Netflix has quickly become the go-to platform for streaming original content, boasting an impressive library of award-winning series that have captivated audiences worldwide.
With so many options to choose from, it can be overwhelming to decide what to watch next.
In this article, we will take a deep dive into the best original series on Netflix, exploring the top shows across a variety of genres and highlighting what makes each one worth watching.
From heart-wrenching dramas to laugh-out-loud comedies, this list has something for everyone.
So grab some popcorn, settle in, and get ready to binge-watch the best original series Netflix has to offer.
Narcos is a Netflix original crime drama series that chronicles the rise and fall of the notorious drug kingpin Pablo Escobar and the Medellin Cartel in Colombia during the late 1970s and 1980s.
The show is based on real-life events and characters, and combines elements of action, drama, and suspense to tell a compelling story of power, corruption, and violence.
The series stars Brazilian actor Wagner Moura as Pablo Escobar, alongside Boyd Holbrook and Pedro Pascal as the DEA agents Steve Murphy and Javier Pena, respectively.
The show also features an ensemble cast of Colombian and international actors who portray key figures in the drug trade, law enforcement, and politics of the time.
Narcos has received critical acclaim for its writing, acting, and direction, and has been praised for its authenticity and attention to detail in depicting the complexities of the drug war in Colombia.
The series has also spawned spin-offs such as Narcos: Mexico, which explores the origins of the Mexican drug trade in the 1980s.
Mindhunter is a Netflix original crime drama series created by Joe Penhall, based on the true crime book Mindhunter: Inside the FBI’s Elite Serial Crime Unit by John E. Douglas and Mark Olshaker.
The series is set in the late 1970s and early 1980s, and follows two FBI agents, Holden Ford (Jonathan Groff) and Bill Tench (Holt McCallany), who interview imprisoned serial killers in an effort to better understand the psychology of such criminals and use that knowledge to solve ongoing cases.
The show explores the evolution of criminal profiling and behavioral science within the FBI, and how it was used to solve some of the most notorious serial killer cases in American history, including the Atlanta child murders, the BTK killer, and the Co-Ed Killer.
Mindhunter has received critical acclaim for its writing, direction, and performances, particularly for the lead actors, and has been praised for its attention to detail and historical accuracy.
3. Squid Game
Squid Game is a South Korean television series that was released on Netflix in September 2021.
The show became an international phenomenon, with its unique premise and suspenseful plot capturing the attention of viewers around the world.
The series follows a group of financially struggling people who agree to participate in a deadly competition called the Squid Game for a chance to win a large sum of money.
The contestants must compete in a series of deadly challenges, with those who fail being eliminated from the game permanently.
The show explores themes of desperation, greed, and survival, and has been praised for its strong performances, thrilling pacing, and clever social commentary.
However, it should be noted that the show contains graphic violence and may not be suitable for all audiences.
4. Master of None
Master of None is a comedy-drama television series that originally premiered on Netflix in 2015.
The series was created by Aziz Ansari and Alan Yang, and it stars Ansari in the lead role as Dev Shah, a struggling actor living in New York City.
The show explores various aspects of Dev’s personal and professional life, including his relationships with friends and family, his dating experiences, and his struggles to find meaningful work in the entertainment industry.
The show has been praised for its realistic portrayal of life as a young adult in modern-day America, as well as its handling of issues such as race, gender, and sexuality.
The show has received critical acclaim and has won several awards, including two Emmy Awards and a Golden Globe Award.
The show has also been noted for its innovative storytelling, with episodes that explore themes such as religion, social media and the immigrant experience.
5. Dead to Me
Dead to Me is a popular Netflix original series created by Liz Feldman.
It premiered on the streaming service in May 2019 and has since gained a dedicated following.
The series follows the story of Jen (played by Christina Applegate), a widow who is struggling to cope with the death of her husband.
She attends a grief support group where she meets Judy (played by Linda Cardellini), a free-spirited woman who is also dealing with her own personal struggles.
The two women become fast friends, but as the series progresses, secrets are revealed, and their relationship becomes increasingly complicated.
Dead to Me is known for its dark humor and suspenseful plot twists, making it a popular binge-watch for fans of both comedy and drama.
The show has been critically acclaimed and has received numerous award nominations, including several Primetime Emmy nominations for its talented cast and crew.
GLOW (Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling) is a Netflix original comedy-drama series that premiered on June 23, 2017.
The show is set in the 1980s and follows a group of women who audition for a low-budget wrestling show in Los Angeles.
The series is created by Liz Flahive and Carly Mensch, and executive produced by Jenji Kohan, who is known for creating the popular Netflix series Orange Is the New Black.
The show stars Alison Brie as Ruth Wilder, a struggling actress who sees the wrestling show as a chance to jumpstart her career.
