Screengrab via Netflix/YouTube (Fair Use)

From must-watch shows to skippable duds, a definitive ranking of Netflix original series.

There aren’t enough hours in the day to watch every Netflix original series. In the last few years, the streaming platform has aggressively expanded its programming, award-winning shows and bingeworthy new seasons. In fact, since debuting its first show, House of Cards, in 2013, Netflix has produced more than 55 programs in seven languages—and that’s not even counting miniseries like Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life, co-productions (Lilyhammer, Degrassi: Next Class), continuations (Black Mirror, seasons 3 and 4), or dozens of its kids shows.

Obviously, not every Netflix original series is created equal, and it can be daunting to know where to start. We pulled our staff and curated reviews from all of our Netflix coverage to date to create this definitive guide to the best Netflix original series. It’s divided into sections to help you organize your queue accordingly.

Netflix original series: The essentials

1. Orange Is the New Black

5 seasons | Renewed for seasons 6 and 7

When it debuted in 2013, Orange Is the New Black mostly focused on Piper Chapman (Taylor Schilling), an inmate at Litchfield Penitentiary. But as the Jenji Kohan-helmed series progressed, it zoomed out and told us the stories of many more women serving time at Litchfield, and the ensemble cast became the linchpin. Through flashbacks we get to know Red (Kate Mulgrew), Poussey (Samira Wiley), Morello (Yael Stone), Suzanne (Uzo Aduba) and more, and the series expertly weaves together narratives from the inmates and employees of the prison. OITNB has addressed important issues like rape, mental health, sexual identity, racism, and the prison industrial complex, and it’s grown a massive online fandom in the process. The series toes the line between drama and comedy, and it’s become one of Netflix’s early defining series. —Audra Schroeder

netflix original series : orange is the new black Photo via Netflix

2. Stranger Things

2 seasons | Renewed for season 3

Ross and Matt Duffer’s ode to ‘80s horror and sci-fi debuted in the summer of 2016 and slowly infected us all. It wasn’t an anticipated hit or a big-name Netflix release, but the serieswhich focuses on the town of Hawkins, Indiana, in 1983 and the mysterious disappearance of Will Byersgot its hooks in a generation raised on The Goonies and Stephen King. From a killer theme song to era-appropriate pop culture references, Stranger Things is very much of a time, but standout performances from Millie Bobby Brown as Eleven, a girl with special powers, and Winona Ryder as Will’s distraught momas well as glimpses into the terrifying Upside Downdelivered a new genre hit for Netflix. It also delivered a viral hit in the form of Barb (Shannon Purser), a character who was gone too soon. The people demanded justice, and season 2 more than delivered.  —Audra Schroeder

netflix original series : stranger things Photo courtesy of Netflix

3.  House of Cards

5 seasons | Renewed for Season 6

It’s been a long road to President Underwood. From his humble beginnings as house majority whip to his questionable ascension as commander-in-chief, Kevin Spacey embodies the morally compromised Frank Underwood, who, along with wife Claire (Robin Wright) bends D.C. to his will and makes many allies and enemies along the way. As Netflix’s first original series, it set a precedent for political dramas. We see not only the web of influence and deceit in state and local politics, but the complicated pull of power within a marriage. It also gave us standout performances from Mahershala Ali, Michael Kelly, and Molly Parker. When Underwood addresses the camera, you know some shit’s about to go down. The series lost a little steam after the exit of showrunner and creator Beau Willimon, but as it’s gone on, the parallels to reality have not gone unnoticed. —Audra Schroeder

best netflix original series : House of cards season 5 Photo by David Giesbrecht/Netflix

 

4. Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt

3 seasons | Renewed for season 4

There are a lot of comedies on this list that juggle humor with serious subjects. Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt falls into this category too, as the jumping off point for the show is the lead character’s abduction, with the second season delving deeper into her internalized trauma. Like 30 Rock, producers’ Tina Fey and Robert Carlock’s previous show together, the jokes in Kimmy Schmidt fly so fast that if you blink you might miss one. Also like 30 Rock, the series has a fantastic cast, led by the irresistible Ellie Kemper and featuring stellar turns from Carol Kane, Jane Krakowski, and Tituss Burgess, who shines especially bright as Kimmy’s wannabe-singer roommate. A parade of stellar guest stars come and go too, though it would be a shame to spoil their appearances here. Season 3 is must-watch TV. —Chris Osterndorf

netflix original series : Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt Screengrab via Netflix

