With the proliferation of Netflix Original shows available on the streaming service these days, it can be easy for unsung gems to slip beneath the cracks. Here are a quintet of our favourites...
1. THE SINNER
This may look like just another thriller, but stick with it and the payoff is supremely clever.
Adapted from the bestselling novel of the same name, Jessica Biel plays a young mother living an idealistic life with her husband and young son – but who commits a savage murder while on the beach with her family one day. As the series unfolds, we learn (as does she) why she did what she did, with the help of the excellent Bill Pullman's detective resolutely chipping away at the case.
Let's just say that it doesn't go where you think it's going to go. We'd go as far as to say there are elements of True Detective's first series to this story.
2. CRAZY EX-GIRLFRIEND
Okay, so it all depends on your definition of 'underrated' – but in Ireland, at least, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend seems to have been seriously overlooked, despite winning shedloads of awards in the States.
This brilliant, sharply-written and superbly-acted sitcom ably filled the gap that Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt and Broad City left in our television-watching lives. It's a laugh-out-loud tale of the high-flying career gal (but unlucky-in-love) Rebecca (Rachel Bloom) as she relocates from New York to the fictional town of West Covina to pursue her teenage boyfriend, Josh.
Fans of the likes of Arrested Development will find a lot to admire in its dry humour, and did we mention the songs? The dancing? The set pieces?! With tunes co-written by Adam Schlesinger of indie-pop gods Fountains of Wayne, it's proven so popular that there's even a Crazy Ex-Girlfriend live show hitting the road in the US later this year.
3. INSIDE NO. 9
Fans of The League of Gentlemen will recognise Reece Shearsmith and Steve Pemberton in this dark comedy anthology series, but Inside No. 9 is not quite as weird as the goings-on of Royston Vasey. Still, that current of macabre wit is undoubtedly apparent throughout these 30-minute tales, all linked in some way by the number nine – and all take a very different approach to storytelling.
From the gothic horror of The Harrowing and the dialogue-free A Quiet Night In to the darkly comic La Couchette, it's the sort of show that you can watch over and over again – with a stellar revolving cast featuring some of the best British comedy actors in the business, to boot. A fifth series has already been commissioned by the BBC, but the good news is that the first two seasons are now on Netflix for your binging pleasure.
The British crime genre has come into its own in the last few years, with the likes of Broadchurch rivalling the Scando-noir of the likes of The Bridge and Borgen. This six-part show starring Stellan Skarsgard in the role of his life, is up there with all three. The Swedish actor plays John River, a troubled yet dedicated police detective who is haunted by visions of his late colleague, Jackie 'Stevie' Stevenson. Determined to unravel the mystery of her death despite his proximity to the case preventing from participating in the official investigation, he is led on a dark, emotional journey where he has to battle his personal demons as well as untangle the confusing web of Stevie's life.
It's a hugely satisfying, extremely well-written and brilliantly cast series that should have been huge - and if the final scene doesn't bring a lump to your throat, you're a tough nut to crack.
5. COMEDIANS IN CARS GETTING COFFEE
They say that the most simple concepts are the best ones, and that's emphatically true of this new-to-Netflix show. Jerry Seinfeld hosts an 18-minute-long chat show with a difference that does exactly what its says on the tin; he collects a fellow comedian in his car and drives somewhere for coffee with them, shooting the breeze along the way.
Although it's now in its tenth season, it only recently came to Netflix and ergo it has found a much bigger audience. Highlights include the episodes with Larry David (of course) and Julia Louis-Dreyfus where they reminisce about the Seinfeld days, Steve Martin being his usual brilliant self and even Barack Obama turns up for a caffeine hit. Given Seinfeld's presence and the laidback nature of their chat, each guest's guard seems somewhat lowered and you get a real sense of their personality, despite the brief nature of the encounter. Most of all, it's damned funny.