The choice can be overwhelming for some, so we’ve had a dig around to show you some underrated gems as well as some of the most popular shows available, to help you decide what to binge-watch next.
1. Black Mirror
Seasons: 5 seasons and 23 episodes. Starring: Jon Hamm, Rosemarie DeWitt, James Norton, Bryce Dallas Howard, and Gugu Mbatha-Faw. Description: Black Mirror takes a, sometimes satirical, look at what happens when some of the world’s greatest inventions collide with some of humanity’s ugliest traits. The content is dark and thought-provoking. Each episode is a self-contained story with different actors.Despite this, each episode fits together in a beautifully twisted way, which could be attributed to the fact that a theme of morality and human behavior is a common thread in each episode.
Why it’s a keeper: Black Mirror is scary and yet believable. It shows the very best of what humans are capable of and then holds up a mirror and forces us to realize how this can quickly work against us, showing the very worst of human behavior.The predictions are scary because you can quickly see that they are not beyond the realm of reality.
2. Stranger Things
Seasons: 2 seasons with a total of 17 episodes. Season released in 2019 with 8 episodes. Starring: Winona Ryder, David Harbour, Finn Wolfhard, Millie Bobby Brown, Gaten Matarazzo, Caleb McLaughlin, Natalia Dyer, Charlie Heaton, Cara Buono, and Matthew Modine. Description: Set in the 1980s, Stranger Things takes place in Hawkins, Indiana. This place doesn’t really exist but is representative of many towns in middle America. The story starts with a boy named Will, who mysteriously disappears. His mother decides to launch her own investigation to find him and bring him home. Will’s friends join in the search, and along the way, uncover a series of unusual secrets, which include everything from the supernatural to worrying government activities and experiments.
Why it’s a keeper: Stranger Things has a thrilling plot as well as an ensemble of talented child actors. It is a homage to all things ’80s, which is lovely to see in today’s age, when most of the entertainment centers around technology and the future. It’s no surprise this is one of the most popular shows on Netflix.
Season: 1 season, 10 episodes Starring: Emma Stone, Jonah Hill, Sally Field, Justin Theroux, Sonoya Mizuno, and Jemima Kirke Description: Maniac was originally a Norwegian series. It was remade by Netflix in 2018. It is based around two central characters, Annie and Owen, played by Emma Stone and Jonah Hill, who both suffer from mental disabilities. They meet when they take part in a pharmaceutical trial which promises to solve all of their problems. Unsurprisingly, things do not go according to plan, but Annie and Owen realize they have a cosmic connection.
Why it’s a keeper: Maniac takes the viewer on a ride with twists and turns along the way. Watching the world-class acting, cinematography and carefully-crafted narratives is beautiful. The viewer has to let their imagination go to places it may not have explored in the past. Maniac is easily one of the best releases on 2018.
4. The Haunting of Hill House
Seasons: 1 season, 10 episodes Starring: Michael Huisman, Carla Gugino, Timothy Hutton, Elizabeth Reaser, and Victoria Pedretti Description: The Haunting of Hill House centers around the Crain family. The family is fractured and complicated, and the siblings have been haunted by their time living in Hill House as children. The show sees them return as adults where they discover the same paranormal activities that made them want to leave in the first place.
Why it’s a keeper: The series is based on the novel by Shirley Jackson, which at the time was groundbreaking for its feminist themes, and was first adapted in 1963. Netflix’s version is a marked departure from the original as it mainly focuses on the male characters. However, Netflix has done the drama justice in other ways, making it a significant contribution to the horror genre. Each character has a rich backstory, which provides context to the plot as the mysteries unfold. The series will have you on the edge of your seat and certainly isn’t for the faint-hearted. Be warned, you may find yourself screaming at the screen and sleeping with one eye open.
Seasons: 1 season, 10 episodes. Season 2 with a total of 8 episodes. Starring: Jonathan Groff, Holt McCallany, Hannah Gross, Anna Torv, and Cotter Smith. Description: The series is set in the late 1970s and early 1980s and features FBI agents who have been tasked with solving open murder cases. The main character, Holden Ford, is based on John E. Douglas, a former chief and special agent of the FBI. Ford takes a particular interest in the psyche of the serial killer and becomes obsessed with their behaviors. This mirrors the obsessions that the serial killers had with their victims, and the more time Ford spends investigating these crimes, the harder he finds it to maintain his sanity.
Why it’s a keeper: Mindhunter is entirely believable as it takes great care in developing the characters with excellent attention to detail. The show itself has a number of twists and turns which surprise the viewer, leaving him desperate to discover what happens next.
