Everybody's a Netflix critic: The best original series, according to users
For many of us, Netflix takes up a fair amount of downtime. There’s nothing quite like unwinding with a few back-to-back episodes (or, you know, seasons) of your favorite show, and it’s arguable that the video-streaming giant is in large part responsible for our current binge-watching culture. In the past couple years, Netflix has started to produce original content of its own; running the gamut from standup comedy specials (Aziz Ansari, Chelsea Peretti, and Nick Offerman, just to name a few) to hard-hitting documentaries. But, of course, the most notable content that Netflix has produced has been its television shows — and it’s definitely paying off.
According to Business Insider, Marvel’s Daredevil is officially the highest-rated television show on Netflix Instant with 4.6 out of 5 stars — beating out heavy-hitters like Friends (3.9), Breaking Bad (4.5), and, yes, even Sherlock (4.5). For those less familiar, the series follows Matt Murdock, who was blinded as a child and “imbued with extraordinary senses,” navigating his life as an attorney by day and Hell’s Kitchen superhero by night. He’s the perfect crime-fighting vigilante, and the show is all kinds of badass — well deserving of its popularity.
Since Netflix doesn’t release its ratings to the public, how users rate shows and movies on the site is the closest we can get to gauging how successfully they perform. Earlier this week, Mic decided to stack Netflix’s original series against one another to see how they compare; and the results were actually pretty interesting. (As a note, we added in Derek and Trailer Park Boys to their list — but left out children’s programming and any show that hasn’t had an entire season out yet, like Between.)
Unsurprisingly, runaway hits House of Cards and Orange is the New Black weren’t too far behind Daredevil when it came to user opinions. Perhaps more surprisingly, documentary series Chef’s Table received the same rating as OITNB, and performed better than a vast majority of the site’s other original shows, including Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt and The Killing.
As Mic points out, for the most part, dramas tended to do better than comedies, with only a couple exceptions. (We’d consider OITNB a little of both, but it’s classified as a drama during awards season.) Derek and BoJack Horseman tied for lowest-rated on the list, which is reflective of both shows’ critical reception — but the former got an hour-long send-off episode to wrap things up after it was canceled, and the latter’s second season comes out later this summer.
Of course, user ratings aren’t necessarily indicative of a show’s success and viewership — I can think of multiple examples that prove this is the case, starting with Party Down and Freaks and Geeks — but it certainly gives us some insight into our viewing habits and what we enjoy watching. When looking at the data, it’s worth considering that Netflix probably promotes its original content more than other shows (duh), and this method of determining a show’s success is not without flaws (double duh), but nonetheless, it’s a start.
According to Variety, 10.7% of Netflix’s subscribers watched Daredevil in the first 11 days of its release; compared with 6.5% of subscribers in the first 30 days of Season 3 of House of Cards and 7.3% in the first 30 days of Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. (House of Cards is still top of the pack when it comes to percent of viewers binge-watching, though.)
The success of Daredevil and other online-produced shows points to a significant shift in both what we consider television and where we’re getting it. The medium is growing rapidly, and the fact that Netflix’s original content is causing such a stir proves just what direction it’s moving. Given that The Mindy Project was recently picked up by Hulu and Community by Yahoo, streaming sites are fast becoming the go-to destination for incredible TV. We can’t wait to see what comes out and tops the list next.
(Images via HelloGiggles, via.)