Netflix is well known for rolling out dozens upon dozens of shows on what can feel like a near-weekly basis. Everything from an experimental heist drama in Kaleidoscope to the return of Black Mirror to a David Beckham documentary that set the world on fire appeared on the streaming service in 2023.
These all had a good claim to be among the best Netflix shows, and yet what's the one thing they all have in common? Well, yes, they are all on Netflix, well done. But more than that, none of them earned a perfect 100% score on Rotten Tomatoes. And yet, Netflix has premiered half a dozen new shows over the last 12 months that have earned the prestigious rating.
From a best-selling-novel adaption about a missing person's case being reopened more than a decade later, to a Samurai adult animation from the writer behind Logan, as well as an underdog wrestling documentary about the up-and-comers of the sport, there are plenty of superb Netflix shows that have been total critical successes. But maybe these have flown under your radar – so we wanted to highlight them so you can add them to your watchlist and finish your year on a high.
Blue Eye Samurai
Sure, there's an alarmingly long list of new adult animations all vying for your attention, but Blue Eye Samurai has Michael Green, the writer behind Logan and Blade Runner 2049, behind it. Set in Japan during the 17th century Edo period, a biracial samurai called Mizu quests for vengeance against four white men, one of whom might be her father. If Quentin Tarantino made Mulan, we'd imagine it would look something like this. The blood-soaked action scenes make this worth a watch alone – and you can watch the first episode on YouTube.
Based on the best-selling novel of the same title by Romy Hausmann, Dear Child is a psychological thriller mini-series that has seen rave reviews. It picks up when an unknown woman is hit by a car in Stuttgart, Germany, only for a 13-year-old missing persons case to be thrust back into the spotlight. With music by The Last of Us composer Gustavo Santaolalla, except lots of twists and turns that will hook you in from episode one.
Cunk on Earth
Meet Philomena Cunk, a hard-hitting and horribly-informed investigative reporter attempting to bring audiences closer to the truth by speaking with experts on the history of humanity. This five-episode spoof documentary from the mind of comedian Diane Morgan, along with Black Mirror creator Charlie Brooker, is wonderfully droll and quintessentially British. Its smart script is so good that you often forget this is a fictional character.
Following on from the four-season hit of the 2017 Castlevania animated series, a sequel was commissioned that focuses on Richter Belmont, a descendant of Trevor and Sypha. Taking place during the French Revolution in 1792, Castlevania: Nocturne's narrative bites off a bit more than it can chew, however, the animation and character design continue to be sublime with top-class voice acting from Killing Eve star Edward Bluemel.
The Snow Girl
A few pacing issues aside, The Snow Girl is full of suspense, powerful performances and every parent's worst nightmare. Adapted from Spanish writer Javier Castillo, the Spanish mystery thriller is split into three timelines as a five-year-old girl goes missing during a parade in Málaga, Spain. It's then that a young newspaper journalist (Milena Smit) who experienced her own heartbreak gets involved to help the parents and police find the child before it's too late.
The best compliment you can give Wrestlers is that you don't need to be a fan of the sport to enjoy this documentary. Ohio Valley Wrestling has seen the likes of Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson and Dave Bautista make their name at the Kentucky gym before heading to the big leagues. Throughout this seven-part series, we get a behind-the-scenes look at the many highs and lows of OVW, its owner – former big-time wrestler Al Snow – and his financial troubles as well as the potential next big stars in the making.
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Matt is a full-time freelance journalist who specializes in arts, culture and tech – be that movies, TV, video games, or otherwise. He's also turned his hand to everything from mattresses to motorbikes as a journalist. Prior to this, Matt headed up the games and entertainment section at T3.com, alongside being published across TechRadar, IGN, Tom's Guide, Fandom, NME, and more. In his spare time, Matt is an avid cinema-goer, keen runner and average golfer (at best). You can follow him @MattPoskitt64.