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The 28 best TV shows on Netflix you can binge right now
Looking for the best shows on Netflix can be hard given the huge selection the streaming service offers. This is why we have created a list of our favorite ones and are ready to share it with you!
Read more: What’s new on Netflix
Netflix gave many critically acclaimed TV shows from regular broadcast and cable networks a second life. Some of the best television shows ever made are now available for binge viewing on the service. In addition, they have a healthy portfolio of original shows and mini series for your viewing pleasure. You can sign up for the service at the link below:
Best shows on Netflix:
Editor’s note: This list of the best shows on Netflix will be updated as TV series leave and others make their debut on Netflix.
Of all of the older shows streaming on Netflix, this series may be the best of the bunch. Breaking Bad is about a high-school chemistry teacher who slowly descends into evil by cooking meth to pay for his cancer treatments.
This could be the best TV show on Netflix, and some would argue it’s the best one ever made. Bryan Cranston’s portrayal of Walter White is one of the best acting performances ever, TV or otherwise. He is helped by a superb supporting cast, including Aaron Paul, who is equally as good as White’s meth-producing partner Jesse Pinkman. You can watch all five seasons now, along with the sequel movie El Camino and the equally as good prequel/spinoff Better Call Saul.
One of Netflix’s best original shows, and a true hidden gem, was this comedy series, based loosely on the very real GLOW (Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling). Long before the WWE started turning its female “divas” into wrestlers, this entertainment group in the 1980s brought females of all types into the “sport.” The show itself features characters who try to make a living as part of GLOW while also trying to juggle their own personal lives, which in many ways is harder to do than getting into a wrestling ring. You can watch all three seasons now, and it’s a shame that a fourth and final season was planned but got canceled due to Covid-19 issues.
What can be said about this Netflix original show that hasn’t already been said? Stranger Things has become one of the most popular and buzzed-about current TV dramas, period. Created by the Duffer brothers, the show offers great nostalgic entertainment for people who grew up in the early 1980s and watched movies like E.T. and Poltergeist. At the same time, the show is made with a modern sensitivity towards relationships and characters.
The kids and adults who live and work in the fictional Hawkins, Indiana, have to deal with supernatural threats, but there’s also plenty of room for teenage romance and more. You can watch four seasons now, with a fifth and final season coming sometime in the future.
This show has a pretty basic premise; two brothers take up their father’s legacy to hunt down monsters that plague humanity. Out of that simple idea came 15 seasons of a show that included lots of twists and turns on the monster genre. Dean and Sam Winchester saved the entire planet more than once, turned into evil versions of themselves, and even encounter the Scooby-Doo gang in one memorable episode. There’s lots of great monster action, drama, and humor in this long-running series. You can watch all 15 seasons now.
Time travel is not a new theme for TV shows. However, Outlander, based on the series of best-selling novels, made time travel romantic and even sexy. A World War II nurse, happily married, is suddenly thrust back in time to the 16th century via a set of magic stones in Scotland. She finds both love and hardship with a Highland warrior. The series has lots of twists and shows how time travel can affect a person’s life in all sorts of ways. It is one of the best shows on Netflix and you can watch the first five seasons now.
The Umbrella Academy
There are tons of superhero TV shows on both standard and streaming networks these days. However, it’s safe to say none of them are like The Umbrella Academy. Based on the Dark Horse comic book series written by Gerard Way and illustrated by Gabriel Bá, the series starts with a unique origin story for its superpowered characters. Many years ago, all of them were born, almost instantly, by women who previously were not pregnant. They were taken in by a millionaire to learn more about their powers.
Flash-forward to the present day, and these kids are now adults. Their millionaire “father” is now dead, and they are wondering what was the purpose of being gathered together. We quickly learn their goal is to save the world. This show has some unique characters and performers, along with lots of twists you will likely not see coming. You can watch three seasons on Netflix, with a fourth and final season in the works.
The Witcher is a fantasy Netflix TV show based on Andrzej Sapkowski’s books of the same name. This has become a very popular original series, and it is definitely among the best shows on Netflix.
The story follows Geralt of Rivia, a monster hunter that may have more trouble with human relations than he does with other creatures. Destiny makes him cross paths with a sorceress and a princess with special abilities. It doesn’t take long for them to find themselves in some crazy adventures. You can watch two seasons now, with a third season coming in 2023, and a spin-off, The Witcher: Blood Origin, due later in 2022.
