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The best Netflix originals you've missed in 2019 so far

The new year brings new Netflix originals, and the streaming platform has started 2019 with a bang. Several Netflix originals are already getting some serious buzz: if you've been glued to your laptop watching the addictive series You or couldn't tear your eyes away from the scandals exposed in the documentary Fyre: The Greatest Party That Never Happened, you know Netflix is bringing their A-game this year.

But the platform has also released plenty of other offerings that have flown under the radar so far. It's the perfect time of year to hunker down inside for a movie night or dedicate a snowy weekend to binge-watching a new series. There's no need to bundle up and head out to the theater — here are a few underrated Netflix originals you've probably missed so far. From comedy to drama to horror, they've got everything covered. Don't worry, you've still got all year to catch up!

When Heroes Fly

This intense series was initially released in Israel in May 2018, and it has already scooped up an award for Best Series at the Canneseries International Film Festival. Directed by Omri Givon, When Heroes Fly is based on Amir Gutfreuend's novel Heroes Fly to Her. It follows four Israeli military veterans — Aviv, Himmler, Dubi, and Benda — who reunite over a decade after a nasty falling out to save Dubi's sister Yaeli.

Yaeli supposedly died in an accident in Colombia nine years prior to the start of the series, but when Benda comes across a recent photo of her in a Colombian newspaper, he knows something suspicious is going on. He decides to put his past behind him and reach out to his former friends, who agree to fly to Colombia and commit to solving the mystery of Yaeli's disappearance.

Although the series introduces some strange supernatural plots that have thrown off some viewers, it's been praised for its realistic depiction of PTSD. The friendships between the four veterans — and their ability to put conflicts aside for the greater good — illustrate how military service can connect people for life, despite their different backgrounds and religious beliefs.

Revenger

The South Korean film industry is thriving, and Revenger is one of their latest creative exports. Don't be turned off by the subtitles: this series is a standout. Directed by Seung-Won Lee, Revenger focuses on protagonist Kim Yul (Bruce Khan), who's sentenced to life in prison on an island known only as AP-101. The island is a dumping ground to keep the most violent criminals away from society, and supposedly impossible to escape from. But here's the twist: Yul isn't trying to get out. He got himself thrown into AP-101 on purpose to find the man responsible for the brutal murders of his family and avenge their deaths. He quickly connects with other inmates who were wrongfully sentenced and puts his investigative skills (and combat expertise) to good use to complete his mission.

The plot of Revenger is certainly predictable enough to anyone who enjoys action films, but the fight scenes are packed with the kind of choreography that will make you ask "Wait, how did he do that?" It's hard to take your eyes off the insanely talented Khan as he throws some serious punches and takes down the bad guys one by one.

Justice

Proving that 2019 is the year Netflix goes totally international, Justice is the first Netflix original series commissioned from the United Arab Emirates. Co-created by industry veterans William Finkelstein (L.A. Law, NYPD Blue) and Walter F. Parkes (Men in Black), Justice tells the story of Farah (Fatima Al Taei), a young woman from the UAE who studied law in the United States. She decides that she wants to practice in her home city of Abu Dhabi, so she returns to graduate from the bar. Her father is one of the top attorneys in the UAE, and he's pleased to see Farah follow in his footsteps, but there's a catch — Farah wants to work for herself and open her own practice, but her father wants her to work at his firm. In order to prove herself, Farah begins taking on intriguing pro bono cases, which are based on real cases that have gone through Abu Dhabi's justice system.

With true-to-life characters who are caught between tradition and modernity, Justice gives viewers a peek into family life in the UAE, and the series is as educational as it is entertaining. Al Taei's portrayal of Farah is sympathetic and relatable, and she makes the character's ambitious nature shine through in every scene.

