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The Best Netflix Original Series

Updated February 24, 2021 299.9k votes 32.5k voters 435.9k views506 items

List RulesOnly Netflix original programs, including individual seasons of series that initially aired on network TV

For years, Netflix has been the go-to way to watch your favorite shows and movies from the comfort of your own home. Initially a DVD rental company, Netflix quickly evolved to allow subscribers to have instant entertainment, including films, entire series, documentaries, and other programming. Want to watch your favorite TV show or movie? Cancel the drive to the closest Redbox. Instead, just login to your Netflix account and press Play.

In 2013, Netflix launched its first original series, House of Cards, which featured a star-studded cast and opened to rave reviews. Now, the Netflix streaming service offers original programming with innovative new television shows that are competition for even the most prestigious, long-established networks.

What is the best Netflix original series? The shows on this list may never have been made had it not been for Netflix’s ability to take risks. Their completely new shows like Orange Is the New Black and Master of None have been getting rave reviews and drawing in excited audiences from all over the world. Shows like Arrested Development got the chance to have an extra season of episodes that network TV would never be brave enough to air.

The television series on this list are each examples of Netflix’s potential to outdo every cable network in creativity and entertainment, so it's not hard to see how they make money. What are your favorite Netflix originals? You can also check out this list of 2019 Netflix shows and Netflix original dramas to know what programs you should plan on binging in the near future. 

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  • Stranger Things1
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    Stranger Things

    Winona Ryder, David Harbour

    Premiered2016

    Genres (Tv)Sci-fi, Horror, Supernatural, Period drama

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  • The Punisher2
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    Jon Bernthal, Ben Barnes

    Premiered2017

    Genres (Tv)Action, Superhero, Crime drama, Conspiracy thriller

    Marvel's The Punisher (Netflix, 2017) is an American web television series created for Netflix...  more

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    Daredevil

    Charlie Cox, Deborah Ann Woll

    Premiered2015

    Genres (Tv)Drama

    Daredevil (Netflix, 2015) is an American web television series created for Netflix by Drew...  more

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    Narcos

    Wagner Moura, Boyd Holbrook

    Premiered2015

    Genres (Tv)Crime drama, Biographical

    Narcos (Netflix, 2015) is an American drama web-television series created by Chris Brancato,...  more

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    The Haunting Of Hill House

    Michiel Huisman, Carla Gugino

    Premiered2018

    Genres (Tv)Supernatural, Horror, Anthology

    The Haunting (Netflix, 2018) is an American television anthology series created by Mike...  more

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    Jonathan Groff, Holt McCallany

    Premiered2017

    Genres (Tv)Crime drama, Psychological thriller

    Mindhunter (Netflix, 2017) is an American crime thriller television series created by Joe...  more

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  • Ozark7
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    Jason Bateman, Laura Linney

    Premiered2017

    Genres (Tv)Crime drama, Thriller

    Ozark (Netflix, 2017) is an American crime drama series created by Bill Dubuque. Financial...  more

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  • The Defenders8
    1,525
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    The Defenders

    Charlie Cox, Krysten Ritter

    Premiered2017

    Genres (Tv)Superhero, Action

    The Defender (Netflix, 2017) is an American web television miniseries created by Douglas...  more

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  • Jessica Jones9
    5,364
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    Jessica Jones

    Krysten Ritter, Mike Colter

    Premiered2015

    Genres (Tv)Drama

    Jessica Jones (Netflix, 2015) is an American web television series created by Melissa...  more

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  • Altered Carbon10
    1,412
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    Altered Carbon

    Joel Kinnaman, Renée Elise Goldsberry

    Premiered2018

    Genres (Tv)Sci-fi, Mystery, Action

    Altered Carbon is an American science fiction television series created by Laeta Kalogridis,...  more

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  • Orange Is the New Black11
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    Orange Is the New Black

    Taylor Schilling, Laura Prepon

    Premiered2013

    Genres (Tv)Comedy, Drama

    Orange Is the New Black (Netflix, 2013) is an American comedy-drama web television series...  more

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  • Atypical12
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    Atypical

    Jennifer Jason Leigh, Keir Gilchrist

    Premiered2017

    Genres (Tv)Teen, Comedy-drama

    Atypical (Netflix, 2017) is a coming-of-age dark comedy television series created and written...  more

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  • Sense813
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    Sense8

    Aml Ameen, Doona Bae

    Premiered2015

    Genres (Tv)Drama, Mystery, Sci-Fi

    Sense8 (Netflix, 2015) is an American science fiction drama web television series created by...  more

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  • Santa Clarita Diet14
    2,314
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    Santa Clarita Diet

    Timothy Olyphant, Drew Barrymore

    Premiered2017

    Genres (Tv)Comedy

    Santa Clarita Diet (Netfklix, 2017) is an American comedy series created by Victor Fresco....  more

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  • The Witcher15
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    The Witcher

    Henry Cavill, Freya Allan

    Premiered2019

    Genres (Tv)Fantasy, Action, Adventure, Drama

    The Witcher (Netflix, 2019) is a fantasy action-adventure series based on the series of short...  more

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  • Luke Cage16
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    Mike Colter, Mahershala Ali

    Premiered2016

    Genres (Tv)Action, Sci-Fi

    Luke Cage (Netflix, 2016) is an American web television series created by Cheo Hodari Coker,...  more

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  • A Series of Unfortunate Events17
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    A Series of Unfortunate Events

    Neil Patrick Harris, Patrick Warburton

    Premiered2017

    Genres (Tv)Comedy, Drama

    A Series of Unfortunate Events (2017, Netflix) is a black comedy-drama TV series based on the...  more

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  • The Umbrella Academy18
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    The Umbrella Academy

    Elliot Page, Tom Hopper

    Premiered2019

    Genres (Tv)Superhero, Action

    The Umbrella Academy (Netflix, 2019) is an American television series developed by Steve...  more

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  • You19
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    Penn Badgley, Elizabeth Lail

    Premiered2018

    Genres (Tv)Drama

    You (Lifetime, 2018) is an American television drama series created by Greg Berlanti and Sera...  more

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    Peyton Kennedy, Jahi Winston

    Premiered2018

    Genres (Tv)Teen drama, Coming-of-age, Comedy-drama

    Love this show! Well written characters and captures the 90's highschool scene perfectly. I want more!

    Everything Sucks (Netflix, 2018) is an American television comedy series created by Ben York...  more

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  • Lost in Space21
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    Toby Stephens, Molly Parker

    Premiered2018

    Genres (Tv)Sci-fi, Mystery, Adventure

    Lost in Space (Netflix, 2018) is an American science fiction web television series created by...  more

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  • The Crown22
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    The Crown

    Claire Foy, Matt Smith

    Premiered2016

    Genres (Tv)Historical drama

    The Crown (Netflix, 2016) is an American-British biographical drama series created by Peter...  more

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  • Lucifer23
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    Lucifer

    Tom Ellis, Lauren German

    Premiered2015

    Genres (Tv)Comedy-drama, Mystery, Fantasy

    Lucifer (Fox, 2016) is an American fantasy police procedural comedy-drama television series...  more

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    The End of the F***ing World

    Alex Lawther, Jessica Barden

    Premiered2018

    Genres (Tv)Comedy-drama

    The End of the F***ing World (Netflix, 2018) is an eight-part British absurdist dark...  more

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  • Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt25
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    Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt

    Ellie Kemper, Jane Krakowski

    Premiered2015

    Genres (Tv)Sitcom

    Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt (Netflix, 2015) is an American web television sitcom created by Tina...  more

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