With Netflix pumping out Originals left, right, and center, you can’t blame a fan for wondering if the quality is actually up to scratch. While there have been some incredible hits like Umbrella Academy and Money Heist, there have also been a few flops and near misses. For example, skating drama Spinning Out was canceled after one series, and Ryan Murphy’s Hollywood was so over-hyped, it was almost doomed from the start. To help you avoid the pain of sitting through another dreadful series, we’ve put together this cross-referenced list of the best Netflix Originals, according to IMDb and Rotten Tomatoes.
Now, we’d never be so bold as to claim that we have a definitive list of the best Netflix Originals. Everyone has different tastes, and Netflix is notoriously secretive with its viewership data, so it’s tricky to track the most popular content. But, we promise that the following Netflix Originals have some of the highest ratings on IMDb and Rotten Tomatoes.
This accounts for why recent shows such as Umbrella Academy and Money Heist don’t appear on the list. While they may well be more popular, they simply have lower scores on these sites. Probably because they’re newer, so they’ve had less time to amass votes and reviews. If we were to rerun this list in six months or a year, it would probably look totally different.
As ever, we create this list by examining the most popular titles in a particular genre on both IMDb and Rotten Tomatoes. Anything that appears on either list is added, provided it has an acceptable score on the other platform and is available on Netflix US. Overall, there’s a lot of crossover between the top content on IMDb and Rotten Tomatoes.
So, let’s get to it. Here are some of the best Netflix Originals, according to IMDb and Rotten Tomatoes.
Master of None (Seasons 1-2)
Rotten Tomatoes: 100%
This comedy series follows the life of Dev, a ‘jack of all trades’, muddling through life as an aspiring actor. Created by comics Aziz Ansari and writer Alan Yang, the series is loosely based on Aziz’s real-life experiences.
This light-hearted comedy gained wide critical acclaim.
Marvel’s Daredevil (Seasons 1-3)
Rotten Tomatoes: 92%
The first of two Marvel titles to appear on this list. Blinded as a young boy, Matt Murdock fights injustice by day as a lawyer and by night as the Super Hero Daredevil in Hell’s Kitchen, New York City.
Orange Is The New Black (Seasons 1-7)
Rotten Tomatoes: 90%
As one of the earlier, ‘classic’ Originals, we’re not surprised to see OITNB among the most popular titles.
This prison drama follows the inmates of a federal women’s prison, in particular, Piper Chapman. The early series are inspired by the biography of Piper Kerman: a woman incarcerated for her role in a historic heroin smuggling case.
Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt (seasons 1-4 plus interactive special)
Rotten Tomatoes: 96%
After being held captive underground by a cult leader for 15 years, Kimmy Schmidt decides to start her life over and move to New York City. Here, she meets and befriends a diverse group of characters, who help her adjust to life on the outside.
Created by Tina Fey, and starring Ellie Kemper, Jon Hamm, Daniel Radcliffe, Titus Burgess, and Carol Kane.
Peaky Blinders (Seasons 1-5)
Rotten Tomatoes: 93%
Peaky Blinders started life as a historical drama airing on BBC television in the UK, before being picked up by Netflix for global distribution in 2014. The series follows two warring family gangs in Birmingham, England, in the early 20th century. Cillian Murphy stars as the dashing but dangerous leader of the Peaky Blinders: a gang notorious for defending their territory with razor blades.
Wet Hot American Summer: First Day of Camp (Season 1)
Rotten Tomatoes: 93%
This Netflix Original series serves as a prequel to the 2001 movie, Wet Hot American Summer. Starring Paul Rudd, Bradley Cooper, Marguerite Moreau, Weird Al, and Micheal Cera, as a group of camp counselors and staff on their first day of summer camp.
Marvel’s Jessica Jones (Season 1-3)
Rotten Tomatoes: 83%
Following the tragic end of her brief superhero career, Jessica Jones tries to rebuild her life as a private investigator, dealing with cases involving people with remarkable abilities in New York City.
Arrested Development (Seasons 1-5)
Rotten Tomatoes: 75%
This comedy classic started life on Fox, but it was picked up by Netflix for its fourth and fifth season (although these are arguably not as good).
After his father is incarcerated for white collar crime, Michael Bluth takes it upon himself to both manage the family affairs, and keep everyone together. Unfortunately, his relatives don’t make it easy for him.
House of Cards (Seasons 1-6)
Rotten Tomatoes: 77%
A Congressman works with his equally conniving wife to exact revenge on the people who betrayed him.
Bojack Horseman (Seasons 1-6)
Rotten Tomatoes: 93%
BoJack Horseman was the star of the hit television show “Horsin’ Around” in the ’80s and ’90s, now he’s washed up, living in Hollywood, complaining about everything, and wearing colorful sweaters.
Are you surprised by the highest-rated Netflix Originals? Is your favorite featured? Let us know in the comments below.