Solo

Based on a true story, Solo was originally released in Spain in August 2018, and now, Netflix is bringing it to international audiences. The inner turmoil of the protagonist Álvaro will feel achingly familiar to anyone who has experienced a quarter-life crisis. When Álvaro wakes up hungover and depressed in his Jeep on Fuerteventura Island, all he can think about is the fight he just had with his girlfriend and his newfound discovery that his close friend Nelo is leaving him behind to move to Canada. He decides to grab his surfboard and catch a few waves to get his mind off everything, but on his way down to the beach, he falls and slides down the cliffs into the water crashing against the rocks below. He hits his head and begins hallucinating, reflecting on his life and his relationships as he struggles to keep breathing.

In Solo, the gorgeous setting of the Canary Islands suddenly becomes foreboding and dangerous. Solo is the kind of film that prompts you to consider what would run through your mind if you were fighting for survival — it's not an easy watch, but one that will stay with you.  

Black Earth Rising

When a series kicks off with a theme song written by none other than Leonard Cohen, expectations are going to be high, and from the intro sequence to the end credits, Black Earth Rising does not disappoint. Protagonist Kate Ashby is rescued from the aftermath of the Rwandan genocide as a child by her adoptive mother, Eve, who works as a successful international human rights lawyer. Kate eventually grows up to work side by side with Eve as a legal investigator. When Eve prosecutes a militia leader who stood up against genocide in the Democratic Republic of Congo and but now finds himself accused of crimes against humanity, Kate and Eve have to grapple with difficult questions surrounding good, evil, the complexity of morality — and where they stand in their relationship.

Black Earth Rising is not the kind of series you can zone out on. Each episode pushes viewers to think critically and refuses to spoon-feed answers to the issues it presents. In the world of Black Earth Rising, nothing is really black or white, and everything exists in shades of gray.

Lionheart

The Nigerian film Lionheart was initially released to German audiences, but this PG-rated comedy will appeal to a wide range of viewers all over the world. Not only is it the first Nigerian Netflix original, it's also Genevieve Nnaji's directorial debut — and she just so happens to be the star of the film as well. Nnaji's talents are on full display throughout Lionheart.

When Chief Earnest Obiagu has to step back from running his company because of medical issues, his daughter Adoeze decides she's ready to take on the challenge. But Obiagu feels he can't trust her to do it alone and appoints her uncle Godswill, who proves tough to work with. When Adoeze and Godswill discover that the company's finances are in shambles, they're forced to set their differences aside and cooperate in order to save the business. This lighthearted family drama serves up more than a few laughs and a strong feminist message.

Kingdom

Kingdom is another solid Netflix original out of South Korea. This genre-bending series pulls tropes from both historical fiction and creepy zombie flicks to create a fresh and exciting storyline. It was adapted from the webcomic series The Kingdom of the Gods, a collaboration between author Kim Eun-hee and artist Yang Kyung-Li.

When a dead king comes back to life, his resurrection seems to be the catalyst for a plague of mysterious origins. In order to save the kingdom, the crown prince must listen to his subjects and accept that the fight for their survival is now his burden to bear. Royal politics and supernatural threats both vie for center stage in this visually stunning series.

With only six episodes, Kingdom is easy to watch in a single weekend — which is ideal, because once you hit play, you won't want to get up until you watch the season finale. And here's the good news: season 2 started production in early 2019.

And Breathe Normally

The Icelandic film And Breathe Normally premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in January 2018 to overwhelmingly positive critical reception; a year later, it's finally available for Netflix audiences everywhere. Lara is a struggling single mother living near Reykjavik who forms an unlikely bond with Adja, an asylum seeker from Guinea-Bissau who is about to be deported. Lara is nothing if not stubborn, and she seems like the last person to accept help from a stranger. On the other hand, Adja has almost nothing to give — but somehow, she offers Lara what little she can to support her, and Lara allows herself to be vulnerable and let Adja into her world.

And Breathe Normally touches on several topics that dominate today's headlines, from scenes in the refugee center where Adja lives in limbo to Lara's attempts to disguise poverty as an adventure for her son. This is not the side of Iceland that you see in tourism ad campaigns — the cold, rocky landscape is the backdrop for a nuanced look at this seemingly utopian nation.

