New Netflix Original Series to Binge-Watch Over the Holiday Break

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With all of the great television series out there, it’s hard to find the time to actually watch them. Whether you’re a college student going on holiday break or are gifted a few days off of work, ’tis the season to binge-watch all of those series you haven’t had the time to watch. If you’re looking for a great new series to get hooked on, here are just a few of Netflix’s new original series that are worthy of your free time.

  1. Mindhunter

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If you’re looking for an investigative drama, Mindhunter may be the show for you. Mindhunter follows the character of Holden Ford (Jonathan Groff), who is based on the real-life story of John E. Douglas, as he forms a Behavioral Science Unit in the F.B.I. Taking place in the 1970s and 80s, Holden, along with his partner Bill Tench (Holt McCallany), begins a study that involves interviewing serial killers in order to understand how they think, which basically shows the early days of criminal psychology and profiling.

Mindhunter gives an in-depth glimpse into the origins of behavioral science, which we now see as a common way of thinking that has aided many cops in solving similar crimes. Because Mindhunter is semi-biographical, all of the serial killers we meet in Mindhunter are based on real criminals. As Holden conducts the interviews, he begins to exhibit a similar fixation with the killers as they do with their victims, leading him down a dangerous path. Mindhunter is directed by award-winning director David Fincher and is currently available to stream through Netflix.

2. Godless

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With the success of the Western, sci-fi hybrid Westworld, it seems Netflix wishes for a good, old-fashioned Western of their own. A vicious outlaw, Griffin (Jeff Daniels) combs through the towns, bringing destruction in his wake, as he searches for a member of his gang, Roy Goode (Jack O’Connell), who left their band of misfits because he can no longer condone Griffin’s behavior.

Seeking shelter, Goode happens upon a town that is solely occupied by women, since all of the men died in a mining accident. With the threat of Griffin’s gang approaching, Goode quickly learns that these women can handle their own. In what appears to be a decidedly feminist approach to the typical Western, Godless seems like a breath of fresh air in a genre that’s riddled with cliches and Marlboro Men. Godless also stars Michelle Dockery (Downtown Abbey) and Merritt Wever (The Walking Dead). All 6 episodes of Godless will be available to stream starting November 22nd.

3. Alias Grace

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Based on Margaret Atwood’s novel of the same name, Alias Grace is a historical fiction series that premiered on Netflix in early November starring Sarah Gadon, Zachary Levi, and Anna Paquin. Alias Grace takes place during the 19th century in Canada following the life of an Irish immigrant, Grace Marks, who becomes a servant in a wealthy household and is soon convicted of double murder. Fifteen years after her sentence, a doctor comes to evaluate her to determine whether or not Grace should be released from jail, basically an early form of a therapist.

As she tells the therapist of her life, Grace weaves her story together like patchwork, getting glimpses here and there of the many forms of abuse she’s suffered in her lifetime. If you’re looking for a clear-cut answer as to who killed Nancy Montgomery and Thomas Kinnear, then Alias Grace may not be the show for you. It becomes steadily apparent that the truth of Grace’s innocence or guilt is irrelevant, but as a social commentary, Alias Grace is brilliantly acted and written from the first utterance of the word “Murderess!”

4. Wormwood 

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Errol Morris, the man who brought us the 1988 documentary The Thin Blue Line, is now working with Netflix to create the series Wormwood, which is a combination of documentary and fiction that uncovers the secrets of the CIA. The plot follows the story of a young man, Eric Olson, as he attempts to discover the truth behind his father Frank Olson’s mysterious death over the course of sixty years. Eric spends most of his life trying to figure out if his father truly jumped or was pushed out of a window, where he fell to his death in 1953. Within Eric’s search, he unveils some of the United States’ darkest secrets.

As Eric investigates his father’s past, he comes to a conclusion that he can’t entirely prove so if you’re expecting any real answers to unfold in the six-episode span, you’ll end up being gravely disappointed with Wormwood. Unlike The Thin Blue Line, which resulted in the exoneration of a man condemned to be executed on death row, Wormwood doesn’t provide such closure. However, the series does paint a tragic story of a son’s life-long struggle to vindicate his father, while unfortunately becoming a victim himself. All six episodes of the Wormwood mini-series will be available to stream on December 15th.

5. Dark

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Netflix has produced many supernatural dramas including the widely popular series Stranger Things to the lesser known train-wreck Hemlock Grove. Similarly, Dark is a supernatural family drama series, created by Baran bo Odar and Jantje Friese, that will be Netflix’s first original series to be featured in the German language. In the German town of Winden, two young children go missing, bringing together four families as they try to uncover a mystery that has occurred for three generations. Not much else is known about the series apart from the description, but based on the trailer, it looks like a combination of The Killing and Stranger Things. Dark stars Louis Hofmann, Oliver Masucci, and Jordis Triebel. Dark will be available to stream beginning December 1st.

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