In 2020, Netflix is almost a utility as much as an entertainment service. Many of us have spent months inside in lockdown staring at our televisions, being at least thankful that the fountain of content they provide never seems to run dry. But despite the massive subscriber numbers, there are some things that fall through the cracks. Now, What’s On Netflix has identified some of the best stuff you might not’ve seen, and I’ve got to admit, they’ve got good taste.
First up is Giri/Haji, a Netflix/BBC co-production about a detective from Tokyo searching for his missing brother in the UK. The first season has a solid 100% rating on the Tomatometer (and a 93% audience rating), with critics describing it as fascinating, adventurous and incredibly smart. There are just eight episodes in the first season and it sounds like a wild ride. I hadn’t actually heard of this until now, so it’s definitely going on my to-watch list.
Then there’s Kipo and the Age of Wonderbeasts, an animated series by Radford Sechrist based on his webcomic Kipo. This also received critical adulation, with many calling it the best Netflix Original aimed at children they’ve ever produced. The anime-inspired show is stuffed full of imaginative designs, beautiful scenery and snappy writing. To be honest, it’s as entertaining for adults as it is for children.
Then there’s thriller The Coldest Game. This stars Bill Pullman and is set during the Cuban Missile Crisis. There’s weirdly little about this movie online and even the film’s Wikipedia is pretty sparse, devoting almost as much space to the producer dying in a boating accident as it does to the movie itself. Still, it seems to be well-regarded and worth unearthing.
Medici, a Netflix historical drama, is also worth checking out. This three-season Italian co-production concluded its story not too long ago and provides political intrigue, a powerfully sexy cast, great costumes and gorgeous scenery.
Finally, there’s unjustly overlooked anime show Drifting Dragons, about airship crews on the hunt for dragons. The trailer showcases beautiful animation and a steampunk aesthetic (reminding me a lot of the Panzer Dragoon series of games). While I assume this is popular in Japan, it doesn’t seem to have broken through domestically, even with anime fans. Let’s hope it, and all these other titles, find an audience on Netflix.