Here's Every Netflix Original Program, Ranked

The pace at which Netflix has expanded its amount of original programs over the last three years cannot be underestimated. While most content producers—be they cable channels or other streaming platforms—start with a slow trickle of originals, Netflix now monopolizes the premiere calendar with new shows on the regular, to the point where only the most dedicated of bingers can be truly caught up on them all. If you’re not one of those people, you probably need some guidance on where to begin. Consider this some assistance. Below you’ll find Netflix’s original shows ranked from the absolute dirt worst to the best of the best, timed with a rare break in Netflix's onslaught of original programs. (We did a staff vote in August, but there's been enough new shows that I figured it's time for an update.)

A quick clarification before we begin: This list includes only those scripted shows commissioned by Netflix, where all seasons have aired first on Netflix. So no revival seasons or co-partnerships. (Sorry, Lilyhammer and Longmire stans.) It also doesn’t include the platform’s programs for kids, which I’m sure are good-to-fine, but I just haven’t seen. Make sense? Of course it does. Let's get to it.


If you watched the first few episodes of Flaked and thought, "Wow, this doesn't have a point, huh?" you're in for a real treat. Once Flaked actually does get to its "point," the Will Arnett "I Swear I Can Be Serious Too" vehicle is astoundingly dull, needlessly ponderous, and seemingly dedicated to insulting the audience's intelligence. This is the least essential show of 2016.


I knew this show was not being made for me. The problem is that I'm not sure the people involved in making it know who they're making it for, either. The Fuller House pilot is one of the more excruciating viewing experiences of my adult life. Future episodes showed legitimate improvement and produced the occasional laugh, but this is perhaps society's clearest example of empty nostalgia run wild. 


Two shows that have their fans and appreciators and periodically do watchable things within the confines of their respective genres (Hemlock Grove's horror and Marco Polo's historical epic). But also two shows that would rather reinforce some of the blander conventions of those genres while stumbling into watchable moments. 


You either die a prestige drama or you live long enough to be a poorly-constructed soap pretending to be a prestige drama. I'm glad House of Cards has gone on this long, because it feels like we have, collectively, embraced the truth that it's not a good show. Kevin Spacey and Robin Wright are fantastic, even in their increasingly broad performances, but the fervor of this sucker has died down with good reason. 


This is a turning point in the list. From here onward, you could interchange these shows pretty easily based on your taste, but they're all solid. At just six episodes, F Is for Family is the easiest watch of this bunch, which counts for a whole lot when we're talking about a platform that loves nothing more than extending episodes, seasons, and series far beyond their normal limits. Bill Burr's animated family sitcom is sharp and funny, if you can move beyond the angry yelling of it all. 


If you can make your way through all 13 episodes of Bloodline Season 1, you'll be pretty satisfied. The problem, of course, is that large chunks of episodes leading into those final few hours are a significant slog. At least with Bloodline that seems intentional; it's sleepy, sun-drenched, and exhausting, like a long day on the beach that ends with someone dying. (Season 2 premieres in May.)


Good sketch comedy is still hit or miss. Chances are high that you actively dislike portions of The Characters or the Mr. Show revival W/Bob and David that I very much enjoy, and vice versa. The Characters is a far more inventive idea—give up-and-coming comedians total control and half an hour to make a sketch show—the kind of thing Netflix should be doing on the reg, but it's hard to ignore the charms of another round of ideas from Bob Odenkirk and David Cross. Again, these two receive some bonus points for not being insufferably long. 


Great cast, better-than-expected jokes, completely watchable. I didn't dislike Grace and Frankie at all, but I'm not going to fight you about it either. Right in the middle seems fair.

Next: The Top 10 and the User Poll! 

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