Community is the very definition of a cult TV show. It was never high in the ratings when it was on NBC, but if you watched it, you likely became obsessed with its cast of characters and their tales while attending the fictional Greendale Community College. The show, created by Dan Harmon, was not afraid to go all in on pop culture and the performances are all excellent. You can watch all six seasons now, so you can prepare for the upcoming movie reunion (which sadly won’t be on Netflix).
Emily In Paris
This show is pure romance and fashion. When a young woman from the US moves to Paris to work at a French fashion company, she gets swept away by love, food, wine, and, of course, some great-looking clothes. This show knows it’s a fantasy for young women but dives right into that conceit rather than making it more realistic. You can watch two seasons now, with a third due in late 2022.
Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt
What would happen if you were placed underground by a nutcase and made to think the world had been destroyed, only to come out of that bunker many years later to see that Earth was just fine? You would be Kimmy Schmidt. As played perfectly by Ellie Kemper, Kimmy heads to New York City to start a new life and encounters some very interesting characters along the way. Many of them think Kimmy is very naive but still charming as she tries to get back in the swing of things. You can watch all four seasons now, plus a special interactive episode.
This series, which originally aired on Showtime, is a drama about the Gallagher family, who live on Chicago’s south side. They are not rich; far from it. It doesn’t help that the father of this family is a major alcoholic. However, to stay connected as a family, they will do anything, even some things outside the law, to keep themselves together. They are not slick, but you root for them all the same.
This adult animated series is truly one of the best Netflix shows. Bojack Horseman (voiced by Will Arnett) is a talking horse who had a hit TV show in the 1990s. Now, he’s all but forgotten, but Bojack is now determined to make a big comeback into Hollywood. There’s some excellent and funny writing on this show, and you can watch all six seasons now.
Here’s another animated series, but this one’s a bit more serious. Based on the League of Legends PC game, this fantasy series centers on two sisters that stand on opposite sides of a conflict that threatens everyone in this world. There’s some excellent storytelling and animation here, and that’s likely why it won the Emmy Award for Best Animated Program in its first season. A second season is naturally in the works.
A man with a normal family has a pretty nasty job of laundering money for a Mexican drug cartel. When he loses a ton of money for them, he and his family head to the Ozarks region of Missouri to try to make back the money he lost. This show has some dark themes as this family goes in the organized crime business, and all that comes with that choice. You can catch all four seasons now on Netflix.
The Walking Dead
Based on the long-running comic book series by Robert Kirkman, this AMC show became an instant hit for the cable network and continues to find new fans as one of the best TV shows on Netflix. This chronicle of a series of characters dealing with the aftermath of a zombie apocalypse transcends its pulp story roots and explores what would really happen if civilization really ended.
This was also one of the first TV shows to regularly kill off major characters, so if you are watching this on Netflix blind, don’t get too attached to the people you see in early episodes. The Walking Dead, even with its long history, remains a show that can regularly shock and surprise you, and it’s helped by great performances and some of the best horror makeup ever made. You can watch the first 10 seasons now.
The Queen’s Gambit
This show is perhaps the next big thing on Netflix. Set in the 1950s and 1960s, this seven-part miniseries stars Anya Taylor-Joy (The Witch) as an orphaned girl. While living in an orphanage, she learns that she is an excellent chess player. We see her route from chess prodigy to master world champion. The series deals with several different themes, including abandonment, the amount of pressure that child geniuses have to deal with, and how sometimes that genius can get dented by addiction.
The Good Place
This is another comedy, but one that deals with life after death. The Good Place begins after Eleanor Shellstrop, played by Kristen Bell, turns up in The Good Place after her unfortunate demise.
Her afterlife guide Michael (played by the always great Ted Danson) tries his best to help, but we really don’t want to say anything more. Surprises and twists by the bucketful await your viewing. This show is all about revealing your true self, which isn’t as easy as it sounds after you find yourself dead. You can watch all four seasons now.
The spiritual successor to The Twilight Zone, Black Mirror is all about how today’s technology could morph into tomorrow’s major problems.
Creator Charlie Brooker has crafted some truly classic TV episodes that challenge our beliefs in mass media, social networks, artificial intelligence, and more. There’s even a special episode, Bandersnatch, that gives the viewer the chance to pick where the story will go next, with several different possible endings. While not all of Black Mirror’s episodes are home runs, they all try to make us think, which is more than most TV gives us these days. You can watch the first five seasons now, along with Bandersnatch, and a sixth season is in the works.
