More people need to watch the best documentary series on Netflix

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More people should watch the best documentary series on Netflix
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For over a year, we’ve been rounding up TV and movie recommendations here at CNET. It was funny! Discuss the best show on netflixor the best sci-fi series on Prime Video. Most of the time, it is quite easy for us to select our favorites.

Not this time.

When someone suggested I select “Best Documentary on Netflix”, I started to sweat. Immediately. I maintain CNET’s list of best documentaries. I almost watch all documentary, whether it’s a movie or a mini-series, as soon as they come out.

And folks, Netflix has a plot good documentaries.

I would say documentaries are the best thing about Netflix, period. There are genre-defining true-crime series like Making a Murderer, Oscar-winning films like Icarus, incredible nature docos like Our Planet. That’s before we even mention viral hits like tiger king Where Drive to survive.

It is almost impossible to choose just one.

But the nature of our recommendations to GameSpot is to pick something audiences might have missed or something underappreciated. This is why we tend to call shows like Dark Where For All Mankind on Apple TV Plus on established classics like Stranger Things.

So with that in mind, I’m selecting Untold as my pick for Best Documentary Series on Netflix. Because he reigns. It governs so much.

Produced by the people behind the also very good Wild Wild Country, Untold is a series of feature-length sports-focused documentaries. Which amounts to saying game of thrones is the story of an iron chair or Harry Potter is a franchise about a kid with glasses. It is obviously much more than that.

Untold doesn’t just tell a series of sports stories that defy your expectations of what a sports documentary should be. It tells these stories so effectively that you hardly need to care about the sport to be captivated. It really is so good.

Take the subjects. There’s Crimes and Penalties, which tells the slap shot tale of the Danbury Trashers, a minor hockey team led – incredibly – by the 17-year-old son of a family-related waste management magnate. Genoese criminal. Total chaos ensues.

Then there’s Mischief in the Palace, a definitive and privileged account of the infamous 2004 basketball game when Ron Artest walked through the crowd and sparked a massive brawl between players and fans.

Indescribable

Christy Martin’s profile is one of my favorites.

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And there are profiles. Really good. On Caitlyn Jenner, best known for her connection to the Kardashians, but once an Olympic gold medalist. This episode is decent, but Christy Martin’s profile is perhaps more compelling. Martin, once the most famous female boxer in the world, was a truly revolutionary athlete, but was also the victim of a savage attempted murder. His story is terrifying, told with expertise and sensitivity by the Untold team.

The Girlfriend Who Didn’t Exist is arguably the best of the bunch. If you’re going to watch an episode, I suggest this one. Manti Te’o was a superstar college football player, consensus All-American who fell victim to an incredible catfishing scam with so many layers it would be impossible to explain it here. Just look. And get ready for one of the most unique stories in all of sport.

So yes, Untold is awesome. More than awesome, actually. It’s a series of mini-masterpieces, each more intriguing than the next. Incredibly, it looks like a show that is gaining momentum. Season 1 is fantastic, but Untold’s just-concluded second season comes with a confident confidence to tackle tougher stories, with better and deeper reporting.

Even if you have no interest in sports, you owe it to yourself to watch. Untold transcends sport. It is the best documentary series on Netflix.

More streaming recommendations and tips

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