5. Master of None

2 seasons | Pending

Aziz Ansari’s Master of None may be the East Coast cousin to Issa Rae’s Insecure. Both are about young people on the precipice of adulthood, both revolve around unique TV friend groups, and both are very concerned with matters of love and sex. The difference is that while Insecure stays narrowly focused on Issa and her triumphs and struggles, Master of None also functions as a way for Ansari and co-creator Alan Yang to investigate larger ideas and themes. In the show’s first season, Ansari’s Dev grapples with racism, sexism, the aging process, and the reality of having immigrant parents. All the while, you feel as if Ansari is learning along with the rest of us. Season 2 transports some of the action to Rome. Chris Osterndorf

best netflix original series: Master of None Screengrab via Netflix

6. BoJack Horseman

4 seasons | Renewed for season 5

The promotional materials for BoJack Horseman season 4 ask, “Where’s BoJack?” In the first episode, he’s nowhere to be found, but one of his favorite subjects is: the past. We rejoin the Netflix original series in 1992, when his star-making sitcom Horsin’ Around apparently experimented with Vincent D’Onofrio as the lead. This is the pop-culture-laced world of BoJack Horseman, the id of show business cleaved open and heaved out of over three seasons in which BoJack (voice by Will Arnett) attempts to find life and fight demons after the flicker of fame has died out. After a dark season 3 finale, BoJack is doing some soul-searching in the desert, as a cover of America’s “A Horse With No Name” bluntly illustrates. —Audra Schroeder

netflix original series : BoJack Horseman Photo courtesy of Netflix

7. Marvel’s Jessica Jones

1 season | Renewed for season 2

A tense thriller that inspired plenty of well-deserved analysis for its feminist themes. Jessica Jones takes place in the same New York setting as Marvel’s other Netflix shows, but it has more in common with Top of the Lake or The Killing than your average comic book adaptation. The only important superpower belongs to the villain Kilgrave (David Tennant), who can control people with his voice. By forcing people to obey his every whim, Kilgrave represents an effective allegory for abusive relationships. Kristen Rytter gives a moving performance as the hard-drinking private detective Jessica Jones, one of Kilgrave’s former victims. It’s Marvel’s most consistently well-written and thoughtful Netflix show, although it’s not for the fainthearted. —Gavia Baker-Whitelaw

best netflix original series : jessica jones Photo via Marvel/Netflix

8. GLOW

1 season | Renewed for season 2

Produced by Orange Is the New Black’s Jenji Kohan, GLOW is your next great binge. Based on the real Glorious Ladies of Wrestling and starring Alison Brie, Betty Gilpin, and Marc Maron, this series from Liz Flahive and Carly Mensch (who worked on OITNB and Nurse Jackie) has everything you want in a Netflix comedy. It’s smart, funny, and occasionally heartbreaking. And at only 10 episodes, it’s a breeze compared to much of its original content. —Chris Osterndorf

netflix original series: GLOW Photo via Erica Parise/Netflix

9. The OA

1 season | Renewed for season 2

The OA is kind of a Stranger Things copycat: Mysterious girl enlists the help of small-town locals to take down the mad scientist who once held her captive. But the series, written and directed by indie starling Zal Batmanglij, is not only a more mature and dramatic offering than Stranger Things but arrives with a far broader message and philosophy that’s beautifully and mysteriously told through layers of sentiment and spirituality. The OA is a delicate puzzle, ripe with intrigue and yet thick with moralism—and season 1 is only eight episodes. —Gillian Branstetter

netflix original series : the oa Screengrab via Netflix US & Canada/YouTube

10. American Vandal

Netflix has been growing its true-crime library with Making a Murderer, The Keepers, Amanda Knox, Audrie & Daisy, Casting JonBenet, Strong Island, and Long Shot. But with American Vandal it appears to be hedging its bets and going right for parody. American Vandal is, at its core, an eight-episode dick joke. Twenty-seven faculty cars were defaced with dicks in the parking lot of Hanover High School, and Dylan Maxwell (Jimmy Tatro) is the main suspect.

“Everyone thinks I did it,” he says in the first episode.

“Did what?” the interviewer asks.

“The dicks.”

And so begins the exhaustive, hilarious search for answers, in the style of Making a Murderer or Serial. —Audra Schroeder

netflix original series : American Vandal season 2 Photo via Netflix

READ MORE:

Netflix original series: Bingeworthy

11. Black Mirror

Seasons 3-4 | Pending

In season 4, Black Mirror‘s extended universe is built out even more. There are familiar explorations of memory (“Crocodile”), love (“Hang the DJ”), and technology gone wrong (“Metalhead,” “Arkangel”). But two episodes, “USS Callister” and “Black Museum,” explore even more relevant topics. The connective, collective thread is there, but the themes are still dark as hell.  (Note: All four seasons of Black Mirror are available on Netflix, but only seasons 3 and 4 were original to the service. Here’s our definitive ranking of the best Black Mirror episodes.)—Audra Schroeder

netflix original series black mirror Netflix

12. Marvel’s Daredevil

2 seasons | Renewed for season 3

A familiar but well-executed example of the masked vigilante formula. Matt Murdock is a lawyer by day, crime-fighter by night—a blind man who “sees” with his other senses. This combination of superheroism and crime drama is undoubtedly clichéd, but Charlie Cox’s puppy-dog vulnerability prevents Murdock from being a total manpain stereotype. Daredevil’s first season is better than the second, introducing a strong supporting cast and a world-class supervillain with crime boss Wilson Fisk (Vincent D’Onofrio). Season 2 is weaker because it swaps Fisk for the Hand, a rather two-dimensional team of ninja gangsters. (On the bright side, season 2 also includes the iconic Marvel anti-heroes Elektra and the Punisher, both of whom are thoughtfully adapted.) Fans were a little overzealous in crowning Daredevil the best superhero show ever made, but the fight scenes are great and the lead actors give a compelling emotional performance. —Gavia Baker-Whitelaw

