If you felt like it was harder than ever this year to keep up with Netflix Originals, you were not alone. The leading streaming service released 65 original programs during the calendar year 2015 —that’s more than 1 per week!— spanning the gamut from dramatic series to documentaries, from stand-up specials to all-star sketch comedy reunions. If you think that’s a lot, wait until next year: Netflix will be doubling their output in 2016.
With any luck, hopefully you and yours will have a bit of downtime this week to relax. What better time to catch up on the Best of 2015? We know that no one, not even Ted Sarandos, has time to watch EVERYTHING that Netflix released in 2015, so here’s our list of the 15 most essential things that you shouldn’t skip. Happy streaming!
(What you are about to read is presented in alphabetical order. Just FYI!)
'A Very Murray Christmas'
Decider Says: “A Very Murray Christmas is not your average holiday special. True, it celebrates the season with musical numbers and celebrity cameos, but it’s not focusing on the usual quaint joy of the season. Instead, it’s an examination of adults’ complicated and bittersweet relationship with the holiday season.”—Meghan O’Keefe (12/7/15)
Read More About: A Very Murray Christmas
'Beasts Of No Nation'
Decider Says: “Beasts Of No Nation is the brilliant film that might take Netflix all the way to the Kodak Theater.”—Meghan O’Keefe (10/16/15)
Read More About: Beasts Of No Nation
Decider Says: “BoJack Horseman is not your typical animated comedy; it appreciates the absurd, self-referential comedy of its contemporary animated (and live-action) TV series, but it also delves deep into the dark side of the human psyche — although it sometimes presents it, of course, through the avatar of a horse. And while it does have its hilarious moments, its most surprising and affecting elements come from the sharp storytelling that doesn’t avoid the uncomfortable truths of the world.”—Tyler Coates (8.4.15)
Read More About: Bojack Horseman
Decider Says: “It’s perfect. Each episode is an elegantly appointed affair overflowing with sumptuous food porn and dramatic personalities. More than that, it’s the rare docu-series that inspires you to want to make more of life.”—Meghan O’Keefe (12/21/15)
Read More About: Chef’s Table
'Hot Girls Wanted'
Decider Says: “Exhaustively researched, intimately filmed, and analyzed through the eyes of five young women trying to make it in the industry, Hot Girls Wanted is shaping up to be one of the most important documentaries of the year.”—Olivia Armstrong (6.2.15)
Read More About: Hot Girls Wanted
'John Mulaney: The Comeback Kid'
Decider Says: “Mulaney loves dissecting random non-sequiturs from strangers (one even helped title his previous special, New In Town). He delights in deconstructing their messages, as if solving the riddle we hadn’t stopped to consider before.”—Sean L. McCarthy (11/13/15)
Read More About: John Mulaney: The Comeback Kid
'Making A Murderer'
Decider Says: “For something that could have played out like a Court TV snooze fest, the show has a forward moving trajectory. Each episode sets up the next with just the right amount of unbelievable information, discovery of evidence, shocking deceit, heartbreaking perspectives from the families involved, and enough edge-of-your-seat drama that will keep your binge-watch going for hours.”—Terri Ciccone (12/23/15)
Read More About: Making A Murderer
Decider Says: “Fantastic fight scenes, luscious cinematography, a host of very human performances, a refreshingly honest take on the violence that underpins it all: Daredevil Season One is the best live-action superhero story since Tim Burton’s first Batman movie. That’s a pretty heroic achievement.”—Sean T. Collins (4/29/15)
Read More About: Marvel’s Daredevil
'Marvel's Jessica Jones'
Decider Says: “Marvel’s Jessica Jones isn’t edgy simply because it’s showing us sex and violence, but because it’s giving us a far more human superhero than ever before. This show isn’t simply about some quippy Everyman realizing that he has both the power and responsibility to help people, but rather it’s about a group of victims who decide to rise up and become heroes that fight back against their oppressor … You could almost argue that the tone and subject matter of the show is focused on correcting these tried and true sins of the superhero genre.”—Meghan O’Keefe (11/19/15)
Read More About: Marvel’s Jessica Jones
Decider Says: “An impressively ambitious, wholly captivating crime noir, equipped with classic, velvety voiceover and a provocative original soundtrack that breathes new life into Pablo Escobar’s ominous legend.”—Olivia Armstrong (9/14/15)
Read More About: Narcos
'Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt'
Decider Says: “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt marked the moment when Netflix squashed NBC. The Peacock passed on the brilliant sitcom — which became a hit for the streaming platform. My #6 show of 2015.”—Meghan O’Keefe
Read More About: Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt
'W/Bob & David'
Decider Says: “Delightfully random … Just like the duo’s former project, Mr. Show, the series often forgoes the straight man in its sketches and uses hilariously low budget sets. It’s fun, quirky, and will have you saying ‘What did I just watch?’ multiple times.”—Kayla Cobb (12/4/15)
Read More About: W/Bob & David
[Watch W/Bob & David on Netflix]
'Wet Hot American Summer: First Day Of Camp'
Decider Says: “This is a show that was designed to be watched over and over again, having been stuffed to the gills with an embarrassment of comedy riches, many of which don’t reveal themselves until the second, third, or fourth viewings.”—Mark Graham (12/24/15)
Read More About: Wet Hot American Summer: First Day Of Camp