Netflix’s library is packed with treasures. This list includes not very famous series – I tried to cover the widest possible range of genres and directions. This is not the top, not the “best of” – just a selection of good things from which you will surely like something.
Best Netflix TV shows / Best Netflix TV series
The Last Kingdom
The best series on the Dark Ages, and the point. The story of Utred Bebbanburg, a Saxon brought up by the Danes, is full of great feats, military campaigns, drama and mysticism. The intrigues at the court of Alfred the Great are more interesting than the last seasons of the Game of Thrones. The series really follows a real story, in contrast to the same “Vikings” who mixed three centuries in one pile.
What really delights is the captured spirit of the times. 9th century England is full of superstition. A ragged beggar from Northumbria hears the word of God, and nothing else (and the fact that he is ready to slander anyone for a bottle is nonsense). If the Viking was killed in a dream and he was without a weapon, a special rite must be performed so that his soul would fall into Valhalla. The throws of Utred, his friends and enemies you trust much more than Ragnar and his sons, seeking adventure at the request of the left heel.
Raven Club de Cuervos
Mexican comedy about a small-town football club. After the sudden death of the founder, the reins go to his children: judicious, but sometimes too harsh Isabella and the cheerful idiot Chava. Together they will have to ruin everything that father managed to build, and return everything back – insolent and often stupid decisions that for some reason work. And then quarrel, again ruin everything, and so a few more times.
The first season is not painful and funny, but the series is gradually swinging. It is interesting to observe the local flavour. Mexicans love football, the club’s council even includes a corrupt governor (more likely a fan than a businessman). And it’s funny to watch how the stars of Spain and Argentina, who are used to completely different mores, are trying to take root in Mexico.
YG Future Strategy Office
Netflix suddenly took off the Korean version of The Office, skillfully adapting the realities of British and American TV shows. The formula was turned upside down: instead of the idiot boss, surrounded by normal subordinates, we are shown a normal guy who headed a whole department of freaks whom a huge Korean corporation couldn’t attach anywhere else. As a result, they are engaged in the promotion of “idols” – singing boys and girls with multi-coloured hair.
The source of most of the gags is Korean pop culture, but in an amazing way, the jokes of the series are understandable even without footnotes (although sometimes they are very rude and straightforward). The strategic development department, in which all the characters work, in theory, should come up with all sorts of activities to strengthen the brand of the company. Instead, they roll up terrible corporate parties, spend charity races in the wilderness and arrange a VR date for female fans with an accountant instead of a real star.
Dogs of Berlin
A relatively fresh German detective, who managed to scold both the left and the right. The first – for lack of tolerance, the second – for its abundance. The plot is built around the murder of a Turkish footballer leading a striker of the German team (right before an important match, in fact, with Turkey!), And among the characters of Middle Eastern appearance there are enough scoundrels – this outraged the left. And the right-wing message “let’s live in peace” did not please the right.
But what can’t be taken away from the series is the speakers. Every episode is in suspense. Now the German cop who has descended finds a body … and decides to make money on it. While the death of the star remains a mystery, bookmakers offer increased bets on the victory of the Turks. The match begins … and a young, promising Senegalese steps onto the lawn. Does that horse have all the savings? In the last episodes, the series reaches the level of the brilliant Narcos: scenes of car chases and police raids were shot incredibly well for European television.
Mystery Science Theater 3000: The Return
Great-grandfather of Nostalgia Critic and Bad Comedian, a series that became cult in the West even before the collapse of the USSR and was resurrected on Netflix. The plot is simple and unpretentious: the deceitful and cunning Felicia Day imprisoned a simple technician at a station on the far side of the moon and tortures him with bad films. But there’s nothing at all – together with his robot friends, he mockingly comments on what is happening on the screen and sets up scenes based on what he saw.
Translation does not exist, and it would be useless – too many heroes joke about American culture. They joke not so well, but sometimes they go right to the bull’s eye. The films for the show are selected simply amazingly – the average score on IMDb of the worst of them reaches as much as 1.4 out of 10. If you wanted to watch a cheap Star Wars with David Hasselhoff or the Danish version of Godzilla, but not regret the time spent later, pay attention to this series.
A leisurely and very pleasant procedure about a sheriff in the American outback, a kind of cool Walker, only in Wyoming. No grandiose scams, just little things in life: either local bandits will decide to settle accounts with the debtor, then something happened in the Indian casino in the neighbourhood, and everyone is silent since the territory is forbidden. Everyone knows each other, everyone wears shirts and sweaters in the fashion of twenty years ago – as a result of the series, it really blows provincial cosiness.
Casting did not disappoint either. The sheriff’s assistant is played by Katie Sackhoff from the Galaxy Star Cruiser, and the incredibly brutal Hey Martinez acts as one of the antagonists. Your grandmothers remember him as Cruise from “Santa Barbara”, but, believe me, he turned out to be a real Indian. The culture of the indigenous peoples of America in the series paid a lot of attention: a series of two, and you will begin to understand the customs of Cheyenne.
The Get Down
At about the same time, several music series were released at once – Vinyl, Roadies and The Get Down. All three were closed almost immediately, and it was most offensive precisely for the work of Baz Lurman.
The Bronx slums, corrupt politicians and the drug business — and young guys, just boys, ready to do anything to become hip-hop stars. Heroes have to be torn between a dream and reality, patriarchal education and a craving for art. Musical numbers are stunningly organically inscribed in the plot: everything from the pursuit of a self-made record dealer to mass in the church turns into scenes from a musical. Get ready to listen to the most powerful single Come Set Me Free from the rising star of the soul of Milena Cruz soul again and again.
The Worst Witch
A fresh adaptation of Jill Murphy’s books about the British school for young witches. If you still do not know where Joan Rowling drew inspiration from, be sure to correct this defect! The good director Dumbledore, the arrogant aristocrat Malfoy, the stern and eternally gloomy Snape – many of the characters in Harry Potter are inspired by the characters in The Worst Witch. True, the story of the inconspicuous girl Mildred Hubble does not become more serious over time – it is a children’s fairy tale from beginning to end.
If you miss good stories, without tedious moralizing and an up-to-date agenda (as it was in Sabrina), pay attention! Stunning British actors, including the gorgeous Bella Ramsey (the charming Lianna Mormont from Game of Thrones), will make anyone believe in magic.
A screen version of the novel by Margaret Atwood, known for “The Handmaid’s Tale.” Of course, the story of a complex female fate. But this series has much more in common with “The Incredible Story of Billy Milligan”: the heroine has a split personality … or she successfully simulates him.
The plot structure rests on the character doctor, who is trying to reach out to the convicted criminal, and each episode opens up more and more new pages of her not-so-fun life. Grace is a poor servant from the 19th century, everyone pushes her, and from this her psyche is shaken more and more. Only six episodes and the amazing game of Sarah Gadon – look, you will not regret it.
A city where I am not
Boku dake ga inai machi / Erased
A screen version of the popular manga about a boy whose consciousness constantly moves into the past as soon as something bad happens nearby. To the best of his ability, the hero helps others, until a mystical power casts him in early childhood. Once, several students mysteriously disappeared from his class – and the hero gets in just at the moment before their disappearance.
The series captivates with uncharacteristically strong acting for the Japanese, talented child actors and winter views of Hokkaido. This is a serious story about true friendship, self-sacrifice and the very “second chance” that is not enough to get. After all, what can an ordinary child do with a killer? Anime is praised for the same story, but the game series can be watched even without discounts on the Japanese identity.