netflix original series : daredevil Photo via Netflix

13. Narcos

3 seasons | Renewed for season 4

Narcos chronicles the rise and fall of legendary drug kingpin Pablo Escobar, as well as the men tasked with bringing him to justice. Where does the show go from here? Obviously, the war on drugs wasn’t just a war on one man. While Narcos could easily have finished Escobar’s story and then bowed out, there’s plenty more real-world drama to be explored in our country’s controversial and seemingly never-ending battle against narcotics as we gear up for season 3. Gilberto Rodriguez Orejuela and the Cali Cartel are set to become the new “big bads” of the show. The producers have also hinted that the action will eventually turn to Mexico and another legendary drug kingpin: Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman. But start from the beginning: Narcos will make you root for Pablo, and it’s full of sweltering action as it rolls to its inevitable end. Narcos season 4 has already been confirmed, and it appears to be heading south of the border.—David Wharton

best netflix original series : narcos Screengrab via Netflix US & Canada/YouTube

14. Atypical

1 season | Renewed for season 2

Atypical is another in Netflix’s line of great comedies. The strong writing and stronger performances carry this show about Sam, an 18-year-old on the autism spectrum, and his family. Despite covering many common family comedy tropes, the show doesn’t sell out the characters for cheap laughs. Atypical is a show where actions have consequences, and it’s not afraid to let its characters be wrong. —Eddie Strait

netflix original series : atypical Screengrab via Netflix/YouTube

 

 

15. 13 Reasons Why

1 season | Renewed for season 2

13 Reasons Why, based on Jay Asher’s 2007 bestselling novel of the same name, is a decade old but its center still holds. Social media has made us “inadvertent stalkers, and we love it,” says protagonist Hannah, by way of explaining one of the reasons she chose to end her life. Shortly after Clay (Dylan Minnette) discovers cassette tapes Hannah (Katherine Langford) made before her death, and they provide the foundation for the 13 episodes. 13 Reasons Why is told in flashback and aftermath. The central message is important: This is Hannah’s “truth,” you just have to listen. —Audra Schroeder

netflix original series : 13 reasons why Beth Dubber/Netflix

16. Dark

1 season |  Renewed for season 2

From filmmaker Baran bo Odar and writer Jantje Friese, Dark is a show about several intertwining families in the German city of Winden and the disappearance of several local children. Its half gritty crime drama, half supernatural thriller, all modern prestige television. In the tradition of a depressing amount of series about small towns with missing children, Dark is a sort of cross between Stranger Things, Twin Peaks, and True Detective. It manages to squeeze in all sorts of ‘80s nostalgia, from warnings about the dangers of nuclear power to philosophical riffs on the nature of time. —Chris Osterndorf

best netflix original series dark Netflix/YouTube

17. Love

2 seasons | Renewed for season 3

As a show about love, Love is, well, pretty disappointing. Protagonists Mickey and Gus are constantly at each other’s throats, spending as much time cutting each other down as they do taking comfort in one another. Season 2 of Love didn’t do much to change this dynamic, and it was occasionally frustrating to watch Mickey and Gus backslide. But while the storyline of Love’s second season was a bit regressive, the performances and writing were as strong as ever, and its cliffhanger of a finale set up season 3 to be a doozy. —Chris Osterndorf

netflix original series : Love season 2 Photo by Suzanne Hanover/Netflix

18. Marvel’s Luke Cage

1 season | Renewed for season 2

Like Jessica Jones, Luke Cage has some pretty obvious political subtext. The lead character is a black man with bulletproof skin, a power he gained by signing up for scientific experience in prison. When he returns to his home neighborhood in Harlem, he’s determined to keep a low profile with his newfound powers. That quickly changes when he meets a local crime boss played by the brilliant Mahershala Ali, one of Marvel’s greatest villain performances alongside Tom Hiddleston and Vincent D’Onofrio. Luke Cage is perhaps the most immersive of Marvel’s Netflix shows, with a carefully selected soundtrack and an extensive background cast. (By comparison, Daredevil’s Manhattan setting lacks personality and is barely convincing as New York.) The only reason I don’t rate Luke Cage alongside Jessica Jones is the abrupt plot twist halfway through season 1, which derails the story and introduces a thoroughly unsatisfying new character. —Gavia Baker-Whitelaw

netflix original series : luke cage Photo via Netflix

 

19. The Standups

1 season | Pending

In the last six months, Netflix has released more than a dozen hour-long standup specials, with a focus on big-ticket names: Silverman, Chappelle, Schumer, C.K. It’s become a destination for comedy fans who want that marquee access, but it’s also experimenting with formats and voices. The Standups is Netflix’s way of experimenting with both. It’s a series of six standup specials from Deon Cole, Nikki Glaser, Fortune Feimster, Nate Bargatze, Beth Stelling, and Dan Soder: Comedians who might not be marquee names but that Netflix thinks are worth your time. —Audra Schroeder

