Netflix’s prolific year in original programming has produced a number of critically acclaimed new shows.
Three of the streaming service’s original series that debuted in 2017 have even earned the rare designation of a 100% “Fresh” rating on the reviews aggregator Rotten Tomatoes.
The satirical comedy-drama “Dear White People,” the animated, puberty-centric sitcom “Big Mouth,” and a reboot of the cult 1990s show “Mystery Science Theater 3000” all earned universally positive reviews on their way to notching an unblemished critic score on the site.
Here’s why these three Netflix original shows were so critically acclaimed:
“Dear White People”
- Roadside Attractions
Critic score: 100%; Audience score: 65%
A serial adaptation of the acclaimed 2014 film of the same name, Netflix’s “Dear White People” takes a satirical and incisive look at the issues that a group of students of color deal with while attending a fictional, predominately white Ivy League college.
NPR’s Eric Deggan called the series a “pop culture-savvy, sometimes explicit, always entertaining look” at the process of “young people negotiating a world where struggles over identity grow more complex every day.”
Netflix renewed the series for a second season over the summer, and production for it began later this year.
Critic score: 100%; Audience score: 79%
“Big Mouth,” an animated sitcom from comedian Nick Kroll and writer Andrew Goldberg, follows a group of teenagers adjusting to the trials of puberty, with a surreal and explicitly hilarious narrative that also feels true-to-life.
Business Insider’s Carrie Wittmer spoke to Goldberg about the series, and he described the show’s writers room as “often [feeling] like you’ve sat in a day of therapy… where you’re reliving these memories that are traumatic or embarrassing or awkward, but you’re getting the feeling that other people have been through it, too.”
Netflix renewed “Big Mouth” for a second season less than a month after releasing its first 10-episode season in late September.
“Mystery Science Theater 3000: The Return”
Critic score: 100%; Audience score: 92%
“Mystery Science Theater 3000: The Return” reboots a Comedy Central cult classic from the 1990s, wherein a human (played by comedian Jonah Ray, in this rendition) who is imprisoned on a spacecraft builds a team of sentient robots to watch bad movies with and crack jokes over the footage.
The Los Angeles Times’ Robert Lloyd described the new series as closely following the original show’s formula, which has “grown legendary with time,” and is “still a scrappy, silly thing, probably best experienced late at night, with friends.”
Netflix renewed the reboot for a second season last month, bringing the series total to 12 seasons.