Netflix comes up with amazing content every year, but the dilemma of choosing what to watch leaves a lot of good stuff to just flow under the radar. Though it’s never a bad time to catch up and we are sure this list will prove helpful in that. Here are a few underrated top 20 Netflix must-watch originals you probably missed in 2019, from comedy to drama to horror, they’ve got everything covered.
Have you ever taken help of a dating app to find someone? We bet you might never have come across a dating app as in this French sci-fi series. The story is about exploring a future in which people can use an innovative new dating app to find their soulmate – but it’s not as simple as swiping right. Instead, this service will mine data from the user’s brain. Doesn’t it seem super cool to find “the one” with perfect accuracy without having to go through the hundreds of profiles? But let us tell you before you get all tempted, it only seems so simple on the surface. There are obvious unintended consequences and the developers of the service do warn you about it. The story will keep you intrigued and on the hook while the futurist virtual reality sequences will fascinate you.
2. Black Summer
No doubt there is a pile of content on zombie genre on Netflix though this one rises above the others. Here you wouldn’t find the usual slow-moving zombies without any aim, instead they’re fast, they’re hungry, and they’re downright terrifying. Hoping that unity is strength, a group of desperate strangers come together when the zombie apocalypse strikes. Black Summer gives no time, neither to the characters nor to the viewers, to sit back and think. There is a relentless showcase of violence throughout. This one will make you cringe in your seat and gasp in awe a lot of times.
3. Dead to me
The story starts with the introduction of Jen (Christina Applegate), who recently lost his husband in a hit-and-run car accident. But don’t worry this isn’t a tragedy story rather it’s a dark humour exploring the weirdly funny sides of grief, loss and forgiveness. Jen, who is a hot head and determined to find the driver who mowed down his husband, meets Judy (Linda Cardellini), who herself had suffered a loss, at a “grief retreat,” sparking an unlikely friendship. Judy, who is an optimist and free spirited, is quite different from Jen and tries to shield her from a secret. The raw, realistic portrayal of female friendship and appropriately dark quips and one liners make it binge-worthy.
4. The Society
This series is a modern take on “Lord of the Flies.” The story is about a group of students form Connecticut high school who were going for a camping trip but had to cut short and return home because of a storm. On returning they find everyone in their town had vanished. Their newfound freedom is fun at first, but it quickly becomes dangerous. Surrounded by thick impenetrable forest they soon realise they are in danger and ill equipped. From the first episode itself, viewers are bound to be gripped by the mystery — is the town at the center of some grand experiment, or have they slipped into a parallel universe? Is help on the way? And if it arrives, will it be too late?
5. When They See Us
With ‘When They See Us’ Ava DuVernay continues down the path of exploring racism and the history of civil rights in United States. The story revolves around five young men (four black and one Hispanic) who were convicted for assaulting and raping a female jogger in New York’s Central Park in 1989, despite a lack of hard evidence. All of them served prison time, and in 2002, their convictions were finally overturned when DNA evidence confirmed the validity of another man’s confession. Along with the cast being full of Emmy nominees and winners, including Michael K. Williams, John Leguizamo, Felicity Huffman, and Blair Underwood, this expose of the criminal justice system is impossible to look away from. Oscar nominee and Emmy winner Ava DuVernay co-wrote and directed the four episodes.
6. The Chosen one
In order to provide vaccination against zika virus a group of doctors is sent to remote isolated village of Pantanal, deep in the Brazilian wetlands. In spite of their good intentions Lucia (Paloma Bernardi), Damiao (Pedro Caetano) and Enzo (Gutto Szuster) are not welcomed with open arms. The villagers refuse to get vaccinated and are hostile towards the outsiders because they believe that modern medicine would pollute their bodies and that they would loose the protection of “The Chosen One”. The doctors must grapple with burning questions of science and faith to find out the deep secrets at the heart of this village and determine if something beyond their rational understanding is really at play.