This Emmy-nominated comedy series is a new take on the “Groundhog Day” time loop premise. Natasha Lyonne, who co-created the series, stars as a woman who is reliving the night of her 36th birthday over and over again.
While the basic idea of the show is nothing new anymore, Russian Doll still manages to be funny, and Lyonne is perfect as the lead character who can’t believe this situation is happening to her. You can watch both seasons of the show now.
The Baby-Sitters Club
There are a ton of TV shows on Netflix made for young girls. However, most of them never rise above Disney Channel or Nickelodeon quality. The exception is The Baby-Sitters Club, it’s one of the best Netflix TV shows. Based on the classic children’s novels, this adaptation still has the same premise. A group of girls forms a “club” to help parents take care of their younger kids. It’s been updated to the modern day, but it still has a retro feel. This is a perfect show not just for its target audience but also for their parents who can watch it with their kids and not be bored. You can watch both seasons of this sadly canceled show now.
This South Korean drama came out of nowhere in the fall of 2021 and became Netflix’s single most-watched TV show ever. The premise is that hundreds of people are recruited to play kid’s games, with the final winner getting a lot of money. Unfortunately for the losers, they have to die. This variation on movies like Battle Royale and The Hunger Games struck a nerve, and it’s easy to see why. A second season is in the works because of course, it is.
Netflix used to stream classic sitcoms like The Office, Parks, and Recreation, and Friends before the rights to those shows went to other streamers. However, you can still watch one of the best sitcoms of all time on Netflix. The fictional adventures of comedian Jerry Seinfeld and his friends are pretty timeless, as they and other recurring characters get into some very odd situations in New York City. You can watch all nine seasons now.
This UK-based show is all about teenagers who have questions and issues about sex and sexuality. They feel they cannot get answers from their parents or other adults, so a couple of them start a secret sex therapy business in their school. This show is all about kids that are growing up and in need of some real sex education. You can catch the first three seasons now, and a fourth is in the works.
Who knew that we needed a continuation of the original Karate Kid trilogy of films? Yet that’s exactly what we go with this comedy/drama series, featuring most of the stars of those classic 1980s movies. The show, with first started as a YouTube original series, shows that the conflicts between the hero of those films, Daniel LaRusso, and the villain, Johnny Lawrence, are still there decades later but in new and sometimes unexpected ways. Oh, and there are some cool martial arts fights. You can watch the first five seasons now.
This comedy, which first aired on Fox and later got revived by Netflix for additional seasons, is all about the Bluths. They used to have it all, but this family has some serious ego and materialistic problems that eventually cost them their fortune and put one of them in jail. Michael BLUth, played by Jason Bateman, is the only member of the family with something resembling a normal personality, and he tries to keep the rest of the BLUths in line, but mostly to no avail. You can catch all five seasons of the show now.
This show is produced and set in Spain. It starts with a robbery, as a group of thieves tries to take all the money out of the country’s Royal Mint. As the series progresses, it turns into much more than just a heist storyline. You can watch all five seasons now, and there is a recent spinoff series, Money Heist Korea, you can check out.
This original Netflix series is even more timely now, thanks to the recent passing of the show’s main character, Queen Elizabeth II of England, in real life. The drama aims to show most lof the life of this monarch, and even switches actors for the Queen and other main characters every couple of seasons. It’s an excellent drama that’s also beautifying filmed. You can stream the first four seasons now, with the fifth due in November 2022. The show will get a sixth and final season at some point.
Best Netflix TV shows: honorable mentions
Obviously, our picks for the best TV shows on Netflix leave out many other shows that are also worth your time. Here are just a few honorable mentions.
- You — You tells the story of a modern murderer. He uses social media and other means to spy on the ones he loves. He becomes obsessed with the ones he loves and will do anything for them… anything.
- Grey’s Anatomy – You can watch the doctors and staff of Seattle Grace Hospital on Netflix in of the longest-running TV shows of all time (18 seasons and counting)
- Peaky Blinders – Check out this historical crime drama based on the real gangs in Birmingham, England in the early 20th century.
- The IT Crowd – Here’s another UK-based show, but this one is all about laughing at the antics of the people who man the IT division of a business.
- Friday Night Lights – Watch the stories of the student players and their coach of a small Texas football team in this classic series.