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10 best shows on Netflix you’ve never heard of

Netflix has made plenty of shows, and there are some great ones you may never have heard of.

via IMDb

In an age when the defining problem for many TV fans is not knowing what to watch, there are some shows that feel like they’re essential viewing. For the most part, though, you’re on your own when it comes time to pick a new show, and a streamer like Netflix has worked hard to make sure you have a huge number of options. As a result, plenty of great TV shows fly almost totally under the radar. Some of those shows are terrible and don’t need to be revived at all. Others, though, deserve to have a wider audience than they’ve had thus far.


One of the more heartbreaking shows on all of Netflix, Unbelievable tells true the story of a young woman (Kaitlun Dever) who is sexually assaulted and then coerced into saying that she made the incident up. The show follows the young woman, as well as the two female detectives (Merritt Weaver and Toni Collette) who ultimately solve her case, and features incredible performances from Weaver, Collette, and Dever. Unbelievable is a deeply moving show, both because of the injustice it depicts and the rays of hope that it ultimately offers.

Never Have I Ever

One of the most consistently charming comedies on Netflix, Never Have I Ever has Mindy Kaling’s pedigree behind it, but it still feels like it’s been largely undersung. The show follows Devi (Maitreyi Ramakrishnan), a young girl who has lost her father and is also dealing with life as a teenager. The series is told with a very particular point of view, but the love triangles it depicts feel almost completely universal. It also helps that Never Have I Ever is genuinely hilarious.


Foreign TV series often don’t get the recognition that they deserve, and Dark definitely falls into that category. The show tells a truly mind-bending story that involves time loops and intergenerational trauma. It feels like Twin Peaks with more of a sci-fi bent. Thanks to some great performances and even better casting, Dark is the kind of ambitious, original show that we don’t get enough of today. The fact that not enough people have seen it is the only reason it wasn’t a constant topic of conversation online.

When They See Us

The story of the Central Park Five, who are now known as the Exonerated Five, is one of the most concrete examples of how systemic racism has destroyed the lives of countless black people. When They See Us tells the story of the five boys at the center of the case who were abused by police and coerced into working against one another to say they were guilty of raping a woman in Central Park. The series is careful to acknowledge how horrific the original crime was while also making it clear how much damage was done in the aftermath.

Tuca & Bertie

Bojack Horseman has gotten plenty of love for its attention to character and brilliant animation, but Tuca & Bertie, its fun cousin, has consistently been much more overlooked. The series tells the story of two 30-year-old friends who just so happen to be birds. Although there are certainly plenty of jokes to be had, Tuca & Bertie isn’t afraid to tackle serious themes and ideas that are relevant whether you’re a bird or not.

Dear White People

Adapted from a film of the same name, Dear White People tells the story of the black students on an Ivy League campus as they attempt to navigate the way systemic racism impacts their lives. The show is remarkably incisive, but it’s also never didactic. On top of all that, it manages to be remarkably funny, which makes it something of a miracle. The series is also stacked to the brim with promising young talent. Some of them have gone on to great careers built around the show, but all of them deserve more work than they’ve gotten.

The OA

Perhaps the definitive cult hit in Netflix’s entire catalog, The OA only lasted for two seasons. The show, which spans across dimensions and isn’t afraid to get fairly heady, is also one of the most profound things that Netflix has ever produced. Fans were outraged when the show wasn’t given a third season, and while many were likely hoping for more time with the show’s characters and ideas, the two seasons that do exist are definitely worth your attention. It may not have endured, but it was definitely a thrill while it lasted.


Although it originally aired on the BBC, Collateral is only available to watch in the US through Netflix, and it’s well worth doing so. The four-part limited series follows a British detective played by Carey Mulligan who refuses to accept that the shooting of a pizza delivery driver was just a random act of violence. Collateral eventually unearths the seedy underworld buried beneath London’s surface, and Mulligan is wonderful throughout as a detective who seems unable to let the details of this particular case go.

Seven Seconds

There are plenty of great limited series about the way racial tensions play out in 21st-century America, but Seven Seconds may be among the most underrated. The series follows the aftermath of a hit-and-run in which a 15-year-old black boy is killed by a police officer. Regina King is predictably great in the series, but the entire ensemble that forms around her is equally excellent. As the case continues to develop and drag on, tension erupts across a small New Jersey town, and there’s no clear resolution in sight.


Few shows really delve into what it means to kill someone the way that Mindhunter did. Over the course of two seasons, the show followed the formation of the behavioral science unit inside of the FBI. As part of that process, the show’s central characters interview many of the most famous serial killers in history. Those interview sequences are truly harrowing, and thanks to some incredible central performances, Mindhunter was perhaps one of the great unsung dramas of the past decade.

About the author

Joe Allen

Joe Allen is a freelance writer based out of upstate New York who has been covering movies and TV for more than five years. Joe has been featured in The Washington Post, Paste Magazine, and The Charleston Post Courier, and has a Master's in journalism from Syracuse University