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5 underrated drama shows you should watch on Netflix

Netflix has so much content, it’s tough to filter through it all. How do you know what to watch? Thanks to news, trailers, and Netflix’s clever and personalized recommendations engine, the most high-profile shows are always on your radar. But how do you find those hidden gems, the shows you might not have heard of but are probably right up your alley, or fit your particular mood?

When it comes to dramas on Netflix, it isn’t all about hits like The Night Agent, Bridgerton, and Ozark. There are others that you might find worth adding to your watch list. These five shows below are worthy candidates for your time.

Imposters (2017-2018)

Three people stand next to each other in Imposters.

Imposters mixes drama with comedy, the story about a young man named Ezra (Rob Heaps) who is jilted soon after his marriage when his mesmerizing wife Maddie (Inbar Lavi) reveals herself through a cold and calculated video to be a con woman. She has not only left but taken all his money with her. Lost, alone, and heartbroken, Ezra decides to find her, more so for determined love than revenge. Through his journey, he comes across two other exes, Richard (Parker Young) and Jules (Marianne Rendon) who were left the same way by Maddie and are just as angered about the circumstances.

Such begins the unlikely trio’s journey to get answers, and they uncover more about Maddie than they ever imagined. But despite their desire for revenge, Maddie’s uncanny ability to charm has them fighting the feeling of falling in love with her all over again.

Unorthodox (2020)

A man stands next to a young girl in Unorthodox.

Yes, Unorthodox is delivered almost entirely in Yiddish. But you’ll be gripped from the get-go, even if you don’t speak the language (thank goodness for subtitles). The limited series received Emmy Award nomination recognition, but still largely flew under the radar for most who didn’t realize how compelling it is. A young Jewish woman named Esty (Shira Haas) longs for a more secular life outside of her Orthodox community in New York. Preparing for an unwanted arranged marriage, pregnant, and questioning her beliefs, Esty decides to do the unthinkable and run away to pursue a better life. But it isn’t going to be easy.

Unorthodox is based on Deborah Feldman’s autobiography Unorthodox: The Scandalous Rejection of My Hasidic Roots. It’ll tug at your heartstrings and shock you, thanks to not only the heartbreaking story but the wonderful acting as well.

Hospital Playlist (2020-2021)

5 doctors sit and have coffee in Hospital Playlist.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Whether you have watched Korean series before or not, Hospital Playlist is worth putting on your radar, especially if you love medical dramas. Five doctors, all in their forties, are navigating life in their demanding and stressful professions. They all first became friends in medical school and rose up the ranks together, facing plenty of challenges along the way.

Like traditional American medical shows, Hospital Playlist delves into the main characters’ professional and personal lives, and showcases an eclectic mix of characters, each with their own quirks. If you have run out of American medical dramas to watch, Hospital Playlist is worth adding to the list from a unique and refreshing perspective.

Echoes (2021)

Two people sit on horses in Echoes.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Echoes wasn’t exactly met with high praise, but there’s something about the seven-part drama miniseries that draws you in. Michelle Monaghan plays twins Leni and Gina who have been swapping lives for a year at a time since they were teenagers. Now as adults that means spending time with respective husbands, raising a child, and dealing with demanding professions. They have it down to an art, educating one another on everything going on in their lives before switching so they can do it seamlessly, without detection. It has worked, up until when one twin goes missing. Now, their secret becomes dangerous.

The strong supporting cast, including Matt Bomer, Daniel Sunjata, and Ali Stroker, help prop Echoes up, though Monaghan does much of the heavy lifting. Echoes is a fascinating series that will keep you guessing right up to the end. Yes, there are silly twists and it’s an admittedly ridiculous storyline, but the show more than makes up for it in sheer entertainment value.

The Watcher (2021)

Naomi Watts and Bobby Cannavale in The Watcher.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

There was a lot of attention around The Watcher when it first debuted in October 2022 thanks to the A-list cast that includes Naomi Watts, Bobby Cannavale, Jennifer Coolidge, Mia Farrow, Margo Martindale, and Richard Kind; along with the fact that the mystery thriller was created by Ryan Murphy. But much of that fanfare petered out a few weeks later, and reviews were mixed.

The Watcher, however, is a gripping series that teeters on the line between drama and horror. Loosely based on a true story, it’s about a family who moves into their dream home only to realize that they are being taunted by a mysterious stalker who claims to have been watching the house, and everyone in it, for years. With a second season renewal confirmed, The Watcher is worth checking out if you’re into campy horror.

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Christine Persaud
Christine has decades of experience in trade and consumer journalism. While she started her career writing exclusively about…
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