrealistic creatures, therefor a touch of class and sophistication could have done wonders.
Too Hot to Handle (WORST)
Seasons: 3 seasons, 29 episodes. Too Hot to Handle is a British reality show that gathered ten adults who have difficulties holding on to a proper and meaningful relationship. They are placed in one house and are forbidden from having any physical contact with each other. If that simple rule is violated, the prize money is reduced each time the rule is broken.
Why it’s a stinker: There are loads of dating reality shows however this is as low as it can get. This show is almost abusive to our intelligence. Taking part in a competition where you're not allowed to have any physical contact with your fellow housemates just doesn't seem to go very far and remains low-quality TV for very few people to enjoy.
Never Have I Ever (So-So)
Seasons: 2 seasons, 20 episodes. Starring: Maitreyi Ramakrishnan, Poorna Jagannathan, Richa Moorjani, Darren Barnet, Jaren Lewison, John McEnroe, Lee Rodriguez, and, Ramona Young. Never Have I Ever is loosely based on the life story of Mindy Kaling, who also created the show. Devi Vishwakumar is a 15-year-old girl from an Indian background, who suddenly loses her father and is confronted with the bitter flavors of life.
Why it’s lukewarm: The only thing innovative about the show is the fact that it circles around an Indian American family which is not very common. This manages to bring a new spirit and theme to our screens, but besides that, it's just another story, about another girl with another perspective on life.
Feel Good (So-So)
Seasons:2 seasons, 12 episodes. Starring: Mae Martin, Charlotte Ritchie, Lisa Kudrow, Adrian Lukis, Sophie Thompson, and, Phil Burgers. Feel Good is a British comedy-drama show, following the love story between George and Mae in cold and gray Manchester.
Why it’s lukewarm: Because the writers didn't spare any issues that are sometimes disturbing to watch (way too much cursing, illegal substance use, and matters of adult nature). And because it seems that they still haven't progressed to the 21st century when it comes to self-acceptance and gender issues. The potential is there, however, was taken one step too far.
Midnight Mass (So-So)
Seasons: 1 season, 7 episodes. Starring: Kate Siegel, Zach Gilford, Kristin Lehman, Samantha Sloyan, Igby Rigney, Rahul Kohli, Annarah Cymone, Annabeth Gish, Alex Essoe, Rahul Abburi, and, Matt Biedel. An island community, totally isolated from all other living societies, experiences supernatural events following the arrival of a mysterious unwanted guest.
Why it’s lukewarm: Overall, Midnight Mass is an exceptional series, however, while some scenes are milked right to their very last drop, some are barely completed, living an undeveloped story and a feeling that the series was dropped somewhere along the line.
Seasons: 3 seasons, 30 episodes. Starring: Penn Badgley, Elizabeth Lail, Luca Padovan, Zach Cherry, Shay Mitchell, Victoria Pedretti, Jenna Ortega, James Scully, Ambyr Childers, and, Carmela Zumbado. You is a physiological thriller, based on a novel with the same title. The big question, what would one do for love, is presented to a bookstore manager, who is then tested to see how far he would go.
Why it’s lukewarm: The idea and the original story are absolutely great, however, the execution, is so-so. The actors are outstanding and overall it brings freshness and a unique approach, however, will You stand the test of time and be in the same condition in years to come? We think not.
Seasons: 1 season, 4 episodes. Starring: Michael Pollan and Isaac Pollan. Cooked is another cooking show, however this time it covers the history of the different ways of cooking and how it affects us as humans. It explores the four elements of the world; fire, water, earth, and air, and how food and cooking methods are translated through them. Sounds promising, ah? Well, not exactly.
Why it’s lukewarm: The initial idea and the kickstart of the show are innovative and reassuring, however, the show was lacking in depth and therefore only lasted one season. On one hand, it highlights many food-related issues we have today, however, it doesn't deliver any real solutions for us to fix what has been damaged.
Tuca & Bertie (So-So)
Seasons: 3 seasons, 23 episodes. Starring (voice of): Tiffany Haddish, Ali Wong, and, Steven Yeun. Tuca & Bertie is an animated adult T.V show. It's about two anthropomorphic female birds and revolves around their relationship with one another and with their other animal friends.
Why it’s lukewarm: The first season of Tuca & Bertie was phenomenal. It was different, unique, funny, and witty in an innovative way and left viewers wanting more. As soon as the second season kicked in, it felt as if the writers were running out of new ideas and the storylines kept repeating themselves.
Seasons: 5 seasons, 40 episodes. Starring: María Pedraza, Itzan Escamilla, Miguel Bernardeau, Miguel Herrán, Jaime Lorente, Álvaro Rico, Arón Piper, Mina El Hammani, Ester Expósito, and,Omar Ayuso. Elite is a Spanish teen thriller series. It features the fictional relationship between three middle-lower class students and their filthy rich classmates.
Why it’s lukewarm: If the producers would have kept the storyline simpler and less fictional, then Elite could easily go on our Best list. However, too many elements, such as two timelines, and an unsolved mystery, turn this series into a So So one.
Emily in Paris (So-So)
Seasons: 2 seasons, 20 episodes. Starring:Lily Collins, Philippine Leroy-Beaulieu, Ashley Park, Lucas Bravo, Samuel Arnold, Bruno Gouery, Camille Razat, William Abadie, and, Lucien Laviscount. Emily in Paris is an easy-to-watch rom-com series, about Emily who is repositioned by her work to Paris and experiences the French people's true nature, the complexity of relationships, and the beauty of one of the most romantic cities in the world.
Why it’s lukewarm: Because if you've seen one, you've seen them all. Emily in Paris doesn't renew anything, there is no innovation, no surprises, and no extraordinary acting skills. Having said that, it's full of punch lines, it's a great show to watch on a girl's night in, and it captures exquisite shots of Paris. What more should a girl ask for?
The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance (2019) (So-So)
Seasons: 1 season 10 episodes. Starring: Warrick Brownlow-Pike, Dave Chapman, Kevin Clash, Alice Dinneen, Damian Farrell, Louise Gold, Beccy Henderson, Helena Smee, Katherine Smee, Neil Sterenberg, and, Victor Yerrid. The series continues to explore the Thra, created in 1982, in the original series The Dark Crystal.
Why it’s lukewarm: The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance is average. Those who are familiar with the first series will adore the 2019 interpretation, however, if this is the first time for you, the new (and so-called improved) version doesn't seem to hold the magic the original series held.
Brand New Cherry Flavor (So-So)
Seasons: 1 season, 8 episodes. Starring: Rosa Salazar, Catherine Keener, Eric Lange, Manny Jacinto, and, Jeff Ward. Based on the novel with the same title, Brand New Cherry Flavor is a horror series about a young and ambitious movie producer (Rosa Salazar) who comes to LA to make her dreams come true but instead is confronted with a nightmare.
Why it’s lukewarm: This is definitely not for everyone. Rosa Salazar is superb, however, the storyline in some scenes loses the magic of fiction and becomes somehow unprofessional and a kind of child play.
The Break With Michelle Wolf (SO-SO)
Seasons: 1 Season, 10 episodes.
Starring: Michelle Wolf and a rotating group of guests
Description: Michelle Wolf was the host of the 2018 White House Correspondents dinner. This was a difficult task to complete, and following its success, she was offered her own weekly variety program.
Why it’s lukewarm: There was a lot of hype surrounding the launch of her late-night TV show, which is largely dominated by male hosts. Unfortunately, it failed to live up to its expectations and was canceled after its first season. Still, there are some interesting segments which focus on politics, but overall, the show lacked cohesion and wasn’t able to deliver.
The Last Kingdom (SO-SO)
Seasons: 3 seasons, 26 episodes.
Starring: Alexander Dreymon, David Dawsom, Tobias Santelmann, Emily Cox, and Rune Temte.
Description: The Last Kingdom tells the story of young boy Uhtred, who suffers a tragedy when his father, a fighter in the Saxon army, is slain. Earl Ragnar, the Danish Overlord, takes pity on the boy and adopts him into the Danish Camp, raising him as one of their own. Uhtred is hit by further tragedy when his adopted family are also murdered, and he is exiled. Having grown up to be a formidable fighter, Uhtred takes it upon himself to avenge his loved ones, who had been so cruelly slaughtered.
Why it’s lukewarm: The premise is not a unique one, and perhaps this is its downfall, that it is not original enough to keep the viewer truly engaged. The first season is fast paced and does a good job at keeping the audience on edge, but by the second season, the storyline gets weaker and the show a little slow.
Seasons: 3 seasons, 34 episodes.
Starring: Paul Rust and Gillian Jacobs
Description: Love is about the relationship between Mickey and Gus, who may not appear to be right for each other but fall in love nonetheless. Mickey is dealing with a substance abuse problem and some serious self-doubt. When she meets Gus, she thinks he is a nice, regular guy who may help her sort her life out. Unfortunately, Gus is dealing with some issues of his own, and instead of being the rock that Mickey needs, he ends up causing her further problems.
Why it’s lukewarm: Love goes about breaking down the image of the typical “nice guy” as well as killing the notion of the “dream girl.” In short, everyone has issues. Mickey and Gus happen to have more problems than most, in fact, they are complete disasters, which lends itself to some fun albeit slightly awkward moments in their relationship. You may enjoy this show (especially since Judd Apatow is one of its writers), but we think it’s not consistent enough to make it a winner.
Seasons: 2 seasons, 18 episodes. Starring: João Miguel, Bianca Comparato, Michel Gomes, Rodolfo Valente, Vaneza Oliveira, and Rafael Lozano. Description: The series is set in an unknown future in which two realities exist. The first is the “inland”, where life is tough, but there is opportunity for progress through what is referred to as “the process.” However, only 3% are successful in completing the process and transitioning to the affluent “offshore.” The candidates that fail either disappear or are killed in “the process.” With these two worlds so starkly divided and the chance of success being so small, the stakes are high between success and failure.
Why it’s lukewarm: The show was originally shot in Brazil and purchased by Netflix after its first season. Netflix subsequently green-lit the second season, and it was the first Portuguese show to be aired on the platform. The premise is interesting as everyone can identify with the battles of good versus evil, and the desire to improve your socio-economic opportunities. The sci-fi thriller element of the show can appeal to a broad audience. Overall, we think you will enjoy it.
