With so many amazing shows on Netflix, it’s sometimes hard to actually decide what you’re going to watch next. Yes, we all know the hit shows all of your friends and family are talking about, but sometimes, we just want to discover a great series that no one has ever heard of before. Here are 10 hidden gems on Netflix (some are Netflix originals, others are lesser known shows from other networks) that you probably aren’t watching, but you really should… and make sure to watch them soon, because you never know how much longer they’ll be available.
10. The Magicians
The Magicians is a Harry Potter fan’s dream come to life. A college senior named Quentin is suffering with depression, and decides that he needs to trade in his fascination with magic tricks and fantasy in exchange for graduate school. He soon discovers that the magic tricks aren’t just for show, and he is one of the few special people who can perform real magic, and is invited to study at Brakebills College, where he can finally study how to be a real magician.
If you are into Dystopian stories, 3% may be your next binge-worthy show. The story takes places in a post-apocalyptic future, where average citizens live in horrible conditions. When everyone turns 20 years old, they go through a test called The Process. This is the only way to prove that they are worthy of living on an island called “The Offshore,” which promises to be a paradise free of crime and poverty.
Candidates must prove themselves worthy by completing puzzles and intense group challenges. Unlike most young adult dystopian stories, this Brazilian Netflix Original series isn’t afraid to tackle more mature themes and dig deep into political and social commentary.
8. Chef’s Table
If you’re a foodie who enjoys watching cooking shows, you should really see Chef’s Table. Each episode is a mini documentary on the lives of master chefs and Michelin star restaurant owners from around the world. You get to learn about the journey to their success, and the signature dishes that helped make them famous. There are actually two separate series of this Netflix Original.
There are far more Michelin Star restaurants in France than many other places in the world, which is why Netflix created an entirely separate series with the same premise called Chef’s Table France. Whether you’re an amateur chef or just really love to eat, you will find a new appreciation for what it really takes to become an award-winning chef. The only downside to this series is that it will seriously make you hungry.
7. Haters Back Off
Colleen Ballinger was one of the first YouTubers to achieve celebrity comedian status. When Colleen was in college studying musical theater, she realized just how many divas at her school thought a lot of their talents, when they were actually awful. Miranda Sings was a character that Colleen created in order to parody the result of a generation where every kid got a trophy and were told they could be the next big Broadway star. Her videos went viral.
Since then, Colleen continued to make Miranda videos, and expanded the character’s backstory. Netflix picked it up for its own TV series, called Haters Back Off, which shows the fictional life of Miranda Sings’ awkward and unlikely rise to stardom. The show has some incredible comedic talent, like Angela Kinsey, who you’ll recognize from The Office. The show may not suit everyone’s sense of humor, but if you enjoyed Napoleon Dynamite, you just might like Haters Back Off. Get it while it lasts, though: the series has been so under-seen that it was recently canceled.
6. The OA
In The OA, a young girl named Prairie becomes blind during a near-death experience. As a teenager, she goes missing. Most people assumed that she was dead, until her parents see her on the news seven years later, jumping off a bridge. Now, Prairie can see again, and there is no rational explanation. She decides to tell the whole story of her disappearance to a group of local misfits.
This show is a bit of sci-fi and fantasy, mixed with dark drama. It is visually stunning, but the story is incredibly dark, so it’s not for the faint of heart. You definitely don’t want to be watching this with kids around, or even worse, your parents. This series is so mysterious, you may find yourself binge-watching it just to get the answers, like… what does “OA” even stand for? You’ll have to watch until the end to find out.
5. Club of Crows
Club of Crows, or “Club de Cuervos” as it’s known by its original Spanish title, is about a brother and sister who inherit their father’s soccer team in Mexico. The show is filled with just as much drama as any Latin American telenovella, but it’s mostly a comedy parodying the world of international football clubs.
The daughter is clearly the most capable candidate to run the club, and yet she is denied the role, since she is a woman. The son wants to be taken seriously as the new team president, and yet can’t seem to keep himself away from drugs and strippers. This show is great, especially if you’re a soccer fan. But fair warning – it’s not safe for work.
4. Escape to the Country
If you live in the United States and you love watching real estate shows like Fixer Upper or House Hunters, you may be interested in the United Kingdom-based series Escape of the Country. The BBC has been airing the show since 2002, because it’s just that good. Hosts will meet with a couple who plan to move out of an urban area and into a house in the countryside. The couple has their budget of what they can afford, and list of what they are looking for in a dream home.
They are given three options, including a “mystery house,” which is usually very quirky in some way. The show spans all of England, Wales, Scotland, and occasionally Ireland. If you’re an American viewer, it’s fascinating to see just how different homes are in the UK, and it can be a refreshing change from what you already see on TV.
3. Ripper Street
Ripper Street is a historic crime drama following the investigators who were in charge of solving the Jack the Ripper case in London during the Victorian Era. This show has flown so far under the radar in the United States, that not even true crime junkies know about it. The show originally aired on the BBC, and it was picked up by Amazon as one of their original series.
The show’s fifth and final season premiered in 2017. Unlike other investigation shows like Sherlock, Ripper Street doesn’t rely on the crime show format of giving the audience a new mystery each episode that wraps up in a tight little bow. The show is just as much about the complex characters as it is about hunting for a serial killer. As an added bonus, Jerome Flynn plays one of the detectives. He is best known as Jaime’s witty right-hand man and friend Bronn in Game of Thrones.
2. Terrace House: Boys & Girls in the City
If you have run out of new reality TV series to watch, you may want to watch the Japanese show called Terrace House. Six strangers in their 20s, with vastly different personalities and careers, live together in a house for one month, and cameras are rolling to capture their interactions. If you watch Big Brother, this plot may sound very similar.
The major difference with Terrace House is that the guests actually get to go to work every day. They are even given a car to share, and no one gets eliminated (so it’s really similar to The Real World, in some ways). The cameras also follow the houseguests to their jobs, where the audience learns more about who these people truly are. There is plenty of drama on Terrace House, but don’t expect screaming matches or fist fights like American reality TV (so it’s really not similar to The Real World, in other ways).
1. An Idiot Abroad
Comedian Ricky Gervais has a friend named Karl Pilkington. Karl enjoys simple things, like sitting at home with a cold beer. Most people would kill to travel the world, but Karl would rather stay inside. An Idiot Abroad is a documentary series where Ricky and Stephen Merchant force Karl to get out of the house and have fun (which Karl, almost as a rule, doesn’t care much for), by paying for him to go on expensive trips to places like the Great Wall of China and the pyramids in Egypt.
Part of what makes An Idiot Abroad so funny is the fact that Gervais and Merchant are actually playing a massive practical joke, forcing Karl to participate in hilariously awkward situations under the guise of it being a “normal” part of a travel experience, since Karl doesn’t know any better. Now, it should be noted that over the years, some people have begun to suspect that Karl is an actor playing a role, but Gervais and Merchant are adamant that, no, that’s really just the way Karl is.