6. The Crown (BEST)
Seasons: 2 seasons, 20 episodes. Season 3 is due to be released by the end of 2019, with a total of 10 episodes. Starring: Claire Foy, Matt Smith, Jared Harris, Vanessa Kirby, John Lithgow, and Greg Wise. Description: The Crown tracks the life and reign of Queen Elizabeth II, alongside some of the events that have shaped the 20th century. While many of the “behind the scenes” elements are fictional and the producers have taken many creative licenses to make the show more artistic, they are based on events of her reign The period piece is full of beautiful costumes and plenty of drama. The characters portray the exquisite privilege enjoyed by the Royal Family, but also do an excellent job in not only highlighting the challenges of a life of duty, but also the human elements of their relationships, struggles, and successes.
Why it’s a keeper: Aside from beautiful costumes and people and excellent performances, The Crown lets you step into the world of the Royals and gives you a glimpse of what life is like for them. With all of the glitz and glamour, there are the same issues that appear in your everyday relationships. You come to terms with the fact that they are people too. It tracks The Queen’s ascension to the throne and takes you on a journey through history which viewers can look back on with a different perspective.
7. American Vandal
Seasons: 2 seasons, 16 episodes Starring: Tyler Alvarez, Griffin Gluck, Camille Hyde, Eduardo Franco, Lukas Gage, and Calum Worthy. Description: This is a light-hearted take on a true crime thriller and tells the story of a high school student expelled for allegedly spray-painting penises on 27 cars parked outside his school. His friends jump to his defense and launch their own investigation to try and discover who is responsible for this prank. The students conduct a number of interviews with hilarious results and develop some conspiracy theories along the way. Viewers can follow along as his friends try and discover “whodunit.”
Why it’s a keeper: Totally binge-worthy, American Vandal is one of the best parody shows of 2017. By not taking itself too seriously, it keeps you totally captivated through the witty and cleverly written dialogue and storyline. This show is a gem, and definitely a must-watch if you haven’t seen it already.
Seasons: 2 seasons, 20 episodes. Series 3 is due to be released in 2019. Starring: Jason Bateman, Laura Linney, Sofia Hublitz, Julia Garner, Jordana Spiro, and Skylar Gaertner. Description: Jason Bateman plays a financial advisor who gets caught up in some bad business. As a result, he is forced to move his family from Chicago, where they were in imminent danger, to the Ozarks in Missouri, where he is required to launder $500 million over the course of five years to appease a drug lord whom he has fallen out of favor with.
Why it’s a keeper: Ozark is well written and full of plot twists, which makes it incredibly easy to binge watch. It’s a thrilling drama which is not only well written, but well-acted. It may be a stressful watch, but viewers won’t be able to resist playing the next episode to see what happens and who makes it out alive for one more season.
9. Chilling Adventures of Sabrina
Seasons: 1 season, 10 episodes. Season 2 is due to be released in 2019. Starring: Kiernan Shipka, Ross Lynch, Lucy Davis, Mirando Otto, Chance Perdomo, Michelle Gomez, Jaz Sinclair, Tati Gabrielle, Adeline Rudolph, and Richard Coyle Description: The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina is a remake of the children’s series, Sabrina the teenage witch, which was released in the late 1990s and told the story of Sabrina Spellman. The series is co-written by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa, who was the creator of Riverdale, and is set in the fictional town of Greendale. At the age of 16, Sabrina is forced to choose between her family and their world of witchery or her friends, who live in the human world.As the story unfolds, she finds herself dealing with all sorts of crazy adventures.
Why it’s a keeper: While at first it may appear to be a simplistic teen drama, viewers should not be fooled that this is, in fact, a complicated narrative which deals with some of the most significant issues of our time, including feminism and power dynamics in our society.There are themes of racism, faith, and gender identity, all wrapped up in a dark and sometimes twisted storyline which bring the viewer into a world which constantly switches between the normal and the paranormal.
Seasons: 1 season, 6 episodes. Starring: Richard Madden, Keeley Hawes, Gina McKee, Sophie Rundle, and Paul Ready Description: The central character, David Budd, is a veteran from the British Army who returns to work for the Metropolitan Police. His personal life is falling to pieces, and his whole world is turned upside down when he keeps a passenger from going through with a suicide bomb mission on a train. Following this incident, he is promoted as a special protection officer for the Home Secretary, Julia Montague, who is a divisive character which people believe is plotting a leadership take-over. When passions ignite between David and Julia, David is stuck in a difficult position, protecting a woman whose beliefs and policies he is against, but whom he has developed romantic feelings for. The tense plot builds up to a dramatic ending with a surprising twist.
Why it’s a keeper: Bodyguard is a highly intense thriller, which will not only have you on the edge of your seat, but also make you question every noise in your house. It is not only thrilling, but thoroughly enticing, with weaving plot lines that pull you in and leave you thinking about your own life and those around you. It picks up on current affairs and is said to be based on Theresa May, who was once Home Secretary and is currently Prime Minister.