Lady Dynamite (SO-SO)
Seasons: 2 seasons, 20 episodes.
Starring: Maria Bamford, Fred Melamed, Mary Kay Place, Ana Gasteyer, Bridget Everett, and Jenny Slate.
Description: Lady Dynamite is inspired by the life of Maria Blamford, who dealt with depression and bipolar disorder her entire life, and depicts the struggles following her mental breakdown. Maria’s character and how it interacts with friends, family, her partner, and professional colleagues, definitely makes this show an interesting watch. Viewers may be attracted by the naturality with which the show confronts and addresses mental illness.
Why it’s lukewarm: The show jumps around a lot, and although this has an artistic reason, meant to illustrate the fractured mind of Maria, it leaves the audience somewhat confused. The show has a special quality to it, as it has no qualms about discussing mental illness, but the episodes themselves are hard to follow since they don’t always follow an obvious theme.
Seasons: 3 seasons, 34 episodes.
Starring: Eric McCormick, MacKenzie Porter, Nest Cooper, Jared Abrahamson, Reilly Dolman, and Patrick Gilmore.
Description: Set hundreds of years into the future,Travelers is about the last humans left on earth, The Travelers discover they have the unique ability to send consciousness back through time and perform secret missions through the lives and bodies of different people. The hope for these adventures is that they will be able to change the course of history and save humanity from the horrors that await.
Why it’s lukewarm: Travelers is not sci-fi enough for the real enthusiasts, and too futuristic for the average viewer. It falls somewhere in the middle, and so is more of a light impact drama. Travelers is easy to binge watch and for the most part, enjoyable, but it's not going to blow you away like other shows might.
Seven Seconds (SO-SO)
Seasons: 1 season, 10 episodes.
Starring: Clare-Hope Ashitey, Beau Knapp, Michael Mosley, David Lyons, and Regina King.
Description: Seven Seconds is based on a Russian film called The Mayor, and it depicts the story of a young African-American boy who is killed in a car accident by a white police officer named Peter Jablonski. When the accident happens, Jablonski enlists the help of some fellow cops who help him cover up the murder. When the case takes time to resolve itself, racial tensions begin to flare as the boy’s family, friends and community rally together to demand justice.
Why it’s lukewarm: The series gets off to quite a slow start, but picks up the pace as it goes along.There is a real theme of injustice towards the black community. The show received a positive reception from critics, but some unlikeable characters may make it not so enjoyable for the average viewer.
Seasons: 3 seasons, 25 episodes.
Starring: Jane Adams, Malin Akerman, Zazie Beetz, Orlando Bloom, Hannibal Buress, Kiersey Clemons, Dave Franco, Jake Johnson, Elizabeth Reaser, Aubrey Plaza, and Judy Greer.
Description: Easy is set in Chicago, and the show is a patchwork of storylines which interweave across age, ethnicity, race, and profession, much like they would do in day to day life. The cast has some big names that help carry the show, which goes about exploring the lives of the diverse population living in modern day Chicago.
Why it’s lukewarm: Easy, as its title suggests, is also easy to watch and should be on the list for anyone who isn’t looking for anything overly complicated. Although the story has a number of threads which are nicely acted by some well-known faces, the show lacks that special something to make it binge-worthy.
The Get Down (SO-SO)
Seasons: 1 season, 11 episodes.
Starring: Justice Smith, Herizen F. Guardiola, Shameik Moore, Jaden Smith, and Skylan Brooks.
Description: In the South Bronx of the late 1970s, music is very much dominated by the disco scene, but hip-hop, though in its infancy, is on the rise. The story follows a young guy called Zeke, who is a poet, and dreams of becoming a music star. The viewer joins him in his journey, as he discovers how his artistic talents fit into the culture of the time. The Get Down has a nostalgic feel and reminds us of musical classics like Grease and West Side Story, which are very much defined by their eras.
Why it’s lukewarm: The premise of the show is excellent, and it does a great job of pulling you in through the music and drama. However, it feels as though there is an unnecessary level of detail given to wardrobe and setting, which means the storyline and character development is a little weak.
The Innocents (SO-SO)
Seasons: 1 season, 8 episodes.
Starring: Sorcha Groundsell, Percelle Ascott, Sam Hazeldine, Nadine Marshall, Jóhannes Haukur Jóhannesson, and Guy Pearce
Description: The innocents is about a young couple, June and Harry, who are in love. They are forbidden by their families to be together and run away in secret. On their travels, they discover that June has a special power that allows her to shape-shift, but she needs to learn how to control it first. Soon they find other people with the same powers, which throws them into an unlikely and dangerous path with a scientist who wants to capture and uncover the secret to her abilities. Desperate to rid herself of her shape-shifting power, June has to complete some tasks, but things aren’t as simple as they seem.
Why it’s lukewarm: There are two very opposing themes here, one is the star-crossed lovers and the other is the discovery of a supernatural phenomenon, which isn’t an obvious mix. Added into this is the dangerous scientist, and basically, there is just too much going on for there to be a cohesive plot. The love story is a bit overdone at times and feels pretty sappy. When you combine all of these factors, the show ends up losing itself in its disparate plots.
The Fall (SO-SO)
Seasons: 3 Seasons, 17 episodes.
Starring: Gillian Anderson, Jamie Dornan, John Lynch, Bronagh Waugh, Stuart Graham, and Archie Panhabi
Description: The Fall is about a man who, for all intents and purposes, looks like a typical family man. However, he is harboring a dark secret: he is a psychopathic serial killer. The task of catching him falls upon Detective Superintendent Stella Gibson, who is herself struggling with some of her own personal issues, and must try to compartmentalize them as she goes about trying to track down this dangerous criminal.
Why it’s lukewarm: The show gets off to a great start, with seasons one and two being big hits. However, the third season takes something of a nosedive as it comes to its conclusion. The viewer is expecting a reward after so much anticipation, but sadly, they are left disappointed. The sparse dialogue works to build the tension, which it does well, and the show does not follow the same formula as many other crime dramas, but the ending will leave you a little frustrated.
Lost in Space (SO-SO)
Seasons: 2 Seasons, 20 episodes.
Starring: Molly Parker, Toby Stephens, Maxwell Jenkins, Taylor Russell, Parker Posey, and Brian Steele
Description: Lost in Space is a remake of the 1960’s sci-fi classic about a family traveling through space. Along the way, they realize that space is a hostile environment. When their ship is attacked and damaged, they find themselves thrown off course and light years away from their destination. The family must work as a team to overcome their internal conflicts and save themselves from disaster.
Why it’s lukewarm: Lost in Space, much like their spaceship, fails to fire on all cylinders. Despite the show’s big budget and potential for excellence, it doesn’t reach new heights or even equal the heights of its original version. The script is lacking, and concentrates too much on the inner conflicts between the family members while neglecting the development of some of the more interesting characters, such as Doctor Smith. The show could have potential if the writers would change their focus.
Everything Sucks! (SO-SO)
Seasons: 1 season, 10 episodes.
Starring: Jahi Di'Allo Winston, Peyton Kennedy, Patch Darragh, and Claudine Mboligikpelani.
Description: Everything Sucks tells the story of a group of kids trying to make their way through adolescence. The show is set in the 90s, which means it was a time before smartphones and the internet. To keep themselves busy, this group of misfits create a movie to grab the attention of their peers, using their experience and talents from the AV and Drama club to create something amazing.
Why it’s lukewarm: The series does an excellent job of depicting teenage life in the 90s, and all of the angst that comes with it. Some of the dialogue is not so believable, but overall, the show manages to sensitively cover most of the issues that adolescents deal with. With all of the struggle and insecurities, it’s no surprise they decided to name the show Everything Sucks!
Grace and Frankie (SO-SO)
Seasons: 6 seasons, 78 episodes.
Starring: Jane Fonda, Lily Tomlin, Sam Waterston, Martin Sheen, and Brooklyn Decker.
Description: Grace and Frankie find themselves facing a new reality when they discover that their husbands, Robert and Sol, have not only struck up a relationship, but are now in love. This is enough to turn anyone’s lives upside down, but the two women decide the best thing to do is to start a new life and move on together. As time goes on, the two women grow closer and realize all is not lost, as they have more in common with each other than they ever had with their husbands.
Why it’s lukewarm: Grace and Frankie is definitely watchable TV. The cast is strong, and the script is pretty funny. However, something fails to launch overall, and so we’d say if your fans of the actors then this is worth seeing; otherwise, there may be other things you might enjoy more.
The Killing (From Season 4, SO-SO)
Seasons: 4 seasons, 44 episodes
Starring: Mireille Enos, Joel Kinnaman, Billy Campbell, Liam James, and Michael Forbes.
Description: The Killing is based on a Danish drama called Forbrydelsen (The Crime). Season 4 features two detectives by the name of Sarah Linden and Stephen Holder who are trying to solve a number of murder cases in Seattle, Washington. In the process of the investigation, both detectives are forced to face their own demons about their personal and professional lives.
Why it’s lukewarm: With so many murder mysteries available, this one is just not special enough to ignite our imagination. The first two seasons received a positive response, but it lost its way somewhere in the middle. It stops focusing on the mystery and spends too much time dealing with the personal issues of the detectives.
Wet Hot American Summer: First Day Of Camp (SO-SO)
Seasons: 1 season, 8 episodes.
Starring: Elizabeth Banks, Michael Ian Black, Bradley Cooper, Judah Friedlander, Christopher Meloni, Amy Poehler, Paul Rudd, Molly Shannon, Lake Bell, Chris Pine, Jon Hamm, Michael Cera, Kristen Wiig, Jason Schwartzman, and John Slattery.
Description: Wet Hot American Summer: First Day of Camp is the second installment of the Wet Hot American Summer franchise and the prequel to the original version which was released in 2001. Many of the actors in the original movie went on the make big names for themselves, but returned to play even younger versions of themselves, over a decade later. The show is full of witty references and the big-name actors makes it an appealing option.
Why it’s lukewarm: Wet Hot American Summer: First Day of Camp is a show you need to have a frame of reference for. There are tons of jokes relating to 80’s pop culture, and if you haven’t seen the original, some of the jokes will go over your head. This alienates a large portion of the audience.It is so intertwined with the original that it doesn’t really work as a standalone series, despite being amusing and well written.
Seasons: 1 season, 8 episodes.
