Stream Police: Netflix Originals

Posted in Screening Room by - March 08, 2016

Netflix Originals are more than just House of Cards and Orange is the New Black. Frankly, the best Originals that the streaming service has to offer don’t receive nearly as much publicity as those two shows. So, dear reader, I am here to show you the best Netflix Originals that may have slipped through the cracks. 

Hemlock Grove

Based on the book of the same name and produced by Eli Roth, Hemlock Grove is Netflix’s only horror offering. This seems like a missed opportunity since the horror genre is currently in the middle of a revitalization due to films like The Witch and shows like American Horror Story. That aside, Hemlock Grove is an entertaining program that centers on the eponymous town of Hemlock Grove and the Godfrey family who harbor a dark secret. Without spoiling too much, the show is quite violent and features enough gore to keep even the most avid horror fan happy. It also stars the incomparable Famke Janssen as the matriarch of the Godfrey family. 


Pablo Escobar is one of the most interesting figures in the world of drugs, and leave it to Netflix to center a show about the drug lord. The show focuses on Escobar’s rise to power in the ’70s through the sale of cocaine to his imprisonment and escape in the early ’90s. The show is told through the eyes of Steve Murphy, the DEA agent tasked with taking down the Columbian kingpin. Wagner Moura as Escobar is hands down the centerpiece of the series as he disappears into the role including an impressive physical transformation. It’s an interesting look at the life of the notorious cartel head along with the men tasked with bringing him to justice. 

F is for Family

Featuring a unique art style and the comedic stylings of Bill Burr, F is for Family is a hilarious look at the dysfunctional Murphy family during the ’80s. It features fantastic voice talent like Burr, Laura Dern, Sam Rockwell, and Justin Long, all of whom play off each other in some really inspired bits. Lighter than BoJack Horseman but just as mean thanks to the influence of Burr, it goes farther than most animated shows and will hopefully be renewed for a second season. It’s Burr at his finest. 

W/ Bob & David

I’ve been a Mr. Show with Bob and David fan since I saw the first episode back in high school, so I was excited to see the comedic duo back together again. While self-admittedly less complex and lighter than the original show, W/ Bob & David retains the same comedic tone of the original. Cross and Odenkirk also brought back most of the original writing team from their HBO show which helps to recapture the comedic magic of their first run. Unfortunately there are only five episodes in the inaugural season on Netflix along with an hour long behind the scenes episode. 

Beasts of No Nation

Beasts of No Nation is, in my opinion, the best thing Netflix has done up until this point and, yes, it’s even better than Making a Murderer. Helmed by True Detective season one director Cary Fukunaga, the film centers on Abraham Attah as a young boy caught up in a civil war in a west African country. Along the way, he is drafted into an army led by the Commandant, played impeccably by the immensely talented Idris Elba. The film was overlooked by the Academy in the nominations during the 2016 Oscars which is a shame as Elba’s performance is as impressive as it is menacing. I hope that Netflix has more films like Beasts of No Nation in the wings and less like The Ridiculous Six

This post was written by
Chris Stachiw is the Editor-in-Chief and co-host of the Kulturecast. He's a native Californian with a penchant for sarcasm and a taste for the cinematic bizarre. You'll often find him wandering the wasteland of Nebraska searching for the meaning of life and possibly another rare Pokemon.
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