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The 20 Most Underrated Netflix Shows, from ‘Midnight Mass’ to ‘First Kill’

"Easy," "On My Block," "Brand New Cherry Flavor," and more hidden gems appear on this handy-dandy TV treasure map.

Netflix Hidden Gem TV Shows

Netflix hidden gems: The most underrated shows on the streamer.

Netflix/Everett Collection

Hunting for buried treasure? Mining for hidden gems? Panning for entertainment gold? Use whichever excavation metaphor you fancy, but your findings will stay the same: Netflix has some good stuff, some bad stuff, a lot in between, and digging through it all takes forever.

Since getting into the content production game with “Lilyhammer” in 2012, then breaking through with “House of Cards” and “Orange is the New Black” in 2013, the pioneering streaming service has made thousands of hours of TV in dozens of different languages. From “BoJack Horseman” and “Arrested Development” to “The Queen’s Gambit” and “The Umbrella Academy,” the entertainment company once known for mailing DVDs en masse has become a producing powerhouse.

Netflix boasts consistently strong awards contenders in both drama and comedy categories at the annual Emmys (in addition to the streaming service’s handful of Oscar-recognized films). See “Russian Doll,” “Ozark,” “The Crown,” “Black Mirror,” and “The Kominsky Method” among other celebrated TV titles.

Of course, you already know about those. In the avalanche of new Netflix TV shows, super successful series like “Stranger Things” and “Squid Game” have snowballed into cultural moments that pull in millions upon millions of eyeballs. But, at the same time, far more series have languished in the less frequented areas of Netflix’s catalog, dwarfed by a homepage that’s more algorithm than marquee and an ever-hastening social media conversation ready to move on faster than you can say “Bridgerton.”

Now, plenty of unknown and/or canceled Netflix shows just aren’t very good. And, arguably, those titles didn’t stand a chance regardless of where and how they were made available. Unscripted Netflix is especially wild territory, with true crime docuseries and dating shows making up a mammoth block of “stuff” available to subscribers.

That said, if Netflix’s dramatic 2022 business saga confirms anything for exhausted audiences, it’s that the more-is-more approach can be a lot… for everyone involved. By inundating viewers with options over the past decade, the streamer has amassed a seemingly impenetrable mountain of artistry and there’s no question good projects have gone overlooked.

And so, to return to that archaeologist metaphor, audiences have to excavate. To spur the start of your next off-the-beaten-path Netflix adventure, here are 20 of the most underrated hidden gem TV shows on Netflix (listed alphabetically), from “Brand New Cherry Flavor” and “On My Block” to “Everything Sucks!” and “Alias Grace.”

Note: Series with major awards recognition or considerable viewership (as reported by Netflix) have been disqualified as “hidden gems.” The may appear on another IndieWire list.

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