Netflix is no longer just a place to stream two-year-old episodes of your favorite shows. The cutting-edge video-on-demand service has expanded into original television, and its original programming is already beloved by fans everywhere. Full seasons being released in one fell swoop means you can binge on Netflix more than ever. Here are our top five favorite original series:
5. Hemlock Grove
This thriller from ‘Hostel’ director Eli Roth has some great scares and a heavyweight cast, including Famke Janssen and Dougray Scott. The first season had a better opening weekend across the globe than acclaimed ‘House Of Cards.’ It’s slightly too dreamlike for some, but it’s still pushing the envelope for the TV horror genre.
Silvio from ‘The Sopranos’ (Steven Van Zandt) goes into witness protection in an isolated town in Norway. ‘Silvio’ is not Van Zandt’s name on ‘Lilyhammer’, but he’s basically the same wise guy. The best way to describe this show is ‘weird, but beautiful’. It’s an ironic concept, but Van Zandt it pulls it off well. (Can you even get good gabagool in Norway?)
3. BoJack Horseman
As star Will Arnett protested on ‘Conan’, what’s so strange about an animated comedy following a talking horse that’s the washed-up star of a ‘90s sitcom writing a tell-all autobiography? Well, a lot! But it’s hilarious, and a great satire of the media.
2. House Of Cards
‘House of Cards’ is a satisfying piece of political intrigue set in the heart of the U.S. government that’s more like the evil twin of ‘The West Wing’ than a ‘Scandal’ copycat. Kevin Spacey plays Democratic Whip Frank Underwood, and even though we get the scoop on his schemes, the show is still full of surprises. Spacey is Machiavelli meets Hannibal Lecter (all puns intended). He’s in control of everyone, at all times, and he’s certainly no tortured prince (we’re looking at you, Fitz).
1. Orange Is The New Black
Say what you will about this women’s prison drama — overrated or not, there’s no question that it has encouraged diversity in television and challenged the media’s portrayal of women by leaps and bounds. The show is packed with outstanding performances by up-and-coming actors, and its greatest feat is remaining a fun and addictive show to watch while covering an essentially bleak subject matter.