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Discovering Hidden Gems: The Top 10 Most Underrated Shows on Netflix

Netflix binge worthy shows

In the vast ocean of content available on Netflix, it’s easy to overlook some truly exceptional series that haven’t garnered the mainstream attention they deserve – or at least have faded into the background over time.

In this article, we delve into ten forgotten shows on Netflix right now, each offering a unique and captivating viewing experience.

Giri/Haji (Duty/Shame)

Giri/Haji is a masterful blend of crime thriller and family drama set against the backdrop of Tokyo and London. The story follows Kenzo Mori, a Tokyo detective, who travels to London in search of his estranged brother Yuto, believed to be dead but now implicated in a gangland murder. 

As Kenzo navigates the dangerous criminal underworld, he must also confront his family’s troubled past.

Why it’s underrated: Despite its intricate storytelling, stellar performances, and beautiful cinematography, Giri/Haji remains relatively unknown. Its unique cross-cultural narrative and compelling characters make it a must-watch.

The OA

The OA is a mind-bending sci-fi series that follows Prairie Johnson, a young blind woman who returns home after disappearing for seven years, now with her sight restored.

She calls herself The OA and reveals that she was part of a mysterious experiment. The show explores themes of dimension-hopping and the supernatural as Prairie recruits five locals to help her save other missing people.

Why it’s underrated: The OA’s ambitious narrative, coupled with its thought-provoking themes and emotional depth, make it a standout. However, its complex storyline may have deterred casual viewers.

Kingdom

Kingdom combines historical drama with horror, set in Korea’s Joseon period. The crown prince, Lee Chang, must uncover the cause of a mysterious plague turning people into zombies.

As he battles both the undead and political conspiracies, the show delivers gripping action and stunning visuals.

Why it’s underrated: Despite its unique blend of genres and high production quality, Kingdom has not reached the widespread acclaim it deserves. Fans of historical dramas and horror will find it highly engaging.

The End of the F***ing World

The End of the F*ing World** follows two troubled teenagers, James and Alyssa, as they embark on a road trip that takes unexpected and dark turns.

James believes he is a psychopath and plans to kill Alyssa, but their journey leads to unexpected discoveries about themselves and each other.

Why it’s underrated: This dark comedy-drama’s sharp writing, unique characters, and dark humor have earned it critical praise, yet it remains under the radar for many viewers – likely due to the dark nature of the content.

Dark

Dark is a German sci-fi thriller that begins with the disappearance of a teenager in a small town, uncovering a series of interconnected mysteries spanning multiple generations.

The show explores time travel, family secrets, and the concept of determinism versus free will.

Why it’s underrated: Dark’s complex narrative and non-linear storytelling require viewer commitment, but its payoff is immensely satisfying. It’s one of the most intellectually stimulating series on Netflix.

Russian Doll

Russian Doll centers on Nadia, a woman stuck in a time loop, reliving her 36th birthday party repeatedly. As she tries to figure out how to break the cycle, she confronts her past and the choices that led her to this point.

The show combines dark comedy with profound themes of mortality and self-discovery.

Why it’s underrated: Russian Doll’s clever writing, engaging lead performance by Natasha Lyonne, and philosophical undertones make it a hidden gem that deserves more attention.

Mindhunter

Perhaps one of the finest works of David Fincher’s (Fight Club, Panic Room) illustrious career, Mindhunter is a psychological crime thriller based on true events.

It follows FBI agents Holden Ford and Bill Tench, who, along with psychologist Wendy Carr, interview imprisoned serial killers to understand their minds and help solve ongoing cases. The show delves into the early days of criminal profiling – which was very controversial at the time.

The show was so intense to produce that Fincher had to put it on indefinite hold sitting issues with mental well being. This is a must see for any fan of the genre and the casting is absolutely perfect.

