6 Best Netflix Series to Stream
Since 2013 when House of Cards was released, Netflix has been distributing a wide array of original shows. Some are more noteworthy than others, some received more acclaim and some have been cancelled way too soon.
We all know how addictive TV series can get. Once you start that first episode, the next thing you know it’s 1:00 am and you’ve somehow finished the whole season. Sound familiar?
Whilst there are popular, well-known shows such as Orange is the New Black and Stranger Things available, you’ve probably already seen them. So here are 6 different options to consider if you’re looking for the next best Netflix series to stream.
Sense8. How do I even begin to describe Sense8? Following 8 strangers from various places around the world whose minds are all connected to each other, Sense8 provides one of the most unique and diverse pieces of television I’ve ever watched. If you’re not gripped within the first 5 minutes, you’re not paying close enough attention.
Not only is the plot intensely captivating, but the cinematography in every episode provides such a deep sense of escapism. From Kenya, to Berlin, to Mumbai, to Seol, Sense8 takes the audience to some of the most visually stunning places in the world. But, the cinematography is just the start.
Sense8 is one, if not the only, show where I genuinely love every (main) character. No one is like the other. Literally. The diversity in this show is beautiful and rare to see and makes it, in my eyes, one of the most progressive series there is (and the best Netflix series).
You have people like Lito Rodriguez, a closeted actor from Mexico City. Kala Dandekar, a Hindu woman living in Mumbai who is engaged to a man she doesn’t want to marry and Nomi Marks, a lesbian trans woman who fights the system for a living. I could write an entire article about each ‘sensate’ (and their relationships) and why I’m overly obsessed with them, but for now I’ll restrain myself.
To summarise, watch Sense8 immediately. Season 2 came out in May of this year and managed to excel all expectations. The only heart-breaking disclaimer if you choose to start this show is that Netflix illogically decided not to renew it for a 3rd season.
Why? Because they’re senseless.
You can read more about the impact of Sense8 in my post: Why Sense8 Should Have Been Renewed for Season 3
2. One Day at a Time
I’m not typically a big fan of sitcoms, so when I saw people talking about One Day at a Time I was sceptical about starting it. Thank GOD I ignored any preconceptions and watched it anyway.
The rebooted series focuses on the Alvarez’s, a Cuban-American family who are just going about their day-to-day lives. As an ensemble, they’re incredible. As individuals, each and every one of them steals the show. In 13 short episodes, One Day at a Time tackles issues such as PTSD, sexism, immigration and coming out. And the best thing? It does it well.
Penelope Alvarez is a single mother and ex-veteran. Not only is she juggling motherhood, but she’s also dealing with mental heath issues and injustice in the workplace. She takes no-one’s shit and is the independent powerhouse we all want to be. Her daughter (and my personal favourite character) Elena is the woke, intelligent, in-depth young female who provides much-needed positive LGBT representation through her coming out arc.
Overall, it’s lighthearted, easy to watch and absolutely hilarious. Thankfully, One Day at a Time has been renewed for Season 2 which will likely be released early 2018. If you want a quick Netflix series to binge watch that wont take too much time, One Day at a Time is definitely the one.
You can read a bit more about the show in a post I did earlier this year: How Netflix’s One Day at a Time is Paving the Way Towards Better TV.
3. The OA
If you’re a fan of sci-fi, mystery, the supernatural and not knowing what the hell is going on, watch The OA. I loved the plot from start to finish and shamelessly watched the entire series in one day. Many people have compared it to Stranger Things in the sense that well, they’re both completely strange, but personally I preferred the story of The OA.
The story begins with a young woman, Prairie, who randomly reappears after having been missing for many years. Oh, and did I mention that when she returns she can suddenly see again after having been blind when she disappeared?
We slowly begin to understand where she’s been and what happened to her as she tells her story to a small group of students (and Phyllis from The Office). The deeper she delves into her story, the weirder it gets. We soon begin to see that what happened to her is no way near to what we could have expected. The group she’s telling her story to aren’t just there to listen, they’re there for a much bigger purpose.
What purpose exactly? Well, you’ll have to watch it to find out.
4. The Get Down
Set in the Bronx during the 1970s, The Get Down is a musical drama that centres around the birth of hip-hop and disco music through the eyes of a band of teenagers.
The Get Down is Netflix’s most expensive show, each episode costing around $16 million to produce. This doesn’t go to waste however, as each episode is exceptionally cinematic from the visuals, to the costumes, to the musical numbers.
However, the large budget needed for the show may be the reason why The Get Down hasn’t been renewed for a second season. Although it was short lived, The Get Down was nothing short of spectacular. It brought something different that hadn’t really been seen in a series before. It targeted a typically ignored demographic and introduced the unaware to something new.
Ultimately, it’s a shame that The Get Down didn’t get as much promotion, acclaim and hype as other Netflix series, because it damn-well-deserved a long-lasting reign.
5. Jessica Jones
Jessica Jones is the modern, relatable, take-none-of-your-shit superhero that we all need in our lives. By trade, she’s a personal investigator. By name, she’s a force to be reckoned with.
Jessica Jones isn’t the perfect, pristine feminine hero that’s overly-sexualised and undermined. She’s strong, even without her powers. She’s loving, without it being shown as a sign of weakness. She’s flawed. She’s suffered trauma. To sum up, she’s one of the most fascinating and in depth characters on TV.
The key plot point of the show lies behind the trauma that Jessica faced whilst under the control (literally) of a psychopath called Kilgrave.
We slowly start to unravel what happened, and watch her as she goes on a pursuit to finally put an end to him. The show sensitively covers issues of rape and abuse and portrays survivors powerfully through Jessica. We sympathise with her in a way that makes us root for her even more.
Krysten Ritter fits into the role of Jessica Jones impeccably and from the first 10 seconds she’s on screen, you’re automatically rooting for her to come out on top. Jessica Jones has thankfully been renewed for a second season which should be released at some point next year.
Not only is the series itself a masterpiece for the representation and depiction of women in TV, but the same goes for what’s happening behind the camera. Showrunner Melissa Rosenberg stated last year that they also aim to have the entirety of season 2 directed by women.
If you stream it or buy the season 1 DVD now, you’ll be counting down the days until the next 13 episodes are released.
6. Dear White People
Dear White People. If you somehow feel offended by the very name of the show, then you should watch it. Chances are, you’re part of the problem the show is addressing.
The 10 episode series follows the experiences of a group of black students at an Ivy League College, Winchester. ‘Dear White People’ is the name of the radio show that character Samantha White hosts. In each of her talks, she calls out the injustices that the black students (and community in general) face daily, largely due to the actions and ignorance of white people, even if they think they mean well. The show is extremely fitting to today’s political climate and society.
Aside from the finale, each episode focuses on a different character. Although the show predominately addresses racism and white privilege, there are a lot of other undertones to it as well, for example everyone seems to be going through a different identity struggle. Each character seems to go against all initial preconceptions we may have had about them which adds a lot of extra depth to the series. It looks at race, class, sexuality, privilege, gender and growing up.
There’s a hell of a lot to take away from Dear White People, so give it a chance.
And there you have it! 6 of the best Netflix series that you should stream right now. These, in my eyes, are all worth the watch and differ from some of the more mundane series that emerge. Maybe you’ll agree with me, maybe you won’t. If you feel like sharing your thoughts, please feel free to do so.