The best shows to binge-watch on Netflix right now

There are always plenty of new and original shows to binge on Netflix, as well as celebrated classics and quirky television gems — and even better, you can watch them at any pace you want. Whether you’re into award-winning dramas, documentary series, or hilarious sitcoms, Netflix has you covered. To help you figure out what to watch, we’ve assembled a list of the best shows currently available to stream on Netflix.

We’ve also rounded up the best movies on Netflix, best shows on Hulu, best shows on Amazon Prime, and best shows on Disney+.

We Are the Champions

The thrill of competition is universal, and this Netflix documentary series travels around the world to put a spotlight on some of the strange contests that have developed both passionate fan bases and colorful casts of competitors over the years — or in some cases, multiple generations. Narrated by Rainn Wilson, the series devotes a full episode to each competition — from the dangerous sport of cheese-rolling to the fabulous world of fantasy hairstyling — and explores the communities around each pursuit that keep things interesting. The series’ opening episode is on the aforementioned cheese-rolling, and after watching it, you’ll never look at a wheel of cheese the same way.

Created by: Dirty Robber
Cast: Rainn Wilson (narrator)
Number of seasons: 1

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The Witcher Netflix

The Witcher

A lone swordsman rides into town, a grotesque beast slung over his horse. The townsfolk cast scornful glances, although he’s slain the monster that plagued them. He’ll get no thanks; at best, the bounty he was promised in full. Such is the life of a witcher. Based on the popular fantasy series, Netflix’s The Witcher follows Geralt of Rivia (Henry Cavill), a monster hunter with magical powers: A witcher, to use the parlance of his world. Over decades, Geralt hunts monsters for gold, crossing paths with the cunning sorceress Yennefer (Anya Chalotra) and the refugee princess Ciri (Freya Allen), whose fate is bound tightly to his own. Bloody battles, complicated characters, and memorable songs — courtesy of the bard Jaskier (Joey Batey) — are just some of the charms this dark fantasy series has to offer.

Created by: Lauren Schmidt
Cast: Henry Cavill, Freya Allan, Anya Chalotra
Number of seasons: 1

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She'Ra's modern reboot

She-Ra and the Princesses of Power

In the ‘80s, She-Ra was He-Man’s sister and the star of her own animated series and toy line. Netflix’s She-Ra and the Princesses of Power isn’t as interested in selling toys as it is building upon relationships. The series completely reimagined the story to center around Adora and Catra, a pair of orphans raised by the evil Horde army. When Adora finds her power through She-Ra’s magic sword, it sets her against her best friend, Catra, who also happens to be the person she loves the most. This series broke new ground for animated LGBT themes and characters and carved out a place for itself in the hearts of fans.

Created by: Noelle Stevenson
Cast: Aimee Carrero, AJ Michalka, Karen Fukuhara
Number of seasons: 5

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Alice in Borderland

Alice in Borderland

This Japanese series based on the manga of the same name by Haro Aso follows an aimless gamer named Arisu (Kento Yamazaki) who suddenly finds himself and his two best friends transported to an eerily empty Tokyo where they’re forced to compete in deadly games to survive. A mix of Battle Royale and The Hunger Games with a fascinating mystery and a talented cast, Alice in Borderland earned praise from critics and general audiences alike for its clever first season and was renewed for a second season just two weeks after the show’s Netflix . Its underlying premise will keep you guessing, and so will the sense of creeping dread as key characters are killed off — sometimes in gruesome fashion — from one episode to the next.

Created by: Shinsuke Sato
Cast:Kento Yamazaki, Tao Tsuchiya, Yūki Morinaga, Keita Machida
Number of seasons: 1

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Never Have I Ever

Never Have I Ever

Never Have I Ever is a coming-of-age dramedy about a young woman who, after the death of her father, decides she wants to change her life and elevate her social status. However, Devi Vishwakumar (Maitreyi Ramakrishnan), an Indian girl raised in America, finds that her family and friends aren’t fully on board with this renaissance. Considered a standout in a crowded field of coming-of-age dramedies on Netflix, Never Have I Ever delightfully balances the traditional perils of high school like teen romance and popularity with the challenges of grief, being a first-generation American, and finding yourself in a crowd of loved ones.

Created by: Mindy Kaling and Lang Fisher
Cast:
Maitreyi Ramakrishnan, Jaren Lewison
Number of seasons: 1

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Cobra Kai

Cobra Kai

YouTube’s loss is Netflix’s gain! Cobra Kai is the sequel series to the original Karate Kid films, with William Zabka and Ralph Macchio reprising their respective roles as Johnny Lawrence and Daniel LaRusso. Three decades earlier, Daniel and Johnny were rivals. Now, their rivalry has extended to the next generation. The third season forces Johnny and Daniel to pay the price and even reintroduces a few characters from The Karate Kid Part 2. But even if the kids of the Cobra Kai and Miyagi-Do dojos can move past the enmity of the past, John Kreese (Martin Kove) is ready to escalate things even further.

Created by: Josh Heald, Jon Hurwitz. Hayden Schlossberg
Cast: Ralph Macchio, William Zabka, Courtney Henggeler
Number of seasons: 3

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Chilling Adventures of Sabrina

Chilling Adventures of Sabrina

Netflix has wrapped up its adaptation of Archie Comics’ horror comic Chilling Adventures of Sabrina. Unlike the previous lighthearted TV series, Chilling Adventures offers a much darker take on Sabrina Spellman (Kiernan Shipka). She’s half-human and half-witch, and Sabrina may be destined to be the dark bride of Lucifer himself. However, Sabrina pulls back against the evil in her life and finds love with Harvey Kinkle (Ross Lynch), a descendent of witch hunters who has picked up some of his family’s skills.

Created by: Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa
Cast: Kiernan Shipka, Ross Lynch, Lucy Davis
Number of seasons: 4

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Firefly Lane

Firefly Lane

Firefly Lane is the latest sensation from Netflix that features two lead actresses, Katherine Heigl and Sarah Chalke, as lifelong friends, Tully Hart and Kate Mularkey. In the present, Tully is a wildly successful TV talk show host, while Kate is a divorced housewife who wants to rebuild her life. Tully and Kate have pulled each other through some tough times before, and they’ll do it again. We even get to see Tully (Ali Skovbye) and Kate (Roan Curtis) as and watch as their friendship grows.

Created by: Maggie Friedman
Cast: Katherine Heigl, Sarah Chalke, Ben Lawson, Beau Garrett
Number of seasons: 1

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Outlander

Outlander

Outlander is STARZ’s breakout adaptation of Diana Gabaldon’s sweeping romantic novels, but the first four seasons are now available on Netflix. Within this series World War II nurse Claire Randall (Caitriona Balfe) finds herself transported from 1945 to the Scottish highlands in 1743. She quickly meets and marries Jamie Fraser (Sam Heughan). Their love spans the centuries and even expands into the early days of the American Revolution.

