30 Amazing Yet Little-Known TV Shows on Netflix

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After our list for the best movies on Netflix was shared to reach millions of subscribers, we have compiled another list for shows, with just as much care. Like all entries on agoodmovietowatch.com, these are highly-rated and little-known recommendations; they’re shows you have yet to watch, and you’ll love them once you do. You can find all the highly-rated, little-known show suggestions here.

agoodmovietowatch is your gateway to on-demand streaming services, but instead of recommending the same movies and shows to you you’ve been hearing about for the past 20 years, we focus on the good ones that were overlooked. To do this, we only recommend titles that have received a high rating from viewers combined with a high score from critics. This means that these entries have been appreciated by both, so you can trust that they’re awesome. We also only suggest titles  that didn’t make a huge splash at the box office or which didn’t get the attention they deserved, so there is little chance you have already seen them.

 

30

Watch out for Ezekiel in this show, he will steal your heart. And also please sit through the first episode. Yes, it’s long, but if you get The Get Down, it is one of the best shows on Netflix. Created by Baz Luhrmann and Pulitzer Prize winning playwright Stephen Adly Guirgis, it narrates the rise of hip-hop in a broken 1970’s New York. The impressive credentials don’t stop there, as the series is narrated by Nas, features work by four-time Academy Award winner Catherine Martin as well as hip-hop historian Nelson George. It is perhaps for this reason that the word “narration” takes its full meaning here. Every episode, every scene, every character are made with extreme care, resulting in sometimes longer than necessary sequences. A sacrifice that will make some viewers very happy, but which many might have a hard time adjusting to.

29

Dark and almost too realistic, Wentworth is the women’s prison drama that we’ve all been waiting for. This Australian show might have the same set-up as Orange is the New Black, following a recently incarcerated woman as she discovers a new world, but the two series couldn’t be more far apart. Wentworth is more Breaking Bad than Orange is the New Black. It doesn’t follow people who are wronged by the system or who are misunderstood, but women that have actually done violent things, and continue being violent in prison. Everyone appeals to their dark side, and it’s almost impossible for any character to be redeemed in the viewer’s eye. The show’s biggest selling point though is that it never goes the violence-for-violence route, its immaculate character development allows to find reason and authenticity behind every act. This a true hidden gem.

28

The first episode is directed by the maker of Warrior, Gavin O’Connor, and it is in the same emotional yet gripping and action-packed rhythm that Seven Seconds operates. A white police officer and his squad are involved in an attempt to cover up the hit-and-run of a black teenager. Too afraid to deal with the backlash, their plan is only met with a disorganized prosecutor, a heartbroken family and the guilt of the police officer. Themes of race and minorities are very present, not to mention treated in a very interesting way. However, the heart of the show remains the powerfully written thriller/drama. This, added to the amazing acting, especially by Regina King and Russell Hornsby make this show one of the best police dramas on Netflix.

27

Master of None doesn’t take a shot at realism that it doesn’t nail. It doesn’t take that many, since its main goal, and something both the show and its creator Aziz Ansari do very well, can be summarized in one word: charm. Quirky everything: acting, story line, soundtracks. And because it is the age of augmented realism in TV, this show feels fresh and timely. It features the life of Dev, a smart and funny actor as he tackles professional success, a serious relationship and growing up. Dev the character is based on the creator of the show and its lead actor Aziz Ansari. Because of this but also because of the genuineness of its creators and the wonderful casting, everything here is done with heart. Last thing, Master of None has got to be the most binge-worthy sitcom! You might want to think twice before starting it. You’ve been warned.

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26

In an age where every show gets called “original” the minute after it comes out, this amazing series from the creators of Orange is the New Black will actually make you go “no, that show is different!”. Starring an almost all-women cast (except for the coach, played masterfully by podcast icon Marc Maron), it’s the story of how a crazy wrestling show was put together in the 1980s called Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling. Alison Brie (Community) plays the girl at the center of the effort to make this show happen, having had a terribly failed career thus far. Perfectly acted and featuring funny as well as absurd moments, GLOW is a great show that you can binge on Netflix without noticing the episodes fly by.

