Netflix shows

LIST: Underrated Netflix gems that deserve more hype, according to our readers 

Rappler.com
LIST: Underrated Netflix gems that deserve more hype, according to our readers 
We heard you! Whether you like crime, romance, or comedy, here's a list of underrated but must-watch films and shows on Netflix

MANILA, Philippines – The rainy season and the incoming “Ber” months call for a lot of sweater-weather movie nights!

After binging Netflix’s Top 10 trending shows and finishing Stranger Things and Extraordinary Attorney Woo, you might feel the urge to look for something different to watch. After all, Netflix is a melting pot of blockbusters, indie productions, subpar cheesy flicks, and a whole lot of underrated gems.

However, many shows that are trending and hyped up on social media just get boosted with heavy marketing or an expensive A-list cast and end up being underwhelming. The good news is that there are many other low-key series and films that deserve more recognition, and the people have spoken!

To unearth these underrated Netflix hidden gems, we asked help from our readers to recommend series and films that they believe deserve more hype. If you’re up for a cinematic adventure, skim through these various genres and see which titles pique your interest the most!

Mind-bending science fiction

Everyone loves to be immersed in the universe of a sci-fi series. Most of our readers seem to love the genre as well! If you’re a fan, then check out these recommended series:

Dark (2017-2020)

Kicking off with the crowd favorite, 15 people voted for the German Netflix series Dark, which ran for three seasons. When two children go missing in the town of Winden, its troubled past is resurfaced along with the double lives of four interconnected families as they search for the kids.

LIST: Underrated Netflix gems that deserve more hype, according to our readers 

This mystery-thriller explores a unique take on time travel to build an intricate puzzle filled with twists, complex characters, and supernatural elements. No wonder Forbes described the series as “the most mentally exhausting show” but “one of sci-fi’s best.” A hidden gem, indeed!

Inside Job (2021-present)

Reddit regulars will surely geek out on this one. If you’re in the mood for some adult cartoons, then you might enjoy Inside Job.

LIST: Underrated Netflix gems that deserve more hype, according to our readers 

It follows anti-social scientist Raegan and a shadow government organization that enables the world’s conspiracies. Robot presidents? Check. Human-dolphin hybrid super soldier? Check. The FBI agent watching us through the camera of our devices? Probably real. This animated series is what would appear if Rick and Morty and Futurama had a baby.

The 100 (2014-2020)

In a world where a nuclear wiped out the planet, a surviving civilization of people aboard a space ark faces the scarcity of their resources in ensuring humanity’s future. As a solution, the ark’s leaders send 100 teenage juveniles back to Earth to test its habitability.

LIST: Underrated Netflix gems that deserve more hype, according to our readers 

Aside from its captivating premise a la Lord of the Flies, this space fiction also has badass characters. 2014 Tumblr will never forget the iconic pairing of “Bellarke,” Bellamy Blake and Clarke Griffin, who became the epitome of the enemies-to-lovers trope even if they were technically platonic on the show. FYI, the actors who play Bellarke, Bob Morley and Eliza Taylor, actually got married in real life!

Sense8 (2015-2018)

Coincidentally, eight readers recommended this series. From the creators of The Matrix comes the drama thriller that revolves around eight strangers from different countries and walks of life who suddenly develop a mental and emotional link.

LIST: Underrated Netflix gems that deserve more hype, according to our readers 

Set apart from most science fiction, Sense8 prides itself on its human touch, exploring topics of politics, sexuality, and religion throughout its two-season run. Throw yourself into the strange world of the ‘sensates’ and be awed by its stunning visuals and epic action sequences.

‘I’m the main character’

If sci-fi isn’t your thing, then maybe some heartwarming coming-of-age tales will do the trick. Learn a thing or two about being the “main character” and follow these protagonists who went through the growing pains of teenage life:

I Am Not Okay with This (2020)

Yup, two of the kids from It are in this series, and there’s no Pennywise. There is, however, an awkward 17-year-old girl who harnesses her newly discovered superpowers!

LIST: Underrated Netflix gems that deserve more hype, according to our readers 

Like an R-13 teenage Matilda (or Carrie), protagonist Syd deals with the challenges of high school, family, and discovering her sexuality. If you loved the vibe of Stranger Things and The End of the F***ing World, you should probably add this to your watchlist.

