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The best Netflix shows you aren't watching: 10 hidden gems you'll love

You may not see these titles in Netflix's top 10, but they're worth seeking out.
By

Published onMarch 28, 2023

Two kids in front of a sign for the town of Boring, Oregon, in Everything Sucks! - best hidden gems on Netflix

Netflix pumps massive amounts of money into its original programming. That has led to some huge, global hits like Stranger Things, Squid Game, The Crown, and more throughout the company’s history. But a lot of Netflix originals fall through the cracks, and some of them are terrific. So, what are some hidden gems on Netflix? We bring you 10 TV shows you may have missed that are worth a second look.

Sadly, the fact that these series are hidden gems means many were cancelled when they failed to attract audiences big enough to satisfy Netflix. Still, that’s no reason not to check them out. And who knows? If enough people revisit cancelled Netflix originals, the streamer may consider revivals. Anything’s possible.

If you’re not already a member, you can sign up for a Netflix account at the link below:

Netflix icon
Netflix
Netflix is still the leading premium streaming service, with over 200 million worldwide subscribers. It offers thousands of movies and TV shows to binge watch, including its always growing list of original films and series, including Stranger Things, The Witcher, Bridgerton, and many more.

The best hidden gems on Netflix

The OA (2016-2019)

A woman is walked down stairs in a straightjacket in The OA

What you need to know:

  • Rating: TV-MA
  • Runtime: 31-71 minutes per episode
  • Creator: Brit Marling, Zal Batmanglij
  • Main cast: Brit Marling, Jason Isaacs, Emory Cohen, Kingsley Ben-Adir
  • Genre: Sci-fi/drama.mystery
  • Ratings: 7.8 – IMDB / 84% – Rotten Tomatoes

Fans of The OA petitioned hard to have this original series renewed after Netflix cancelled it. If you don’t like shows ending on cliffhangers, you may want to skip this one, but it’s well worth it if you ask us. A young woman mysteriously reappears after being missing for seven years. She’s also miraculously no longer blind. Now, she needs help opening a portal into another dimension so that she can help other missing people. What she finds on the other side is a parallel reality that could help her understand what happened to her.

Ready to watch? You can find the show right here on Netflix.

Everything Sucks! (2018)

Two kids in front of a sign for the town of Boring, Oregon, in Everything Sucks! - best hidden gems on Netflix

What you need to know:

  • Rating: TV-14
  • Runtime: 23-27 minutes per episode
  • Creator: Ben York Jones, Michael Mohan
  • Main cast: Jahi Di’Allo Winston, Peyton Kennedy, Sydney Sweeney, Patch Darragh
  • Genre: Drama/teen/romance
  • Ratings: 7.5 – IMDB / 72% – Rotten Tomatoes

Everything Sucks! is one of the best teen shows around, and it’s one of the best hidden gems on Netflix. Set in the 90s, the show follows a group of kids coping with their outsider status, eventually joining forces to make a movie together. With great performances and a killer soundtrack, it’s a shame Netflix pulled the plug after just one season.

Ready to watch? You can find the show right here on Netflix.

Sense8 (2015-2018)

Eight characters drink together at a bar in Sense8 - best hidden gems on netflix

What you need to know:

  • Rating: TV-MA
  • Runtime: 46-151 minutes per episode
  • Creator: Lilly Wachowski, Lana Wachowski, J. Michael Straczynski
  • Main cast: Tuppence Middleton, Brian J. Smith, Bae Doona, Jamie Clayton, Tina Desai, Max Riemelt, Miguel Ángel Silvestre, Toby Onwumere
  • Genre: Drama/sci-fi/action
  • Ratings: 8.2 – IMDB / 86% – Rotten Tomatoes

From the Wachowskis, creators of The Matrix, comes one of the very best shows on Netflix. With a ballooning budget and not enough viewers, Netflix sadly pulled the plug on this amazing series after two seasons. Luckily, fans cried out for more, and the streamer greenlit a feature-length finale to tie up loose ends. The show follows eight strangers from around the globe who all suddenly find themselves sharing a consciousness. Now hunted by a shadowy organization, they have to work together to survive.

Ready to watch? You can find the show right here on Netflix.

Happy! (2017-2019)

Christopher Meloni and an animated flying horse in Happy! - shows like the boys

What you need to know:

  • Rating: TV-MA
  • Runtime: 40-49 minutes per episode
  • Creator: Grant Morrison, Brian Taylor
  • Main cast: Christopher Meloni, Lili Mirojnick, Patton Oswalt
  • Genre: Crime/black comedy
  • Ratings: 8.1 – IMDB / 84% – Rotten Tomatoes

The great Christopher Meloni stars in this Syfy comedy-drama, created by comics creator Grant Morrison and mostly directed by Crank co-director Brian Taylor. A disgraced former cop and sometimes hitman starts seeing a blue unicorn named Happy after surviving a heart attack. Happy is the imaginary friend of the man’s estranged daughter, who he says has been kidnapped. Can he become the hero his daughter needs in this madcap cult series?

Ready to watch? You can find the show right here on Netflix.

