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Dec 13 2017
by Joyce Cam

15 Binge-Worthy Netflix Original Series You Need To Watch

By Joyce Cam - Dec 13 2017
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It’s the final stretch of the term and soon you’ll be off to enjoy a well-deserved winter break! But, wait! Without having assignments to do, tests to study for and meetings to go to, what will your days consist of? Actually having a break is such a wild concept, but have no fear! Use your time lounging around and watching some of Netflix’s amazing original series. I’ve compiled a list of 15 Netflix originals to make the most of your winter break!

1. Orange Is The New Black

Rotten Tomatoes: 91/%

Orange Is The New Black truly does live up to its hype. OITNB revolves around the life of Piper Chapman when she is sentenced to a year and a half behind bars. While in prison, Piper faces many challenges including ex-girlfriends, gardening and how to effectively hide a dead body. With badass female leads, OITNB mixes humor with the real-life issues that women face when they are incarcerated. Although it can be painful to watch Piper become who she becomes, nonetheless, the characters of Red, Daya and the other inmates make you want to keep watching. OITNB is filled with humor, raunchiness and heartfelt moments to make this critically acclaimed series worthy of consuming your winter break. 

2. Stranger Things

Rotten Tomatoes: 94%

Stranger Things is the latest Netflix Original Series to make big waves in media. The town of Hawkins, Indiana is turned upside down when a young boy goes missing. His best buds will stop at nothing to find him. It takes a ranger, a mother and a shaved-head little girl to help reach further into this strangeness. Stranger Things mixes sci-fi with romance, comedy, drama, mystery and the aesthetic of the 1980s. Winona Ryder is really the queen of the spooky genre. It’s basically everything you need to create an iconic series that might actually cause you more stress than college ever could.

3. Chasing Cameron

Rotten Tomatoes: 62%

One word. MAGCON. Not sure what that is? Does Cameron Dallas ring a bell? Nash Grier? Shawn Mendes? MAGCON, short for Meet and Greet Convention, was the spark that launched many careers of young boys from Vine (RIP Vine, but hello Vine 2) into being “social media influencers” as well as worldwide singers (shoutout to Shawn Mendes). This documentary takes us through the specific world of Cameron Dallas as well as the “rise” of MAGCON, including appearances from Taylor Caniff, Aaron Carpenter and others. In this short series, we get a behind-the-scenes exclusive into what MAGCON really is, including the heartbreak, stress and all-around craziness of creating a career through lip-syncing, hopping around and being semi-good looking. Chasing Cameron is definitely a series to fill up time, but honestly, you might get out having a newfound respect for Cameron Dallas. I did anyway, so catch me at the MAGCON reunion!

4. Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt

Rotten Tomatoes: 97%

After living underground in a cult for 15 years of her life, Kimmy Schmidt is finally exposed to the real world. She decides to make up for her lost years through the cultural, eye-opening streets of New York. Kimmy’s character develops through the help of her new friends– a gay Broadway wannabe, a street-smart landlady and an out-of-touch socialite. Navigate through the streets with Kimmy in this heartwarming and hilarious series. Two big thumbs up to Netflix.

5. A Series of Unfortunate Events

Rotten Tomatoes: 95%

Tugging at the heartstrings of the old-ish. Anyone who experiences a childhood was counting down the days that Netflix would release the series. With the classic tale of orphaned siblings Violet, Klaus and Sunny Baudelaire, along with Neil Patrick Harris playing the infamous Count Olaf, this series is definitely a hit! Adding to this show, Patrick Warburton uses his familiar voice as the character of Lemony Snicket to really bring the narrative to life. A wave of nostalgia from this series will (temporarily) get rid of the stress that college has engulfed you in.

