Look, the algorithm Netflix uses to suggest shows to us is decent and quite specific, but it doesn’t exactly open us up to the whole gamut of content the streaming platform has. We keep getting asked to watch the same 15 shows no matter what, instead of the 3000+ things we should be getting our peepers on.
1. Over the Garden Wall
Don’t dismiss this wonderfully strange offering from Cartoon Network. It’s 2020, and animated features aren’t all about slapstick laughs. This show about 2 brothers lost in a strange forest is hilariously bizarre, as long as you can ignore its underlying existential terror.
2. Man like Mobeen
The inimitable Guz Khan stars as Mobeen, a Muslim man in the UK trying to get on the straight and narrow while escaping his drug dealing past. While that makes it sound like a really serious drama, if you’ve ever watched Guz, you’ll know it’s anything but. Man like Mobeen is soil-yourself funny.
3. The Get Down
This show is based in 1970s New York, at a time when hip-hop and breakbeat music was just about finding its footing. It’s about a group of teenagers in the Bronx, listening to soul music, hustling, and making what would one day become the original DJ culture. Watch for the ride, stay for the music.
4. Tales by Light
If you’re into the David Attenborough-esque style of deep dives into nature and ocean photography, this show is a catch. It’s about how some of the world’s most talented photographers get the perfect shot, and while it may get a little technical at times, it also rewards you with some of the most stunning visuals you will ever see.
5. Toast of London
A zany comedy about a struggling actor who walks a fine line between brilliance, madness and total and complete idiocy. Matt Berry’s eccentric thespian genius is a thing to behold, and you’ll really be amazed at how no one else could pull off the kind of comic timing he does.
6. Rilakkuma and Kaoru
This stop-motion animated series from Japan premiered in 2019, and everyone who watches it inexplicably loves it. Does it look like its for 3-year-olds? Yes. Is it mostly being watched by adults. Totally. The show is about a woman named Kaoru and her lazy bear roommate. It’s the cutest and most calming thing you’ll ever see, but also has adult undertones.
7. The Defiant Ones
This 4-part documentary has a 100% fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes. It’s about rap legend and music mogul Dr. Dre and Jimmy Lovine, who both grew up on the streets before making it in the big time as music producers. It includes in depth interviews with the two leads, apart from Eminem, Snoop Dogg, and a whole host of others associated with the legends.
8. Wet Hot American Summer: First Day of Camp
Do yourselves a favour, go watch the cult comedy film Wet Hot American Summer. Yes, it’s got crappy ratings, but it’ll set you up to watch the show, which was filmed almost 15 years later but is actually a prequel to the movie. It stars Paul Rudd, Amy Poehler, Bradley Cooper, and it’s a riot.
9. Turn Up Charlie
Idris Elba plays a bratty but loveable DJ who isn’t exactly getting the recognition he feels he deserves. He also moonlights as a nanny for his rich friend’s daughter, which has its own fair share of problems. Turn Up Charlie is a fun ride, with a lot of laughs, a lot of parties, a lot of drugs, and a bit of an emotionally heavy plot at times as well.
The award-winning and supremely talented Olivia Colman stars in this dark comedy about a dysfunctional family. Colman plays a music teacher in a miserable marriage, with 2 twin children who drive her insane. They also have a Japanese butler who doesn’t speak a word of English. Sounds like a recipe for an extremely watchable disaster!
Claire Duncan, 20-year-old college student and Korean TV show obsessive finds herself magically transported into the world of her favourite K-drama. While it might seem like a dream come true for a person with an otherwise boring life, things aren’t as streamlined as they seem once she becomes a key player in the drama’s storyline.
12. The Last Kingdom
Based on the historical novel series The Saxon Stories, this show is like Vikings, except with even greater battle sequences (which is saying something). The Last Kingdom is about the many characters involved during the Danish invasion of Britain. Key among them is Uhtred, a young Saxon royal who is captured and raised by the Danes.
13. Chewing Gum
Tracey Gordon is a 24-year-old living in London and growing up with some extremely religious family. The price of this kind of strict parentage has made her a bit of a lovable bumbling goofball who’s basically obsessed with losing her virginity. This search for sexual freedom results in whole lot of zany adventures.
This Brazilian show is set in a bleak future where almost the entire population lives in abject poverty with miserly conditions. A tiny group of people however, live on virtual paradise, and those in poverty can go there by passing a serious of harrowing tests that only 3% of people pass. If you’re into the whole dystopian Hunger Games vibe, this is a good watch.
The first season of this show was pure comedic gold. The banter between the 2 lead cop characters would reach absurd highs and end in the weirdest of lows. Unforunately, the 2nd season had a bit of a cast change and totally sucked. But enjoy the first season, it’s uproarious!
Look at all this new stuff! It’s like stumbling upon money in a pair of old pants.