What’s your favorite Netflix series? If you said something like The Witcher, Stranger Things, Orange is the New Black, or Beef, then you may be unintentionally missing out on the hundreds of Netflix shows that you didn’t know existed. Not every series created for Netflix manages to become a buzzy hit or an awards show favorite. Many shows simply appear for a season and quietly get canceled with little fanfare beyond the passionate few who managed to find and enjoy the series. This is the reality of the streaming era, especially on Netflix.
Every time something new arrives on Netflix, the streamer prioritizes the latest shows over the ones that didn’t have a lasting impact. That’s why we’ve put together this list of the 10 Netflix shows you didn’t know existed. Or more likely, these are the series that you forgot about. But that doesn’t mean that they don’t deserve another chance to earn your attention. And if you’re looking for something new to binge, you may find your next favorite show here.
Nearly a decade ago, Netflix attempted to have its own Game of Thrones with Marco Polo, which was based on the legendary explorer. The show took a lot of liberties with history, as these kinds of shows tend to do. But it was a big-budget original series that chronicled the life of Marco (Lorenzo Richelmy) and his experiences in China, as well as his occasionally contentious relationship with Kublai Khan (Benedict Wong), the ruler of the Mongol Empire.
Khan’s reign isn’t as secure as he believes, and Polo has to constantly has to decide where his loyalties lie and what he’s willing to do to shore up his position in the kingdom. This series only had two seasons, but it’s an example of what Netflix can do when it throws money at the screen.
Watch Marco Polo on Netflix.
Bloodline was another early attempt by Netflix to pick up traction by signing the creators of FX’s Damages, Todd A. Kessler, Glenn Kessler, and Daniel Zelman, to bring a new original series to Netflix subscribers. The result was a dark drama about the Rayburns, a prominent family who live in a small town in Florida. The family is rocked when the proverbial black sheep, Danny Rayburn (Ben Mendelsohn), blows back into town and asks his family if they will accept him and allow him to stay and work for their parents’ hotel.
Danny’s brother, John Rayburn (Kyle Chandler), and their siblings Meg (Linda Cardellini) and Kevin (Norbert Leo Butz), are opposed to letting Danny back into their lives. That’s because Danny represents several secrets that the family has attempted to bury. Now that he’s back, everything is coming to the surface.
Watch Bloodline on Netflix.
Not every Baz Luhrmann musical is a wild success, but The Get Down had a ridiculously great cast for its first and only season. How many other shows can boast a lineup that includes Justice Smith, Shameik Moore, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Daveed Diggs, and Giancarlo Esposito? The Get Down largely takes place in the late ’70s during the era of disco, which also doubles as the birth and rise of hip-hop. Diggs narrates the series as Ezekiel “Mr. Books” Figuero, but Smith plays the younger Books during the series’ primary story.
Books and his girlfriend, Mylene Cruz (Herizen F. Guardiola), both have musical goals of their own. But regardless of their love for each other, their personal ambitions and relationship issues may tear them apart.
Watch The Get Down on Netflix.
Netflix canceled Seven Seconds after only one season, but tried to save face by calling it a miniseries. This is an engaging drama, if at times difficult to watch, that unfolds when a cop, Peter Jablonski (Beau Knapp), hits a Black teenager, Brenton Butler (Daykwon Gaines), with his car and quickly calls in his buddies on the force to help him cover up the crime after they assume that Brenton is dead. This leads to a major rise in racial tensions as Brenton’s parents, Isaiah (Russell Hornsby) and Latrice Butler (Regina King), demand answers and justice for their son.
K.J. Harper (Clare-Hope Ashitey) and Joe “Fish” Rinaldi (Michael Mosely) handle the investigation, and their search won’t win them many fans in the police department, especially if they manage to expose the cover-up.
Watch Seven Seconds on Netflix.
It’s typically only older TV viewers who remember that Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul‘s Bob Odenkirk and Arrested Development‘s David Cross had their own sketch comedy series, Mr. Show, on HBO in the late ’90s. Netflix briefly reunited the duo in a new series, W/ Bob & David.
It was essentially the same kind of comedy they had previously explored in Mr. Show. But only a handful of episodes were made, and Odenkirk spent the next few years making Better Call Saul into one of the all-time great TV series.
Watch W/Bob & David on Netflix.
As mentioned, Netflix would really love to have its own Game of Thrones. So the streamer didn’t pass up a chance to work on a different story from GoT creator George R.R. Martin. Nightflyers was a co-production of Syfy and Netflix that initially aired on cable in the U.S. before leaping to streaming. The show took place near the end of the 21st century, as a group of scientists led by Karl d’Branin (Eoin Macken) went on a journey in the starship Nightflyer to make first contact with aliens.
Complications ensued when the crew began experiencing violent incidents on the ship which eroded the trust among them. This also led to a creeping suspicion that they were not alone on the ship. Only a single season of Nightflyers was produced, but the show lives on in Netflix’s digital afterlife.
Watch Nightflyers on Netflix.
Netflix hasn’t taken a lot of big swings in the Western genre, but Godless may be the best of the West. Jeff Daniels has a major role as the primary villain, Frank Griffin (Jeff Daniels), but the miniseries largely follows Roy Goode (Jack O’Connell) and Alice Fletcher (Michelle Dockery). After Roy turns on Frank during a robbery, he escapes despite his wounds and finds himself in La Belle, a mining town where most of the men have died and the women carry on without them.
The widowed Alice offers Roy sanctuary if he agrees to help her train her wild horses and put them up for sale. However, Roy can’t hide from Frank’s revenge forever. And when Hell comes to La Belle, it’s the women who will have to take up arms and defend it.
Watch Godless on Netflix.
Making a Murderer was one of the first Netflix true crime series to make a splash. But there have been so many true crime films and shows on Netflix in the eight years since its release that it’s easy to forget this was the one that helped popularize the genre on the streamer. Making a Murderer chronicles the unusual story of Steven Avery, a man who was sentenced to 18 years in prison for a crime he didn’t commit, only to be charged with committing murder two years after he was exonerated of the first crime and freed from prison.
Avery contended that he was framed for the murder of Teresa Halbach, while his nephew, Brendan Dassey, was also charged in connection with the crime. Was Avery set up? Or did his time in prison transform him into the type of man who could kill another human being?
Watch Making a Murderer on Netflix.
For a very brief period of time, the late comedian, Norm Macdonald, had his own late-night-style talk show on Netflix, which was appropriately titled Norm Macdonald Has a Show. In the series, Macdonald chatted with celebrity guests including Saturday Night Live creator Lorne Michaels, Drew Barrymore, Michael Keaton, Chevy Chase, Jane Fonda, David Letterman, David Spade, and even Judge Judy. It was an eclectic lineup of guests, and Macdonald had a knack for leading the conversations into some unexpected territory.
Watch Norm Macdonald Has a Show on Netflix.
- 10 surprising facts about Stranger Things you didn’t know
- 5 shows like Netflix’s Elite you should watch
- 5 best Halloween horror movies on Netflix you should watch
- 3 underrated shows on Netflix you need to watch in October
- Top Boy is one of Netflix’s most underrated crime shows. Here’s why you should watch it