Medici: The Magnificent

The follow up to Medici: Masters of Florence, Medici: The Magnificent takes place 20 years after the events of the first season. Directed by Christian Deguay, Jon Cassar, and Jan Michelini, this season introduces several new cast members, including Sean Bean (Game of Thrones) and Alessandra Mastronardi (Master of None).

Set in 15th century Florence, Medici: The Magnificent focuses on the lives of Florence's most influential family, the Medici. After Piero de Medici is killed, his son Lorenzo has to take control of their family-run bank. Nicknamed "Lorenzo the Magnificent," he decides to change the way his family does business, which stirs up trouble with Florence's other powerful banking clan, the Pazzi. Now, Jacopo Pazzi is dead set on bringing Lorenzo down.

Fans will be happy to see this series return with fresh faces and an engaging new plot. Medici: The Magnificent was certainly written for maximum drama over historical accuracy, but who wouldn't want to dive into centuries-old conspiracy theories about Florentine high society for a few hours?

Soni

Soni has already been labeled the best Hindi Netflix original so far, which is certainly an impressive accolade for Ivan Ayr's directorial debut. Headstrong protagonist Soni is a policewoman in Delhi, a city where the justice system rarely gives women the benefit of the doubt. Alongside her superintendent Kalpana, the two have taken it upon themselves to investigate violent crimes against women. The women balance each other out — Soni is bold and hotheaded, while Kalpana always manages to remain calm. But when Soni is transferred out of their department after facing allegations of misconduct, their partnership takes a hit. 

Rather than veering into buddy cop tropes, Soni is an unapologetically feminist film with a thoughtful and honest depiction of the issues that women in India face. Between their very different roles at work and at home, Soni and Kalpana seem to live double lives, a predicament that will be relatable to audiences around the world.

Ánimas

The Spanish horror film Ánimas is getting mixed reviews, but if you happen to be staying in on a dark and stormy night, it's the perfect movie to fit the mood. Written and directed by Laura Alvea, the plot of Ánimas is centered around Abraham and Álex, friends who struggle to maintain their close bond when Abraham begins dating his new girlfriend Anchi. Somehow, Anchi's arrival into Abraham's life kicks off a series of increasingly strange and frightening events, from the death of Abraham's abusive father to Álex's unsettling and unexplainable visions.

Ánimas falls squarely into the category of atmospheric horror — the flickering lighting combined with the appropriately garish color palette makes every scene feel a little bit like a bad trip. There's a pervasive sense of isolation that separates Álex and Abraham from the rest of the world, and it always seems like they're trapped, with no one coming to save them from themselves.

Close

Close is based on the life of famous bodyguard Jacquie Davis, who once worked for none other than J.K. Rowling. Directed by Vicky Jewson, Close stars Noomi Rapace as Sam, a highly skilled bodyguard who can make it out of any dangerous situation unscathed. Sam ends up being assigned to protect spoiled and naive teenage heiress Zoe Tanner, who is set to inherit the wealth from her father's phosphorus mining company. The two head to Morocco, where Zoe will supposedly be staying at a high-security compound to ensure her safety — but they quickly find themselves under attack. Sam decides that being a protector isn't enough — it's her responsibility to teach Zoe how to fight back and figure out exactly who's coming after her.

Rapace steals the show in this film — she's a tough protagonist with a tender side. While this high-stakes family drama has been criticized for a messy third act, it's entertaining enough to invest 90 minutes of your time.

High Flying Bird

Directed by Steven Soderbergh, the sports drama High Flying Bird is unique in both plot and production. For starters, it was shot entirely on an iPhone.

During a pro basketball lockout, rookie player Erick Scott (Melvin Gregg) wonders if his career has already hit a dead end, until Ray Burke (André Holland of Moonlight fame) suggests an unorthodox business model that could revive the sport and disrupt the entire industry. Instead of relying on the wealthy team owners to cave and end the stalemate, why not let the players themselves take the reins and run their own league, leveraging the internet to independently broadcast games to millions?