25

With so many popular true crime programs like Making a Murderer, The Keepers and The Jinx, you must have seen something like this coming – a satirical true crime series. Although that sounds like a silly idea to go over in many episodes, trust me, this show is amazing. I don’t know if it’s the genius of its makers or just the magic of this golden TV show era we live in, but what starts as a joke actually ends up being a pretty compelling mystery. 27 teachers of a high school find their cars vandalized – with drawings of penises. The suspected senior, Dylan Maxwell (already known for drawing penises everywhere) is then expelled. A sophomore student then takes it upon himself to investigate and prove Dylan’s innocence. Hilarious, yes, but this show is actually also very captivating.

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24

The first season has four episodes, expect to watch them in one take. Top Boy is a compelling and gritty crime drama set in London about a kid who grows up in a crime filled neighborhood.  His mom is admitted to hospital and he has to take care of himself in a time where two drug dealers are trying to rise and gain more control of the neighborhood. Top Boy has an intricate plot that builds a lot of tension and which will have you completely hooked, but it also has a lot of amazing non-plot related moments. It depicts the concept of morality in a neighborhood like the one portrayed, and the tough decisions its people have to make every day. If you liked The Wire, this show is for you.

23

Man, don’t watch this show hungry. Chef David Chang has both the genius and humility to make whatever food he touches both fascinating and insanely appealing. Each episode follows a particular dish in the places where it’s made best, but also in the places that’s it’s known for. So for example the first episode about pizza goes to Japan to investigate a new pizza in a Michelin-star restaurant, but also goes to Domino’s. Chang has almost a f*ck it attitude towards the food industry that’s not only refreshing to watch on him, but also disarms his guests and sparks interesting conversation. One of the best food shows you can watch today.

22

This is an amazing mini-series of 7 episodes marketed as being the same as the Netflix hit show Making a Murderer. While the two share some of the defining tones, The Keepers is a much more interesting show. It trades cliffhangers for substance, without compromising at all on the mystery of the murder addressed. It gives the bigger picture on what was going on in Baltimore at the time of the murder, and then heavily focuses on the victims from after the murder. It’s a riveting tale of injustice, sexual abuse, and corruption. If you so much as like true crime shows (or movies like Spotlight), you’re going to not only love The Keepers, but you will find it inspiring in how it addresses the uncovering of secrets.

21

Think of Dix pour cent, or as it was horribly translated to English “Call My Agent!”, as a smart French version of the American show Entourage. It’s the kind of thing where if you like it you will become obsessed with it. It chronicles the life of an aspiring agent at a French casting agency. New to Paris, she lands a job and is confronted with a variety of very stressed characters. Dix pour cent is the perfect definition of a hidden gem, featuring countless guest appearances by famous French actors and actresses.

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20

Violent, very Western, and in a breath of fresh air: female. Godless is a show about strong bad-ass women that govern their own town in the late 1800s. Roy Goode is their visitor, an outlaw chased by another, much worse outlaw, Frank Griffin. It’s an honest and powerful show with some amazing performances, and even more amazing aesthetics. If you love Westerns but find them too predictable, this show was made for you.

19

Who doesn’t need a good 20 minute-per-episode comedy show in their life? We all do. The Letdown delivers on that front, but because we live in the age of the “cerebral” TV (or whatever you want to call it) it tricks you with some deep feeling stuff. It’s like paying for laughs. The show is about motherhood, as it follows a new mom and her struggle to cope with the demanding turn her life has taken. If you’re not yet a mom (for example, if you’re a man), this show will be really instructive for you; but if you’re a mom, you’re bound to see your experience portrayed maybe for the first time in an honest way. And with that honesty comes hilariousness on one hand, but also a lot of hard stuff (aka deep feeling stuff). A fun, real, and well-written show. 

