Netflix, for so long the dominant streaming service available to the public, is now faced with some pretty sharp competition from services like HBO GO and Disney Plus. In order to keep its crown as the premier supplier of streamed media, Netflix is focusing heavily on producing original content with, so far, some excellent results.
In this article, we’ll be looking at some of the best shows, rather than some of Netflix’s incredible original films, you can stream on Netflix right now.
The current hot thing on Netflix, “The Witcher” is a swords and sorcery fantasy series based on the book by Polish writer Andrzej Sapkowski and the very successful series of video games from CD Projekt Red, based on the same setting.
“The Witcher” presents a fictional world based on Eastern European superstition and folklore.
This helps to set it apart from the most Westernized and Tolkienesque shows like “Game of Thrones.” It gives an element of authenticity by drawing on local traditions from countries like Poland and Romania, where superstitions like asking dwarves to hand you back lost items by banging on a door, or eating your crusts to improve your relationship with your mother-in-law are still very much a part of life.
While the show doesn’t follow either the plot of the game or the show exactly, there are enough hints and nods to the fans of both to keep them happy and enough with intriguing settings and solid casting to draw in new fans in a post-Thrones universe.
“Lilyhammer” gets additional props for being Netflix’s first ever original show and still having enough quality to continue to be one of its best.
The plot revolves around Steven Van Zandt’s character, a mob boss with no little resemblance to a certain character from “The Sopranos,” who moves to Norway after turning state’s witness.
Stuck in the small town of Lillehammer, one time home to the 1994 Winter Olympics, Van Zandt begins to rebuild his “criminal empire” in this tiny, snowy setting in a show that is both a solid gangster story and, in places, a hilariously dark comedy.
An unusual mix of anime stylings and a deeply gothic horror setting, coupled with some rather dark storylines, “Castlevania” is the animated story of Trevor (yes, the protagonist is called Trevor) Belmont’s fight with the legendary Dracula.
The show rises above it source material, which is an action-adventure gothic horror video game series about vampire hunters, created and developed by Konami, through the use of excellent animation and fantastic voice actors.
The action set pieces are frantic and exciting, the storylines are engaging dark and gloomy, and there is just enough humor that it doesn’t become utterly depressing. There are currently three seasons and the fourth is in the works.
When most people hear the name Sacha Baron Cohen, they think of his off the wall uncomfortable comedy characters like Borat or Ali G. What they don’t think is hard-boiled spy thriller about a Mossad spy infiltrating the Syrian regime.
Inspired by the real-life story of Israel’s most famous spy, Eli Cohen, Spy is a show that is a masterclass in building tension and Sacha Baron Cohen is fantastic as the lead. If you like a little espionage and skullduggery, this is the one for you.
No list of current Netflix titles would be complete without talking about Stranger Things. This show could easily have been a sloppy exercise in 80’s nostalgia, but instead a tight storyline, for the most part, and some excellent actors make it much more than that. Although if you are looking for that 80’s nostalgia, it’s still there in spades.
The series has also managed to transition easily from the less mature but still engaging first series to a more adult third series, complete with body horror right out of films like John Carpenter’s “The Thing.” While there might be some pacing issues in Season 2, the show as a whole is excellent and well worth the watch.