Fun fact: Though it’s now an internationally beloved content streaming organization, Netflix initially started as the world’s first online DVD rental store all the way back in 1998. It wouldn’t really take off for about ten years or so, and it’s funny to think back to the times when a red-coated DVD in the mail was a pretty common occurrence for subscribers.
Despite a bit of backlash centered around the prolific streaming service’s choice to introduce select advertisements to the platform, Netflix is as strong as ever and poised to release a slew of original content this fall. Varied and unique as it could possibly be, this well-known movie and TV show distribution service continues to offer a home to quirky, off-the-wall examples of comedy, drama, horror, and many other genres that likely wouldn’t receive approval from any major networks. As a result, subscribers will be subject to a near overload of programming in the coming months, and there are plenty of things users will want to add to their must-watch lists.
From totally new original productions to the final seasons of some beloved staples, there’s never been a better reason to check up on what Netflix has been up to over the last couple months. We’ll be seeing the return of some beloved '80s and '90s characters, a series of ambitious animated projects, a handful of horrifying surprises, and even a new anime or two. How might one keep track of it all? Well, for starters, here are 20 originals that you need to see.
20 Chilling Adventures of Sabrina (October 26)
Most kids who grew up around the turn of the millennium will likely have a few fond memories of Sabrina Spellman and her quirky, supernatural exploits on the TV show Sabrina the Teenage Witch. Though popular during its life cycle, it remains as a bit of an overlooked, second-tier show which isn’t romanticized nearly as much as similar shows of the era. Despite an animated spin-off and Archie comic series, 2018’s Netflix exclusive Chilling Adventures of Sabrina will be a long-anticipated re-introduction to the character no one should miss out on.
19 The Kominsky Method (November 16)
A Netflix original comedy series featuring veteran actors Michael Douglas and Alan Arkin, The Kominsky Method is a promising upcoming show which focuses on the life and times of a retired actor turned revered Hollywood acting coach. It was created by Chuck Lorre, a man once dubbed the “King of Sitcoms” and one of the minds behind shows like Two and a Half Men, The Big Bang Theory, and Young Sheldon. His style may not be for everyone, but we can’t wait to see Lorre work his magic again in this up-and-coming series.
18 The Dragon Prince (September 14)
Netflix, though dedicated to providing a mix of family-friendly content, isn’t particularly well known for producing quality child-friendly programming. Shows like Orange is the New Black and House of Cards may have been major hits for the service, but it’s hard to think of a single original youth-friendly series they’ve put together that was worth remembering. This may change in September with the release of the animated fantasy adventure series The Dragon Prince. It certainly won’t catch everyone’s attention, but the trailers are adorable and reminiscent of a video game cutscene. This isn't exactly a sure thing, but there could be some potential here.
17 Paradise PD (August 31)
For those interested in low-brow, below-the-belt humor, Neftix’s recently-released original animated comedy series Paradise PD may just be for you. The profanity-laced trailer focuses on the hilarious exploits of a father-and-son police duo hoping to enact justice despite a group of less-than-productive coworkers. Very much in the vain of classic comedies like The Simpsons or Family Guy, Netflix fans may be able to scratch their toilet-humor itch without resorting to late-night cable channel surfing.
16 Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat (October 9)
Despite the somewhat unappetizing name, Salt, Fat Acid, Heat will be one of a series of food-related shows coming to Netflix in the coming months. The subscription service has been relatively lacking in content of this sort of late, and foodies may be pleased to know that this drought is soon to come to an end. Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat follows famous chef and author Samin Nosrat as she travels around the world in search of the secrets behind exactly what makes certain foods taste so good. Entertaining and educational, this one may be hard to pass up in October.
15 The Good Cop (September 21)
Netflix plans to indulge fans of Taxi and Who's the Boss? with their upcoming Tony Danza-led comedy drama The Good Cop. Centered around a relatively unique premise, the aforementioned actor will play an innocent detective determined to make the world a better place while simultaneously attempting to keep his father in check. The Good Cop promises to combine elements of crime and drama with comedy, and it could well end up becoming a good mix of these two traditionally opposite genres.
