44 great Netflix shows you might have missed but should definitely watch

Michele K. Short/NetflixEmma Stone as Annie on Netflix’s sci-fi series ‘Maniac.’
  • There are more Netflix original shows than the average viewer can possibly track.
  • Insider picked our favourite 44 series you might have overlooked on Netflix.
  • “Maniac,” “On My Block,” “Unbelievable,” “Gentefied,” and more are among the recommendations.
  • Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Even if you love Netflix, you probably haven’t seen some of its best shows. There are a bunch of other shows that might have slipped under your radar, since there are more than 113 brand new shows arriving on Netflix this year alone.

Keep reading to see all the best Netflix original shows you might have overlooked. We’ve included the Rotten Tomatoes critics’ score for each show, as well as the year they debuted.

Carrie Wittmer contributed to a previous version of this article.


“Gentefied” (2020)

NetflixKarrie Martin and Julissa Calderon star in ‘Gentefied.’

Critic score: 90%

Netflix description: “In this badass bilingual series about family, community, brown love, and the displacement that disrupts it all, three Mexican-American cousins struggle to chase the American Dream, even while that same dream threatens the things they hold most dear: their neighbourhood, their immigrant grandfather, and the family taco shop.”

Why you should watch it: Charting the timely issues of gentrification in Los Angeles with plenty of heart and wit, “Gentefied” is one of the best new comedies of 2020. With just 10 episodes clocking in around 30 minutes each, it’s a fun and engaging binge-watch.


“Unbelievable” (2019)

NetflixMerritt Wever and Toni Collette on Netflix’s ‘Unbelievable.’

Critic score: 97%

Netflix description: “Inspired by real events, a teen reports and eventually recants her reported rape, while two female detectives, states away, investigate evidence that could reveal the truth.”

Why you should watch it: The first episode of “Unbelievable” is one of the most gutting hours of television made this year, especially when you know it’s based on real reported events. After the horrifying events of the premiere, the following seven episodes are intensely cathartic and downright incredible.

This is a show everyone should be talking about, especially at a time when the subject of sexual assault investigations are under intense scrutiny.

Editor’s note: Viewers who have experienced sexual assault may find the events portrayed throughout the series (and especially the pilot) too upsetting.


“Special” (2019)

NetflixThe offbeat comedy is based on series creator and star Ryan O’Connell’s memoir, ‘I’m Special: And Other Lies We Tell Ourselves.’

Critic score: 96%

Netflix description: “‘Special’ is a distinctive and uplifting new series about a gay man, Ryan with mild cerebral palsy who decides to rewrite his identity and finally go after the life he wants.”

Why you should watch it: “Special” is a new type of Netflix original series that delivers its comedy (with the perfect dash of drama) in very short episodes. Each instalment is just under 15 minutes, which means you can easily binge the whole fantastic first season in under two hours.


“The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance” (2019)

NetflixThe puppet of Rian in ‘The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance.’

Critic score: 88%

Netflix description: “The journey begins as darkness rises. Join three Gelfling heroes on an epic quest to save their world.”

Why you should watch it: This ambitious live-action puppet series acts as a prequel to the 1982 Jim Hensen film “The Dark Crystal.” Working in a medium never-before-seen on Netflix, it tells a fantastic epic fantasy tale with an incredible star-studded cast.


“I Think You Should Leave with Tim Robinson” (2019)

NetflixWill Forte and Tim Robinson in one of the sketches in ‘I Think You Should Leave.’

Critic score: 93%

Netflix description: “There is no such thing as an ordinary interaction in this offbeat sketch comedy series that features a deep roster of guest stars.”

Why you should watch it: “I Think You Should Leave” is a collection of comedy sketches, each with a uniquely off-kilter style that will leave you crying with laughter and quoting random phrases for days afterwards.


“Never Have I Ever” (2020)

NetflixMaitreyi Ramakrishnan and Jaren Lewison costar in ‘Never Have I Ever.’

Critic score: 96%

Netflix description: “‘Never Have I Ever’ is a new coming-of-age comedy about the complicated life of a modern-day first-generation Indian American teenage girl.”

Why you should watch it: This Netflix original comedy has short episodes, a compelling dramatic subplot, and an original spin on the classic teen coming-of-age story. You’ll find yourself surprised, amused, and (in the end), deeply moved by Devi’s journey.