The economic critique at the core of the film takes High Flying Bird outside the realm of traditional sports movies. Burke's biting commentary on the racial and class dynamics within the world of professional sports are apparent in real life, yet these issues are often ignored by casual fans. It's easy to see pro athletes as privileged, but High Flying Bird questions the power structure integral to this industry — when the owners reap profits off the athletes who put in years of hard work, who really comes out on top?

Paddleton

Equal parts buddy comedy and poignant tearjerker, Paddleton begins with the diagnosis of a terminal illness... but it's not an inspirational film about beating said diagnosis. Michael (Mark Duplass) finds out that he has stomach cancer, which his doctor deems incurable, and he has no interest in proving her wrong. Instead, he decides that he wants to die on his own terms, with the company of his neighbor and only real friend, Andy (Ray Romano).

Mark doesn't have any major bucket list items to check off — there is no dramatic leap out of a plane, no declarations of love to a long-lost ex. Instead, Mark wants pizza nights complete with corny kung-fu films and to play a few more rounds of Paddleton, a racquetball game the pair invented. A film like Paddleton risks falling into feel-good cliches familiar to this general narrative, but the refreshingly authentic friendship between these two misfits distinguishes the movie. Mark doesn't harbor any illusions about a miraculous recovery or a triumph over the impossible. To journey through the quiet acceptance of his own fate, he only needs the companionship of a true friend. It's a reminder that meaning isn't always found in grandiose moments, but in the connections with those we love.

The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind

The Boy Harnessed the Wind is Chiwetel Ejiofor's feature directorial debut. It premiered at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival before a wide release on Netflix. In addition to directing, Ejiofor also wrote the script and appears as the father of the young protagonist, William Kamkwamba.

If you're a fan of Ejiofor's work (his impressive filmography includes prestigious dramas like Children of Men, 12 Years a Slave, and The Martian, as well as blockbusters like Doctor Strange and The Lion King), you won't want to miss The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind. It's based on the real life of William Kamkwamba and his memoir of the same name, which detailed his incredible achievements as a young boy growing up in a small village in Malawi. Curious and inventive, William is barred from attending school when his parents can no longer pay the fees. His science teacher, however, continues teaching him and allowing him to use the library. When his village suffers from a long drought that results in famine, William must put his skills to good use to create a windmill that will power an electric water pump.

There are no surprising twists or turns — it's a straightforward story that leads to a conclusion you'll probably see coming, but William's real life grit and ingenuity is inspiring. The striking shots of the Malawi landscape, in particular, are a visual treat.

Osmosis

Are you biding your time until the next season of Black Mirror? If you're looking for another unsettling and quasi-dystopian sci-fi series in that same vein, Osmosis will be right up your alley. This French series explores a future in which people can use an innovative new dating app to find their soulmate – but it's not as simple as swiping right. Instead, this service mines data from the user's brain. On the surface, it actually seems innocent enough at first — if you could find "the one" with perfect accuracy, without having to navigate the complicated landscape of modern dating, you'd probably be tempted to give it a shot.

But naturally, there are some unintended consequences. As the developers behind the service warn the participants, every experiment has a margin of error. While the idea behind the series isn't exactly groundbreaking, the story itself is engaging and suspenseful, and the futurist virtual reality sequences make for some unique cinematography.

Black Summer

It's clear that the zombie genre is thriving on Netflix, so if you're looking for something besides The Walking Dead, you have plenty of options. Interested in a series that goes beyond the slow-moving zombie trope and raises the stakes for the human survivors? When it comes to sheer intensity, Black Summer is a step up from classic zombie films. In this series, the undead aren't lumbering around aimlessly. They're fast, they're hungry, and they're downright terrifying.

In the days following the onset of a zombie apocalypse, a group of desperate strangers bands together, hoping that strength in numbers will increase their chances of survival. Sure, it sounds like the beginning of any story about the collapse of society, but Black Summer is relentless in showcasing the full extent of the ensuing violence. The characters don't get a moment to breathe, and neither does the viewer. Be prepared for nauseating gore and plenty of jump scares.

