It happens to the best of us. As we snuggle down with a host of calorific snacks, our favorite PJ's and perhaps a romantic other, we smile as we prepare for a relaxing evening of #Netflix and chill. Fast forward one hour and we find ourselves surrounded by calorific snack wrappers, wearing stained PJ's and becoming increasingly aggravated by our romantic other as we experience what is commonly known as 'Netflix Indecision Overload.'
Well fear not, because we've got the perfect antidote. Here is a list of all the best Netflix Original Series that you can watch right now, ranked, so you need never waste a further moment trawling through that intimidating Netflix catalogue ever again.
You and your PJ's are so very, very welcome.
Following the Rayburn family who run a beachfront inn down in the Florida Keys, #Bloodline could at first glance seem idyllic. But dig a little deeper and it soon becomes apparent that all is not well within the family, especially after renegade brother, Danny (Ben Mendelsohn) returns to the fold and a murder mystery is set in motion.
- Why It's Brilliant: Bloodline fuses together a compelling storyline with incredibly fleshed out characters, some of the most electric scenes are shared between Danny (Mendelsohn) and his mother Sally, played by the indomitable Sissy Spacek (Carrie). With the end of Season 1 culminating in the discovery of the murderer, the second Season had a lot to live up to, and while somewhat missing the mark, it still makes for a compelling watch.
19. 'The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt'
With Jane Krakowski, TIna Fey, Jon Hamm and Tituss Burgess all winning Emmy's for their performances, and Tina Fey billed as one of the Show's co-creators, #TheUnbreakableKimmySchmidt was Netflix's breakout hit of 2015. Focusing on the eternal optimist, Kimmy Schmidt (Ellie Kemper), a recent cult deserter, we soon begin to realize that she dealing both with adapting to a world she's not had much exposure to, and PTSD.
- What It's Brilliant: Giving the audience the brilliant ability to see the hilarious nuances of society that we otherwise take for granted, Kimmy reveals quite how strange and brilliant everyday life can truly be. Also, at around 25 minutes an Episode, The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt is effortlessly bingeable.
18. 'Santa Clarita Diet'
From the creator of Better Off Ted and Andy Richter Controls the World comes this off-beat horror-comedy starring Drew Barrymore and Timothy Olyphant who play a discontent couple living in a suburb of L.A. called Santa Clarita. However, Sheila (Barrymore) goes through a rather unusual change, and ultimately becomes a zombie who needs to feed upon human flesh to survive. Occasionally criticized for it's graphic scenes, the Santa Clarita Diet has overall been warmly received.
- Why It's Brilliant: Drew Barrymore is clearly the main draw to this Netflix Original, perfectly portraying the suburban wife, mother and real estate agent who suddenly discovers she's a member of the undead,bringing just the right amount of comedy to and otherwise incredibly gory tale.
17. 'Jessica Jones'
Dark, tortured, unassuming Marvel superhero #JessicaJones, when not downing whisky or cultivating a rather moody aura around herself has, like all superheroes, some super-villains to defeat. Be that in the form of mind-control expert Zebediah Killgrave (a.k.a. Purple Man) or in the form of battling her own dizzyingly low self worth.
- Why It's Brilliant: Jessica breaks the mould of what most mainstream audiences would associate with the term 'superhero.' Broken yet strong and (shock horror) a woman, Jessica is relatable through her flaws and consequently has become Hollywood's favorite female superhero. Such is her subversive popularity that Netflix have confirmed Season 2 for sometime later this year.
16. 'BoJack Horseman'
Following the life of an ex-celebrity horse who's turned to alcohol in the aftermath of his fading fame, #BoJackHorseman takes place in a universe in which humans and human-like-animals live peacefully together.
- Why It's Brilliant: Using comedy as a mask to discuss deeper questions such as existentialism, the ability to love two people simultaneously and what it means to hit rock bottom, BoJack Horseman has proven itself to be much more than just a 'cartoon.' Not only that, but it has found a tremendous following amongst other self proclaimed "broken bastards" who, when they look at BoJack, see a mirror image of themselves.
15. 'Lady Dynamite'
Slipping in and out of reality and fantasy at a pace which is barely comprehensible, #LadyDynamite is the brain child of Pam Brady (South Park) and Mitch Hurwitz (Arrested Development), and consequently, it packs lots of left-field laughs. The Show follows the life of Maria Bamford, a bi-polar stand-up-comedian who is recovering from a breakdown and trying to get back into the entertainment business.
- Why It's Brilliant: Unlike your usual try-hard comedy shows, Lady Dynamite takes greater risks with its comedic satire, often using comedy to point to bigger issues such as the place of middle aged women in Hollywood. Creating complex jokes which often take place across the entire Season (similar to Arrested Development), Lady Dynamite is a Show that keeps on giving, you've just got to be alert to catch all of the punchlines.
