Netflix is enjoyed by more than 150 million people who are subscribed to the service. Since 2011, the streaming giant has seen massive growth and is a serious powerhouse when it comes to the production of original programming.
We’ve researched Rotten Tomatoes, the review aggregator site, and found some of the most popular Netflix shows according to reviews. Some of these were made by Netflix, whereas some were simply acquired and now call the service home. Looking for something new to watch? Let’s expand your list…
Orange Is the New Black – 88%
Orange Is the New Black became somewhat of a cult classic for Netflix and is still massively popular all over the world. The show, which just came to its end after seven seasons, focuses on the female inmates at Litchfield Penitentiary.
The show has been praised for its portrayal of strong and independent female characters. Over the years, it has explored themes pertaining to drug and domestic abuse, LGBT rights, and what it means to be a good person.
Grace and Frankie – 89% RT Score
Grace and Frankie first hit the platform in 2015 and is still going strong today. The show stars Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin as two women who find comfort in each other after their husbands run off together.
Sharing the screen with Martin Sheen and Sam Waterston, Grace and Frankie had a rough start in season 1, but its last three seasons have all scored a perfect 100% score. Season six of the acclaimed show will air in 2020.
Santa Clarita Diet – 89% RT Score
Santa Clarita Diet was unceremoniously canceled despite rave reviews from critics. It earned 78, 89, and 100% scores respectively for its three seasons. Starring Drew Barrymore and Timothy Olyphant, they play Shiela and Joel – living in a Los Angeles suburb while Shiela transforms into a zombie.
The horror-comedy ran for three seasons in total and reached 30 episodes before getting canceled in 2019. It seems that despite the high-quality of the show, Santa Clarita Diet couldn’t find an audience.
Narcos – 89% RT Score
Narcos ran for three seasons between 2015-2017. It focused on the life of Pablo Escobar and the DEA’s efforts to bring him down. Despite a somewhat rocky start, the Netflix show only got better with age – scoring 96% in its final outing.
In 2018, Netflix released a spinoff series called Narcos: Mexico. It shares the same universe of the Colombian crime scene but focuses on, well, Mexico. It has been renewed for a second season out this year.
Marvel’s Luke Cage – 89% RT Score
Netflix’s Marvel universe had some ups and downs over the years, but two shows stood out as the top of their game. Marvel’s Luke Cage ran for two solo seasons and the superhero also appeared in Marvel’s The Defenders in 2017.
The reason for its cancelation appears to be more due to character rights that belong to Disney. In 2018 and 2019, Netflix canceled all of its Marvel shows and the characters are expected to appear in the cinematic universe in the future. If you’re interested in compelling and gritty universe building, this is one of the four shows for you. Stay around to meet another Defender…
The Crown – 90% RT Score
Here’s a tale for all the Royalists out there! At time of writing, The Crown is the most expensive Netflix show ever produced. The first two seasons starred Claire Foy and Matt Smith as Queen Elizabeth II and her husband, Prince Phillip in the 1950s and 1960s.
For seasons three and four, the entire cast was recast to show the aging characters. While the show has been critically acclaimed, some historians are claiming it is not historically accurate and should not be taken seriously as a bio-drama.
Queer Eye – 91% RT Score
Queer Eye is technically a reboot of the popular reality show from 2003-2007 starring an entirely new ‘Fab Five’. Netflix has already produced four seasons of the makeover show in the two years since it first hit the platform.
The show has been praised for its portrayal of LGBT people and its uplifting nature. Rotten Tomatoes describes it as: “Earnest and endearing, Queer Eye’stear-inducing reality wiles continue to challenge social norms.”
Bojack Horseman – 92% RT Score
You can’t quite describe this adult animated show about a talking horse who was ‘famous in the 1990s’. The universe sees anthropomorphic animals and humans living in a shared world in Hollywood, California.
Despite a rocky start, the show has produced five seasons with four of them garnering almost 100% on Rotten Tomatoes. Bojack Horseman tackles adult themes such as drug abuse, mental health, and family problems. It is one of the most surprisingly compelling and hard-hitting shows anywhere on television.
Marvel’s Daredevil – 92% RT Score
The second Marvel show on our list, Marvel’s Daredevil was the first Netflix show to explore the superhero universe in 2015. It starred Charlie Cox as a blind lawyer who would don the famous outfit and tackle the crimes in Hell’s Kitchen.