Anne with an E (2017-2019)

Fans of L.M. Montgomery’s novel will surely be kindred spirits with this adaptation! This is the series that will persuade you to live your cottagecore fantasies and revisit your inner yearning for life. Anne with an E is a modern take on the fire-haired, freckled-face, wide-eyed orphan Anne Shirley who gets adopted by the old Cuthbert siblings.

LIST: Underrated Netflix gems that deserve more hype, according to our readers 

Aside from the classic Green Gables adventures, the series adds heartwarming stories that feel like a long embrace to the soul. Not to mention the slow-burn romance on this show, which is god-tier! If this doesn’t convince you to watch the show, then maybe Gilbert Blythe’s heart-eyes will. 

Atypical (2017-2021)

This one’s not your ordinary, cliché high school show. Atypical follows 18-year-old Sam, a teenager on the autism spectrum, who longs to have independence and his first romantic experience. The show progresses in depth and warmth throughout its four seasons.

LIST: Underrated Netflix gems that deserve more hype, according to our readers 

Underneath the comedy of the sitcom, Atypical also informs audiences about autism while touching on the themes of illness, death, and disappointment. Like its namesake, watch this if you’re looking for something out of the ordinary!

Thrilling crime drama series

If you’re a crime and thriller junkie looking for a new obsession, then these next set of recommendations will mark the spot. 

Better Call Saul (2015-2022)

Three-time Emmy winner Breaking Bad is definitely up in the crime film greats, but what about its spin-off series Better Call Saul? Nine of our readers think it should be up there, too – and apparently, Breaking Bad deserves even more recognition.

LIST: Underrated Netflix gems that deserve more hype, according to our readers 

The six-season series follows the origin story of Jimmy McGill as a former con artist aiming to renew his identity as Saul Goodman, a respectable criminal lawyer. Set six years before Goodman became Walter White’s lawyer, he must first survive a harsh and exploitive world to reach his dreams. If you’re unsure about spin-offs, then this could exceed your expectations.

Peaky Blinders (2013-2022)

Here’s a series that readers think should be talked about more. Set in 1900s Birmingham, England, Peaky Blinders zooms in on the titular crime gang after the First World War led by Thomas Shelby (Cillian Murphy) and his family.

LIST: Underrated Netflix gems that deserve more hype, according to our readers 

The vintage drama of six seasons gives a thrilling and bombastic experience with great acting, not to mention, powerhouse female characters!

Ozark (2017-2022)

A financial advisor operating in money-laundering schemes and his wife relocate their family to the Lake of the Ozarks, where he illegally meets the demands of a drug boss. With eight votes, this series is a twisted take on the “American Dream.”

LIST: Underrated Netflix gems that deserve more hype, according to our readers 

While the four-season crime drama is often compared with Breaking Bad, Ozark stepped out of its shadows with its darkness and intensity. Don’t go into this show anticipating when the despicable family learns their lesson and changes their ways. This story emphasizes a rotten system that breaks morals in the name of survival. 

Kilig-worthy romance

Crime dramas can get heavy and a bit intense, but thankfully, we also have some kilig picks for you to balance it out!

Youth of May (2021)

After Go Min-si and Lee Do-hyun’s sibling tandem in Sweet Home, now they are…lovers? Trust us, it isn’t all that weird. On the contrary, the powerful chemistry between the pair in this drama depicts a pure and tragic romance for the books.

LIST: Underrated Netflix gems that deserve more hype, according to our readers 

This 12-episode season is set in the turbulent era of the Gwangju Uprising in May 1980. As a melodrama, you can expect a lot of whimsy moments from protagonists Hee-tae and Myung-hee, balanced with the somberness of its political backdrop. So, prepare yourself (and your tissues!) because it might not be for the frail-hearted.

Falling in Love Like a Romantic Drama (2018-2022)

If you enjoy watching dating reality shows in the likes of Singles Inferno, Terrace House, or Love Island, this suggestion is a cute alternative that will give you wholesome anime vibes.

LIST: Underrated Netflix gems that deserve more hype, according to our readers 

As the title says, the objective of this Japanese reality show is to make young, aspiring actors fall in love with each other like a romantic drama. Each season follows a group of eight budding artists in acting school who must pair up to win roles in a kissing scene. When feelings turn from reel to real, the participants must deal with love triangles, unrequited love, and juicy surprises! 