Dead to Me

A series that starts off by introducing a recently widowed protagonist who lost her husband in a car accident sounds like it would lean heavier on tragedy than comedy, but Dead to Me consistently dabbles in black humor in its depiction of grief. While Jen (Christina Applegate) is mourning the loss of her husband, she meets Judy (Linda Cardellini) at a "grief retreat," sparking an unlikely friendship. But Judy's unwavering support and carefree attitude might not be the saving grace that Jen was hoping for.

When Jen invites Judy to live in her guesthouse, she quickly finds out that Judy tends to leave trouble in her wake, and her past is finally catching up to her. Dead to Me could have gone for mainstream drama, but the raw, realistic portrayal of female friendship and appropriately dark quips and one liners are what make it so binge-worthy. It dodges tropes at every turn and keeps you hooked right through the finale.

The Society

Even if you only skimmed Lord of the Flies in high school, you probably remember the basic plot: a group of boys get stranded on an island and attempt to organize their own mini-society until help arrives, but it devolves into chaos and tragedy ensues. That's also the general storyline in the series The Society, but this modern take on the dilemma from the classic novel doesn't feel like a mere rehashing with electricity and iPhones. When students return from a school trip to find that everyone in their town has vanished and the community is now surrounded by an impenetrable forest, they quickly realize that they're ill-equipped to handle what comes next.

Although teenagers are the audience most likely to find the characters relatable, you don't have to be a high school student to appreciate the ensemble cast and realistic take on adolescent conflict against an apocalyptic backdrop. From the first episode, viewers are sure to find themselves gripped by the mystery — is the town at the center of some grand experiment, or have they slipped into a parallel universe? Is help on the way? And if it arrives, will it be too late?

When They See Us

With Ava DuVernay serving as the co-creator, writer, and director of When They See Us, it's clear that the series is a must-watch, and there's a good chance that it will turn your worldview on its head before the credits roll. DuVernay is known for her films exploring racism and the history of civil rights in the United States, like Selma and 13th, and her skill at clearly illustrating how these issues still affect our society today. She continues down that path with this series, which is based on a 1989 case often referred to as the "Central Park Five."

When a female jogger was attacked while out running through Central Park, five young men (four black and one Hispanic) were convicted of the crime, despite a lack of hard evidence. All of them served prison time, and in 2002, their convictions were finally overturned when DNA evidence confirmed the validity of another man's confession.

DuVernay actually refused to use the "Central Park Five" moniker in the series, stating she wanted the men to be seen as individuals. This expose of the criminal justice system is impossible to look away from.

The Photographer of Mauthausen

Following its initial release in Spain in October 2018, The Photographer of Mauthausen is now available on Netflix. The film tells the true story of Francesc Boix, a Spanish inmate imprisoned in the Mauthausen concentration camp in Austria during World War II. He may have been powerless to stop the horror he has witnessed around him, but the film finds him determined to at least make sure the injustice is never forgotten. He finds a way to do this when he's put to work taking photographs for inmate IDs and documenting typical operations in the camp.

As The Photographer of Mauthausen reveals, Boix hid and preserved the negatives to these photos, at great risk to his own life. After the camp was liberated, Boix served as a witness in several trials, and his photos revealed crucial details about the conditions in the camps. Boix wanted to make sure that the Nazis' crimes against humanity would be remembered, and this film urges the viewer to understand why the truth is worth standing up for, even when powerful institutions attempt to suppress it.

Beats

Beats is the latest feature offering from director Chris Robinson, who made his feature film debut with the drama ATL in 2005. Robinson is best known for his work directing music videos for artists like Alicia Keys, Eminem, and Nicki Minaj, and his knowledge of the business clearly informs the plot of Beats. Bonus: the soundtrack is packed with songs by up-and-coming hip hop artists. 

August is an introverted teenager who is reeling after the loss of his sister. While he shuts himself away in his room and shirks his responsibilities, he throws himself into his only creative outlet: music. When school security guard Romelo drops by his house to speak to August's mother about his absence, he overhears the beats August has been working on and is immediately intrigued by his surprising talent. "Ro" has a surprise of his own up his sleeve: he's also a music manager, and now, he wants to take August under his wing. But August's heavy grief and insecurities threaten to weigh him down as he tries to rise to the occasion. 

