If you don’t have Netflix, you’re really missing out! The monthly subscription service for T.V. series and movies is home to hundreds of classics, new releases, as well as a plethora of Netflix original material that creates binge-watchers out of all of us. Some of these original series aren’t so bad, either; a ton of them have won world-renowned awards.
The list of award-winning shows could take up this entire article, but some of the noteworthy ones include The Crown, Orange is the New Black, House of Cards, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, Master of None, and Making a Murderer.
Of course, there are loads of other shows on Netflix that “break the internet” upon their release, and they are absolutely worth watching. We’ve put together a list of some of the most addictive and spell-binding shows that are on Netflix right now and what makes them so great.
“I’m surrounded by people who think they could do the job better that me… but for better or worse, the crown has landed on my head.”
A young Queen Elizabeth II, play by Claire Foy, is followed throughout the series as she takes her rise to Queen of England and the adversities she must face due to her age and gender. Not only must she become a highly respected and admired leader of her country, but she must also battle with her husband, played by Doctor Who’s Matt Smith, who is struggling to gracefully “bow to the Queen.”
Queen Elizabeth the II has many moments of decision making that not everyone agrees with, but she also has many moments of triumph and empowerment, while playing tug-of-war with wanting to do what is best and wanting to stay out of the limelight.
The Crown has won a Golden Globe for Best Drama Television Series and AFI award for TV Program of the Year. Both Claire Foy and John Lithgow (who plays the remarkable role of Winston Churchill) have also won Screen Actors Guild Awards for Outstanding Performance by an Actor in a Drama Series.
“Something is coming. Something that’s hungry for blood.”
Friends Mike, Dustin and Lucas are in a race to find their friend, Will, before the officials from the mysterious Hawkins, Indiana laboratory (or perhaps something much sinister) do. Will has somehow disappeared from thin air, and nobody knows where he’s gone until a strange girl, who calls herself Eleven, appears and claims he’s been taken to another dimension – which happens to be home to a blood-thirsty monster.
The boys, along with Eleven, secretly hunt for their friend, while Will’s mother (played by Winona Ryder) and the Hawkins, Indiana head sheriff try to uncover what the town’s laboratory is hiding from them. Other dimensions, telepathic powers, and demonic figures certainly lay down the mind-bending and edge-of-seat-sitting plot that is Stranger Things.
Millie Bobby Brown, who plays Eleven, has become one of the most recognizable and sought-after child actors of this age, as she’s created great lengths of depth and emotion to her character. Speaking very little, she’s enveloped her audience into a captivating role that has to endure some pretty messed up situations.
The directors, Matt and Ross Duffer, have put together a mesmerizing show that hits perfect moments of 80’s nostalgia and campy, childlike wonder.
“When I’m plating a dish, there’s a song going inside of my head. I don’t know how to get rid of it.”
Chef’s Table is a docuseries produced by David Gelb, who brought us Jiro Dreams of Sushi, another critically acclaimed documentary. Each series of Chef’s Table follows six chefs, each with their own episode, who have all become world-renowned famous restaurant owners with Michelin Stars.
The docuseries follows their stories of struggle, adversity, inspiration, and growth to becoming some of the most sought-after chefs in the culinary world.
This show is very informative, but also highly visually stimulating and inspirational. Beautiful classical music plays throughout, to affect mood and heart rate, while aesthetically pleasing videos of expertly plated dishes are made to soothe the senses.
Even if you’re not a culinary connoisseur, you’ll find appealing qualities of every episode. There are currently two seasons on Netflix, and season three is expected in mid-February, 2017.
Orange is the New Black
“She failed to mention the lesbian lover who ran an international drug-smuggling ring. Imagine my surprise?”
Orange is the New Black is a Netflix Original series based on the best-selling memoir novel, Orange is the New Black: My Year in a Women’s Prison by Piper Kerman. The main character, Piper (played by Taylor Schilling), has a perfectly normal life, job and fiancé, until she is finally sent for prison for her one-time crime of carrying a suitcase of drug money for her girlfriend ten years prior.
Entering Litchfield Penitentiary as a young, pretty, white, blonde woman has its pros and cons. She can use her looks to get her way with male and female guards, as well as get off easy while serving time, but that also makes her a target to cliques and wannabe lovers.
The series starts as a comedy, but each episode slowly reveals the origin stories and real lives of the women sharing cells with Piper, leading to plots with conflicting values and life-threatening decision making.
The show has four seasons, and it was essentially forced to be categorized as a drama by the middle of its airing. There are several industry powerhouse actresses in this show, including Laverne Cox, Dascha Polanco, and Uzo Aduba. Season five is expected to be released sometime in summer, 2017.
More Binge-Worthy Shows
These listed original Netflix Series are only a few of some of the wonderful shows Netflix has or is putting out.
If you’re looking for T.V. shows you can binge-watch a handful of episodes or multiple series of, there are many more options to choose from, like A Series of Unfortunate Events, Peaky Blinders, Narcos, Arrested Development, or Audrie and Daisy, which all range from family-friendly to drama, to comedy, to documentary. Simply pick a genre, and grab a snack or two!