Godless (2017)

Merritt Wever and Michelle Dockery hold rifles in Godless - best netflix westerns

What you need to know:

  • Rating: TV-MA
  • Runtime: 41-80 minutes per episode
  • Creator: Scott Frank
  • Main cast: Michelle Dockery, Jack O’Connell, Merritt Wever, Scoot McNairy, Jeff Daniels
  • Genre: Western/drama
  • Ratings: 8.2 – IMDB / 83% – Rotten Tomatoes

This western miniseries sees a man betray his boss, a vicious and infamous crime boss. On the run, he seeks refuge in a town populated almost exclusively by women, whose husbands, sons, and fathers all died in a mine collapse. Now, a showdown looms, and the women must decide where they stand. Produced by Steven Soderbergh and featuring a stunning cast, it’s certainly a hidden gem on Netflix.

Ready to watch? You can find the show right here on Netflix.

Brand New Cherry Flavor (2021)

ROSA SALAZAR as LISA NOVA in Brand New Cherry Flavor

What you need to know:

  • Rating: TV-MA
  • Runtime: 36-52 minutes per episode
  • Creator: Lenore Zion, Nick Antosca
  • Main cast: Rosa Salazar, Eric Lange, Catherine Keener
  • Genre: Horror/mystery
  • Ratings: 8.1 – IMDB / 78% – Rotten Tomatoes

Netflix has had some major hits in the horror genre. Mike Flanagan’s The Haunting of Hill House and Midnight Mass both come to mind as hugely popular conversation starters. Of course, there are also some horror hidden gems on Netflix, and Brand New Cherry Flavor belongs at the top of that list. The series follows a young filmmaker who travels to LA in the 90s to make it big. There, she’s swept up into a dark world of abuse, revenge, death, and curses.

Ready to watch? You can find the show right here on Netflix.

Living with Yourself (2019)

Two Paul Rudds in a car, one holding a stack of cash, in Living with Yourself

What you need to know:

  • Rating: TV-MA
  • Runtime: 22-36 minutes per episode
  • Creator: Timothy Greenberg
  • Main cast: Paul Rudd, Aisling Bea, Desmin Borges, Zoe Chao
  • Genre: Comedy/drama/sci-fi
  • Ratings: 7.2 – IMDB / 79% – Rotten Tomatoes

Funnyman Paul Rudd is on double duty in this Netflix original series that came and went relatively quietly. Rudd plays a man who survives a peculiar procedure to make his life better. What it does instead is creates a better version of him to live his best life. Now, with two of himself, he has to find a way to take back control of his life from a man better equipped than him at living it.

Ready to watch? You can find the show right here on Netflix.

GLOW (2017-2019)

Two women in a wrestling ring in GLOW - best hidden gems on netflix

What you need to know:

  • Rating: TV-MA
  • Runtime: 26-46 minutes per episode
  • Creator: Liz Flahive, Carly Mensch
  • Main cast: Alison Brie, Betty Gilpin, Marc Maron
  • Genre: Comedy/drama/sports
  • Ratings: 8 – IMDB / 93% – Rotten Tomatoes

Set in the 80s, GLOW chronicles the creation of a women’s wrestling league, based on the real, historical Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling. Cancelled during the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, GLOW luckily managed to have three terrific seasons, exploring the lives of the women in the ring, all of which you can still watch on Netflix.

Ready to watch? You can find the show right here on Netflix.

Wormwood (2017)

Peter Sarsgaard in Wormwood

What you need to know:

  • Rating: TV-14
  • Runtime: 41-48 minutes per episode
  • Creator: Errol Morris
  • Main cast: Peter Sarsgaard, Molly Parker, Christian Camargo
  • Genre: True crime/documentary/docudrama
  • Ratings: 7 – IMDB / 90% – Rotten Tomatoes

A docudrama hidden gem on Netflix, Wormwood is a streaming original from documentary film legend Errol Morris. The miniseries explores the mysterious death of a CIA biological warfare scientist in 1953. Initially ruled a suicide, Frank Olson’s death raises some questions. Part of the government’s mind-control experiments dubbed Project MKUltra, Olson may have been a victim of foul play. Combining interviews and dramatic reenactments, Wormwood questions the official story while exploring how we know what we think we know more generally.

Ready to watch? You can find the show right here on Netflix.

Friends from College (2017-2019)

Friends from College

What you need to know:

  • Rating: TV-MA
  • Runtime: 26-34 minutes per episode
  • Creator: Nicholas Stoller, Francesca Delbanco
  • Main cast: Keegan-Michael Key, Cobie Smulders, Fred Savage, Nat Faxon, Jae Suh Park, Annie Parisse
  • Genre: Comedy
  • Ratings: 6.9 – IMDB / 26% – Rotten Tomatoes

Cancelled after two seasons, Friends from College didn’t get much love from critics. While it’s not a groundbreaking comedy by any means, its stellar cast hits some high points, and the show blends comedy and drama intelligently. The story follows a group of forty-somethings, friends since their days at Harvard, navigating mid-life and complicated interpersonal histories in New York.

Ready to watch? You can find the show right here on Netflix.

Netflix icon
Netflix
Netflix is still the leading premium streaming service, with over 200 million worldwide subscribers. It offers thousands of movies and TV shows to binge watch, including its always growing list of original films and series, including Stranger Things, The Witcher, Bridgerton, and many more.