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18

Big-time podcast icon and comedian Marc Maron stars as a fictionalized version of himself in this hilarious and sometimes troubling show. Maron the character is a recovering alcoholic who abuses coffee in the constant state of chase after a buzz, he is divorced, bitter, yet weirdly kind – he is always trying to be a better version of himself and failing.
The series is about his attempt at human relationships, both romantic and not, after a bad history that spans from a negligent self-centered mother to bad eating habits and self-shame. Maron is insightful, very funny, and especially in the first season, a joy to watch.

17

A captivating documentary series on the struggling state of the police department in Flint, Michigan; and by extension a large proportion of American cities. The town that had made the news for its water crisis is home to another crisis that dates back further: an exponential rise in crime.  The police department, however, keeps losing funding year over year, so much so that they can only have less than 9 one-officer cars patrolling the (large) city at any one time.  A sobering and impressive account that follows officers facing not only harrowing situations in a failing city, but also the constant fear of being laid-off.

16

Smart, suspensful, original, and just all-around a perfect show. Money Heist (La casa de papel) is 13 episodes about a gang who embarks on the biggest heist in history – not just in their country of Spain but everywhere. Led by an enigmatic character only known as The Professor, the rest of the gang adopts city names: Tokyo, Rio, Helsinki, Nairobi, etc. Their roles in the heist are as different as their personalities and approach to relationships. The script is insanely suspenseful, super fast when it needs to, and painfully slow when you don’t want it to be (and when it’s perfect for it to be), taking you into the heist that quickly becomes a chess game between The Professor and the police. Be ready to get instantly hooked into a very binge-worthy journey. A truly amazing show, and one of the best if not the best heist TV show ever made.

15

Don’t be surprised if you cry at every single episode of this show. I know that sounds crazy, given that Queer Eye is technically a reality TV show, but the levels of honesty and genuine care at play here are out of this world. Most of the time, it’s a fun show about gay guys making over straight guys in hopeless situations, featuring characters as hilarious and playful as Jonathan Van Ness, and as pleasant and insightful as Tan France. However, a lot of times, addressing those hopeless situations in the delicate way Queer Eye manages to do, it touches on heavy themes like loneliness, body image issues, sacrifice for one’s family, etc. This is a celebration of tolerance, empathy, and amazing craftsmanship by its creators that will not only make you go “why am I crying right now?” but also “why can’t I stop binge watching a reality TV show?”.

14

Explained may well be Netflix’s first successful attempt at a weekly show, a brief and well-made set of summary videos on topics ranging from the wealth gap to monogamy to cryptocurrency. While the idea is anything but unique – the only thing Youtube might have more of than makeup videos are explanation videos – the production value, research, and obvious dedication that went into Explained really set it apart. Expect sharp and factual 15-minute takes on contemporary topics that deeply benefit from Vox’s experience making digestible content. In any case, the investment here is very small, at best you will come out more knowledgable on topics you hear the people around you talk about, and at worst you’ll shout “liberal snowflakes” at your TV for 15 minutes and move on. 

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13

Rectify is an incredible show about the emotional journey one man takes upon his release from death row after 19 years. The acting, direction, and soundtrack of this series is unparalleled. While it does tackle some pretty intense topics like the death penalty, corruption, spirituality, and more, the show’s primary focus is exploring a story of a much more intimate nature. Daniel is the show’s main protagonist – a smart, thoughtful, damaged man who’s both vulnerable, yet mysterious. His release affects everyone in his family very differently – some, like his sister, Agatha, had been fighting for his release since the day he was arrested. Others, like his brother-in-law, suspect he’s guilty of the crime he was accused of. Still others, like the town sheriff, want to find new evidence to lock him away again. That said, this is a story that’s driven primarily by characters – and it’s a slow burn. The plot might be too slow for those who want to find out right away if Daniel is innocent or not of the crime. But if you watch the scene in the very first episode when Daniel meets his mother and sister outside of a prison cell for the first time in nearly twenty years and you don’t feel a torrent of powerful emotion, then this may not be the best series for you. But the rest of you will surely be mesmerised by the thoughtfulness and beauty of this show.

