Best Netflix shows beyond the usual queue


In this day and age, when ‘Netflix and chill’ has become a verb, it’s safe to say the streaming website has taken over as the new way in which to watch entertainment.

According to a letter to shareholders, as of Oct. 14, Netflix has 69.17 million subscribers, roughly the size of the the population of France, in over 50 countries throughout the world — but primarily in North America and Europe. The company is planning to branch out to Hong Kong, Singapore, South Korea and Taiwan by next year.

The site no longer relies solely on hosting content from other sources. In 2012, Netflix began producing its own content when they released the crime show “Lilyhammer.” The Norwegian-American show is about a New York gangster, played by Steven Van Zandt, who joins the Witness Protection Program and is moved to Norway. It premiered on the Norwegian television channel NRK1 on Jan. 25, 2012, and then was made available for American audiences all at once on Netflix a month later.

“Netflix’s original series are now competing with some of the best of television and movies,” Paul Booth, a professor of media and cinema studies at DePaul, said.

The original content produced by the website has been nominated for numerous awards. “House of Cards,” “Orange is the New Black” and “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt” — all Netflix Originals — were nominated for Emmy Awards this past year, with Uzo Aduba winning Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series for “Orange is the New Black.”

Netflix has also begun branching out into creating original movies in addition to their original television content, most recently with “Beasts of No Nation,” starring Idris Elba. The film follows an African warlord (Elba), as he trains an orphan to join his group of soldiers. The film opened in theaters on Oct. 16 in a limited release and was available to stream on Netflix simultaneously after Netflix purchased the worldwide distribution rights for the film for $12 million.

The company is also known for bringing back shows that have previously ended, including “Arrested Development,” “The Killing” and the upcoming “Full House” spinoff, “Fuller House.”

“Netflix’s model of financing new shows, cult shows and revivals of shows has helped a lot of series come back from the dead,” Booth said. “Rather than having to be beholden to the network and the constraints of an arbitrary advertising model, shows on Netflix have the opportunity to explore deeper, darker and more adult themes.”

“Netflix has impacted the film and TV industry in a positive way,” DePaul senior Benyamin Rios said. “Many shows are able to at least get a shot with Netflix that they probably wouldn’t get with cable TV. There’s also less pressure for production as episodes do not have to necessarily follow a schedule.”

Beyond Netflix’s popular titles however, lies a series of Netflix hidden gems that don’t get the credit they deserve. As the streaming giant raises their prices by $1 for new customers this November, explore everything that Netflix has to offer. While the price hike may have fans up in arms, the variety and depth of selections Netflix has will only get better  — especially the hidden gems.

Television series

“The Inbetweeners”

This British sitcom depicts the lives of British teenage boys and their attempts to get through school and get girls to notice them. The Inbetweeners is laugh-out-loud funny, and in addition to the three incredible seasons that are currently streaming, Netflix is also hosting the two hilarious films that were released after the show ended.

“Better Off Ted”

The satirical sitcom ran on ABC for two seasons and starred Jay Harrington as Ted and Portia de Rossi from Arrested Development as his boss, Veronica Palmer. Similar to other shows that have found success on Netflix, “Better off Ted” was critically acclaimed, yet lacked viewership. It thankfully found a fanbase on the streaming site.

“A Young Doctor’s Notebook”

Jon Hamm and Daniel Radcliffe star as Dr. Vladimir Bomgard, with Radcliffe playing the younger version in 1917, and Hamm as the older version 16 years later. The British dark comedy reflects on Bomgard’s time working at a hospital in rural Russia around the time of the Russian Revolution.



Starring Emma Caulfield, best known for her role in “Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” “TiMER” is a science-fiction film in which humans have timers embedded in their arms that count down to the moment when they meet their soulmate. The adorable film is filled with laughs as Oona (Caulfield) attempts to find her true love.


After watching the film “Heathers,” it becomes apparent that almost every female-driven high school movie made after this film has been directly influenced by it. Starring Winona Ryder and Christian Slater as a couple who murder fellow students and frame them as suicides, leading to suicide becoming the key to popularity, “Heathers” is not only one of the most iconic high school films, but one of the greatest films of all time.


Based on Tom Perrotta’s novel of the same name, “Election” follows four narrators through a high school election for class president. While all four narrators are fantastically entertaining in the flim, Reese Witherspoon shines in one of her early roles as Tracy Flick, the overambitious high school junior who thinks of nothing but winning everything she attempts.



Inspired by Frank Sidebottom, the comic persona of Chris Sievey, an English musician, Frank follows Jon (Domhnall Gleeson), a musician who joins a band led by Frank (Michael Fassbender), a very strange man who is always wearing a paper mache head.

“Frank is super weird and unconventional,” DePaul freshman Taylor Truskowski said. “That’s why I like it. It’s different and interesting.”

“The Hunt”

Starring Mads Mikkelson from “Hannibal,” the Danish film, “The Hunt,” is about Lucas (Mikkelson), a kindergarten teacher who is wrongly accused of sexually assaulting one of his students. Mikkelson won the Best Actor award at the 2012 Cannes Film Festival for his role.

“World’s Greatest Dad”

As one of the last films in the late comedian Robin Williams’ career, it is meaningful not only as another piece of the hilarious comedy to treasure, but it reflects the manner of his death so poignantly. In the film, Lance Clayton (Williams) tries to cover up his son’s death from autoerotic asphyxiation, and stages it as a suicide from hanging. The film beautifully touches on depression and suicide, which Williams would sadly die from five years after.


“Dead Silence”

Before 2014’s “Annabelle” made viewers scared of dolls all over again, “Dead Silence” was released and directed by “Saw” director James Wan. Although it’s not the greatest horror film ever made, and has a really dumb ending, “Dead Silence” definitely offers up its fair share of scares.


Made in the found-footage style, “Trollhunter” follows a group of Norwegian college students who set out to make a documentary about bear poachers, and instead come across massive trolls in the mountains of Norway. Despite the fact that it’s a found-footage film, it’s excellently shot and features one of the most interesting and captivating stories in a film of its genre.

“The Babadook”

A horror movie with a genuinely good story is rare to come across recently, but “The Babadook” definitely delivers. The 2014 Australian film follows Amelia, a single mother who, along with her young son, is tormented by an evil boogeyman-esque entity called the Babadook.