Countdown to The Emmys: Which Netflix Original Series Is Your Favorite?
It has been, without a doubt, the Year of the Netflix Original Series. From House of Cards to the return of Arrested Development to the current water cooler convo-starter, Orange Is the New Black, Netflix has everybody talking about the way we watch TV in 2013. Which series is your favorite? Vote after the jump!
Vote for your favorite Netflix Original Series below, and continue reading for more information about each program.
House of Cards, starring Kevin Spacey and Robin Wright, is Netflix's first foray into original "TV" series. It began airing in February 2013 and quickly became The Thing to Watch. Though critics generally agreed that she show was above-average-to-pretty-awesome (minus that whole talking-straight-into-the-camera-narration-thing, which, AGREED, is not amazing), most people found themselves especially excited about the binge-watching viewing model. (How many "The Future of Television" articles did we read in February? Too many.) Here we are, eight months later, and the House of Cards has nine Emmy nominations — including Outstanding Drama, Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama, and Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama — making it one of the most nominated shows of the year. Those poor, poor network executives!
To be honest, I had never even heard of this show until I began putting this article together. I would be very, very surprised if it won this poll. Apparently, the show is about a some people who are sentenced to community service after accidentally starting a wildfire? (It's a comedy.) It doesn't star anyone particularly famous, and it failed to garner House of Cards-level critical acclaim.
Executive-produced by Eli Roth, who directed Hostel and starred as "The Bear Jew" in Quentin Tarantino's Inglourious Basterds, Hemlock Grove is supernatural horror series about a mysterious Pennsylvania town named, if you can believe it, Hemlock Grove. It failed to generate the kind of buzz and critical acclaim that House of Cards did, but, according to Netflix, more people watched Hemlock Grove during its first weekend than watched House of Cards during its first weekend. It is nominated for two Emmy awards this year, one for Outstanding Main Title Theme Music and the other for Outstanding Special Visual Effects.
The first three seasons of Arrested Development, which aired on FOX from 2003 to 2006, were universally adored by critics and TV lovers alike. Unfortunately, critical acclaim didn't translate into big ratings, and the show was cancelled. Cut to 2012: series creator Mitch Hurwitz announced that the show would return on Netflix the following year. And everyone did a little happy dance. Upon its debut, the fourth season of Arrested Development met a decidedly mixed reaction, with some people claiming it was not only funnier than ever but also highly inventive, while others said it was basically confusing garbage. Season Four, whether you loved it or not, was still a huge coup for Netflix, and Jason Bateman even earned an Emmy nomination for his reprisal of Michael Bluth. (It is also nominated for Original Dramatic Score and Outstanding Single-Camera Picture Editing for a Comedy Series.)
From the creator of Weeds (which, admittedly, went off the rails a bit about halfway through its run) comes, perhaps, Netflix's biggest moment (so far, of course). Orange Is the New Black debuted to great reviews, and word-of-mouth continues to help the series find new audiences months later. I still haven't watched it — I am letting my Weeds wounds heal! — but I have every intention to do so. (After I catch up on Homeland, probably.) Its premiere date of July 11 means that it is not eligible for this year's Emmy awards, but chances are it will be nominated in 2014.
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