By Anna Hoover
1. The OA
The OA is quite literally the most difficult show in the world to explain. It is also my favorite show of all time. It was canceled after two seasons on Netflix, so it does end with a few things unresolved, but it is definitely still worth the watch. The show starts with the main character, Prairie returning home after being missing for seven years. When she went missing, she was blind. When she returns, she can see. She has no idea how this miracle happened, and she can’t remember anything at all. Everyone has to watch this show; it is seriously the best I’ve ever seen.
2. Russian Doll
Russian Doll is the story of a gritty New Yorker, Nadia Vulvokov, played by Natasha Lyonne, who keeps dying and waking up in the same place at her own birthday party. The eight-episode series follows her in her attempts to break out of the time loop and figure out what is going on. Natasha Lyonne does an amazing job, and this show is one you will not be able to stop watching.
3. I Am Not Okay With This
I Am Not Okay With This is not fully a hidden gem, I know. I just really liked it and decided to put it here. It is based on the graphic novel by Charles Forsman about a teenage girl who discovers she has superpowers but struggles to control them. It is one season, but it is a quick watch, and you will fall in love with the characters.
I am obsessed with Marianne. I watched it in one sitting. It is in French but you can watch with English subtitles. It is about a writer of horror books who returns to her hometown and realizes that the evil spirit that she sees in her dreams is haunting the town. It is so, so good and I watched it in one sitting with my friends. I highly highly recommend it.
Atypical is a little more mainstream than some of these other shows, but it is so good. It is the only show on this list that I haven’t finished yet, but I am halfway through the second season. It is about a teenage boy named Sam on the autism spectrum and his experiences in high school as well as his family. It is so heartwarming in moments and it is sure to make you smile as Sam learns life lessons that we all should learn from as well.
Baby is another non-American show. The Italian Netflix original focuses on students at an elite private school in Rome, and their life outside of school. The show is a classic teen drama full of angst, but it is so binge-worthy. You can watch it dubbed in English or with subtitles.
7. Everything Sucks!
Everything Sucks! Is a favorite in my family. My sisters and I watched it separately and all fell in love with it. It’s a sweet story about a small town called Boring, Oregon in the 90s. It was canceled after one season, but it is so so good. The characters are amazing and everything about it accurately captures being a young teenager who has no idea what they want.
8. The Trials of Gabriel Fernandez
Ok, this show is different from the others. It is a docuseries on the death of an eight-year-old boy named Gabriel Fernandez. It is such an interesting look into the foster system, and one of the few child deaths that lead to the direct lawsuit of social workers. It is very sad because it is about the wrongful death of a child, but it is worth a watch and it will keep you on the edge of your seat.
9. Derry Girls
When I saw the trailer for Derry Girls, I thought I would hate it. I actually loved it. My whole family watched it together last summer, and it took a lot of willpower to not watch ahead behind their backs. The show takes the dark story of Ireland in the 90s and makes it more accessible through a sitcom about Irish teenagers. It’s so funny and is great to watch with family or friends.
Trinkets is yet another Netflix original with only one season out. It follows three girls who meet in a shoplifters anonymous group and form a friendship. It can be kind of cheesy, but the characters are so sweet, and the plot is so interesting. It is only 10 episodes, and definitely worth the watch.