In 2013, you could count the number of Netflix original series that existed on one hand. Nine years later, that number is, well, a little higher. Over that time, the streaming giant became a huge player in the entertainment world, developing a massive catalog of content spanning all genres, for all audiences, in as many languages as the translators can manage.
The below list, spotlighting 100 of the best offerings to come from Netflix since those earliest days, does its best to represent how Netflix has provided a home for near-countless series that might never have gotten a greenlight anywhere else, amplifying new takes and new voices just as a new hunger for innovative storytelling on television was being discovered. (For those curious about the rules here, the shows included had to have originated on Netflix, eliminating continuations like Arrested Development and Black Mirror.)
The entertainment industry was a very different place before Netflix became a purveyor of original content — and more than any other single company, Netflix was responsible for those changes. Debates may wage for decades as to whether or not all of those changes were good ones. But the 100 shows below represent 100 reasons why we’re glad Netflix got in the game.
— Liz Shannon Miller
100. Emily in Paris
What do you get if you mix Sex in the City, the ever-annoying Instagram algorithm, and a Rainbow Unicorn Bang energy drink into a blender? You’d get Emily in Paris, arguably one of Netflix’s most polarizing series of recent memory. Lily Collins’ Emily Cooper is Carrie Bradshaw for millennials and Gen-Zers who live on their For You Page, albeit ditzier and more ignorant as an American in Paris who can’t speak a syllable of French. Some say it’s corny; really, it’s camp. Come for the extravagant outfits, but stay for the soapy, tumultuous, and sex-driven decision making. — Rachael Crouch
Working from Sean Hayes’s idea for a gay James Bond, showrunner Gabe Liebman’s animated farce features a team of LGBTQI+ secret agents tasked with using their special skills to save the world. With a voice cast featuring Wanda Sykes, Patti Harrison, David Harbour, Laurie Metcalf and more, Q-Force is a treat for anyone who’s ever brunched in West Hollywood and/or can appreciate a reference like “Call me Miss Congeniality, honey, cos I’m a femme top with a gun.” — L.S.M.
98. Selling Sunset
When it comes to reality TV, it’s hard to name a show that is juicier than Selling Sunset. This series follows the Oppenheim Group, a Los Angeles real estate firm that sells mega high-priced properties. Of course, because this is a reality show, that isn’t all there is to it: drama and scandal runs rampant in its four seasons.
If that isn’t enough to sell you on Selling Sunset, it was also nominated for a Primetime Emmy Award for Unstructured Reality Program, and has two spin-offs courtesy of Netflix: Selling Tampa, (basically Selling Sunset but in Florida), and Selling the OC, which is set on California’s Newport Beach. So if you’re looking to peak behind the curtains at the world of the rich and famous, you’re looking for a healthy dose of drama and catfights, or you just want to look at beautiful houses for a while, Selling Sunset is without a doubt the show for you. — Aurora Amidon
97. Turn Up Charlie
No one ever went broke betting on the dramatic and comedic potential of teaming up a precocious small child and a gruff adult disillusioned with the world. Turn Up Charlie, created by Idris Elba and Gary Reich, stars Elba as a struggling D.J. whose new nannying gig might help relaunch his music career — provided he can survive serving as caretaker to the irrepressible Gabrielle. While it received a lukewarm critical reception upon its premiere, Elba’s undeniable charms (and solid EDM tracks, created specifically for the show) make this a pleasant low-key watch. — L.S.M.
Most shows set during the post-apocalypse can be pretty dour experiences, but there’s a level of pure glee built into this short-lived series about a teenager (Colin Ford) who honestly finds life in the chaotic ruins of Glendale, California to be a lot better than the before times. Just going to say this: There are 99 other shows on this list, but this is the only one where Matthew Broderick plays an actual cannibal. Tune in for the wild genre riffs, stay for one of the post-apocalypse’s greatest innovations: American Ninja Idol. — L.S.M.