Netflix is an entertainment company that was founded by entrepreneurs Reed Hastings and Marc Randolph on August 2, 1997, in Scotts Valley, California. The company specializes in streaming media and video-on-demand online and DVD by mail. In 2013, Netflix expanded into film and television production, as well as online distribution. As of 2017, the company’s headquarters is located in Los Gatos, California.
While the types of Netflix shows available in 2016 weren’t always beaming with positivity, the amount of shows available for viewers to binge-watch has certainly pulled them through the dull moments of life. Shows like Stranger Things, The Crown, and Luke Cage helped us ease our real world blues. But there was a better variety of shows in the empty canvas to help viewers fill in their free time in 2017.
There are a lot of great TV shows on Netflix. You can find sub-genres and exclusive shows using a list of secret codes. However, the bread and butter of the Netflix service is its original programming. If you’re trying to figure out exactly which original show to watch next, you’re not alone. Thankfully, there’s a large amount of selectable options to choose from, and they range from the black comedy series Lemony Snicket’s A Series Of Unfortunate Events to the political drama, House Of Cards.
With 2017 half over, Netflix has 103.95 million subscribers worldwide, including 51.92 million in the United States. Now, we can take a look at 10 of the best Netflix shows right now, as well as the five they should get rid of.
15. Bill Nye Saves The Day
Remember Bill Nye the Science Guy? He was a fixture of children’s programming from 1993 to 1998 as the host of the PBS science show Bill Nye the Science Guy. He then worked on a comeback project called The Eyes Of Nye as an attempt to attract an older audience. He tackled controversial science subjects such as genetically modified food, global warming, and race. He also made other media appearances on the robot competition BattleBots, the Discovery Channel series Greatest Inventions with Bill Nye, and the crime drama Numb3rs.
Let’s fast forward to the release of the TV show Bill Nye Saves The World on April 21, 2017. The show’s byline is: “Emmy-winning host Bill Nye brings experts and famous guests to his lab for a talk show exploring scientific issues that touch our lives.” Nye and five correspondents (Karlie Kloss, Derek Muller, Nazeem Hussain, Joanna Hausmann, and Emily Calandrelli) present the show together. Also, the show’s theme song was created by Tyler, The Creator. Thus, it’s a great combination of science and pop culture, and it was renewed for a second season.
Even though Kay Cannon’s comedy TV series Girlboss was cancelled after just one season, it’s still worth checking out. The show’s based on Sophia Amoruso’s autobiography #Girlboss, which tells the story of how she started the fashion company Nasty Gal while working as a campus safety host at the Academy of Art University in San Francisco, California.
Britt Robertson played the main character Sophia Marlowe, the writing from Cannon is tin-eared (and doesn’t suit Robertson), and the tone of the show is all over the place, like a Teen Nick show featuring s*x and profanity. It feels like a 1990s sitcom that was released in 2017. The entire series was alienated by the fact that Nasty Gal went bankrupt, Amoruso quit the company, and it was sold for a small fraction of what it was worth four years ago. It’s the ideal series for anyone who wants to learn more about the business world.
13. Chelsea – Get Rid Of!
Chelsea Handler is a Livingston, New Jersey native who has hosted the late night talk show Chelsea Lately on the E! network from 2007 to 2014, and released a documentary series called Chelsea Does on Netflix in January 2016. In addition, Time put her on the list of its 100 Most Influential People in 2012.
Handler began a new talk show named Chelsea, which premiered on Netflix in May 2016. In the show, she travels the globe and sits down with celebrity guests to discuss topics such as education, health, sports, parenting, international cultures, alternative lifestyles, and politics. Unfortunately, she brought a baffling amount of ennui to her show. She brought on one of her celebrity friends, Gwyneth Paltrow, and kissed up to her as she rambled about a recipe for organic lubricant in the s*x issue of her online magazine Goop. Of course, there’s the second season going on right now, but she’s striking out while attempting a bunt. She’s not exactly drumming up repeat business either.
12. Iron Fist
Despite a lot of negative reviews from critics, a second season of the Marvel TV show Iron Fist was ordered in July 2017. Finn Jones stars as Danny Rand, a martial arts expert with the ability to call upon the power of the Iron Fist. Jessica Henwick, Tom Pelphrey, Jessica Stroup, Ramón Rodríguez, Sacha Dhawan, Rosario Dawson and David Wenham also star in the show. After a film based on the fictional superhero Daniel “Danny” Rand spent a decade-long development at Marvel Studios in Burbank, California, the brand-new development for the series began in 2013 at Marvel Television when Scott Buck was hired as the series showrunner in 2015 and Jones starred as Rand in 2016.
After just one season, Buck stepped down as the showrunner for Iron Fist—likely due to heavy criticism. Marvel Television announced that executive producer Raven Metzner will take his place during the show’s second season. Buck is now a showrunner for the upcoming ABC series Marvel’s Inhumans.
