This list is continually updated to reflect recent Netflix availability as TV shows are frequently added and removed.
Netflix 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.
New for August
The opening sequence of Stranger Things lays out the series’ sci-fi aspirations clearly; a scientist flees down an empty hallway, pursued by some unseen force that eventually nabs him as he waits for elevator doors to close, cut to a group of kids playing D&D in a suburban basement. From Alien to E.T. in a matter of seconds. The show is a stew made of various influences from the ‘80s. A mysterious creature and a secret government agency, a group of kids adventuring around their rural town, teens experimenting with sex, drugs, and peer pressure. There are pieces of Steven King, Steven Spielberg, and John Hughes strewn throughout Stranger Things, and the result is a show that will feel immediately familiar to people who grew up with that source material. The show is not shallow in its emulation, either. The acting and direction are superb, giving even the most derivative scenes some heft.
Originally titled The Increasingly Poor Decisions of Todd Margaret, this black comedy lives up to its name, following temp worker Todd Margaret (David Cross) as his his frequent lies and poor decisions get him into greater and greater trouble. After his boss (Will Arnett) mistakes him for a an aggressive accounts man, Todd is sent to England to oversee the launch of a new product. What would be a typical fish-out-of-water story is made all the more awkward by Todd’s frequent attempts to pass himself off as someone who’s knowledgeable about English culture. The humor in Todd Margaret is dark and often excruciatingly awkward… which is a real treat for fans of Cross’ earlier work on Arrested Development and Mr. Show.