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50 Most Underrated TV Shows on Netflix Right Now

If you feel like you’ve maxed out all the good shows on Netflix, think again. Besides the big-name shows that have caught media attention, buried under the platform’s marketing algorithm is a treasure trove of shows you’ve probably never heard of.

And among them are plenty of spectacular gems that are certainly worth your time. We’ve curated the top 50 TV shows you might have overlooked, all currently streaming on Netflix.

Marco Polo

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.

Genre: Drama
Actor: Amr Waked, Benedict Wong, Chin Han, Claudia Kim, Gabriel Byrne, Jacqueline Chan, Joan Chen, Leonard Wu, Lorenzo Richelmy, Mahesh Jadu, Michelle Yeoh, Olivia Cheng, Pierfrancesco Favino, Remy Hii, Rick Yune, Tom Wu, Uli Latukefu, Zhu Zhu
Rating: TV-MA
The Get Down

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.

Genre: Drama
Actor: Eric Bogosian, Giancarlo Esposito, Herizen F. Guardiola, Herizen Guardiola, Jimmy Smits, Justice Smith, Kevin Corrigan, Mamoudou Athie, Michel Gill, Shameik Moore, Shyrley Rodriguez, Skylan Brooks, Stefanee Martin, TJ Brown, Tremaine Brown, Jr., Yahya Abdul-Mateen II
Rating: TV-MA
Wentworth

Dark and almost too realistic, Wentworth is the women’s prison drama that I’ve 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 different. Wentworth is more Breaking Bad than Orange is the New Black.

The difference: 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.

It appeals to everyone’s dark side: It seems impossible for any character to achieve redemption. The show’s biggest selling-point is that it never goes the violence for the sake of violence route. Its immaculate character development guarantees reason and authenticity behind every act.

This a true hidden gem.

Genre: Drama
Actor: Aaron Jeffery, Bernard Curry, Celia Ireland, Danielle Cormack, Jacqueline Brennan, Kate Atkinson, Kate Jenkinson, Katrina Milosevic, Leah Purcell, Leanne Campbell, Nicole da Silva, Pamela Rabe, Ra Chapman, Rarriwuy Hick, Robbie Magasiva, Shareena Clanton, Sigrid Thornton, Socratis Otto, Susie Porter, Tammy MacIntosh
Rating: TV-MA
Seven Seconds

The first episode is directed by the maker of Warrior, Gavin O’Connor, and shares its emotional, yet suspenseful and action-packed flow.

A white police officer and his squad are involved in an attempt to cover up the hit-and-run murder of a black teenager. You’ll see the officers weigh guilt and remorse against their fears of exposure and a backlash. You’ll also meet the teenager’s heartbroken family and a disorganized prosecutor.

Its tales of race and institutional bias are compelling, but its greatest strength is the script. Add strong acting, especially by Regina King and Russell Hornsby, and you get one of the best police dramas Netflix has ever had.

Genre: Drama, Thriller
Actor: Beau Knapp, Clare-Hope Ashitey, David Lyons, Michael Mosley, Nadia Alexander, Patrick Murney, Raúl Castillo, Regina King, Russell Hornsby
Rating: TV-MA
The Umbrella Academy

An eccentric billionaire. A freakishly strong character who is ashamed of his strength. A Captain America-esque leader. An old mentor in the form of a wise talking monkey. You guessed it; The Umbrella Academy is about superheroes.

One fateful day in 1989 many women across the globe give birth at the same time, but at the start of that day, none of them were pregnant. The eccentric billionaire adopts a number of these children to form The Umbrella Academy, a collective similar to X-Men or The Avengers. Except, because they are all kind of related, this show is about their family dynamic as much as it is about their superpowers.

The Umbrella Academy is an entertaining story of superheroes that is rarely original but always enjoyable. Ellen Page plays one of the kids (the black sheep of the family who has no superpowers), and she’s a joy to watch.

And substantial bonus: Mary J. Blige (!) plays a hitman.

Genre: Action
Actor: Adam Godley, Aidan Gallagher, Cameron Britton, Cameron Brodeur, Colm Feore, David Castañeda, David Castañeda, Eden Cupid, Ellen Page, Emmy Raver-Lampman, Mary J. Blige, Robert Sheehan, Tom Hopper
Rating: TV-14
Giri / Haji

This is an thrilling BBC/Netflix show and a Yakuza drama that takes place between Tokyo and London. About half of the dialogue is in Japanese and the other half is in English.