Starring: Michael C. Hall, Amanda Abbington, Audrey Fleurot, Hannah Arterton, and Emmett J. Scanlan
Description: Safe is a British TV series set in England. It follows the story of Tom, a widowed pediatrician and father of two teenage girls. His wife’s death still very much affects his day-to-day, as he struggles raising the girls without her and grieves her loss. However, this is eclipsed when his eldest daughter goes missing and Tom sets about trying to find her. Along the way, Tom uncovers a number of dark secrets about some of the people closest to him.
Why it’s lukewarm: Safe is gritty and mysterious but sometimes takes itself a little too seriously, which leaves it feeling a little contrived. The ensemble cast is excellent, and they deliver solid and committed performances, but there is something about the show that doesn’t quite work. Perhaps it’s trying too hard to be overly dramatic, which, unfortunately, can end up seeming almost comical. Still, if you’re looking for some binge-worthy drama, look no further.
F Is for Family (SO-SO)
Seasons: 3 seasons, 26 episodes.
Starring: Bill Burr, Laura Dern, Justin Long, Haley Reinhart, Debi Derryberry, and Sam Rockwell.
Description: F is for Family is an animated sitcom set in Massachusetts in the 1970s. Created by Bill Burr and Michael Price, it is said to be based on Bill Burr’s childhood. The sitcom follows the Murphy Family and their day-to-day lives. It makes use of the fact that political correctness was much less of an issue in the 1970s and there was more emphasis on making sure the fridge was always stocked with beers.
Why it’s lukewarm: The series, although smart in its concept, is also quite vulgar at times. It doesn’t mince words and is probably more suited to viewers who don’t mind a rude joke or five. Upon release, the show generally received positive reviews, even though it’s obvious it won’t be to everyone’s taste.
Seasons: 3 season, 33 episodes.
Starring: Kyle Chandler, Ben Mendelsohn, Linda Cardellini, and Norbert Leo Butz.
Description: Life is pretty smooth sailing for the Rayburn Family, a typical American family living in the suburbs of sunny Florida. But things start to go wrong when one of the siblings, Danny, who is the black sheep of the family, returns for his parents 45th wedding anniversary. Danny is planning to stay for good, but it’s left up to his three siblings to decide his fate. However, they’re filled with mistrust and paranoia, worried he might expose some dark truths from their past.
Why it’s a keeper: Bloodline has the potential to be a big hit but loses its pace as it progresses. It’s very intense and a little stressful to watch sometimes, trying to be a psychological thriller and an entertaining American drama at the same time.. It’s definitely binge-worthy, but as the series progresses, it loses some of its suspense and ends a little flat.
Seasons: 1 season, 4 episodes.
Starring: Carey Mulligan, John Simm, Billie Piper, Nicola Walker, Nathaniel Martello-White, Jeany Spark, and Hayley Squires
Description: When a pizza delivery man is fatally shot there are a number of repercussions that follow. The series breaks up into four days, where each episode is one day. The story is told from the perspective of Detective Inspector Kip Glaspie, who believes there may be some darker forces at work here and not just an act of gratuitous violence. As Kip digs deeper into the case, she sees that the murder was much more planned out and premeditated than she thought, but to what lengths is she willing to go to in order to uncover the truth?
Why it’s a keeper: The show has a lot of potential for high drama, and there is good character development. However, the plot is somewhat unsteady and doesn’t always approach the storyline in a straightforward way. Instead, the collateral forces come together to create a mountain of issues as Kip goes to work trying to discover the truth behind the murder.
Seasons: 3 seasons, 22 episodes
Starring: Johnny Flynn, Antonia Thomas, Daniel Ings, Joshua McGuire, and Hannah Britland
Description: Lovesick is about a guy named Dylan who just wants to be in love. On his quest to find the perfect woman, he meets a lot of imperfect ones. Dylan finds out he is a carrier of chlamydia, but in order to discover who he has given it to and inform them, he must contact all of his ex-lovers. Each episode features a flashback to a different woman, and tells the story of how they met and ultimately ended up in bed together. Despite his numerous partners, Dylan is not particularly suave or cool about dating and romance, and so there are plenty of cringe-worthy moments along the way which the viewer will be amused and horrified by.
Why it’s a keeper: Rom-coms can be a tricky genre to get right on the small screen, and Lovesick does an excellent job of balancing the romantic elements and awkward comedy that comes from Dylan reliving all of his past relationships, which ultimately leave him with a broken heart and chlamydia. This kind of show will appeal to a millennial audience as well as those who have had multiple failed romances.
Seasons: 3 seasons, 28 episodes
Starring: Keir Gilchrist, Michael Rapaport, Jennifer Jason Leigh, and Brigette Lundy-Paine.
Description: Atypical follows the life of a boy named Sam, who is on the autism spectrum. As you might imagine, Sam gets himself into all kinds of awkward situations, especially when he decides he wants to become more independent and find himself a girlfriend. Atypical joins Sam on this journey of self-discovery, with all the twists and turns along the way.
Why it’s lukewarm: Although the premise is not particularly original, there is something about it that we find heartwarming and lovable. Sam, for all his awkwardness, is an endearing character who the viewer quickly feels invested in.
Santa Clarita Diet (SO-SO)
Seasons: 3 seasons, 30 episodes
Starring: Drew Barrymore, Timothy Olyphant, Liv Hewson, Skyler Gisondo, Mary Elizabeth Ellis, and Richard T. Jones.
Description: The show is set in the suburb of Santa Clarita, and follows the life of a married couple named Joel and Sheila. Things take a turn when Sheila is infected by a mysterious zombie virus that forces her to turn into a cannibal in order to stay alive. Her family intervenes to try and help her, and together they must deal with all kinds of difficult situations, which include a lot of blood, guts, and gore. This show is not for the faint-hearted.
Why it’s lukewarm: The Santa Clarita Diet is another show that is full of potential but doesn’t really take off. The cast is top class, and the premise is excellent, but there isn’t quite enough bite to keep it going. The script tries to be comedic and witty but fails to consistently deliver, and leaves viewers not entirely satisfied. It is, however, easy to watch and perfectly binge-worthy.
Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life (SO-SO)
Seasons: 1 season, 4 episodes.
Starring: Lauren Graham, Alexis Bledel, Kelly Bishop, Scott Patterson, Milo Ventimiglia, Keiko Agena, Liza Weil, Jared Padalecki, Sean Gunn, Matt Czuchry, and Melissa McCarthy.
Description: Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life is set back in the original location of Stars Hollow, with each episode taking place during a different season over the course of a year. The mini-series provided viewers with some much-needed answers to some old plot lines and cliffhangers and brings the viewer right back to where it all started. The unceremonious ending of season 7 left viewers with lots of questions, so this set about answering them.
Why it’s lukewarm: Despite providing the answers the viewers so desperately wanted and bringing the storyline of Emily and Lorelai to a beautiful conclusion, it felt like there was some unevenness to other storylines. For Gilmore Girls lovers, this is a must watch which they will love from beginning to end, but as a standalone season, it doesn’t light that spark.
Altered Carbon (SO-SO)
Seasons: 2 season, 18 episodes.
Starring: Joel Kinnaman, James Purefoy, and Renée Elise Goldsberry.
Description: Altered Carbon was created by Laeta Kalogridis and based on the book of the same name set 300 years into the future. This is an epic sci-fi drama set in a futuristic version of San Francisco’s Bay City. In this world, humans can extract memories and consciousness into a device called a cortical stack, which is then implanted into the back of the neck. This means that when humans die, they could, theoretically, remove the stack and re-implant it in a clone, essentially giving them immortality. The story features an elite soldier by the name of Takeshi Kovac who is given the opportunity at a new life if he can solve a murder.
Why it’s lukewarm: A lot is going on with Altered Carbon and as a result, it never really takes off. There is a lot of potential for a great show, but the characters are not sufficiently developed, and the plot is difficult to follow. Altered Carbon promises brilliance but doesn’t deliver.
Friends From College (SO-SO)
Seasons: 2 seasons, 16 episodes.
Starring: Keegan-Michael Key, Cobie Smulders, Annie Parisse, Fred Savage, Jae W. Suh, and Nat Faxon.
Description: Friends from College is about a group of friends who reunite 20 years after graduation. Some friendships can go the distance, but it becomes clear that this once close-knit group of friends have changed, and some are not the people they used to be. As they reconnect, they learn that life has not become any easier with age.
Why it’s lukewarm: The main problem with this show are the weak plot lines, which is a shame, since the ensemble cast high-caliber actors that are wasted on this script. There are of course moments where you identify with the characters and the events going on around them. But somehow, it’s not enough.
Luke Cage (SO-SO)
Seasons: 2 seasons, 26 episodes.
Starring: Mike Colter, Mahershala Ali, Simone Missick, Theo Rossi, Rosario Dawson, and Mustafa Shakir.
Description: Luke Cage is one of the characters from the Marvel series. He gains his supernatural strengths and unbreakable skin after a sabotaged experiment leaves him as a fugitive. Deciding to use these powers for good, he tries to rebuild his life in Harlem, New York, where he must battle to clear his name. The series follows his journey as a superhero fighting crime and corruption.
Why it’s lukewarm: Luke Cage as a character is very likable, and there is good character development throughout the series, but as a whole, the story falls a bit flat. This might be down to the pace of the storyline, and that with Marvel things can sometimes feel a bit predictable and methodical. However, there is definitely potential here if the producers were to pick up the pace and improve the overall quality.
13 Reasons Why (SO-SO)
Seasons: 3 seasons, 39 episodes.
Starring: Katherine Langford, Dylan Minnette, Christian Navarro, Alisha Boe, Brandon Flynn, Miles Heizer, and Kate Walsh.
Description: In the aftermath of Hannah’s suicide, 13 tapes are found, which she had prepared prior to her death. Each tape is addressed to a specific person and details one of the 13 reasons why she decided to kill herself and how their actions contributed to her breakdown. For those who received the tapes, this is an eye-opening moment and not just a chance to reflect on themselves but each other.
Why it’s a keeper: The nature of the show was always going to be controversial, but 13 Reasons Why tackles suicide and bullying head-on. It has sparked countless debates around the subject, and while it might not make for comfortable viewing, it is opening up a conversation which has been considered taboo for too long. Our only criticism is it could have remained a mini-series, and carrying the story into a second season feels somewhat unnecessary.