11. The Ranch
The Ranch was an attempt for Netflix to combine the popular CBS sitcoms The Big Bang Theory and Two And A Half Men with a laugh track sitcom that falls between the two TV shows in terms of quality. It’s not quite The Big Bang Theory, but it’s better than Two And A Half Men—thanks to its bottomless set of pathos that runs throughout the series. In addition, strong appearances from Debra Winger and Sam Elliott improved the show’s overall quality.
In case you didn’t know, The Ranch is about a washed-up football player named Colt Bennett who helps his father Beau Bennett, and his brother Jameson “Rooster” Bennett run a faltering ranch. Despite its unusual name, the series surprisingly works as a decent background noise complimented the agreeable presences of Elisha Cuthbert, Brett Harrison, and Megyn Price. The first half of the second season premiered on June 16, 2017.
10. Marco Polo – Get Rid Of!
Netflix did the right thing by opting not to renew the drama TV series Marco Polo after two seasons. The show was visibly about the Venetian merchant Marco Polo in the 13th century and his relationship with the Mongolian leader Kublai Klan. John Fusco was inspired by Polo’s early years in the court of Kublai Khan. Weinstein Co. used their budget to generate the show’s setting and scope. It attracted a decent amount of viewers in its first season, earning a second season renewal, but the second season was more silent. Thankfully, they saved their viewers from a terrible third season.
Netflix executive Ted Sarandos, was wrong this time. He initially harped that the show would be hugely popular all throughout Asia and Europe. The show focused on the famous merchant, but it had the lowest critics rating on Rotten Tomatoes among all of Netflix’s original programs with just 24% on the tomatometer. In addition, Netflix reportedly lost a whopping $200 million on the show.
9. A Series Of Unfortunate Events
This year kicked off on a positive note as Netflix released their adaption of Lemony Snicket’s 13 children’s novels in A Series of Unfortunate Events on January 13, 2017. The second season was renewed in March 2017, and a third season was subsequently renewed the following month. The second season is reportedly scheduled to be released in early 2018.
If you’ve been anticipating the black comedy series, we have some good news: it does do the books justice! The first season covers books one, two, three, and four out of the 13-part saga, leaving plenty of material left to pull from in season two. As an added bonus, Neil Patrick Harris is brilliantly evil as the despicable Count Olaf. If you haven’t read the books yet, the show will kindle your interest, and you’ll discover that the books are every bit as excellent (and addictive). Unlike the 2004 movie, Lemony Snicket’s A Series Of Unfortunate Events, the series devotes two episodes from every book, ensuring that the story is spread out.
8. Gypsy – Get Rid Of!
Created by Lisa Rubin, Gypsy boasts an all-star cast, including Naomi Watts and Billy Crudup. The drama series follows a therapist named Jean Holloway, who began to develop intimate relationships with the people in her clients’ lives. Jean gets so involved in her clients’ problems that she starts looking for their exes, friends, and relatives they discuss in therapy— under the alias of Diane—for no apparent reason. The first season consists of 10 episodes and was released on June 30, 2017.
Gypsy looks like an interesting psychological thriller series, but it’s not. Watts is a terrific actress, but her character in the series is rather unpleasant. She played a series of irrational acts, which made it hard for viewers to watch. It’s somewhat slow in the beginning, and it doesn’t get better from there since there’s not much clarity or a proper protagonist. The show features some nice scenes here and there, but nothing feels really authentic. Its dialogue is pretty bad too. It’s more like a Lifetime TV movie than a prestige drama.
7. The Punisher
Netflix isn’t done with its Marvel releases. Following Iron Fist, Marvel is reportedly planning to release the upcoming TV series The Punisher, in November 2017. Though Marvel has yet to confirm the date, Irish director Dearbhla Walsh seemed to have already confirmed the rumors. The show was filmed in New York City from October 2016 to April 2017.
The series revolves around Frank Castle—played by John Bernthal—who uses lethal methods to fight crime as the Punisher. It’s rumored other cast members include Ben Barnes, Ebon Moss-Bachrach, Amber Rose Revah, Deborah Ann Woll, Daniel Webber, Jason R. Moore, Paul Schulze, Jaime Ray Newman, and Michael Nathanson. There was a TV series centered on The Punisher that received a put-pilot commitment at Fox in 2011, but the project fell through.
Marvel is well-known for streaming superheroes, and The Punisher will be doing just that. Shows like Daredevil and Jessica Jones have quickly vaulted it into prestige drama category, and this vision for the future is on par with that ambition.
A romantic comedy created by Judd Apatow, Love is a down-to-earth look at dating, exploring male and female perspectives of romantic relationships through the characters Mickey Dobbs, Gus Cruikshank, and Bertie Bauer-played by Gillian Jacobs, Paul Rust, and Claudia O’Doherty. The series was originally released on February 19, 2016. The second season consisted of 12 episodes and was released on March 10, 2017. Netflix then renewed the series for a third season.
