Netflix has been around for just over 20 years and has accomplished quite a bit in that time, starting out as a mere DVD rental service in 1997, then transitioning to online streaming 10 years later, to now being a worldwide entertainment provider. Since its move to the World Wide Web, the streaming giant has produced original programming and has done remarkably well.
This past year, Netflix produced over 700 movies and television shows. In light of the huge milestone, I thought I would share some of the most underrated Netflix Original series. So, if you ever get lost within that vast library, consider checking out the titles below.
Occasionally, I find myself craving cliche teen dramas that may seem shallow but still keep me entertained. It’s for that exact reason why “Baby” is underrated. Similar to Netflix’s Spanish teen drama “Elite” and the ever so famous “13 Reasons Why,” “Baby” follows a group of high school students who are finding themselves and slowly discovering the ways of the in crowd.
Chiara Altieri (Benedetta Porcaroli), a shy and active teen, befriends the cunning Ludovica (Alice Pagani). The pair explore the party scene and meet new people along the way, including Altieri’s love interest, Damiano Younes (Riccardo Mandolini). The show is said to be loosely based off the underage prostitution ring of Rome in 2014 — the baby squillo scandal. “Baby” is classic teen television with a hint of harsh reality. Currently, there are six episodes of the show on Netflix, but Season 2 is set to premiere later this year.
Continuing with another foreign language show, “Dark” is like the German version of “Stranger Things.” The sci-fi thriller is eerie and has an underlying creepy tone, but it also differs from the Netflix superhit. “Dark” has storylines that play in different years, but they are all rooted in time travel.
The show follows four families: the Kahnwalds, Dopplers, Nielsens and the Tiedemanns. The children from these core families start disappearing and secrets about the history of the town start to be uncovered. If you’re a fan of “Twin Peaks,” then this show might be the one for you. It’s like a murder mystery with a dash of supernatural. The plot is very well-developed, and the cinematography and visuals are absolutely stunning. The second season will premiere on June 21 with eight new episodes.
“The Get Down”
Although this show got canceled, it is still one of my personal favorites on Netflix. “The Get Down” features Ezekiel “Books” Figuero (Justice Smith), a budding poet who is chasing after his beautiful and talented peer, Mylene Cruz (Herizen F. Guardiola). The show takes place in Brooklyn during the 1970s and focuses on the rise of hip-hop and disco music by following a group of African-American teenagers.
Shameik Moore and Jaden Smith also guest star, which makes the show feel more authentic and adds more dynamics to the characters. Sometimes musical dramas cast amazing artists, but those musicians usually don’t act well. Both Moore and Smith are the complete opposite; they are nothing but flawless in their roles. “The Get Down” may only have 11 episodes, but each one is better than the last, and the passion the characters have for music is truly inspiring.
Similar to “The End of the F*****G World,” “The Innocents” follows a young adult couple on the run. June McDaniel (Sorcha Groundsell) and Harry Polk (Percelle Ascott) run away together on McDaniel’s 16th birthday. While away from her parents, McDaniel’s starts to unearth some of her supernatural abilities and doesn’t know how to control them.
The first eight episodes show the struggles that McDaniel’s is going through and how she’s dealing with them after getting help from Bendik “Ben” Halvorson (Guy Pearce), a power shifter. “The Innocents” offers a perfect balance of mystic and romantic as it revolves around McDaniel’s skills and touches on common teen themes of self-identity. Despite the positive reviews from fans, Netflix is still unsure whether Season 2 is happening.
“Ugly Delicious” is like the food and culture shows you would typically see on the Food Network. Hosted by David Chang, the first season travels around North America to highlight the best pizza, tacos, Chinese cuisine and everything in between.
At times, food documentaries tend to only focus on the preparation of the cuisine and the background of the certain chef or restaurant, but Chang really dives into the cultural aspect of food: What does food represent beyond its flavors? The first season of “Ugly Delicious” also includes guest stars Aziz Ansari, Wolfgang Puck, Jimmy Kimmel, Nick Kroll and Ali Wong. The show has been renewed for a second season and will premiere sometime over the next year.
Even though the concept of the show is very simple, you just can’t help but get caught up in these narratives. “Dogs” is a six-episode documentary series, where each episode tells the story of a family around the world and how crucial of a role their dog plays.
One of the stories is about a Syrian refugee who wants to get his dog back, and another is about Japanese groomers who compete in a dog-grooming competition. Compared to all the romantic comedies out there, “Dogs” is the only show I’ve ever seen that really captures what true, unconditional love is. If you ever need a pick me up or just want to look at cute dogs, this show is a must watch.