Netflix changed the face of home entertainment with its successful launch into streaming TV, and it continues to draw in crowds with its successful original series. Hopefully you have some free time coming up, because these seven shows are some of the best on Netflix. Binge responsibly.
The hit animated series follows the dysfunctional adventures of the has-been celebrity and train-wreck of the titular character. Anthropomorphic animals stand in for and alongside Hollywood archetypes to portray stories about fame, addiction, friendship, and failure. In spite of its frequently dark subject matter, BoJack Horseman manages to maintain a cheeky and upbeat tone with a plethora of cutesy animal puns to offset the soul-crushing stories of BoJack’s self-sabotage. Watch it here.
The dystopian anthology series created by Charlie Brooker has won a total of six Emmy awards since its debut. Black Mirror examines the modern relationship between people and technology, taking current trends and stretching them just to within the bounds of imagination for the foreseeable future in order to paint terrifying pictures of its effect on our collective humanity. Watch it here.
Narcos follows the dark and blood-soaked path of drug kingpin Pablo Escobar’s rise to power and his fall. The blend of archival footage with the show’s ongoing narrative serves to paint a gritty and harrowing picture of the brutality surrounding the cocaine trade in Colombia. The show proved to be a tremendous hit for Netflix, sparking a spin-off series following Mexican drug cartels in the series Narcos: Mexico. Watch it here.
Another crime drama, Ozark follows the relocation of the Byrde family from Chicago to Missouri in the wake of a failed money laundering scheme. Working in debt to a Mexican drug cartel, Marty Byrde sets up a second and larger money-laundering scheme with the help of his wife, a former political campaign consultant. Though the first season received mixed reviews, the show received a substantial boost in its critical reception by the second season. Watch it here.
Part Stand by Me, part X-Files, all '80s, Stranger Things is another critically acclaimed Netflix original series. The show follows the adventures of a group young boys in 1980s Indiana who encounter mysterious supernatural occurrences around their small hometown. Stranger Things manages to blend a supernatural thriller with a fundamental sweetness between and around the series stars. It’s as much a coming of age story and family drama as it is sci-fi horror. Watch it here.
The surreal and existential story of Russian Doll opens to the scene of the protagonist Nadia’s (Natasha Lyonne) birthday party in her New York apartment, a scene that becomes intimately familiar throughout the rest of the series as she repeatedly dies and finds herself back in the same party. In spite of its dark premise, the series by and large leans towards the comedic and absurd, ultimately telling a story of personal growth and redemption to the backdrop of the upper-middle class cosmopolitan debauchery of New York City. Watch it here.
House of Cards
Adapted from the British miniseries of the same name, House of Cards follows the Machiavellian career path of Congressman Frank Underwood (Kevin Spacey) and his wife, the equally scheming Claire (Robin Wright). In a time of increased political disenfranchisement and unrest, House of Cards painted the workings of D.C. in dark shades of ruthlessness and deceit. Throughout its run, House of Cards garnered dozens of Primetime Emmy nominations and won two Golden Globes. However, the show’s run was cut short when Spacey was accused of sexual misconduct and fired. After a season focusing on Claire, the series was concluded in 2018. Watch it here.