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Why Aren't You Watching These Netflix Hidden Gems Yet?

Remember the feeling of flipping through channels aimlessly, and not landing on anything interesting enough to stop scrolling? Two hundred channels, and nothing to watch. Sometimes, despite its plethora of instantly streamable options, browsing Netflix feels the same as being stuck in cable purgatory. You can look through pages' worth of color-saturated thumbnails and still think there's nothing to watch.

But you would be wrong. Netflix is a treasure trove. You just have to know where to look. Step one: Bypass the content chosen precisely for you and your tastes by Netflix's all-knowing algorithm, and listen, instead, to the recommendations of friends. You know — those people who are pestering you to watch that off-kilter Danish show, or that short-lived British comedy, or that cult comedy finally nominated for an Emmy. They're probably right.

We've selected the hidden gems of Netflix, which are usually floating just below your line of sight. Here are the movies and TV shows you aren't watching, but should be.

Kim's Convenience (2016-present)

The Kims are a family of Korean immigrants, living and running their own conveniencestory in the diverse city of Toronto. Jung (Simu Liu) and Janet (Andrea Bang) do their very best to help their parents get acclimated, but as every first-generation kid knows, a culture clash is almost inevitable.

Miss Stevens (2016)

Now tasked with bringing the YA classic Stargirl to life for Disney+, director and screenwriter Julia Hart's first film, Miss Stevens, is remains her best, in my humble opinion. Based on her own experience as a young, confused, and slightly overwhelmed teacher, Miss Stevens also happens to star two huge names —, appearing here as naive classmates — mere months before their respective big breaks: Lili Reinhart and Timothée Chalamet. It's a gem.

Wentworth (2013-present)

This gritty Australian drama set in a woman's prison is just about the best follow-up to Orange Is the New Black possible.

Schitt’s Creek (2015-present)

I guarantee we're not the first people to tell you to watch Schitt's Creek, the PopTV sitcom about a once-wealthy family forced to live in a tiny town called Schitt's Creek that the father, Johnny (Eugene Levy), had bought as a joke years earlier. The Rose family moves into a decrepit motel and adjusts to the town's kind, slow life. The show's "riches to rags" premise never gets old.

Crashing (2016)

Feeling empty after finishing season 2 of Fleabag? Crashing is the one-season Phoebe Waller Bridge show you haven't seen yet. The show follows a group of 20-somethings squatting in an abandoned hospital. No hot priests in sight.

The Sapphires (2012)

This is the uplifting true story of four Aboriginal Australian women who formed a soul group in 1968 and traveled to Vietnam to perform for American troops.

Happy as Lazzaro (2018)

This dreamy Italian fairy tale racked up awards at Cannes, and now is waiting for you to partake in its riches. Lazzaro (Adriano Tardiolo) is a sharecropper on an isolated farm in Italy. His boss takes advantage of him and his coworkers. Then, he teams up with a nobleman to orchestrate his own kidnapping. Ignore the premise; wait for the twist.

Sliding Doors (1998)

How's this for an uncomfortable thought: Every teeny, tiny decision you make has the possibility of having massive ramifications on your life. Unfortunately, we can only walk one path, and never see the alternative. That's what makes Sliding Doors such a fascinating thought experiment. The movie follows two alternate realities: One in which Helen (Gwyneth Paltrow) makes a subway train, and another in which she doesn't. It's a delightful romantic comedy, but also a meditation on the infinite branches of our life paths.

The IT Crowd (2006-2013)

Watch The IT Crowd, and join, well, an it crowd. This long-running British sitcom has amassed a cult following. Set in the dingy basement office of the fictional Reynholm Industries, the show follows three members of the IT team as they deal with the incompetencies of their coworkers on the top floor. Allegedly, a Netflix remake of The IT Crowd is in the works.

Moon (2009)

Before Matt Damon was trapped on Mars on The Martian, Sam Rockwell was trapped on the Moon in Moon. In this innovative sci-fi movie, Rockwell plays Sam Bell, an employee for Lunar Industries in charge of supervising the lunar rovers that harvest fuel from the Moon's soil. Just before he's set to go home, he passes out – and then, upon waking, discovers a clone of himself. If the movie's trippy premise doesn't convince you, then this will: Moon is directed by Duncan Jones, David Bowie's son. The movie is infused with the true spirit of a space man.

Rita (2012-present)

Rita Madesen (Mille Dinesen) is an elementary school teacher, the cool kind. Maybe too cool. She defies rules, shirks conventional niceties, and occasionally sleeps with the principal. Sometimes, her three teenage children are the ones dong the mothering. When an old flame comes into her life, Rita reconsiders how she lives. Rita strikes the perfect balance between heartwarming and hilarious.

Last Tango in Halifax (2012-2018)

Be honest with yourself. The news is terrible; life is stressful. What you really need right now is a soapy love story about two older people getting a chance to complete the love affair they had as teenagers. The only people not thrilled by the 70-somethings' whirlwind romance? Their daughters, who are slightly skeptical – but whose hearts will be melted down in no time, like yours.