7. Family business
This French comedy series is created and directed by Igor Gotesman. The story revolves around a down-on-his-luck entrepreneur, Joseph Hazan (Jonathan Cohen) who found out that marijuana was going to be legalised in France. After much bickering, the family decides to turn its declining kosher butcher shop into the first French marijuana coffee shop. There’s only one problem, of course — their new venture is still technically against the law. Will this new venture turn out successful or will it be another expensive flop? The Hazans may be slightly dysfunctional, but they’re endearing and likable.
8. The Last Czars
This series is a documentary as well as a drama, with insights of background info. While those who like smooth flow might not like this format but it’s definitely a yes who pause and Google questions while watching period drama. The series follows the life of Czar Nicholas II and how his resistance to political change resulted in ensuing revolution, and ultimately the fall of the Romanov dynasty. The series makes up for its historical inaccuracies with the royal scandals, intricate costumes, and intriguing portrayals of the Romanov family. This series serves the dual purpose of educating and entertaining.
9. Wu Assassins
Wu Assassins is a potpourri of action of a martial art films, tension of a drama series and supernatural elements. The story chronicles the life of Kai Jin (Iko Uwais) who works as a chef in a restaurant in San Francisco’s Chinatown. Only later does he find out that he is actually the last of the Wu Assassins, a line of warriors tasked with using their powers to kill the Wu Warlords. The warlords are powerful and possess magical abilities connected to fire, earth, water, wood, and metal. Kai faces issues with his new identity but with San Francisco under threat he is left with no choice but to step up and perform his duties. The wonderfully choreographed fight scenes are the highlight of the show.
3% is the first Brazilian original by Netflix. It’s a dystopian sci-fi series. This story is about a world in distant future where it is divided by progress and devastation. There are two places Inland and Offshore. While people who live on Inland suffer from poverty, there is an elite group that lives in a virtual paradise on Offshore. Once citizens are 20-years-old, they can apply to move offshore. But to make it to the new and “better” world, they must go through the process, a test of smarts, resilience, and mental toughness. Only the best and brightest will make it to the offshore. Did you know this show was the second most-binged show on Netflix.
11. Green Frontier
Green Frontier is the first original Colombian series commissioned by Netflix. Somewhat similar to ‘The Chosen One’ this series also takes places in the rainforests of Amazon.
A series of mysterious murders has taken place and Detective Helena Poveda (Juana del Rio) and her partner Reynaldo (Nelson Camayo) are sent to investigate and figure out whether or not a certain indigenous tribe is behind these killings. But life in jungle was not what they expected it to be. It’s full of ancient secrets and mysteries that the elders of the tribe share with them. Though skeptical the officers cannot deny that all of the strange clues are adding up to a phenomenon that is beyond rational explanation. The plot will keep you hinged to it and the lush Amazon serves as a visual treat.
This series will take you to Brazil’s Favelas, often considered as poor shantytowns and hotbeds of organized crime. The story follows three teenage friends Doni (MC JottaPê), Nando (Christian Malheiros), and Rita (Bruna Mascarenhas) trying to survive the harsh realities of daily life in the favelas of São Paulo and pursue their dreams. This show is neither a typical teen drama nor a gritty crime series, it tries to show a completely different cultural side to it. It’s an unseen and unheard story about exploration of creativity, community and hope.
Skylines is a German web drama series created by Dennis Schanz. The story revolves around Jinn (Edin Hasanovic), who live in Frankfurt, Germany and is passionate about hip-hop music. He wants to make his mark in the music world and escape from his boring job behind a desk. He gets lucky enough to be able to work for famous label Skyline Records and he is excited about his new journey. But little did he know that some shady business was taking place behind the scene in the company. When Skyline’s owner Kalifa’s (Murathan Muslu) brother Arden (Erdal Yildiz) returns from his long exile in Turkey problems start happening. Arden is upto something nefarious and has a favour to ask from Kalifa. All this becomes problematic for Jinn who realises his success has come with a huge price.