6. Dear White People

Rotten Tomatoes: 100%

Deriving from the film, also titled Dear White People, we follow a group of underrepresented students in their fight for racial, social and political equality at the predominantly white Ivy League college of Winchester University. This series is very much relevant in today’s society by harshly, but appropriately addressing the issues revolving around race in the aspects of society and politics. Along with these issues, Dear White People sheds light on gender roles, sexuality and basically the whole rollercoaster of college. Through its blunt reality and crude humor, Dear White People is definitely a must see. #STAYWOKE

7. Master of None

Rotten Tomatoes: 100%

Aziz Ansari stole our hearts through his humor in Parks and Recreation. Through his Netflix series, loosely based on his life, Ansari introduces us to his character of Dev as he figures out his way through romance, religion and profession. Root for Dev as he tries to make it as an actor in New York. Aziz Ansari does not disappoint with this MASTER(of None)PIECE. 

8. She’s Gotta Have It

Rotten Tomatoes: 87%

Based on Spike Lee's original film with the same title, Lee returns with this classic reboot. A 20 something-year-old aspiring artist juggles between three partners. In this new age adaptation, Nola Darling reclaims herself as a woman and tackles other social issues that come along the way. She's Gotta Have It is something you've gotta have this winter break. 

9. Big Mouth

Rotten Tomatoes: 100%

Big Mouth lets us know all about puberty and not in the "it's a beautiful transition into adulthood," but rather in the true, disgusting way that our bodies change. Whether you're in the middle of puberty or have gone through puberty, Big Mouth will definitely teach you something new. This extremely crude and at times, explicit cartoon is voiced by fan-favorites Nick Kroll, Jordan Peele, Maya Rudolph and more. The Hormone Monster and the Hormone Monstress really portray how puberty really felt for all of us. 

10. The Get Down

Rotten Tomatoes: 78%

Set in the Bronx during the 1970s, The Get Down exhibits the life of a young group of boys who find solace in music, trying to converge the genres of hip-hop and disco. This funky and fresh series keeps you entertained through all the drama and music breaks. The rough streets of New York come to life through The Get Down (which should have never been cancelled, Netflix, please bring it back)!

11. Narcos

Rotten Tomatoes: 87%

Narcos exposes the infamous story of Pablo Escobar and his role as the king of the Columbian cocaine ring. This docudrama follows Escobar's life from the beginning of his reign and also details the story of the DEA agent, Steve Murphy, who the U.S. assigned to go to Columbia to capture him. Narcos will have you at the edge of your seat wondering who will die next. 

12. Making a Murderer

Rotten Tomatoes: 98%

Steven Avery spent 18 years in prison for sexual assault. When he's actually proven innocent, he is released from jail only to end up going back several years for murder. This twisted real-life mystery is perfect for any of you fellow documentary lovers. Dating back to the 1980s, the docuseries actually made detectives look back into the case due to more evidence being exposed. 

13. Black Mirror

Rotten Tomatoes: 96%

Black Mirror is literally one of the biggest mindf*cks! Each episode pertains to a different story, so you don't even need to watch them sequentially. With a mix of "The X-Files" and "The Twilight Zone," Black Mirror reveals strange, dark concepts of society through satire. You really need to get into these episodes to even grasp the tiniest bit of what is happening. Just when you think you know what's happening, Black Mirror has another thing coming. This show literally keeps me up at night thinking about how, what and why. 

14. American Vandal

Rotten Tomatoes: 97%

In this true-crime parody, young high school students investigate the case of the profanity drawn on the cars of teachers in the parking lot. The main suspect, Dylan Maxwell, claims his innocence, and people actually believe him. This show is perfect for those who like detective shows but without all the seriousness. What we all want to know is, who drew the dicks? 

15. Marvel Adaptation: The Defenders, Luke Cage, Jessica Jones, Daredevil and The Punisher

Rotten Tomatoes: 74%, 95%, 92%, 86%, 61% 

Netflix is really milking their partnership with Marvel. Netflix has put out a bunch of adaptations of Marvel's favorite heroes and villains. Finally, linking them all together in The Defenders. So basically, if you're into superhero movies, take a look at some of these Netflix original series. 

Of course, there are many more Netflix original series and movies, to explore! However, these are 15 series I highly recommend! It will make your break feel much more worthwhile. So kick back, relax and chill! 

Good luck with finals!

Lead Image Credit: Joyce Cam

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Joyce Cam - University of California, Berkeley

Joyce attends the University of California, Berkeley. Follow her on twitter/instagram @Joyce_Cam !

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