12

There is footage and coverage to prove that the pizza bomber story actually happened but watching Evil Genius: The True Story of America’s Most Diabolical Bank Heist everything is so intriguing it is almost impossible to believe. A pizza-delivery guy shows up to rob a bank with what he says is a bomb secured around his neck, something that he claims is part of a treasure hunt. By robing the bank, he will unlock the next set of clues that will allow him to defuse the bomb. Bank tellers comply but on the way out he is suddenly arrested by the police, who doubt his claims, handcuff him and keep him at a distance. The device he has around his neck then starts beeping. What follows is one of the most unusual investigations ever led by security forces, brilliantly framed by executive producers Duplass brothers. A perfect follow-up to their other amazing True-crime Netflix collaboration, Wild Wild Country, it’s a tight 4-episodes that is equally terrifying and intriguing.

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11

Ozark is a show about how a seemingly average family that gets tangled up in very unusual circumstances.  Jason Bateman plays an accountant who launders money for a big Mexican drug cartel from Chicago. When things go wrong with the Cartel leader, he is forced to set up shop in the Ozark valley and change practically every aspect of his wife and two kids’ lives. The show is not only an exciting crime drama but an interesting manifestation of very common American family discussions and concerns.

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10

An 11-time Primetime Emmy nominated BBC series. Two words: Idris Elba. This is his show. He stars as DCI John Luther (watch this show and you’ll never be able to pronounce that without a British accent), an extremely smart, committed yet unpredictable and sometimes violent detective.
The creator and writer, Neil Cross (Doctor Who), has said to be inspired by a mix of Sherlock Holmes and Columbo. The show really succeeds at hitting that right balance. The only difference is that both the crimes portrayed and the context of the show are very modern.
Luther will sometimes play with your mind, entertain you at others, but mostly it will keep you captivated. And without realizing it, it will make you develop an interesting closeness with Elba’s character. The supporting cast, from other police officers to villains, are all terrifically acted. This is British mystery at its very best.

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9

If you liked Stranger Things but are sick of the hype, sit tight because there is a lot more of where that came from in Dark.

Here is what they have in common: the aesthetic, great music, and they’re both about the disappearance of a child. Other than that, it is very difficult to compare Dark to anything else we’ve seen before.

The show is compelling and complex which makes it incredibly tension ridden. Each episode will draw you deeper into the plot until you become completely obsessed with finding out what is going to happen.

This German town has a long and heavy history, which is brought to the forefront of the collective conscious when a child goes missing. The plot twists and turns through decades of history – and that’s as much as we will share without ruining it for you.

This is without a doubt Netflix’s most twisted show to date! It is also Netflix’s first German show – we recommend watching the subtitled version so you don’t miss getting the full range of emotions from the actors.

8

Think of The Honourable Woman as Homeland on steroids. In Homeland, the question was whether the main character was good or bad, in The Honourable Woman, the question is whether anybody is good or bad. The characters are all so well-crafted that it’s difficult to ever feel comfortable with any one of them. This Netflix/BBC mini-series is set around Nessa Stein (Maggie Gyllenhaal), a heiress to a large arms company involved in the Israeli/Palestinian conflict. When her father is assassinated, her willingness to keep the business alive by diversifying it away from the war business is met with strong economic and political opposition. Easily one of the best political thrillers ever made. Won Gyllenhaal the Golden Globe for Best Actress.