Created by: Ronald D. Moore
Cast: Caitriona Balfe, Sam Heughan
Number of seasons: 4

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Lupin

Lupin

Sometimes, finding the best TV shows means going international. For example, the French series Lupin is an exciting update on Maurice Leblanc’s legendary gentleman thief, Arsène Lupin. In a clever twist, the Lupin stories exist within the world of this show, and they inspire a man named Assane Diop (Omar Sy) to adopt the Lupin persona as his own in order to avenge his wrongfully accused father. Assane certainly has the skills of a master thief, but pursuing his revenge turns out to be far more dangerous and complicated than he anticipated.

Created by: George Kay, François Uzan
Cast: Omar Sy, Ludivine Sagnier, Clotilde Hesme
Number of seasons: 1

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Night Stalker: Hunt For a Serial Killer on Netflix

Night Stalker: The Hunt for a Serial Killer

We know who the Night Stalker is now. But from 1984 to 1985, Richard Ramirez horrified California with his violent crime spree that left police baffled. Two detectives played a key role in bringing Ramirez to justice: Gil Carrillo and Frank Salerno. In Netflix’s true crime documentary series, Night Stalker: The Hunt for a Serial Killer, both Carrillo and Salerno share their stories of how they tracked down Ramirez. Several other key players also recount their part of this living history, but it was the public that ultimately ended the Night Stalker’s reign of terror.

Created by: Tiller Russell
Cast: Gil Carrillo, Frank Salerno
Number of seasons: 1

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Pretend It's a City

Pretend It’s a City

Pretend It’s a City is not the first documentary that Martin Scorsese has made about writer and humorist Fran Lebowitz. The first documentary, Public Speaking, came out about a decade ago. Pretend It’s a City takes things even further with a bigger spotlight on Lebowitz herself. Although Scorsese often engages in conversations with his subject, Lebowitz carries most of the spotlight with her occasionally unconventional opinions. She can be a lot to take in, but Lebowitz never shies away from expressing herself.

Created by: Martin Scorsese
Cast: Fran Lebowitz, Martin Scorsese
Number of seasons: 1

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History of Swear Words

History of Swear Words

Regardless of whether you actually use them, swear words are an indelible part of our daily discourse. Plus, it can be fun to cut loose with a couple of expletives. Netflix not only realizes this, but it also embraces it with a six-part documentary series, History of Swear Words. Nicolas Cage is the perfect host for this show, as he examines the backstory and cultural impact of dick, damn, and a couple of words that we can’t actually repeat here. Actual linguistics experts also chime in for historical notes, while comedians like Sarah Silverman, Nick Offerman, Jim Jefferies, Nikki Glaser, and more also get in on the bleeping bleep-bleep.

Created by: Bellamie Blackstone
Cast: Nicolas Cage
Number of seasons: 1

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Bridgerton

Bridgerton

Julia Quinn’s Bridgerton romance novels have become a buzzy original series on Netflix, thanks to showrunner Chris Van Dusen and mega-producer Shonda Rhimes. This is an alternate history tale that on the Bridgerton family, as well as their eight children, as they vie for position and romantic matches in London’s high society. In particular, Daphne Bridgerton (Phoebe Dynevor) is pursued by several potential suitors, even though she may have her eye on Simon Basset (Regé-Jean Page), the Duke of Hastings. But there are some significant obstacles in their way.

Created by: Chris Van Dusen
Cast: Phoebe Dynevor, Regé-Jean Page, Adjoa Andoh
Number of seasons: 1

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Dark

Dark

Dark is one of Netflix’s most ambitious sci-fi series to date, but you’ll have to read the subtitles unless you’re fluent in German. Regardless of its original language, Dark presents an engrossing missing children mystery that starts in the present but soon expands into the past and the future as the implications of time travel tear four families apart. The end of the world is also in play, but even the Earth as we know it may not be the only battleground. There are a lot of twists and turns to follow, so you’ll want to pay close attention to this one.

Created by: Baran bo Odar, Jantje Friese
Cast: Louis Hofmann, Andreas Pietschmann, Maja Schöne, Gina Alice Stiebitz
Number of seasons: 3

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When They See Us

When They See Us

Ava DuVernay’s When They See Us tells the story of Kevin Richardson (Asante Blackk), Antron McCray (Caleel Harris), Yusef Salaam (Ethan Herisse), Korey Wise (Jharrel Jerome), and Raymond Santana (Marquis Rodriguez): Five young Black men who were falsely accused of rape and sexual assault in the infamous Central Park Five case. After serving years in prison, they became known as The Exonerated Five when the real rapist was caught. But the injustices suffered by these men and their families extended far beyond prison walls. It’s a difficult story to relive, but it’s also one that needs to be told.

Created by: Ava DuVernay
Cast: Jharrel Jerome, Asante Blackk, Jovan Adepo, Michael K. Williams
Number of seasons: 1

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Hannibal

Hannibal

New fans of Hannibal may be surprised to learn that this series originated at NBC. That’s because it is a genuinely chilling and suspenseful thriller that didn’t hold back on its horrifying elements. It’s also oddly beautiful in an extremely dark way. Mads Mikkelsen takes over the role of Hannibal Lecter and makes it his own. Hugh Dancy also stars as Will Graham, an FBI profiler whose talent for getting into the minds of killers has left him mentally unstable. Hannibal sees Will as a kindred spirit, but before they can be partners, he’ll try to drive Will out of his mind and get him to become a killer as well.

Created by: Bryan Fuller
Cast: Hugh Dancy, Mads Mikkelsen, Laurence Fishburne, Caroline Dhavernas
Number of seasons: 3

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Unorthodox

Unorthodox

Deborah Feldman’s memoir Unorthodox was lightly fictionalized in the TV miniseries of the same name. It follows Esther “Esty” Shapiro (Shira Haas), a 19-year-old woman who escapes both her unhappy marriage and her ultra-Orthodox Jewish community in Brooklyn to find a new life for herself in Germany. Esty’s estranged husband, Moishe Lefkovitch (Jeff Wilbusch), follows her in an attempt to get her to come home. However, Esty is extremely dedicated to completing her own journey, even when it doesn’t always work out as intended.

