The 12 best Netflix original series to binge-watch

NetflixEleven and the kids of Hawkins have to go up against the mysterious creatures of the Upside Down on ‘Stranger Things.’

Back in 2014, Netflix only had a handful of original programs. Now, it has more than over 100 series ranging from comedies and dramas to reality shows and adult animated series.

The streaming service is constantly adding more new content weekly. Unless you’re keeping a diligent eye on what’s coming and going to Netflix, you may miss a few noteworthy series.

From true crime to sci-fi, INSIDER rounded up the best Netflix original series worth binge-watching.

Heather Taylor contributed to an earlier version of this story.

1. “Orange Is the New Black”

NetflixAlex and Piper’s on-again, off-again relationship is followed throughout the show.

You can’t watch Netflix without bingeing one of its first three original series. Based on Piper Kerman’s memoir of her year in a women’s prison, Netflix has referred to “OITNB” as its most original popular series.

Watch the show for Uzo Aduba alone. Originally only meant to appear on three episodes, Aduba’s performance won her two Primetime Emmys for the series.

It’s not always easy to watch as it tackles drug use, jail riots, killings, and ICE raids. All seven seasons of the show are now available to stream.

2. “Aggretsuko”

NetflixAggretsuko is frustrated by her day job and takes her frustrations out at karaoke.

Don’t let her appearance as a cute red panda and Sanrio anime character fool you. By day,Retsuko is a 25-year-old who works in the accounting department of a trading firm in Tokyo and is often frustrated with the demands of her job. By night, she screams her heart out to death metal karaoke.

This animated original series is one of Netflix’s hidden gems. Don’t feel guilty about binge-watching this one. Each episode goes by in a quick 15 minutes.

3. “Black Mirror”

NetflixMiley Cyrus in ‘Black Mirror’ season five.

Picked up by Netflix after originally airing its first two seasons on UK’s Channel 4, “Black Mirror” is an anthology series that explores the complicated effects of technology on modern society.

From episodes that explore futuristic dating and social apps, you’ll never look at your phone the same way again.

The original series has won six Emmys, including outstanding TV movie for its episode, “USS Callister,” featuring Jesse Plemons in a “Star Trek”-like episode. The fifth season is currently streaming on Netflix with Miley Cyrus and Anthony Mackie starring in two of the season’s three episodes.

Read more:

15 celebrities you forgot were on “Black Mirror”

4. “Stranger Things”

Netflix‘Stranger Things’ just returned for a third season.

In the sleepy town of Hawkins, Indiana, a young boy named Will vanishes into thin air in the 1980s. As Will’s friends and family try to find him, they discover “the Upside Down,” a parallel universe where dark creatures reside.

The series made overnight stars out of actors like Millie Bobby Brown and David Harbour. The third season is now streaming.

Read more:
29 questions “Stranger Things” season three left unanswered

5. “GLOW”

Netflix‘GLOW’ earned an Emmy nom for best comedy series.

“GLOW,” or “Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling,” was originally a 1980s TV show, and its revitalized counterpart shares the elements that made it a hit.

A strong female ensemble cast, including Alison Brie(“Community”) and Betty Gilpin along with their ’80s hairstyles and looks will keep you coming back for more. The third season premieres on Netflix on Friday, August 9.

Read more:
Here are the real-life inspirations for the characters on Netflix’s ‘GLOW’

6. “Mindhunter”

Netflix‘Mindhunter’ is set in the 1970s.

Directed by filmmaker David Fincher, “Mindhunter” depicts two FBI agents pushed to their limits as they explore the psychology of murder by getting alarmingly close to the killers themselves in the 1970s.

Cameron Britton received an Emmy nomination for guest actor in a drama series for his role as serial killer Ed Kemper. The series will return for a second season on Friday, August 16.

7. “Ozark”

NetflixJason Bateman stars on ‘Ozark.’

In “Ozark,” the Byrde family moves from Chicago to the Missouri Ozarks, not necessarily for a more peaceful life, but because patriarch Marty Byrde (played by Jason Bateman) is a money launderer for a Mexican drug cartel.

The series received nine 2019 Emmy nods, including outstanding drama series. If you’re seeking a series to fill the “Breaking Bad” hole, this could be the ticket.

8. “Queer Eye”

NetflixThe new Fab Five.

A reboot of Bravo’s “Queer Eye for the Straight Guy,” the series returned to Netflix with a brand-new Fab Five – Antoni Porowski, Bobby Berk, Karamo Brown, Jonathan Van Ness, and Tan France.

They’re bubbling over with positivity and are ready to help reinvent the lives of men and women across the country.

Read more:

‘Queer Eye’ star Karamo Brown shares his biggest career setback – and how he turned rejection into a personal win

9. “The Crown”

NetflixClaire Foy played Queen Elizabeth II on the show’s first season.

The prestige drama about the life of Queen Elizabeth II starts out in the late ’40s before moving to the ’60s for its second season.

Claire Foy won the Emmy for outstanding lead actress in a drama series for her performance as the Queen. The upcoming third season is expected to take place in the late ’60s and early ’70s, with the original cast being replaced as the characters age.

Read more:
Here’s how the cast of “The Crown” compares to the real-life royals

10. “Nailed It”

NetflixCreations like this ‘Black Panther’ cake will leave you laughing hysterically.

If you love reality competition shows and are looking for a few laughs, “Nailed It!” has you covered. Each 30-minute episode showcases three amateur bakers as they compete against one another for $US10,000.

All the contestants have to do is nail two different baking tasks where they’re asked to recreate specially designed cookies, cupcakes, and even cakes in intricate detail. (Spoiler: They rarely succeed.) But their efforts make it all worth a watch. You’ll go through a few episodes in no time.

Read more:

17 hilarious side-by-side photos from ‘Nailed It!,’ the Netflix series about baking fails, show why people love it so much

11. “One Day at a Time”

Adam Rose/NetflixRita Moreno is a quick favourite on the family series.

We were admittedly a little late to the reimagining of the original CBS sitcom of the same name, but it packs a heavier punch than we expected. That’s thanks to the performances of Justina Machado as an army vet trying to juggle two teenagers as a single mum and Rita Moreno as her tough-as-nails Cuban mother.

What looked like a cookie-cutter sitcom surprised us by unexpectedly addressing depression, anxiety, alcoholism, homophobia, immigration, and racism through the eyes of a Cuban American family.

Netflix canceled the series after three seasons. Pop TV picked it up for a fourth season which will air in 2020, making it the first canceled Netflix series to be picked up by another network.

12. “Russian Doll”

NetflixNadia doesn’t know why she’s reliving the same day over and over again and neither will you.

Do you like “Groundhog Day?” Then “Russian Doll” is probably for you. Nadia (Natasha Lyonne) is stuck celebrating her birthday over and over again as she finds herself stuck in a time loop. You’ll speed through the eight-episode first season as you’re gleefully repeating “Sweet birthday baby” aloud.

If you’re still a bit hesitant, the show received 13 Emmy nominations, including one for outstanding comedy series. Lyonne also received a nod for outstanding lead actress in a comedy series. The series was renewed for a second season.

Read more:
‘Orange Is the New Black’ star’s new Netflix series ‘Russian Doll’ was partly inspired by an old TV show she worked on with Amy Poehler

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