Marc Maron plays Sam Sylvia, a cynical and gruff director who is tasked with training the women to become wrestlers.
The show also features an ensemble cast of talented actresses who play the wrestlers, including Betty Gilpin, Sydelle Noel, Britney Young, Kate Nash, Jackie Tohn, and Sunita Mani.
GLOW has been praised for its diverse cast and its portrayal of women in a male-dominated industry.
The show has also been praised for its strong writing, its blend of humor and drama, and its 1980s nostalgia.
The series ran for three seasons, with its final season premiering on August 9, 2019.
7. Black Mirror
Black Mirror is a science fiction anthology series created by Charlie Brooker that premiered on Netflix in 2011.
The show explores the dark side of modern technology and its impact on society, often portraying a dystopian future that is a reflection of our own world.
Each episode is self-contained and tells a different story, although some episodes have subtle connections to each other.
The show has gained a reputation for being thought-provoking, unsettling, and often bleak.
Some of the themes explored in the series include the influence of social media, the dangers of artificial intelligence, the implications of virtual reality, and the impact of surveillance technology on personal privacy.
Black Mirror has been critically acclaimed and has won numerous awards, including two Primetime Emmy Awards.
The show has also been praised for its ability to spark discussions about the ethical implications of modern technology and its potential impact on society.
8. Big Mouth
Big Mouth is an American adult animated comedy television series that premiered on Netflix on September 29, 2017.
The show was created by Nick Kroll, Andrew Goldberg, Mark Levin, and Jennifer Flackett.
The series revolves around a group of middle school students who are going through puberty and the challenges and awkwardness that come with it.
The show uses crude humor and surreal imagery to explore various aspects of sexuality, relationships, and personal growth.
The show has received positive reviews for its humor and its willingness to tackle sensitive topics with honesty and sensitivity.
It has also been praised for its diverse cast of characters and for its representation of LGBTQ+ issues.
9. Never Have I Ever
Never Have I Ever is a Netflix original coming-of-age comedy-drama series created by Mindy Kaling and Lang Fisher.
The series follows the life of a first-generation Indian-American teenager named Devi Vishwakumar, played by Maitreyi Ramakrishnan, as she navigates high school and deals with the challenges of adolescence while also coping with the recent loss of her father.
The show explores various themes such as grief, identity, relationships, and cultural differences. It also features a diverse cast of characters and
tackles issues such as racism and mental health.
The first season of Never Have I Ever premiered on Netflix in April 2020, and the second season was released in July 2021.
The show has received critical acclaim for its portrayal of complex characters and its ability to balance humor with emotional depth.
10. Peaky Blinders
Peaky Blinders is a popular British television series that is available for streaming on Netflix.
The show is a historical crime drama set in the aftermath of World War I in Birmingham, England, and follows the story of the Shelby crime family, who are involved in various illegal activities such as gambling, extortion, and racketeering.
The show has a talented ensemble cast, with Cillian Murphy portraying the lead character of Thomas Shelby, the head of the Shelby family.
Other notable actors in the show include Helen McCrory, Paul Anderson, and Tom Hardy.
Peaky Blinders has received critical acclaim for its engaging storyline, excellent production values, and strong performances from its cast.
The show has won numerous awards, including a BAFTA for Best Drama Series.
11. Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt
Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt is a television comedy series that premiered on Netflix in 2015.
The show was created by Tina Fey and Robert Carlock and stars Ellie Kemper as the titular character, Kimmy Schmidt.
The show follows Kimmy as she adjusts to life in New York City after being rescued from a doomsday cult where she had been held captive for 15 years.
Throughout the four-season run of the show, viewers watch Kimmy navigate her new life, making new friends and dealing with the challenges of being a young woman in the big city.
The show also features a cast of memorable characters, including Kimmy’s eccentric roommate Titus Andromedon, her wealthy employer Jacqueline White, and her former cult leader Reverend Richard Wayne Gary Wayne.
Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt has been praised for its sharp writing, creative visuals, and hilarious performances.
The show has been nominated for numerous awards, including several Primetime Emmy Awards, and has won critical acclaim for its portrayal of a resilient and optimistic protagonist who never gives up, no matter what challenges come her way.
12. House of Cards
House of Cards is a political drama series that was originally produced by Netflix.
The show follows the story of Frank Underwood, a ruthless and cunning politician who uses his power and influence to manipulate and control those around him.
The show stars Kevin Spacey as Frank Underwood and Robin Wright as his wife, Claire Underwood.
The show is known for its complex and intricate plotlines, as well as its strong character development.
House of Cards has been praised for its acting, writing, and production values, and has won several awards, including Golden Globe and Emmy Awards.
