Netflix may be firmly established as one of the big boys in the TV and movie world, but it's all too easy to overlook some of its gems in favour of the 'big gun' series like Orange is the New Black, Stranger Things, House of Cards, The Crown, et al.
Below, you'll find 5 of our top picks from the streaming service's 'Originals' catalogue that are really worth a look...
DEAR WHITE PEOPLE
You may have already seen the Justin Simien-directed 2014 film of the same name, but this spin-off series is well worth your time. If you like your comedy delivered with a wry dose of satire, a sprinkle of cynicism and a healthy helping of social injustice, Dear White People will be right up your street. Following the fortunes of a group of black students at a mostly-white college who are navigating racial inequality in their daily lives, it's smart and a lot funnier than it sounds on paper. No, really.
Fans of Stranger Things, Les Revenants and crime thrillers like Broadchurch will love this one. Netflix's first German-produced series is a mysterious sci-fi-tinged affair that sees children from the town of Winden begin to disappear. Without giving too much away, it seems that four families in particular have dark pasts and secrets tied to the strange town. With elements of time travel involved, it can seem a little bonkers at times – but it's well worth sticking with.
We're baffled why this crime drama series hasn't been praised on a larger scale. You might be used to seeing Jason Bateman in comedic roles like Arrested Development and his recent film Game Night, but here he is brilliant as Marty Byrde, a financial planner who is forced to uproot his family from their comfortable surburban lives to move to rural Missouri - where he must pay off a debt to a Mexican drug lord after a money laundering scheme goes awry. And let's just say that their new lives don't quite pan out as idyllic as they may have hoped... A second season is on the way.
Netflix have indubitably got the 'crime drama' market sewn up; some commissioning honcho in their head office clearly knows what works. Bloodline is another great example of a series told well in that genre, too. Debuting in 2015, running for three seasons and starring the likes of the ever-reliable Kyle Chandler and perennial villain Ben Mendelsohn, it tells the story of the extended Rayburn family. Their seemingly perfect smalltown lives are thrown into disarray by the re-emergence of 'black sheep' Danny, whose unexpected return unearths some dark secrets from their past. It's true that momentum peters out somewhat by season three, but it's worth an investment of your time, nonetheless – particularly the excellent first series.
This documentary about Irish summers is... nah, just kidding. This Originals series comes from Denmark – and let's face it, the Danes have a pretty great track record when it comes to television in recent years. Six years after a rain-borne virus has wiped out almost everyone in Scandinavia, a band of survivors trek across the post-apocalyptic landscape in search of signs of life. It's not quite The Road, but nor is it The Walking Dead. Instead, The Rain occupies a comfortable middle ground that raises questions both about human nature and our impact on the environment, in a thoroughly entertaining manner.