Hidden Gems To Watch On Netflix

Everybody needs a little Netflix in their life, whether as part of their staycation, a night in, or just to decompress, but sifting through the seemingly endless array of titles offered on the streaming service can be a bit daunting. That's why we compiled this list of hidden gems for your viewing pleasure. Whether totally off your radar, titles you just weren't sure about, or nostalgic favorites you had no idea were currently available for streaming, this carefully curated collection has a little bit of everything and is sure to satisfy even the most finicky of cinephiles.


Galavant (2015-16) is a live action comedy-musical that manages to mock just about every trope in pop culture, specifically fantasy and epic animated classics, while still being incredibly endearing and entertaining in the process. Sir Galavant—a jaded alcoholic with intimacy issues—is like the Archer of the renaissance era. After a broken heart leads him to swearing off love and all acts of heroism, he falls into a drunken depression. Reluctantly, Galavant takes on a task that sends him on a hero's journey—as heroes in fairy tales are wont to do—and leads him to a face off against the man who stole his love. Can Galavant win the heart of his ex once again? Bonus: the music in the series was composed by Alan Menken, the man behind Disney classics such as The Little Mermaid (1989), Aladdin (1992), and Beauty and the Beast (1991). Sadly, Galavant was cancelled in 2016, so take your time and savor its two seasons.

The Get Down

Billed as the story of the birth of hip hop, The Get Down weaves fantasy, musical, and drama into this super underrated Netflix Original Series. The story's loosely based on the real-life rise of hip hop from a niche demographic in the Bronx to the mainstream, thanks in part to legendary impresarios like Grandmaster Flash, who coincidentally serves as creative director for the show. Adding another layer of authenticity to The Get Down is rap icon Nas, who wrote and performs a number of original tracks used in the show.

Pussy Riot: A Punk Prayer

Russian, feminist, anti-Putin, punk-rock, protest group Pussy Riot became an international sensation when news spread of the band's arrest and jailing after performing a protest song in Russia. Dubbed "prisoners of conscience" by the human rights group Amnesty International, Pussy Riot: A Punk Prayer (2013) follows the court cases of the group, telling their stories through news footage and interviews with family.

Blondie's New York and the Making of Parallel Lines

Before the album Parallel Lines, Blondie's sphere of influence was largely confined to the New York City music scene and frequent gigs at the legendary CBGB. The rock band eventually found success in Australia and the UK, but it wasn't until the disco-infused "Heart of Glass" broke into the U.S. market that Blondie became a worldwide sensation. Blondie's New York and the Making of Parallel Lines (2014) documentary is a behind-the-scenes look at the making of the album that made Debbie Harry and her band rock icons.

The Women's List

Current events have thrust women's rights and gender equality back into the national limelight, making now the perfect time to watch this installment of filmmaker Timothy Greenfield-Sanders' List documentary series. The Women's List (2015) shares the stories of 15 feminist trailblazers and their achievements, highlighting the various obstacles and discrimination the women faced as they worked to break the glass ceilings in their respective fields. Madeline Albright, Shonda Rhimes, Margaret Cho, Nancy Pelosi, and others recount their experiences battling sexism, racism, and other stereotypes as they worked to achieve equality and make their voices and talents recognized.

Chelsea Does

In the mini-docuseries, Chelsea Does (2016-), comedian Chelsea Handler explores various topics, including marriage, drugs, Silicon Valley, and racism, with a genuine curiosity and interest in learning. Each episode tackles a different subject and features conversations with friends and her therapist. What makes this series unique is Handler's approach: she allows herself and her own biases and preconceived notions to be explored alongside each topic. The show is a unique hybrid of travel, psychology, and cultural exploration told through humor and surprisingly thoughtful introspection.

Girls Just Want to Have Fun

Long before she was strutting around Manhattan in Manalos as Carrie Bradshaw, Sarah Jessica Parker starred in this nearly forgotten '80's treasure. An army brat who loves to dance and is obsessed with the teen dance show Dance TV, Janey Glenn (Parker) plots with her new bestie, the rebellious Lynne (Helen Hunt), and defies her strict father's rules to attend an open audition to win a spot on the show. Girls Just Want to Have Fun (1985), which has the classic Cyndi Lauper track of the same name as its theme song, boasts some of the greatest '80's tropes ever, including an ever-popular "dance off" against the spoiled rich girl antagonist because why wouldn't it?

Miss Representation

This 2011 documentary explores the under-representation of women in mainstream media and the impact it has on the female demographic. Miss Representation drives the message, "You can't be what you can't see" and shows actionable steps to change the way women are depicted in media in an effort to promote more positive role models. The documentary birthed a call-to-action campaign that promoted fair and equal portrayals of women in mainstream media, a guide to electing more women to political office, and principles for gender equality.

Lady Dynamite

Comedian Maria Bamford is best known for her self-deprecating humor, often using her own life experiences with anxiety and depression as part of her shtick. Admittedly, her brand of comedy may not be everyone's cup of tea, but Lady Dynamite (2016-) is definitely earning the quirky entertainer a larger fanbase. The series stars Bamford as a fictionalized version of herself who has just moved back to Los Angeles after spending six months in a hospital recovering from a bipolar episode.

An Affair to Remember

An Affair to Remember (1957) is widely considered one of the most romantic movies ever made. It's brimming with the glamour and class of old Hollywood: Cary Grant, Deborah Kerr, people dressing formally for dinner, and, most importantly, a love story completely void of cynicism. It's the perfect movie to watch if you're holed up on your couch and need a really good cry, or when you need to be assured that once upon a time, someone imagined a beautiful story about love. While other versions of the film exist—this version is a remake of 1939's Love Affair, which was remade again in 1994—none come close to this production. Plus, any movie that acted as inspiration for Nora Ephron's Sleepless In Seattle (1993) is worth a watch or two.


Teen comedies are a dime a dozen, but there will always be a handful that achieve a level of cult status. Clueless (1995) is the latter. Based on Jane Austen's "Emma," the film is a satirical teen comedy that rarely gets recognized for just how progressive it was (and still is). First, it was written, directed, and produced by a woman, a full 15 years before the first woman would win an Oscar for best director. Second, Clueless was one of the first honest depictions of the straight female-gay male bestie relationship, and still one of the few that isn't dripping in clichés and stereotypes. Factor in its fairly diverse cast anchored by multiple strong female characters, and you have a teen comedy that is seriously awesome and (bonus) also passes the Bechdel test.

The Princess Bride

Do you really need to be told to watch The Princess Bride (1987)? As Peter Falk explains to a very young Fred Savage, it has everything: "fencing, fighting, torture, revenge, giants, monsters, chases, escapes, true love, miracles." Admit it, you know at least one quote from the movie, as one should. Apparently, making the film was equally as magical. Cary Elwes, who starred as protagonist hero Westley, revealed in a 2014 Reddit AMA (via Entertainment Weekly) that Billy Crystal's Miracle Max was even funnier than audiences know. Crystal reportedly improvised much of his part, and the results were so hilarious that Elwes said it "caused Rob Reiner and myself to be banished from the set, and Mandy Patinkin to bruise a rib from laughing."