netflix original series : the standups Photo via Netflix

20. A Series of Unfortunate Events

1 season | Renewed for seasons 2 and 3

A family show with grown-up production values. After their parents die in a fire, the three Baudelaire orphans are adopted by Count Olaf (Neil Patrick Harris), an egomaniacal con-artist who wants to steal their inheritance. The show uses the same morbid humor and smart but kid-friendly satire as Lemony Snicket’s bestselling novels, combining slapstick jokes with a thoughtful depiction of abusive behavior. Plenty of classic children’s novels involve orphans and their evil caretakers, but A Series of Unfortunate Events is unusually explicit. Time and time again, the kids are betrayed by naïve authority figures who ignore their warnings about Olaf, reminding audiences that adults can’t always be trusted. It’s equally entertaining for younger viewers and adult fans who enjoyed the books as children. —Gavia Baker-Whitelaw

netflix original series : A Series Of Unfortunate Events Photo via Netflix

21. She’s Gotta Have It

1 season |  Renewed for season 2

Meet Nola Darling. In her own words, she’s a “sex-positive, polyamorous, pansexual.” In other words, she’s the ideal television protagonist for right now. As played by DeWanda Wise, Nola is deeply flawed, given to impulsivity and selfishness, but she’s also confident and unapologetic about what she wants. She’s Gotta Have It is about more than just sex. The men in her life are just a way of introducing us to her outlook and her world. It’s all vital, compelling work from New York’s prodigal director, Spike Lee. —Chris Osterndorf

netflix original series she's gotta have it Netflix/YouTube

22. Ozark

1 season | Renewed for season 2

Beneath the charming sarcasm of Jason Bateman’s exterior, there’s always been a hint of malice. That makes him the perfect lead for this attempt at prestige drama. Financial adviser Marty Byrde flees Chicago with his wife, Wendy (Laura Linney), and their two children for Lake of the Ozarks, where he is tasked with laundering $8 million for a Mexican drug cartel. Marty is in over his head almost as soon as Ozark begins, and he struggles to keep from drowning throughout the 10-episode season. As is always the case with this kind of show, that’s the sick fun of it. —Chris Osterndorf

netflix original series : Ozark Photo via Jackson Davis/Netflix

23. Wet Hot American Summer: First Day of Camp

1 season | Ended

As a prequel to 2001’s Wet Hot American Summer, First Day of Camp takes a serialized form and transports us to Camp Firewood at the start of the summer. The original gang’s all there (and a little older), but FDOC builds on the existing narrative and fleshes out some the film’s more absurd storylines, like a talking can of vegetables. Jon Hamm, Chris Pine, Kristen Wiig and more make appearances, and the inside jokes don’t let up. —Audra Schroeder

netflix original series: Wet Hot American Summer: First Day of Camp Photo via Netflix/YouTube

24. Dear White People

1 season | Renewed for season 2

Could there be a more necessary comedy for the times we live in than Dear White People? Set at an elite East Coast university, this race relations satire follows four black students trying to make their way on an almost entirely white campus. The series, based on creator Justin Simien’s film of the same name, is pointed and occasionally cringeworthy, but it’s also filled with laugh-out-loud moments that exist in perfect harmony with its commentary. —Chris Osterndorf

netflix original series: Dear White People Netflix

25. Mindhunter

1 season | Renewed for season 2

David Fincher’s Mindhunter takes viewers into the depraved minds of history’s most notorious killers. Set in 1977, the series follows FBI agent Ford Holden through his groundbreaking research. The true crime series tackles a difficult question: Are criminals born, or are they formed? And the answers aren’t easy. But the real-life serial killers featured in the show make for helpful, transfixing interview subjects. With strong dialogue and cinematography, it’s a clinical series that’s already been renewed for season 2. —Danielle Ransom

netflix original series : mindhunter Screengrab via Netflix/YouTube

READ MORE:

Netflix original series: Add to your queue

26. Grace and Frankie

3 seasons | Renewed for season 4

Grace and Frankie, now in its third season, is proof positive that getting older doesn’t have to be joyless. Here, ex-wives Grace (Jane Fonda) and Frankie (Lily Tomlin) hit the reset button on life when their two husbands, Robert (Martin Sheen) and Sol (Sam Waterston) reveal they’ve been having an affair for 20 years. They embrace the idea that even at 70 years old, you can still find new ways to reinvent yourself. If you start to wonder if Grace & Frankie is a straight-laced drama, the show quickly reminds you of its sitcom roots. And while their journey gets difficult and morose, it always reminds you that aging with dignity and style is a piece of cake. —Dan Marcus

netflix original series : Grace and Frankie Screengrab via Netflix US & Canada/YouTube

