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Netflix Originals: What’s Worth Your Time

Netflix advertises many titles, and the way they set up their algorithms forces their Netflix Originals down your throat. Sometimes it’s hard to tell if Netflix Originals are truly good, or if they’re just marketed so heavily that they’re in the popular section. I’ve binged through some of these Netflix originals (some of which I had to stop after only two episodes, and others I ended up finishing in two days), so don’t worry… I am here to tell you what’s good and what’s not:

The Umbrella Academy:

Adapted from the Dark Horse Comics written by Gerard Way (of My Chemical Romance fame) The Umbrella Academy is a show about seven children who were all born on the same day, adopted by their father who hones their superpowers to make them into The Umbrella Academy. With the children grown and their father dead, they come together again for the funeral, then to stop the apocalypse. The humor in this show is on the absurdist side, which makes the characters truly feel like siblings as they roast each other. The villains are compelling, making you root for their survival, even though they do suffer from stormtrooper aim. This show is about an emotionally stunted family with a monkey for a butler, a robot for a mom, a dead ghost brother, a 58 year old brother in a 12 year old body and much more that  will immerse you in a world of death and time travel.    

The Dragon Prince:

From the creators of Avatar The Last Airbender, comes an imaginative new world of dragons, elves and magic. This show may be marketed towards kids, but the compelling characters and storylines can keep viewers of any age hooked. When the long thought lost Prince of Dragon’s egg was found, princes Callum and Ezran must travel through the warring lands to return it. With humor and heart reminiscent of Avatar, The Dragon Prince gives a diverse range of characters, a solid magic system and wisdom that transcends to all ages.  


Don’t go into You looking for likable characters with zero flaws and themes that give you warm fuzzies about the world. You is a realistic thriller in the perspective of a deeply flawed character. By the end of the show, there wasn’t anyone I wasn’t shouting at to stop being stupid, and I mean this in a good way. Joe, after meeting a girl, falls deeply in love, and there’s nothing that’ll stop him from protecting her. If you want a storyline that messes with your perspective, then You is calling for you. Grab a friend you truly trust and watch it.

The Rain:

If apocalyptic stories that follow a group of survivors are your thing, then grab an umbrella and watch Rain. Being from Denmark, the show is dubbed in English, so don’t look at the lips too hard for they will not sync up. But even if the awkward lip syncing is a turn off, you should stay for the characters. Each episode is told from the perspective of a different individual from the group of survivors. When the deadly rain starts to fall, siblings Simone and Rasmus must hide in a bunker, losing their father as he leaves to seek help. Years later, when their supplies start to run out, the siblings tag along with a group of survivors to find their father -but they can’t get wet at all, otherwise the rain will kill them! A survival story that’ll make you believe in humanity and grieve for each character as individuals, this show will make you hold your breath whenever storm clouds come your way.

As a movie person, I sometimes overlook Netflix’s range of episodic shows. However, with my tastes and intensive research, I’ve found these Netflix originals allow for some very in-depth, character driven stories that a lot of cable networks don’t have. As spring break comes closer and you look for shows to help you relax before midterms take over your life, this list is here to help you discern what Netflix Originals you should give your time to.

Madelaine Formica is nineteen. She is the Campus Correspondent for the Hamline HerCampus Chapter. She's been published for her scripts on jaBlog and for a short story in Realms YA magazine. She's also a senior reporter for The Oracle and a literary editor for Fulcrum literary magazine.
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