Streaming is all about original content these days, not second-run movies. In 2017, Netflix established itself as king of this brave new world of streaming services.
This year was the most pivotal one for Netflix. It was the year that the streaming giant established itself as the king of original content. HBO held this crown for many years; but these days, Game of Thrones is the only heavy hitter in its stable. When GOT is gone, HBO will be left with some good shows – Ballers, Curb Your Enthusiasm, etc. – but nothing I’d consider great. Netflix stole that crown this year, and not just because of Stranger Things. The streaming service treated viewers to an amazing selection of original series and shows this year, making it the best in streaming.
Here is a list of some of the best shows on Netflix this year that aren’t Stranger Things:
Dark, Season 1
This Netflix original series centers on missing children, time travel to 1986, and a nuclear power plant. Because of this, some people might be quick to write off Netflix’s Dark as a German version of Stranger Things. At this writing, I’m nine episodes into Dark’s 10-episode first season. I can say with confidence that this is not a “German Stranger Things.” Dark’s suspenseful time travel premise is a metaphor used to illustrate how the effects of traumatic incidents can haunt individuals and families over generations. This is especially true for small towns like the one in which this series is set. If you like Stranger Things, you’ll like Dark. Just don’t expect one to mirror the other.
Godless, Limited Series
When I was a kid, my dad introduced me to The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly. Since then, I’ve been a sucker for a good Western. Netflix’s Godless is a very good Western. It tells the story tells the story of one town’s struggle to stand up to a fierce band of outlaws led by Frank Griffin, masterfully played by Jeff Daniels. Godless offers plenty of great character arcs that inspires viewers to empathize with each and their plight. Best of all, Godless was done as a “limited series” of only seven episodes, so viewers get the entire story. (Perhaps Netflix learned something from HBO’s premature cancellation of Deadwood?)
Mindhunter, Season 1
Here’s another Netflix original series that became a huge hit at my house. Having read the book Mindhunter: Inside the FBI’s Elite Serial Crime Unit by John E. Douglas and Mark Olshaker, I had an idea what this series would entail. It tells the story of how the FBI created the art of psychological profiling serial killers and the unit that handles it. A strength are the performances of lead actors Jonathan Groff and Holt McCallany as special agents Holden Ford and Bill Tench, respectively. Another strength is the chilling accuracy of the show’s portrayals real life killers Edmund Kemper, Jerry Brudos, and others. With plenty of forensics and procedure, Mindhunter is a must see for crime TV buffs.
Ozark, Season 1
While waiting for Stranger Things second season, Mrs. Buckler and I took a chance on Ozark. I initially got on board simply because of Jason Bateman. This guy is a Gen X legend since his supporting role on Silver Spoons and his own series, It’s Your Move. (Who else remember that one?) The series tells the story of Marty Byrde (Bateman), a financial advisor who relocates his family to the Ozarks to launder money for a ruthless drug cartel. From the first episode, we got hooked on the story, character arcs, and the show’s premise. Ozark proved to be a short-lived binge at Casa del Buckler, which left us looking forward to its second season next year.
Netflix is Closing Out 2017 Strong
This year, Netflix proved itself as the king of streaming services due to original content. While I enjoy dialing up classics and movies that I haven’t seen before, few of the streaming services are ideal for this purpose. Viewers are limited to what’s on that month or they have to pay an on-demand fee to watch something specific. I do this, but I prefer curling up to watch a new movie or original series. This is what makes Netflix my go-to streaming service above all the others. To prove its superiority, Netflix is closing out 2017 with the release of 34 original movies and series this month. I know my December nights will be filled with plenty of streaming!
Here’s the list of the 34 original shows and series available on Netflix this month:
All Hail King Julien: Season 5
A StoryBots Christmas
Dark: Season 1
DreamWorks Home: For the Holidays
Easy: Season 2
My Happy Family
Craig Ferguson: Tickle Fight
El Camino Christmas
The Crown: Season 2
Judd Apatow: The Return
Erased: Season 1
The Ranch: Part 4
Trollhunters: Part 2
Hello, My Twenties!: Season 2
Russell Howard: Recalibrate
The Indian Detective: Season 1
La Casa de Papel: Season 1
Peaky Blinders: Season 4
72 Dangerous Animals: Latin America: Season 1
Dope: Season 1
Fuller House: Season 3, New Episodes
The Toys That Made Us: Season 1
Cable Girls: Season 2
Todd Barry: Spicy Honey
Travelers: Season 2
Bill Nye Saves the World: Season 2: Part 1
La Mante: Season 1
Dave Chappelle: Equanimity