However, the show has also been marred by controversy, following allegations of sexual misconduct against Kevin Spacey, which led to his firing from the series.
The final season of the show, which aired in 2018, focused on Robin Wright’s character, Claire Underwood, as she takes over as President of the United States.
13. The Umbrella Academy
The Umbrella Academy is a popular television series on Netflix.
It is based on the comic book series of the same name created by Gerard Way and Gabriel Bá.
The show follows a dysfunctional family of superheroes who reunite after the death of their adoptive father and mentor, Sir Reginald Hargreeves.
The seven siblings each possess unique abilities and must come together to prevent an apocalypse that threatens to destroy the world.
Along the way, they confront their own personal issues and family dynamics.
The show has received praise for its unique characters, inventive storytelling, and stylish visuals.
Its cast includes Ellen Page, Tom Hopper, David Castañeda, Emmy Raver-Lampman, Robert Sheehan, Aidan Gallagher, and Justin H. Min.
14. The Crown
The Crown is a historical drama television series produced by Netflix that focuses on the reign of Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom.
The show premiered in 2016 and has since become a critically acclaimed and popular series.
The series follows the life of Queen Elizabeth II from her early days as Princess Elizabeth, through her coronation and her reign as the Queen of England.
The show explores the political and personal challenges she faced, as well as her relationships with her family and other prominent figures in British history.
The Crown has been praised for its production values, acting, and attention to historical detail.
It has won numerous awards, including multiple Emmy Awards and Golden Globe Awards.
The show has also generated controversy, particularly in its portrayal of certain members of the British royal family, with some critics and viewers arguing that it takes liberties with the facts.
15. Stranger Things
Stranger Things is a popular science fiction-horror web television series created by the Duffer Brothers.
The series premiered on Netflix in July 2016 and has since become a cultural phenomenon.
The show is set in the 1980s in the fictional town of Hawkins, Indiana and follows a group of friends as they investigate the mysterious disappearance of one of their own and uncover supernatural forces at work in their town.
The show features a cast of talented actors including Winona Ryder, David Harbour, Finn Wolfhard, Millie Bobby Brown, and more.
The series has been praised for its nostalgic references to 1980s pop culture, its compelling storyline, and its strong performances.
It has received numerous awards and nominations, including Primetime Emmy Awards, Golden Globe Awards and Screen Actors Guild Awards.
16. Bridgerton is a popular Netflix series that premiered on December 25, 2020.
It is a period drama set in the Regency era in London, based on the novel series of the same name by Julia Quinn.
The show follows the lives of the Bridgerton family and their interactions with high society in the early 19th century.
The series was produced by Shonda Rhimes and created by Chris Van Dusen.
It stars Phoebe Dynevor as Daphne Bridgerton and Regé-Jean Page as Simon Basset, Duke of Hastings.
The show has been praised for its diverse casting, costumes, and music.
It has also been noted for its portrayal of female empowerment and the challenges faced by women in that era.
Bridgerton has been a huge success and has become one of Netflix’s most-watched series.
It has been renewed for a second season, which is expected to focus on Anthony Bridgerton, the eldest brother of the Bridgerton family.
17. The Witcher
The Witcher is a television series produced by Netflix, based on the book series of the same name by Polish author Andrzej Sapkowski.
The show stars Henry Cavill as Geralt of Rivia, a monster hunter known as a Witcher, who navigates a dark and dangerous world while also trying to find his place in it.
The series premiered in December 2019 and has been praised for its performances, visuals, and storytelling.
It has also been noted for its mature themes and graphic violence, which may not be suitable for all audiences.
The first season of The Witcher adapts several short stories from Sapkowski’s books, while the second season will continue the story and is set to premiere in December 2021.
The show has also inspired a popular video game series, which follows the adventures of Geralt in a different storyline.
18. The Queen’s Gambit
The Queen’s Gambit is a popular Netflix miniseries that premiered in 2020.
It is based on the novel of the same name by Walter Tevis, published in 1983.
The series follows the life of a young orphaned girl named Beth Harmon, who discovers her exceptional talent for playing chess while growing up in a Kentucky orphanage during the 1950s.
The story then follows Beth’s journey as she becomes a competitive chess player and rises through the ranks to become a world-renowned chess prodigy.
Along the way, she struggles with addiction, mental health issues, and personal relationships.
The series explores themes of gender inequality, substance abuse, and the cost of success.
The Queen’s Gambit was critically acclaimed and received numerous award nominations, including several Emmy Awards, winning Outstanding Limited or Anthology Series, as well as Outstanding Directing and Outstanding Writing for a Limited or Anthology Series or Movie.
The series also brought renewed attention to the game of chess, with sales of chess sets and books increasing following its release
19. Orange Is The New Black
Orange Is the New Black is a comedy-drama series that premiered on Netflix in 2013 and ran for seven seasons.
