Ever since 2012, Netflix has been producing and releasing television shows exclusive to their website. If you have a Netflix subscription, here are some shows that you ought to consider checking out. (Note: Because of Netflix's lax guidelines regarding mature content, these are all television series for mature audiences and should not be watched with your children.)
Orange is the New Black first came out in 2013 as a loose adaptation of Piper Kerman's Orange Is the New Black: My Year in a Women's Prison. It follows Piper Chapman, an upper-middle-class woman convicted of drug smuggling, and it gives insight to prison life and the lives of the inmates and how they got to Litchfield Prison.
This show is such a great show, and for many reasons. While Taylor Schilling is wonderful as Piper Chapman, it's really all of the other prisoners who steal the show. With every episode, you get insight into another one's life, and you can really empathize with these characters. With so many different characters, you'd think it would be hard to keep track of all of them, but Orange is the New Black manages to pace out some truly incredible character development as these different characters learn and grow from each other.
In regards to movies, and occasionally television, there is a lot of talk about the Bechdel Test, which consists of only three things to pass: 1) There must be two women who 2) talk to each other about 3) something other than a man. OITNB blows the Bechdel Test away. There is so much diversity on this show, especially regarding race, sexual orientation, and socio-economic status. Quite frequently it makes poignant statements on controversial issues like sexism, racism and homophobia, and it can even give a little bit of insight into how prison life actually is in the United States. Not to mention that it is quite frequently laugh-out-loud hilarious.
The third season has just come out, and it's still an absolutely incredible show. Give this show a watch if you have a Netflix account.
If you're a fan of the recent Marvel movies, this show is a must-see. It basically follows the genesis of Daredevil, an blind Irish Catholic named Matt Murdock who is a lawyer fighting for the poor and powerless by day, vigilante by night.
I absolutely loved this show. Compared to the rest of the MCU (Marvel Cinematic Universe), this show is far more gritty and dark, and it really sets an atmosphere. It works because one of the great things about Daredevil versus other superheroes like Iron Man or Captain America is that while the Avengers focus on the macro, big world picture, Daredevil only deals with the crime in his neighborhood. Matt Murdock uses his hypersensitivity to fight against the corruption within his community, even sometimes cleaning up after the mess the Avengers made during their big fight in New York.
The characters are relatable and complex, and these actors have a lot of chemistry. The characters really drove the story forward, and the story itself was absolutely great. I usually don't say things while I'm watching shows, but sometimes during this show, the events and the twists surprised me so much I just had to shout at the screen. Every episode made me want more, and the thirteen episodes went by far too quickly.
I haven't read the comics, but from what I can get from those who have, it's still extremely enjoyable and pretty faithful to them. From my experience with this show, I might check out the comics and begin following them.
Sense8 is a unique television show, in which eight people are reborn as 'sensates', people able to sense what each other is seeing, feeling, hearing, etc.
Netflix is a great website to show this series on, as it works well if you watch several episodes at once. This is probably one of the most imaginative television show I've seen in a while, and the characters really drive this story forward as they get to know one another and really grow from each other. By far the best scenes in this series are when nearly all of the sensates try to help one of their own escape a dangerous situation by incorporating all of their abilities. For instance, one of the sensates, Sun, is an experienced fighter and often helps the others by lending her fighting ability to them.
This show is also incredibly diverse. There are only two American main characters; the other six sensates are from around the world, from Iceland, Mexico, India, South Korea, Germany, and Kenya. Each character has their own individual plot line and are all given ample screentime. They're all so different characters, but it's hard not to fall in love with all of them as they struggle to understand what is happening to them.
This show is a little slow-going at first, mostly because it relies on the audience to pay attention to the visual cues rather than just telling them everything, but after the first episode it really begins to pay off. At its heart, it's a story about people and how they connect with each other and help one another through hardships. It's definitely a show worth watching.
There you have it - three very different television series, all on Netflix. They are all fantastic shows, and I would highly recommend you watch at least one of them. If there are any Netflix original series that you've watched and enjoyed that aren't on this list, feel free to add them in the comments!
rhishi bhat on August 08, 2016:
highly recommend sense8..awesome show.
Timothy Flanigan on July 13, 2015:
it is a great series.
Haley Booker-Lauridson (author) from GA on July 12, 2015:
Hi Timothy! I only included shows that I have watched and can personally recommend, and I actually haven't gotten around to watching House of Cards! Given that it is an award-winning show, I look forward to watching it when I have the time to, but I couldn't include it in this list for that reason.
Timothy Flanigan on July 12, 2015:
where is the house of cards?