Netflix's first fully Brazilian Series, 3% is set in a dystopian universe where the vast majority of people are living way below the poverty line, and are being purposefully ignored by the powers that be. However, a chance for a better life is presented to the masses in the form of being chosen as one of the "3%" who are selected, once candidates reach the age of 20, to be re-homed to the supposedly perfect life of the "Offshore."
- Why It's Brilliant: Directed by Cesar Charlone (City of God), 3% is masterfully put together and like Black Mirror, poses us with a version of our world which could conceivably be our rather dark future. Quite clearly shot without a huge budget, what 3% may lack in the sheen of other Netflix Originals, it makes up for in grit and masterful guerrilla style storytelling. The real question though is whether you'd have what it takes to join the 3%.
13. 'Marvel's Daredevil'
While belonging to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Marvel's Daredevil almost operates completely independently from the colossal superhero franchise. Sticking very closely to the original comic, this Netflix Original provides us with a more violent, complex and twisted version of its movie counterpart — and it's all the better for it.
- Why It's Brilliant: One of the standout features of Marvel's Daredevil is the dialogue; the script is a work of genius, and when combined with its stunning cinematography, and standout performances, it proves to be a real contender. Oh, and that's not even mentioning the wonderfully three-dimensional characters, both hero and villains alike — which makes the distinction between the two increasingly ambiguous.
12. 'The OA'
Combining science fiction, fantasy, the supernatural and good old fashioned gritty drama, #TheOA was one of Netflix's most talked about Original Series of last year. Following the plight of Prairie Johnson who has suddenly reappeared in the town from where she went missing seven years previously, going by the name of of The OA and being able to see, whereas before she had been blind, The OA created so much hype that it's been renewed for a second season.
- Why It's Brilliant: Raising more questions then it answers, The OA has generated a veritable hub of conspiracy theories, and delves into complex subject matter the like of which is rarely brought to our screens. If you're into having your mind completely bamboozled, and enjoy musing about the philosophical nature of our universe, you're in for a treat.
11. 'A Series Of Unfortunate Events'
With it's all-star cast including the likes of Neil Patrick Harris, Patrick Warburton, Malina Weissman and Todd Freeman, A Series of Unfortunate Events is based on the children's novel Series of the same name. Boasting a huge budget which can be seen in its high production values, we follow the plight of the three Baudelaire orphans whose cruel guardian, Count Olaf, is hellbent on claiming their inheritance.
- Why It's Brilliant: Sticking wonderfully close to the original books, Netflix's A Series Of Unfortunate Events is thankfully a mile away from the Nickelodeon movie remake which starred Jim Carey. Refusing to patronize it's audience, A Series Of Unfortunate Events employs a wonderfully sophisticated, dark tone even though it is aimed at young adults. The world in which the orphans and Count Olaf inhabit is as rich as it is compelling, and refuses to let the audience out of its grasp without a struggle.
10. 'The Crown'
What could be more delightful than a Show following the life and times of Great Britain's most iconic monarch, Her Royal Majesty Queen Elizabeth II? Marking Season 1 with Elizabeth's ascension to the throne following the rather sudden death of her father, we trace the early life of the Queen as she cuts her teeth on those glittering crown jewels in preparation for Season 2.
- Why It's Brilliant: Twee English accents, corgis and splendor abound making #TheCrown easy on the eye, and rather dull in an endearing sort of way. Due to being based on the real life British Royal family, the Show also acts as a history lesson of sorts and few things are more enjoyable than undertaking a good old educational binge. Also, Claire Foy puts in a stunning performance as the young Queen Elizabeth, and dare I say it, even manages makes the Queen strangely sexy, which is a marvel in and of itself.
As far as mildly trashy, sci-fi, character driven TV Shows go, #Sense8 is up there with the best of them. Directed by the Wachowski's (Matrix, Bound), Sense8 follows a group of (shocker) 8 individuals who discover that they are all emotionally and mentally linked to each other after Darryl Hannah dramatically spawns them into their interconnective existence in the pilot Episode. With a Christmas Special airing just a few weeks ago, Season 2 also looks like it's back on the cards.
- Why It's Brilliant: It forces us to examine what it means to be human in a completely refreshing, bold new way. While it loses its edge somewhat by focusing primarily on hooking up a vast majority of the "eight" and therefore distracting the characters from what could otherwise have been a truly fascinating Show, it's also incredibly easy to binge. Don't miss the truly iconic orgy scene set in a Berlin based swimming pool to feast your hungry eyes upon.
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With a life as full, complicated and morally ambiguous as Pablo Escobar's, trying to portray it in all it's rich complexity on the screen could prove to be a near impossible task. However, Netflix have not only managed to bring (their version) of the great "Tsar of Cocaine" to life, but they've also brought with it a thoroughly gripping Show in #Narcos.
