25.01.2022

These must-see Netflix dramas are actually based on true stories

But what you may not know are that some of the site’s best-loved drama series – that is, not actual documentaries – are also based on true stories.

These are semi-fictionalised accounts of actual events, played out by actors rather than footage or interviews with the subjects, spread across multiple seasons.

If you’re looking to switch things up when it comes to your binge-watching habits – hey, no judgement here, we’re on about day 31 of obsessively watching Friends as soon as we finish work #lockdownlife – then why not stick on one of these true stories to shake things up?

Netflix is absolutely bursting with content tied to actual events. So much so, that the streaming giant has become one of the most influential producers of documentaries around, kicking off way back in 2015 with Making A Murderer all the way through to Don’t F*ck With Cats: Hunting An Internet Killer in 2019, and more recently, 2020’s Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness. Yep, thanks to Netflix, we’re a nation well and truly hooked on the real life drama.

It’s important to keep in mind though, that the stories in these TV shows are brought to life with a varying degree of artistic license. Some place great emphasis on their historical accuracy (such as regal hit The Crown, which has a full research team who regularly consult with historians), while others simply use the real-life occurrence as the hook from which all the drama stems (GLOW, for example, is only loosely based on a real-life women’s wrestling show from the late ’80s and early ’90s).

Either way, whether you’re here for the mood-lifting comedies, the intimate slow-burn period dramas, or the shocking and thought-provoking true crime series, there is bound to be a true-story drama here you’ll love.

If those don’t take your fancy then never fear as there are plenty of new releases on Netflix for you, take a look at our pick below and if you love a good binge-watch check out the other best Netflix documentaries, true crime documentaries and date night movies, or our ultimate roundup of the best tv series in the meantime.

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