My First First Love (2019)

Before Kang Tae-oh became Attorney Woo’s walking green flag, he was first a goofy supporting character in this K-drama. In this two-season slice-of-life series, a group of friends under various circumstances end up becoming housemates as they navigate love and friendship.

LIST: Underrated Netflix gems that deserve more hype, according to our readers 

Unlike other renowned K-dramas, there are no soldiers or doctors fighting for something major at stake. Instead, My First First Love’s lightness and depiction of university life are its main charm, making it a breeze to watch after a stressful day. Beware, though – you might catch yourself having the worst case of second lead syndrome!

Inspiring films

Binging lengthy episodes and seasons of a series isn’t for everyone. If you’re looking for something to finish within an hour or so, we also got a few film recommendations from our readers:

The Breadwinner (2017)

This Oscar-nominated animated feature is an extraordinary adaptation of Deborah Ellis’ novel of the same name. It tells the story of 11-year-old Parvana who lives under Taliban rule in Afghanistan in 2001. When her father is wrongfully arrested, she pretends to be a boy so she could save her family from starvation. In this quest, Parvana discovers a world of freedom and danger.

LIST: Underrated Netflix gems that deserve more hype, according to our readers 

Often acclaimed as a powerful and tear-jerking film by audiences, The Breadwinner might stir your emotions and touch your heart within an hour and 34 minutes.

Kiss the Ground (2020)

Ever felt helpless about our global climate change crisis? From what we see in the media, it’s easy to believe that the planet is completely doomed – but this documentary film is a light in the dark. Narrated by Woody Harrelson, this inspiring film reveals the first viable solution to our climate crisis.

LIST: Underrated Netflix gems that deserve more hype, according to our readers 

The informative feature educates us on the world’s soil regeneration with effective graphics and striking footage. Also featuring celebrity advocates Ian Somerhalder and Tom Brady, the movie is only the catalyst to the bigger Kiss the Ground movement. The earth is healing? Possibly, starting with this documentary.

For the LOLs

Most people put on Friends or Brooklyn Nine-Nine for comedic relief, but our readers have more suggestions! If you want a good laugh or some company after a day of hard work, then we’ve also chosen some sitcoms for you.

Schitt’s Creek (2015-2020)

Tag along with the Rose family as they hilariously survive living from riches to rags in the titular small town. Together with their two spoiled children, the former wealthy couple Johnny (Eugene Levy) and Moira (Catherine O’Hara) learn how to unite their family to face their newfound poverty.

LIST: Underrated Netflix gems that deserve more hype, according to our readers 

Throughout its six-season run, Schitt’s Creek has swept multiple Emmys, including a full-house victory for Outstanding Lead/Supporting Actor/Actress. If this doesn’t make you want to watch the show, then we don’t know what will! Maybe the five readers who voted for it will persuade you.

Community (2009-2014)

If you remember that iconic GIF of young Donald Glover entering a burning apartment with pizza boxes, this sitcom is its source. Community follows disbarred attorney Jeff Winger (Joel McHale), who goes back to school at Greendale Community College.

LIST: Underrated Netflix gems that deserve more hype, according to our readers 

In a scheme to win over a crush, Jeff invents a study group that brought together some quirky and unexpected characters. Even without a laugh track, you’ll seriously be cracking up because of its witty and original humor!

The Good Place (2016-2020)

Finally, most of us are familiar with the American fantasy series that makes us reevaluate our ethics, but six people believe that it needs an audience boost! When Eleanor Shellstrop (Kristen Bell) wakes up in the afterlife, she’s surprised that she somehow made it to the “Good Place” – until she realizes she might be there by mistake.

LIST: Underrated Netflix gems that deserve more hype, according to our readers 

The philosophical premise and unique characters are just some things to love about this sitcom. Any show that can explain the “trolley problem” experiment so hilariously definitely deserves more hype!

Which of these are you adding to your watchlist? Check out the comments sections of our call-out posts for more recommendations from our readers. – Sydney Cañamo/Rappler.com

Sydney Cañamo is a Rappler intern.

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