20 Best Little-Known TV Shows on Netflix Right Now

20 Best Little-Known TV Shows on Netflix Right Now

May 14, 2024

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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.  

1. Ethos

best

9.9

Country

Turkey, United States of America

Actors

Öykü Karayel, Alican Yücesoy, Alican Yücesoy, Bige Önal

This gorgeous drama-thriller is set in bustling Istanbul where different characters, mostly women, cross paths.

And when I say gorgeous, I mean of the drop-dead variety. The cinematography is reminiscent of the Japanese style of Kazuo Miyagawa or Columbus director Kogonada.

And it’s all matched by the dialogue. The first episode follows a woman who lays bare her life in a first session with a psychologist. The story then moves on to her psychologist seeing her own clinician, mostly discussing how she feels about seeing veiled patients.

2. Monster

best

9.2

Country

Japan, United States Germany

Actors

Hidenobu Kiuchi, Hideyuki Tanaka, Hisayoshi Suganuma, Ichirō Nagai

Moods

Challenging, Character-driven, Dark

At first glance, Monster doesn’t seem like the typical anime of the 2000s. With its muted colors, realistic action, and Eastern European setting, it seemed like a more subdued series compared to other thrillers. But because it feels so realistic, Monster is one of the most thrilling psychological series that happens to tackle the value of a human life, as the compassionate doctor Kenzo Tenma grapples with the weight of having saved a boy who grows up into a manipulative psychopath. Mangaka Naoki Urasawa and showrunner Masayuki Kojima directly challenges their respective philosophies through excellently paced investigations, well-developed characters, and the thorough examination of the different ways humanity has failed each other, and it’s downright beautiful to see how this anime adapts Urasawa’s complex, sophisticated story so faithfully.

3. Dark

best

9.0

Country

Germany, United States of America

Actors

Anatole Taubman, Andreas Pietschmann, Angela Winkler, Anne Ratte-Polle

Moods

Challenging, Dramatic, Gripping

If you liked Netflix’ Stranger Things gloomy suspense, 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 I’ve seen before.

This German show is about a town with a long and dark 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 I will share without ruining the show for you. 

Dark uses beautiful aesthetic, both visually and musically, to be compelling and painfully tension-ridden. 

Season two has more bouncing between timelines and more dark and inexplicable events, as now six people are missing. 

4. Sex Education

best

8.9

Country

UK, United Kingdom

Actors

Aimee Lou Wood, Alistair Petrie, Anne-Marie Duff, Asa Butterfield

Moods

Funny, Slice-of-Life

Pressured by the feeling that everyone is having sex except him, Otis (Asa Butterfield), like most teenagers, is very uncomfortable with sex, masturbation, and intimacy in general. In addition to the standard-issue teenage awkwardness, to make things worse, he grows up in a sex-positive household under the watchful eyes of his mother Jean, played by Gillian Anderson, who is a sex therapist. Obviously, the subject is omnipresent as are erotic art, oversized dildos, and coitus-craving couples all over the house. The twist comes when he transforms his tribulations into a business model by teaming up with bad girl Maeve Wiley (Emma Mackey) to counsel his teenage peers on sexual issues of all kinds. As you can imagine, uninitiated teenagers have a lot to offer in that department. Apart from its raunchy premise and explicit images, this is a hilarious, diverse, and warm teen comedy thanks, in particular, to the writing of playwright Laurie Nunn. Lauded by critics for its honesty, this future comedy classic will surely teach you a thing or two about sexuality yourself.

5. Caliphate

best

8.9

Country

Sweden

Actors

Ala Riani, Albin Grenholm, Aliette Opheim, Amanda Sohrabi

Moods

Binge-Worthy

A Swedish production that went global on Netflix, Caliphate is an addictive thriller about two groups of young people in the Scandinavian country: one already radicalized and fighting in Syria, and the other still in high-school and on the path to radicalization. An anti-terrorism officer with a questionable past is put in contact with a woman who traveled to Syria and wants to return to Sweden. In exchange, this woman offers information about an impending attack in Europe. Caliphate is a fascinating watch! Thrilling, well-acted, and nuanced, it looks past cheap stereotypes to offer genuine insight into the psychology and seduction used for turning young people into terrorists.