- Why It's Brilliant: Sometimes knowing how a TV Show or a movie is more or less going to end when you start watching it can be a blessing. Rather than focusing on exactly how the historically renowned moments of a true story are going to be portrayed on screen, it frees us up to look more deeply into the characters involved, and gain a greater understanding for how one man might transform into the most infamous drug dealer in the world. Although, the Show could never really do complete justice to the absolute insanity that was Pablo's day to day life.
7. 'Chef's Table'
It may seem a little strange including a series all about master chefs and the mind bogglingly delicious food they create in the upper echelons of this list, but #ChefsTable is a cut way above the average 'foodie' TV Show.
Why It's Brilliant: The premise is simple, but effective. Each Episode features a particular master chef, and a food critic (or two) who discuss what it is that makes their particular approach to food so fascinating. Couple this with some absolutely mouth watering cinematography and you have an original Series which is both captivating and informative. Warning, do not watch when hungry or prepare to devour everything in sight and find it very, very disappointing by comparison.
6. 'Making A Murderer'
Following the case of Steven Avery who was released after, apparently wrongfully, serving 18 years in prison for the rape and murder of victim Teresa Halbach, #MakingaMurderer is gripping documentary making at it's best.
- Why It's Brilliant: It has created a huge global debate over the guilt or innocence of the different people associated with the crime as well as more complex discussions such as the role of Television as a vehicle to embellish an individual's innocence or guilt on a mass stage. If you're a fan of true crime, Making a Murderer is one Netflix original not to be missed.
5. 'Master Of None'
One of the leading stars of #ParksandRecreation, Aziz Ansari has proven not only to be an incredibly talented actor, but also a gifted comedy screenwriter as demonstrated in his Netflix Original, #MasterofNone.
- Why It's Brilliant: As well as being low-key hilarious, Ansari's semi-autobiographical Show is also critically acclaimed as he combines an all star cast with stories from his own life. Oh, and he also cast his real life parents as his on-screen parents, with the Episode in which they star, the aptly titled 'Parents,' going on to win an Emmy for both Aziz and co-writer Alan Young, who hands down delivered the best speech of last years Emmy Awards ceremony.
4. 'Black Mirror' Season 3
With Seasons 1 and 2 originally being commissioned for the UK's Channel 4, Netflix honed in on this delightfully dark science fiction anthology series and commissioned the third season of #BlackMirror for last October. This consequently opened up a whole new audience to the satirical genius of Black Mirror, especially in America, and has inspired legions of new fans.
- Why It's Brilliant: With universal critical acclaim, Black Mirror's genius comes from its ability to conceptualize our current reality but with a certain area of our everyday lives being cranked up a few notches, usually to disastrous effect. For example, it asks questions such as: What would the world be like if our social media ranking dictated where we lived, ate and worked? Or, what if we were able to upload our consciousness to "the cloud"? While not always easy watching, Black Mirror is certainly compelling, and asks the questions that we often too frequently shy away from.
3. 'Stranger Things'
Netflix's viral sensation of 2016, a fusion of '80s nostalgia, terrifying demogorgons and Winona Ryder, #StrangerThings was argued as being not only the best Show on Netflix, but as being the best Show of 2016.
- Why It's Brilliant: With a heady mix of fresh and yet familiar content, Stranger Things proved to be one of the more original Shows of 2016, and with Season 2 due for release later this year, you can expect a colossal amount of hype in the lead up. Nominated for multiple Golden Globes, SAGs, Peoples Choice Awards and even a Grammy, this Netflix Original has proven to be an absolute winner, with only a small minority disagreeing.
2. 'House Of Cards'
When you combine Kevin Spacey, Robin Wright and the sordid spectacle of underhand White House politics, you know you're in for a treat.
- Why It's Brilliant: With our protagonist Frank Underwood (Spacey) being so delightfully corrupt in his furious pursuit of power, we're forced to deal with the darker sides of humanity that, for better or for worse, exist within us all. #HouseofCards is masterfully shot, is incredibly pacy with twists, shocks and storylines so complex you'll need to debrief after each Episode. Providing Netflix with its first Emmy and having President Obama as a diehard fan, House of Cards is just that bit better than the rest.
1. 'Orange Is The New Black'
With Season 5 set to return in June of this year, Netflix's breakout female-prison dramady boasts a loyal, and rapidly growing fan base.
- Why It's Brilliant: With a multiple Television Critics Association Awards, AFI Awards, Screen Actors Guild Awards, People's Choice Awards, several Emmys and Gold Globe Nominations, #OrangeIsTheNewBlack has proven Season after Season to be at the forefront of character driven screenwriting, and a champion of diversity. Oh, and did we mention the vast array of ridiculously steamy sex scenes?
Who would you most like to Netflix and 'chill' with?
[Poll Image Credit: Netflix]