Created by: Anna Winger, Alexa Karolinski
Cast: Shira Haas, Amit Rahav, Jeff Wilbusch
Number of seasons: 1

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Alone

Alone

Alone is a reality show that could probably be called “Real Survivor.” Because unlike CBS’s Survivor, Alone sends its contestants into the wilderness with the bare minimum of survival tools and with little or no human interaction. It’s up to the players to get themselves through the ordeal — or decide that they need to quit because of medical or other reasons. There have been seven seasons to date, but Netflix only has season 6, which was filmed at the Great Slave Lake in the Northwest Territories of Canada.

Created by: N/A
Cast: N/A
Number of seasons: 1

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Shameless

Shameless

You don’t need Showtime to catch Shameless, but you will be one season behind. The American incarnation of Shameless follows the Gallagher family as they struggle to get by on the south side of Chicago. William H. Macy stars as Frank Gallagher, the family patriarch who is more interested in feeding his addictions than feeding his family. Emmy Rossum also stars as Frank’s oldest daughter, Fiona, who tries to take care of the family herself. However, Fiona’s desire for a new life and the poor choices of her dysfunctional siblings often turn the Gallaghers’ lives into a dark comedy. And yet, after 10 seasons, most of the family is still together.

Created by: Paul Abbott
Cast: William H. Macy, Emmy Rossum, Cameron Monaghan, Ethan Cutkosky
Number of seasons: 10

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Mindhunter

Mindhunter

Mindhunter flew under the radar during its two seasons on Netflix, but this stylish crime thriller still deserves to find a wider audience. The series is set in the late ‘70s and early ‘80s, at a time when the FBI was struggling to understand how the minds of serial killers functioned. Agents Holden Ford (Jonathan Groff) and Bill Tench (Holt McCallany), with psychologist Wendy Carr (Anna Torv), take it upon themselves to study these men as they attempt to build the criminal psychology field from the ground up.

Created by: Joe Penhall
Cast: Jonathan Groff, Holt McCallany, Hannah Gross, Anna Torv
Number of seasons: 2

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The Great British Bake Off

The Great British Bake Off/The Great British Baking Show

There are many cooking reality competition shows, but there’s only one Great British Bake Off. Although Netflix calls it The Great British Baking Show, it’s the same lovely program that has run for 11 seasons. However, only a selection of episodes from eight seasons are currently available. Regardless, the show still captures the quest of amateur bakers to impress the judges and out-bake each other in order to win the show’s final prize.

Created by: Andy Devonshire
Cast: Mel Giedroyc, Sue Perkins, Sandi Toksvig, Noel Fielding, Matt Lucas
Number of seasons: 8

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Jurassic World Camp Cretaceous

Jurassic World Camp Cretaceous

Saturday morning cartoons are largely a thing of the past, but their spirit lives on in Jurassic World Camp Cretaceous. This animated series keeps some continuity with the Jurassic films and even maintains some of the genuine mortal peril for its lead characters. It follows Darius Bowman (Paul-Mikél Williams) and five other who won a trip to visit Camp Cretaceous on Isla Nublar. However, the dinosaur outbreak has left the teens stranded on the island and forced them to rely on each other for their own survival. Certain scenes may be too intense for younger viewers, but it’s still fairly family-friendly.

Created by: Zack Stentz
Cast: Paul-Mikél Williams, Sean Giambrone, Kausar Mohammed, Jenna Ortega
Number of seasons: 2

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The Magicians

The Magicians

The Magicians has ended its run on SYFY, but now all five seasons live on Netflix so that a new audience can discover this fantasy series. You may get some Harry Potter vibes from this show, but it doesn’t shy away from the darker and adult impulses of its main characters. Jason Ralph stars as Quentin Coldwater, a man who discovers that he is a magical prodigy and enrolls at Brakebills University for Magical Pedagogy. Meanwhile, Quentin’s friend, Julia Wicker (Stella Maeve), finds her own path to magical powers outside of Breakbills. Their paths will converge again, as danger awaits from without and within.

Created by: Sera Gamble, John McNamara
Cast: Jason Ralph, Stella Maeve, Olivia Taylor Dudley, Hale Appleman, Arjun Gupta
Number of seasons: 5

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Jeopardy

Jeopardy

The incomparable Alex Trebek has left this world, but his incredible legacy remains. Netflix has two collections of the very best Jeopardy episodes hosted by Trebek. This addictive quiz show has been on the air for decades, and it’s still enthralling to watch contestants test their trivia knowledge while also remembering to make every response in the form of a question. Can you beat the best of the best? Test yourself with these episodes and find out.

Created by: Merv Griffin
Cast: Alex Trebek
Number of seasons: 2

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Fate: The Winx Saga

Fate: The Winx Saga

If you’ve never seen the animated series Winx Club on Nickelodeon, then don’t worry. Fate: The Winx Saga is a live-action adaptation of that show, but it isn’t dependent upon previous knowledge of the characters or their world. Instead, it’s a reinvention of the Winx storyline with a more YA tone and a much darker take on the material. Abigail Cowen headlines the series as Bloom, a young fairy from Earth who is now on Otherworld and enrolled at Alfea to learn how to control her powers. There’s a definite Harry Potter vibe here, for fans who are looking for a magic school fix.

Created by: Brian Young
Cast: Abigail Cowen, Danny Griffin. Hannah van der Westhuysen, Elisha Applebaum
Number of seasons: 1

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Spycraft

Spycraft

Hollywood has glamorized spies for decades, but films and television shows aren’t known for their accurate depictions of real spies. Netflix’s Spycraft aims to change that by taking a documentary approach to its subject matter while breaking down how modern spies conduct their business. Episodes are dedicated to drone warfare, poisons, covert ops, recruitment, and even “sexspionage.” In some ways, being a spy hasn’t changed much at all. But the tools of the trade are only getting more advanced.

Created by: Henry R. Schlesinger
Cast: Dylan Berry
Number of seasons: 1

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Disenchantment

Disenchantment

The creative team behind The Simpsons and Futurama reunited for Disenchantment, an animated comedy that tackles the fantasy genre. Unlike its predecessors, Disenchantment also seems to be building toward a larger story for the series. The focus falls on Princess Tiabeanie, aka Bean (Abbi Jacobson); her personal demon, Luci (Eric Andre); and Elfo (Nat Faxon), the half-Elf who is desperately in love with Bean. There’s something rotten in the kingdom of Dreamland, and someone close to Bean may be behind the plot to unseat the royal family. The latest batch of episodes also sends Bean beyond the confines of Dreamland, in addition to providing some answers to long-standing mysteries within the show itself.

Created by: Matt Groening
Cast: Abbi Jacobson, Eric Andre, Nat Faxon
Number of seasons: 3

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Surviving Death

Surviving Death

Death is the natural conclusion to life, but it still raises a lot of questions for those of us who are still alive. Surviving Death attempts to answer some of those questions by examining near-death experiences, reincarnation, mediums, and whether there truly is life after death. We may never know the actual answers until our time comes, but it’s fascinating to hear what other people think about what lies ahead in the great beyond.

