The best Netflix hidden gems and underrated series to watch right now

When it comes to deciding what you want to stream next on a service like Netflix, the staggering amount of content on offer can be both a blessing and a source of frustration. With an endless amount of Netflix series and movies to watch — including both original and licensed titles — you’ll never want for lack of selection. The issue is finding the proverbial needle in the haystack, something that the huge selection of content makes a challenge.

Inevitably, that means there’s plenty of quality fare on Netflix, both series and movies, that can slip through the cracks and escape people’s attention. Some of those titles, though, are exactly what we’re going to spend some time walking through in this post.

Netflix hidden gems to check out (TV series)

First up, on the TV side of the app, we’ve got 7 hidden-gem Netflix series to check out, many of which are international releases that didn’t necessarily make a huge splash with American audiences. Below, you’ll find everything from docuseries to dramas, comedies, and much more.


Seasons: 2

Stars include: David Stakston, Herman Tømmeraas, and Theresa Frostad Eggesbø

Summary: In this series’ fictional Norwegian town, the gods Thor and Loki are reincarnated as two brothers who learn how to use their power and strengths to battle the forces of evil (the forces of evil presented here in the form of environment-destroying corporate titans).

Friends from College

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Seasons: 2

Stars include: Keegan-Michael Key, Fred Savage, and Nat Faxon

Summary: Per Netflix, “Twenty years after graduation, a tight-knit group of college friends reconnects and discovers that love hasn’t gotten easier with age.”

Snabba Cash

Seasons: 2

Stars include: Evin Ahmad, Dada Fungula Bozela, and Alexander Abdallah

Summary: If you loved a classic crime saga like Breaking Bad, you need to put this Netflix gem from Sweden on your watchlist right now. Here’s what I’ll say about the series, to quote myself from a prior post: The Sweden in Netflix’s compulsively bingeable crime drama Snabba Cash is a land of the endless hustle, a place where entrepreneurs fetishize bling and quick cash, and where swaggering business titans with outsized egos make pronouncements like I am the system. From hungry startup founders to ruthless dope dealers, everyone in this tense drama is after the same thing: The big score. More territory, edging out rivals, launching the next Spotify — it’s all part of the same frantic endgame.

Lost Ollie

Seasons: 1

Stars include: Gina Rodriguez, Jake Johnson, and Jonathan Groff

Summary: Lost Ollie is a Pixar-like ode to toys and growing up — an absolute gem that will take your heart and break it into a million pieces (before putting the broken pieces back together). This series was inspired by the book Ollie’s Odyssey by author and illustrator William Joyce. Netflix describes it as “an epic adventure about a lost toy who braves the many dangers of childhood as he searches the countryside to reunite with the boy who lost him.” It’s also “the story of the boy who lost more than a best friend. It’s a heartwarming tale for the child in us all, remembering those special souls that we’ve lost but who forever changed our lives.”

Vendetta: Truth, Lies, and the Mafia

Seasons: 1

Stars include: N/A (it’s a docuseries)

Summary: “If you want to stop me,” the old man with the glasses and huge mustache says to the camera in Netflix’s Vendetta: Truth, Lies, and The Mafia, “you have two options. Either you arrest me, or you shoot me.”

One of my favorite docuseries available on Netflix, Vendetta is a show about a small Sicilian TV news station that decided to go head-to-head with the mob. The TV station founder is Pino Maniaci, the man who said the quote above and who stirs up a hornet’s nest while, as he puts it, “fighting the Mafia with no ifs or buts.”

In a place where gangsters kill over the slightest provocation, here’s a guy who delivers TV news reports in which he bellows at the camera, snarling at any mafioso who might be watching, “You pieces of s**t.” Where this Netflix series really gets wild, though, is when Pino accuses a judge of being on the take, while the judge, in turn, levels the charge right back at Pino. Her claim is that, no, he’s the one who’s too cozy with the gangsters, and that his whole anti-mafia schtick is just a charade.

The Billion Dollar Code

Seasons: 1 (miniseries)

Stars include: Mark Waschke, Mišel Matičević, and Leonard Scheicher

Summary: This Netflix series easily filled the Halt and Catch Fire hole in my heart. It’s set in 1990s Berlin, when a scrappy startup invents a new technology that allows people to see the whole world from their computer. They eventually get into a nasty patent dispute with Google over Google Earth.


Seasons: 1

Stars include: N/A (since this is a limited documentary series)

Summary: The only thing I love watching as much as a solid spy drama is anything that involves a heist. This Netflix series takes a deep dive into a few different instances of heists, recreating and walking through scams that included stealing millions of dollars from a Las Vegas casino, as well as a separate theft of pricey luxury bourbon. As soon as the old lady slips off her wig in episode one and starts vigorously making out with her partner in crime, you know the game is on.

Netflix original movies

Now, let’s take a look at some great movies to stream on Netflix, in addition to the series above, that all also fall under the category of underrated titles and hidden gems — basically, anything that hasn’t really gotten the love that it deserves and that more people need to see.


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Stars include: Ed Harris, Jason Sudeikis, and Elizabeth Olsen

Summary: This might be my favorite Netflix original movie I’ve ever seen. The streaming giant can keep all the splashy films like Don’t Look Up and all the terrible Kevin Hart movies it keeps making — a title like Kodachrome, however, is what I want more of. In this 10/10 movie, Jason Sudeikis plays a son reuniting with his cantankerous and dying photographer father (Ed Harris), and they go on a journey to help him get to the last photo store still developing Kodachrome photos.

Steel Rain

Steel Rain on Netflix

Stars include: Jung Woo-sung, Kwak Do-won, and Kim Gap-soo

Summary: Don’t ask me how I found this one, because I couldn’t tell you if my life depended on it. I’m so glad that I did find it, though. This Korean thriller, with non-stop action throughout, is built around a buddy comedy of sorts. A frumpy South Korean espionage official and an elite North Korean soldier team up to save the life of a certain North Korean dictator — a keeping-the-status-quo kind of thing, because if they don’t, the North Korean generals will no longer be kept in check and can unleash all sorts of hell.

I Used to be Famous

Stars include: Ed Skrein, Eleanor Matsuura, and Leo Long

Summary: Per Netflix, “A former boy band star unexpectedly gets a second shot at success when he forms a bond with a gifted young drummer.”

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