Welcome back for the second part of this special feature that I made for Pete (and everyone else lol). If you missed out on the first part you can find it right here. In this follow up to the first feature, I will this time be focussing on tv series that might not be very well known (with one exception), but can be found on Netflix. Just like in the first part I will showcase a variety of genres, so there should be something for everyone in here. Okay enough talk, let’s get cracking already!
1. Giri/Haji, Crime/Drama/Thriller series (2019)
Giri/Haji, or Duty/Shame as it’s translated is a British crime series with a twist: it has a strong link to Japanese traditions and customs. A Japanese detective travels from Tokyo to London, to search for his brother who was presumed to be dead for years. Apparently he has been involved with murdering a powerful Yakuza leader, and the detective must try to solve the case, before a power struggle ensues that might completely obliterate Tokyo. Strong acting, a cast of wonderful characters and a story with numerous twists and turns make this 8 part series a must watch. Fair warning though, there’s a really strange scene in the final episode that almost ruined the show for me. Luckily it redeemed itself after that, but I thought I would at least put it up here to warn you.
2. Betaal, Horror series (2020)
This four part Indian series was a real treat and tried something unique in an oversaturated zombiemarket. A group of soldiers get send to a remote village to help clear it for progress. Once there though they encounter an ancient cave that has been sealed up for years and for good reason. An undead East India company officer has been trapped inside together with his troops, and now that they are free, they want their revenge! I had a bloody (pun intended) good time with this zombie series that has some good actors, decent (and gory) effects, and an overall pretty creepy atmosphere. This show might certainly not be for everyone, but for horror and zombiefans out there who want to try something new, this is definitely worth your time.
3. Midnattssol (Midnight Sun), Crime/Thriller series (2016)
Scandinavian crime shows have been coming out of the woodwork for the past few years, and are extremely popular. And rightfully so. Take Midnattsol (Midnight Sun) for instance. This 8 part Swedish series, sets the tone with it’s gruesome opening scene, where a man is murdered in what might be one of the most horrifying sequences I have ever seen. A French female homicide investigator teams up with the local detective Rutger Burlin to find out who is responsible for the murder, and what they discover is more than they bargained for. This series has it all. Nailbiting tension, a gripping story line, and lifelike characters make for a series that is well worth your time.
4. Violet Evergarden, Anime tv series (2018)
Violet Evergarden is one of my alltime favorite animeseries. If you want to read more about it, you can just check out my review for this one right here. During a war Violet becomes critically injured and loses both her arms. They get replaced with prostethics, and she takes on a job at a writer’s agency where she tries to connect people by writing letters. Now I know right, this story doesn’t sound too exciting. Trust me though, this is one of the most beautiful anime series I have ever had the pleasure of watching, and it pulls on your heartstrings with every episode. It doesn’t hurt that the animation itself is absolutely breathtaking either. In my opinion an absolute must watch!
5. Vagabond, K-drama/Action tv series (2019)
If it’s action you want you have come to the right place with this 16 part Korean series. A stuntman teams up with an operative for the National Intelligence Service to investigate a mysterious plane crash that cost the life of his nephew. This is a big budget show, and that is quite evident from the action sequences which are every bit as good as a big Hollywood Blockbuster movie. The storyline is gripping, and the characters are also what makes this show work really well. One negative point I do have to address though is it’s open ending, which sets up a season 2, but so far that hasn’t officially been announced yet. Fingers crossed it will, because this series deserves it.
6. The Victim’s Game, Crime/Drama series (2020)
This 8 part series from Taiwan heads in a totally different direction than you think when you first start with it. The show features a forensic detective with Asperger’s syndrome, who discovers a link to his estranged daughter when a horribly mutilated body is found. He stops at nothing to solve the murder, and together with the aid of a determined reporter he comes closer to the truth. A truth he might not want to know. One of the things that impressed me the most in this series was the high level of acting. The two leads are incredible, and are the main reason for watching this. Also nice to note is that the end of each episode there is a mini documentary which shows what was involved in creating the show.
7. Altered Carbon, Science Fiction series (2018/2020)
This science fiction series is in my opinion a highly underrated gem, that not many people seem to know about. It reminds me a lot of movies such as Blade Runner, as the world created in this series has quite a number of similarities with that one. In this dark future people’s personalities are stored and digitized, and as such can be brought back to life in new bodies (or sleeves as they are also called). A prisoner is returned in this way, and given a chance to win his freedom by solving a high profile murder. I have yet to see the second season of this show, but it’s first season was incredible with a storyline that had a lot of layers but also some amazing and high quality special effects.
8.24, Action series (2001-2014)
Now 24 isn’t a show that is unfamiliar to most people, but since it’s a recent addition to the line up of Netflix, and also one of my alltime favorite television shows I have included it here anyway. When 24 first aired in 2001 I was completely blown away by it. Focussing on the life of federal agent Jack Bauer, it played in realtime, and each season had exactly 24 episodes covering one full day. With action and tension in each episode, major character deaths, and things you don’t expect to happen happening anyway, this series was one of the three greats that aired in those years (next to Lost and Prison Break). If you have never seen this show you are in for one hell of a rollercoaster ride, as this series has aged incredibly well and is still every bit as nerve wracking as when it first appeared on television.
9. Black, K-drama/Supernatural/Crime series (2017)
Another Korean drama series that I reviewed in the past (you can find it here), I just had to include this show here because it’s so amazingly good. A young woman who has the ability to foreshadow the death’s of people around her, gets involved in a serial murder cold case. Things become more complicated when the grim reaper visits the Earth with motives of his own. Now I know, this plot might sound incredibly cheesy and weird, but I can assure you it’s not. Except for the first two episodes, (which are a bit out of tone with the rest of this show), this show’s storyline is absolutely incredible. It’s a series that continuously sets you on the wrong path, and just when you think you have it all figured out, something happens which resets your previous train of thoughts. I highly recommend this series.
10. Frontier, Historical/Drama series (2016-2018)
If I were to compare this series to anything I would say it certainly has some similarities with the movie The Revenant, starring Leonardo DiCaprio. Jason Momoa plays Declan Harp, an outlaw that tries to make a stand again the Hudson Bay Company’s monopoly on the fur trade. Jason’s natural charisma certainly is a big reason to watch this show alone, but it also contains plenty of action, some terrific set pieces and breathtaking landscapes that make this series come to life. The storyline certainly isn’t bad either, and if you like historical shows, this is one that’s definitely worth checking out!
And so we have reached the end of this two part series! I had a lot of fun writing this and I hope Pete (and of course everyone else who loves Netflix), it has helped you in finding some hidden gems on Netflix. Certainly this list is by no means complete, and with the amount of content that Netlfix keeps adding each month, you can be sure that I might do another one of these in the future. For now though I’m signing off, to watch some shows of my own (hey, I have to spend my time on something right?) See you at the next post!