Created by: Leslie Kean
Cast: N/A
Number of seasons: 1

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Transformers: War For Cybertron Trilogy

Transformers: War for Cybertron Trilogy

Transformers: War For Cybertron Trilogy gives fans of the long-running franchise a more mature take on the “robots in disguise.” The CGI animated series is essentially a prequel to the saga, as the Autobots and Decepticons battle for the soul of their homeworld, Cybertron. The second season finds Optimus Prime and a few of his allies off-world, while forces from the future offer Megatron the chance to crush the Autobots forever. Meanwhile, the soldiers on both sides of the war have never seemed more human, as they find themselves questioning whether their respective causes are even worth fighting for.

Created by: F. J. DeSanto, George Krstic
Cast: Jake Foushee, Jason Marnocha, Joe Zieja
Number of seasons: 2

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Song Exploder

Song Exploder

Have you ever wondered what it took to create some of your favorite songs? Hrishikesh Hirway’s popular podcast, Song Exploder, gets the answers straight from the artists themselves. The TV incarnation of the show is back for a new season on Netflix, with episodes on The Killers, Nine Inch Nails, Dua Lipa, and Natalia Lafourcade. Naturally, the first season is also available, with spotlight episodes for R.E.M., Alicia Keys, Lin-Manuel Miranda, and Ty Dolla $ign.

Created by: Hrishikesh Hirway
Cast: Hrishikesh Hirway
Number of seasons: 2

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Alien Worlds

Alien Worlds

When is a documentary not a documentary? When it’s Alien Worlds, a new sci-fi series produced in a documentary style. The show explores four fictional planets and uses input from real scientists to create dramatizations of how life and evolution would play out in those wildly different environments. The creatures and landscapes are all created with CGI, but they are convincing enough that you can almost buy into the illusion that the show is a glimpse of places that have their own rules and reality.

Created by: Tim Lambert, Jeremy Dear
Cast: Sophie Okonedo
Number of seasons: 1

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Broadchurch

Broadchurch

For anyone in search of a gripping mystery with darkly emotional overtones, Broadchurch is exactly what you’ve been waiting for. It’s centered on the small English town of Broadchurch, which is rocked by the senseless murder of an 11-year-old boy named Danny. Police detectives DI Alec Hardy (David Tennant) and DS Ellie Miller (Olivia Colman) are on the case, but they each have secrets of their own. The search for Danny’s killer takes a high toll on both Hardy and Miller, as well as the entire town. But even when the murderer stands revealed, the story is just beginning.

Created by: Chris Chibnall
Cast: David Tennant, Olivia Colman, Jodie Whittaker
Number of seasons: 3

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Big Mouth

Big Mouth

Netflix tends to take chances on animated series that other outlets wouldn’t touch. Case in point: Big Mouth, an animated comedy show that relentlessly tackles taboo topics of sexuality. The show explores the coming of age and sexual development of young Nick Birch and Andrew Glouberman, as well as their friends. Almost all of the boys and girls are haunted by literal hormone monsters as they make their way through puberty. It’s a wild show, and it’s going even further now that the fourth season has hit Netflix.

Created by: Andrew Goldberg, Nick Kroll, Mark Levin, Jennifer Flackett
Cast: Nick Kroll, John Mulaney, Jessi Klein, Jason Mantzoukas
Number of seasons: 4

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Selena: The Series

Selena: The Series

The late Selena Quintanilla-Pérez had only a relatively short life, but her legend has endured for over two decades. As Selena, Quintanilla-Pérez became the “Queen of Tejano music” and one of the most influential Mexican-American singers and celebrities. The Walking Dead’s Christian Serratos is stepping into the role of Quintanilla-Pérez in Selena: The Series, Netflix’s newest original series. On this show, viewers will see a dramatization of Selena’s childhood rise to fame, struggles, and ultimately her untimely demise.

Created by: Moisés Zamora
Cast: Christian Serratos, Ricardo Chavira, Seidy Lopez
Number of seasons: 1

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Monty Python's Flying Circus

Monty Python’s Flying Circus

These days, we could all use a good laugh. Fortunately, Monty Python’s Flying Circus excels at creating laughter. Graham Chapman, John Cleese, Eric Idle, Terry Jones, Michael Palin, and Terry Gilliam created their legends with this surreal comedy sketch show that refused to obey any rules except its own. The Pythons had such a unique sense of humor that it took a while for American fans to catch on to the British sensation. Now, the series is a classic, and it’s always ready for a new generation to discover it.

Created by: Terry Gilliam, Michael Palin, Terry Jones, Eric Idle, John Cleese, Graham Chapman
Cast: Graham Chapman, John Cleese, Eric Idle, Terry Jones, Michael Palin, Terry Gilliam
Number of seasons: 4

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Challenger: The Final Flight

Challenger: The Final Flight

In 1986, the space shuttle Challenger was destroyed shortly after takeoff, as a stunned nation watched on TV. The entire crew — Francis R. Scobee, Michael J. Smith, Ronald McNair, Ellison Onizuka, Judith Resnik, Gregory Jarvis, and Christa McAuliffe — lost their lives in the accident. The Challenger disaster was also a major setback for NASA, but this was a tragedy that could have been prevented. Challenger: The Final Flight examines everything that led up to the failed launch, as well as the fallout that came after. It’s not always easy to watch, but this is a story that needs to be told.

Created by: Steven Leckart, Glen Zipper
Cast: N/A
Number of seasons: 1

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The Queen's Gambit

The Queen’s Gambit

A compelling chess drama wasn’t on our 2020 bingo card, but Netflix’s skillfully made adaptation of Walter Tevis’ The Queen’s Gambit has given us the series we didn’t know we needed. Anya Taylor-Joy stars as chess prodigy Beth Harmon, a young woman who is driven to become the very best in the world. Beth’s ability to visualize chess movies in her mind brings the game to life in unexpected ways. However, Beth’s inner demons may stand in the way of her ambition.

Created by: Scott Frank, Allan Scott
Cast: Anya Taylor-Joy, Bill Camp, Moses Ingram
Number of seasons: 1

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Our Planet

Our Planet

Occasionally, we could all use a reminder of just how beautiful our world is, and how close we are to potentially losing the best things about it. Netflix’s original documentary miniseries, Our Planet, reunites the team behind Planet Earth, Frozen Planet, and The Blue Planet for a fresh look at biodiversity around the globe. The miniseries was filmed in 50 countries and showcases spectacular wildlife imagery, while firmly establishing how climate change is affecting these creatures, and, in turn, everyone on Earth. Heed the warning while you can.

