Best Netflix Originals (and why you should watch them)

Although it started out as merely a streaming service, Netflix has begun to make a name for itself with the advent of its many popular original shows and movies. While there are many good ones, these are our favorite Netflix originals that we think everyone needs to watch.

 

We’ll try to keep things as spoiler-free as possible.

 

Fuller House (Series)

As a girl who loved Full House growing up, I was both skeptical and excited about this show. While it is no Full House, the show is great in its own regard. While it can get extremely cheesy, the show touches on important issues such as the struggles of high school, sibling drama, infertility and death. Many Full House cast members make regular appearances, aside from the show’s main characters DJ, Kimmy and Stephanie of course. It’s also family friendly! Fuller House teaches us all lessons on life, love and family that can help make us all better people.

 

Sense8 (Series)

This show is amazing for its diverse cast featuring amazing actors and actresses from all around the world. The show even features an incredible transgender woman. While the entire concept of eight people being connected was confusing at first, I quickly became a fan. The show touched on sexuality, poverty and so much more. One downside is that is it not family friendly. There are a lot of scenes that are definitely not appropriate for people under 18. I didn’t love all the violence and sex scenes, but the underlying messages me overlook a lot of those scenes. If you’re brave enough to watch or skip certain parts, Sense8 should be at the top of your list.

 

Alexa and Katie (Series)

A lot of you may not have really heard about this show, but it should be one that a lot of people watch. The first season follows Alexa, a new high school freshman who has leukemia. While the cancer is a part of the show, it is not the whole show. The show features an unbreakable friendship between two girls, which is why I love the show. Alexa and Katie can also be extremely cheesy since it is family friendly, but these girls teach us all the importance of friendship. There are also amazing family moments and some light romance. Like any teen show, lessons can be learned, even by a sophomore in high school.

 

The Dragon Prince (Series)

If you love Avatar: The Last Airbender, then you will adore this show! It’s by the same creators, so the two shows have a lot in common. It’s about a nation that’s divided between those who can use elemental magic (dragons, elves, etc.) and humans who cannot use elemental magic naturally. The two sides are locked in war, but an elf and two human princes are on a mission to hopefully put an end to this war before there is more bloodshed! It’s fun, it’s cute, and it has so many Avatar: The Last Airbender vibes. On top of all of that, this show has a wonderful amount of representation! There are step-families, characters with disabilities and characters of different races. I highly recommend it, especially because season two was just released!

 

Hilda (series)

Hilda is a new Netflix animated original series that adapts Luke Pearson’s series of graphic novels about a explorative, empathetic young girl named Hilda moving from a cabin in the woods to the city of Trollberg with her mother. The world Hilda inhabits is rich in fantasy creatures common and unique, but each with their own Hilda-esque spin. Hilda, her mother, her pet deerfox Twig, the inch high, mostly invisible and highly litigious elf Alfur and her two new human friends Frida and David all navigate the landscape of Trollberg with open eyes and hearts. The color palette and soundtrack feel like a warm cup of hot chocolate on a cold day. This show invites you to curl up on the couch and fall in love with the world of Hilda.

 

Sex Education (Series)

This show is by no means family friendly. It’s quite obvious from the title. This show mainly touches on sexuality; however, there is also explorations of friendships and family. The context is that Otis, whose mother is a sex therapist, starts an underground sex therapy clinic at his high school. His clients ask the questions many people wonder about. While there are graphic scenes, the messages of embracing yourself and your sexuality is important, especially with the way the world is going now.

 

The Get Down (Series)

The Get Down deserved better. After two seasons, the show got cancelled. However, it is still an excellent show standing alone! The Get Down takes place in the Bronx in the 1970s. It follows the life of an orphaned mixed race boy and his friends as they create one of the earliest hip hop groups. Meanwhile, a girl and her friends try to break into the disco industry. In between all of the music, the show deals with issues such as race, gender, drugs, politics and homosexuality.  It’s seriously So. Good.

 

To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before (Movie)

Adapted from the book of the same name, To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before is probably best known for making Noah Centineo everyone’s dream boyfriend. Lara Jean writes letters to every crush she’s ever had and when they are released she panics—especially since one of her letters was sent to her sister’s boyfriend, Josh. As Lara Jean enters a fake-relationship with Peter Kavinsky and their fake-romance blossoms, you can’t help but root for them. The movie was pretty true to the book, and extremely sweet and entertaining to anyone. If you’re looking for a feel-good movie or heart warming romance, To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before certainly fits the bill.

 

Dumplin’ (Movie)

This original is also based on a novel of the same name written by Julie Murphy. This movie is based on a girl, Willowdean, who doesn’t fit society’s standards of beauty. To make matters worse, her mother is a former pageant winner. Willowdean and several friends enter the pageant as a form of protest. Throughout the movie, we see the struggles with confidence that all girls face, even girls who society deems beautiful. With a soundtrack consisting of the incredible Dolly Parton and a subplot of the movie surrounding the woman herself, you can never be bored. This movie is inspiring with a cute romance, amazing friendships and a blossoming mother-daughter bond. If you don’t watch anything else on this list, watch this one. Dumplin’ has something to say and we need to listen!

 

One Day At A Time (Series)

This show just released its third season and is hoping for a fourth. It’s about a Cuban-American family working through all different struggles while staying connected to each other and their history. I love every single character while watching them work through anxiety, sexuality, religion and racism. There are many topics discussed in this 30 minute sitcom, and unlike a lot of other shows, they do it well. The characters are of course flawed and have their differences, but they all come together to support each other at the end of the day. Penelope, Lydia, Elena, Alex, Schneider and others have a special place in my heart.

 

Bojack Horseman (Series)

Bojack Horseman is possibly one of the best shows I have ever seen. The show follows Bojack Horseman, a washed-up actor from the 90s, as he attempts to re-ignite his career writing a biography with the help of Diane Nguyen. Not only is Bojack Horseman extremely witty, but it has some of the best commentary on mental health and life that I’ve ever seen. I love this show because it is not afraid to take risks, nor is it afraid to discuss issues within Hollywood and media. I am always left impressed with the ending of each season, and at how it subverts my expectations. Definitely a must-watch.

 

Unbreakable Kimmy Schmitt (Series)

Believe me when I say this is the cheeriest show about a kidnapping victim ever. The main character, Kimmy, is grappling with her newfound freedom after being kidnapped into a doomsday cult and forced to live in a bunker for 15 years. Kimmy is a ray of sunshine and tries to always look on the brightside despite her difficult past. On top of all of this, there are ridiculous plots and funny characters such as her roomate and failed actor Titus Andromedon (one of my favorites).   

 

 

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