The Best and Worst of Netflix Originals

By Leslie Hamilton, Features Writer 

Netflix Originals are the reason why valued customers and long-term Netflix-ers keep their Netflix subscription. When it comes down to it, Netflix usually has the same amount of content available, if not less, than Amazon Prime. Hulu Plus has the recent episodes of the shows we all love without the wait. But if you are too cheap to spend the three or so dollars to remove advertisement interruptions, along with a bunch of B-movies that you have no interest in watching, then there could be drawbacks to this service. If you want to watch HBO series, HBOGo has all of them plus the movies that Prime, Hulu and Netflix do not offer. All these streaming services are starting to produce their own original shorts, movies, and TV series. Outside of HBO, Netflix is the only one that is producing notable and binge-worthy shows watched by the masses. Netflix’s most watched original series are “Orange is the New Black”, “House of Cards”, “Making a Murderer”, and “Nick Offerman: American Ham.” While these are the more well-known and popular Netflix Originals, there are a few hidden gems that are not so common. Most will be familiar with some, if not all of the titles below. Put them in your queue and watch them when you have the chance. They’re worth it!

One of Netflix’s hidden gems include “Derek”, which is a British TV show starring Ricky Gervais. Gervais plays 50-year-old Derek Noakes, who is a caretaker at a nursing home called Broad Hill. The series follows the unusual daily events at the nursing home as well as the personal lives of Derek, his co-workers and the nursing home residents.

“Tom Segura: Mostly Stories”: Tom Segura’s second special available on Netflix. In this special and much like his last special, Segura recounts personal stories wherein he is often dumbfounded by human behavior and interactions. The notable stories in this special are about body piercings, men’s bodies and an encounter with Mike Tyson.

“Jon Mulaney: The Comeback Kid”: One of Mulaney’s better stand-up specials where he discusses marriage, the difficulties of puppy training, realtors , babies, his “savage” father and that one time he met Bill Clinton. His special is all-around entertaining, light-hearted and topical.

“Hemlock Grove”: A series based on the book by Brian McGreevy. The plotline is centered around two families in a former steel town located in Pennsylvania and the murder of a teenage girl. The two suspects are a rumored werewolf and a son/brother to a disabled girl of a wealthy family, whom put their differences aside and attempt to solve the murder together.

Other great series include: “Narcos”, “Jessica Jones”, “Daredevil”, “Sherlock”, “Master of None”, “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt”, and “Wet Hot American Summer: First Day of Camp”.

While there are a lot of awesome Netflix Originals, there are a few flops in the mix as well for example “Lilyhammer” and “Bojack Horseman”. Admittedly “Bojack Horseman” is not the greatest Netflix Original, but it does have moments that keep you watching. Netflix’s biggest flop to this day is the recently released series “Fuller House”, which is a remake of the 90’s classic “Full House”. In “Fuller House” recently widowed DJ Tanner comes back to San Francisco and ends up moving into her childhood home with her children. Her childhood best friend, Kimmy Gibler, and younger sister Stephanie, move in to help out with her transition. While the idea to bring back “Full House” is great and a notable idea on their part, the remake is certainly lacking in the area of acting and general comedic effect. It appears that Netflix tried to stay true to the 90’s sitcom writing, however, that style of writing with notable pauses for inserted clips of audience laughter or whoooo-ing does not translate well to more modern sitcoms. As someone who loved and grew up watching “Full House”, “Fuller House” was a huge disappointment ten minutes into the first episode. Despite the great disappointment with “Fuller House”, the hidden gems and notably popular Originals are the real reasons why people continue to stream with Netflix. Most might not be faithful and have other subscriptions, but Netflix does not necessarily know that.