Created by: Alastair Fothergill, Keith Scholey,
Cast: David Attenborough
Number of seasons: 1

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Blood of Zeus

Blood of Zeus

Netflix’s investment in original anime continues to pay off with Blood of Zeus, one of the most visually dazzling animated shows on the streaming service. The series dives into re-envisioned Greek mythology by on a young man named Heron. One day, Heron discovers that he is literally the son of Zeus, and possibly the only hero who can save both the heavens and the Earth. Fair warning, it’s not for the faint of heart, and the series has moments of graphic violence. But it also has an impressive voice cast and a story that keeps us coming back for more.

Created by: Charley Parlapanides, Vlas Parlapanides
Cast: Derek Phillips, Jason O’Mara, Claudia Christian
Number of seasons: 1

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Dawson's Creek

Dawson’s Creek

Ah, Dawson’s Creek. It’s the quintessential romance/drama that launched James Van Der Beek, Katie Holmes, and Michelle Williams into stardom. It also launched some pretty memorable memes. Cry Dawson, cry! All six seasons of the soapy series are hitting Netflix this month. That means it’s a good opportunity to revisit the life and times of Dawson Leery and his friends in the surprisingly eventful town of Capeside. If you’re looking for a fun nostalgic rewatch, it’s hard to go wrong with this one.

Created by: Kevin Williamson
Cast: James Van Der Beek, Michelle Williams, Joshua Jackson, Katie Holmes
Number of seasons: 6

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Unsolved Mysteries

Unsolved Mysteries

The original Unsolved Mysteries had a long run on network television as it tackled possible paranormal activity and very real cold cases. Incredibly, that show also led to some of those cases being solved. Netflix’s reboot doesn’t have the same track record yet, but it does offer a compelling mix of new cases and stories. Unsolved Mysteries’ reboot has also eschewed the idea of using a host, because who could ever replace the incomparable Robert Stack? Regardless, the documentary-style approach suits the new show well. Keep watching, and maybe you can solve the mystery.

Created by: John Cosgrove, Terry Dunn Meurer.
Cast: N/A
Number of seasons: 2

Watch on Netflix

Ratched

Ratched

American Horror Story and American Crime Story standout, Sarah Paulson, takes the lead in Ratched, a series inspired by One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. Paulson portrays Nurse Mildred Ratched in a prequel to the famous novel and film. And if you thought that Ratched was monstrous before, then the series is going to be an eye-opener. The series takes place in 1947, as Ratched worms her way into a prestigious mental health institute. On the surface, Ratched is a model nurse and a paragon for others to admire. But beneath the surface, Ratched ruthlessly pursues her own agenda, regardless of who she has to hurt or kill. There are several twists to be found, and even a monster like Ratched can find love in unexpected places.

Created by: Evan Romansky
Cast: Sarah Paulson, Finn Wittrock, Cynthia Nixon
Number of seasons: 1

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The Haunting of Bly Manor

The Haunting of Bly Manor

First things first: The Haunting of Bly Manor is not the second season of The Haunting of Hill House, despite both being creations of Mike Flanagan. Instead of a sequel to Hill House, Flanagan has envisioned Bly Manor as its own separate story, which was inspired by Henry James’ classic novel, The Turn of the Screw. Victoria Pedretti headlines the series as Dani, a young governess who has been hired to watch over “two very unusual children.” Pedretti’s fellow Hill House veterans, Oliver Jackson-Cohen, Henry Thomas, and Kate Siegel, will also be back in new roles unconnected to the previous series. The only thing that we can guarantee is that fresh scares are on the way. And it might be a good idea to watch this new show with the lights on.

Created by: Mike Flanagan
Cast:
Victoria Pedretti, Henry Thomas, Oliver Jackson-Cohen
Number of seasons: 1

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Schitt’s Creek

Schitt’s Creek

Even Netflix couldn’t have predicted that the final season of Schitt’s Creek would sweep the Emmy Awards for comedy in 2020. But this little Canadian comedy has turned into a TV powerhouse, thanks in part to Netflix itself. The father-and-son duo of Eugene and Dan Levy created and starred in Schitt’s Creek for six seasons. The show follows the formerly wealthy Rose family after they lose their fortune and circumstances force them to move to a small town they once purchased as a joke. On the surface, that may sound shallow. But this is a comedy that has a lot of heart to go with its side-splitting moments and unique characters. The final episode even nailed the landing for the series, which is always a rarity. This month, Netflix is adding the sixth season, which completes the show’s run. But now it’s ready to be discovered by a new audience.

Created by: Eugene Levy, Dan Levy
Cast: Eugene Levy, Catherine O’Hara, Dan Levy, Annie Murphy
Number of seasons: 6

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The Umbrella Academy on Netflix

The Umbrella Academy

Based on the comic book series of the same name by Gerard Way, this superhero series follows the lives of seven of 43 children born to women who mysteriously never knew they were pregnant until they went into labor. It turns out they are superheroes, and when these seven children are adopted by an eccentric billionaire, he turns the siblings into a superhero team called The Umbrella Academy. Later, however, the children become estranged from one another and their father. But when they discover he has passed away, they reconnect for his funeral. Warnings of a pending apocalypse prompt them to band together again to stop it, though it isn’t without clashing personalities and plenty of familial dysfunction.

Created by: Steve Blackman
Cast: Ellen Page, Tom Hopper, David Castaneda, Emmy Raver-Lampman, Robert Sheehan, Aidan Gallagher, Mary J. Blige
Number of seasons: 2

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Eric Liebowitz / Netflix

Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt

It’s four seasons, plus a fun choose-your-own-adventure-style interactive special, full of silly hilarity. The sitcom takes a serious premise — a girl is kidnapped and kept in an underground bunker for 15 years until finally being rescued — and makes it funny. Now 29, Kimmy has been completely cut off from the real world and still has the attitude of a 15-year-old girl living in the ’90s. But despite emerging to a world filled with negativity and stress, she is determined to live life to the fullest and make every moment count, which prompts her to move to The Big Apple in hopes of fulfilling her dreams … whatever they may be. While Kimmy, played by Ellie Kemper, is the title character, the real star of the series is arguably her lazy, effeminate, eccentric, and judgmental roommate and friend Tituss (Tituss Burgess). With a cast that also includes comedic icons like Carol Kane and Jane Krakowski, along with Jon Hamm in a recurring role, it’s an unconventional, sugary-sweet, and uplifting comedy full of color and old pop-culture references that will make you smile.

