The 15 Best Shows On Netflix That You're Probably Not Watching — But Totally Should

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Self

Park your butt on the couch for these.

When I know I've got the night off and it's going to be all about Netflix and chill (I chill with Lucifer, my cat, who is a good buddy for telly watching and popcorn stealing), I have to admit, I don't automatically jump on all the "new releases" and look for the best new shows on Netflix or even the best shows on Netflix, period, to watch.

I'm one of those skimmers — if the name and the "poster" give me a serious case of "ooo shiny!" then there's a good chance I'll take a gander at the actual show itself. I don't pretend to be deep, intellectual or discriminating; I'm here for the entertainment. And Lucifer is always agreeable; in fact, I've never once heard him tell me to turn Jessica Jones off.

Netflix offers so much and so often! I've heard people say, "Oh, Netflix sucks, there's nothing good." Are you freakin' serious? Have you NOT had your mind sucked out the ear and destroyed permanently via Black Mirror? Have you never spent time with Stellan Skarsgard in River? Have you never had the pleasure of simply looking at Joel Kinnaman naked in almost every scene he's in throughout Altered Carbon? Oh dear me, I am sorry then... because you are missing everything. 


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Now, I do not purport to be any kind of serious reviewer; I'm just a schmuck who likes TV shows and Netflix movies. Do I have an opinion? Well, yeah, but don't look to this article for substantive reflecting on the profound nature of entertainment in its multitudinous forms. Look here if you'd simply like to know what this schmuck thinks is the cat's meow, which, by the way, is an actual thing that occurs when I do choose a good movie. Thank you again, Lucifer.

Alrighty, so I've compiled a short little list of the 15 best shows on Netflix, right now, right this very second. I'm referring to what I think are my favorite shows (series) that run exclusively on this platform of wonder and joy.

So grab yourself a sleek, black cat and a bag of freshly popped Orville, and let's watch TV!

1. Santa Clarita Diet

Gore-packed hilarity, starring Drew Barrymore and Timothy Olyphant. There's not a single gag in this show that I remember. I only know that this is not your average "Ghouls Go Wild" story.

It's a rip-roaring comedy masterpiece based in a fictional, suburban town called Santa Clarita and it's basically about a woman who contracts an alien virus and ends up undead, hungry, adorable, sexy and steadily losing body parts of her own. Fun stuff! And the end credits music? Creepy, old-style horror!

2. Luke Cage

Ever take a look at another human being and think, "He cannot be possible... that is just TOO gorgeous for my little eyeballs"? Well, that's Luke Cage — or rather, the man who plays him: Mike Colter.

Part of Marvel's Hero line up, Cage is a man who has been cursed/blessed with impenetrable skin, so let's just say he fights... and wins. Wins, as in walks out of a burning building unscathed. Just watch, don't bug me. It's Marvel.

3. Jessica Jones

Marvel just takes the ball and runs with it, and Jessica Jones is full throttle fantastic stuff with its female version of Joey Ramone, running around as superhero. I didn't think I could get into Krysten Ritter because I wasn't that chuffed on the role she played in Breaking Bad. But holy moly, this girl is awesome!

What a cast too, all interesting faces and iconic personalities — like Carrie Anne Moss, who basically looks like Trinity from the Matrix as a lawyer, in this. Oh, and there's the hot sex aplenty with guest character, Luke Cage. You may want to sign up for that.

4. Altered Carbon

No clue. I think it's some kind of sci-fi cop drama about rebirth as yourself in a new body. I never really rolled with this, but I dug it anyway. Truth is, I watched it for the beauty, not for the sense-making.

I know someone out there can cobble some sense out of this Blade Runner-ish cop show, but all I see are cops stripping and looking hot. Wait, that's a good thing! And there's Joel Kinnaman, so say no more.

5. Paranoid

Bet you didn't see this one. Well, if you like British mystery in the form of a police procedural, you're in luck.

Starring the beautiful lady from one of my favorite movies, Kama Sutra, it delivers such raw emotion, not to mention incredible suspense and many thick English and Irish accents to try and figure out. Figure it out — it's worth it. Great series.

6. Black Mirror

You've heard about this. Now it's time to binge the entire 4 seasons until you can no longer breathe. Yes, that's right. Here's the thing about Black Mirror: it's about technology run amok, so there really isn't anything in it that we can't relate to.

Imagine your worst tech nightmare. Now cherish that nightmare because Black Mirror is about to make your nightmares seem like sweet, homey, loving things. Want to cry your ever-lovin' eyes out? Check out the uber-fabulous season 3, episode 4, "San Junipero." To DIE for.