The show follows Piper Chapman, a privileged woman who is sentenced to 15 months in a women’s federal prison for a crime she committed 10 years earlier.
The series was highly popular and well-received by both audiences and critics, and it has a rating of 8.1 out of 10 on IMDb and 90% on Rotten Tomatoes.
The show’s exploration of serious issues such as prison reform, racial and gender inequality, and the impact of the criminal justice system on individuals and their families, combined with its strong ensemble cast and humor, made it a standout among Netflix’s original series.
20. Breaking Bad
Breaking Bad is an American television drama series created by Vince Gilligan.
It premiered on AMC on January 20, 2008, and ran for five seasons until September 29, 2013.
The series follows the story of Walter White, a struggling high school chemistry teacher who turns to making and selling methamphetamine to provide for his family after he is diagnosed with cancer.
The series has received critical acclaim for its writing, direction, and performances, particularly for Bryan Cranston’s portrayal of Walter White.
It has won numerous awards, including 16 Primetime Emmy Awards, and is considered one of the greatest television series of all time.
Breaking Bad is available to stream on Netflix in many countries, making it easily accessible to viewers around the world.
The show’s popularity on the streaming platform has continued to grow, with many fans discovering it for the first time years after its initial release.
21. Russian Doll
Russian Doll is a Netflix original series created by Natasha Lyonne, Amy Poehler, and Leslye Headland.
The series was first released on February 1, 2019, and consists of eight episodes.
It is a dark comedy-drama series that follows the story of Nadia Vulvokov, a software engineer who finds herself stuck in a time loop, repeatedly dying and returning to the same point in time.
As Nadia tries to unravel the mystery of her predicament, she meets another person, Alan, who is also stuck in a time loop.
Together, they try to figure out what is happening to them and how to break the cycle.
The series received critical acclaim for its unique storytelling, excellent performances, and its exploration of themes such as trauma, self-discovery, and relationships.
It has been praised for its dark humor, complex characters, and mind-bending plot twists.
Atypical is a Netflix original series that premiered in August 2017.
It is a coming-of-age comedy-drama that follows the life of Sam Gardner, a high school student who has autism spectrum disorder, as well as his family and friends.
The show stars Keir Gilchrist as Sam, Jennifer Jason Leigh as his mother Elsa, Michael Rapaport as his father Doug, and Brigette Lundy-Paine as his sister Casey.
Throughout the series, we see Sam navigate the complexities of adolescence, including dating, making friends, and pursuing his passions, all while dealing with the unique challenges that come with being on the autism spectrum.
Atypical has been praised for its honest portrayal of autism and its positive representation of individuals with the disorder.
The show has also been recognized for its diverse cast and its frank exploration of issues like sexuality, mental health and family dynamics.
23. BoJack Horseman
BoJack Horseman is an American adult animated television series that premiered on Netflix in 2014 and ran for six seasons, ending in 2020.
The show was created by Raphael Bob-Waksberg and stars the voice of Will Arnett as the titular character.
The show follows the life of BoJack, a former sitcom star who is struggling to find meaning in his life after his show has ended.
BoJack deals with a range of issues including addiction, depression, and self-destructive behavior, while also exploring themes of fame, success, and the entertainment industry.
BoJack Horseman has received critical acclaim for its writing, animation, and voice acting.
It has been praised for its unique blend of humor and pathos, and for its willingness to tackle serious and complex issues in a way that is both entertaining and thought-provoking.
The show has also been highly rated by audiences, with a 96% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes and a 9.2/10 rating on IMDb.
Its final season in particular was widely praised for its emotional depth and satisfying conclusion to the series.
Ozark is a popular American crime drama television series available on Netflix.
The show follows the story of a financial planner named Marty Byrde, who moves his family from Chicago to the Ozarks to launder money for a drug cartel.
Ozark has a rating of 8.4 out of 10 on IMDb and 92% on Rotten Tomatoes.
The show has been praised for its writing, directing, and acting, particularly the performances of Jason Bateman and Laura Linney.
The series has been renewed for a fourth and final season, which is expected to be released in two parts, with the first part premiering on January 21, 2022, and the second part on July 1, 2022.
Netflix has been churning out some of the best original series of recent times.
With a range of genres and themes to choose from, the streaming giant has something for everyone.
From gripping crime dramas like Mindhunter and Ozark to heartwarming comedies like Master of None and Atypical, there’s no shortage of quality content on Netflix.
The streaming service’s ability to take risks and invest in original content has paid off, resulting in some of the most talked-about shows of recent years.
With new releases constantly coming in, it’s safe to say that Netflix will continue to be a go-to destination for original series.