The story of a young underdog trying to break into a tough industry with guidance from an unexpected mentor isn't a particularly original concept in itself, but the characters in Beats are the real highlight. August is sensitive and conflicted, eager to strive for more yet fragile in the wake of his sister's death. Supporting characters like August's protective mother Carla (played by Orange is the New Black's Uzo Aduba) round out a solid cast.

The Chosen One

From the very first episode of The Chosen One, you know that the outlook isn't promising for the main characters. After all, messing with villagers who would rather be left alone has been the downfall of protagonists throughout film history. 

A group of doctors is sent deep into the Brazilian wetlands to vaccinate the residents of an isolated village against Zika virus, but despite the good intentions of Lucia, Damiao, and Enzo, it's clear that they're not going to be welcomed with open arms. The villagers aren't just hostile because they don't want to be bothered by outsiders. They outright refuse to be vaccinated, insisting that polluting their bodies with modern medicine will cause them to lose the protection of "The Chosen One." The doctors must grapple with burning questions of science and faith to dig up the secrets at the heart of this village and determine if something beyond their rational understanding is really at play.

The acting in The Chosen One might feel a bit more reminiscent of a soap opera than prestige TV, but that doesn't detract much from the entertainment value. And with only six addictive episodes, it's easy to race through this series in a few hours. 

Family Business

In Family Business, Joseph Hazan is a failed French entrepreneur whose misadventures in the world of business have become the butt of his family's jokes. But when he decides that his father's kosher butcher shop needs a drastic rebranding, he might be on to something big. Joseph learns that marijuana is on the verge of being legalized in France, and he thinks that his family should take advantage of this emerging market and pivot away from selling fine meats. After plenty of bickering, the Hazan family sets out to open the first ever marijuana cafe in France. There's only one problem, of course — their new venture is still technically against the law.

With all hands on deck, can the Hazans pull off their scheme and turn a tidy profit from their new business? Or will this prove to be another expensive flop for Joseph? Although Family Business has been compared to Breaking Bad because of its subject material, it's not nearly as dark — it's definitely a comedy rather than a drama. The Hazans may be slightly dysfunctional, but they're endearing and likable. With the finale left open ended for a potential second season, you might even get to spend some more time with them in the future. 

The Last Czars

The Last Czars is as entertaining as it is educational. This visually appealing historical drama series switches between fictional reenactments and documentary-style commentary to provide further context. It's an interesting format reminiscent of a History Channel program, and while it might not resonate with those who would prefer to simply lose themselves in the story, you'll appreciate the extra background info if you're the type who often finds yourself googling questions while watching period pieces

If your knowledge of Russian history starts and ends with the animated film Anastasia, The Last Czars might help fill in a few of the gaps. The series follows the life of Czar Nicholas II, his resistance to political change, the ensuing revolution, and the fall of the Romanov dynasty. If you can let a few historical inaccuracies in the background slide, the royal scandals, intricate costumes, and intriguing portrayals of the Romanov family will more than make up for it. The names may sound familiar, but the series brings these historical figures to life in a way that explores their humanity. 

Typewriter

Hindi-language films and series are having a moment on Netflix, proving that there's more to India's film industry than Bollywood flicks. The series Typewriter is set in Goa, a region of India known by travelers for its popular beaches and quaint fishing villages — but when three aspiring young ghost hunters decide to explore a supposedly haunted villa in Bardez, they have to confront the dark forces at work in their neighborhood. When a new family moves into the villa, the terrifying legends whispered about the house come to life. Curiously enough, the haunting itself seems to be connected to an old typewriter – and trying to remove it from the house proves to be a dangerous mistake. 

The young protagonists setting out to solve a supernatural mystery welcomes comparisons to Stranger Things, but Typewriter isn't just filler to hold you over until Netflix takes you back to Hawkins. The series stands on its own, and it's legitimately frightening. The overarching plot isn't particularly unique in the horror genre, but it's undeniably binge-worthy. With only five episodes, you might be tempted to watch it all in one night. Be warned: you'll probably want to sleep with the lights on. 

