Gone are the days when good content was hard to find. With the surge of online streaming, viewers can find shows and movies that befit every mood and taste. Speaking of online streaming, the streaming giant Netflix not only allows viewers to enjoy local-language shows, but also gives them a glimpse of foreign cultures, storytelling styles, and notions.
Unfortunately, because of the myriad of content that comes out on the platform, many gems remain unappreciated and unnoticed. So for viewers who have already binged through the mainstream titles on the streaming site and are now looking for something new, the list below could come in handy.
10 The Eddy
Netflix’s eight-part series, The Eddy, is an uncanny mix of mystery and music. Unsurprisingly, it was billed as one of Damien Chazelle’s (La La Land, Whiplash) major projects.
Set in the scenic heart of Paris, The Eddy walks a viewer through the life of Elliot Udo (André Holland), a Parisian jazz club owner who struggles to keep his live-music gigs afloat. And in no time, a tragedy strikes, which creates some personal issues for Elliot. For viewers less impressed with its heady dose of drama, there’s some good jazz music to look forward to.
9 Outer Banks
Teenage hi-jinks, summer romance, and a whole lot of adventure – all come together in Netflix’s Outer Banks. The show revolves around the “Pogues,” a group of local teens in the Outer Banks of North Carolina. Their lives drastically change when a hurricane kills the power supply for an entire season, which then leads them on a high-stakes treasure hunt.
While they seek the lost treasure, sparks fly and conflicts escalate between them, forcing them to question their relationships and motives.
8 Control Z
Netflix drama Control Z is quite similar to HBO’s Euphoria. Although some believe it is not as perfect as the Zendaya-series, Control Z establishes an intriguing conflict in its opening moments that makes viewers stay even through its boring bits.
What starts as a Nancy Drew-esque quest to find the identity of a secret hacker, soon turns into a complex web of school politics for the socially awkward Sofia (Ana Valeria Becerril). The closer she gets to the identity of the hacker who threatens to reveal the entire school’s secrets, the more she confronts her own perilous past.
7 Love 101
Turkish drama Love 101 sparked some controversy before it premiered on Netflix. That’s one of the few reasons why it garnered the attention of viewers outside its targeted local audience. While the controversy was resolved, the show turned out to be a surprisingly compelling drama series.
Akin to Skins UK, the series takes an unflinching look at the lives of misfit teens and the few adults who are willing to guide them through the pitfalls of adolescence. Love 101 isn’t bereft of corny plot points that weigh down most similar shows. However, its brilliant casting and music choices make up for all of its flaws.
6 The Valhalla Murders
With scenic Icelandic visuals in its backdrop, The Valhalla Murders focuses on an Oslo detective named Arnar (Björn Thors). With tragic memories of his past still fresh in his head, he returns to his Icelandic hometown. That’s when he gets embroiled in a serial killer’s case while teaming up with a local senior cop, Kata (Nína Dögg Filippusdóttir).
For the most part, The Valhalla Murders is pretty procedural with its typical whodunit premise. However, by keeping its conflicts taut, its characters grounded, and its cinematography top-notch, the show rises above most other run-of-the-mill cop noir shows.
5 Alice In Borderland
Live-action manga adaptations are often stigmatized, and rightfully so. But Alice In Borderland masterfully breaks the stigma by doing justice to its source material while adding some intriguing elements of its own.
The science-fiction drama revolves around Arisu (Kento Yamazaki), an obsessed gamer who gets summoned into a deserted version of Tokyo. Along with his friends, he must complete a series of perilous games and quests to find his way out.
2020 was the year that reminded us of how South Korean cinema is often synonymous with the term “underrated.” TV shows, apparently, are no exception to this. Netflix’s South Korean show Extracurricular may not be all that well-known, but it’s enjoyable nonetheless.
Drifting away from the usual K-drama tropes, Extracurricular tells the story of Jisoo (Kim Dong-hee), a high school student who secretly gets involved in the underbelly of his city. Although well-intentioned, his criminal acts manifest into something bigger and before he knows it, his classmates Minhee (Da-bin Jung) and Gyuri (Park Joo-Hyun) end up getting entangled in his nefarious world.
3 Self Made: Inspired By the Life of Madam C. J. Walker
Starring Octavia Spencer, Self Made takes on the inspiring true story of Madam C.J. Walker, who defied all odds, withstood the blows of society, and became the first female self-made millionaire. While the uplifting vibe of the series is enough to keep most viewers hooked throughout its runtime, Octavia Spencer’s wonderful performance makes it all-the-more exciting.
2 I’m Not Okay With This
Based on an eponymous comic book by Charles Forsman, I’m Not Okay With This navigates the life of Sydney Novak (Sophia Lillis), a teenager with snarky humor and an angsty demeanor. While struggling to make sense out of her family, sexuality, and high school snags, she learns that she possesses supernatural abilities; similar to Roald Dahl’s character Matilda.
After its release, I’m Not Okay With This received fairly optimistic reviews from most. Still, it is unfortunate that Netflix has now canceled it. Even so, fans are still hoping that it’ll get the appreciation it deserves and maybe even return someday to reach its untapped potential.
1 The Twelve
Jurors rarely have a role to play in generic court-room dramas. But Flemish series The Twelve completely drifts its focus onto the professional and personal lives of twelve jurors, who try their hands at bringing justice to a sensational murder case.
With a slow-burn approach, the show makes a juror out of the viewer and unwraps the tapestry around its convoluted murder mystery. It then strikes the right balance between verdict and ambiguity to give viewers a fairly satisfying conclusion.
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