25 Netflix Shows That'll Mess With Your Mind

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by Lauren Schumacker

Remember when Netflix was company that would send DVDs straight to your house and then you'd send them back and it would send some more? Since launching online streaming, the company has made its online offerings better and better. More recently, Netflix has begun producing its own original movies and television shows, including hits such as Orange Is The New Black, The Crown, and House of Cards. If you've already made it through Stranger Things, well, no worries, because there are plenty of other amazing Netflix shows that'll mess with your mind. (And if you haven't binge-watched Stranger Things yet — I haven't — now's the time. Season 2 won't hit the streaming service until Halloween 2017.)

Honestly, is there anything better than curling up on the couch (or in bed, I won't judge) at the end of a long day, flipping on your TV or computer and queuing up a show? Whether it's new to you or an old favorite, that can be one of the best parts of the day. But let's face it: there are also plenty of shows available on streaming services that you'll want to skip. Shows that you don't enjoy, can't get into, or aren't really worth your time. So how do you weed out some of those in favor of one you hopefully do like? Well, if you like mind-bending shows that make you think, one of the 25 listed below just might be your next Netflix obsession.


'Stranger Things'

Doesn't it seem like everyone on the planet has already seen Stranger Things? If you're one of the perceived few who haven't, you're not alone, don't worry. This Netflix Original debuted last summer and is about the disappearance of a young boy — and what comes next. According to Netflix, "when a young boy vanishes, a small town uncovers a mystery involving secret experiments, terrifying supernatural forces, and one strange little girl." A fellow Romper writer described it to me as, "it's like E.T., Goonies, Stand By Me, and Poltergeist had a baby." Now I have to watch.


'The OA'

The OA has only been available to stream on Netflix since December 2016, but in that time its found itself a legion of fans, though some critics and viewers also found The OA confusing, according to The Atlantic. This Netflix original is one of those shows you have to really pay attention to — it's not a background noise while you're cooking or cleaning kind of show, unless you have some sort of magic ability to devote attention to both. According to Variety, The OA is about a girl who goes missing and reappears seven years later, now, mysteriously, with the ability to see.


'House Of Cards'

House of Cards isn't brand new, so, again, it sometimes feels like absolutely everyone has already seen this one. But in case you haven't, it's a political thriller starring Kevin Spacey and Robin Wright (among others). According to Business Insider, Spacey's character Frank Underwood is looking for revenge — and has a dangerously good plan to make it happen.


'Black Mirror'

Black Mirror first aired in UK, but Netflix picked up the first two seasons several years ago. According to The Huffington Post, the sci-fi series is formatted as an anthology, so each episode tells a new "futuristic yet relatable" story.



Quantico isn't a Netflix original — it's a current ABC show — but its first season is currently available on Netflix. According to The Hollywood Reporter, it stars Priyanka Chopra as Alex, an FBI recruit who survives a terrorist attack at Grand Central Station and then becomes the prime suspect.


'The Fall'

The Fall stars Gillian Anderson and Jamie Dornan (of Fifty Shades of Grey fame). Anderson plays a police superintendent and Dornan plays a serial killer, whose identity is unknown, according to Slate. Will the police be able to solve the case?



Definitely a choice for self-proclaimed history buffs, Borgia, about the Italian Renaissance family, was picked up by Netflix a few years ago. The family was quite powerful — two became popes — and the Netflix show, which was originally a foreign production, will give you a behind-the-scenes look.


'Bates Motel'

Bates Motel is a prequel to Psycho and airs on A&E. Essentially, the show follows a teenaged Norman Bates and what happens that leads to Psycho. The first few seasons are on Netflix, and the final season premieres on A&E later in February.



This show is a documentary, which, in my opinion, makes it both super interesting and also maybe a little more mind-bendy. According to The Los Angeles Times, Captive is basically a fact-driven Taken. It tells the story of hostage crises around the world with interviews, recordings, and recreations.


'The 100'

The 100 is based on a book (loosely) and depicts a post-apocalyptic world. It currently airs on the CW, but the first few seasons are available to stream on Netflix.