6. Unbelievable

8.8

Country

United States of America

Actors

Austin Hebert, Dale Dickey, Danielle Macdonald, Elizabeth Marvel

Moods

Binge-Worthy, Mini-series

Based on the 2015 Pulitzer-Prize-winning article “An Unbelievable Story of Rape”, here is one of the best Netflix productions in a while and definitely the best detective-centric show since the first season of True Detective. The eight-part drama examines the case of a 16-year-old from Washington, who claims she has been raped in her bedroom before rescinding her statement after fierce questioning of the police. Later, her initial story is substantiated by a similar incident surfacing elsewhere.

Two detectives, played masterfully by Toni Collette and Merritt Wever, refuse to assume the young girl’s guilt and embark on a relentless journey to catch the perpetrator. In addition to being a thrilling watch and insanely bingeable, Unbelievable was highly praised for shifting the attention from the abusers to the victims and making their stories heard in a true crime format. Everybody should listen closely!

7. Haikyu!!

best

8.8

Country

d, Japan

Actors

Ayumu Murase, Daisuke Namikawa, Hiroshi Kamiya, Hiroyuki Yoshino

Moods

Action-packed, Binge-Worthy, Character-driven

Fun, wholesome, and relatable, Haikyu!! celebrates the highs and lows of high school volleyball. The show starts off focused on two freshmen volleyball players from opposing middle school teams, who have to learn teamwork in order to be accepted into their high school club. While the team might initially come across as self-conscious, over-the-top, highly dramatic characters, it’s clear that they’re coming from a shared love for the competitive sport (and that they also just happen to be going through puberty). However, the show’s strategic storytelling makes us care about the team: explanations about volleyball tactics are taught just at the right moment in order to heighten the stakes of every player’s move. Simultaneously, every player moves into each new plot point as a natural consequence of their backstory and their perception of each event. Haikyu!!’s agile approach makes the show a compelling watch, and a great place to start if you’re new to anime.

8. Occupied

best

8.7

Country

France, Norway, Sweden

Actors

Ane Dahl Torp, Eldar Skar, Henrik Mestad, Ingeborga Dapkunaite

Moods

Binge-Worthy

Like Charlie Brooker’s Black Mirror, the premise of the extremely bingeable and thrilling Norwegian TV show is a bit too close for comfort. Amidst a global fuel crisis, Europe has become dependent on energy from oil-rich Norway. Despite this fact, the Norwegian electorate votes the charismatic Green Party prime minister Jesper Berg (Henrik Mestad) into office, who halts the country’s oil production in an effort to combat climate change. With the European energy emergency escalating, Russia proceeds to occupy Norway with the EU’s support.

When best-selling crime author Jo Nesbø pitched this show in the early 2010s, this seemed like an unlikely, dystopian premise. However, since the annexation of Crimea and similar incidents in the mid-2010s, this is not quite as counterfactual as one would hope. Russian diplomats were not amused. But don’t be mistaken, this is not an academic experiment or a political provocation but a veritable, big-budget thrill ride, featuring amazing shots of the Norwegian wilderness, great writing, and stirring suspense.

9. The Last Kingdom

best

8.6

Country

UK, United Kingdom

Actors

Adrian Bower, Adrian Schiller, Alexander Dreymon, Alexandre Willaume

Moods

Binge-Worthy, Instructive, Thrilling

This historical fantasy show is based on the best-selling novel The Saxon Stories, a story set during the Viking / Dane invasion of Britain.

Uhtred was a small boy when he was kidnapped and then raised by the Danes. When he unexpectedly gets caught up in the conflict, his half-Saxon half-Dane mix makes at the same time valuable and untrustworthy for both sides.

There has never been a better alternative to Game of Thrones. The great writing and great performances from a cast of newcomers inevitably induce the same sense of addiction.

10. Unorthodox

best

8.5

Country

Germany

Actors

Aaron Altaras, Alex Reid, Amit Rahav, Aziz Dyab

Moods

Binge-Worthy, Mini-series

This excellent new miniseries is a drama that takes place in an ultra-Orthodox Jewish family. Esty, a nineteen-year-old girl who is unhappy in her arranged marriage, escapes this community and travels from New York to Berlin in hopes of starting a new life.

Like all good realistic dramas, there are no truly bad people in Unorthodox. Everyone is trying to do what they think is right, which still makes for very complicated situations. Esty is played by Israeli actor Shira Haas and I know this word is overused but she really is a revelation.

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