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.
Bates Motel is a prequel to the 1960 Hitchcock cult classic Psycho. Need I say more? Set in modern-day Oregon, It portraits the unusual relationship between protagonists Norman (Freddie Highmore) and his mother Norma (Vera Farmiga) as they go about their lives inside the Bates Motel. While it is a great show in every way, nothing beats the premise, it’s wildly interesting to discover what Psycho’s Norman Bates’ teenage years would have looked like. You guessed it: Lots of murder, intrigue, and a healthy dose of psychopathic disorders.
This psychological horror drama’s clever writing and splendid performances do a great job of building tension and making the viewer feel uncomfortable, not to mention keeping you on the edge of your seat throughout its 5 seasons.
This colossal-budget show ($90 million for the first season alone) never caught a break. Somehow it didn’t make it to the big audience it deserved. It tells the grand story of Marco Polo the explorer, and the years he spent with the Mongols, going back forth in their ranks between prisoner and leader. It was during this crucial time for the empire that Kublai Khan had extended the reach of his empire even further than his more famous grandfather Genghis Khan. As you’d expect with a show featuring this many characters and such a new world, the first season is not as entertaining as could be, but the show becomes its full-self as a true epic in season 2.
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.
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 recognize their work even though you’ve never heard of them before. A light, easy-going and inspirational documentary.
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.
Terrace House is the perfect show to binge on a lazy day, it will make you feel intimate not only with its cast, but also with the Japanese culture and lifestyle. The premise here is nothing that hasn’t been done before, and usually very terribly: Six strangers -three boys and three girls in their twenties – are given a beautiful home to live in for several months in Tokyo. We get to observe their interactions and the slow building of their friendships. What sets it apart from others in its genre is that it’s wholly unscripted and nothing is forced. The cast are normal people whose lives don’t revolve around the show: they have jobs, they’re free to come and leave the house whenever they want, they can travel, sleep all day, or date people not on the show. You might think this makes for bad TV, but it really doesn’t: Terrace House is really well-made and it knows how to make mundane life interesting and engaging. To round it up another cast of established japanese entertainers appear on interludes each episode to share their opinions on the happenings inside the house and to offer some comedic insight.
Keir Gilchrist who you may know from the movie It’s Kind of a Funny Story plays Sam, an 18-year-old on the autistic spectrum trying to navigate the “typical” aspects of a teenager’s life: dating, independence, friendships, etc. Perhaps people dealing with autism can better attest to this, but the show feels genuine and realistic. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a comedy, but it’s a really heartfelt approach to the funny sitcom format. In a lot of ways, Atypical is the perfect 2017 Netflix-age coming-of-age sitcom: it’s funny and smart, but also keen to be realistic. And Atypical is about Sam’s family almost as much as it is about him, and how they adjust to his new quest for self-discovery. Look out for newcomer Brigette Lundy-Paine, who does an amazing job playing Sam’s siter Casey!
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.
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.
About love as much as it is about loneliness, romance as much as realism and the longing for a genuine connection as much as being tired of that longing – this is a smart and well nuanced series on building relationships. It follows Gus and Mickey, two damaged people trying to recover from bad breakups. They’re respectively played by writer/creater Paul Rust and Gillian Jacobs (Britta from Community). Love portrays their love story as an example of relationships by default, chemistry that stems more from the need to be in a relationship than any physical or intellectual attraction. And it features many hilarious sequences, some are cleverly composed jokes but most of them are the painfully-real type.
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.
Five delinquents are stuck together in juvenile detention. The kids are bored, and they are all doing their best to be as rude as possible to each other and their supervisor. One afternoon there’s a big storm and they all get struck by lightening. The next day they wake up with the realization that they are not the same people as they were the day before. Each episode follows the perspective from a different character.
This is not your average superhero gang – nor are their powers particularly desirable. In essence the show is about a group of “misfits” trying to make connections and fit in. It’s at times heart warming, at others it will make you cringe. There is some seriously good acting between Iwan Rheon (Game of Thrones) and Antonia Thomas (Love Sick). The plot is very gripping so it will be hard to not watch the whole first season (6 Episodes) in one afternoon.
There may not be a show or movie out there that the term “slice-of-life” applies to better than Easy. Don’t watch it expecting stuff to happen, it won’t. I mean it will, but don’t expect any big plot twists, and don’t anticipate the end of episodes: enjoy it as it happens.
With different stories in each 30-minute episode, Joe Swanberg (Drinking Buddies) who created, wrote and directed will feel as the only constant throughout the series. Yet, as you move through it, you realize that other than being mini-cameos to each other, these characters share many of the same defining elements of modern-day culture. The ways they navigate relationships, sex, and technology is relevant and realistic.
Mushishi is one of those shows that you watch one episode at a time to relax after a long day of work. It’s a slow, atmospheric animation about a world where peculiar plant-like creatures called Mushi live alongside humans who are usually unaware of them. Think of Mushi as the most basic form of life. While being purposeless, they can unintentionally have a wide variety of effects on humans, sometimes helping them but always at an unforeseen cost. Ginko is a traveler who studies Mushi and on his way helps villagers with their problems.Each episode is an independent short story about a chapter of Ginko’s travels. The stories feel weirdly the same as folklore you grew up with. They are comfy, they hold a few moral lessons at the end of each one, and they’re sometimes scary and thought-provoking. Despite being “anime”, this show might as well be a genre on its own. It holds none of the stereotypes surrounding anime, and it’s really just a collection of solid short stories coupled with great animation and an amazing soundtrack. If you’re tired and need a show to watch late at night with a loved one or by yourself, pick an episode at random and see for yourself how great of a show this is.
If you’re familiar with Ricky Gervais’s wild, over-the-top sense of humor, you’ll be getting a lot of that in here, for better or for worse. But this show is much more than that. Derek( Ricky Gervais) is a seemingly mentally lacking helper in a nursing home where people spend their last days together. Derek and his colleagues Hannah (Kerry Godliman), Kev (David Earl) and Dougie (Karl Pilkington) help take care of the elderly residents in their everyday lives, while struggling with their own problems ranging from social ineptitude to alcoholism.
While the show is mostly lighthearted and very funny, its more emotional segments are surprisingly well-done. In its essence it’s an interesting reflection on the way the elderly and the social outcasts are treated in our society.
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.
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.
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.
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.
A hilarious British sitcom about 24-year-old Tracey Gorden, a shop assistant living in a London housing estate with crazy friends and an even crazier family. Having had a very religious upbringing, the show is about her navigating adulthood and trying to untangle herself from the unexciting life her neighborhood offers (mainly by trying to lose her virginity). Michaela Coel plays Tracey, who also wrote and created the show. Her expressive face and fantastic character building make for such an original show. This is possibly the best sitcom on Netflix right now.
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.