Netflix Originals have flourished this with the Netflix library swelling to beyond 200 Netflix Original titles. A bit part of Netflix’s success this year has been the Netflix Original series lineup which has grown and matured over the past year. To round out 2016, we’re going to give you our definitive list of the top 30 Netflix Original series right now.
30. Lady Dynamite
Comedy shows with the main story line being dramatized versions of their own self isn’t something new. Louis CK is probably one of the most prolific characters to do this format on FOX but Maria Bamford’s version still stands on its own two feet. With a unique view on depression and mental illness, it’s a telling story of what making it as a comedian must feel like with her quest to find what she wants out of life.
29. Knights of Sidonia
Knights of Sidonia is among the first batch of Netflix Originals and still sticks out as one of the best in the library. It’s futuristic setting featuring plenty of mechs is still unique and has the benefit of some fantastic source material. It’s beautifully animated and while new seasons seem to come once in a blue moon, we’re just glad new seasons are coming out at all as especially to the quality that they are.
28. Hemlock Grove
Hemlock Grove is the first full Netflix Original to get cancelled by Netflix but that’s not to say it’s a bad show. It’s strong cast and adult orientated storyline sets it aside from your usual cable supernatural shows. Sadly, it didn’t quite find the audience it deserved and whether that’s because it launched too early is hard to say but horror TV fans need to jump on this asap.
27. The Ranch
The Ranch comes to Netflix that hopes to revive the golden age of sitcoms with laugh tracks and seemingly has found an accepting audience. The first season was split into two halves and released on either side of 2016 to a glowing response from fans. The series stars Ashton Kutcher, playing someone with a failing football career who has to return home to his family who are struggling to keep their Ranch afloat.
As with most projects with the Wachowski sisters behind them, this is a super ambitious and at first confusing project but given the switch from film to TV, they have more time to develop this story and everything points to it being one of the best sci-fi series on Netflix. It features a range of characters from around the world who are connected on a spiritual level but are being hunted down because of this desired ability.
25. Haters Back Off!
Although streaming services have emerged as one of the biggest entertainment in recent years, you can’t also forget the impact YouTube has had. Netflix plans to pounce on this with several projects but its first big one is from Miranda Sings, a fictional character on YouTube with millions of subscribers. This tells her origin story if you like as to how she became a YouTube sensation.
24. Grace and Frankie
Grace and Frankie see’s the return of two massive stars back from a time before to star in a comedy that has age and sexuality at the forefront of the topics it deals with. It features Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin who are forced to move in with each after their husbands reveal they’ve fallen in love with each other. It’s not to everyone’s taste but has found itself a dedicated fanbase on the streaming service.
23. Fuller House
Netflix has become a champion in recent years in not only reviving old shows but also rebooting them into brand new spin-offs. The most prolific has undoubtedly been bringing back the 90’s sensation Full House into a modern spin-off called Fuller House. It pits the three girls in Full House back in their childhood home looking after their kids with plenty of new problems. It’s a trip down memory lane for most and is perfect for millennials looking for that 90’s fix on Netflix.
22. F is for Family
Netflix quietly dropped F is for Family last year on Netflix and is a truly underrated hit on the streaming library. The series takes us back to the 1970’s and gives us a unique perspective as to what growing up in this era was like. It features potty-mouthed Bill Burr who takes a leading role and has Vince Vaughn onboard as an executive producer. It’s nicely animated and features a heck of a lot of laughs.
21. Marvel’s Luke Cage
The third defender to get his own show was Luke Cage although it wasn’t technically his Netflix debut. Luke Cage got his first showing in Jessica Jones where he played one of Jessica’s love interests and revealed himself as Powerman. His own series was a lot different to the other two Defenders solo outings with a different vibe but also seamlessly interconnecting with the other defenders too.
20. Arrested Development
Arrested Development was dropped by Fox which by itself should be a criminal offense. It’s since been picked up by Netflix which holds the rights to the initial series and has produced one season by itself. The show is smart, witty and extraordinarily funny and will likely stand the test of time and with more seasons rumored, there’s never been a better time to engage with the Bluth family.
We’ve featured two Canadian shows on this list that have become Netflix Originals and Travelers is the most recent of these shows. The first season gave us insight as to what’s in store for future seasons and it’s pretty exciting. It’s about a team of young adults who die and but come back to life with the consciousness of people from the future who have come back to prevent the chaos they came from.
If you love French television and enjoy either House of Cards or Narcos, then this show will be right up your alley. Filled with corruption, politics and fantastic story telling. It follows Marseille Robert Taro who is coming up for re-election after 25 years and will do anything it takes to retain his position.
17. Trailer Park Boys
The Trailer Park Boys are actually older than the Netflix streaming itself but has found itself become a Netflix Original in many places around the world. The show is a mockumentary format comedy that follows three of the Trailer Park Boys who get into all kinds of mischief. It’s hilarious and is truly standing the test of time with multiple more seasons planned plus there being more specials than I can count.
