We’ve all experienced the coziness of a Netflix original. Some are really good—and stay that way (like Stranger Things, Orange Is the New Black, or Sense8, until they were cancelled), while others are total swill from the start, such as The Ultimatum or Sex/Life.
But there’s a certain assurance about the Netflix original series; it almost always delivers on its promises, whatever they may be. That is, until some of them entirely deviate from the path. Not so with these five series…
5 Greatest Netflix Original Series…That Made Them Lose Their Minds
This Spanish Netflix original about the outrageously hot, spoilt privileged kids of Las Encinas—from the perspective of three scholarship kids who make it in when their school burns down—was a terrific concept; and brilliantly executed. Starting with a murder at the school, we are now dragged into the mystery as it unfolds, just as we are into the lives of the characters.
What’s the problem? Netflix drank this and simply replicated the same approach with little to no ingenuity in subsequent seasons. Add to that the fact that cast members continued to drop like flies until almost no one from the original cast remained (and Oh, those Elite Short Stories that muddled the entire narrative thread), and by season 3, the program had gone completely off the rails.
2. SEX EDUCATION
This one may not be as awful as the others on this list. This humorous, new British take on an adolescent drama was wonderfully unique, with a great premise to boot. Adolescent Otis is the son of a sex therapist, and he chooses to exploit the information he learns from her to make a quick buck at school—and to get closer to the edgy Maeve on whom he has a crush.
The show is a fantastic examination of sexuality, friendship, and the awkwardness of adolescence—but something occurs in season three, and the characters who were so clearly defined in the previous two seasons begin to function outside of themselves. It appears like the show is attempting to do too much, and in doing so, it loses the spirit of what we, as viewers, found appealing.
3. BLACK MIRROR
Although this is a BBC original, Netflix has made it so much worse over the years. While there were some really fantastic episodes (San Junipero, Shut Up and Dance, Playtest), they didn’t quite have the same exquisite sense of quiet fear that BBC episodes like White Bear, Be Right Back, and The Whole History of You managed to generate.
Season 4 weakened it even more (the only two that truly stood out were Hang The DJ and Black Museum), Season 5 was a disaster (Rachel, Jack, and Ashley Too in particular), and there is very little hope for Season 6.
4. DERRY GIRLS
Let me begin by saying that Derry Girls was really fantastic. It was unique and amusing in ways that had never been seen before. The crew of five Irish schoolgirls at Catholic school—and their crazy families—as they navigated life in the kind of little town most people desire to leave one day—is so genuine that you almost believe it’s too good to last.
That is exactly what happens. The show returns in its third season after a pandemic break—and it has truly suffered as a result. It feels like a shift in writers (but it isn’t), and each character sounds like a carbon copy of themselves. The show’s unique, original air fades, leaving us with a hollow final season and an ill-fitting conclusion to a truly cherished sitcom.
5. 13 REASONS WHY
With a record-breaking first season that should’ve been the only season, this Netflix original based on Jay Asher’s YA novel of the same name became overly successful. The show about Hannah Baker, as well as the 13 records concerning the persons who contributed to her death, was ideal material for a miniseries.
Netflix did not respect this truth, extending the idea for three more years until a program that was actually quite impactful and extremely wonderful died a limping death as a shell of its former self. From attempting to redeem rapist Bryce Walker to giving a character a terminal condition for no apparent reason, the show went full soap opera in Season 3 (which appears to be Netflix’s season of doom) and never quite recovered.