27. F is for Family

2 seasons | Renewed for season 3

Bill Burr is known for weaving caustic tales about his blue-collar upbringing, but F is for Family brings them to (animated) life. Based on Burr’s childhood, this raunchy cartoon isn’t for children, but as dark as it gets, there’s a foundation of love anchoring the whole thing. Fans of King of the Hill mourning it’s a departure from Netflix should make time to watch this pitch-black riff on family matters. John-Michael Bond

netflix original series : f is for harvey Photo via Netflix

28. Castlevania

1 season | Renewed for season 2

The first season of Castlevania unfolds over just four short episodes, but the series has been waiting to awaken for more than a decade.It’s a massive video game franchise, and the original game was released in the U.S. for Nintendo in 1987. It tells the story of the Belmont clan—who hunt vampires in an attempt to protect humanity, armed with a vampire-annihilating whip. Video game adaptations can be iffy, but Castlevania is a more nuanced take. It feels like it’s just waking up, which is great because season 2 is in development. —Audra Schroeder

netflix original series : Castlevania Screengrab via Netflix

29. W/ Bob & David

1 season | Ended

In the 17 years since HBO’s Mr. Show—helmed by David Cross and Bob Odenkirk—went off the air, its fandom has endured more than most sketch shows. Mr. Show has survived online, but it always worked better in episode form. It had a structure—every sketch was impressively linked. Fans talked about episodes in shorthand: “Wyckyd Sceptre,” “America blows up the moon,” “24 is the highest number.” Netflix was smart to pursue W/ Bob and David; younger fans have come to know them from their TV shows: Arrested Development (which Netflix swooped in to save) and Breaking Bad/Better Call Saul, respectively. W/ Bob and David came back at a time when sketch comedy populated and defined TV—Key & Peele, Portlandia, Kroll Show, Inside Amy Schumer—and it thrives online on platforms like Funny or Die. Mr. Show’s influence can be found in those shows, but W/ Bob and David is not Mr. Show part two. Audra Schroeder

netflix original series : W/ Bob & David Photo via Netflix

30. Flaked

2 seasons | Pending

Will Arnett’s Flaked is bleak and punishing, so all is forgiven if you let it simmer in the queue a few weeks. Season 2 takes a sobering turn as it explores Arnett’s own struggle with alcoholism. Arnett plays Chip, who, over the course of the season, spirals out of control as his lies and deception become increasingly unraveled. It’s Arnett at his most sincere and raw. He isn’t the first celebrity to inject their art with hard-hitting personal struggles of course—but he’s maybe the best. —Dan Marcus

netflix original series : Flaked Photo by Darren Michaels/Netflix

31. The Ranch

4 parts | Renewed

In the pantheon of Netflix original shows, The Ranch is an underdog. Blogs mostly ignore it, but this working-class comedy about a former college sports star coming home to work the family ranch is a raunchy treat. Held up by a cast that includes Ashton Kutcher, Debra Winger, and Sam Elliott, The Ranch has a surprising amount of depth hiding between its profane jokes. —John-Michael Bond

best netflix original series : the ranch Photo via Netflix

32. Sense8

2 seasons | Renewed for final episode

The Wachowskis teamed up with Babylon 5’s J. Michael Straczynski for this ambitious sci-fi drama about eight strangers who discover they share a psychic link. It’s slow to start (a common problem on Netflix), but the payoff is worth it. The eight leads represent one of the most diverse casts on TV, ranging from a closeted gay Mexican actor to a Kenyan bus driver to a transgender hacktivist in San Francisco. Bonding through their psychic connection, they pool their skills to protect the eight-person “cluster” from the villainous agents who want to hunt them down. Sense8 covers every genre you can possibly imagine, including a Bollywood dance sequence, excellent fight scenes from Korean actress Doona Bae, and several intense romantic subplots. Overall, it’s a sci-fi thriller with a powerful message about solidarity and friendship across cultural divides, and we were sad to see it get canceled after two (very expensive) seasons. Thankfully, the fandom outcry encouraged Netflix to bring the show back for a conclusive finale in 2018. —Gavia Baker-Whitelaw

netflix original series : sense8 Photo via Netflix/YouTube

33. Lady Dynamite

2 seasons | Pending

In season 2 of Lady Dynamite, the universe is still mostly intact: talking pugs, hungry raccoons, a deconstruction of show business and mental health. But the storyline opens up a little: Now Maria Bamford has entered a relationship and is testing out domestic life alongside comedy and career. If you’re wondering if the show is less meta this time around, the answer is no, and that’s to Lady Dynamite‘s advantage. Audra Schroeder

netflix original series : lady dynamite Screengrab via Doug Hyun/Netflix

34. Easy

1 season | Renewed for season 2

If rom-coms like 2010’s Valentine’s Day and 2011’s New Year’s Eve were turned into an eight-part Netflix series and pivoted an obsession with love and romance for boning, Easy would be that series. Filled with surprising celebrity cameos including Emily Ratajkowski, Orlando Bloom, and Hannibal Buress, the series follows Chicago couples as they navigate their sexual relationships. While most episodes are one-off plots, dropping you into the action of a character’s frustrations, occasionally these plots cross paths, bringing together some semblance of continuity. —Samantha Grasso

netflix original series : Easy Screengrab via Netflix Asia/YouTube

READ MORE: 

35. One Day at a Time

1 season | Renewed for season 2

You wouldn’t think that a multicam remake of a 1970s Norman Lear sitcom would either be a natural fit for Netflix or make for very compelling television. Yet Netflix’s version of One Day at a Time has proven to be a surprise hit with critics. Shifting the focus to a Latino family and featuring talents such as Justina Machado (Six Feet Under) and the legendary Rita Moreno (West Side Story), the Atlantic’s Megan Garber writes, “The revived One Day at a Time is fantastic in part because of all the things that will typically make a sitcom fantastic: sharp, witty writing; charming, multi-faceted characters; plot lines that, in their seamless synthesis of the wacky and the serious, suggest life in all its messy complexity.” —Chris Osterndorf

netflix original series : one day at a time Photo via Netflix

READ MORE:

