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Ten of the best Netflix shows to binge watch that you might not know about

Netflix offers a wide range of hugely popular TV shows that you’ve probably already seen such as Squid Game, The Crown, Bridgerton and Orange Is The New Black.

But what about those lesser-known series? The ones you might scroll past for no other reason than you “never heard of it”?

We all do, but the truth is there are some real gems just waiting for you to stream tonight.

To help you decide what to risk next, we’ve compiled a list of ten of the best lesser-known Netflix series to watch right now. And if you fall in love with one of these – which we’re sure you will – don’t say we didn’t warn you!

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The Sweet Home cast looks ready for action
Sweet Home is as excitingly unique as it is over the top

sweet home

Easily dismissed as “another zombie thing,” Sweet Home offers an excitingly unique take on the well-known apocalyptic future theme.

The show about the collapse of humanity sees normal people transformed into hideous monsters, each intriguingly based on their deepest desires from when they were still human.

Sweet Home follows a group of desperate survivors in a remote apartment building – former firefighter Seo Yi-kyung (Lee Si-young), troubled teenager Cha Hyun-soo (Song Kang); and Pyeon Sang-wook (Lee Jin-wook), who may be a rampaging gangster.

Based on the Korean webcomic by Kim Carnby and Hwang Young-chan, Sweet Home combines state-of-the-art prosthetics, top-notch CGI, and even plain old stop-motion animation for some seriously unsettling, jerky monsters.

Much like the global megahit Squid Game, this gore-fest has a strong subtext about Korea’s economic policies, making it a much deeper story than many monster-themed apocalyptic shows (of which there are a surprising number).



The occupation of midnight mass
Midnight Mass evokes a sense of uneasiness

midnight fair

This slow-burning supernatural miniseries really enjoys building the suspense throughout its seven episodes.

Midnight Mass revolves around a charming young priest who joins the church of a small island community.

It is not long before a series of spectacular miracles occur – the blind can see and the paralyzed can walk.

All may not be as it seems, however, and there is a dark secret at the heart of this religious revival.

Let’s just say the priest isn’t necessarily using the forces of good here.

Created by Doctor Sleep’s Mike Flanagan, Midnight Mass offers a gruff and uncompromisingly dark look at the rites and traditions of Christianity and the horrors that often lurk in the scriptures.

The issue of how religion can be misused to corrupt and manipulate has of course been hushed up – but never quite as much. Watch for outstanding performances from a cast that includes Hamish Linklater, Kate Siegel, Rahul Kohli and Zach Gilford.



A chef holds up one of his creations
Chef’s Table deserves a “Chef’s Kiss” for its sheer visual appeal

Chef’s table

This fascinating culinary tour de force details the trials and tribulations of some of the world’s most renowned chefs to provide an intimate look at the person behind the plates.

And there are a whopping six series to bite into, with the most recent focusing on an American chef specializing in Southern cuisine, Sean Brock, who’s devoted to reviving lost flavors. We can also catch up with Tuscan butcher Dario Cecchini – and pork chops – whose dream is to change the way the world thinks about meat.

Inspirational, captivating, and most importantly, just so entertaining, Chef’s Table will leave you wanting more.



Chewing Gum Tracey is standing on top of a skyscraper
Chewing Gum is extremely original and you certainly won’t miss it

chewing gum

Terrifying, embarrassing, but very funny and therefore insightful, Chewing Gum will definitely be remembered long after the credits have rolled. This wonderfully rude and irreverent comedy about the uncertainty of young adulthood follows Tracey, a young black London woman desperate to escape her strict Christian upbringing and lose her virginity.

Created by and starring Michaela Coel, who wrote the suspenseful and often amazing I May Destroy You, Chewing Gum has a unique voice that’s often near the ankles, but all the more exciting.



An American football player proudly raises his fist
Last Chance U takes us on a real journey of discovery

last chance u

Last Chance U follows a group of young college students as they train to become future American football stars, and takes us on a real journey of discovery that often stops in some pretty dark places on the road to (hopefully) great success might.

Currently in part five, the series shifts its focus from rural towns with high aspirations to Laney College in Oakland, California.

Far from rich and without an imported player in sight, Laney has a real sense of community, with his players just a stone’s throw away.

It’s this episode that really sheds light on America’s burgeoning dislocation and inequality as the influx from neighboring and wealthier San Francisco slowly gentrifies what was once a working-class Oakland.



A scene from Happy with the main character Nick and an imaginary Uinicorn
Happy! is strangely captivating

Happy!

Well, if ever a show had an alluring premise, it’s this: “A drunk ex-cop-turned-killer thinks he’s losing his mind when a cartoon unicorn only he can see urges him on rescue girl kidnapped by Santa Clause”.

Said unicorn is the imaginary friend of our hero’s kidnapped daughter, Hailey, and the titular hero, Happy, believes that ex-cop Nick is the savior who will come to her rescue. Still with us? Good.

Cue a lot of violence and some disturbing scenes that may not sit well with viewers with more nervous dispositions.

The quirky story, which is deliciously twisted with a rather dark sense of humour, is based on the short comic series of the same name.

The bittersweet contrast between Nick’s utter indifference to the horrors of the world and Happy’s childlike naivety is both funny and often quite heartbreaking. A real curiosity that will leave you … Happy! But also strangely thoughtful.



The cast of The Travelers
The travelers have come

traveler

In this highly entertaining Canadian sci-fi series, a federal agent is tasked with tracking down four characters who are suddenly taking on completely new personalities.

The group of time travelers is dispatched to the “21st” to thwart the post-apocalyptic future they came from.

So far, so mundane – but there’s a twist, and it’s in the way they travel – which is to bring their consciousness into people’s bodies just before they die, for them to take on their identities and their lives between the missions can live. Not so mundane now, eh? A crazy premise that’s surprisingly coherent. The trip is worth it.



The main character Prarie Johnson in OA looks thoughtful
The OA may be bizarre, but it’s incredibly compelling, with actress Brit Marling giving a great performance

The OA

A totally captivating supernatural mystery brimming with originality. If you’re looking for something completely different, this might just be it.

The show begins with Prairie Johnson, played by co-creator Brit Marling, reappearing seven years after she disappeared from her home. Possessing mysterious new abilities, she sets out to recruit five strangers for a very secret mission.

Highly comedic at a slim 16 episodes, this utterly bizarre but engrossing series may be high in concept, but it’s also sublime in drama, suspense… and should be high on your list.



A man hugs a cute dog
Dogs is one of Netflix’s best heartwarming shows

dogs

Contrary to our previous recommendations, Dogs is a decidedly heartwarming series that explores the emotional bonds between pets and their caregivers.

In the very first episode we follow a service animal trained to spot seizures in a young girl, with another episode about dog groomers in Japan featuring lots of adorable puppies and how their dedication and love brings out the best in us humans.

Elsewhere in the series, we witness the tense journey a husky must endure to be reunited with his owner and take a stroll through the world’s largest dog sanctuary in Costa Rica.

Dogs really bring out the best in us, and if you watch the two series of them currently on Netflix, you’ll see why.



Actor of Incredible
Incredible is fearless

Unbelievable

Incredible to plunge us back into the darker side of life via a string of rapes in Washington and Colorado states. The show focuses on the aftermath of Marie Adler’s rape and the female detectives who join forces years later to uncover a series of disturbingly similar crimes.

Unbelievable is an inherently restless watch that focuses on giving victims a much-needed voice. Unbelievable avoids the trap of sensationalism, instead summing up to be a subtle, thoughtful look at the enduring effects of sexual violence.

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