Between is a half Netflix Original as it’s first produced and aired in Canada before arriving on Netflix around the world. It’s a story starring Jannette McCurdy who along with her friends have to discover why everyone over the age of 21 is dying of a mysterious disease. It’s different but also has plenty of familiarity on it and is largely popular too.
15. The Get Down
We’ve really only had a glimpse into the world of Baz Luhrmann’s The Get Down but it shows a promising show that’s quite unlike anything you’ve seen before. Set in the Bronx at the height of the disco revolution, it tells the story of The Get Down brothers who have set their sights on becoming the hottest music band in town. It’s artistic and therefore you have to interpret quite a lot of what’s shown to you but that makes it all the more fun.
14. Marco Polo
Marco Polo a couple of years ago was the biggest budget show on Netflix and that’s no small feat but has since smashed by the show above. The historical drama sets to retell a dramatized version of the famous traveler who is featured in his younger years experiencing the full might of the Mongol Empire in the 1200’s. It’s a stunning spectacle but ultimately Netflix decided to end the show after two seasons and one Christmas special.
Bloodline has sadly been canceled which seems in part to be down to finances involving the filming of the show. While it’s an ultimate shame, we’re glad that we got to visit the Florida Keyes and spend time with the Rayburn family who held such terrible secrets.
12. The Killing
The Killing is another TV series that faced cancellation and at the last second, Netflix swooped in and saved the day. In the case of The Killing, Netflix clearly felt (as did we) that The Killing deserved a farewell season that would wrap up the incredible story the show was telling and tie up any loose ends.
11. Jessica Jones
The first season of Jessica Jones was fantastic and that’s largely in part down to a stunning performance by ex-Doctor Who star David Tennant who plays the role of Purple Man to perfection. Jessica Jones powers including super strength and the ability to jump high which haven’t been put to great use as of yet thanks to the series attention on other factors which alone shows the potential of Jessica Jones.
10. Bojack Horseman
Bojack Horseman is one of the smartest animated sitcoms going with it intelligently making jokes which other animated sitcoms simply can’t make because of its format. The series stars Will Arnett as Bojack, an ex-Hollywood superstar who can’t seem to find a purpose in his life since his childhood show stopped. It’s super smart, edgy and Netflix’s best-animated show by a long shot.
9. The OA
Much like Stranger Things literally coming out of nowhere, the same applies for the recently release series called The OA. It’s a mystery, supernatural thriller that is actually hard to explain what it’s about but almost everyone who has seen it loves it. The OA stars Brit Marling, Scott Wilson and Patrick Gibson.
8. Making a Murderer
It could and will be argued that Making A Murderer is a documentary series more than an original series which is technically right. We’ve included it just because of how the series is laid out and it wasn’t treated as a documentary series to many. The ten episodes cover the various trials of Steven Avery who has seemingly been targetted by the county police.
7. The Crown
The first season of the big budget series The Crown blew audiences away with its stunning looking first season released in 2016. It looks to give us an in-depth view of the current Queens life beginning with the death of her father. It’s scheduled for six seasons, and right here right now, this looks to be a fantastic series moving forward.
Narcos came to a stunning conclusion in 2016 with the ultimate death of Pablo Escobar but began introducing us to our next big drug lord obsession with the series shifting to cover the Cali cartel who in many people’s opinions was far worse than Pablo. The series is half spoken in Spanish with English subtitles, but that doesn’t detract from the performance of Wagner Moura.
The first Marvel series to come exclusively to Netflix still reigns supreme. Daredevil was butchered on the big screen back in 2003, and you’d be right to be skeptical of a Netflix series, but the reality has resulted in probably the best superhero adaptation in a television series of all time. It stars Charlie Cox who plays a blind lawyer who by night turns a crime-fighting vigilante.
4. Orange is the New Black
This is undoubtedly the fans favorite. It had a rocky season last year but season 4 returned the show to form. Lovable characters, engaging character arcs and pleasing payoffs make this show one the best prison comedy dramas of all time. The original plot was based on the true story of Piper Kerman’s time in jail. It’s strayed a little since then but is still a great story.
3. Stranger Things
Stranger Things came out of nowhere midway through 2016 and turned out to be the most influential and highest rated shows of 2016. It follows the story of three boys who are searching for their missing friend but also make a new friend in the form of a young girl with extraordinary abilities. The series combines what you love about the 1980’s, horror movies and more into one original package which took many by surprise.
2. Black Mirror
Black Mirror became a full Netflix Original in 2016 with six brand new sci-fi inspired episodes which bought plenty of new stories with plenty more episodes to come in the future. It also meant Netflix gained exclusivity to the first two seasons plus the Christmas special. The anthology shows gives us a brand new mind-bending plot each episode which will have you thinking long after the credits roll.
1. House of Cards
House of Cards is one of the first ever Netflix Originals and paved the way for the type of quality content that Netflix stands for. Four seasons later and a fifth in the pipeline for release in 2017, the series goes from strength to strength detailing the epic rise through the US politics system for the ruthless Frank Underwood. The series is gorgeous with stunning shots, excellent casting but after this year, it’s not the most exciting political show anymore, that goes to the news.