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Best Netflix Instant TV shows

netflix-veg-out2-flNetflix has a treasure trove of awesome movies that you can stream right now, but if you’re looking for more than just a two-hour commitment, it’s also got a boatload of great TV shows you can delve into to keep yourself occupied for days, or even weeks on end. If you just finished a good series and you need a new one to fill the void, Netflix is the place to go. Nothing beats a weekend-long marathon with no commercials, so without further ado, we give you our tightly-curated list of the best Netflix Instant TV shows.

This list is continually updated as TV shows are added and removed from the Netflix library. Last update: April 8th, 2014. Jacob O’Gara contributed to this guide.

Drama

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mad men


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Mad Men

Set in New York in the 1960′s, Mad Men follows one of the city’s most prestigious ad agencies. The agency is doing well, but as the industry grows and competition begins to stiffen they’ve got to adapt to survive. Most of the show focuses on the life of the mysterious executive Don Draper.

breaking bad


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Breaking Bad

A chemistry teacher diagnosed with cancer quits his job to cook and deal ultra-pure meth. How could a show with that premise NOT be awesome? Be careful though – this show is just as addictive as the fictional blue meth that Walter White (Brian Cranston) cooks in his RV. If you’re not careful, you’ll go on a two week binge and it’ll consume your whole life.

House of Cards


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House of Cards

This Netflix-produced series is hands down one of the best political dramas to come out since The West Wing. The show revolves around protagonist (notice we didn’t say “hero”?) Francis Underwood, the U.S. Senate Majority Whip who has his hands on every secret in politics, and uses this leverage to manipulate his way to the top.

houseofcards 

House of Cards (original)netflix instant queue button

‘Kay, so you’ve seen the American House of Cards, the one with Kevin Spacey, right? While you’re at it, check out the BBC original, which follows Francis Urquhart (not Frank Underwood, but still F.U.) on his monomaniacal and revenge-fueled quest to become Prime Minister. It’s a bit dated and super British, but it’s still a bloody good time.

The West Wing


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The West Wing

Quite possibly the best political drama of all time, The West Wing follows fictional President Jed Bartlett (Martin Sheen) and his staff as they fight various personal and political battles. The razor sharp dialog from Aaron Sorkin and company helped to redefine TV for a generation.

Friday Night Lights


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Friday Night Lights

Nothing like a good old fashioned football drama to make you feel all warm and fuzzy inside. Inspired by the movie of the same name, which was in turn loosely based on the non-fiction (and much more gritty) book of the same name, this show still has enough tricks in its playbook to keep you hooked.

downtown abbey


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Downton Abbey

After the Titanic claims the life of his presumed heir, Lord Grantham must face the possibility that the house he’s loved his whole life – a lavish Edwardian estate known as Downton Abbey – might someday belong to an obscure relative he’s never met.

 niptuck

Nip/Tuck

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Before he did American Horror Story and, uh, Glee, Ryan Murphy created Nip/Tuck, an absolutely batshit series about a pair of plastic surgeons operating in Miami and all the trouble they get into. That premise alone offers plenty of sordid and macabre material, but throw in some Nazis, a mask-wearing serial killer and more than a couple sex-crazed patients, and you have some delightfully trashy entertainment.

 scandal

Scandalnetflix instant queue button

Currently airing its third season, you can still catch up and watch the first two of this insanely popular and insanely insane political drama. Kerry Washington is Olivia Pope, the head of a task-force that cleans up politicians after they get down and dirty in scandals. It’s so much more than that though, with plot twists and political intrigue and conspiracies that make 24 look tame.

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