Observing the Originals

Netflix Originals are known for being hit or miss



The lady-in-waiting whispers to Queen Charlotte during “The Queen’s Ball: A Bridgerton Experience,” at XS Tennis and Education Foundation, on April 21, 2022, in Chicago. (John J. Kim/Chicago Tribune/TNS)

Story by Oviya Justin, Staff Writer

It’s no secret that Netflix hasn’t always had the best reputation in terms of their original productions. From the cheesy rom-coms to repetitive and unrelatable tales of so-called “high school troubles,” many, ironically, have everything but originality. 

With that said, it’s also impossible to deny the hidden gems buried underneath the sea of cliches, and with the new year starting, it’s safe to say we all need a few good shows to get us through. With that, here are some of the best original shows Netflix has to offer. 

Stranger Things

In 2016, Netflix released Stranger Things, a continuing fan favorite. Centering around the lives of four young boys in the 80s–Mike Wheeler, Dustin Henderson, Lucas Sinclair and Will Byers– they soon start to realize the paranormal side of their small town when Will goes missing. With season four recently coming out in 2022, the plot continues to thicken, having hints of comedy, romance, horror and drama interspersed throughout. 


The show has been plastered across for-you pages on TikTok. A relatively new series to Netflix, Wednesday quickly rose to popularity, getting the most watches in recent Netflix history. Centering on Wednesday Addams, an iconic character from the classic Addams Family movies, it follows her journey as a student in a school of outcasts and the mysterious murders going on within the town.


Taking place during the Regency era of the 1800s, Bridgerton centers around the life of the wealthy and prominent Bridgerton family. The eight siblings–Anthony, Benedict, Colin, Daphne, Eloise, Francesca, Gregory and Hyacinth–push through the judgmental high society of London in search of love. Full of drama, romance and plot twists, along with gorgeous scenery and period costumes, this original continues to enrapture the public.

The Queen’s Gambit

Chess fan or not, everything about this series is so unique, it’s worth the watch. Orphaned at the young age of eight, the incredibly intelligent Beth Harmon takes an early interest in chess and proves to be quite the prodigy. Eventually getting adopted and rising through the ranks of chess, she battles not only the continuous sexism of the 60s but also an orphanage-induced addiction to sleeping pills. Emotional and thought-provoking, this series starts and ends in just one season.

Never Have I Ever

With its most recent season coming out at the end of last year, this show has hit an all time high. After the death of her father, the somewhat problematic Devi struggles to find her place in her judgmental school, all while keeping up with being a perfect student and the pressures of wanting to be popular and have a boyfriend. Focusing on Devi being the daughter of Indian immigrants adds to the reliability of this show for many, with the narrations from various celebrities adding an incredible comedic aspect to it. 

Derry Girls

Set in the 90s, during the Troubles political conflict, Derry Girls is a coming of age series, introducing 16 year-old Erin Quinn and her friends as they navigate through the violent life that is not only Northern Ireland at the time, but also highschool. Full of witty humor and slightly hard-to-understand accents, each character is someone to relate to, making the show unique and very interesting.

Anne With An E

Based on the classic book series “Anne of Green Gables” by L.M Montgomery, this show takes place on the beautiful Prince Edward Island in the late 1800s. A talkative and intelligent redhead, Anne Shirley is adopted by the widowed Cuthbert siblings by accident. Traumatized by her past, Anne struggles to find her place in an unforgiving town, growing to understand not only her adoptive parents, but also those around her. Charming yet dramatic, this series is perfect for those who love to go back in time.

Squid Games

Dominating the screens in 2021, this show is the definition of adrenaline. Thrilling and all-together horrifying, this show centers around numerous cash-strapped contestants racing in children’s games to win a large sum of money. The stakes are fatal, and if you lose, it’s game over.

The Umbrella Academy

Absolutely dominating the screens in 2019, this thriller focuses on seven children–Luther, Diego, Allison, Klaus, Number Five, Ben and Vanya–all with different superhuman abilities. Here’s the catch: they were all born on the same day in the same hour to different women, all of whom did not show any signs of pregnancy prior. A man then adopts these seven children, who reunite as adults to save the world from an inexplicable fate. Thrilling, mysterious and mind-wrenching, this show is worth every minute.

The Crown

With the recent death of Queen Elizabeth, the popularity of this historical drama has been on the rise. Following the early reign of the former Queen to the state of the royal family in the early 2000s, it uncovers the drama behind the world’s most famous monarchy. From the Queen’s relationships to Princess Diana’s iconic political impact, all the royal tea is spilled.