29 great Netflix shows that might have flown under your radar

caption
“Glow” was a critic favorite in 2017.
source
Erica Parise/Netflix

Even if you love Netflix, you probably haven’t seen some of its best shows.

For many original series Netflix has put out, the company’s marketing has been either non-existent or subtle, allowing its viewers to determine what becomes a hit. In 2016, “Stranger Things” quietly became a phenomenon through word of mouth, with no major advertisements before it made its debut on the streaming service.

Now, Netflix is starting to decide what it thinks will be the next big show.

In January, Netflix announced that in 2018, it would increase its marketing budget by 50% to $2 billion. So that’s why you definitely didn’t miss “Altered Carbon,” the first freshman series Netflix put major marketing behind.

But there are a bunch of other shows that might have slipped under your radar, and we collected 29 of our favorites.

Here’s all the Netflix original shows you might have overlooked (along with their Rotten Tomatoes score and why you should watch):


“Santa Clarita Diet” — two seasons (2017-present)

caption
Drew Barrymore stars on Netflix’s “Santa Clarita Diet.”
source
Netflix

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.


“Bloodline” — three seasons (2014-2017)

source
Netflix

Critic score: 57%

Netflix description: “When the black sheep son of a respected family threatens to expose dark secrets from their past, sibling loyalties are put to the test.”

Why you should watch it: The cast, from Kyle Chandler to Linda Cardellini to Ben Mendelsohn, brings life to the otherwise predictable family drama.


“Marvel’s The Punisher” — one season (2017)

source
Netflix

Critic score: 63%

Netflix description: “A former Marine out to punish the criminals responsible for his family’s murder finds himself ensnared in a military conspiracy.”

Why you should watch it: It’s the most ambitious Marvel Netflix show.


“Ozark” — one season (2017)

source
Netflix

Critic score: 64%

Netflix description: “A financial adviser drags his family from Chicago to the Missouri Ozarks, where he must launder $500 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!” — one season (2018)

source
Netflix

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.


“Collateral” — one season (2018)

source
Netflix

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” —one season (2018)

source
Netflix

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.


“Atypical” — one season (2017)

source
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.


“F Is For Family” — three seasons (2015-2017)

source
Netflix

Critic score: 81%

Netflix description: “Follow the Murphy family back to the 1970s, when kids roamed wild, beer flowed freely and nothing came between a man and his TV.”

Why you should watch it: While the humor is vulgar, it still has some warmth to it.


“Sense8” — two seasons (2015-2018)

source
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%” — one season (2016)

source
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” — one season (2017)

source
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.


“Dark” — one season (2017)

source
Netflix

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.


“She’s Gotta Have It” — one season (2017)

source
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” — one season (2017)

source
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” — one season (2017)

source
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.


“W/ Bob and David” — one season (2015)

source
Netflix

Critic score: 89%

Netflix description: “After being dishonorably discharged from the Navy Seals, ‘Bob and David’ are back serving our country the way they do best — making sketch comedy.”

Why you should watch it: Bob Odenkirk and David Cross paved the way for absurd comedy in the early 90s with HBO’s “Mr. Show,” and this brings that vibe back.


“Love” — three seasons (2016-2018)

source
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 humor and sentimentality.

“Glow” — one season (2017)

source
Netflix

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.”


“Mindhunter” — one season (2017)

source
Netflix

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.


“Easy” — two seasons (2016-2017)

source
Netflix

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” — two seasons (2016-2017)

source
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.


“One Day at a Time” — two seasons (2017-2018)

source
Adam Rose/Netflix

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 mom.”

Why you should watch it: It’s positive, funny, smart, culturally relevant, and isn’t afraid to take on dramatic material.


“The End of the F***ing World” — one season (2018)

source
Netflix

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: It makes a psychopath sympathetic in a new way that doesn’t feel desperate. It’s nihilistic, but still remains charming and romantic. Plus, the episodes are really short.


“Alias Grace” — one season (2017)

source
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.


“Dear White People” — one season (2017)

source
Netflix

Critic score: 100%

Netflix description: “Students of color 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.


“Big Mouth” — one season (2017)

source
Netflix

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.


“On My Block” — one season (2018)

source
Netflix

Critic score: 100%

Netflix description: “In a rough inner-city Los Angeles neighborhood, 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).


“American Vandal” — one season (2017)

source
Netflix

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.