Created by: Tina Fey, Robert Carlock
Cast: Ellie Kemper, Tituss Burgess, Carol Kane, Jane Krakowski
Number of seasons: 4

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Russian Doll on Netflix

Russian Doll

Natasha Lyonne brings her signature comedic stylings to this comedy-drama as Nadia, a woman stuck in a time loop who keeps reliving the same day over and over again, each time dying in increasingly freakish ways. She eventually discovers another man going through the same thing, and together, they try to figure out how to get out of the recurring nightmare. Earning four Primetime Emmy Award nominations, the mind-bending series will keep you puzzled and have you guessing all the way through. It’s the kind of series with lots of water-cooler-chatter potential by the end.

Created by: Natasha Lyonne, Leslye Headland, Amy Poehler
Cast: Natasha Lyonne, Greta Lee, Yul Vazquez, Charlie Barnett, Elizabeth Ashley
Number of seasons: 1

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The Baby-Sitters Club
Kelly Schwerman / Netflix

The Baby-Sitters Club

Just released in summer 2020, this television adaptation of the popular children’s novel series of the same name by Ann M. Martin has become an instant hit, with a 100% approval rating on review aggregator site Rotten Tomatoes and critics calling it “sweet, sincere, and full of hope.” Like the books, the series follows five middle-school girls who start their own babysitting business in Connecticut, and their adventures as they do so. Each girl has her own unique passion and personality, and a different job in the club, from Kristy Thomas (Sophie Grace), the president who makes it a point to call out social injustices, to the shy Mary Anne (Malia Baker), who serves as secretary. It’s a great show that pre-teens and young teens will love, and nostalgic parents who might have read the book series when they were kids will appreciate it, too.

Created by: Rachel Shukert
Cast: Sophie Grace, Momona Tamada, Shay Rudolph, Malia Baker, Alicia Silverstone, Mark Feuerstein, Xochitl Gomez
Number of seasons: 1

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Avatar: The Last Airbender

Avatar: The Last Airbender

When it comes to animated series, few rival Nickelodeon’s Avatar: The Last Airbender. The beloved series continues to garner a following more than 15 years after its initial , likely due to the way it deftly balances child-friendly themes with more sophisticated narratives, ones that revolve around war and the oft-ambiguous line between good and evil. The show is centered on the titular Aang, a master of the elements, and four nations, each of which is named after a different element (Earth, Air, Fire, and Water). The main story follows Aang and his companions in their effort to quell unrest and an ongoing feud with the Fire Nation, but the show’s detailed world-building and character development extend well beyond the scope of any one individual. To this day, it’s still considered a masterclass in storytelling, and considering Netflix is currently working on a live-action adaptation, there’s no better time to watch than now. The sequel series, The Legend of Korra, is also on Netflix now.

Created by: Michael Dante DiMartino, Bryan Konietzko
Cast: Zach Tyler Eisen, Mako Iwamatsu, Mae Whitman
Number of seasons: 3

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Orange is the New Black

Orange Is the New Black

One of Netflix’s first breakout original series is still one of its most powerful shows to date. Orange Is the New Black started out as a story about Piper Chapman (Taylor Schilling), a woman who was locked up in prison over some bad choices she made over a decade before the series. But over seven seasons, it became a much richer story about the large cast behind bars as they came together and grew apart. It’s also a scathing indictment of the prison industrial complex that works equally well as both a comedy and a drama. This one is for the ages.

Created by: Jenji Kohan
Cast: Taylor Schilling, Laura Prepon, Kate Mulgrew
Number of seasons: 7

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Community on Netflix

Community

NBC never quite knew what to make of Community, but the series found a devoted audience that embraced its hilarious blend of pop culture comedy. Future Marvel directors Joe and Anthony Russo helmed several memorable episodes that earned them a chance to hit the big screen. But this show belongs to its mismatched study group as portrayed by Joel McHale, Gillian Jacobs, Danny Pudi, Yvette Nicole Brown, Alison Brie, Donald Glover, and Chevy Chase. Despite several personality clashes, the group becomes a makeshift family. Ken Jeong and Jim Rash also steal a lot of scenes as Dean Pelton and Ben Chang. We’re still waiting for a Community movie, but all six seasons are on Netflix.

Created by: Dan Harmon
Cast: Joel McHale, Alison Brie, Donald Glover
Number of seasons: 6

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Halt and Catch Fire on Netflix

Halt and Catch Fire

How does one of the best shows of the decade get lost on a network? By contending with The Walking Dead, Breaking Bad, and Mad MenHalt and Catch Fire carved out its own identity in this ‘80s period piece that chronicled the rise of personal computing, video games, and the internet. If you’ll pardon the expression, the series really catches fire in the second season when Cameron Howe (Mackenzie Davis) and Donna Clark (Kerry Bishé) launch their own gaming company. Meanwhile, Donna’s husband, Gordon Clark (Scoot McNairy), and the enigmatic Joe MacMillan (Lee Pace) had compelling stories of their own. This is a show that deserves a second chance to find its audience.

Created by: Christopher Cantwell, Christopher C. Rogers
Cast: Lee Pace, Scoot McNairy, Mackenzie Davis
Number of seasons: 4

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Ozark on Netflix

Ozark

In Ozark, the Byrde family has a knack for getting into overwhelming trouble. Marty Byrde (Jason Bateman) had a scheme to launder money for a Mexican drug cartel. And when that goes wrong, Marty packs up his wife, Wendy (Laura Linney), and their kids for an abrupt move to the Ozarks — where he proceeds to set up an even more dangerous money laundering operation. In addition to starring in the series, Bateman has made a name for himself behind the camera as an Emmy-winning director. There’s only one more season to come, so now is the right time to catch up on Ozark’s twists and turns.

Created by: Bill Dubuque, Mark Williams
Cast: Jason Bateman, Laura Linney, Sofia Hublitz
Number of seasons: 3

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American Crime Story: The People v. O.J. Simpson

American Crime Story

The real-life legal saga of O.J. Simpson was both a circus and the trial of the century. The first season of American Crime Story dived into that tale full throttle with The People v. O. J. Simpson. Amazingly, the series offered a very grounded, human take on all of its principal figures. That’s especially true of Sarah Paulson’s Marcia Clark and Sterling K. Brown’s Christopher Darden, the prosecutors assigned to put O.J. Simpson (Cuba Gooding Jr.) behind bars. The second season, The Assassination of Gianni Versace, is also on Netflix. But the two stories have been separated, so you’ll have to click here for that season.

