FILM & TV

Netflix Originals: The Best Unknown and the Worst Most Popular

Netflix has had some huge hits and also some major flops.

Netflix original shows usually receive high accolades. It all started with House of Cards in 2013 and has snowballed since. Several of its shows are pop culture phenomenons and critical darlings, including Stranger Things, Master of None, and The Crown. But several others have flopped critically while still being massively popular. And many others have gained no attention at all while still being very good shows. This list breaks down the best unknown Netflix's best unknown and worst most popular original shows.

1. Best Unknown: Travelers

< >

Time travel plots involving people from the future going back in time to save the world are a dime a dozen. But this show puts an original spin on the concept. Any time someone wants to come back in time, their consciousness has to be implanted in an already existing person. Usually, people are overwritten just before death, allowing the traveler to continue on their mission without disturbing someone's original life span. Travelers has received little attention, yet it is an incredibly binge-worthy drama.

2. Worst Most Popular: Iron Fist

Marvel's Netflix properties now span six original shows, but the worst of the bunch is Iron Fist. This show was mired in controversy when it was first released. Some people claimed having a white character learn traditional Asian marital arts was cultural appropriation and that the character should have been Asian himself. But setting that aside, the show itself isn't that great on its own. The first season is incredibly slow and doesn't have much to show for itself by the end. Skip this one if you can.

3. Best Unknown: One Day At A Time

One Day At A Time may not be completely original in and of itself, but it is a great sitcom on the Netflix platform. The show is actually a reboot of the classic '70s sitcom. This time, centered around three generations of a Cuban-American family living in one household. A newly single military veteran mom enlists the help of her mother to help raise her two children. The show is filled with relatable laughs and touching moments.

4. Worst Most Popular: Fuller House

This highly anticipated sitcom is the sequel to the '80s classic Full House. While the show is incredibly popular, it's also not the best. Especially in its first season, Fuller House cashes in heavily on nostalgia by having appearances from practically every member of the original show's cast. It's a huge crutch in the first season that almost prevents new audience members from understanding the newer characters and their struggles. This show can be entertaining, but it was made especially for fans of the original.

5. Best Unknown: The OA

If you enjoy Stranger Things, you'll probably like The OA. This is a science fiction mystery series following a young woman who went missing for seven years. When she returns, she calls herself "The OA" and refuses to tell anyone how or why she can now see even though she was blind when she disappeared. Instead, she assembles a team of five locals to help her on her quest. The series only has eight episodes but received a renewal just this month. This show is perfect if you love unpacking a mystery and crafting theories.

6. Worst Most Popular: Gilmore Girls: A Year In The Life

This Gilmore Girls revival was highly anticipated by fans of the show, but left some disappointed. Instead of the traditional 50 to 60-minute episodes, the series consists of four 88 to 102-minute installments. One for each season of the year. Many were disappointed to see the lack of growth and development for their beloved characters since they left them many, many years ago. Critics found this show to be a pale shadow of the original series made only for the nostalgia factor.


POP⚡ DUST | Read More…

BOX OFFICE BREAKDOWN | What's coming to theaters this weekend?

GAMING TOP 10 | Top 10 Original Kingdom Hearts Characters

Ravyn Lenae's EP 'Crush' is a Romantic Sugar Rush

Top Stories

Why You Shouldn't Ignore Indie Video Games

These small ticket games offer big gameplay opportunities

Pay close attention! Popdust acknowledges these lesser known games, that yield hours of fun!

Every year, there are quite a few AAA games released on consoles and for PC. These are from big name publishers, including Sony, Microsoft, and Nintendo. Gamers often wait with bated breath for the next Madden, Call of Duty, or the next big open world title. These games are great and make for a lot of enjoyable gameplay, but they shouldn't be seen as the end-all be-all of the gaming industry. Big titles aren't the only kind of game published every year. Hundreds of indie games are also published.

Indie games are named as such because they are produced and published from smaller, independent companies. Just like indie music or indie movies. If AAA games are like The Avengers, indie games are like Get Out. Not many have heard of them. But those who have are often rabid fans and supporters. Every industry has big and small players. And often, in my experience, the indie gaming space has a lot more creative styles of gameplay than you might find from the big publishers.

Some gamers might frown on indie games because of their simplistic graphics (I know I have in the past). But if you want an original gameplay experience, the indie space is the best way to find it. Games like Portal, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, or Horizon: Zero Dawn just don't come around that often. Indie games often have more freedom to experiment because they aren't trying to appeal to a broad mainstream audience. They can afford to take risks. Sometimes these risks fail and sometimes they pay off.

Great examples of risk-taking gameplay can often be found in the puzzle genre. Johnathon Blow has a couple indie games that break the mold and have gained much critical acclaim. Braid is a puzzle platformer where you can control time. Much of the game's puzzles are solved by rewinding time. This causes your character and his enemies to step backward in their actions. Most enemies and trap doors are affected by the passage of time. Others are not. This requires you to put your platforming skills to the test while also piecing together the mechanics of a puzzle. Most of the solutions have to be found through experimentation — rather than sitting around and thinking. The Witness has a similar feeling to its puzzles, but the mechanics are based around drawing lines on a grid to unlock things in a three-dimensional world.

But not all indie games leave the trappings of mainstream games completely behind. Stardew Valley is a perfect example of a successful indie game playing on mainstream tropes. This is a Harvest Moon-esque farming simulator. You inherit a farm from your grandfather and are tasked with fixing it up. While farming is a big mechanic of the game, you can also make friends with the townspeople, explore the mysterious mines, and unlock even more playable areas by fixing up the community center. For $15, this game offers hundreds of hours of gameplay. And it has become a smash hit in the indie space. Concerned Ape, the game's developer, is a one-man show. And he has earned over $30 million from game sales.

And there are plenty more where that came from. Indie games aren't limited to the puzzle or farming sim genres. There are shooters, platformers, online multiplayer competitions, racers, procedurally generated crawlers, and so much more. You know Cuphead? The punishing platformer game every YouTuber has been screaming about? That's an indie game. This space offers a lot of options for any play style. Yes, it might be a risk to invest in an unproven concept or idea. But, at least for me, the pay-off for an indie purchase is much higher than buying a AAA game that sticks to a tried and true (and sometimes boring) formula. Lastly, if you're a gamer on a budget, shopping around the indie space could give you hours and hours of entertainment for a much more affordable price. Whether you're a PC or console gamer, don't count indies out.


POP⚡ DUST | Read More…

PREMIERE | Matthew Schultz drops new single: "Promise For Keeps"

Kali Uchis' Newest Single Featuring Tyler, the Creator, is So Good it Hurts

New artist GRANDSON is at the front of rock and roll's evolution


Top Stories

The Top 13 Books Coming to the Big Screen in 2018

Get excited for these adaptations to visit a theater near you.

Every year, Hollywood picks up compelling stories from books and brings them to the silver screen. These movies can be big blockbuster hits based on a science fiction novel or a compelling true story based on a biography. Either way, movie adaptations make these stories more accessible to a wider audience. And can cause international crazes. Here are the biggest book-to-movie adaptations coming to theaters this year.

Keep Reading Show less