36. Santa Clarita Diet

1 season | Renewed for season 2

Featuring one of the stranger sitcom premises in recent years (and that’s saying something), Santa Clarita Diet finds Drew Barrymore and Timothy Olyphant playing Joel and Sheila, two married realtors stuck in a rut. But everything changes when Sheila becomes undead and begins to crave the taste of human flesh. From Victor Fresco, creator of cult comedy hits such as Andy Richter Controls the Universe and Better Off Ted, Santa Clarita Diet is an oddity from one of the more original minds in TV comedy. —Chris Osterndorf

best netflix original series : Santa Clarita Diet Screengrab via Netflix US & Canada/YouTube

37. Mystery Science Theater 3000: The Return

1 season | Renewed

When Mystery Science Theater 3000 debuted in 1988, the premise might have seemed absurd: Host Joel Robinson (Joel Hodgson) is forced to watch (and comment on) bad movies with two salty robots. Netflix’s update on the series with Jonah Ray, Felicia Day, and Patton Oswalt works: The new series looks more polished, and the jokes have been updated. Now we have assorted platforms where we can heckle bad content, and YouTube personalities have made careers out of riffing on video games and pop culture. However, this reboot doesn’t feel shoehorned into a landscape littered with hot takes and chilled nostalgia. The premise isn’t that absurd now, but it’s still witty and punk. –Audra Schroeder

new netflix original series : Mystery Science Theater 3000: The Return Photo by Darren Michaels, SMPSP

38. Greenhouse Academy

1 season | Renewed

Greenhouse Academy is a family-friendly show that doesn’t pander to its audience. It’s about a brother and sister who go to the titular elite boarding school. They’re still coping with the death of their mother on top of trying to fit in at a school that doesn’t want them there. Despite the emotional heft of the show, there’s plenty of comedy for levity. —Eddie Strait

netflix original series : Greenhouse Academy Photo via Ronen Akerman/Netflix

39. The Get Down

1 season | Ended

The Get Down was noisy, flawed, and damn entertaining. It put the stark and very serious realities of the Bronx in the late ’70s against co-creator Baz Luhrmann’s signature narrative bombast. The show’s impressive musical portions and acting revelations (particularly Justice Smith as Zeke, the show’s main protagonist) capably carried the winding multi-story. It had so much unmitigated personality and potential in unpacking (and understanding) the early mini-eras of hip-hop culture, but alas, Luhrmann walked away from the final five episodes—and the expensive project was scrapped after a season. —Kahron Spearman

netflix original series list : the get down Photo by Myles Aronowitz/Netflix

40. The Crown

2 seasons | Renewed for season 3

British royal nostalgia for the Downton Abbey crowd, albeit with fewer plot twists. Starring Claire Foy as Queen Elizabeth II, this costume drama will follow the Queen’s life from the 1940s to the present day. Season 1 covers the early years of her reign in the ‘50s, filmed in $12 million-per-episode luxury at a stultifyingly slow pace. Unlike some royal dramas (say, Claire Foy’s previous role as Anne Boleyn in Wolf Hall), it presents an oddly uncritical view of monarchy and the British Empire. The costumes and locations are gorgeous, but The Crown can sometimes feel like a sumptuous infomercial for the British royal family. A good choice to watch with royalty-obsessed elderly relatives, but it’s not really a highlight of the genre. —Gavia Baker-Whitelaw

new netflix original series : The Crown season 2 Screengrab via The Crown/Netflix

Netflix original series: Skippable

 

41. Friends from College

1 season | Renewed for season 2

Starring a murderer’s row of great actors and co-created by the almost always reliable Nicholas Stoller (Forgetting Sarah Marshall) with his wife, Francesca Delbanco, Friends From College should, in theory, have everything going for it. Instead, this dramedy about a group of friends from Harvard (Fred Savage, Cobie Smulders, Keegan-Michael Key) who reunite when two of them move to New York is weighed down by tonal miscalculations and tired stories. And yet, this serio-comedy is an easy watch, and suggests that the same generation that was so aimless in Reality Bites is no less confused now, even after they’ve “made it” in the world. —Chris Osterndorf

new netflix original series : Friends from College Photo by David Lee/Netflix

42. Marvel’s The Punisher

1 season | Pending

The Punisher is Marvel’s least superheroic Netflix show to date. Following the character’s debut in Daredevil, it’s a gritty and rather slow-moving crime drama that tries (and mostly fails) to make the Punisher seem sympathetic. It’s better than Iron Fist, but mostly a disappointing waste of Jon Bernthal’s great performance. —Gavia Baker-Whitelaw

netflix original series : marvel's the punisher Photo via Marvel's The Punisher/Netflix