House of Cards (SO-SO)
Seasons: 6 seasons, 73 episodes
Starring: Robin Wright, Kevin Spacey, Molly Parker, Michael Kelly, Constance Zimmer, and Corey Stoll.
Description: House of cards is another behind-the-scenes look at the inner workings of the White House and the US presidency. Frank Underwood (played by the brilliant Kevin Spacey) is the Speaker of the House who has a meteoric rise and is elected as President. Things start to get a bit more complicated when his wife no longer wants to support him, but there are plenty more twists and turns along the way. Supposedly one of the more accurate depictions of political life, Frank and Claire are best when they are working together. But that doesn’t last long.
Why it’s lukewarm: The first season of House of Cards was a runaway hit and the talk of Hollywood. Following on from the first season has been difficult, but it’s still a political thriller that has captured much of the inner workings of the White House. As often happens in politics, House of Cards has been plagued by drama and controversy, with Kevin Spacey being axed from the cast following allegations of assault.
Seasons: 1 season, 10 episodes. Starring: Omar Sy, Ludivine Sagnier, Clotilde Hesme, Vincent Londez, Soufiane Guerrab, and, Shirine Boutella. Lupin is a French mystery thriller. Omar Sy's character is based on one created over 100 years ago, in 1900, Arsène Lupin. It tells the tale of a professional thief who manages to make his way in the world with determination, hypocrisy, and illegal ways.
Why is this a keeper: Lupin is one of the few non-English speaking TV series that really made it big. It manages to take a story that was written over one hundred years ago and pumps life back into it as if it was written only yesterday.
I Am Not Okay With This (BEST)
Seasons: 1 season, 7 episodes. Starring: Sophia Lillis, Wyatt Oleff, Sofia Bryant, and, Kathleen Rose Perkins. Although I Am Not Okay With This features the story of teenagers, it is not a teen show in any way. It covers the story of an adolescent dealing with, sexuality, life obstacles, and superpowers.
Why is this a keeper: I Am Not Okay With This is controversial. It was nominated for Best Adaptation from Comic Book Novel, but on the other hand, it was too authentic at times and some found it disturbing.
The Queen's Gambit (BEST)
Seasons: 1 season, 7 episodes. Starring: Anya Taylor-Joy, Bill Camp, Moses Ingram, Isla Johnston, Christiane Seidel, Rebecca Root, Chloe Pirrie, Akemnji Ndifornyen, Marielle Heller, Harry Melling, Patrick Kennedy, and, Jacob Fortune-Lloyd. The Queen's Gambit is about loneliness, addiction, longing to be the best, and becoming the greatest chess player in the world.
Why is this a keeper: Taylor-Joy is in one of her best parts and shines in her role as the queen of the game of kings. The series is summed up in seven episodes, assuring the series won't overstay its welcome.
Seasons: 1 season, 4 episodes. Starring: Shira Haas, Amit Rahav, and, Jeff Wilbusch. Unorthodox is inspired by the autobiography of Deborah Feldman, a Hassidic Jew who turned her back on her roots and opened a new chapter in life away from the closed and restricted world she was once part of.
Why is this a keeper: This is a must-watch. The series reflects a world that is unknown and misunderstood to most of us, which leaves the viewers overwhelmed and amazed. The other thing that will keep you amazed is Shira Haas. Nominated for Outstanding Lead Actress, Haas will for sure be a big name one day.
Russian Doll (BEST)
Seasons: 2 seasons, 15 episodes. Starring: Natasha Lyonne, Greta Lee, Yul Vazquez, Elizabeth Ashley, Charlie Barnett, and, Chloë Sevigny. Although the name initially indicates a crime or horror series, Russian Doll is actually a light paranormal drama series. It tells the story of Nadia Vulvokov (Lyonne), who experiences living the same day only to mysteriously die and repeat it over and over again. She sets off on a mission to try and solve her dying mystery and eventually meets Alan Zaveri (Barnett) who is going through the same adventure.
Why is this a keeper: Russin Doll was titled one of the best series back in 2019. We are not sure why the series falls under the comic category, however, the storyline is unique, the acting is phenomenal, and it provides great escapism for those lonely nights.
When They See Us (BEST)
Seasons: 1 season, 4 episodes. Starring: Asante Blackk, Caleel Harris, Ethan Herisse, Jharrel Jerome, Marquis Rodriguez, Jovan Adepo, Chris Chalk, Justin Cunningham, Freddy Miyares, and Marsha Stephanie Blake. When They See Us is a crime drama mini-series based on true events that took place in 1989. The Central Park Jogger Case turned the lives of five black men into a living nightmare and the mini-series shows how for almost a quarter of a century, these men and their families, fought for their justice, against all the odds.
Why is this a keeper: regardless of us being huge fans of the show When They See Us grasped numerous nominations and awards. The spectacular actors, alongside this disturbing story, bring together a masterpiece that must be watched.
Sex Education (BEST)
Seasons: 3 seasons, 24 episodes. Starring: Asa Butterfield, Gillian Anderson, Ncuti Gatwa, Emma Mackey, Connor Swindells, Kedar Williams-Stirling, Alistair Petrie, Mimi Keene, Aimee Lou Wood, Chaneil Kular, Tanya Reynolds, Mikael Persbrandtm, and Patricia Allison. Sex Education follows the lives of parents, students, and staff, all confronting the most common yet intimate issue we live with, the birds and the bees. The plot takes place in a fictionary British town.
Why is this a Keeper: Some say Sex Education is one of the best shows on Netflix. On one hand, it's funny, light, flowing, and heartfelt, yet on the other hand, it is what it says it is. It's super educational and super important to watch, especially if you have adolescents hanging about.
The Witcher (BEST)
Seasons: 2 seasons, 16 episodes. Starring: Henry Cavill, Freya Allan, Eamon Farren, Anya Chalotra, Joey Batey, MyAnna Buring, Royce Pierreson, Mimî M. Khayisa, and Wilson Mbomio. The Witcher is a Polish and American fantasy series, which takes place on a fictional land named The Continent. It follows the life of a Geralt of Rivia, a monster-fighting, part-human-part-supernatural being who can't find his place of comfort in life. Throughout the series, he discovers how monstery cruel other living creatures can be, sometimes even more than actual monsters.
Why is this a keeper: The storyline is thrilling, the acting is outstanding and this TV interpretation of the well-known books, only enriches and emphasizes how good this story really is.
I Think You Should Leave With Tim Robinson (BEST)
Seasons: 2 seasons, 12 episodes. Starring: Tim Robinson. I Think You Should Leave Me with Tim Robinson is a one-of-a-kind sketch comedy show, starring Tim Robinson in most episodes. In each episode, Tim, alongside his guest stars, does everything in his power, to simply make people want to ...leave.
Why is this a keeper: This is a rare and funny journey into Tim Robinson's mind and it manages, with almost no effort at all, to bring new and exciting entertainment to our screens.
Dead to Me (BEST)
Seasons: 2 seasons, 20 episodes. Starring: Christina Applegate, Linda Cardellini, James Marsden, Max Jenkins, Sam McCarthy, and Luke Roessler. Dead to Me is the story of two women, Christina Applegate and Linda Cardellini who meet during a therapy session. Both have been through grief and loss and find comfort in one another.
What is this a keeper: The show is about friendship, about being there for now another (even when it hurts the most), and it's about the hard and difficult moments in life when all you need is a shoulder to cry on. All that is coated in a thick layer of black comedy. Then why wouldn't it be a keeper?
The Umbrella Academy (BEST)
Seasons: 3 seasons, 30 episodes. Starring: Elliot Page, Tom Hopper, David Castañeda, Emmy Raver-Lampman, Robert Sheehan, Aidan Gallagher, Mary J. Blige, Cameron Britton, John Magaro, and Adam Godley. The Umbrella Academy is the same comic book we all know, under disguise. 43 women simultaneously give birth to 43 babies, except that the women weren't even pregnant in the hours that led up to the birth. Sounds confusing, ha? Seven of the children end up being adopted by a billionaire and get trained to save the world.
Why is this a keeper: Even if you're not a fan of the comic version and even if you are not a lover of superhero shows, The Umbrella Academy is a lot of fun. It has a brilliant and full of humor perspective of life through the story of this superhero family and provided long hours of pure entertainment.
Squid Game (BEST)
Seasons: 1 season, 9 episodes. Starring: Lee Jung-Jae, Park Hae-Soo, Wi Ha-Joon, HoYeon Jung, O Yeong-Su, Heo Sung-Tae, Anupam Tripathi, and Kim Joo-Ryoung. Squid Game has become one of Netflix's most controversial TV shows. It's a South Korean drama series revolving around a game contest. All of the participants are hard-working people, struggling to make ends meet. They are tricked into taking part in a fatal tournament, however, most of them remain as the money garnered, is their only way out of poverty.
Why is this s keep: Firstly, it's a South Korean production which is noticed straight away. It's very different than the American or British shows we are more familiar with. There is a hidden message for the viewers to discover. Are you willing to play the game?
Seasons: 1 season, 10 episodes. Starring: Margaret Qualley, Nick Robinson, Anika Noni Rose, Tracy Vilar Billy Burke, and Andie MacDowell. The series sheds light on a mother in her late twenties, who escapes an abusive relationship. She finds a job as a house cleaner so she can provide for her daughter.
Why is this a keeper: Maid is a drama series some might find disturbing to watch, however, the plot and the message it delivers is something all, in our opinion, must watch. Your hearts will embrace Alex, and your eyes will not stay dry.
Anatomy of a Scandal (BEST)
Seasons: 1 season, 6 episodes. Starring: Sienna Miller, Michelle Dockery, Rupert Friend, Naomi Scott, Joshua McGuire, and Josette Simon. Anatomy of a Scandal is a thriller drama first launched on Netflix in April 2022. Sophie (Sienna Miller) learns that her husband (an MP) had been unfaithful to her. The story escalates when his romance goes public and falls into the hands of the wrong lawyer.
Why is this a keeper: Besides Michelle Dockery who steps out of her Downton Abbey costume and steps into the lawyer's shoes, the series is reduced in such an unusual way with astonishing visual effects that enrich the plot and create a series that for sure will have many seasons to follow.
