7 best Netflix shows you're not watching

A TV with the Netflix logo sits behind a hand holding a remote
(Image credit: Shutterstock)

We all want to be watching the best Netflix shows, and doing so — to paraphase Bo Burnham — "all of the time." But the honest truth is that Netflix doesn't make it easy to make the most of your account. Why is that? Well, if we had to distill Netflix's problem into one word, it would be "discovery." 

Finding great shows you'll like on Netflix isn't exactly easy, as I can personally attest. The service loves, and I don't know why, recommending stuff to me that I have no interest in. And that means that making the most of your monthly Netflix bill often means taking risks. And, what if, you're also like us, you're a bit risk averse?  Oh, and then there's Netflix's habit of canceling shows early on in their runs, giving people less reason to want to try Netflix's shows in their first season.

So, I've done the work of digging through Netflix's (mostly recent) archives to find things that we honestly believe are 1) worth watching and 2) haven't received enough flowers from the overall Netflix community. Not all of these are for everyone, as I pulled from categories (legal drama, young-adult supernatural) that even I'm not a fan of. But then I actually watched the shows, to make sure they're actually good and not duds. 

Our picks include a few single-season gems (including one that intentionally ended after just one outing), a reality TV show that could have a ton more added soon, an excellent animated series that just dropped its second run and a well-regarded Canadian sitcom.

Okay, and I can hear some of you from miles away. Yes, you've already seen one of these shows. But if you've seen all of them? Well, count us impressed, because these are the under-the-radar gems that need to get a wider audience. 

Maid (2021) 

I'm pretty sure I've recommended Netflix's Maid so many times that some of my friends are sick of it. That's why I'm putting it at the very bottom of this list — it's not exactly a show that's unheralded. Star Margaret Qualley even racked up nominations (Emmys, SAG Awards, Golden Globes and the Television Critics Association Awards) for her performance as Alex, a single mother on the run from an emotionally abusive husband Sean (Nick Robinson). Broke, with no job, Alex is also responsible for her young daughter Maddy (Rylea Neveah Whittet). 

Alex does find work, though, as a maid. Though she quickly learns how that industry is highly demanding. She even finds housing, through a shelter for victims of domestic abuse. But soon even her family proves difficult, as her own mother Paula (Andie MacDowell, Qualley's actual mother) takes Sean's side. The court system is not in her favor either. All while Alex deals with inherited trauma from her past that she's been keeping to herself.

If that all sounds like a bit too much, that's arguably why Maid has stayed under the radar. Completely tense, and a bit difficult to watch, Maid practically pushes audiences away. That said, once you finish Maid, you'll be more glad you watched it than happy that it's over. Phenomenally acted, and shot with those same up-close angles that made The Bear completely memorable Maid is definitely one of the best shows on Netflix you're not watching.

Genre: Drama
Seasons: 1 (10 episodes) 
Rotten Tomatoes score: 94%
Watch now on

The Bastard Son and the Devil Himself (2022)

Another victim of an excessively long show title, The Bastard Son and the Devil Himself is a YA adaptation that seemingly didn't get as much promotional love from Netflix — and subsequently sleeps under the radar. Nathan Byrne (Jay Lycurgo) is the titular bastard, who had the unfortunate luck of being the illegitimate son of the "World's Most Dangerous Blood Witch," which puts him smack-dab in the center of the war between the Blood Witches and Fairborn Witches. 

Things get a lot more interesting, though, when the Fairborn Witches leader Soul (Paul Ready) arrives in town. Not only does the drama ratchet-up, but Soul's daughter Annalise (Nadia Parkes) comes with him, becomes the new girl in school, and finds chemistry with Nathan. The scene where they meet, at a houseparty, shows off an instant chemistry between the two.

Things will only get more precarious for Nathan, as he's destined to gain power on his upcoming birthday. For anyone looking for a show where teens are dealing with supernatural issues above their age, The Bastard Son and the Devil Himself is a good shout.  - HTC

Genre: Young-adult supernatural drama
Seasons: 1 (8 episodes) 
Rotten Tomatoes score: 92%
Watch now on

Extraordinary Attorney Woo (2022)

Legal eagles meet whimsical optimism when autistic Korean lawyer Woo Young-woo (Park Eun-bin) defies the odds. The series may start at her youth, but it mostly focuses on Young-woo's life working at a prestigious law firm, one where her chattiness, quirky behavior and fascination with whales seem a bit out of place. Fortunately, Young-woo has friends on the inside looking out for her. 

Each episode offers well-built legal cases of the week-style drama, but the show's true strength is found in the subplot with Jun-ho (Kang Tae-oh) the office heartthrob whom Young-woo fancies. While it's shown some signs of popularity worldwide on Netflix, the series has still seemingly sat below the chatter in the U.S. and other regions. Oh, and since we're living in a post-Squid Game world, watch the subtitled version, not the dubbed version: the dubbing is … not the best.