43. Erased

1 season | Pending

Based on Japanese author Kei Sanbe’s mystery manga series Boku dake ga Inai Machi (“The Town Without Me”), Erased follows aspiring comics artist Satoru Fujinuma (Yuki Furukawa) who unexplainably possesses the ability to travel back in time moments before a life-threatening incident occurs, allowing him to prevent it from happening. But this hefty story from director Ten Shimoyama isn’t just for sci-fi fans. It brings emotional depth to a tired genre. —Danielle Ransom

netflix original series erased Netflix

44. 3%

1 season | Renewed for season 2

Brazilian sci-fi series 3% turned out to be one of 2017’s most popular. But is it any good? Created by Spanish filmmaker Pedro Aguilera, the show is set in a dystopian future where the population goes through “the Process” in hopes of making it to “the Offshore,” while everyone else is condemned to the poverty and struggle of “the Inland.” The Process amounts to watching teens and 20-somethings tackle brainteasers. There are government cover-ups, and the show is setting up a long-term arc, but season 1’s eight episodes are slow, frustratingly coy on details, and the world-building leaves too many disinteresting clichés.

 Netflix original series 3% Netflix/YouTube

45. Anne with an E

Season 1 season | Renewed for season 2

Based on L. M. Montgomery’s beloved book, Anne with an E has plenty to offer for anybody looking for family-friendly entertainment. Set on Canada’s Prince Edward Island in the late 1890s, the series follows a young orphan named Anne Shirley (Amybeth McNulty). She’s had a rough childhood, bouncing from one abusive or neglectful situation to the next, but she finally finds a home when she moves in with an older brother and sister Marilla (Geraldine James) and Matthew Cuthbert (R.H. Thomson). Anne soon wins over both her new family and her new neighbors. —David Wharton

netflix original series anne with an e Netflix/YouTube

46. Marvel’s The Defenders

1 season | Pending

Superhero franchises insist on team-ups, but are they always necessary? The Defenders brings together Marvel’s four Netflix heroes to fight the Hand, a criminal cult who are honestly kind of boring. Fortunately, the Hand’s new leader is a highlight. Sigourney Weaver plays the glamorous supervillain Alexandra with menacing charm, almost making up for the lack of originality elsewhere. The Defenders is perfectly watchable overall, but it’s aimed solidly at long-term fans of the franchise. —Gavia Baker-Whitelaw

new netflix original series: Marvel's The Defenders Photo via Marvel's The Defenders/Netflix

 

46. Bloodline

3 seasons | Ended

Bloodline’s underrated first season has all the hallmarks of a must-binge drama: a deeply family crisis, an episodic mystery that slowly unfolds, and an incredible cast—not limited to Kyle Chandler (Friday Night Lights), Ben Mendelsohn (Rogue One: A Star Wars Story), Linda Cardellini (Freaks and Geeks), and John Legizamo—that keeps the suspense high. But like the Florida family the show revolves around, Bloodline starts to crack under its own weight in season 2 and ultimately crumbles. That creator Todd Kessler originally envisioned a five-season run and had to wrap instead in three left little to see if the Rayburns—and Bloodline itself—could get back on track. —Austin Powell

netflix original series : bloodline Screengrab via Netflix

47. Arrested Development

Season 4 | Renewed for season 5

Here’s the real heartbreaker. There’s no harsher group of critics than a cult following, and it was all too inevitable that the resurrection of this screwball single-camera sitcom would crash and burn in the eyes of its own greatest evangelizers. Cries of “it’s just not the same” used to pepper the Netflix ratings page, and plenty of viewers never got through the whole season—too bad, considering it represents the boldest experiment in binge-watching culture to date, linking its 15 episodes in simultaneity rather than sequentially (translation: there’s no wrong order in which to watch). The run isn’t without its missteps, but all the ingredients that made the original series shine are there. Plus we end on a perfect thematic note, with Michael and his grown-up son finally engaged in the open antagonism that characterizes the rest of the Bluth clan’s internecine feuding. —Miles Klee

netflix original series : arrested development Screengrab via Netflix/YouTube

48. Wet Hot American Summer: Ten Years Later

1 season | Ended

It’s 10 years later, but really it’s closer to 20 years later. The long-awaited sequel to 2001’s Wet Hot American Summer picks up in 1991, when the gang returns to Camp Firewood to reunite and possibly save the camp from Ronald Reagan. The Michael Showalter-David Wain method of escalation and absurdity is turned way up here. —Audra Schroeder

netflix original series : wet hot american summer Screengrab via Netflix/YouTube

49. Netflix Presents: The Characters

1 season | Ended

This sketch show is reverse-engineered for the age of digestible, bite-sized content. Netflix gifts eight comics with 30 minutes, and in that window they are tasked with forging an original sketch show—the streaming giant called it “outlaw comedy,” which speaks to the spirit of the weirdo humor. Henry Zebrowski plays a horny caveman. Natasha Rothwell raps in solidarity with Forever 21-shopping “basic bitches.” SNL outcast Tim Robinson plays gambling addict Sammy Paradise. —Ramon Ramirez

new netflix original series : Netflix Presents: The Characters Screengrab via Netflix/YouTube