The Minimalists: Less Is Now (BEST)
Seasons: 1 season, 1 episode. Starring: Joshua Fields Millburn, Ryan Nicodemus. The Minimalists: Less Is Now is one of our few documentary entries to the list. It focuses on the lives of two friends and tries to shine a light on the benefits of being a minimalist. It was nominated for a Daytime Emmy award.
Why is this s keeper: Firstly because it's educational, and it is one of those shows that don't end, even when the screen is turned off. It leaves you something to think about and places you on the challenge board, to see how many things could you live without and what materialistic items are you willing to say your goodbyes to.
The Sandman (BEST)
Seasons: 1 season, 11 episodes. Starring: Tom Sturridge, Gwendoline Christie, Vivienne Acheampong, Boyd Holbrook, Charles Dance, Asim Chaudhry, Sanjeev Bhaskar, Kirby Howell-Baptiste, Mason, Alexander Park, Donna Preston, Jenna Coleman, and Niamh Walsh. The Sandman is a fantasy drama, telling the tale of Sandman the dream controller who is taken into activity. He goes out on a journey through different lands and different timelines in order to repair the chaos that has accorded.
Why is this a keeper: The Sandman is a masterpiece. yes, we agree, the original comic story has something a TV show will never be able to bring, however, Netflix goes to the extreme with this show and presents a wonderful fantasy series to embrace.
Seasons: 2 seasons, 16 episodes. Starring: Adjoa Andoh, Lorraine Ashbourne, Jonathan Bailey, Ruby, Barker, Sabrina Bartlett, Harriet Cains, Bessie Carter, Nicola Coughlan, Phoebe Dynevor, Ruth Gemmell Florence Hunt, Martins Imhangbe, and Claudia Jessie. Based on a collection of novels, Bridgeton is set in the Regency Era and tells the story of the Bridgeton family in search of love and marriage, all spiced with a dash of gossip.
Why is this s keeper: Bridgeton is what television is all about. If you haven't watched it by now, then now is the time to watch it. This is a period drama adorned by 21st-century political correctness. It showcases intimacy, without being too vulgar, the script is seasoned with humor and sophisticated wit and each episode leaves you wanting more and more and more.
Vikings: Valhalla (BEST)
Seasons: 1 season, 8 episodes. Starring: Sam Corlett, Frida Gustavsson, Leo Suter, Bradley Freegard, Jóhannes Haukur Jóhannesson, Caroline Henderson, Laura Berlin, and David Oakes. 2022 brought to our screens the magnificent story of the Vikings, roaring their way through the vicious lands of Europe. It's a historical drama series, a sequel to the series Vikings and what happened 100 years after.
Why is this a keeper: Why not? If you're a lover of historical shows and are overwhelmed by the costumes and scenery of that age, this is one you must not miss. The soundtrack, the plot, the actors, and the landscapes all contribute to one of Netflix's best releases so far.
Love Is Blind (BEST)
Seasons: 2 seasons, 25 episodes. Love Is Blind is a dating reality show inspired by married at First Sight and The Bachelor. It was first launched in February 2020 and concluded two years later. It was adapted into both a Japanese version and a Brazilian one, both having a format similar to the original.
Why is this a keeper: Unlike other love-finding reality shows, Love Is Blind is the one to watch. We are not sure why, but this show brought to the screens true emotional moments, all decorated in a coat of authenticity. Not only did the contestants fall in love with each other, but they got us to fall in love with them too.
Inventing Anna (BEST)
Seasons: 1 season. 9 episodes. Starring: Anna Chlumsky, Julia Garner, Arian Moayed, Katie Lowes, Alexis Floyd, Anders Holm, Anna Deavere Smith, Jeff Perry, Terry Kinney, and Laverne Cox. Inventing Anna is another mini-crime series inspired by the well-known article "How Anna Delvey Tricked New York's Party People". The story of Anna Delvey, the Russian con-woman who tricked New York's high society into believing she was a German millionaire gives a fantastic interpretation to the tale and preserves the style and prestige the original article had.
Why is this a keeper: Anna Chlumsky's commitment to the role and to the show is impossible to ignore. She turns the story into pure entertainment. Exactly what you need when you decide to stay in on a Saturday night.
The Woman in the House Across the Street From the Girl in the Window (BEST)
Seasons: 1 season, episodes: 8. Starring: Kristen Bell, Michael Ealy, Tom Riley, Mary Holland, Cameron Britton, Shelley Hennig, and Samsara Yett. The Woman in the House Across the Street From the Girl in the Window was originally titled just The Woman in the House. It's a parody of a psychological thriller showing the world from the perspective of Anna, who witnesses a severe crime from her living room window.
Why is it a keeper: Some shows are a must because of their story, however, some shows are a must to watch simply because not every day we come across magnificent acting abilities as Kristen Bell has. If not only for her, this show is worth the while.
After Life (BEST)
Seasons: 3 seasons, episodes 18. Starring: Ricky Gervais, Diane Morgan, Tom Basden, Tony Way, Mandeep Dhillon, Ashley Jensen, David Bradley, Kerry Godliman, Penelope Wilton, David Earl, and Joe Wilkinson. After Life is a cynical British comedy series. It is set in a fictional town and tells the story of a newspaper writer who tastes the bitter flavors of life when his wife tragically passes away. From that day onwards, he changes his ways of life (not for the better) and does whatever comes to his mind regardless of other people's feelings.
Why is it a keeper: If you're one to enjoy shows about other people's moments of grief, then you are in for a treat. The show is a cross between actual drama and black British black humor at its best.
Archive 81 (BEST)
Seasons: 1 season, 8 episodes. Starring: Mamoudou Athie, Dina Shihabi, Evan Jonigkeit, Ariana Neal, Matt McGorry, and Martin Donovan. Archive 81 is a supernatural horror show based on a podcast, with the same name. Dan (Athie) is hired for a new position at a video company, to restore footage of a documentary project written by melody (Shihabi). This simple task escalates into a supernatural mystery.
Why is it a keeper: Although Archive 81 only ran for one season, it is not another horror show. Not only does the show manage to tell a story, but it also takes the viewers on a magnificent journey that leaves them stunned by the time the season is over. Soon after Archive 81 was aired, Ozark came along and pushed Archive 81 down the rating ladder.
Mystery Science Theater 3000: The Return (BEST)
Seasons: 1 season, 14 episodes
Starring: Felicia Day, Patton Oswalt, Jonah Ray, Baron Vaugh, Hampton Yount, Rebecca Hanson, and Joel Hodgson
Description: A group of scientists find themselves thrust into the future when one of their experiments goes awry. They mysteriously find themselves surrounded by mutants, androids and some humans, who quite frankly need to take themselves a bit less seriously. Mystery Science Theater 3000: The Return is a remake of an old cult classic, but still retains its tongue in cheek approach to all things sci-fi.
Why it’s a keeper: This is a great series to watch as you can pick it up at any point along the storyline. Of course, it will flow more naturally if you follow the sequential narrative, but it’s not imperative for your enjoyment. Fans of the original will appreciate how it pays homage, bringing its return up-to-date without losing any of its original charms.
'Chewing Gum' (BEST)
Seasons: 2 seasons, 12 episodes
Starring: Michaela Coel, John MacMillan, Robert Lonsdale, Tanya Franks, Danielle Isaie, and Kadiff Kirwan
Description: The series follows the life of a young girl called Tracey, who is 24 and lives with her religious and conservative-minded family on a council estate (government housing) in London. Tracey is starting to discover her own sexuality despite being a virgin, and begins to have wet dreams which revolve around American rapper, Jay-Z, some of which end with a crash as she finds herself waking up with a nosebleed. Tracey’s character is heart-warming and endearing as she figures out a way to make her love for Beyonce and Jesus not mutually exclusive.
Why it’s a keeper: It’s an unusual premise for a TV series, but something a lot of teenagers will relate to, reconciling desires with beliefs. The acting is excellent, and they do justice to a well-written script and storyline. This is the kind of show that will get people talking as there are plenty of themes around family, puberty, and sexuality that we can all recognize.
A Series of Unfortunate Events (BEST)
Seasons: 3 seasons, 25 episodes.
Starring: Neil Patrick Harris, Patrick Warburton, Malina Weissman, Louis Hynes, and K. Todd Freeman.
Description: Based on the famous books of the same name, the series tells the story of three children who were orphaned and made to live with an evil guardian called Count Olaf. He is a distant family member who has less than good intentions. The children come to realize that Olaf’s real motivation is to get his hands on their inheritance. In an attempt to keep Olaf at bay, the children embark on many adventures, some less successful than others, but along the way, the children discover some of their families best-kept secrets.
Why it’s a keeper: While there are some dark themes relating to Olaf, there is a great sense of camaraderie among the children, and the show stays faithful to the book by Lemony Snicket. It helps the story come to life and does nothing to limit the imagination.
Patriot Act with Hasan Minhaj (BEST)
Seasons: 5 seasons, 32 episodes
Starring: Hasan Minhaj and occasional guests.
Description: Hasan Minhaj hosts a daily politics show which tackles all sorts of subjects, from cultural, political and social to pretty much everything in between.Hasan is not afraid to bring up big issues and the big names associated with them. No matter how taboo.
Why it’s a keeper: Hasan Minhaj is a very engaging host. He brings his own sense of humor and charm to whatever subject matter he is covering, or whatever guest he is interviewing without feeling preachy. This is no easy challenge when discussing some of the divisive issues that the world is currently dealing with.
The Curious Creations of Christine McConnell (BEST)
Seasons: 1 season, 6 episodes
Starring: Christine McConnell, Colleen Smith, and Adam Mayfield
Description: This show features Christine McConnell living in a huge and kind of creepy mansion. The house has all sort of weird and wonderful creatures inhabiting it with her, including her faithful sidekick, a raccoon named Rose, a werewolf who goes by the name of Edgar and a peculiar Egyptian cat-mummy called Rankle. The curious creations that the title refers to are the delicious desserts Christine bakes up with her favorite friends in her fabulous 50s get up.
Why it’s a keeper: The Curious Creations of Christine McConnell is a clever mix between DIY fixes and masterfully scripted little sections that blend together to create a feel-good show. Christine’s love for all things 1950’s, baking talents and furry friends, comes through in her quirky style, which will pull you into her wonderful, yet slightly strange world.
