The best new Netflix show from every year since 2013

Squid Games: The Challenge. Episode 101 of Squid Games: The Challenge. Cr. Courtesy of Netflix © 2023
Squid Games: The Challenge. Episode 101 of Squid Games: The Challenge. Cr. Courtesy of Netflix © 2023 /
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Netflix shows - Squid Game season 2
Squid Game – Courtesy of Netflix/Youngkyu Park /

Squid Game (2021)

Squid Game is a phenomenal show that reminded us of why we fell in love with Netflix in the first place, as it is a one-of-a-kind show that highlighted the horror that comes with owing large amounts of debt and the terrors that can exist behind competitions shows that exploit people who simply need money to put a roof over their heads. Sure, these topics aren’t groundbreaking in their own rights, but when you add compelling characters to the mix, well, it’s hard to not have an absolute masterpiece!

The protagonist of this series, Seong Gi-Hun, was not only very entertaining to watch but also did a great job at showing us why we relate to him so much. Many do their best to stay good and kind to others despite all the chaos and depravity that they may witness; this protagonist serves as a reminder that you don’t have to sell your soul or succumb to the evils of the higher ups in order to make money. (So refreshing!)

As for characters outside of the main star, we were just as captivated. The heartbreak we felt when Kang Sae-byeok and Ji-yeong realized that only one of them were walking out of their competition or the unconditional love we had for the wholesome character that was Adbul Ali; the amount of characters we had was a blessing to experience and only made the Squid Game binge-watch that much more of a generational necessity.

Season 2 cannot come fast enough!

Honorable Mentions: Ginny & Georgia, Lupin, and Shadow and Bone 

Kotaro Lives Alone (2022)

From First Kill to Partner Track, there were a lot of great contenders in 2022. So much so that it’s almost impossible to pick a favorite of them all. Still, we would have to go with Kotaro Lives Alone, our favorite Netflix anime to this very day.

Kotaro Lives Alone – Photo Credits: Netflix
Kotaro Lives Alone – Photo Credits: Netflix /

This anime is a hidden gem about a young kid who lives by himself in a neighborhood full of interesting people. But no one is more interesting than he, as he has very peculiar tastes in interests in things like drawing faces on balloons, eating tissue (there’s a sad backstory about this one), and acting like a feudal lord from Japan. Kotaro is extremely adorable despite it all, and, like ourselves, we’re sure you’ll want to cherish this child with all your heart.

One of our favorite moments of Kotaro Lives Alone has to be a tie between episode 4 and 7 since in episode 4 we saw Kotaro exhibit a lot of wisdom in telling his friend to cherish the fact that he doesn’t have to be independent and in episode 7 we said goodbye to a major character we loved  but knew it was for the better. Then again, all ten episodes were really great to watch.

Perhaps you’ll find a different episode you’ll like! Only one wya to find out!

Honorable Mention(s): All of Us are DeadHeartstopper, and Inventing Anna

Last but not least is 2023!

Since this year is not yet over, we absolutely cannot crown one show as the best show of 2023. Nevertheless, there are tons of original series that we think are top contenders, not just because of how many fans the show garnered, but also because of just how well these shows will age in the next 10 years.

Here are some of the best Netflix originals of 2023 thus far:

  • Beef
  • Mask Girl
  • One Piece
  • The Night Agent
  • The Fall of the House of Usher
  • Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story

By the end of 2023, we will definitely give one of these TV shows the top spot. (Or maybe another TV show will surprise us before the year’s end!) Stay tuned with Netflix Life to see what our choice will be! Until then, head to Netflix to stream all of these titles!

Next. 15 most highly anticipated Netflix shows coming back in 2024 (or 2025). dark