TV

The 19 best Netflix Original TV shows of 2017, according to critics

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Harvey Day
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The 19 best Netflix Original TV shows of 2017, according to critics 1

The fantastic thing about streaming services is that they offer viewers an incredible selection of TV binge-watching options. And with Netflix producing more and more of its own original content, the level of quality in modern programming has skyrocketed. 

From Stranger Things to Master of None, Netflix Originals have truly raised the bar in terms of what we watch on TV - and how we watch it. 

But this vasteness of choice can sometimes be daunting; so we’ve compiled the best of the best, based on their Metacritic score. 

19. The Keepers - 78

A riveting seven-part documentary series about the unsolved murder of a Baltimore nun and the horrific secrets and pain that linger nearly five decades after her death.

18. Mindhunter - 78

In the late 1970s, two FBI agents expand criminal science by delving into the psychology of murder and getting uneasily close to all-too-real monsters. Starring Jonathan Groff. 

17. She’s Gotta Have It - 78

This series, an update of Spike Lee’s revolutionary debut independent film, centers on Nola Darling, a Brooklyn-based artist in her late twenties struggling to define herself and divide her time among her friends, her job and her three lovers.

16. Stranger Things (season 2) - 78

It’s 1984 and the citizens of Hawkins, Indiana are still reeling from the horrors of the Demogorgon and the secrets of Hawkins Lab. Will Byers has been rescued from the Upside Down but a bigger, sinister entity still threatens those who survived.

15. Narcos (season 3) - 78

This gritty series chronicles the gripping real-life stories of the drug kingpins of the late 1980s and the efforts of law enforcement to meet them head-on in brutal, bloody conflict. 

14. Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt (season 3) - 78

This comedy, from SNL and 30 Rock genius Tina Fey, sees Kimmy Schmidt reclaim her life by venturing to New York after 15 years in a cult. On a whim, she rents a room from Titus, a gay wannabe Broadway actor, who makes ends meet as a street performer in Times Square. 

13. Anne with an E - 79

A plucky orphan whose passions run deep finds an unlikely home with a spinster and her soft-spoken bachelor brother. Based on the novel Anne of Green Gables

12. One Day at a Time - 79 

A re-imagining of the Norman Lear classic, focusing on a Cuban-American family. Our heroine is a recently separated, former military mum (Justina Machado) navigating a new single life while raising her radical teenaged daughter and socially adept tween son, with the “help” of her old school Cuban-born mom (Rita Moreno) and a building manager named Schneider.

11. Love (season 2) – 80

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Rebellious Mickey and good-natured Gus navigate the thrills and agonies of modern relationships in this bold comedy co-created by Judd Apatow. 

10. Big Mouth - 80

This 10-episode, half-hour edgy, surreal animated comedy from real-life best friends Nick Kroll (Kroll Show, The League) and Andrew Goldberg (Family Guy) tackles every awkward moment you had as a teenager going through puberty.

9. Glow - 81

Inspired by the real story of the 1980s female wrestling league, the series - set in Los Angeles and showcasing big hair and body slams - is the fictionalised story of an out-of-work actress who finds one last attempt to live her dreams in the form of a weekly series about female wrestlers.

8. Five Came Back - 81 

This three-part docuseries tells the extraordinary story of how Hollywood changed World War II – and how World War II changed Hollywood, through the interwoven experiences of five legendary filmmakers who went to war to serve their country and bring the truth to the American people: John Ford, William Wyler, John Huston, Frank Capra, and George Stevens. Featuring interviews with Steven Spielberg, Francis Ford Coppola, Guillermo Del Toro, Paul Greengrass and Lawrence Kasdan and narrated by Meryl Streep.

7. Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events – 81

While Mr Poe’s secretary works overtime, Count Olaf casts Violet and Klaus in ‘The Marvelous Marriage,’ a work of theatre with alarming implications. 

6. Alias Grace - 82

In 19th-century Canada, a psychiatrist weighs up whether a murderess should be pardoned due to insanity. Based on Margaret Atwood’s award-winning novel. 

5. Dear White People - 85

As college radio host Samantha White leads the outcry over a blackface party on campus, a revelation about her love life puts her in an awkward spot. 

4. Lady Dynamite (season 2) - 85

Maria Bamford stars as a fictionalised version of herself in this comedy, loosely based on what the comic and actress has accepted to be her out-of-control life. 

3. BoJack Horseman (season 4) - 87

Will Arnett voices BoJack, the failed legendary ‘90s sitcom star from the favorite family sitcom Horsin’ Around, who has been trying to find his way through a muddle of self-loathing, whisky and failed relationships. Now, in the presence of his human sidekick Todd (Aaron Paul) and his feline agent and ex-partner Princess Carolyn (Amy Sedaris), BoJack is primed for his comeback.

2. Better Call Saul (season 3) - 87

This Emmy-nominated prequel to Breaking Bad follows small-time attorney Jimmy McGill as he transforms into morally challenged lawyer Saul Goodman. 

1. Master of None (season 2) - 91 

Best known for his role on the award-winning series Parks and Recreation, comedian Aziz Ansari stars, writes, and directs Master of None, a Netflix original comedy series based on his own life experiences. The show won the Emmy for Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series this year. 

(Images: Netflix)