“Feel Good” (2020)

NetflixCharlotte Ritchie and Mae Martin costar in ‘Feel Good.’

Critic score: 100%

Netflix description: “‘Feel Good’ is a deeply personal, dark but hilarious story about two young people navigating the modern-day landscape of love, addiction, and sexuality – and trying to form a meaningful and lasting connection.”

Why you should watch it: “Feel Good” is the kind of perfect, short show you can binge in an afternoon and feel, well, good about. Telling the autobiographical story of comedian (and recovered addict) Mae Martin as she falls in love and tries to balance her mental health, it’s funny and earnest and endearing and raw all at once.


“Dark” (2017)

NetflixThe first two seasons of ‘Dark’ are streaming now, with a third and final instalment on its way.

Critic score: 84%

Netflix description: “A missing child sets four families on a frantic hunt for answers as they unearth a mind-bending mystery that spans three generations.”

Why you should watch it: It’s a slow burn, but it’s worth sticking to because it expertly weaves tension into the sci-fi noir world.


“Next in Fashion” (2020)

NetflixTan France and Alexa Chung are the cohosts of ‘Next in Fashion.’

Critic score: 91%

Netflix description: “Hosted by fashion designer and TV personality Tan France and designer and global style icon Alexa Chung, ‘Next in Fashion’ begins with 18 designers who face challenges centering on a different trend or design style that has influenced the way the entire world dresses.”

Why you should watch it: If you enjoy reality competition shows, particularly ones centered around fashion design challenges, “Next in Fashion” is a new can’t-miss series. The contestants are fabulous, and each weekly challenge produces some stunning new designs.


“When They See Us” (2019)

Netflix‘When They See Us’ was created, co-written, and directed by Ava DuVernay.

Critic score: 96%

Netflix description: “Based on a true story that gripped the country, ‘When They See Us’ will chronicle the notorious case of five teenagers of colour, labelled the Central Park Five, who were convicted of a rape they did not commit.”

Why you should watch it: This gripping, Emmy-winning limited series is one of the best dramas of 2019 thanks to the phenomenal performances and poignant script which adapts an appalling true story.


“The End of the F***ing World” (2018)

NetflixAlex Lawther and Jessican Barden star as James and Alyssa in ‘The End of the Fxxxing World.’

Critic score: 98%

Netflix description: “A budding teen psychopath and a rebel hungry for adventure embark on a star-crossed road trip in this darkly comic series based on a graphic novel.”

Why you should watch it: With short, under-30-minute episodes and a compelling story about two teens who embark on a shocking journey, “The End of the Fxxxing World” is one of the most surprisingly heartfelt (and violent) shows on Netflix.


“I Am Not OK With This” (2020)

NetflixSophia Lillis and Wyatt Oleff costar in ‘I Am Not OK With This.’

Critic score: 86%

Netflix description: “‘I Am Not OK With This’ is an irreverent origin story that follows a teenage girl who’s navigating the trials and tribulations of high school, all while dealing with the complexities of her family, her budding sexuality, and mysterious superpowers just beginning to awaken deep within her.”

Why you should watch it: Cocreated by the same director from “The End of the Fxxxing World,” Jonathan Entwistle, “I Am Not OK With This” shares the similarly pitch-perfect sense of style and musical tone.

The cast is fantastic, and it’s another short binge-watch series you wish you could spend more time falling in love with.


“Kipo and the Age of Wonderbeasts” (2020)

NetflixThis new series follows a human girl as she encounters new mutants and friends.

Critic score: N/A

Netflix description: “‘Burrow girl’ Kipo’s life turns upside down when she surfaces in a wild world of mutant creatures. She’ll need all the help she can get to go home.”

Why you should watch it: Netflix has been producing beautiful animated original series for some time now, and “Kipo” is a great addition to the catalogue of modern animated storytelling. It’s gorgeous, funny, weird, endearing, and easy to devour in a single weekend.


“Sacred Games” (2018)

Netflix‘Sacred Games’ is one of Netflix’s biggest international hits.

Critic score: 92%

Netflix description: “A link in their pasts leads an honest cop to a fugitive gang boss, whose cryptic warning spurs the officer on a quest to save Mumbai from cataclysm.”

