When it comes to Netflix originals, much of the public and press attention tends to flow to the streamer’s English-language productions. Except for exceptions like squid gamewe are talking about Netflix series like Bridgerton, OzarksY Strange things. And, on the film side, the streamer’s original films like don’t look up Y The Adam Project.
Ironically, however, the strength of Netflix’s sheer volume of content, for a relatively low monthly price, also comes with a downside. I mean, there’s so much new stuff to watch, that the endless additions can make it harder and harder to find a needle in the streaming haystack.
Below, we’ll take a look at some highly underrated and hidden gems on Netflix that span both movies and TV series. All of which are international titles and deserve to be seen by as wide an audience as possible. Starting with one I can’t praise enough, the Swedish crime drama Cash (which translates to “Easy Money”).
“I just finished #SnabbaCash on @Netflix”, comedian Ricky Gervais tweeted in April 2021. “F*cking brilliant. The Wire satisfies gomorrah & 4 blocks. Check it out.”
There is no disagreement here.
Cash is as addictive as Netflix series for fans of real, gritty dramas with characters that end up caring. This is a show about hustlers, businessmen, crime bosses and the nouveau riche jet setters who are hungry for money and looking for the Next Big Thing. The main character here is Leya, played by the fantastic actress Evin Ahmad. In the show, she is a single mother with a Middle Eastern background trying to raise money for her artificial intelligence company.
Ultimately, he feels he has no choice but to borrow from his brother-in-law, a drug dealer. His worlds eventually intertwine in such a way that you’ll be absolutely shattered by the end of the season. But don’t worry: a second season is reportedly coming to Netflix this year.
Vendetta: truth, lies and the mob
“If you want to stop me, you have two options,” the old man with glasses and a huge mustache tells the camera on Netflix. Vendetta: truth, lies and the mob.
“Either you arrest me or you shoot me.”
This is a show about a small Sicilian TV news station that decided to go head-to-head with the mafia. The TV station’s founder is Pino Maniaci, a man who stirs up a hornet’s nest while, as he puts it, “fighting the mob with no ifs and buts,” and he also looks like a Pixar version of an old man come to life.
In a place where mobsters kill for small things, here’s a guy delivering TV news where he yells at the camera, growling at any mobster who might be watching, “You pieces of shit.” Where this Netflix series really goes haywire, though, is when Pino accuses a judge of being on the take, while she, in turn, remands Pino. Her claim is that, no, he is the one who is too cozy with mobsters, and that his whole gimmick is just a front.
More Netflix series and movies you must see
Next on my list is the series in Spanish Red Sky. This 2-season drama (a third season is coming soon) first hit Netflix in March 2021, and the basic plot centers around a trio of prostitutes who want to leave that life behind and start anew.
The women flee from their pimp and his extravagantly decorated brothel in a spectacularly chaotic manner. The hiccups and scrapes they get into comprise the bulk of a show that, by and large, is a hyperkinetic, loud, unabashed assault on the senses.
In fact, it’s along the lines of what you’d get if, say, Quentin Tarantino decided to direct a half-hour crime drama with three beautiful women and lots of guns. By the way, special praise must be given to Argentine singer and actress Lali Esposito, who here plays “Wendy”.
Meanwhile, other underrated Netflix series and movies to watch include:
The Billion Dollar Code
if you loved Stop and set firebasically you have to stop what you’re doing and watch The Billion Dollar Code. Netflix Synopsis: “In 1990s Berlin, an artist and a hacker invented a new way of seeing the world. Years later, they get together to sue Google for patent infringement.”
The Netflix synopsis: “In a Norwegian city poisoned by pollution and rocked by melting glaciers, the end times feel all too real. It will take a legend to fight an ancient evil. This story is basically a modern reimagining of bits of Norse mythology, with the main character of the show learning that he is the reincarnation of Thor.
More Netflix coverage: For more Netflix news, check out the latest new Netflix movies and series to watch.