This year alone, their original series have given us laugh-out-loud comedy, thought-provoking drama and introduced us to one very helpful tidying consultant (partly responsible for us finally starting to get our life in order in 2019).
Here are our top 10 picks of Netflix’s original offerings from this year...
Subversive, hilarious and genuinely heartwarming, Special is a great example of the type of unique storytelling Netflix offers, that isn’t always seen within mainstream TV and film.
Created by and starring Ryan O’Connell, the story centres around a young gay man with mild cerebral palsy, who decides to reinvent himself and the way he’s viewed by the world.
We applaud its frank attitudes to disability, sex and other important subjects and Special is also a right good laugh too.
Best of all, the episodes clocks in at around just 15 minutes each, meaning you can blow through the whole thing in just a couple of hours. No Netflix bloat here, folks.
9. Tidying Up With Marie Kondo
Who knew a show that’s literally just about putting your things away would be so enthralling?
Tidying Up introduced us to Japanese organising consultant Marie Kondo who, in each episode, comes to someone’s house in an attempt to try and help them kick their messy habits.
They aren’t stressful How Clean Is Your House? situations though, as Tidying Up is a tranquil and relaxing watch that’s helped us de-stress, as well as de-clutter.
8. Selling Sunset
We were sold on Selling Sunset as soon as we found out it was made by the team behind noughties must-watch The Hills, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to its greatness.
Centring around a fairly dysfunctional team of real estate agents in Los Angeles, the show combines the high-drama of all good (semi-scripted) reality shows, the intrigue of looking around lovely houses and the general happiness of the California sun. Come for the expensive properties, stay for the ridiculousness.
7. Our Planet
Undeniably one of Netlix’s most ambitious projects ever, Our Planet was years in the making, shining a light on the relationship between humans and the world around us, not to mention the impact – both positive and negative – we’ve made on it.
Spanning 50 countries and filmed over a number of years, the eight-episode documentary is a feast for not just the eyes but the ears, thanks to the always-dependable Sir David Attenborough on narrating duties.
6. Sex Education
Subversive, clever and very, very funny, there’s a lot more to Sex Education than the name might suggest.
While there’s obviously a lot of sexual content throughout the series, it’s always handled in a way that’s designed to make us laugh, think or full-on cringe, rather than simply to titillate.
The diverse cast and unique aesthetic made the show a joy to look at too. Oh, and while it goes without saying that Gillian Anderson is absolutely fantastic and the show also introduced us to an array of newcomers that are worth keeping an eye out for in the future, namely Ncuti Gatwa and Emma Mackie, who play Eric and Maeve respectively.
5. Queer Eye
Three series in, we (and thousands of others) would happily sit and watch the Fab Five deciding what to order from Domino’s for 20 minutes, and still be calling for them to get an Emmy at the end of it.
While this might potentially give some stars a sense of complacency, we’re glad to see Queer Eye pushing forward and getting better, with more heartwarming moments and useful life hacks in equal measure.
Bring on the Japan special, we say!
4. RuPaul’s Drag Race
It says a lot that even though it feels like there’s a new series of RuPaul’s Drag Race kicking off every five minutes, we’re still definitely not getting bored.
So far this season, we’ve had impressive guest judges (Miley Cyrus going undercover might not have gone down as well as producers hoped, but it did lead to her getting piggy-backed around the work room), plenty of drama (only roughly 75% of which has come from Silky Ganache) and the not-surprising-but-still-triumphant return of Vanessa Vanjie Mateo, who has managed to eclipse her season 10 one-word catchphrase with her larger-than-life personality.
Plus, for the first time ever, Netflix has also delivered weekly instalments of Untucked, giving us more behind-the-scenes shade-throwing and tea-spilling than ever before.
The documentary that had the whole world talking (and cringing).
We were absolutely gripped by the headlines around Fyre Festival when the whole shambolic thing played out in 2017, so when we found out there was going to be a whole documentary devoted to it, we were totally sold.
Fyre, unlike the music event of the same name, is an absolute triumph, leading to innumerable parodies, tributes and memes, and, bizarrely, reports of a potential follow-up festival.
2. HOMECOMING: A Film By Beyoncé
What do you want us to say? It’s Beyoncé performing at Coachella. And then doing a bit of soft-spoken inspirational chat. And then more amazing performances.
Homecoming is not just a masterclass in live performance and how to pull off a top notch music documentary, but also proof that Beyoncé is not just one of the most important artists of her generation, but of any generation.
1. Russian Doll
We only stuck the first episode of Russian Doll on out of curiosity, and wound up watching the entire thing in one 24-hour period.
The premise itself – Natasha Lyonne’s character Nadiya dies, only to return to a certain spot in her night, repeating the cycle over and over again with a series of wild deaths – might sound like it owes a lot to films like Groundhog Day, but it more than stands up on its own two feet.
Hilarious, thought-provoking and more insightful than you might think, Russian Doll is full of twists and surprises, which it throws at you each time it begins to verge on predictable.
All of the above are now on Netflix UK. We will continue to update this list throughout the year to reflect new additions to the streaming service.