Netflix original series are on the cutting edge of entertainment for a variety of reasons. Netflix has more than proven its strength and staying power and has recently become one of the heaviest hitters in entertainment due to their media deals with Shonda Rhimes, the Obamas, and Martin Scorsese. They operate under the theory that the creativity of their media producers should not be hampered by the over-involvement of financial production interests. This is a completely new formula that contrasts with the more traditional approach of most movie production and distribution companies.
The shows that have come from Netflix in the last number of years are so exceedingly good they have made streaming the only way to go. Netflix original series have received numerous accolades, including the largest number of Emmys for any network in 2018. There are more amazing programs on their schedule for 2019.
For years people have had watercooler discussions about Orange is the New Black and Stranger Things. Glow and Making a Murderer captured the minds of people around the world. Series like Grace & Frankie prove that Netflix produces shows traditional networks may pass on, to their own demise; Grace & Frankie received huge accolades even with protagonists above the age of 70.
Netflix series tend to become popular due to the hands-off approach of the company. The chief content officer of the company, Ted Sarandos, believes in going against conventional television wisdom and creating culturally relevant events for under-served audiences. The successes have included both documentary films and documentary series, feature films and foreign offerings. The meat and potatoes of Netflix, however, has always been the unique Netflix original series that populate their selections.
What Is a Netflix Original Series?
The main component of the Netflix formula is the distribution of their original content. Their shows are something you cannot see anywhere else. The company may finance the show to some extent, but the secret to Netflix is buying and owning the rights to certain shows. They do this with American productions and also global ones, such as their purchase of rights to the popular Peaky Blinders from the BBC.
The enthusiasm for Netflix has grown since it has become clear they cater to all interests, tastes, and backgrounds. This has drawn prominent and talented producers and directors as well as exciting actors, actresses, and comedians to the Netflix brand. They know a Netflix original series allows them the freedom to both make good art and have a strong and supportive company behind them. Demographic studies give the company an understanding of the content that viewers are hankering to see.
Highest-Rated Netflix Series
Netflix has some of the most unique series offerings available right now. Their highest rated Netflix original series, Stranger Things, has been enormously successful since 2016 and continues to be a crowd-pleasing powerhouse. Its popularity is fueled by nostalgia, innocence, and a return to classically suspenseful horror that is popular across the globe.
The second-highest rated show is a touchstone of sorts for Netflix. Orange is the New Black is as popular as it ever was as it enters its sixth season as a Netflix original series after receiving sixteen Emmy nominations and four Emmy wins for the first five seasons.
Upcoming Original Series
There is a variety of new and returning series arriving at the end of 2018. First, there is the eagerly anticipated Maniac starring Jonah Hill and Emma Stone, based on a Norwegian dark comedy. The popular Ozark and BoJack Horseman are also coming back.
Some fascinating new Netflix original series are set to air in 2019.
The Central Park Five
This scripted drama series centers around the infamous crime committed in New York City in 1989 when a jogger was assaulted in Central Park and five teenagers were wrongly convicted and sent to prison for the crime. The series looks at how the crime affected the citizens of NYC, the media feeding frenzy that followed it, and the eventual release of the wrongly accused men.
The series will be directed by Ava Duvernay, known for Thirteenth, a Netflix original documentary that depicts the direct line from slavery to prison for many African Americans. The Netflix original series The Central Park Five has a special significance now, since, in 1989, the current US President took out a full-page ad in The New York Times asking for the return of the death penalty to New York state based on the case and his belief that the perpetrators were guilty.
The Last Dance
The heyday of the Chicago Bulls and Michael Jordan is explored in this ten-part documentary series from Netflix original series and ESPN. With the expansion of sports television in the 1990s and around the clock coverage of the individuals involved, players became people you grew to know intimately. More accessibility to athletes as people and not just players worked together to tie the legend to a man that any fan could relate to as they would a friend.
Not only was Michael Jordan known as a fantastic basketball player, you also got to know what a good-natured, down-to-earth, and even funny man he could be. Through interviews with the players and footage of the important moments in championship games, you gain a greater understanding of the many threads woven together to create such a powerful squad. The ‘Last Dance’ of the title refers to the Bull’s final championship season after they had already won five championships with the legendary team that included Scottie Pippen and was led by coach Phil Jackson.
This is a sweeping nature project that has been shot and edited over the course of four years. It continues to display the breathtaking camerawork and vivid imagery the likes of which you may have previously seen in the BBC productions Planet Earth and Planet Earth II. Now the team behind both documentary series has teamed up with Netflix to create the Netflix original series Our Planet.
Like the previous shows from this team, Our Planet combines dazzling, picturesque cinematography with brilliant HD footage taken from the enormous and majestic mountains of the world to the smallest nooks and crannies inhabited by tiny animals and insects. Our Planet is a mind-blowing confection for nature lovers and urbanites alike, and the four-year wait to see some of the most amazing images you have witnessed in your life is well worth it.
Comic book writer Dennis Liu knew in 2015 that his comic book, Raising Dion, was a diamond in the rough and tried doing something completely different with it. He wrote the first comic book and, with total belief in his creation and its value to young children discovering their individuality shot a trailer/short film based on the book.
In the Netflix original series, Dion’s mother discovers that her seven-year-old son is developing superpowers. She takes it upon herself to raise a boy into a young man who will know that his powers are something to be used judiciously. She tries to navigate Dion through the perils he faces from those who might try to use his superpowers for nefarious reasons while also navigating the treacherous minefield of being a single mother to a seven-year-old boy.
This story is very different from the other superhero stories we have grown used to seeing and already has many fans champing at the bit to see the Netflix original series, which is also directed by Dennis Liu. The ten-episode season promises a new and original perspective to a genre that many people felt had run out of ideas.
The Netflix original series follows the same story as the comic and stars Alisha Wainright as Dion’s mother, Nicole, and Michael B. Jordan as his father. The series which intertwines the challenges of mothering a young man and teaching a future superhero about right and wrong, promises to be a wholly original take on the genre that many are eagerly awaiting.
This show is a first for a Netflix original series because it is the first series shot entirely using the Arabic language and a cast of Middle Eastern actors. Shot in Jordan, this six-episode supernatural thriller follows a group of Arab teenagers whose lives change when one of them accidentally releases a mystical creature with power over supernatural forces while summoning a teenage boy. There are both male and female characters with compelling back stories in the show, and it looks to be an exciting addition to Netflix.
There are so many options to choose from when it comes to watching any of the original series available only on Netflix. The new offerings for 2019 range from documentaries to dramas and even contain childlike magic and a dash of mystical wonder. There is something to entertain and engage any viewer of quality original programming.
After an eighteen-year record of HBO getting the most nominations of any network, Netflix has finally broken the HBO streak in 2018, largely on the strength of their Netflix original series. After receiving 112 Emmy nominations to HBO’s 108, the newest kid on the block has now become the most valuable player.