If Netflix can do anything, it’s make utterly captivating original content that completely destroys our sleep cycles. While there have been some duds along the way (I’m looking at you, Iron Fist) Netflix is always there to provide you with stories you’ve never seen before. From a series about a hardened private detective with superpowers to the tale of a girl on a mission to rescue her pet “super-pig,” Netflix has no boundaries.
Let’s settle in, get cozy and prepare ourselves for a day of nonstop Netflix originals.
1. Okja (4.5 stars)
This is the one with the hippo thing on the poster. But don’t let that deter you. This fantastic fable about a young girl trying to save her pet “super-pig” from the literal jaws of the evil Mirando corporation and meat consumers around the globe will sweep you away. Coming down from Snowpiercer, director Bong Joon-Ho proves his talents again as he interweaves Korean and English speaking cast members to produce an international tale. With wondrous visuals and a stacked cast—keep your eye out for Jake Gyllenhaal stealing every scene as a crazed TV zoologist—you won’t want to miss Okja.
2. Master of None (5 stars)
Ever wonder what Aziz Ansari got up to after Parks and Recreation? He’s certainly not Tom Haverford anymore. Created by Ansari and Alan Yang, Master of None features struggling New York actor Dev (Ansari), stumbling through life, his career and relationships. “I love Master of None because it’s hilarious, thoughtful, heartfelt and so well-crafted. I can be laughing one minute and crying the next!” said Vassar College junior Clare Reynders. “It’s also perfect for school because the episodes are really short and pretty self-contained, so I got through them at lightning speed- although now I wish I had more of them left.”
3. John Mulaney: Comeback Kid (5 stars)
John Mulaney is just one of those comedians that everyone loves. Why, you ask? It’s because he knows how to tell a good story. Comeback Kid is his second special available on Netflix (New in Town is also quite good) and will have you in stitches. “John Mulaney is one of the smartest comedians I know. There’s something inherently clever about stand up comedy—it doesn’t rely on physical comedy or slapstick, so the material honestly has to be good,” said Oberlin College junior Sarah Nathanson. “He manages to make completely normal life situations absolutely hilarious, so he’s relatable on a human level. I think he’s brilliant.” Make yourself some popcorn and tuck in for an hour of terrific comedy.
4. Lemony Snicket’s: A Series of Unfortunate Events (5 stars)
Remember the movie adaption starring Jim Carey that failed? This isn’t like that. This Netflix original stars Neil Patrick Harris as Count Olaf, the evil relative who takes in the Baudelaire children after their parents mysteriously die in a house fire. The show is absolutely bonkers, with a Wes Anderson meets Tim Burton vibe. Adam Levine, a SUNY Binghamton junior, admired how the television format allowed the creators to bring more details from the book series to each episode. “I liked A Series of Unfortunate Events because of its book-like presentation.” Levine said. “The series went through each book with two episodes per book. This allowed them to capture many of the details in the book that may have been lost if the the series was presented as a movie.”
5. Hasan Minhaj: Homecoming King (5 stars)
You’ll probably recognize him from his work as a Correspondent on The Daily Show. Minhaj strikes out on his own in his first ever Netflix comedy special, Homecoming King. While he doesn’t entirely step away from politics, Minhaj delves deeply into his own personal life. He opens up about the reality of growing up in an Indian American Muslim family in the United States. It’s honest and hilarious AF. Minhaj expertly weaves together stand-up comedy with elements normally akin to a one-man show. Complete with gorgeous visuals by Sam Spratt, everyone should add Homecoming King to their Netflix queues.
6. Sense8 (5 stars)
Even if you haven’t seen Sense8, you probably heard about the chaos after Netflix abruptly cancelled it in June. After countless fan petitions, tweets directed at Netflix and even a mail petition to their headquarters, fans were rewarded with a two hour series finale to premiere in 2018. Hurray, we’re getting closure! In the meantime, I would encourage everyone to check out this groundbreaking Netflix original series. The series follows eight individuals who are psychically linked and can experience each other’s thoughts and emotions from across the globe. Shot on location in eight different countries, Sense8 is breathtaking in its scope and groundbreaking in its attention to diversity. Get comfy and go watch. If enough of us do, then who knows, maybe we’ll even get a third season.
7. Jessica Jones (4.5 stars)
I feel like Jessica Jones is the forgotten child of the Marvel/Netflix Defenders series. She was popular for a second, but then got swept under the rug with a second season of Daredevil and the absolutely atrocious Iron Fist series. But really, you don’t have to be a superhero fan to fall in love Jessica Jones. At its core is a story about a woman recovering from trauma, regaining her strength and power and learning to be human again. She also kicks some major ass. Oh, and Rosario Dawson shows up for a few episodes. Who doesn’t love Rosario Dawson?
8. Bo Burnham: what. (5 stars)
While I’d encourage everyone to check out both of Bo Burnham’s stand-up specials, this particular show is truly Burnham in his prime. Originally known for his hilarious and insightful song parodies on Youtube, Burnham melds traditional stand-up and his musical talents to create a millennial friendly special. His comedy is dark but truthful. Burnham is unafraid to take audiences to places others would never dare to consider. “It is so hard to get an audience to genuinely consider these heady concepts, especially without their knowledge,” Oberlin College junior Sarah Nathanson said. “It sneaks up on you. It takes a truly brilliant comedian to bring an audience to that place.”
9. Stranger Things (4.5 stars)
Everyone has probably been talking your ear off about this series ever since it came out last July. But if you haven’t seen Stranger Things by now, what are you doing? It’s been a year, people. Get on it. “I love Stranger Things because it captures the same feeling as classics like The Goonies and Stand by Me while also uniquely explaining the plot with Dungeons and Dragons,” said SUNY Binghamton sophomore Claire Childs. Stranger Things perfectly mashes up everything we loved and feared from those 80s movies our parents showed us. With terrifying monsters, kids riding bicycles through town without supervision, and the long awaited return of Winona Ryder it’s a nostalgic rollercoaster ride. Also Barb. We are all Barb.
10. The Little Prince (5 stars)
Whenever I ask someone if they’ve seen The Little Prince they always respond with, “that’s a movie?” No one seems to know about this beautiful little film adapted from the famous French novella featuring the voice talents of Paul Rudd, Rachel McAdams, Jeff Bridges and more. This film boasts jaw-dropping visuals and a story that will make your heart soar. With that, it interweaves CGI and stop motion animation to tell a timeless tale about growing up. You’ll be sobbing by the end. But I promise it’s worth it.