7. Ash vs. Evil Dead

This isn't for everybody, but man oh man, if you love gore — or rather, if gore makes you laugh your tush off — then sit back, let the blood gush (and the guts) while you find yourself screeching with laughter over this super-silly, super-campy extension of the Evil Dead franchise.

Where there's Bruce Campbell, there's guaranteed fun. And gore. Sloppy guts. Brains, yeah, you know the deal.

8. Crazyhead

I'm SURE you missed this one. This is fun stuff, and it's definitely for those who love shows like Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Supernatural. I'm surprised there's only been one season, but wow, it sure is fun.

English, outrageous and naive, this is about a demon hunter who happens to be part demon herself. The other part? All charm, humor and appeal. Crazyhead is lightweight fun with great music by Gin Wigmore.


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9. Daredevil

I have to admit, I stopped watching after Charlie Cox got his fly new superhero outfit. I love me some Marvel, but I also love men in black catsuits with blindfolds on, which is the outfit our Daredevil Hero wore in season one, only. Then, after he did some superhero work, he got himself one of them there hefty-supreme bulky Kevlar deals, and well, he lost that naive charm.

Still, Daredevil is great, and who doesn't love a pretty man whose blindness only gives him more sensitivity?

10. Californication

If someone told me I was going to watch 7 seasons of David Duchovny being in almost every single scene of every single episode, I would have prayed for merciful death. Not that I don't love DD — I do — but that's a lot of DD.

Truth is, this is one of the best shows I've ever seen, from day one to closing. My daughter and I were hibernating over the winter and we decided to throw ourselves into this show, and wow — unending laughter, and some really poignant statements on life in LA.

11. Twin Peaks

I still don't know who killed Laura Palmer, but I sure do know I'm in love with David Lynch. And Kyle MacLaughlin. And everyone else in that cast, including the sets, costumes, camera work, music, and mystery.

What's Twin Peaks about? No one knows. What's really gone on is that master filmmaker Lynch tells a story that has no end, just for the sake of storytelling... and our human nature makes us think we need to make sense of it.

Truth is, Lynch doesn't ever make sense, but if you're a diehard Lynch fan like me, then Twin Peaks is your ticket to both obsession and the inability to understand why you're obsessed.

12. Penny Dreadful

Oh the beauty, oh the mystery, oh the gothicness of this occult melodrama. It's a costume mine for goths, that's for sure. And the cast is sensational.

Set in dreadful London, during dreadful times, the dread is palpable in every scene... not to mention some amazing performances by Billy Piper, Eva Green, Timothy Dalton, Rory Kinnear, and Reeve Carney. Bloody, dark, ominous and chock full of characters that will give you the eternal creeps. It's alive, I tell you. Alive!

13. Gypsy

Of the best new shows on Netflix, there's this brilliant but slow-paced psychodrama about a woman (Naomi Watts) who becomes so obsessed with another woman that she just about ruins her own life due to how she goes about obsessing.

Watts is so excellent that you lose your own personality watching the show, but hang in there! It takes a while but gets oh so damned good. Need a second season pronto!

14. The Fall

I don't even want to know how many people have missed this brilliant series, starring Gillian Anderson and Jamie Dornan. Dornan's always been a smart actor; did what he needed to do to get attention, and then — boom! He plays violent serial murderers, as one should.

And he's so gorgeous that you almost forget that you've got Gillian Anderson to look forward to, as she uses her native English accent here, playing a detective that is on the prowl for one such bad guy. AMAZING show. Great acting. Watch it.

15. The Killing

Being a Portlander, I'm used to the Seattle-Is-Really-Freaking-Rainy setting, but wow, this is one rained-on show. High precipitation here, kids. Another cop show, this one's edge is all about the personal lives of the characters.

Joel Kinnaman (basically the Swedish version of Jamie Dornan), who was still skinny and hadn't worked his body into Altered Carbon perfection at that point, is great as the icky, sticky, wirey partner to Mirelle Enos' investigator character. Wet, wild and weird, don't miss this police drama!


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Dori Hartley is primarily a portrait artist. As an essayist and a journalist, she can be read in The Huffington Post, ParentDishYourTango, The Daily Beast, Psychology Today, More Magazine, XOJaneMyDaily and The Stir. Her art books ‘Beauty’, ‘Antler Velvet’, and 'Mads Mikkelsen: Portraits of the Actor' are all available on Amazon.

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