Why it’s underrated: Despite its critical acclaim, Mindhunter’s slower pacing and focus on psychological tension over action might have limited its audience. However, for those who are willing to dive deep 

Sense8

Sense8 is a groundbreaking sci-fi drama created by the Wachowskis and J. Michael Straczynski. The series revolves around eight individuals from different parts of the world who become mentally and emotionally linked after a tragic event.

Known as “sensates,” they can experience each other’s emotions, skills, and thoughts, creating a deep and unique bond. The characters include a trans hacker, a closeted actor, a bus driver, a safecracker, a DJ, a scientist, a businessman, and a martial artist.

The show masterfully weaves together these diverse lives, highlighting their personal struggles, relationships, and the common threat they face from a mysterious organization hunting them. Each character’s storyline is rich with cultural context, creating a global tapestry that is rarely seen on television.

Why it’s underrated: Sense8’s ambitious global storytelling and diverse cast make it a unique viewing experience. The show’s intricate narrative explores themes of identity, connection, and humanity, offering a fresh perspective on the sci-fi genre.

Despite its critical acclaim and dedicated fanbase, the show was canceled after two seasons, leading to an outcry from fans. The demand was so high that Netflix released a two-hour finale to wrap up the story. Sense8’s innovative approach to storytelling and its emphasis on inclusivity and representation make it a standout series that deserves more recognition.

Hinterland

Hinterland (originally titled Y Gwyll in Welsh) is a noir crime series set in the hauntingly beautiful yet bleak landscapes of rural Wales. The series stars Richard Harrington as DCI Tom Mathias, a brooding detective with a troubled past who moves to Aberystwyth to escape his personal demons.

Each episode features a standalone murder mystery, but there are overarching plotlines that delve into Mathias’s backstory and the dark secrets of the local community.

The show is known for its stunning cinematography, capturing the stark and rugged beauty of the Welsh countryside. The mysteries are intricately plotted, often involving complex characters and moral ambiguities that keep viewers on the edge of their seats.

Why it’s underrated: The show’s atmospheric setting, compelling storytelling, and character depth have earned it critical praise, yet it remains lesser-known compared to other crime dramas.

Hinterland stands out for its use of the Welsh landscape, adding a unique and eerie backdrop to the stories. The bilingual nature of the show, with dialogue in both English and Welsh, adds another layer of authenticity. Fans of Nordic noir will appreciate Hinterland’s moody and introspective approach to crime drama.

Maniac

Maniac is a visually stunning and mind-bending miniseries that explores the complexities of the human mind.

The series, directed by Cary Joji Fukunaga, stars Emma Stone and Jonah Hill as Annie Landsberg and Owen Milgrim, two strangers who participate in a mysterious pharmaceutical trial. The trial, conducted by the reclusive Dr. James K. Mantleray (played by Justin Theroux), promises to solve their mental issues with a series of pills. However, the experiment goes awry, leading Annie and Owen through a series of surreal and bizarre experiences within their minds.

The show is notable for its inventive storytelling and visual style, shifting through various genres and settings as the characters journey through their subconscious minds.

The narrative explores themes of mental illness, trauma, and human connection, delivering a thought-provoking and emotionally resonant experience.

Why it’s underrated: Maniac’s unconventional approach and visually arresting style make it a standout series. The narrative blends dark comedy with psychological exploration, challenging viewers to question the nature of reality and the mind.

Emma Stone and Jonah Hill deliver standout performances, bringing depth and nuance to their characters. Despite its high-profile cast and critical acclaim, Maniac didn’t achieve widespread popularity, possibly due to its avant-garde storytelling. However, for those willing to embrace its eccentricities, Maniac offers a rich and rewarding viewing experience.

These ten underrated shows on Netflix offer a variety of genres, from crime thrillers and historical dramas to sci-fi and dark comedies. 

Each series provides a unique and engaging viewing experience that deserves more recognition. Whether you’re in the mood for mind-bending narratives, complex characters, or atmospheric settings, these hidden gems are worth adding to your watchlist.

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