The Son

The Son is being touted as a modern take on films like Rosemary's Baby, in which a paranoid new mother believes that someone wants to steal her baby for their own nefarious purposes. But this time, it's the father who thinks that someone is out to get his child. When Lorenzo and his wife Sigrid welcome their son, Henrik, nothing proceeds as Lorenzo expected. Sigrid and her midwife Gudrum lock Lorenzo out of the room when Sigrid gives birth, and with each passing day, it seems like the two women come up with new ways to keep Lorenzo away from his son.

When Sigrid diagnoses Henrik with photophobia and says that he has to live in a dimmed room for six months, Lorenzo begins to suspect that Sigrid is hiding a major a secret... and perhaps the "Henrik" she has allowed him to see isn't his son at all. Is Lorenzo haunted by his past failures as a parent, or are Sigrid and Gudrum plotting something sinister? You'll be left questioning Lorenzo's sense of reality until the final moments. 

Wu Assassins

Combine the exciting fight scenes of a martial arts film with the tension of a drama series, throw in some supernatural elements, and you've got Wu Assassins. Kai Jin (Iko Uwais), a chef working in San Francisco's Chinatown, learns his true identity: he's actually the last of the Wu Assassins, a line of warriors tasked with using their powers to kill the Wu Warlords. The Warlords also possess magical abilities connected to fire, earth, water, wood, and metal. San Francisco is now under threat from the warlords, and despite Kai's protests that he's merely a chef, he has no choice but to step up, embrace his new role, and fight against them. 

The high points of Wu Assassins are definitely the tightly choreographed fight scenes — this is Uwais' first TV series, but his previous work in film as a fight and action choreographer definitely prepared him for this role. The show has received some criticism for lackluster writing and pacing issues, but if it's renewed for a second season, the cast and crew has already created an imaginative world of interesting characters on which to build a strong sophomore effort. 

Green Frontier

Just like The Chosen One, Green Frontier takes place in the heart of the rainforest. Detective Helena Poveda (Juana del Rio) and her partner Reynaldo (Nelson Camayo) journey into the Amazon to investigate a series of mysterious murders and figure out whether or not a certain indigenous tribe is behind the killings. But in their quest to identify potential suspects, they realize that there is more to life in the jungle and the circumstances surrounding these unexplained deaths than they bargained for. Elders from the tribe share their ancient secrets, and although Helena is skeptical of their local legends, she can't deny that all of the strange clues are adding up to a phenomenon that is beyond rational explanation.

Green Frontier is the first original Colombian series commissioned by Netflix, and it's a glimpse into a world where most of us will never venture. The plot alone is enough to hold your attention, and the lush visuals of the Amazon certainly don't hurt, either. 

Sintonia

This Brazilian series follows three teenage friends trying to survive the harsh realities of daily life in the favelas of São Paulo and pursue their dreams. Doni (MC JottaPê), Nando (Christian Malheiros), and Rita (Bruna Mascarenhas) lean on each other for support as they fall in and out of trouble. The series was created by filmmaker and DJ KondZilla, an artist from São Paulo who helped popularize the Brazilian funk ostentação genre. Funk features prominently in Sintonia — Doni is an up-and-coming DJ getting some attention from labels and slowly making a name for himself at block parties. 

To outsiders, Brazil's favelas are often seen as nothing but poor shantytowns and hotbeds of organized crime. But with Sintonia, KondZilla and this cast of talented young actors aim to show audiences a different side of the culture within. It's a story most viewers probably haven't heard before — it's not your typical teen drama, but it's not a gritty crime series, either. It's an exploration of creativity, community, and hope in a setting that's unfamiliar to many.

Skylines

Jinn is a passionate hip-hop producer in Frankfurt, Germany, focused on hustling and making his mark in the music world while trying to escape his desk job at a sketchy hotel. He gets the opportunity to work with the label Skyline Records, and he hopes that with their backing, he'll be able to take his career to the next level. 