A Young Doctor's Notebook (2012-2013)

It's worth watching this period TV show just for the cast. In A Young Doctor's Notebook, Jon Hamm plays an older doctor recalling the start of his career in a small Russian village. The doctor's young self is played by Daniel Radcliffe, who can really act, after all. Just go with it!

Mr. Nobody (2013)

This contemplative, visually stunning sci-fi movie will have you thinking for days. Nemo Nobody (Jared Leto) is 118 years old, and the last mortal member of the human race. In honor of his birthday, the notoriously reclusive man tells a reporter about a pivotal moment in his youth. He's a boy on train tracks. He can choose to go with his mother on the train, his father waiting at the station, or to run away. From there, Mr. Nobody plots the infinite trajectories of his life.

Adore (2013)

Whenever someone asks what movie they should watch on Netflix, the answer is obvious for me: Adore, the movie in which Robin Wright and Naomi Watts play lifelong best friends who, in middle age, begin affairs with each others' 20-something sons. The movie is set in two mansions that share a private cove in Australia's impossibly gorgeous Gold Coast. It's a fable about female desire and getting away with getting what you want. Ignore the Rotten Tomatoes score, because Adore is a melodramatic delight.

Lovesick (2014-present)

After being diagnosed with chlamydia, Dylan (Johnny Flynn) has to inform his list of ex-partners of the news. Each episode of this ridiculously charming British show focuses on a different person in Dylan's sexual history. As you watch Dylan and his group of 20-something friends earnestly navigate romance and friendship, you'll feel like you gained a new clique yourself. It also features the best "will they, won't they" relationship on TV. Come on, you crazy kids — just get on with it!

W1A (2014-present)

Calling all Anglophiles: W1A is, perhaps, the most British show in existence. Hugh Bonneville (aka the dad in Paddington and the dad of Downton Abbey) plays Ian Fletcher, the newly appointed Head of Values at the BBC. As Head of Values, Ian has to define the company's purpose — quite an existential task. Presented in a mockumentary format, W1A follows Ian and his coworkers' days at the BBC. David Tennant (aka the Tenth Doctor of Doctor Who), narrates.

Seoul Searching (2015)

It's 1986, it's summer, and a group of Korean kids from all over the world have just arrived to Seoul for a kind of Korean birthright trip. Seoul Searching is like if a John Hughes movie met Euro Trip met some thought-provoking conversations about identity.

Tangerine (2015)

Before directing the Oscar-nominated movie The Florida Project, Sean Baker shot this acclaimed, raucous movie – on an iPhone 5. Set on Christmas Eve, the movie follows two transgender sex workers on a slapdash quest through Los Angeles. Sin-Dee Rella (Kitana Kiki Rodriguez) just got out of prison and is looking for her boyfriend/pimp who cheated on her while she was away. Alexandra (Mya Taylor) wants to gather an audience for her show that night. Tangerine is the buddy comedy you need in your life.

Mustang (2016)

After neighbors catch them playing a harmless game with boys, five orphaned sisters in Turkey face an outsized punishment. Their conservative grandmother pulls them out of school, keeps them on house arrest, and mounts a plan to get her granddaughters into marrying shape. But the sisters won't submit to their family's oppressive plan for them without scheming first. Narrated by the youngest sister, Mustang shows five young women on the cusp of a great, terrible, and unwanted change. This is the disquieting story of childhood's forced end — and also of the beauty of childhood itself.

The Windsors (2016-present)

In the satirical universe of The Windsors, the British royal family isn't a collection of admirable individuals, modeling "proper" behavior. The men are dolts who learn about their family history by watching The Crown; the women are all scheming for the throne. The slapstick humor of The Windsors is irresistible fun. The show is also impressively current — it already aired its own version of the Harry and Meghan's recent royal wedding.

21 Thunder (2017)

Right now, the world is swept up in a veritable soccer fever. 21 Thunder, a show about a team of young Montreal soccer players determined to make it to the professional league, always has that fever. The series follows a group of players and coaches as their personal lives bleed onto the field. Things are especially shaken up when a woman soccer play joins the coaching staff.

Call My Agent (2017-present)

Have the ends of The Office and Parks and Rec left a workplace comedy-sized hole in your heart? Send Call My Agent, this delightful French TV show, in for the rescue. The show centers on four talent agents struggling to manage their client's crises and travails after their own boss suddenly drops dead. Call My Agent is a captivating look at the talent industry, and features actual French celebrities.



Carve out a chunk of your weekend, because the first season of Imposters is so compelling that you'll spend the whole Saturday pinned to the couch. The day after his dreamy wedding to Ava (Inbar Lavi), Ezra Bloom (Rob Heaps) wakes up to find his wife is gone — and learns that her name isn't even Ava. Ezra had married a professional con woman who walked out with all of his savings. Ezra teams up with Ava's past husband and wife to track her down.

Great News (2017-2018)

Fans of 30 Rock and The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt will also love this Tina Fey-created comedy about a young woman whose dreams of being a high-ranking news producer (Briga Heelan) are slightly derailed when her mom (Andrea Martin) joins the workplace as an intern — and shines.

from refinery29
Why Aren't You Watching These Netflix Hidden Gems Yet? Why Aren't You Watching These Netflix Hidden Gems Yet? Reviewed by streakoggi on April 24, 2020 Rating: 5

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