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Formerly a streaming site that provided access to all of our favorite shows and movies, Netflix is now a successful production house in its own right. Their original programming ranges from documentaries, YA series, and dramas and comedies geared to wide-ranging audiences. Critics and viewers alike have been enthusiastic about the offerings available with the most popular shows including the 80s nostalgia-fest Stranger Things, The Crown, and the very quirky Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. While Netflix does not release viewership stats on any of its programming, the critical acclaim and multiple seasons of these original shows are a testament to their esteemed position in today’s TV landscape. With recent Golden Globe and Oscar nominations and wins, it appears that streaming platforms are becoming a production force to be reckoned with.

The Crown

This dramatic re-telling of the life of Queen Elizabeth is an epic period series that has won both critical and popular acclaim. Matthew Goode, of Dr. Who fame, stars opposite Claire Foy in the first two seasons of this multi-part series. By design, the actors will be replaced at regular intervals in order to realistically portray the Royals as they age. Beginning in 1947 and expected to continue until the storyline catches up to present day, this overarching biopic takes some artistic liberties but is considered to be quite close to the truth. The historical depictions are memorable, with one of the most popular being that of Winston Churchill as portrayed by John Lithgow. The Crown has enjoyed multiple Golden Globe nominations and wins and several Oscar nominations.

Stranger Things

This is a great show that interweaves sci-fi with a typical kids drama series making for an original program that is heavy on 80s nostalgia. Wynona Ryder portrays the mother of a boy who goes missing in what has to be one of the more interesting Hollywood comeback stories in recent memory. The kids steal the show as they search for their missing friend and brother through the Upside Down Place with the help of Eleven, a young girl who has escaped from the mysterious. Seasons 1 and 2 are currently available with Season 3 scheduled for an upcoming release. This show is spooky and fun and the young actors have definitely created a winner!

Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt

This incredibly quirky sitcom stars Ellie Kemper as the titular character in a program written by comedy vets Tina Fey and Robert Carlock. In a typical fish out of water story, Kimmy is a cult survivor that takes off for New York City and as expected, experiences many heartwarming pratfalls. This is a great comedy that has a lot of heart and appeals to a lot of different ages and demographics. Originally ordered by NBC with a first-season of 13 episodes, the series was bought by Netflix which has produced an additional two seasons. Jane Krakowski and Tituss Burgess are scene-stealers as they help Kimmy adjust to life outside of the cult.