Editors' Choice

Best Original Shows On Netflix

Steve Porter / December 3, 2016

When Netflix launched in the late 90’s as a mail-based DVD subscription service, no one could’ve imagined that it would become the entertainment juggernaut that it is today.

 

Most people would associate the company’s original content with the streaming service, but in fact, their love affair with original programming started with Netflix First (which eventually became Red Envelope Entertainment) and they focused on distributing independent features and producing original documentaries. Netflix has over 120 original shows, movies, documentaries, and stand-up comedy specials. That’s no small feat. Lilyhammer in 2012 was their first piece of original content.

 

Stranger Things

 

 

Stranger Things is a mystery-horror/drama starring Winona Ryder, David Harbor, Millie Bobby Brown, Finn Wolfhard and Gaten Matarazzo. An “experiment” at a top secret facility goes awry and mysterious forces begin to affect a small town. When a young boy goes missing, a strange girl arrives. Friends of the missing boy and his family do their best to uncover the mystery behind what happened to him despite other-worldly encounters and obstacles. The show was created by the Duffer brothers; Season 1 was released on the streaming service on July 15th,  2016, and immediately shot up to the top of IMDB’s ranking system. Currently, the show has a 9.0/10 rating from over 200,000 votes. On August 31, 2016, Netflix posted a cryptic trailer which consisted of nothing other than the show’s signature synth pop intro and striking neon red logo. Overlayed on top of the logo were the names of Season 2’s episodes. Fans rejoiced and now the world waits for the next season to be released some time in 2017.

 

Orange Is The New Black

 

 

Orange Is The New Black is a crime dramedy created by Jenji Kohan (Weeds) and it premiered on July 11th, 2013. The show focuses on Piper Chapman, a woman sentenced to 15 months in prison for a crime she committed a decade earlier. The show follows Piper as she learns the ins and outs of the social dynamics and life in a female prison. The cast has some notable faces including Taylor Schilling (Argo), Michael Harney (Erin Brockovich), Kate Mulgrew (Star Trek: Voyager) and Laura Prepon (That 70’s Show). Currently IMDB has the show at a respectable 8.3 out of 10 from over 195,000 votes. On February 5, 2016, Netflix renewed the series for an additional 3 seasons!

 

House of Cards

 

 

House of Cards is a political drama that premiered on February 1st, 2013. The show was created by Beau Willimon (The Ides Of March). It’s an adaptation of a BBC series of the same name, both of which were based on the novel by Michael Dobbs. The show is set in present day Washington and it follows a Democrat from South Carolina named Frank Underwood (Kevin Spacey) as he flexes his political power with the help of his wife, Claire (Robin Wright). Other notable members of the cast include Michael Kelly (Man Of Steel, Everest), Nathan Darrow (Preacher, Billions), Mahershala Ali (Luke Cage, Moonlight) and Derek Cecil (Banshee, Friends with Kids) The show is scheduled to release its 5th season sometime in 2017.

 

Love

 

 

Love is a romantic comedy series created by Judd Apatow, Leslie Arfin and Paul Rust. The show follows a new couple as they fumble through the beginnings of their new relationship dealing with the complexities of intimacy, commitment and of course Love. Love stars Paul Rust (Pee-wee’s Big Holiday, Bob’s Burgers) Gillian Jacobs (Community, The Incredible Burt Wonderstone) and Claudia O’Doherty (Inside Amy Schumer, Trainwreck)  .The show premiered on Netflix February 19th of 2016 with a modest 10 episodes. The show was given the green light and producers announced that the second season would be released some time in 2017.

 

The Get Down

 

 

As it stands, The Get Down is the most expensive piece of original content on the Netflix roster, costing the company $120 million. The show was created by Stephen Adly Guirgis and Baz Luhrmann. The show is set in the run down Bronx of 1970’s New York City. It follows a scraggly group of teenagers who spend their days rhyming, dancing, and marking their territory with graffiti. The show is about the birth of disco, hip-hop, and punk music at a time when the city seemed to be falling apart. It currently has an 8.5 out of 10 rating on IMDB coming from 10,000 votes. Similar to Stranger Things, the show’s cast is stacked with some killer, youthful talent. It stars Justice Smith (Paper Towns, Trigger Finger), Shameik Moore (Dope, Incredible Crew), Herizen F. Guardiola (Runaway Island) and Skylan Brooks (Southpaw, Seven Pounds). The Get Down is great fun and should definitely be on your watch list.

 

Wet Hot American Summer –  First Day of Camp

 

 

This show is something special and its history goes back to 2001 when a raunchy, independent comedy sparked the careers of some of Hollywood’s biggest names. The film takes place on the last day of summer camp in 1981 where a group of counselors and camp staff try and wrap up the events of the season. The movie has become something of a cult classic which sparked the interest of telling more of the story. The Netflix series tells us how that summer in 1981 started, looking at the events which took place on the first day of camp. The series stars many of the original characters and actors from the original film such as Marguerite Moreau (The People V O.J. Simpson), Zak Orth (Happyish, Revolution), Paul Rudd (Antman, The Fundamentals of Caring), Bradley Cooper (Guardians Of The Galaxy, The Hangover), and Amy Poehler (Inside Out, Parks and Recreation). It’s a good watch even if you haven’t seen the original film, but if you have and you liked it, then the show feels like the perfect complement.

 

Narcos

 

 

Narcos follows the “adventures” of notorious Colombian drug kingpin Pablo Escobar in the early 1990’s as he builds his billionaire empire by producing and selling cocaine and his interactions with fellow drug lords and the DEA. The show was created by Carlo Bernard, Chris Brancato, and Doug Miro. Narcos premiered on August 28th, 2015, and is currently sitting at an 8.9 on IMDB with over 143,000 votes. Season 2 is out and the show has been renewed for another two seasons, guaranteeing that we will be following the exploits of Pablo Escobar into 2018. The show stars Wagner Moura (Elysium), Boyd Holbrook (Gone Girl, A Walk Among The Tombstones), Pedro Pascal (Graceland, Game Of Thrones), and Paulina Gaitan (Crossing Point).