But Jinn quickly learns that Skyline is more than just a record label — there's some shady business going on behind the scenes. When Skyline owner Kalifa's brother, Ardan, returns to Frankfurt after spending 16 years exiled in Turkey, trouble begins brewing. Ardan is notorious for his dealing with unsavory characters, and now, he has some favors to ask of Kalifa. As Jinn rises up in the ranks at Skyline, he realizes that his newfound success might come at a heavy cost. 

You'll have to pay close attention to Skylines — there are quite a few characters and relationships to keep track of in this ensemble cast. But if you're a fan of shows like Empire, it's easy to breeze through all six episodes. 

In the Shadow of the Moon

In 1988, police officer Thomas Lockhart's obsession with tracking down an elusive serial killer takes hold. Several victims in Philadelphia have bled to death from similar wounds, and Lockhart becomes convinced that if he can just crack this difficult case, he'll finally get to become a detective. But the mysterious suspect continues to thwart him for years on end, leaving him with nothing but inexplicable clues and dead ends. 

Nine years later, Lockhart has moved forward in his career and become a detective. A copycat killer strikes, and as Lockhart tries to connect the dots, he realizes that the details just aren't adding up. This is not just a serial killer at work — there's something bigger at play here. When Lockhart encounters his prime suspect from 1988 and sees that she hasn't aged a day, he dedicates his life to figuring out her identity, her motives, and whether or not she's from an entirely different time and place. 

In the Shadow of the Moon is a refreshing take on the typical police procedural, and the supernatural elements keep it from feeling like a carbon copy of similar narratives in the genre. The surprising conclusion explores complex moral issues and examines the true meaning of justice.

Raising Dion

If you're a huge Marvel fan and you just can't get enough of seeing superhero stories come to life on screen, the charming and occasionally nailbiting series Raising Dion might be right up your alley. Most popular superhero films follow well-known comic book characters in their adult years, but what were these larger-than-life figures like as children?

In Raising Dion, widowed single mother Nicole is taking care of her son Dion on her own after the death of her husband. And as if the overwhelming responsibilities of being a single mother weren't enough, Dion begins exhibiting magical abilities — he doesn't quite understand it, but he's a superhero in the making. Unfortunately, it's not all fun and games for Dion. Powerful forces are out to exploit him for their own ambitions, and now, Nicole must enlist help to protect him. Plus, she needs to figure out how he developed his powers in the first place and what his future might hold. 

Brotherhood

How far would you go for the sake of family loyalty? That's the question at the heart of the Brazilian drama Brotherhood. Cristina is a successful lawyer who came from a rough background, but against all odds, she's moved up the ladder and followed a straight and narrow path. The same couldn't be said for her brother, Edson, who went to jail when she was a child. 

Cristina hadn't seen Edson in decades, but one day, his case file ends up on her desk — he's been accused of murdering another inmate. Although he's been locked up for 20 years, he still adheres to certain principles, and he refuses to rat out other inmates to save himself. Unfortunately for Edson, this puts a target on his back. Suddenly, Cristina's world is turned upside down. If she wants to help her brother, she might have to bend the rules and face the consequences. And she knows that if she's caught, the punishment will be far worse than a slap on the wrist. 

Seventeen

They say that a dog is a man's best friend, and the Spanish comedic drama Seventeen proves that there is no bond like the one between a boy and his dog. Hector, a troubled teen who couldn't keep himself from getting dragged in front of a judge, has spent the past two years living in a youth detention center, and he's dedicated most of that time to trying to figure out how to escape. After training a therapy dog, Sheep, as part of a program with the local shelter, he finally begins feeling content – but when Sheep is adopted by a new owner, Hector decides he's had enough. 

Hector breaks out of the center and gets in touch with his brother and grandmother, enlisting their help to track down Sheep. Sure, they'll have to commit a few crimes and misdemeanors along the way, which has never bothered Hector in the past. Now, though, there's only one catch — he has two days before he turns 18 and can be tried as an adult.