Big Mouth (BEST)
Seasons: 3 seasons, 31 episodes
Starring: Nick Kroll, Andrew Goldberg, Mark Levin, Maya Rudolph, and Jennifer Flackett.
Description: Puberty can be tough, and Big Mouth is not afraid to talk about the most awkward and embarrassing moments that happen when this colossal shift is taking place. Big Mouth is an animated series that follows the story of Nick as he deals with life as a 7th grader, and the hormonal changes that occur, not to mention his new-found fascination with girls.
Why it’s a keeper: If you like your humor to be cringe-worthy, then Big Mouth will be perfect for you. Because it’s a cartoon, it can get away with talking about some of the most disgusting things that happen to boys when they transition into teenagers.
One Day at a Time (BEST)
Seasons: 4 seasons, 43 episodes.
Starring: Justina Machado, Isabella Gomez, Todd Grinnell, Rita Moreno, Marcel Ruiz, and Stephen Tbolowsky.
Description: One day at a time was released in 2017 as a remake of the 70’s sitcom of the same name. The show tells the story of everyday life in a Cuban-American family. Justina Machado, who plays the lead role of single mother, Penelope, struggles with her family while adjusting to life as a civilian after serving as a nurse in the army. There are also themes relating to PTSD, sexuality, adolescence, racism, and family.
Why it’s a keeper: This is one of those dramas that manages to be just as good, if not better, than the original. It’s gritty and yet believable and heart-warming at the same time. One day at a time manages to capture the essence of everyday life and appeals to people of all ages.
The Great British Bake Off (BEST)
Seasons: 10 seasons, 94 episodes.
Starring: Paul Hollywood, Prue Leith, Mel Giedroyc, Sue Perkins, Sandi Toksvig, and Noel Fielding
Description: Each year, The Great British Bake Off welcomes 10 new amateur bakers to a tent, where each week the contestants have to tackle a different baking discipline. The viewers can marvel at the amazingly baked creations and try to imagine what they might taste like. The weird part is that there is no cash prize for the winner, just the accolade of being crowned the best amateur baker. This helps attract contestants who are only in it for the love of baking, and not for fame or fortune.
Why it’s a keeper: As cooking shows go, this has to be one of the best. The standard of baking is very high, although there are the inevitable disasters which are also fun to watch. The presenting team are wonderfully quirky and bring a real charm to the show. All in all its like getting a big hug.
Peaky Blinders (BEST)
Seasons: 5 seasons, 30 episodes.
Starring: Cillian Murphy, Annabelle Wallis, Paul Anderson, Helen McCrory, Sam Neill, Joe Cole, and Sophie Rundle.
Description: Set in the slums of 1920’s Birmingham, a gang known as the Peaky Blinders come to power under the careful management of the eldest son, Tommy Shelby. The family business of pubs and betting shops is not enough, and Tommy is willing to do almost anything to make his gang the most powerful in the UK. This leads them into a world where they have more money than they could have ever imagined. But as always, success comes at a price.
Why it’s a keeper: Peaky Blinders manages to be a period drama with themes that are relevant today. At the end of each season, you are left wondering how things will ever work out for them, and like all good series, leaves us impatient for the next season. The cinematography is excellent, and each member of the cast is able to hold their own. Perhaps most notable are the strong female characters that truly make their mark on the family.
The Defenders (BEST)
Seasons: 1 season, 8 episodes
Starring: Sigourney Weaver, Krysten Ritter, Charlie Cox, Mike Colter, Finn Jones, Jon Bernthal, Rosario Dawson, and Elodie Yung.
Description: This is another miniseries from Marvel featuring favorites such as Jessica Jones, Iron Fist, Daredevil, and Luke Cage. They all come together in New York City to fight against their common enemy, The Hand. The Defenders was released one month after the first season of Iron Fist and two months after the second season of Daredevil. It’s great to see how this motley crew of superheroes are able to work together for a shared cause.
Why it’s a keeper: The Defenders is a great series for anyone who is a Marvel fan. Not only is it great to see your favorite characters in action, but this mini-series is very effective in its character development. And the more you get to know the characters, the more invested you become in their story. There is also all of the usual action and witty dialogue that we’ve come to expect from Marvel.
Seasons: 1 season, 6 episodes.
Starring: Phoebe Waller-Bridge, Louise Ford, Jonathan Bailey, Damien Molony, Julie Dray, Amit Shah, and Adrian Scarborough.
Description: Not to be confused with a US series of the same name, Crashing is based in the UK and follows the lives of six twenty-something people who decide to live together as property guardians of a disused hospital. Living in a place like this has its pros and cons. While the rent may be cheap, there are some pretty strict rules they have to stick to. As you can imagine, they get into all kinds of situations.
Why it’s a keeper: This series is one of a kind. Not only does it take place in an unusual setting, but the cast is an unconventional ensemble which lends itself to some interesting relationships. There is also some very British humor, the highlight of which has to be the leading lady, Lulu, who manages to show a range of skills as a character. Aside from being very funny, her and the entire cast are very relatable, you won’t be able to help falling in love with them all.
On My Block (BEST)
Seasons: 3 seasons, 28 episodes.
Starring: Sierra Capri, Diego Tinoco, Jason Genao, Brett Gray, Jessica Marie Garcia, and Ronni Hawk.
Description: Set in the city of Los Angeles, the story follows four childhood friends who have their relationships tested when they start high-school. Although the issues might be familiar, this isn’t your classic high-school drama. The characters learn about life and love against a backdrop of gang violence that poses a real danger to their day-to-day lives. On my block received critical acclaim when it was released and has already won the Teen Choice Award for Breakout TV Show of 2018.
Why it’s a keeper: This show deals with all of the regular issues teens face, only this time it's not dealing with them from a place of privilege. These teenagers live in a world where every decision seriously impacts their future. It is extremely interesting to see this talented cast of actors navigate racism and poverty, all the while delivering a heartwarming performance.
Seasons: 2 seasons, 24 episodes.
Starring: Aml Ameen, Doona Bae, Jamie Clayton, Tina Desai, Tuppence Middleton, Max Riemelt, Miguel Ángel Silvestre, and Brian J. Smith.
Description: Created by The Wachowski siblings (directors of The Matrix saga), Sense8 is about eight strangers, located all over the world, who discover they have a psychic connection as a result of being birthed by the same woman, named Angelica. The group eventually come to realize that they are sensates, or a group of people that have a psychic connection. The eight must work together to avoid “whispers,” a man who threatened to capture Angelica and who will go to any lengths to hunt them down.
Why it’s a keeper: Any title that is a pun is a winner already, but Sense8 is an original thriller that will keep you on the edge of your seat. However, the story has its endearing moments, as it deals with narratives of love, loss and having a unique connection to others. If you’re willing to ignore the rational side of your brain, you will thoroughly enjoy this trippy series.
Seasons: 3 seasons, 39 episodes.
Starring: Charlie Cox, Deborah Ann Woll, Elden Henson, Toby Leonard Moore, and Vondie Curtis-Hall.
Description: Daredevil is based on the Marvel comic of the same name and features Matt Murdoch, a lawyer by day and a crime-fighting vigilante by night. Due to being blinded as a child, Murdoch discovers that his other senses are heightened, especially after nightfall. Along the way, he discovers the criminal underworld of New York City. Murdock may follow the letter of the law by day, but when the sun goes down, he takes matters into his own hands, going above the law to pick up where the justice system fell short.
Why it’s a keeper: Daredevil mixes drama and humor effortlessly. It captures the essence of the comic with excellent character development. The show finds a place to explore the characteristics of both hero and villain, which is especially interesting when they fight against each other.
Seasons: 3 seasons, 30 episodes.
Starring: Wagner Moura, Pedro Pascal, Boyd Holbrook, Paulina Gaitan, Joanna Christie, and Juan Pablo Raba.
Description: Narcos is based on the true story of famous Colombian drug lord, Pablo Escobar. The first two seasons show his rise to becoming one of the most prolific suppliers and distributors of cocaine in history. Alongside his dealings with fellow drug lords, there is also a heavy focus on his relationship with Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) agents, specifically, Steve Murphy, who makes it his life mission to bring Escobar down.
Why it’s a keeper: Just like its subject matter, Narcos is addictive, especially when it’s focusing on Escobar, whom the viewers quickly form a love-hate relationship with.. The makers of Narcos decided to focus on a different drug-lord for Season 3, which they renamed Narcos: Mexico. . Hold on to your armchair, you’re in for a wild ride with this one.
'The End of the F***ing World' (BEST)
Seasons: 2 season, 16 episodes.
Starring: Alex Lawther and Jessica Barden.
Description: The End of the F***ing World is based on the book of the same name by Charles Forsman. This is a dark story of a teenage boy named James who thinks he might be a psychopath, as he enjoys killing animals as a hobby. Together with Alyssa, a classmate with whom he develops a bond, they run away together, which she sees as an opportunity to escape her difficult home life. Along the road, there are inevitable mishaps, but as they travel, they begin to develop a very interesting relationship.
Why it’s a keeper: The End of the F***ing World is extremely dark at times but very endearing at others. It is very British in nature, and through their road trip across the UK, you can’t help but fall for these characters, just as they fall for each other. The show has received critical acclaim due to the brilliant performances of Lawther and Barden.
The OA (BEST)
Seasons: 2 season, 16 episodes.
Starring: Brit Marling, Jason Isaacs, Phyllis Smith, Emory Cohen, Ian Alexander, Brandon Perea, Brenden Meyer, and Patrick Gibson.
Description: Brit Marling stars as Prairie Johnson, a blind girl who’s been missing for seven years and suddenly reappears with several scars and the ability to see. She refuses to tell the police or her family how is she is now able to see. Instead, she assembles a small group of five confidants who she tells her story to, and asks them to help her rescue other missing people as she claims she can reach them through another dimension. This ultimately skews their concept of reality.
Why it’s a keeper: The OA is unlike any other show out there. It traverses both this world and an unknown universe, and does so while being highly enjoyable. The majority of the reviews have been positive, but it did not receive critical acclaim like many other series. However, the story is compelling and ambitious and above all, imaginative.
Seasons: 1 season, 7 episodes.
Starring: Michelle Dockery, Jack O'Connell, Scoot McNairy, Merritt Wever, Thomas Brodie-Sangster, Kim Coates, and Jeff Daniels.