14 Norm MacDonald Has a New Show (September 14)
Comedy and television legend Norm MacDonald, famous for his work with Conan O'Brien and his appearances on Saturday Night Live, will debut his new shop, aptly titled Norm MacDonald Has a New Show, in mid-September. Slated to be a humorous take on the traditional talk show formula not dissimilar to his podcast Norm MacDonald Live, MacDonald will take his unique brand of dry humor and curious witticism to a subscription service relatively lacking in programs of that nature. Comedy is, of course, extremely subjective, but Norm MacDonald is guaranteed to deliver once his show debuts on the 14th.
13 Marvel’s Iron Fist Season 2 (September 7)
Continuing a long line of hit-or-miss Marvel shows, the first season of Marvel’s Iron Fist was totally panned by critics and contentious at best among casual viewers. Lacking in originality and criticized for being a mostly unnecessary addition to the Marvel universe, the upcoming second season looks to amend many of the missteps which plagued the show’s initial outing. First and foremost among the list of changes would be the inclusion of classic Marvel villain Typhoid Mary who will be brought to life by actress Alice Eve. Season 2 of Marvel’s Iron Fist seems to have many more tricks up its sleeve, and comic book fans would do well to keep this upcoming season on their radars.
12 She-Ra and the Princess of Power (November 16)
A good number of 30- and 40-somethings may have fond memories of Saturday mornings spent watching classic '80s cartoons like Ducktales, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and He Man and the Masters of the Universe. Alongside those was a somewhat forgotten cartoon starring an amazing female protagonist that went by the name of She-Ra: Princess of Power. Those who used to live for those Saturday-morning, tube-TV binge-watching sessions will be excited to hear that She-Ra is finally getting a reboot in the form of the Netflix original series She-Ra and the Princess of Power. This revamped '80s darling will premiere in mid-November, so mark your calendar!
11 Patriot Act with Hasan Minhaj (October 28)
Fans of The Daily Show will be happy to hear that longtime program compatriot and right-hand-man of Trevor Noah will be getting his own Netflix original talk show in late October. While all signs point to Patriot Act with Hasan Minhaj being a series very much in the vain of the aforementioned late night program, politically-inclined subscribers may get a kick out of it. Of course, Patriot Act will certainly be taking a relatively left-leaning approach to things, and shows of this nature have not traditionally performed well on Netflix in the past. Will Patriot Act defy those odds? The only way to find out is to tune in.
10 Castlevania Season 2 (October 26)
The first season of the Netflix original series Castlevania was a fantastic production that was surpassed in reception only by the legendarily great Nintendo Entertainment System trilogy of games. Before video game technology was capable of the larger-than-life experiences most of us now take for granted, gaming relied quite heavily on the player’s imagination. Through a rough collection of chunky pixels, most players in the '80s-imagined the world of Castlevania to look a lot like it does in the show. A gripping, well-constructed first season left many fans hungry for more, and, for many, the 26 of October can’t get here soon enough!
9 The Curious Creations of Christine McConnell (October 19)
Bestselling author and eccentric weirdo (we mean that in a good way) Christine McConnell will be combining her love of Halloween with her love of food in the upcoming original series The Curious Creations of Christine McConnell. Food and horror seem to go together about as well as premium subscription services and unwarranted advertising campaigns, so it will be interesting to see how this one pans out. At the very least, this promises to be an interesting concept for a show centered around baking, and Netflix subscribers may want to get in on the fun.
