5 Netflix Shows You Should Have Already Binged in 2019

October 14, 2019

2019 is a crucial year for Netflix. Apple and Disney have announced their plans to come up with their own streaming platforms, and this is putting Netflix at an awkward position.

They’re dealing with this threat in the only way they know how to: doubling down on original content. Here are our favorites so far, we will be completing this list as the year goes – so make sure you bookmark or save it!

Our Planet

I can’t think of a good reason why this review shouldn’t just be two words: David Attenborough. With a voice that makes you wish every other voice in your life was the same, the star of Planet Earth teamed up with Netflix to make this new nature show. It took four years to film, and it bounces countless times between continents in every episode. It’s rich, vivid, and oh so beautiful. So they just made another Planet Earth? Not exactly. Our Planet has a much stronger environmental message. It’s not a line here and there about the negative impact we’ve had on the planet – it’s the theme behind the whole show. It’s frank, sad, but always, always, stunning.

User rating: 0/100. Staff rating: 85/100.
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Unbelievable

Unbelievable is one of the best Netflix productions in a while and definitely the best detective-centric show since the first season of True Detective.

After a rape victim is not believed by the detectives who are assigned to her case, details of a similar incident surface elsewhere.

Two detectives played masterfully by Toni Collette and Merritt Wever, embark on a relentless journey to catch the perpetrator in this thrilling and insanely bingeable true-crime show.

User rating: 0/100. Staff rating: 88/100.
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1994

There hasn’t been a docuseries as worthy of a binge since the Netflix production Wild Wild Country. 1994 might be even more gripping since its modest episode count (five) doesn’t delay any revelations.

And just like Wild Wild Country, the events in this show get more and more mind-blowing as the episodes roll. Most of the story would be hard to believe if it wasn’t… you know… based on facts and backed by footage and interviews.

The show starts with Mexico’s prominent presidential candidate, a shrewd political activist who was determined to bring change to the political structure, getting shot during a televised political rally.

What follows is a series of in-depth interviews, including with Mexico’s president at the time (pictured above) and pretty much all the relevant people to the story who are still alive today.

This is a rich, informative, and fascinating account of a violent and tumultuous year in Mexico. As the people being interviewed point out, understanding the relevance of 1994 in Mexican politics will help understand the country’s political and economic landscape today.

User rating: 0/100. Staff rating: 90/100.
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Mindhunter

Two seasons are available now of this exquisite crime show made under the supervision of David Fincher. Mindhunter’s pacing, incredible stories, and great acting make it so easy yet so enjoyable to consume.

The show is about FBI agent Holden Ford, who 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. It’s a retro account of the start of serial murders and law enforcement’s early attempts to understand them.

Netflix’s most binge-worthy show so far, Mindhunter is a very interesting, almost scientific thriller.

User rating: 87/100. Staff rating: 94/100.
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When They See Us

Some of the best black actors working today team up for When They See Us – the list includes Michael K William (Omar Little from The Wire) Jovan Adepo (Fences) and Jharrel Jerome (Moonlight).

And as most on-camera faces in this miniseries are recognizable (there is also Felicity Huffman and Michael Peña), so is the writer, director, and creator of the show, Ava DuVernay. She is the director of Selma, for which she became the first female black director to ever be nominated for an Oscar.

I’m spending a lot of time on credentials because the performances and high-quality direction are one of the few things that will get you through this show. It’s a tough watch – chronicling the story of five black teenagers who get falsely accused of rape. The case, known as The Central Park Five, was also made into an excellent documentary by the same name (available on Amazon Prime).

When They See Us goes through the mechanisms and details of how the U.S. justice system framed these teenagers. It also pays special attention to their time in prison, and their family relationships. It’s an excruciating but incredibly important watch.

User rating: 0/100. Staff rating: 94/100.
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