14. Raising Dion
This superhero series is based on the 2015 comic book and short film of the same name by Dennis Liu. Raising Dion is a story about a widowed single mother Nicole (Alisha Wainwright) who is taking care of her son on her own after her husband’s death. Already overwhelmed with all that she was dealing with, Nicole finds out his son Dion (Ja’siah Young) has magical abilities. Dion himself doesn’t understand what is happening to him, but he is a superhero in the making. Soon Nicole realises that there are people who want to exploit his son for their own ambitions. Nicole is not only trying to protect her son, find help and figure out how to cultivate his son’s powers, but is also trying to investigate their origin and her husband’s death.
Brotherhood is a Brazilian crime drama series where an honest lawyer reaches a moral crossroads after discovering her brother is the leader of a rising criminal faction in Brazil. Cristina (Naruna Costa) became a successful lawyer by beating odds all over the years. But her brother Edson (Seu Jorge) was quite the opposite of her and was sent to jail when she was just a child. One day Edson’s file makes it to Cristina’s desk who hadn’t see him in decades. He was accused of the murder of another inmate but adhering to his principle he did not rat out other inmates to save himself. This puts Cristina in a terrible situation where in order to protect her brother she might have to bend the rules. But she knows this could lead to unwanted consequences. How far would you go for the sake of family loyalty? That’s the question at the heart of this Brazilian drama.
Kingdom is Netflix’s first original Korean series. It is part historical fiction and part horror series which makes for a fresh style of content with an exciting story. The rise of a deceased king becomes a catalyst for a mysterious plague. The responsibility to save the kingdom falls on the crown prince who has to listen to his subjects and accept that the fight for their survival is now his burden to bear. Both royal politics and supernatural threats take the center stage in this visually stunning series.
Typewriter is an Indian horror series. The series follows a group of children who have taken up the mission to capture a ghost residing in their neighborhood’s most notorious house. After a new family moves into the home, however, their mission becomes even more urgent and even more difficult as they must also juggle school and chores. Mysterious murders happen around town and they all have one common link to one of the new family members. Directed by Sujoy Ghosh this is one hell of a spooky show.
Unbelievable is inspired by the real-life story of 18-year-old Marie Adler, whose story was first reported in a Pulitzer prize-winning article by ProPublica and The Marshall Project. The series begins in Washington state in 2008, where Adler reports her rape, first to her foster mother, then to the local police. In the follow up investigation the two male officers reach a conclusion where they end up charging Adler for lying to the police. The story changes tracks from here and splits into two timelines, one continuing to detail how the botched investigation impacted Adler’s life and the second fast forward a few years to the work of two female detectives in Colorado, Karen Duvall (Merritt Wever) and Grace Rasmussen (Toni Collette), who team up for an investigation of a serial rapist. Their cases are strikingly similar to Adler’s but their investigation style couldn’t be more different to the Washington police.
19. Dear White People
The satirical series — based on the acclaimed 2014 film by the same name — follows a group of students of color at Winchester University, a predominantly white Ivy League college. They navigate a diverse landscape of social injustice, cultural bias, political correctness (or lack thereof) and activism in the millennial age. Through an absurdist lens, Dear White People utilizes irony, self-deprecation and brutal honesty to hold up a mirror to the issues plaguing today’s “post-racial” society. The series while highlighting important issues does not forget to give a good laugh.
20. The OA
The series follows a young woman, Prairie Johnson (Brit Marlin) who returns home after a 7-year disappearance. On her sudden return another miracle that happens is that she is not blind anymore. While the FBI and her parents are anxious to discuss Prairie’s disappearance, she won’t talk about what happened during the time that she was missing. On her return with mysterious new abilities she recruits five strangers for a secret mission. This series seems to have all the elements necessary for a gripping show. Brit Marling along with Zal Batmanglij, is also the co-creator and an executive producer of the series, while the latter is the director.