Description: The series was created by Scott Franks, and it’s set in the 1880s in Colorado, where a train-wreck has just occurred. It is believed to be the work of Frank Griffin, who is described by many as an outlaw. The police think this in response to the betrayal Griffin feels by his former protégé, Roy Goode. Roy goes on to find refuge in a town called La Belle, which following a mining accident, is almost entirely inhabited by women. Godless was very well received by audiences and it has been nominated for a slew of awards, winning Emmys for best-supporting Actor and Actress in 2018.
Why it’s a keeper: Godless manages to mix themes of father-son relationships alongside the struggle of women and femininity in the American West of the 1880s. It does so with a beautifully written script and exquisite cinematography. It’s no wonder the show was nominated for so many awards, it is truly a pleasure to watch.
BoJack Horseman (BEST)
Seasons: 6 seasons, 77 episodes.
Starring: Will Arnett, Amy Sedaris, Alison Brie, Paul F. Tompkins, and Aaron Paul.
Description: BoJack Horseman is an animated show created by Raphael Bob-Waksberg and designed by Lisa Hanawalt who is a cartoonist and childhood friend of Waksberg. The show is based in Hollywood, in a time when humans and tailless and anthropomorphic animals live harmoniously. BoJack is a washed up actor from the 1990s, who has spent the last 10 years drinking and sitting on his couch. He is desperate to make his return to stardom and plans to do so through the release of a tell-all autobiography.
Why it’s a keeper: At first glance, this show may appear to be a comment on celebrity culture and a satirical look at politics and current events. However, there is much more to this show, as BoJack deals with depression and substance abuse, giving the story a darker and edgier side. However, there are still plenty of jokes make this one of the most watchable shows on Netflix.
The Good Cop (BEST)
Seasons: 1 season, 10 episodes.
Starring: Tony Danza, Josh Groban, Monica Barbaro, Isiah Whitlock Jr., and Bill Kottkamp
Description: Tony Danza plays an ex-police officer who is on parole after serving time in prison for corruption charges. His son, played by singer Josh Groban, is also a cop, but takes his role and its responsibilities much more seriously. Despite being banned from working professionally for the police force, Big Tony is hell-bent on proving he still has what it takes, and together, he and his son unofficially team up to solve some of the biggest crimes in the Brooklyn area. The show is based on an Israeli version with the same name.
Why it’s a keeper: The show is well acted, with Josh Groban giving a stand-out performance. He has great presence and comedic timing. It’s a light-hearted comedy, but also has a more serious side, like solving crimes, and so appeals to two genres and does so effortlessly. It's fun and easy to watch, so it definitely makes our binge-worthy list.
Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt (BEST)
Seasons: 4 seasons, 51 episodes.
Starring: Ellie Kemper, Tituss Burgess, Carol Kane, and Jane Krakowski.
Description: Created by Tina Fey and Robert Carlock, the story follows Kimmy Schmidt, who is rescued from a cult in a fictional town in Indiana where she has been held captive for the last 15 years. Not wanting to feel like a victim, Kimmy decides to start her life over in New York City, where all she is armed with is a positive attitude. The show received critical acclaim and benefits from a quirky hilarity that is encouraged by the creators and well acted by its leading actress, Ellie Kemper, who plays Kimmy.
Why it’s a keeper: In between the fun and jokes, there are some serious themes, like getting over trauma and starting a new life. It is probably the most accurate representation of modern-day dating; it never loses its funny humor or its broad appeal.
Alias Grace (BEST)
Seasons: 1 season, 6 episodes.
Starring: Sarah Gadon, Anna Paquin, Zachary Levi, and David Cronenberg.
Description: Alias Grace is an adaptation of the Margaret Atwood book released in 1996, and was released by Netflix as a miniseries in 2017. It tells the story of Grace Marks, who emigrated from Ireland to Canada with her mother. Sadly, her mother dies during the voyage, and upon arrival in Canada, she is sent to work as a maid. The miniseries starts with her being visited in prison by Dr. Jordan, a psychiatrist. She is serving a sentence for murdering her employer and another housekeeper, though she claims to have no recollection of the murder. Dr. Jordan must decide whether she is to be pardoned on the basis of insanity. This is one of three adaptations of this book, which include The Handmaids Tale and Wandering Wenda.
Why it’s a keeper: As a period piece, it covers many of the issues surrounding gender and class at the time. There are some ugly truths and harsh realities. The actual character of Grace Marks remains a mystery, which is why this miniseries is so engaging, as the viewer is desperate to know more about her and come to their own conclusions. The series received critical acclaim and excellent reviews upon release, one more reason why we believe it deserves to be listed among the best.
Orange Is the New Black (BEST)
Seasons: 7 seasons, 91 episodes.
Starring: Taylor Schilling, Laura Prepon, Danielle Brooks, Natasha Lyonne, Michael Harney, Michelle Hurst, Kate Mulgrew, Uzo Aduba, Taryn Manning, Jackie Cruz, and Samira Wiley.
Description: Set in a women’s prison, the series tracks the life of Piper Chapman, whose criminal past of drug and money laundering catches up with her. Although engaged to a man on the outside, Piper is shocked when her co-accomplice and former lover, Alex, arrives to be incarcerated in the same institution. The series, which was based on the book of the same name, gives a behind-the-scenes look at a women’s correctional facility. The relationships and hierarchies that form, and the successes and failures of the system. There are both hilarious and tragic storylines with weird and wonderful elements weaved in between.
Why it’s a keeper: For all of the brilliant characters in the show, Piper may be the least likeable, but through her, the viewer gets to know all of the other characters, as well as the inner workings of the prison. The prison is almost a microcosm of society, with its cliques and hierarchy. There is corruption and crime as well as uplifting moments of friendship and sorority. Orange Is The New Black is not only thought-provoking, but also hilarious. It’s no surprise it made our ‘best’ list.
Seasons: 3 seasons, 30 episodes.
Starring: Alison Brie, Betty Gilpin, Sydelle Noel, Britney Young, and Marc Maron.
Description: GLOW, which stands for Glorious Ladies of Wrestling, follows the life of Ruthie, who is new to the world of wrestling. Set in the 1980s, the show, created by Liz Flahive and Carly Mensch, brings with it all of the stereotypes and gimmicks of the women’s wrestling scene at the time. Ruthie, who is a struggling actress, finds herself at odds with the wrestling team’s coach, but she is a tough character who proves to be not only resilient but endearing.
Why it’s a keeper: The world of female wrestling might not be in everyone’s interest, but like with most things, there are human elements to the performance that are entertaining and relatable. The characters are all likable, and even if their world may appear to be a little over the top and “showy”, that’s precisely what makes it so enjoyable. Dive into a world that is completely unfamiliar.
Jessica Jones (BEST)
Seasons: 3 seasons, 39 episodes.
Starring: Krysten Ritter, David Tennant, Rachael Taylor, Carrie-Anne Moss, Mike Colter, Wil Traval, and Eka Darville.
Description: Jessica Jones is based on the Marvel character of the same name who has a brief and failed career as a superhero and is now working as a private investigator. Jessica’s past haunts her, and she drinks heavily to try and suppress the PTSD that she’s dealing with. The show also deals with other dark themes, including rape and other forms of assault. The series received critical acclaim, with praise for both Krysten Ritter’s and David Tennant’s performances.
Why it’s a keeper: Jessica Jones does an excellent job at changing the way we think about women and femininity, flipping on its head what is typically believed will make a woman successful. Jessica herself is a compelling character, who for all of her flaws and traumas, has unbelievable strengths. The show is fun and full of action, which is to be expected of anything from the Marvel universe.
Dear White People (BEST)
Seasons: 3 seasons, 30 episodes.
Starring: Logan Browning, Marque Richardson, DeRon Horton, Brandon P. Bell, Antoinette Robertson, and John Patrick Amedori.
Description: Originally released as a movie back in 2014, this is the story of a group of African American college students studying at an Ivy League university. Each episode focuses on a different member of the cast, and so showcases the various issues each student faces. There are commentaries on institutional racism and black identity. Some of the actors, including Brandon P. Bell and Marque Richardson, reprise their roles from the original film, alongside Justin Simien, who returned to write and direct a number of the episodes.
Why it’s a keeper: You may think this may make a white audience uncomfortable, but the truth is, it exposes as much of the hypocrisy and conflict that exists among black activists as it does the institutional racism that exists within these kinds of environments. Yet, the show manages to be funny and entertaining as well as poignant and thought-provoking.
Master of None (BEST)
Seasons: 2 seasons, 20 episodes.
Starring: Aziz Ansari, Lena Waithe, Noel Wells, Eric Warenheim, Kelvin Yu, and Alessandra Mastronardi.
Description: Master of None follows the life of Dev, a 30-year-old actor played by Aziz Ansari. It is a comment on social issues relating to being the child of immigrants but also has themes of romance and professional challenges. It is set in New York City, with the second season having some episodes set in Italy as well. The series was released by Netflix in 2015.
Why it’s a keeper: Most of the episodes are self-contained, so it’s easy to dip in and out of, but as a whole, the series addresses broader issues, such as racism, society, and relationships that weave together to create the perfect balance of a light-hearted approach to serious matters. The script is well written and well-acted and is sure to resonate with other young people who come from similar backgrounds.
Queer Eye (BEST)
Seasons: 5 seasons, 100 episodes.
Starring: Antoni Porowski (food & wine expert), Tan France (fashion expert), Karamo Brown (culture expert), Bobby Berk (interior design expert), and Jonathan Van Ness (grooming expert).
Description: This is a remake of the original “Queer Eye for the Straight Guy”, which first aired on Bravo in 2003, and lasted until 2007. The basic premise is the same: a squad of gay men, known as the fab five, who make over a nominated, usually straight, male participant each week. However, the original series took place in New York City, whereas the new version is based in the state of Georgia, which gave it more of a ‘hometown’ fee.It was announced that the new season would be filmed in the state of Kentucky.
Why it’s a keeper: This was good back then, but it’s even better now. The fab five each bring their own personalities to the table and are overall more endearing and engaging. The viewer feels like they want to be their friends. The show focuses on a number of themes, usually based around each of the fab five’s area of expertise, but others include self-esteem, relationships, and love, which give an overall good feel to the show. It’s binge-worthy and easy viewing, with a soul.