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7

A British comedy series that was originally called Scrotal Recall before it was bought by Netflix and rebranded. It’s about Dylan and his friends, he is a desperate romantic in his 20s who suddenly discovers he has chlamydia, and therefore must contact all his (numerous) past sexual adventures and relationships.
Every episode has the name of one of the girls he has to contact, and the story that goes with it. Dylan’s best friends are Luke, a hilarious seemingly confident but actually insecure, shallow business-school-type; and Eve, Dylan’s best friend who may have undisclosed feelings for him, she is a sarcastic, smart girl who is very well portrayed by Misfits star Antonia Thomas.
Lovesick is a charming little series, that portrays failed relationships but ends up being beautifully romantic. Something you can easily find yourself watching many episodes in one take.

6

An exquisite crime show made under the supervision of David Fincher. It’s a beautifully retro account of the start of serial murders and law enforcement’s early attempts to understand them. When his role as a negotiator comes to an abrupt end, agent Holden Ford becomes involved with the freshly founded Behavioral Science Unit headed by agent Bill Tench (marvelously played by Holt McCallany). Together they go around the country interviewing serial killers and trying to solve open murder cases. Possibly Netflix’s most binge-worthy show so far, Mindhunter is a very interesting, almost scientifically oriented thriller.

5

Each episode of Abstract is a look into an art discipline through the lens of a selected contemporary pioneer. From illustration to footwear design, the show follows how the artists create and live, how they got started, etc. The documentary itself is really aesthetically pleasing, which kind of taps into your own creativity. The designers in the series are unknowingly well-known. Does that make sense? You will instantly recognise their work even though you’ve never heard of them before. A light, easy-going and inspirational documentary.

4

A look into the interesting lives and magnificent plates made in the kitchens of some of the best chefs in the world (including an episode with the best). Each episode dives deep into their worlds’, providing an intimate and ultimately inspiring look at their life both inside the kitchen and out; with all of them having lived unique lives to say the least. Their perspectives on everything from family life to entrepreneurship will dazzle you almost as much as the colorful and spectacular dishes they produce.

3

An amazing binge-worthy show that is a mix between a coming-of-age story, a romance, and a crime thriller.

It tells the story of James, a 17-year-old who believes he is a psychopath (for some very convincing reasons). James decides he wants the victim of his first murder to be a new schoolmate, Alyssa.  He befriends her and keeps waiting for the perfect moment to kill Alyssa until he finds himself on a journey with her to escape her home.

Somewhere near the middle of the show, and without you fully realizing it, it transforms from an original coming-of-age story or odd-boy-meets-odd-girl story to an intriguing view on adolescent insecurities and the role of parents into shaping them. It transforms from a mysterious, almost charming story to an interesting character study.  This is when the show will blow your mind.  It’s a fresh, smart, funny yet disturbing emotional thrill ride.

 

2

A dramatic take on the life and capture of Ted Kaczynski, popularly known as UNABOMBER(UNiversity and Airline BOMber) from the eyes of an FBI profiler. Kaczynski was responsible for 16 bombings, and it took 17 years for the FBI to catch him. To date, he’s the target of the most expensive chase the FBI has ever launched. The show is not a mystery (facts are the matter of public domain) and doesn’t even pretend to be one. Instead, it focuses on the complex motives of the UNABOMBER, as well as the bureaucracy that the FBI ran through trying to catch him. It’s a really well-made, engrossing show that’s hard not to watch in one take. It’s 8 episodes of 40 minutes, so pick the time you start it wisely.

1

A Netflix documentary mini-series that follows the relocation of a cult from India to a small town in Oregon and the ensuing events. It’s a completely true story, but the events it portrays are so bizarre and unexpected that they have to be seen to be believed. The cult, led by a controversial Indian guru, drew worldwide attention to its beginnings in India and then to its conflict with the locals once it relocated to the United States. If you were a contemporary, you must know that the town is Antelope and the guru is Bhagwan or Osho, but if you were not, it is very unlikely you’ve even heard of it. What was a very significant moment in American media and history has been long forgotten, and is retold here in a captivating way. An extremely well-executed and a powerful account of a very unlikely story.