8 House of Cards Sixth and Final Season (November 2)
House of Cards is a political thriller which caused quite a stir and proved that Netflix could really deliver when it first debuted in 2013. The show has gone on to enjoy a successful six seasons, and will be coming to an end after a five year run later in 2018. Production of the final season was in jeopardy when Kevin Spacey, the show’s lead actor, was dropped thanks to allegations of abuse and misconduct. That said, House of Cards will continue without him, and we can only hope that things will wrap up in a manner that will satisfy all of the dedicated viewers that have stuck with the show over the past few years.
7 The Haunting of Hill House (October 12)
As summer winds down and we draw ever closer to the macabre, yet marvelous, month of October, Netflix subscribers will doubtlessly feel the need to get their horror on as Halloween rounds the bend. This year, the service will have its subscribers covered with a brand new show based on the chilling 1959 novel The Haunting of Hill House. Releasing a series of bizarre and utterly unsettling promos, this looks to be a love letter to classic horror and a supernatural experience the likes of which no Alfred Hitchcock fan would dare miss. We won’t know exactly what we’re in for until the series debuts in mid-October, but The Haunting of Hill House promises to be a scary good time.
6 Lost Song (September 30)
Fans of Japanese animation will know that Netflix isn’t exactly an anime haven. While the service does offer a few choice titles, anime fans usually have to rely on other subscription services to get their fix. Lost Song, which initially debuted in late March of this year exclusively in Japan, will be seeing an international release at the end of the month. This cutesy fantasy production looks to be a great romp for fans of such animation, though the Japanese-only trailer means that American audiences will be left wondering about the finer plot points of the show until it becomes available everywhere on the 30.
5 Wanderlust (October 19)
October looks to be an already crowded month for Netflix originals, but subscribers may just want to squeeze in some time to check out the upcoming original drama Wanderlust which focuses on a family left dazed and dysfunctional after a traffic accident. Though season one is only slated to have six episodes, this may end up being an affecting, unique look into the lives of an everyday family and the impact tragedy can sometimes impart. Those looking for lighthearted entertainment may want to stay well and clear of this thing, though.
4 Disenchantment (August 17)
To be fair, Disenchantment, the animated Netflix original comedy series headed by Simpsons and Futurama creator Matt Groening, made its way to the service a couple of weeks ago. That is, of course, no reason to avoid it this fall. Critical reception to this fantastical, medieval series has been mixed, though fans of Groening’s trademark animation style and sense of humor will likely get what they’re looking for out of it. Even if it isn’t quite for everyone, Disenchantment’s first season is still worth adding to your must watch list this fall.
3 The Innocents (August 24)
Netflix’s original teen drama series The Innocents debuted recently to generally favorable audience reception, though mileage may vary depending on your feelings toward teen romance stories like Twilight or The Hunger Games. That said, The Innocents promises to twist this tried-and-mostly-true formula by introducing some unique supernatural elements that sometimes seem to borrow from things like Twin Peaks or even Stranger Things. This is definitely a show interested in targeting a specific audience, but that doesn’t mean there can’t be something for everyone here.
2 First and Last (September 7)
For fans of Netflix crime documentaries like 13th or Into the Abyss, the upcoming First and Last seeks to provide a thrilling — yet less consequential — look into the American penal system. Following the journeys of new inductees and veteran prisoners of Georgia’s Gwinnett County Jail, First and Last will be a compelling watch for those who just can’t seem to get enough criminal drama in their Netflix-watching lives. This certainly doesn’t seem to be the kind of thing to watch with the family, but it could end up being a totally worthwhile look into what it’s like to go to prison in modern America.
1 Maniac (September 21)
Maniac, an upcoming Netflix original comedy drama helmed by Hollywood veterans Jonah Hill and Emma Stone, looks set to be one of the most compelling and captivating programs devised by the streaming service in recent years. Centered around a maniacal corporation conducting pharmaceutical trials of a so-called mental health wonder drug, the trailer looks like a bizarre mish-mash of horror, drama, and off-the-wall comedy. Netflix subscribers definitely need to check this one out when it releases later this year, though it has been touted as a smaller, on-season affair.
References: netflix.com, imdb.com