After a series of smash hits like Orange Is the New Black, Narcos and Stranger Things, many Netflix subscribers might have noticed a lull in quality content in recent months.
For the first time since it began producing original shows and films, the steaming service received a handful of not-so-flattering reviews for series like Girlboss and Gypsy, both of which were cancelled after just one season.
That’s not to mention the public relations nightmare of Kevin Spacey’s sexual assault allegations, which put production of its hallmark hit House of Cards’ sixth and final season on hold (it’s now set to resume production without Spacey).
Thankfully, it appears Netflix has redeemed itself thanks to a slate of impressive new original shows.
Here are the five new television series you should tune into on Netflix. A word of warning – they’re not for the faint of heart.
While wild west tales have traditionally been all about the male heroes – with occasional mention of their helpless female counterparts – Godless turns this formula on its head.
Starring Downton Abbey’s Michelle Dockery and The Newsroom’s Jeff Daniels plus a host of other famous faces, Godless features a classic outlaw showdown – but set against the backdrop of a town with only female inhabitants.
Cora Tannetti (played by a captivating Jessica Biel in her career comeback) appears to be an average housewife – until she stabs a stranger to death in broad daylight, seemingly unprovoked. While the crime is clear – Cora pleads guilty from the outset – the motive is murky, and its machinations captivate detective Harry Ambrose (Bill Pullman).
The serpentine twists are captivating and the ultimate resolution is bone-chilling.
The dramatisation of a true story set in 1840s Canada, Alias Grace is based on a Margaret Atwood novel of the same name which follows Grace Marks, a young Irish immigrant sentenced to life imprisonment for a brutal murder. But whether she was guilty as charged or an unwitting accessory is unclear – until a skilled psychiatrist steps in to take on her case.
With its comparisons to smash-success The Handmaid’s Tale (based on another Atwood book) and an impressive 98 per cent rating on Rotten Tomatoes, Alias Grace deserves all the praise it’s getting.
The Good Place
Eleanor Shellstrop, played by the winsome Kristen Bell, has died. Thankfully, she’s ended up in the Good Place, a version of heaven where only the best people on Earth go after they pass away to enjoy unlimited frozen yoghurt, lavish parties and hangover-free alcohol. But Eleanor soon realises she’s not meant to be there – she led a life of self-absorption and was downright rude to most.
In fact, her entry into its sun-kissed streets is pure accident. So, rather than relinquish her coveted situation, Eleanor becomes determined to earn her spot in the Good Place for real.
Hilariously scripted, The Good Place uses black comedy to thinly veil its seriously deep themes and delivers a gut-punching plot twist you won’t see coming – even if you want to.
What were the world’s worst serial killers really thinking when they committed their unspeakable crimes? That’s what FBI agents Holden Ford (played by Glee’s Jonathan Groff) and Bill Tench (Holt McCallany) want to decipher.
Loosely based on true events in the late 1970s, the two men seek to use psychology to understand the monsters behind the murders – an unusual approach in such tightly-laced times that’s unsurprisingly met with plenty of backlash.
This article was first published on The New Daily.