Created by: Scott Alexander and Larry Karaszewski, Tom Rob Smith
Cast: Sterling K. Brown, Cuba Gooding Jr. Sarah Paulson
Number of seasons: 2

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The Midnight Gospel

The Midnight Gospel

Comedian Duncan Trussell and Adventure Time creator Pendleton Ward teamed up for one of the most bizarre animated series on Netflix. The Midnight Gospel is partially inspired by Trussell’s podcast, and he stars in the series as a spacecaster named Clancy Gilroy who interviews guests as their worlds undergo an apocalyptic event by using a universal simulation machine. There are few topics that are out of bounds, and the comedy goes to some very strange and dark places. That’s par for the course for a series that ends almost every episode with an extinction-level disaster. And yet, it’s still really fun.

Created by: Pendleton Ward, Duncan Trussell
Cast: Duncan Trussell
Number of seasons: 1

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Pose on Netflix

Pose

Pose is one of the rare TV dramas that fully embraces its LGBTQ cast, which is essential to the period and premise of the show. The series begins in the late ‘80s and chronicles the lives of several gay and gender-nonconforming dancers in the ballroom culture scene. But the series also takes a hard look at the HIV and AIDS epidemic, which hits the community hard just when the subculture begins to go mainstream in the early ‘90s. It’s truly a TV show like no other.

Created by: Ryan Murphy, Brad Falchuk, Steven Canals
Cast: Evan Peters, Kate Mara, James Van Der Beek
Number of seasons: 2

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Chef's Table BBQ

Chef’s Table BBQ

The Chef’s Table documentary series may be the spiritual follow up to Jiro Dreams of Sushi, but it’s quickly taken on a life of its own. After six seasons on Netflix, creator David Gelb has added a spinoff: Chef’s Table BBQ. Only one season of the new show is currently on Netflix, but it retains the cinematic stylings that made the original Chef’s Table so compelling. Get ready to feel hungry as the show profiles pitmasters from the United States, Mexico, and Australia.

Created by: David Gelb
Cast: N/A
Number of seasons: 1

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High Score on Netflix

High Score

How well do you know the story of video games? From the rise and fall of Atari to the emergence of Nintendo and beyond, Netflix’s High Score proves that there are still surprises to be found in the history of gaming. Throughout the first season, High Score tracks the beginning of the medium and interviews some of the pivotal figures who shaped gaming as we know it, many of whom remain unknown outside of gaming circles.

High Score also takes a deep dive into the console wars of the ‘90s, as well as the roleplaying and fighting genres, before examining the advent of 3D graphics. It doesn’t quite take us to the era of modern gaming, but the series is just getting started.

Created by: France Costrel
Cast: Charles Martinet
Number of seasons: 1

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The Haunting of Hill House Netflix

The Haunting of Hill House

One dark and ominous night, Hugh Crain (Henry Thomas) gathers his children and flees their vast, gothic mansion, leaving his wife, Olivia (Carla Gugino), behind. Olivia dies that night, her death ruled a suicide, and the tabloids run wild with stories of the haunted Hill House. The five Crain children — Steven, Shirley, Theo, Nell, and Luke — all grow up dealing with their trauma in varying ways, whether writing a successful memoir about the haunting of Hill House (Steven), or abusing drugs to numb the pain (Luke). As adults, the Crain siblings are barely on speaking terms, until a tragedy forces them all back together, and back to Hill House. Mike Flanagan’s The Haunting of Hill House is a character-driven story, delving into the psychological problems of its many protagonists. It’s no mere family drama, though. In addition to their personal demons, there are some very real ghosts haunting the Crains, and Flanagan orchestrates some intense scares in the first episode alone, building tension but also knowing when to bust out a jump scare.

Created by: Mike Flanagan
Cast:
Henry Thomas, Oliver Jackson-Cohen, Kate Siegel
Number of seasons: 1

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Peaky Blinders Netflix

Peaky Blinders

Set in the aftermath of World War I, Peaky Blinders is a crime drama about a British crime family, the Shelbys. After Tommy Shelby (Cillian Murphy) returns from the war, he sets about trying to expand the family’s control of Birmingham, stealing a shipment of guns to give his gang an edge in the world of crime. The show follows Tommy and his family as they move up in the world, butting heads with other crime families and the British government. Peaky Blinders is gorgeously shot, and the story it tells is one of complicated people and muddy morality.

Created by: Steven Knight
Cast:
Cillian Murphy, Paul Anderson, Helen McCrory
Number of seasons: 7

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Breaking Bad Netflix

Breaking Bad

Walter White (Bryan Cranston) is a high-school chemistry teacher diagnosed with late-stage lung cancer. To secure his family’s finances before he dies, White uses his chemistry background to cook and deal premium blue meth. His partner is a former student and burnout named Jesse Pinkman (Aaron Paul). Breaking Bad is teeming with moral consequences and family issues, and fittingly, it’s as addicting as the crystal meth White produces in his beat-up van in the desert.

Created by: Vince Gilligan
Cast:
Bryan Cranston, Aaron Paul, Anna Gunn
Number of seasons: 5

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Better Call Saul Netflix

Better Call Saul

Starring Bob Odenkirk, Better Call Saul takes fans of Vince Gilligan’s Breaking Bad back to the New Mexico desert for a look at Saul Goodman’s origin story. Before Goodman became the quirky, crooked lawyer Walter White played like a fiddle, he was Jimmy McGill, an aspiring lawyer who just couldn’t seem to keep his hands clean. The show is set six years before the events of Breaking Bad and throws out the convention that a spinoff must pale in comparison to its source material. It also proves Gilligan and company remain at the top of their game.

Created by: Vince Gilligan, Peter Gould
Cast:
Bob Odenkirk, Rhea Seehorn, Jonathan Banks
Number of seasons: 4

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The Crown Netflix

The Crown

Britain’s current and longest-reigning monarch is also one of its most unassuming. Elizabeth II ascended to the throne in the aftermath of World War II, at a time when the monarchy had ceded much of its power to Parliament and the Prime Minister. Despite a lack of governmental power, the Queen remains one of the most important heads of state in the world, and civic duties abound. Netflix’s The Crown traces Elizabeth’s (Claire Foy) life from her marriage to Prince Philip (Matt Smith) in 1947 to the present day, digging into the web of agendas and alliances the Queen must navigate. Heavy on political intrigue, The Crown is sure to satisfy viewers who appreciate Machiavellian television, as well as those who love the of TV shows like Downton Abbey. However, the show also has a deeply intimate side, in that it examines Elizabeth’s personal relationships and the toll exacted by her duties as Queen.

