Curated Collections: Underrated Netflix Gems for Winter Break

Asia Cureton, Contributing Writer

When most people think of Netflix, they think of the shows and films with large cult followings like “Stranger Things,”  “Black Mirror” and “Orange is the New Black.” However, there are some more obscure films and TV shows that deserve just as much recognition and praise.


If you’re like me, then you were probably a loyal watcher of “Orange is the New Black” during its earlier seasons, but slowly stopped watching as the series progressed. Not interested in “Orange is the New Black” anymore but still want that “women in prison” plotline? Then “Wentworth” is the show for you. “Wentworth” is an Australian television drama that follows the lives of women living in the fictional Wentworth Correctional Facility. “Wentworth” is basically “Orange is the New Black’s” grittier, darker sister. With five seasons available to stream on Netflix, it is definitely worth the watch.

“Babylon Berlin”

Netflix has some of the best selections of international TV series among all of the major streaming platforms. “Babylon Berlin” is a German crime-drama TV show, with the first 16 episodes available on Netflix. The show follows a police detective attempting to dismantle a complex crime ring in 1920s Berlin while he copes with some inner turmoil. You don’t have to be a German minor (like me) to appreciate it. There is plenty of sex, violence, political turmoil, drugs, crimes and Ragtime music to enjoy. This show will have you hooked the entire time.

“What Happened to Monday”

Remember that novel “Among the Hidden?” It was about a fictional future where families were limited to two children to quell overpopulation, and if there was a third child, they had to hide to avoid capture and execution. “What Happened to Monday” is very similar to this. It follows the lives of septuplets who must avoid detection by the government — which has limited the number of children a family can have to just one — and search for their missing sister, Monday. This film is an absolute thrill ride, and you’ll be holding on to your seat from start to finish.

“The Firefly”

“The Firefly” is another example of Netflix’s amazing selection of international content. In the LGBTQ+ Mexican film, Lucia struggles to come to terms with her estranged brother’s sudden death. While she grieves, she begins to bond with her brother’s fiancee and finds herself falling in love with her. As someone who hates romantic films, this film was completely absent of the usual cliches present in most romantic films. If someone as cold-hearted as I could enjoy this film, you certainly can.

“Train to Busan”

“Train to Busan,” a Korean action-thriller, takes place on a passenger train headed to the city of Busan during a zombie apocalypse. The film is centered on a single dad and his young daughter as they struggle to survive the outbreak. When I first sat down to watch this film with my sister, I was positive it was just going to be another zombie film —  I was wrong. I was so wrong. This film has it all, from impressive zombie kills to surprising character development. I promise that no eye will be left dry-eyed by the end of this film.