Yakuza families are no longer at peace when a boss’s nephew is assassinated in London. Trying to bring the culprit in without interference from the British police, a Tokyo detective is sent to the UK to try to find him. 

There is an undeniable appeal to seeing the world of yakuza unfold, but the show’s title, which translates to Duty/Shame is a reference to the detective’s own personal conflict: the suspected murderer he’s looking for is his brother. Ouu.

Genre: Thriller
Actor: Anna Sawai, Aoi Okuyama, Charlie Creed-Miles, Jamie Draven, Kelly Macdonald, Masahiro Motoki, Mitsuko Oka, Sophia Brown, Takehiro Hira, Togo Igawa, Will Sharpe, Yosuke Kubozuka, Yuko Nakamura
Rating: N/A
Never Have I Ever

This comedy is about a girl whose family moves to the U.S. on September 2001. She grows up to excel academically but, as she asks from the shrine in her room on her first day of sophomore year, she has yet to be cool. “I want to be invited to a party with hard drugs,” she prays, “not to do them, but just to say: no cocaine for me, thanks. I’m good.”

The show is narrated by tennis legend John McEnroe who was known for his explosive temper (played recently by Shia Laboeuf in Borg vs McEnroe). It’s a genius arc because Devi is a “hothead”, exactly like McEnroe. Instead of recoiling, Devi keeps boiling over, making for a fresh and original high-school comedy.

Genre: Comedy
Actor: Adam Shapiro, Cocoa Brown, Darren Barnet, Eddie Liu, Jaren Lewison, John McEnroe, Lang Fisher, Lee Rodriguez, Lily D. Moore, Maitreyi Ramakrishnan, Mindy Kaling, Niecy Nash, Poorna Jagannathan, Ramona Young, Richa Moorjani, Sendhil Ramamurthy
Rating: TV-14
Good Girls

Three unassuming housewives team up with a violent street gang to make a little extra cash. What better TV show premise could you ask for?

Good Girls is the often hilarious, always thrilling show dubbed “Breaking Bad meets Thelma And Louise.” The three lead actresses are fun and have great chemistry together as they navigate a sometimes fast-paced show, and other times a family drama. 

And that may be the only issue with this show, it doesn’t exactly pick a lane. However, if, like me, you don’t mind a little Detroit housewive drama mixed in with your thrilling scenes, you’ll have a great time. 

Genre: Comedy
Actor: Christina Hendricks, David Hornsby, Isaiah Stannard, Izzy Stannard, James Lesure, Lidya Jewett, Mae Whitman, Manny Montana, Matthew Lillard, Reno Wilson, Retta, Zach Gilford
Rating: TV-14

Free Watching Options:

Watch Good Girls on Hulu for free
How to Sell Drugs Online (Fast)

This is Breaking Bad meets The Social Network. Based on a true story that took place in Leipzig, Germany in 2015, this show is about Moritz, a high-schooler who starts Europe’s biggest drug market online. He initially does this to impress his ex-girlfriend, who had just come back from the States with new drug experiences.

The transformation of a nerd into a drug kingpin is fascinating. But because it is based on a true story, there is an important nuance to that transformation. Moritz is rarely portrayed as a hero, and his creepy side is always present. This makes for an interesting and exciting plot-heavy show.  

Genre: Drama
Actor: Bjarne Madel, Damian Hardung, Danilo Kamber, Danilo Kamperidis, Lena Klenke, Leonie Wesselow, Luna Schaller, Maximilian Mundt, Roland Riebeling
Rating: N/A
Kim’s Convenience

This is an easy and funny Canadian TV show about a Korean store owner in Toronto.

He completely lacks awareness of modern gender, sexual orientation, and race issues - yet his good nature redeems him. In the first episode he is confronted for saying something homophobic, but replies by pretending he has an ongoing 15% “gay discount” (except he decides who’s gay or not by looking at them).

There are many other interesting themes, such as his daughter being pressured to find a “cool Christian Korean boyfriend” and her insisting that those words don’t go together.

Kim's Convenience is about the Korean-Canadian experience, but it also feels geared towards a Korean-Canadian audience. It’s authentic, refreshing, and most importantly, funny.

Genre: Comedy
Actor: Andrea Bang, Andrew Phung, Jean Yoon, Nicole Power, Paul Sun-Hyung Lee, Simu Liu
Rating: TV-14

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