Why you should watch it: “Sacred Games” is based on Vikram Chandra’s 2006 novel of the same name, and it’s one of the best crime thrillers on Netflix. Nominated for best drama at the 2019 International Emmy Awards, it has yet to truly pick up with US audiences. But if you like underworld crime drama, “Sacred Games” is the show for you.


“Tuca and Bertie”

NetflixTiffany Haddish and Ali Wong costar on ‘Tuca and Bertie.’

Critic score: 98%

Netflix description: “They’re just two ride-or-fly BFFs winging it together.”

Why you should watch it: Though “Tuca and Bertie” was sadly cancelled by Netflix after the first season premiered this year, it’s one of the critics’ favourite new shows on the streaming service. This oddball adult animated show is a perfect blend of funny, sweet, and insightful.


“Elite” (2018)

Netflix‘Elite’ was recently renewed for a fourth season.

Critic score: 91%

Netflix description: “When three working class kids were given scholarships to Spain’s most elite high school, they thought they were in for their big break. But when one of their classmates turns up dead, everyone is under question. Welcome to Las Encinas.”

Why you should watch it: “Elite” is a perfect blend of epic teen drama and murder mystery intrigue. If you enjoy shows like “Riverdale” and “Gossip Girl,” add this one to your “must watch” list.


“Dear White People” (2017)

NetflixThere are three seasons of ‘Dear White People’ currently streaming on Netflix.

Critic score: 100%

Netflix description: “Students of colour navigate the daily slights and slippery politics of life at an Ivy League college that’s not nearly as ‘post-racial’ as it thinks.”

Why you should watch it: It’s sharp social commentary that will make you think just as often as it will make you laugh.


“The OA” (2016)

Netflix; FacebookBrit Marling stars on Netflix’s ‘The OA.’

Critic score: 84%

Netflix description: “From Brit Marling and Zal Batmanglij, the visionary filmmakers behind ‘Sound of My Voice’ and ‘The East,’ comes a powerful, mind-bending tale about identity, human connection and the borders between life and death.”

Why you should watch it: “The OA” is one of the most unique and compelling shows on Netflix. You’ll need to sink into a world of interdimensional travel and outcasts, but the sometimes-uncomfortable journey is well worth it.

Unfortunately, “The OA” was cancelled after just two seasons (and a wild cliffhanger). But it’s still worth experiencing, even if you’re stuck with the short-changed version.


“Santa Clarita Diet” (2017)

NetflixNetflix made three total seasons of ‘Santa Clarita Diet.’

Critic score: 75%

Netflix description: “They’re ordinary husband and wife Realtors until she undergoes a dramatic change that sends them down a road of death and destruction. In a good way.”

Why you should watch it: Drew Barrymore eats people, and her chemistry with Timothy Olyphant (“Deadwood,” “Justified”) is sparkling. It’s also a clever satire of suburban life.


“Atypical” (2017)

NetflixThere are two total seasons of ‘Atypical’ on Netflix.

Critic score: 76%

Netflix description: “When a teen on the autism spectrum decides to get a girlfriend, his bid for more independence puts his whole family on a path of self-discovery.”

Why you should watch it: It has great performances and a realistic representation of autism, which is not an easy feat.


“Ozark” (2017)

NetflixThere are two total seasons of ‘Ozark’ on Netflix.

Critic score: 64%

Netflix description: “A financial adviser drags his family from Chicago to the Missouri Ozarks, where he must launder $US500 million in five years to appease a drug boss.”

Why you should watch it: The premise is similar to “Breaking Bad” and Jason Bateman delivers a great performance as a guy who launders money for a drug dealer.


“Everything Sucks!” (2018)

NetflixNetflix cancelled ‘Everything Sucks!’ after just one season.

Critic score: 70%

Netflix description: “It’s 1996 in a town called Boring, where high school misfits in the AV and drama clubs brave the ups and downs of teenage life in the VHS era.”

Why you should watch it: Most of the episodes are only 20 minutes, and it brings a compelling emotional story into the 90s nostalgia.


“One Day at a Time” (2017)

Adam Rose/NetflixNetflix made three seasons of ‘One Day at a Time’ before it was cancelled and picked up by Pop TV.

Critic score: 98%

Netflix description:“In a reimagining of the TV classic, a newly single Latina mother raises her teen daughter and tween son with the ‘help’ of her old-school mum.”

