2022 is coming to a bittersweet end. A year that was not only ravaged by the pandemic but also a dangerous war, unprecedented violence and several other climate disasters, the future looks more bleak than ever. Tired of the mayhem and chaos, people have often sought refuge in the escapism offered by films and shows on several platforms, including Netflix.
Netflix had a particularly rough start to 2022. After its massive success with the 2021 South Korean dystopian thriller series Squid Game, the streaming giant faced immense competition from its contemporaries. Its business model failed as it prioritized quantity over quality and soon, due to the increase in subscription prices, they faced an unprecedented subscriber loss, falling stock prices and revenue loss.
However, the streamer gained its footing in the final quarter of this year. As it continues to add new content, we must acknowledge some of the best shows that the streamer has produced and/or acquired over the years which tickle our audiovisual senses.
Here are the 6 best shows you can now watch/rewatch on Netflix before the year comes to an end:
The 6 best shows you can watch on Netflix now:
Russian Doll (Natasha Lyonne, Amy Poehler, Leslye Headland, 2019)
One of the greatest and craziest Netflix Originals ever made, the series focuses on the escapades of the frenzied and reckless Nadia, the self-deprecating lead of the show. Caught in a continuous time loop, Nadia’s cynicism is put to test as she relives the same events and every decision affects the subsequent outcome.
Caught in a video-game-like maze, Nadia craves escape and navigates the turf with a man named Alan Zaveri. With two seasons to its name, Russian Doll is an absolute delight with a potty-mouthed, hilarious protagonist at the centre and her evolving relationship with New York City.
Bojack Horseman (Raphael Bob-Waksberg, 2014)
Perhaps one of the most insightful shows ever made (with a good dollop of dark humor), Bojack Horseman is a personal favourite. With the titular anthropomorphic self-loathing, cynical and depressed horse in the lead, the show abounds in the utter disillusionment and hopelessness of life and existence via Bojack’s tragicomic escapades.
Beautiful and poignant, the show touches on heavyweight material, including alcoholism, substance abuse, depression, childhood trauma, relationships and life. Often heartbreaking and steeped in existential dread, the show is nothing short of profound, philosophical poetry and deserves to be watched and rewatched; its brilliance remains unparalleled.
Wednesday Addams (Tim Burton, 2022)
Starring Jenna Ortega in the centre as the titular morbid anti-hero, Wednesday Addams is perhaps one of the best and most entertaining releases of 2022. Tim Burton serves a teen drama focusing on the iconic unsettling horror icon with the eccentric macabre horror quintessential to him. Ortega lives up to the legacy of Christina Ricci and Lisa Loring, who created a mark with their individual portrayal of Wednesday and adds her own flavour to this fan-favourite character.
Joined by Ricci, Gwendoline Christie, Luis Guzman, Catherine Zeta-Jones and many more, Ortega’s Wednesday is sent to Nevermore Academy, which is home to several outcasts like her, including vampires, werewolves, sirens and gorgons. As Wednesday struggles to live up to her mother’s legacy, she is caught in a turmoil that involves a bloody murder mystery, her family’s dark past and her traumatic psychic visions.
Sex Education (Laurie Nunn, 2019)
Set in Moordale High, Sex Education is one of Netflix’s most popular shows. With teenage hormones and sex drive at an all-time high, the series focuses on the awkward Otis teaming up with school baddie Maeve to impart sex education to their misinformed and horny classmates, leading to several adventures and mishaps.
Dealing with critical issues and social taboos in a well-nuanced manner that has equal parts humour and drama, the show addresses abortion, sexual assault, homophobia, erectile dysfunction, safe sex and more. Star Emma Mackey, who plays the absolute feminist icon, Maeve Wiley, revealed how she would rather be remembered as a feminist than “an asshole”.
The Crown (Peter Morgan, 2016)
One of the most polarizing shows on Netflix, Peter Morgan’s The Crown has inspired several debates, discussions and dissent ever since its inception in 2016. One of Netflix’s most viewed shows, The Crown, focuses on the various decades of Queen Elizabeth II’s reign, from when she ascended the throne to the present times. While the Queen is dead in real life, her legacy continues to live in the show.
With its fifth season streaming on Netflix, the new cast includes Imelda Staunton, Elizabeth Debicki, Dominic West, Olivia Williams and more. It focuses on some of the darkest years of the Queen’s regime and provides an intimate insight into the secrets and scandals of the Royal family against a tumultuous socio-economic backdrop in Britain.
Stranger Things (Ross and Matt Duffer, 2016)
Netflix’s very own lucky charm, Stranger Things, was the show that catapulted the streamer to its current popularity and also helped it resuscitate its poor viewership ratings and falling stocks at the beginning of 2021. Created by the Duffer brothers, this show is a nostalgic ode to the grunge aesthetics of the 1980s and pays homage to the Duffers’ favourite, the master of horror, Stephen King. From evil bureaucratic conspiracies to dangerous monsters and epic showdowns with brave children saving the day, this sci-fi show has it all.
Starring Millie Bobby Brown, Noah Schnapp, Finn Wolfhard, David Harbour, Winona Ryder, Caleb McLaughlin, Sadie Sink and Joe Keery, among others, the show is a concoction of every child’s dream sequence. With four brilliant seasons, the show will come to an end with its fifth and final season, which will feature some epic mayhem and heartbreaking moments, as promised by the cast and crew.