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Media Beat

The Rise of The “Netflix Original”

As streaming platforms gradually take over the film and television industry, services like Netflix compete to produce streaming originals exclusively available on their platform. I’ve chosen to focus on Netflix because they have held a significant share of the streaming market and were among the first to create their own original content, starting with the release of ‘Lilyhammer’ in 2011. In this blog, I will recommend and summarize ten of the most influential, popular, and my personal favorite Netflix Originals. Unfortunately, to watch these series, you must have a private subscription, or you can ask a friend to view them on their account. You can access select media through IU libraries for educational purposes at this link: IU Libraries Netflix Guide.

  1. House of Cards
A man in a black tuxedo, adorned with a white wristwatch, is seated on a white sofa, facing the audience. His right hand cradles his chin, while his left hand rests on his unseen knee. The elbow of his right arm casually drapes over the sofa's arm. On the top back of the sofa, a woman has seated herself, her posture poised on the highest point. She faces away from the man, revealing half of her visage as she gazes in a direction perpendicular to the man's line of sight. The woman wears a black One Shoulder Decollete. The white sofa and its cover are stained with numerous blood spots.

“House of Cards” is a political drama that traces the trajectory of Frank Underwood, portrayed by Kevin Spacey, as he maneuvers through the political landscape of Washington, DC. After being denied a prominent government position, Underwood resolves to manipulate his way to power, with the unwavering support of his wife, Claire. Together, they resort to deceit and corruption to achieve their ambitious goals, leaving behind a metaphorical “House of Cards” on the brink of collapse. As a trailblazer in the realm of streaming originals, “House of Cards” has significantly influenced television, making it a compelling watch for those intrigued by government, politics, dramas, and thrillers.

  1. Wednesday
Poster for the show Wednesday showing a young woman holding an umbrella in the rain.

“Wednesday” draws inspiration from the iconic TV shows and films of the Addams family, centering around the enigmatic and psychic daughter, Wednesday. The series unfolds as Wednesday attends a boarding school, striving to harness her powers while unraveling a mysterious murder. Notably, “Wednesday” created a significant impact, securing the record for the most-watched American television show in a single week, amassing over 341 million hours of viewing within seven days of its release. Having personally enjoyed the show, I wholeheartedly recommend it to those who appreciate mysteries, have an affinity for the Addams family, or enjoy Tim Burton productions.

  1. Black Mirror
In the image, a rectangular glass surface is set against a dark backdrop. The glass is shattered, prominently broken at the center with fragments and cracks extending towards the margins. Within the central hole, forming a complete circle, three small glass pieces are arranged to create a smiling emoji. The word "Black Mirror" is inscribed in white beneath the image.

“Black Mirror” has spanned six seasons, with its initial release in 2011, and Netflix acquiring the series in 2015. Each season features standalone episodes, delving into the darker facets of culture and technology. Although the episodes are independent, they consistently explore themes of ethics, politics, and technology’s impact on human behavior and society. Highly anticipated and immensely successful on the platform, “Black Mirror” captivates viewers with its thought-provoking and unique episodes. I personally love the series for its diverse themes, and I recommend it to anyone seeking an engaging watch, as there is an episode or theme for every viewer, provided they take the time to explore the series.

  1. Stranger Things
Poster for the show Stranger Things showing multiple characters behind a starlit sky.

“Stranger Things” made its debut in 2016, swiftly becoming a global sensation with a remarkable 97% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Set in the 1980s, this science fiction/horror series revolves around a group of children confronting supernatural occurrences, government experiments, mysterious disappearances, and a parallel universe known as the “Upside Down.” A must-see for sci-fi and mystery enthusiasts, as well as those who appreciate 80s pop culture, “Stranger Things” is undeniably one of my all-time favorite series that I wholeheartedly recommend.

  1. Bridgerton
Poster for the show Bridgerton showing  a man and two women posing on a manor lawn.

“Bridgerton,” a captivating drama set in 19th-century London, unfolds the intricate lives of the Bridgerton family, with a particular emphasis on the eldest daughter, Daphne, as she grapples with the complexities of love and marriage. The narrative is further enriched by the presence of a gossip writer who amplifies the family’s scandalous experiences. Delving into themes of societal expectations, romance, and wealth, “Bridgerton” is a series I recommend to all enthusiasts of period pieces, dramas, and exquisite wardrobe design.

Lily Dolliff is currently a senior in the Kelley School of Business, and will graduate in May. She loves movies, reading, and crocheting!

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