19 of the most underrated TV shows streaming on Netflix
Mining for hidden gems on Netflix? We’ve got you covered.
Whether you’ve been scrolling for ten minutes or ten hours, finding the right Netflix show can be tricky. You’ll pass up something perfect for you because you don’t recognize the title, watch something you hate because it had a cool thumbnail, then panic and give up.
So, we at Mashable put our heads together to find a whole bunch of shows you’re probably scrolling past but will definitely love. Because we’ve had this problem too.
Listed in no particular order, here are 19 of the most underrated Netflix TV shows streaming now.
If you’re not already firmly aboard The OA train, it’s best we not spoil the mystery.
What we can say: A young woman named Prairie Johnson (played by series’ creator Brit Marling) reappears after having been missing for seven years. When she disappeared, she was blind. Now, she can see. Oh, and she’s insisting she’s an angel.
Perfect for fans of science fiction, great acting, and good TV.
Santa Clarita Diet was too good for this world. Canceled after just three seasons, Victor Fresco’s pitch-perfect narrative of a suburban mom mutating into the undead hooked us from the start. Leads Drew Barrymore and Timothy Olyphant’s sparky chemistry remained believable, grounding their world of parenting, real-estate, and murder in an emotional bedrock worth killing for.
Somewhere between a Wes Anderson movie and a PSA for staying in school, The End of the F***ing World masters the teen road trip. Starring Alex Lawther and Jessica Barden as star-crossed somethings James and Alyssa, this two-season romp blends humor, heart, and a classic rock soundtrack to punchy effect. As dark as it is touching, this show was one of a kind.
Science fiction has the power to break storytelling boundaries whenever and however its creators see fit. Sense8 did that in all the ways that matter.
This diverse, LGBTQ-inclusive story of “sensates” (people emotionally and psychologically linked to one another) reimagined the boundaries of human connection and made countless viewers feel seen. With just two seasons, fans could never get enough of Sense8, but at least Netflix made good on that finale — delivering a lasting legacy to streaming-kind.
We’re just weeks away from the third season of On My Block — so if you’ve never heard of it, now’s the time to catch up. A realistic-yet-fun look at growing up in inner-city Los Angeles, the series follows friends Monse (Sierra Capri), Cesar (Diego Tinoco), Ruby (Jason Genao), and Jamal (Brett Gray) as they grapple with growing up and apart.
Fans of Joe Swanberg and his “mumblecore” stylings can rejoice in Easy.
An anthology series examining intimacy in modern Chicago, this three-season masterpiece explored love, loss, and change with immeasurable kindness. For each mistake there was forgiveness. For every heartbreak, the hope of something new.
Appearances by Marc Maron, Elizabeth Reaser, Jake Johnson, Aya Cash, Hannibal Buress, and more make Easy a must-watch series for any indie film fan.
Who doesn’t want to watch a cartoon red panda find herself against all odds? Pressured by an unforgiving job and disappointing dating prospects, Aggretsuko does her best to find the life she wants by secretly singing death metal karaoke at night. It’s delightful. Try five minutes. You’ll get it.
Set against the tumultuous Northern Ireland conflict of the late ’90s, this coming-of-age tale is surprisingly hysterical. Centered on four Catholic school girls and one English bloke named James, Derry Girlsis a sitcom in the truest sense of the genre, finding humor in a reality rife with conflict and fear. What’s more, the series paints a moving portrait of friendship untethered by time or place, making it a standout representation of camaraderie and growth.
A serialized take on Dennis Liu’s comic of the same name, Raising Dion follows mother and son Nicole (Alisha Wainwright) and Dion (Ja’Siah Young) as they cope with the death of Dion’s father, Mark (Michael B. Jordan). When it is revealed that Dion has otherworldly abilities, Nicole must do everything she can to protect her son from himself — and the world.
An evolution on a literary world we love, this adaptation strayed boldly from its source material to explore each nook and cranny of L. M. Montgomery’s legendary impact. (The series ends with Season 3, though there is a petition for the show to get another season.)
Whether every page came to life the way you’d imagined or not, there’s no denying Netflix’s take on the tale of the Baudelaire orphans was riveting. From The Bad Beginning to The End, creators Mark Hudis and Barry Sonnenfeld brought every corner of this fantastical world to life with care and precision. The visuals? Spectacular. The cast? Perfect. The ankle? Tattooed. With an eye.
The Get Downwas ahead of its time. A musical drama from co-creatorsBaz Luhrmann and Stephen Adly Guirgis, this single season spectacular released to underwhelmed audiences in 2016 who dismissed it as more style than substance. Today, it’s got “Emmy winner” written all over it.
Soulful performances by Justice Smith, Shameik Moore, Herizen Guardiola, and an outstanding supporting cast transform this historic look at late ’70s hip-hop culture into a visceral experience. The scope of the characters’ imaginations is only outpaced by the ambition of the series’ creators. Worth a revisit if you passed it up the first time. Worth a rewatch if you didn’t.
Ben York Jones and Michael Mohan’s send-up of ’90s high schoolers had just one season, but its memory lives on in our queues. Set in the aptly-named Boring High School, the interlocking dramas between the A/V and drama clubs was cringe-worthy, sweet, and entertaining.
An easy and breezy binge made up of just 10 episodes, Tuca & BertieSeason 1is among Netflix’s best offerings. Hilarious-yet-heart-wrenching, topical-yet-timeless, this story of 30-something birdies finding themselves is faultless. Voice performances by Ali Wong, Tiffany Haddish, and Steven Yeun shine through unique visuals that expand animated comedy for the better.
It’s hard to imagine a show as magnetic as this one getting canceled after just one season. And yet, Netflix made that mistake. Thankfully, Adult Swim picked it up, with new episodes out in 2021.
Created by Vampire Weekend frontman Ezra Koenig, Neo Yokio tackles social stratification through the lens of an absurd pink-haired dude named Kaz Kaan. Combining surreal styling with deadpan humor, this animated series looks at “the greatest city in the world.” If it’s for you, you’ll know.
In Kipo and the Age of Wonderbeasts, the end of the world isn’t all bad news. In fact, as protagonist Kipo Oak figures out, it’s a chance to build something that’s even better than what came before. Follow Kipo and her friends as they journey through a vibrant post-apocalyptic landscape, complete with mutant animals (“mutes”) like Timbercats and Megabunnies, and do their best to unite mutes and humankind. This show is inventive, heartfelt, and accompanied by a truly groovy soundtrack… What more could you ask for? — Belen Edwards, Entertainment Fellow
In this surprisingly effective Harry Potter-meets-Hunger Games ripoff, the teen fairies at Alfea College are preparing to battle in a war for the ages. But make no mistake — they’ve carved out plenty of spare time for gossiping, scheming, and falling in love.
Based very loosely on the animated kids’ series Winx Club, this series has developed a small, but strong cult following of YA fans. It’s got action and heart, all of it magical.
In the back-breaking world of glass arts, the stakes couldn’t be higher. One wrong move and an award-winning masterpiece can become worthless shards in seconds. For the competitors in , the pressure is on to nail weekly challenges and progress closer to the coveted titled of “Best in Glass.” There’s screaming, there’s crying, there’s a whole bunch of people casually saying “glory hole,” all next to a 2,000-degree furnace. *
Gilded with violence, glory, and cowgirls, this limited series puts a feminist spin on the western. Divided into seven parts, the story of Frank Griffin (Jeff Daniels) pursuing his rival Roy Goode (Jack O’Connell) into the all-female town of La Belle, New Mexico brings inventive framing to the storytelling staples we love. Not to mention, the performance by Merritt Wever is to die for. *