7 Best Netflix Original Series 2020

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7 Best Netflix Original Series 2020

Netflix

Welcome to the Age of Netflix. The streaming giant has officially saturated the most prestigious and most lowly places of TV and film—from Oscar nominees for Best Picture to bingeable reality shows. If you want to keep up with what’s best on Netflix, specifically when it comes to television offerings, you have to be checking that feed on a near-nightly basis. Just when you finish the heartwarming rigmarole of The Circle, you’ll be greeted with the intimidating tenacity of a squad of cheerleaders. You can’t know what’s good, what’s great, and what’s abysmal without dedicating your night life to a full binge dive into Netflix.That’s where we come in. We have sorted through the good and bad so that you don’t have to spend literal hours on Netflix, only to get three episodes into a series and say, “Wow, this was awful.” Instead of sifting through what’s trending, what’s popular, and what’s new, you can just check this (shorter) list and stay up to date on Netflix’s best TV series. And even if you get through this list and still aren’t quite sure, check back soon. Netflix is always expanding.

Killer Inside: The Mind of Aaron Hernandez

Whether or not you’re into sports, Netflix’s documentary mini series, Killer Inside: The Mind of Aaron Hernandez, is a haunting portrait of the NFL star who became a convicted murderer. The documentary revisits the 2015 murder of Odin Lloyd for which Hernandez was found guilty, as well his trial for the 2012 double homicide of Daniel de Abreu and Safiro Furtado for which he was acquitted. But beyond the crimes, the documentary paints a picture of the man himself with new audio recordings of Hernandez’s phone calls from prison—to his lawyers, mother, and his young daughter. The docuseries also illuminates the extreme dangers of football to the brain and shines a light on what it means to be a closeted gay man in the NFL. A must watch.

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Sex Education

Sex Education brings all of the same endearing characters and retro vibes to Season Two while also highlighting the very real issues associated with the show’s namesake. While Season One entertained us with many honest and uncomfortable stories of budding teen sexuality, this season got even more real and made even more of a statement by addressing things like female pleasure, consent, asexuality, anal sex and the epidemic of misinformation surrounding STDs. It’s somehow hilarious and touching and powerful all at the same time, making it an absolute must-watch for 2020.

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The Stranger

If you like thrills, murders, and being confused, The Stranger is an engaging—albeit overly complicated—mystery, with many a spooky storyline to follow. Based on Harlan Coben’s novel of the same name, The Stranger mostly follows a—you guessed it—stranger, who goes around town revealing people’s secrets. The stranger’s motive varies—sometimes she blackmails people for money, others she tries to help by revealing truths. If you like crime and the occasional pop-up, The Stranger definitely won’t bore you.

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The Pharmacist

Somehow, The Pharmacist manages to be about three different series in one. It starts out as a murder mystery documentary about the shooting of a 20-something white man attempting to buy crack cocaine. But Netflix’s limited docuseries wraps up the mystery around that murder by the end of Episode Two. From there, the series dives into how one pharmacist in New Orleans managed to blow the opioid crisis crippling his community wide open. A stirring portrait of the drug issues in our country right now, The Pharmacist is the rare limited series that manages to reinvent itself twice over by the time its six episodes wrap up.

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The Circle

The Circle, on paper, seems like a really, really terrible idea—a reality show centered on a group of seemingly loud, very online humans brought into an apartment complex, kept in isolation, and only allowed to communicate through a social media network called, you guessed it, The Circle. The trick is, you can also catfish your fellow competitors, adding an additional layer to the game. What starts out as a series akin to an MTV reality show revamp turns into a thoughtful competition series that highlights how good we can actually be to one another online. Judge the premise all you want, but if the proof of the adorable friendship between a bro with slicked back hair and an awkward nerd isn’t enough for you, then your cold heart is the problem here.

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Cheer

No one has ever wanted to be “on mat” more than they do after watching Cheer. Following the insanity behind competitive cheerleading (specifically the Navarro College cheerleading team based out of Navarro Community College in Corsicana, Texas), the series reveals just how grueling and extreme the sport of cheerleading can be. For a select group of athletes, Navarro represents the pinnacle of their craft, and they only have a limited amount of time to reach excellence. As insightful as it is compelling, Cheer is one of Netflix’s most alluring offerings this year. You’ll never question the power of a cheerleader again.

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Love Is Blind

Netflix’s serialized reality dating show Love Is Blind is The Circle meets Married At First Sight—incredibly watchable in an I-want-to-tear-my-eyeballs-out sort of way. The show brings 30 Atlanta singles to a set specially built for ‘blind’ dating–the men and women live in separate quarters and go on dates in small pods where they are separated by a glass wall and can only hear each other speak. After ten days of dating, the participants must either get engaged to someone they have never laid eyes on or go home. If they do choose to get engaged, only then do they meet in person, and the three week countdown until their wedding begins! What could go wrong? It’s a whirlwind of drama, tension, and true madness, like any good reality dating show. Spoiler: very few happy endings come from dating this way, but a good bit of entertainment does. Why is it so enjoyable to watch other people mess their lives up?

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Justin Kirkland is a writer for Esquire, where he focuses on entertainment, television, and pop culture.

Lauren Kranc is an editorial assistant at Esquire and Masters student at New York University.

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