Making A Murderer (BEST)
Seasons: 2 seasons, 20 episodes
Starring: The Avery family, Kathleen Zellner, Dean Strang, Jerome Buting, Robert Henak, Stephen Glynn, and Len Kachinsky
Description: This documentary series focuses on a man called Steven Avery, who was wrongly accused of attempted murder and assault, and was eventually exonerated after new DNA evidence was presented. This was after he had already served 18 years of a 20-year sentence. Once released, he set out to sue Manitowoc County in Wisconsin, but was later convicted for the murder of Teresa Halbach in a completely unrelated case. His nephew was also found guilty of murder, but this was later overturned on the grounds that they believed he had been coerced by Avery to confess. The murder trial in 2007 gained the attention of some Columbia University graduates who decided to investigate the story further.
Why it’s a keeper: We all know there is a lot of red tape and bureaucracy when it comes to these kinds of cases, but this is what causes us to become frustrated with the system and therefore, fascinated with this story. Like with some of the best dramas, there are plenty of twists along the way, accompanied by intrigue and suspense. As they say, you can’t make this stuff up!
Seasons: 1 season, 6 episodes.
Starring: Richard Madden, Keeley Hawes, Gina McKee, Sophie Rundle, and Paul Ready
Description: The central character, David Budd, is a veteran from the British Army who returns to work for the Metropolitan Police. His personal life is falling to pieces, and his whole world is turned upside down when he keeps a passenger from going through with a suicide bomb mission on a train. Following this incident, he is promoted as a special protection officer for the Home Secretary, Julia Montague, who is a divisive character which people believe is plotting a leadership take-over. When passions ignite between David and Julia, David is stuck in a difficult position, protecting a woman whose beliefs and policies he is against, but whom he has developed romantic feelings for. The tense plot builds up to a dramatic ending with a surprising twist.
Why it’s a keeper: Bodyguard is a highly intense thriller, which will not only have you on the edge of your seat, but also make you question every noise in your house. It is not only thrilling, but thoroughly enticing, with weaving plot lines that pull you in and leave you thinking about your own life and those around you. It picks up on current affairs and is said to be based on Theresa May, who was once Home Secretary and is currently Prime Minister.
Chilling Adventures of Sabrina (BEST)
Seasons: 2 season, 28 episodes.
Starring: Kiernan Shipka, Ross Lynch, Lucy Davis, Mirando Otto, Chance Perdomo, Michelle Gomez, Jaz Sinclair, Tati Gabrielle, Adeline Rudolph, and Richard Coyle
Description: The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina is a remake of the children's series, Sabrina the teenage witch, which was released in the late 1990s and told the story of Sabrina Spellman. The series is co-written by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa, who was the creator of Riverdale, and is set in the fictional town of Greendale. At the age of 16, Sabrina is forced to choose between her family and their world of witchery or her friends, who live in the human world.As the story unfolds, she finds herself dealing with all sorts of crazy adventures.
Why it’s a keeper: While at first it may appear to be a simplistic teen drama, viewers should not be fooled that this is, in fact, a complicated narrative which deals with some of the most significant issues of our time, including feminism and power dynamics in our society.There are themes of racism, faith, and gender identity, all wrapped up in a dark and sometimes twisted storyline which bring the viewer into a world which constantly switches between the normal and the paranormal.
Seasons: 3 seasons, 30 episodes.
Starring: Jason Bateman, Laura Linney, Sofia Hublitz, Julia Garner, Jordana Spiro, and Skylar Gaertner.
Description: Jason Bateman plays a financial advisor who gets caught up in some bad business. As a result, he is forced to move his family from Chicago, where they were in imminent danger, to the Ozarks in Missouri, where he is required to launder $500 million over the course of five years to appease a drug lord whom he has fallen out of favor with.
Why it’s a keeper: Ozark is well written and full of plot twists, which makes it incredibly easy to binge watch. It’s a thrilling drama which is not only well written, but well-acted. It may be a stressful watch, but viewers won’t be able to resist playing the next episode to see what happens and who makes it out alive for one more season.
American Vandal (BEST)
Seasons: 2 seasons, 16 episodes
Starring: Tyler Alvarez, Griffin Gluck, Camille Hyde, Eduardo Franco, Lukas Gage, and Calum Worthy.
Description: This is a light-hearted take on a true crime thriller and tells the story of a high school student expelled for allegedly spray-painting penises on 27 cars parked outside his school. His friends jump to his defense and launch their own investigation to try and discover who is responsible for this prank. The students conduct a number of interviews with hilarious results and develop some conspiracy theories along the way. Viewers can follow along as his friends try and discover “whodunit.”
Why it’s a keeper: Totally binge-worthy, American Vandal is one of the best parody shows of 2017. By not taking itself too seriously, it keeps you totally captivated through the witty and cleverly written dialogue and storyline. This show is a gem, and definitely a must-watch if you haven’t seen it already.
The Crown (BEST)
Seasons: 3 seasons, 30 episodes.
Starring: Claire Foy, Matt Smith, Jared Harris, Vanessa Kirby, John Lithgow, and Greg Wise.
Description: The Crown tracks the life and reign of the late Queen Elizabeth II, alongside some of the events that have shaped the 20th century. While many of the “behind the scenes” elements are fictional and the producers have taken many creative licenses to make the show more artistic, they are based on events of her reign The period piece is full of beautiful costumes and plenty of drama. The characters portray the exquisite privilege enjoyed by the Royal Family, but also do an excellent job in not only highlighting the challenges of a life of duty, but also the human elements of their relationships, struggles, and successes.
Why it’s a keeper: Aside from beautiful costumes and people and excellent performances, The Crown lets you step into the world of the Royals and gives you a glimpse of what life is like for them. With all of the glitz and glamour, there are the same issues that appear in your everyday relationships. You come to terms with the fact that they are people too. It tracks the late Queen’s ascension to the throne and takes you on a journey through history which viewers can look back on with a different perspective.
Seasons: 2 seasons, 19 episodes.
Starring: Jonathan Groff, Holt McCallany, Hannah Gross, Anna Torv, and Cotter Smith.
Description: The series is set in the late 1970s and early 1980s and features FBI agents who have been tasked with solving open murder cases. The main character, Holden Ford, is based on John E. Douglas, a former chief and special agent of the FBI. Ford takes a particular interest in the psyche of the serial killer and becomes obsessed with their behaviors. This mirrors the obsessions that the serial killers had with their victims, and the more time Ford spends investigating these crimes, the harder he finds it to maintain his sanity.
Why it’s a keeper: Mindhunter is entirely believable as it takes great care in developing the characters with excellent attention to detail. The show itself has a number of twists and turns which surprise the viewer, leaving him desperate to discover what happens next.
The Haunting of Hill House (BEST)
Seasons: 1 season, 10 episodes
Starring: Michael Huisman, Carla Gugino, Timothy Hutton, Elizabeth Reaser, and Victoria Pedretti
Description: The Haunting of Hill House centers around the Crain family. The family is fractured and complicated, and the siblings have been haunted by their time living in Hill House as children. The show sees them return as adults where they discover the same paranormal activities that made them want to leave in the first place.
Why it’s a keeper: The series is based on the novel by Shirley Jackson, which at the time was groundbreaking for its feminist themes, and was first adapted in 1963. Netflix’s version is a marked departure from the original as it mainly focuses on the male characters. However, Netflix has done the drama justice in other ways, making it a significant contribution to the horror genre. Each character has a rich backstory, which provides context to the plot as the mysteries unfold. The series will have you on the edge of your seat and certainly isn’t for the faint-hearted. Be warned, you may find yourself screaming at the screen and sleeping with one eye open.
3. Maniac (BEST)
Season: 1 season, 10 episodes
Starring: Emma Stone, Jonah Hill, Sally Field, Justin Theroux, Sonoya Mizuno, and Jemima Kirke
Description: Maniac was originally a Norwegian series. It was remade by Netflix in 2018. It is based around two central characters, Annie and Owen, played by Emma Stone and Jonah Hill, who both suffer from mental disabilities. They meet when they take part in a pharmaceutical trial which promises to solve all of their problems. Unsurprisingly, things do not go according to plan, but Annie and Owen realize they have a cosmic connection.
Why it’s a keeper: Maniac takes the viewer on a ride with twists and turns along the way. Watching the world-class acting, cinematography and carefully-crafted narratives is beautiful. The viewer has to let their imagination go to places it may not have explored in the past. Maniac is easily one of the best releases on 2018.
Stranger Things (BEST)
Seasons: 4 seasons with a total of 26 episodes.
Starring: Winona Ryder, David Harbour, Finn Wolfhard, Millie Bobby Brown, Gaten Matarazzo, Caleb McLaughlin, Natalia Dyer, Charlie Heaton, Cara Buono, and Matthew Modine.
Description: Set in the 1980s, Stranger Things takes place in Hawkins, Indiana. This place doesn’t really exist but is representative of many towns in middle America. The story starts with a boy named Will, who mysteriously disappears. His mother decides to launch her own investigation to find him and bring him home. Will’s friends join in the search, and along the way, uncover a series of unusual secrets, which include everything from the supernatural to worrying government activities and experiments.
Why it’s a keeper: Stranger Things has a thrilling plot as well as an ensemble of talented child actors. It is a homage to all things ’80s, which is lovely to see in today’s age, when most of the entertainment centers around technology and the future. It’s no surprise this is one of the most popular shows on Netflix.
Black Mirror– best to watch from season 3 onwards
Seasons: 5 seasons and 23 episodes.
Starring: Jon Hamm, Rosemarie DeWitt, James Norton, Bryce Dallas Howard, and Gugu Mbatha-Faw.
Description: Black Mirror takes a, sometimes satirical, look at what happens when some of the world’s greatest inventions collide with some of humanity’s ugliest traits. The content is dark and thought-provoking. Each episode is a self-contained story with different actors.Despite this, each episode fits together in a beautifully twisted way, which could be attributed to the fact that a theme of morality and human behavior is a common thread in each episode.
Why it’s a keeper: Black Mirror is scary and yet believable. It shows the very best of what humans are capable of and then holds up a mirror and forces us to realize how this can quickly work against us, showing the very worst of human behavior. The predictions are scary because you can quickly see that they are not beyond the realm of reality.