'Making A Murderer'

Again, yet another Netflix original that it sometimes feels like everyone has already seen. Making A Murderer was a hit for Netflix and tells the story of Steven Avery. According to Slate, Avery spent 18 years behind bars before DNA evidence proved him innocent. Shortly after being released, however, he was accused of the murder of a woman who was last seen visiting him. What comes next will shock you.



Shonda Rhimes' hit Scandal, which airs after Rhimes' Grey's Anatomy on ABC, is a dark look at government and power. The first several seasons of the show are available on Netflix, which is good because the cliffhangers and crazy plot twists will make you want to keep hitting "next episode."



River is a British drama, but when Netflix picked it up it was made available to American audiences. Stellan Skarsgård stars as a police officer who is able to see dead people, which help him solve his crimes. According to Inverse, once you get through the first episode, the series grabs you.


'How To Get Away With Murder'

Another Shonda Rhimes show, though she's only as the producer, How To Get Away With Murder is, basically, what it sounds like: a nonstop murder mystery. It keeps you on the edge of your seat pretty much for the full 40 plus minutes and is full of those Scandal-like plot twists that audiences expect from shows produced by Rhimes. Find the first two seasons on Netflix.



Longmire was picked up by Netflix after getting cancelled by A&E. According to The New York Times, it's a Western that focuses on crime, sure, but each week a crime is solved. The show was especially popular with older viewers while on network TV, so it's less mind-blowing and trippy than some others. If you're looking for a "what's going to happen" type of a show that doesn't mess with you too much, Longmire just might be what you're looking for.


'The Investigator: A British Crime Story'

The Investigator: A British Crime Story tells the story of Veronica (known as Carole) Packman in 1985. According to Decider, Packman was never found and neither was her body, yet her husband was convicted of her murder. Former police detective Mark Williams-Thomas leads you through his investigation.



Glitch is an Australian supernatural mystery show available to stream on Netflix. I'm not sure there's much more you need to know other than that The Daily Beast said that it could be "the next Stranger Things."


'Amanda Knox'

Many (most?) Americans know the story about Amanda Knox, the American woman who was originally convicted of her British roommate's murder in Italy. The Netflix-made documentary about her story garnered quite a bit of attention when it was released, but essentially it re-examines her story and the investigation that led to her initial conviction.


'A Series Of Unfortunate Events'

Based on a popular children's book series, the Netflix show A Series of Unfortunate Events, which stars Neil Patrick Harris, is more of a messing-with-your-kids'-minds kind of a show than one that will necessarily mess with your own. Count Olaf (played by Harris) does truly have a cold, dark heart, however, so it just might mess with your head more than you'd anticipate.


'Happy Valley'

Happy Valley is another UK import that American audiences get to watch thanks to Netflix. According to Vulture, the show follows police officer Catherine Cawood and shows a "harsher, bleaker side to life in Northern England." An incident from Cawood's past continues to plague her life, calling everything into question.


'The Blacklist'

According to Wetpaint, The Blacklist, which stars James Spader and airs on NBC, tells the story of a normal, everyday man turned international criminal. Catch the first three seasons on Netflix.



The black sheep brother comes back to down and old family secrets surface in the Netflix original Bloodline. You'll want to know how everything plays out.



Paranoid is, according to The Los Angeles Times, a British/German detective series that tells the story of a group of detectives from a small town that uncover something major while investigating a murder. Can't wait to see what happens next.



3% is a Netflix show from Brazil that tells the story of a near future where "techno-fascists" rule, according to Motherboard. Three percent of the population (the most affluent, of course) live on an island in the Atlantic Ocean, everyone else lives in poverty on some sort of mainland. (There's also a sort of Hunger Games-like competition involved.) Press play.



Sense8 is a sci-fi series that, according to NPR, is also a little bit part "action soap opera." The show tells the story of eight individuals, scattered around the world, who can experience each other's mental states and communicate without words or technology, even though they're separated. What? The first two seasons are available on Netflix, with additional season two episodes arriving on May 5.