7 Netflix Shows Based on Real Events

We love fiction, but some great TV shows are loosely based on real events that happened. These dramatized versions of true stories make for some compelling television. Here are some of the best and greatest shows based on true stories.


These shows are dramatized versions of events that really happened, and some stick closer to the truth than others. So, while some of the characters and events actually happened, these are not documentaries and should not be used as historical references.




Netflix’s newest show is based on the true story of several heroes who helped Jews and others escape Marseilles, France, as it fell under German occupation in WWII.


The story is true, and Varian Fry, Mary-Jayne Gold, Albert Otto Hirschman, and Hiram Bingham were real people who really helped Jews escape from the Villa Air-Bel. However, many of the details are conjecture or fictionalized. Many of the other characters are based on composites of other people who existed at the time.


Inventing Anna


The Shonda Rhimes limited series Inventing Anna incorporates numerous real-life wild events from the life of Anna Delvey/Sorokin; however, the show acknowledges in each episode’s beginning that a significant portion of the content is fictional.


Alias Grace


This mini-series is based on the true story of Grace Marks, a poor, young Irish immigrant and domestic servant in Upper Canada who, along with stable hand James McDermott was convicted of the brutal murders of their employer, Thomas Kinnear, and his housekeeper, Nancy Montgomery in 1843. However, the story depicted in the show, while based on true people, is almost all fictionalized.


The Crown


Based on the life of Queen Elizabeth II, this show has sparked controversy because of how closely the show follows real events (as well as depicting people who are still living). While the events are true, and the show is based on eyewitness accounts, interviews, and written material, the show is a dramatized and imagined version of what actually occurred behind the closed doors of the most famous family in the world.


The Watcher


The Watcher, a story about a family that was stalked in their new home, is inspired by a true story. However, the creators took many creative licenses, including changing the names of the people involved in the story.


Enola Holmes 2


Enola Holmes 2 is obviously a fictional story based on the famous books Sherlock Holmes books. However, the Matchgirl’s Strike did happen and was a pivotal moment in the fight for worker’s protection. Sarah Chapman was also a real person, but she obviously, never met the fictional Enola Holmes.




This raw, gritty series is based on the real-life stories of the drug kingpins of the late 1980s and the efforts of law enforcement to meet them head-on in brutal, bloody conflict.


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