Why you should watch it: It’s positive, funny, smart, culturally relevant, and isn’t afraid to take on dramatic material. This is yet another great Netflix show that was cancelled, but PopTV has since picked it up. So start the show on Netflix, and then hop over to the other network for new episodes.


“Big Mouth” (2017)

Netflix‘Big Mouth.’

Critic score: 100%

Netflix description: “Teenage friends find their lives upended by the wonders and horrors of puberty in this edgy comedy from real-life pals Nick Kroll and Andrew Goldberg.”

Why you should watch it: It’s as vulgar as it is adorable, and will remind you of your experience with puberty, but not in a bad way. It will make you feel less alone knowing that a lot of people had the same experiences.


“Collateral” (2018)

Netflix‘Collateral’ was a limited series, with only one season planned and produced.

Critic score: 71%

Netflix description: “Investigating the murder of a pizza delivery man, a London detective uncovers a tangled conspiracy involving drug dealers, smugglers and spies.”

Why you should watch it: It is a thriller combined with biting political commentary, and a stunning performance from Carey Mulligan.


“Seven Seconds” (2018)

NetflixNetflix made one season of ‘Seven Seconds.’

Critic score: 76%

Netflix description: “The death of a 15-year-old African American boy in Jersey City sets off a police cover-up and a search for the truth.”

Why you should watch it: It’s a brutal watch, but an important reflection on race and the flawed justice system.


“Salt Fat Acid Heat” (2018)

NetflixThere is one season (and four total episodes) of ‘Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat’ on Netflix.

Critic score: 100%

Netflix description: “Master these four elements, master the kitchen. Based on Samin Nosrat’s best-selling book, Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat is the essential guide to the basic elements of good cooking.”

Why you should watch it: Samin Nosrat takes the well-tread premise of a food documentary and breathes new life into it with her contagiously joyful personality and educational approach.


“Mindhunter” (2017)

NetflixThe first season of ‘Mindhunter’ is streaming now, with a second on its way.

Critic score: 96%

Netflix description: “In the late 1970s two FBI agents expand criminal science by delving into the psychology of murder and getting uneasily close to all-too-real monsters.”

Why you should watch it: It’s a slow-paced but thrilling psychological drama and crime procedural that completely reinvents what a procedural can be.


“Sense8” (2015)

NetflixThere are two total seasons of ‘Sense8’ on Netflix.

Critic score: 81%

Netflix description: “From the creators of ‘The Matrix’ and ‘Babylon 5’ comes this tense series in which eight people can telepathically experience each other’s lives.”

Why you should watch it: It’s visually stunning and focuses on diverse characters from many different backgrounds.


“3%” (2016)

NetflixThere are two total seasons of ‘3%’ on Netflix.

Critic score: 83%

Netflix description: “In a future where the elite inhabit an island paradise far from the crowded slums, you get one chance to join the 3% saved from squalor.”

Why you should watch it: It’s a skillful character study in a dystopian setting, which is good because most dystopian stories focus on the setting over the characters.


“Castlevania” (2017)

NetflixThere are two seasons of ‘Castlevania’ on Netflix.

Critic score: 85%

Netflix description: “A vampire hunter fights to save a besieged city from an army of otherworldly beasts controlled by Dracula himself. Inspired by the classic video games.”

Why you should watch it: The animation is exquisite, and the season is really short.


“On My Block” (2018)

NetflixThere are two seasons of ‘On My Block’ on Netflix, with a third on the way.

Critic score: 100%

Netflix description: “In a rough inner-city Los Angeles neighbourhood, four smart, funny and streetwise teens find their lifelong friendship tested as they begin high school.”

Why you should watch it: Both funny and heartbreaking, it focuses on an underrepresented community (especially when it comes to shows for teenagers).


“Russian Doll” (2019)

NetflixThe first season of ‘Russian Doll’ is streaming now on Netflix, with a second on its way.

Critic score: 96%

Netflix description: “Nadia keeps dying and reliving her 36th birthday party. She’s trapped in a surreal time loop – and staring down the barrel of her own mortality.”

Why you should watch it: “Russian Doll” is bleak and hilarious, melancholy and silly, and all fantastically brought to life by Natasha Lyonne.


“Maniac” (2018)

NetflixThere is just one season of ‘Maniac’ on Netflix.

Critic score: 84%

Netflix description: “Two struggling strangers connect during a mind-bending pharmaceutical trial involving a doctor with mother issues and an emotionally complex computer.”

