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19 most underrated TV shows 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.

1. The OA

A blonde woman looks over her shoulder.

Credit: Netflix

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. — Alison Foreman, Entertainment Reporter

How to watch: The OA (Opens in a new tab)is now streaming on Netflix.(Opens in a new tab)

2. Santa Clarita Diet

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. — A.F.

How to watch: Santa Clarita Diet(Opens in a new tab) is now streaming on Netflix.(Opens in a new tab)

3. The End of the F***ing World

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. — A.F.

How to watch: The End of the F***ing World(Opens in a new tab) is now streaming on Netflix.(Opens in a new tab)

4. Sense8

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. — A.F.

How to watch: Sense8 (Opens in a new tab)is now streaming on Netflix.(Opens in a new tab)

5. Copenhagen Cowboy

A woman with flowers on her face stares at the camera.

Credit: Netflix

Director Nicolas Winding Refn made a big name for himself on the big screen, turning Tom Hardy and Ryan Gosling into icons with films like Bronson and Drive. But his small-screen streaming work has continually slipped through the cracks, starting with Amazon’s magnificently trippy Too Old To Die Young in 2019 and continuing on to this year’s also, whaddya know, magnificently trippy Copenhagen Cowboy

Perhaps the longform slow-burn surrealism is too much for some, but it’s just right for us. Across six chapters, Cowboy tells the story of Miu (newcomer Angela Bundalovic) who gets dragged into a Danish underworld of criminals and perverts due to her ability to give off good luck to whomever asks favors of her. She is a heroine of little talk and much action – so basically every other protagonist in a Refn project. Her and Gosling in Drive would find lots to not talk about! It’s stylish psychosis, a hallucinogenic delight. – Jason Adams, Entertainment Reporter

How to watch: Copenhagen Cowboy is now streaming on Netflix(Opens in a new tab).

6. Easy

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. — A.F.

How to watch: Easy(Opens in a new tab) is now streaming on Netflix.(Opens in a new tab)

7. Aggretsuko

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. — A.F.

How to watch: Aggretsuko(Opens in a new tab) is now streaming on Netflix.(Opens in a new tab)

8. Derry Girls

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 Girls is 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.F.

How to watch: Derry Girls(Opens in a new tab) is now streaming on Netflix(Opens in a new tab).

9. Raising Dion

A woman holds a young boy to her chest.

Credit: Netflix

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. — A.F.

How to watch: Raising Dion(Opens in a new tab) is now streaming on Netflix(Opens in a new tab)

10. Archive 81 

Prepare yourself beforehand, because Netflix canceled this show after its first season and the climax leaves an awful lot hanging in the air, so you’re going to be frustrated by the lack of resolution. However, this horror series is both inventive and terrifying, with two timelines — one involving a video archivist in the present (Mamoudou Athie) and one involving a young woman (Dina Shihabi) recording her search for her birth mother in the past — overlapping in increasingly unsettling ways.

Even the unfinished question mark at its end hasn’t kept these fine eight episodes which we did get (some of which were directed by current indie It Boys Justin Moorhead and Aaron Benson of The Endless and Something in the Dirt fame) from continually creeping up on me at night. In the dark. In the night. – J.A.

How to watch: Archive 81 is now streaming on Netflix(Opens in a new tab).

11. A Series of Unfortunate Events

It’s no secret Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events books are great. But why their Neil Patrick Harris-led TV adaptation never got the following it deserved remains a mystery.

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. — A.F.

How to watch: A Series of Unfortunate Events(Opens in a new tab) is now streaming on Netflix.(Opens in a new tab) 

12. The Get Down

The Get Down was ahead of its time. A musical drama from co-creators Baz 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. — A.F.

How to watch: The Get Down(Opens in a new tab) is now streaming on Netflix.(Opens in a new tab)

13. Everything Sucks!

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.

Fans of Euphoria look out for a stellar performance by Sydney Sweeney, alongside series leads Jahi Di’Allo Winston, Peyton Kennedy, Quinn Liebling, and Elijah Stevenson. — A.F.

How to watch: Everything Sucks!(Opens in a new tab) is now streaming on Netflix.(Opens in a new tab)

14. Tuca & Bertie Season 1

An illustration of a bird with a female human lower body riding a bike, stopping to talk on her cell phone.

Credit: Netflix

An easy and breezy binge made up of just 10 episodes, Tuca & Bertie Season 1 is among Netflix’s best offerings. Hilarious-yet-heart-wrenching, topical-yet-timeless, this story of thirtysomething 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 and made two more seasons…before canceling it again in November of 2022. — A. F.

How to watch: Tuca & Bertie(Opens in a new tab) is now streaming on Netflix(Opens in a new tab)

15. Neo Yokio

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. — A.F.

How to watch: Neo Yokio(Opens in a new tab) is now streaming on Netflix.(Opens in a new tab)

16. Kipo and the Age of Wonderbeasts

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 Reporter

How to watch: Kipo and the Age of Wonderbeasts(Opens in a new tab) is now streaming on Netflix.(Opens in a new tab)

17. Alias Grace

Before there was Women Talking, there was this six-part adaptation of Margaret Atwood’s 1996 novel also from actress-turned-writer Sarah Polley, and which covers a lot of the same territory – namely, how women in history have managed to survive under the weight of a culture that seeks to subjugate them at every turn. 

Grace, like Women Talking, tells a true story – this one of a 19th century maid turned murderess (played by a terrific Sarah Gadon) who is interviewed about her life and eventual crime by a psychiatrist (Edward Holcroft). Directed not by Polley but by the exceptionally underrated Mary Harron (American Psycho), this series aches with implication, sadness, and devastating insight. – J.A.

How to watch: Alias Grace is now streaming on Netflix(Opens in a new tab).

18. Blown Away

Two men wearing protective goggles blow glass.

Credit: Netflix

Follow me: Competitive. Glassblowing.

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 Blown Away, the pressure is on to nail weekly challenges and progress closer to the coveted title 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. — A.F. (*)

How to watch: Blown Away (Opens in a new tab)is now streaming on Netflix.(Opens in a new tab)

19. Brand New Cherry Flavor

This series already feels ahead of its time, and not just because it had the foresight to cast Manny Jacinto before he became MANNY JACINTO. Weird and wacky and sexy and dark and full of witchy Catherine Keener making people puke up baby kittens, Brand New Cherry Flavor came to us from the stellar team of Nick Antosca and Lenore Zion, who also made the also vastly underrated SyFy series Channel Zero.

It tells the story of a young filmmaker named Lisa (Rosa Salazar from Alita: Battle Angel) who goes to Hollywood with big dreams and instead…she starts to puke up baby kittens. And then there are the zombies. Like Heathers made by David Lynch or a sillier Starry Eyes, these eight episodes will have you simultaneously cackling with laughter and coughing up bile — and yes, that’s a most heartfelt recommendation. – J.A. 

How to watch: Brand New Cherry Flavor is now streaming on Netflix(Opens in a new tab).

Asterisks (*) indicate the entry description comes from a previous Mashable streaming list.

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