Netflix original series: Hard pass

50. Gypsy

1 season | Ended

Starring Naomi Watts as Jean Holloway, a therapist who becomes too involved in her patients’ lives,  Gypsy is somewhere in between schlocky soap opera and pulpy melodrama. Watts and a talented supporting cast including Billy Crudup and Sing Street’s Lucy Boynton do what they can to elevate the material from first-time series creator Lisa Rubin, but there’s no saving Gypsy from itself. If it wasn’t constantly on a tonal seesaw, Rubin’s examination of therapy as voyeurism could’ve yielded some interesting results. Instead, Netflix cut the cord after one season. Chris Osterndorf

netflix original series: gypsy Photo by Alison Cohen Rosa/Netflix

51. Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life

1 season | Pending

After a decade of fans eagerly clamoring for more time with Lorelai and Rory, Netflix brought original showrunner Amy Sherman-Palladino back to the director’s chair for four more feature-length episodes—one for each season in a year, 10 years after the original series finale. But it’s as if all of Stars Hollow got caught up in a very different time warp: Now, the writers beat viewers over the head with jokes instead of slyly slipping them in, Rory’s signature go-get-’em attitude is replaced with entitlement, and the show loses its realistic footing in favor of bizarro-world musical numbers and steampunk dream sequences. Worst of all, Sherman-Palladino insisted on shoehorning in the “final four words” she’s teased for decades—but without accounting for any growth between the intended finale with 18-year-old Rory and now. —Monica Riese

netflix original series : gilmore girls Screengrab via Netflix US & Canada/YouTube

52. Girlboss

1 season | Ended

There’s a scene early in the first episode of Girlboss where we smash-cut protagonist Sophia (Britt Robertson) and soon-to-be boyfriend Shane (Johnny Simmons) from a bar to a bedroom. Before the scene can fulfill its destiny as a total cliché, Sophia brings the action to a stop with “I’m done,” then “can I crash here?” It’s a perfect encapsulation of how the series tweaks the familiar enough to be rewarding. Adapted from the best-selling Sophia Amoruso novel of the same name by Kay Cannon, Girlboss is a show that is abrasive and slyly charming. Too bad it was buried under a wall of content and quickly canceled. —Eddie Strait

netflix original series : girlboss Screengrab via Netflix/YouTube

53. Hemlock Grove

3 seasons | Ended

If you asked people to name a terrible Netflix show off the top of their heads, most would mention this glacially plotted, wretchedly written, haphazardly acted excuse for a horror tale. It even managed to land on Time critic James Poniewozik’s list of TV’s worst atrocities in 2013, though why we should expect anything less from executive producer Eli Roth (Hostel, Hostel: Part II) is anyone’s guess. The best user reviews are still fairly tepid, and among the true fans, there’s marked disappointment on the quality drop-off between seasons. This dreck wouldn’t have made it past the front door at HBO. —Miles Klee

netflix original series : Hemlock Grove Screengrab via Netflix/YouTube

54. Marco Polo

2 seasons | Ended

Marco Polo was created by Dave Frusco (Young Guns I & II, Hidalgo) and dared to challenge HBO’s reigning status as the king of swords, blood, and nudity. Marco Polo was originally set to air on the Starz network, but complications with filming in China ultimately sent the property to the Weinstein Company, which then found a new home for it as a Netflix Original. The show follows the Venetian explorer during his early days when he traveled to Asia and claimed to have met and become an adviser to Kublai Khan. Season 2 finds Polo at the heart of a struggle for the Mongol empire, as a faithful knight on Khan’s team. The premise was ambitious and cinematic, but it was a reported $200 million loss for Netflix, and the journey was cut short. —Joey Keeton

netflix original series : marco polo Screengrab via Netflix/YouTube

55. Marvel’s Iron Fist

1 season | Renewed for season 2

Do you enjoy being intensely bored and annoyed? If so, you’ll love Iron Fist. This humorless, poorly written martial arts show stars an actor who can’t fight (Finn Jones) as a billionaire kung fu master. After spending his youth learning martial arts in the Himalayas, he returns to New York to retake his family’s business empire. Think Batman Begins, but bad. Iron Fist has virtually no upsides beyond David Wenham’s beautiful haircut (he plays the lead villain), and the return of Marvel stalwart Rosario Dawson. The fight scenes suck, the pace is agonizingly slow, and it’s riddled with racist subtext. It’s primarily famous for earning horrible reviews. —Gavia Baker-Whitelaw

netflix original series : iron fist Photo via chi wee/YouTube

The worst Netflix original series ever

Bad Samaritans

1 season | Ended

I’m sorry to sound cruel, but has anyone so much as heard of this ostensible comedy series? That you can’t actually watch it on Netflix anymore says it all. There are no jokes to speak of (unless you count Andy Dick making references to sex between homeless people), and the leads are so manifestly boring as to shut down your frontal cortex entirely. The premise isn’t bad—a group of petty criminals doing community service in a different location each episode, which makes for a Party Down-like format—but the zingers are off, the stereotypes broad, and production values minimal. It’s no exaggeration to say there are better things to watch on YouTube. Paint drying, for example. —Miles Klee

worst netflix original series : bad samaritans Screengrab via MadAtoms/YouTube

Editor’s note: This article is regularly updated for relevance. 

Upstream
The 105 best movies on Netflix right now
We guarantee you'll find something to add to your Netflix queue.
From Our VICE Partners

Pure, uncut internet. Straight to your inbox.