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3 Body Problem is no longer Netflix’s most popular show. Here’s what dethroned the sci-fi series

Promo art for Files of the Unexplained.

When William Shakespeare wrote in Hamlet that “there are more things in heaven and Earth … than are dreamt of in your philosophy,” he wasn’t arguing that UFOs and unexplained phenomena are real. But it was an acknowledgement that there is a limit to what humanity can know and explain through science alone. The same basic principle applies centuries later to the new paranormal docuseries Files of the Unexplained, which has become one of the most popular shows on Netflix.

Shows like Files of the Unexplained aren’t part of a new genre, and it’s not even the only series like this on Netflix. So why is Files of the Unexplained such a big hit out of the gate, so much so that it replaced the high-profile — and very expensive — sci-fi show 3 Body Problem? In part, it’s because Files of the Unexplained finds a way to speak to both skeptics and believers while also offering a glimpse at lesser-known incidents that don’t easily fit into the little boxes that we call reality.

That’s clearly enticing viewers who loved programs like Unsolved Mysteries. And it may be entertaining for you as well, which is why we’re sharing our list of three reasons why you should watch Files of the Unexplained on Netflix.

It features firsthand accounts when possible

Calvin Parker gives an interview in footage from Files of the Unexplained.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Some of the incidents explored in Files of the Unexplained took place decades ago, which makes getting direct reporting of what happened more difficult. But whenever possible, firsthand accounts and archival footage is used to retell the story for modern viewers. The first episode in particular features a recording of Charles Hickson and Calvin Parker that was made in 1973 when they attempted to report their alien abduction story to the police.

It’s clear that Hickson and Parker genuinely believed what happened to them was real, but no one took them seriously. And unlike Hickson, Parker largely refused to speak publicly about it in the ensuing decades.

The show offers bite-sized examinations

A man walks towards the haunted Myrtles Plantation in Files of the Unexplained.

Most of the episodes of Files of the Unexplained are just under 40 minutes long, which is just about the perfect length for bingeing. The trade-off is that not all of them feel fully explored, but the show does offer context to these stories with a look back at the contemporary reporting of the incidents, along with analysis from experts in the field.

Many similar shows seem like they’ve arrived at the answers long before the series was even put together. Files of the Unexplained doesn’t pretend that it can explain everything, but at least the attempt was made to better understand what really happened.

It plays like a real-life X-Files

An examination of the severed feet of the Salish Sea episode from Files of the Unexplained.

There’s no Mulder and Scully to be found here, but one of the most intriguing aspects of Files of the Unexplained is that it dives into incidents including alien abduction, hauntings, UFOs, disappearances, and some truly bizarre things like the severed human feet that have been found in the Salish Sea since 2007.

Even if you don’t find the theories put forth to be believable, the show is still an interesting examination of the unexplained and unusual.

Watch Files of the Unexplained on Netflix.

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Blair Marnell
Blair Marnell has been an entertainment journalist for over 15 years. His bylines have appeared in Wizard Magazine, Geek…
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