Daredevil appeared alongside Luke Cage, Iron Fist, and Jessica Jones in their team-up show, Marvel’s The Defenders. As described earlier, the universe was canceled and Netflix put an end to the popular show in 2018.
Mindhunter – 97% RT Score
Mindhunter comes from the mind of film genius David Fincher and stars Jonathan Groff as an FBI agent exploring the nature of serial killers in the 1970s. In 2017, it was described by Time Magazine as one of the best new shows of the year.
Despite there only having one season so far, its second season is currently in development as is expected to hit the streaming service in a few months. Rumors suggest it will focus on the Atlanta murders of 1979-81.
Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt – 97% RT Score
Here’s a Netflix show that probably has one of the strangest premises in recent years. Kimmy Schmidt has been stuck in a cult for 15 years and starts a brand new life in modern-day New York.
Coming from the mind of Tina Fey, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt has been praised for its hilarious storylines and characters. All four seasons have scored more than 95% on Rotten Tomatoes and the show came to its end in 2019.
The End of the F***ing World – 98%
Technically, The End of the F***ing World was greenlit and produced by a British television channel, Channel 4. Netflix purchased international streaming rights and the show became a global hit.
It focuses on the relationship between two troubled teenagers as they embark on a road trip around the English countryside. The first season hit the service in 2018 and a second season is currently in development.
American Vandal – 98% RT Score
In a world full of serious true-crime dramas, it’s refreshing to see the team at American Vandal tackle it with a satirical voice. American Vandal ran for two seasons and follows two young students as they explore who was behind a prank at their high school.
The show was praised for its humor and storytelling but was not renewed for a third season. Both seasons scored 98% on Rotten Tomatoes, but it likely didn’t garner the audience that Netflix was hoping for.
Dear White People – 99% RT Score
Dear White People is based on an indie film that explores the racial tensions in a predominantly white Ivy League School. The Netflix adaptation has been widely praised for how it tackles sensitive issues while also treading lightly on social norms and prejudices.
The first two seasons scored 98% and 100% respectively, and a third season will be hitting the platform in August 2019. The show wasn’t without its controversy. White viewers accused it of portraying them in a negative light.
Dirty Money – 100% RT Score
Our first entry for one of Netflix’s 100% scoring shows, Dirty Money looks at some of the ways unregulated and pro-market businesses can exploit the system for their own benefit. The docu-series scored a perfect 100% score from 13 critics.
Each episode focuses on a different part of business corruption, including race car driver Scott Tucker, VW’s corporate deceit, and ‘Pharma Bro’ Martin Shkreli. The first season hit the streaming platform in 2018 and a second season is in the works, confirmed by filmmaker Alex Gibney.
Ugly Delicious – 100% RT Score
Who doesn’t love a food show? Netflix has been growing its library with content dedicated to chefs and cuisines from around the world. Ugly Delicious is the critically-favored show which takes each episode and explores the attitude for a dish’s lore.
Its first season consists of eight episodes and has been described as ‘maddeningly good’ by Eater’s Greg Morabito. It has been renewed for a second season and it is currently being pre-heated!
Happy Valley – 100% RT Score
Here’s your new favorite British crime drama. This perfect-scoring Netflix show was actually produced by BBC One. Happy Valley is a British crime drama that originally aired in 2014 and 2016, respectively. Ever since finding an international home at Netflix, the show has received global recognition and acclaim.
Both seasons – which only contain six episodes each – scored 100% on Rotten Tomatoes. A third season of the show is currently in production and will also air on Netflix upon completion.
Big Mouth – 100% RT Score
Adult animation is an underrated art form. We’ve already explored how shows like Bojack Horseman can challenge our perceptions about it – now say hello to Big Mouth. Starring Nick Kroll and John Mulaney, the show follows two teenage boys as they navigate high school and puberty.
Amazingly, the show has received a perfect score across both of its seasons and one-off special. A third season is currently in the works and will hit the streaming service at the end of 2019.
Master of None – 100% RT Score
Comedian Aziz Ansari perfected the formula for a dramedy about nothing. Master of None follows Dev as a 30-something actor in New York. Both seasons, airing in 2015 and 2017, received acclaim from critics.
At time of writing, it is unclear if Netflix will renew Master of None. Despite appearing on countless ‘Top 10’ lists and winning multiple awards, the actor doesn’t feel like he has anything new to say about this stage in his life. Do you think there will be a season three?
Read More: TV Shows That Were Canceled In 2018