Love may be a generic title for a romantic comedy, but it stands out, thanks to tremendous acting and intelligent writing choices. Apatow, Rust, and co-creator Lesley Arfin, promised to depict the simple of human emotions on the silver screen, and kept their word. However, they didn’t promise a happy ending, which made the show a nerve-wracking experience at times. Season 1 focused on Mickey, an addict whose chance encounter with Gus blossomed into an awkward romance that was hindered by oddballs in Los Angeles who sometimes surrounded them. Season 2 continued to explore Mickey’s addiction, Gus’ insecurities, and the drama surrounding their lives.
5. Fuller House – Get Rid Of!
Netflix rebooted Fuller House in a world in which shows such as Fresh Off the Boat, The Goldbergs, The Middle, Black-ish, and Modern Family all deliver family values, cute kids and life lessons. Fuller House is almost regressive and doesn’t follow a particular demographic or societal trend in its episodes to teaching female characters who have careers and outside lives to re-concentrate on domesticity. The male nurturing of Full House was about inclusiveness and stepping forward, but this is stepping back, even if you embrace the girl-power heart to the unholy D.J. Tanner-Kimmy Gibbler trinity.
There’s also something unsettling about copying so consciously to Full House, while also sexualizing the main female characters of Fuller House. It’s apparently impossible not to make repeated references to Jodie Sweetin’s rack, and it will be up to Full House fans to decide if knowing that Gibbler is a demon in the sack is something that they’re prepared for. If Fuller House lasts long enough, Gibbler is likely going to hook up with Jesse Katsopolis, Danny Tanner, or Joey Gladstone, and that will probably be the end of the show. Brace yourself. This is where your childhood will end.
4. Friends From College
Friends from College focuses on a husband and wife team, consisting of Nicholas Stoller and Francesco Delbanca. It meshes sitcom television tropes with dark relationship drama with very mixed results. The cast is incredible—Keegan Michael Key, Cobie Smulders, Nat Faxon, Billy Eichner, Annie Parissie, Jae Suh Park, and Fred Savage (with extended cameos from Kate McKinnon and Seth Rogen)–which makes the comedy series very watchable, but the characters are unlikable. It centers on a married couple, Ethan and Lisa Turner, who move back to New York and end up reuniting with their college friends, one of whom Ethan’s character has been having a 20-year affair in which they continue even though the wife is trying to have a baby.
The catch is that when these 40-year-olds get together, they find themselves acting how they did in college: They drink too much, they’re obnoxious, and old romantic attractions are reignited. Despite the long list of problems, the show is fun to watch as privileged adults act like college students.
3. The Get Down
Baz Luhrmann is best known for the Red Curtain Trilogy, consisting of the romantic comedy film Strictly Ballroom, the romantic drama Romeo + Juliet, and the pastiche-jukebox musical Moulin Rouge! He also created a 2013 drama based on F. Scott Fitzgerald’s 1927 novel The Great Gatsby.
The Get Down is an ambitious musical drama series that explores the budding hip-hop scene in the South Bronx in the 1970s. Lurhmann threatened to derail the series with a campy, pompous style that overshadows the amount of substance. The movie-length pilot episode is very long and unfocused, but the series improves dramatically once it gets going. After all the major characters are introduced and the storylines begin to solidify, the series transforms into an eclectic, contagious, and enjoyable 1970’s cultural remix. The storylines don’t always hold, but each episode delivers at least one show-stopping musical number that will stop hip-hop music lovers in their tracks.
2. Haters Back Off – Get Rid Of!
Haters Back Off is a comedy that zeros in on an untalented yet rising star, Miranda Sings, and her oddball family. Sings is portrayed by Colleen Ballinger, who has posted videos as her comically talent-less, narcissistic and quirky character on the YouTube channel Miranda Sings. Basically, she’s like the Napoleon Dynamite of the YouTube generation.
The humor in this series isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. It offers traces of the fascinating landscape, including moments where Sings’ kooky, sullen frustration is completely understandable. But the series is too caught up in the foreground of attempting to be brutally funny with material that was fresh 12 years ago. The episodes sometimes veer into contempt for the characters. There’s a deeper pathos to Sings’ situation, but the season doesn’t delve deeply into that until towards the end, and by that time, the haters may have already backed off. You’d have to have a lot of patience to watch this series.
1. House of Cards
House of Cards isn’t only Netflix’s first original series, it has also changed the way TV is consumed and introduced the ever-popular binge model. The political drama has received 33 Primetime Emmy Award nominations-including Outstanding Drama Series, Outstanding Lead Actor for Spacey, and Outstanding Lead Actress-to date. Moreover, it became the first online-only web TV series to receive major Emmy nominations. In addition, the series earned Golden Globe Award nominations.
House of Cards is certainly something you need to watch because it has an undeniable draw that will suck you in. The political thriller is an adaptation of BBC’s show of the same name (and is also worth checking out on Netflix). The most compelling aspect of the show is Spacey’s take on Frank Underwood. He’s able to carry scenes and sometimes even entire episodes. The series focuses on Underwood’s ruthless rise to power alongside—and, at times, in opposition to—his icy, ambitious wife, Claire.
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