Why you should watch it: With an incredible ensemble cast and a gorgeously unique imagining of an alternate future, “Maniac” is one of the most fun and poignant sci-fi shows ever made.


“She’s Gotta Have It” (2017)

NetflixThere are two seasons of ‘She’s Gotta Have It’ on Netflix.

Critic score: 88%

Netflix description: “Nola Darling struggles to stay true to herself and her dreams while juggling three lovers in this Spike Lee series based on his breakout film.”

Why you should watch it: It’s a fun, feminist reinvention of Spike Lee’s first big movie.


“Godless” (2017)

Netflix‘Godless’ was a miniseries, so there’s just one season on Netflix.

Critic score: 88%

Netflix description: “A ruthless outlaw terrorizes the West in search of a former member of his gang, who’s found a new life in a quiet town populated only by women.”

Why you should watch it: It was made to binge, and embraces every Western cliche in a good way.


“Anne with an E” (2017)

NetflixThere are two seasons of ‘Anne with an E’ on Netflix.

Critic score: 88%

Netflix description: “A plucky orphan whose passions run deep finds an unlikely home with a spinster and her soft-spoken bachelor brother. Based on ‘Anne of Green Gables.'”

Why you should watch it: It’s a sophisticated modern twist on a classic character.


“Love” (2016)

NetflixThere are three total seasons of ‘Love’ on Netflix.

Critic score: 94%

Netflix description: “Rebellious Mickey and good-natured Gus navigate the thrills and agonies of modern relationships in this bold comedy co-created by Judd Apatow.”

Why you should watch it: It’s a love story that every millennial can relate to in some way, and Judd Apatow’s presence is felt in its gross humour and sentimentality.


“Glow” (2017)

NetflixThere are two seasons of ‘Glow’ streaming now on Netflix, with a third on its way.

Critic score: 95%

Netflix description: “In 1980s LA, a crew of misfits reinvent themselves as the Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling. A comedy by the team behind ‘Orange Is the New Black.'”

Why you should watch it: It’s hilarious, inspiring (but not in a cheesy way), and filled with complicated women as well as references to the 80s, in a less on-the-nose way than “Stranger Things.”


“Easy” (2016)

NetflixThere are three seasons of ‘Easy’ on Netflix now.

Critic score: 97%

Netflix description: “Features eight vignettes that follow the complicated, loosely connected lives of young Chicagoans in their twenties and thirties as they tackle love, sex and self-improvement.”

Why you should watch it: It explores relationships from a modern lens in a truly unique but very realistic way.


“Lady Dynamite” (2016)

NetflixThere are two seasons of ‘Lady Dynamite’ on Netflix.

Critic score: 97%

Netflix description: “Comedian Maria Bamford stars in a series inspired by her own life. It’s the sometimes surreal story of a woman who loses – and then finds – her s**t.

Why you should watch it: It sweetly showcases Maria Bamford’s talent. Her strange but brilliant perspective is a perfect foil for her comedic style.


“Alias Grace” (2017)

Netflix‘Alias Grace’ is a miniseries, with just six total episodes on Netflix.

Critic score: 99%

Netflix description: “In 19th-century Canada, a psychiatrist weighs whether a murderess should be pardoned due to insanity. Based on Margaret Atwood’s award-winning novel.”

Why you should watch it: It dives deep into how gender, social status, and mental illness were treated in the past, and how it can affect people to this day.


“American Vandal” (2017)

NetflixNetflix cancelled ‘American Vandal’ after its second season premiered in 2018.

Critic score: 97%

Netflix description: “A high school is rocked by an act of vandalism, but the top suspect pleads innocence and finds an ally in a filmmaker. A satirical true crime mystery.”

Why you should watch it: It’s a poignant and funny reflection on true-crime entertainment, social media, and teen culture.


“Sex Education” (2019)

NetflixThe first season of ‘Sex Education’ premiered on Netflix in 2019.

Critic score: 90%

Netflix description: “Channeling his sex therapist mother, inexperienced teen Otis decides to set up a sex therapy clinic at school for the hopeless students of Moordale High. Get ready for love, laughs, lube, and the best time of their lives.”

Why you should watch it: Heartfelt, raunchy, sex-positive, and just overall enjoyable, “Sex Education” is a must-see Netflix show.

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