50 Most Underrated TV Shows on Netflix Right Now

Updated August 15, 2022 • Staff

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.

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10.

Occupied

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.

Our staff rating: 8.7/10
Genre: Drama, Mystery
Actor: Ane Dahl Torp, Eldar Skar, Henrik Mestad, Ingeborga Dapkunaite, Kristin Braut-Solheim, Ragnhild Gudbrandsen, Selome Emnetu
Rating: N/A
9.

Unbelievable

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!

Our staff rating: 8.8/10
Genre: Crime, Drama
Actor: Austin Hebert, Dale Dickey, Danielle Macdonald, Elizabeth Marvel, Eric Lange, Kaitlyn Dever, Merritt Wever, Scott Lawrence, Toni Collette
Rating: TV-MA
8.

Sex Education

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.

Our staff rating: 8.9/10
Genre: Comedy, Drama
Actor: Aimee Lou Wood, Alistair Petrie, Asa Butterfield, Connor Swindells, Emma Mackey, Gillian Anderson, Kedar Williams-Stirling, Ncuti Gatwa
Rating: TV-MA
7.

Caliphate

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.

Our staff rating: 8.9/10
Genre: Drama, Thriller, War & Politics
Actor: Ala Riani, Albin Grenholm, Aliette Opheim, Amanda Sohrabi, Amed Bozan, Gizem Erdogan, Lancelot Ncube, Nora Rios, Simon Mezher, Yussra El Abdouni
Director: Goran Kapetanović
Rating: TV-MA
6.

Dark

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. 

Our staff rating: 9/10
Genre: Mystery
Actor: Anatole Taubman, Andreas Pietschmann, Angela Winkler, Anne Ratte-Polle, Jördis Triebel, Karoline Eichhorn, Lisa Vicari, Louis Hofmann, Maja Schone, Mark Waschke, Michael Mendl, Oliver Masucci, Sebastian Rudolph, Stephan Kampwirth
Rating: Not Rated, TV-MA
5.

1994

Have you finished Wild Wild Country and are up for another binge-worthy documentary? If so, 1994 might be a compelling option for you to consider. Released on Netflix for the 25th anniversary of the events in 2019, most of the story would be hard to believe if it wasn't… you know… based on facts and backed up by archival footage and interviews. As it often goes with documentaries, truth is stranger than fiction.

In 1994, the Ejército Zapatista de Liberación Nacional, also known as the EZLN or the Zapatistas, declared war on the Mexican government. This happened after the North American Free Trade Agreement, or NAFTA, was signed into law. Incumbent Mexican president Salinas (pictured above) selected prominent reformist presidential candidate Luis Donaldo Colosio to become his heir. Just three months later, Colosio was shot in Tijuana on live television.

1994 is a rich, informative, and fascinating account of this violent and tumultuous year in Mexican history, featuring in-depth interviews with many of those pulling the strings at the time, including former president Salinas. As the people being interviewed point out, understanding the relevance of 1994 in Mexican politics will help you understand the country's political and economic landscape today.

Our staff rating: 9/10
Genre: Documentary
Actor: Carlos Salinas de Gortari, Rafael Sebastián Guillén Vicente
Director: Diego Enrique Osorno
Rating: N/A
4.

Derry Girls

If you’re looking for a funny yet original sitcom, look no further than Derry Girls. 

It takes place in 1990s Northern Ireland where civil unrest reigns. News of bombings is regular. This is a cause for concern for a lot of people, but for one group of teenage girls life continues as usual. Making fun of the first boy at their all girls school and being embarrassed by crushes are unshakable priorities. 

Derry Girls might have been a good show with just the 90s nostalgia and the political undertone, but the sharp and hilarious writing elevate it to greatness. It is truly one of the best sitcoms ever made. If you liked The End of the F***ing World, you will enjoy Derry Girls. They differ in plot but they both carry similar elements of dark and dry humour. 

Watch out for Sister Michael, she is hilarious. 

Our staff rating: 9.1/10
Genre: Comedy
Actor: Dylan Llewellyn, Ian McElhinney, Jamie-Lee O'Donnell, Kathy Kiera Clarke, Louisa Harland, Nicola Coughlan, Saoirse-Monica Jackson, Siobhan McSweeney, Tara Lynne O'Neill, Tommy Tiernan
Rating: TV-MA
3.

Lovesick

Why unlikely? Because, despite all the romance, its plot is fully based on a sexual transmitted infection. Hopelessly romantic twenty-something Dylan (Johnny Flynn) suddenly discovers he has chlamydia and is advised to contact all his (read: many) sexual encounters. Pair this plot summary with the fact that the show was originally called “Scrotal Recall” when it aired on British TV and you can be forgiven for looking the other way.

Underneath its awkward previous moniker, Lovesick is actually very funny, charming, and heavily romantic. Dylan is chaperoned by Luke (Daniel Ings, who you may know from Sex Education and The Crown), a seemingly confident but insecure business-school type, and Evie, Dylan's smart and cynical best friend, played by Antonia Thomas from Misfits. It soon becomes apparent that Evie and Dylan could be much more than just friends if only their timelines were to align.

Lovesick is a charming little series that homes in on the heart-breaking romance of failed relationships. Something you can easily find yourself watching many episodes in one take.

Our staff rating: 9.4/10
Genre: Comedy, Romance
Actor: Aimee Parkes, Antonia Thomas, Daniel Ings, Hannah Britland, Jessica Ellerby, Johnny Flynn, Joshua McGuire, Richard Thomson
Rating: TV-MA
2.

Wild Wild Country

Wild Wild Country follows the relocation of a hippie cult from India to Oregon in 1981. You haven't heard of Wasco Country? Nor had anybody else back then. This ghost town with a handful of god-fearing inhabitants, soon became Rajneeshpuram, the cult's new homestead, home to a thousand disciples, and the subject of nationwide media attention. Spoiler: the town's old residents did not think much of it.

Will there be debaucherous orgies, long-haired drop-outs, preaching and chanting? Yes. But, through historical footage and interviews with contemporaries, including Ma Anand Sheela, the power-hungry secretary of the orange-clad guru, you will also be absorbed by chemical weapons and attempted murder, one of the biggest immigration fraud case in US history, and, of course, the mysterious and not-so-mysterious ways that a charismatic cult attracts and manipulates its followers. Across six one-hour episodes, this Netflix miniseries by brothers Maclain and Chapman Way gives a captivating, exhaustive, and powerful account of one of the stranger moments in American media history.

Our staff rating: 9.8/10
Genre: Crime, Documentary
Actor: George Meredith, Ma Anand Sheela, Osho, Philip Toelkes
Director: Chapman Way, Maclain Way
Rating: Not Rated, TV-MA
1.

Ethos

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.

Our staff rating: 9.9/10
Genre: Drama
Actor: Öykü Karayel, Alican Yücesoy, Alican Yücesoy, Bige Önal, Bige Önal, Defne Kayalar, Fatih Artman, Funda Eryiğit, Funda Eryiğit, Öykü Karayel, Settar Tanrıöğen, Settar Tanrıöğen, Tülin Özen, Tülin Özen
Rating: Not Rated

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