Genre: Drama
Seasons: 1 (16 episodes) 
Rotten Tomatoes score: 100%
Watch now on

Dead End: Paranormal Park (2022)

Netflix loves its animated comedies, but it doesn't promote all of them as much as, say, standout Big Mouth. This is why we have to show some love to Dead End: Paranormal Park, a gorgeously-animated series that just so happens to do representation right (as in well, and without making a big deal, so as to normalize it). Drawing comparisons to the beloved Gravity Falls, Dead End is all about a group of younger characters who don't seem scared by the chaos surrounding them. In fact, they love it. 

The crew is led by Barney (Zach Barack), a gay transgender teen boy who has trouble at home because  — surprise — a certain older family isn't always supportive. Supported by his adorable dog Pugsley (a fawn pug), Barney is soon employed at Phoenix Parks, a Dollyland-like amusement park, where his aloof neighbor and lab partner Norma Khan (Kody Kavitha) also gets hired. There, they meet and befriend a thousand-year-old demon named Courtney (Emily Osment), and the two (along with Pugsley) discover a world of mystery to solve. Filled with emotion and voice, Dead End is no Dead End. 

Genre: Animated comedy
Rotten Tomatoes score: 100% (no season 2 rating)
Watch now on

Kim's Convenience (2016 - 2021)

Kim's Convenience centers around the Kim family's store of the same name in Toronto, Canada. The store is run by parents Appa (Paul Sun-Hyung Lee) and Umma (Jean Yoon), who are always seemingly at odds with their daughter Janet (Andrea Bang). Oh, and Marvel's own Shang-Chi, Simu Liu, is in the series as estranged son Jung. Appa and Umma may seem a bit too old fashioned at first for many, but they're traditional sitcom parents in that they're well-intentioned and want what's best for their kids.

One of those shows that has gone on for five whole seasons while still not perking up a ton of conversation, Kim's Convenience is partially under-known because it came from the CBC — the same Canadian Broadcasting Company that gave us Schitt's Creek, which only blew up once it hit Netflix. 

Genre: Comedy
Seasons: 5
Rotten Tomatoes score: 100% (season 1; seasons 2-5 don't have scores)
Watch now on

On The Verge (2021) 

Seemingly drawing its name from the Pedro Almodovar film Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown, On The Verge is all about how life after the age of 40 is hell for four female friends (played by creator and co-writer Julie Delpy, co-writer Alexia Landeau, Elisabeth Shue and Sarah Jones). Likely under the radar for many, especially for those not looking out for the rare shows about women of a certain age, On The Verge is also especially French, which may attract and repel different audiences.

Each of its main characters proves entertaining and interesting, such as clothing designer Ann (Shue), who seemingly has an infinite supply of edibles. Yaz (Jones) is a stay-at-home mom who wonders how she became the token non-white member of her friend group. Ell (Landeau) is living multiple struggles at once, with three kids — each from a different father. And Justine (Delpy) is a hotshot chef and restaurateur who is trying to write a cookbook while her unemployed husband isn't making things any easier. These characters may be dealing with especially unique situations that come at the price of their relatability, but each actress delivers on making their arc compelling.

Genre: Comedy/drama
Seasons: 1 (12 episodes) 
Rotten Tomatoes score: 60%
Watch now on

Old Enough!

Netflix pulled a clever move by importing 20 episodes of Old Enough!, an impossibly cute and improbably-structured reality TV show from Japan's Nippon TV. If Old Enough! proves to be a hit for Netflix, we'll likely see many more, as the show's aired for 30 years in Japan. How could such a show be an off-the-radar gem? Well, Old Enough! is a reality show about children going on errands, so it's not about the double-crosses you get in dating shows or Survivor. Nor does it have season-long arcs such as the wholesome Great British Bake-Off.

That said, we at Tom's Guide love Old Enough! because it's the most-calming show on TV — the stakes are amazingly low. Here, children aged 2 to 5 are sent on tasks and errands, often pushing them out into the world, with only their memory and a camera crew. One child goes grocery shopping, another has to make juice, and some of them are a bit annoyed to be doing these assignments. Some, though, pursue their challenge with an exuberant energy of a child with someone to prove.

While it's not the kind of show that will have you gossiping about its contestants online, Old Enough! earns a place in our queue and our "pick-me-up TV" list by getting the little things right. We absolutely love how the narrators take things slightly seriously, remarking about how some kids are setting records for the show. – HTC

Genre: Reality TV
Seasons: 1 (20 episodes) 
Rotten Tomatoes score: 100%
Watch now on

Henry T. Casey
Managing Editor (Entertainment, Streaming)

Henry is a managing editor at Tom’s Guide covering streaming media, laptops and all things Apple, reviewing devices and services for the past seven years. Prior to joining Tom's Guide, he reviewed software and hardware for TechRadar Pro, and interviewed artists for Patek Philippe International Magazine. He's also covered the wild world of professional wrestling for Cageside Seats, interviewing athletes and other industry veterans.