Created by: Peter Morgan
Cast:
Claire Foy, Olivia Colman, Matt Smith
Number of seasons: 4

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Best shows on Netflix Tiger King

Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem, and Madness

The “crazy true crime” documentary has become the iconic genre of the streaming age, and Tiger King might be the Platonic ideal. The setup is simple enough: Director Eric Goode is making a documentary about a snake dealer in Florida, stumbling from there into the world of big cat owners, and the eponymous “Tiger King” in particular: Joe Exotic, the grandiose owner of a big cat zoo (and country musician) who was convicted in 2019 of trying to put a hit on animal rights activist Carole Baskin. From the moment he appears on screen, Exotic is an outlandish figure, and the story only gets wilder from there.

Created by: Eric Goode, Rebecca Chaiklin
Cast: Joe Exotic, Carole Baskin
Number of seasons: 1

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The Good Place Netflix

The Good Place

Bureaucratic mix-ups can be a nightmare — just ask anyone who has needed to apply for a passport — but on occasion, they can work out in your favor. Eleanor Shellstrop (Kristen Bell) finds herself on the good side of a paperwork snafu when, after dying, she ends up in the Good Place, a serene afterlife neighborhood built by a cosmic architect named Michael (Ted Danson). In reality, Eleanor was an abrasive person who only looked out for herself. Now, in order to avoid being discovered and sent to the Bad Place, she must learn how to behave like a nice person. The Good Place is an upbeat comedy whose unique setting and surprising plot set it a notch above most sitcoms.

Created by: Michael Schur
Cast: Kristen Bell, William Jackson Harper, Jameela Jamil
Number of seasons: 4

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Crazy Ex-Girlfriend Netflix

Crazy Ex-Girlfriend

Musicals are in short supply on television — perhaps because audiences just find song-and-dance a bit too corny. That same drought makes Crazy Ex-Girlfriend’s lavish musical numbers all the more striking, however. The titular ex is Rebecca Bunch (Rachel Bloom), a tightly strung lawyer who abandons her career in New York and moves to West Covina, California, to reconnect with her first crush, Josh (Vincent Rodriguez III). The premise seems like typical rom-com fare, but Crazy Ex-Girlfriend rises above by embracing absurdity. The musical numbers, of which there are many, are funny and bombastic, paying homage to various genres of music and classic films.

Created by: Rachel Bloom, Aline Brosh McKenna
Cast: Rachel Bloom, Donna Lynne Champlin, Vincent Rodriguez III
Number of seasons: 4

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Bojack Horseman Netflix

BoJack Horseman

Netflix’s original animated show features voices from some of the brightest stars on TV today (i.e., Will Arnett, Alison Brie, Aaron Paul). Comedian Amy Sedaris also lends her voice to this raucous show about a washed-up celebrity horse who attempts to reignite his stagnant career. Ridiculous in all aspects, BoJack Horseman is good for some hearty laughs at the expense of the commonplace celebrity . Season 1 starts off goofy, but by the first season finale, the show evolves into a shockingly sad, yet still hilarious examination of depression and pop-culture into the second season.

Created by: Raphael Bob-Waksberg
Cast: Will Arnett, Amy Sedaris, Alison Brie
Number of seasons: 6

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GLOW

The job market isn’t great for aspiring actors, so when Ruth Wilder (Alison Brie) answers a call for “unconventional women,” she ends up trying out for the Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling, an all-female wrestling league overseen by washed-up director Sam Sylvia (Marc Maron). Wilder’s former friend Debbie Gilpin (Betty Gilpin) also tries out, and Sylvia decides to make the two the center of the league’s story: Gilpin the heroic “Liberty Belle,” and Wilder as the villain “Zoya the Destroya.” What follows is a raucous story of misfits chasing their dreams, complete with a melange of ’80s tropes, including cocaine- parties and hokey montages. One scene even busts out Stan Bush’s Dare, which, if you haven’t seen The Transformers: The Movie, is an absolute gem.

Created by: Liz Flahive, Carly Mensch
Cast: Alison Brie, Marc Maron, Betty Gilpin
Number of seasons: 4

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Altered Carbon Netflix

Altered Carbon

An adaptation of a popular cyberpunk novel by Richard K. Morgan, Altered Carbon is set a few hundred years in the future, by which point humanity has developed the technology to download a person’s consciousness into computers. People can now transfer themselves into new bodies, called “sleeves,” effectively making themselves immortal — provided they have the money. Into this world steps Takeshi Kovacs (Joel Kinnaman), a former soldier who has spent the last 250 years in cold storage. He is back, in a new sleeve, courtesy of Laurens Bancroft (James Purefoy), a wealthy man who wants Takeshi to find the man who killed Bancroft’s previous body. Altered Carbon draws on classic noir elements, as Takeshi explores a grimy city where everyone seems to have a hidden agenda.

Created by: Laeta Kalogridis
Cast: Chris Conner, Renée Elise Goldsberry, Joel Kinnaman
Number of seasons: 2

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Black Mirror

Each episode of Black Mirror tells a single story, with a theme of modern and near-future technology running through each unnerving tale. It’s often compared to The Twilight Zone for its episodic nature, and just like that classic, some of the stories will leave you sitting and staring at a blank television, wondering what you just watched. Beyond all of the thought-provoking, mind-bending, and world-building, the acting and aesthetic is smart and nuanced and will leave even the best spoiler guessers out there reeling from the sharp twists and turns in every episode.

Created by: Charlie Brooker
Cast: Daniel Lapaine, Hannah John-Kamen, Michaela Coel
Number of seasons: 5

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The Last Dance

In the fall of 1997, the Chicago Bulls had won five of the last seven NBA championships and were primed to earn their second three-peat of the ’90s. Nonetheless, owner Jerry Reinsdorf and GM Jerry Krause seemed fully prepared to fire coach Phil Jackson and begin rebuilding the franchise after the 1997-98 season, despite the opposition of the world’s greatest player, Michael Jordan. That fall, the Bulls allowed a film crew to follow them as they embarked upon what Jackson deemed “The Last Dance.” This 10-part docuseries chronicles that season and contextualizes it in Michael Jordan’s remarkable, world-changing career. Following Jordan from being cut from his high school basketball team, through his illustrious college career and battles with Larry Bird and Magic Johnson, all the way to his iconic game-winning shot in the 1998 NBA Finals, The Last Dance is one of the most immersive and exciting sports documentaries of recent memory, even though Jordan’s production company had the final editorial say. The series doesn’t shed much light on the many controversies that followed Jordan throughout his career, but it does help solidify just what an enormous, transcendent icon Jordan really was.

Created by: Jason Hehir
Cast: Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen, Dennis Rodman, Phil Jackson
Number of seasons: 1

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Stranger Things

Stranger Things

The opening sequence of Stranger Things lays out the TV show’s 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; it then cuts 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 having adventures around their rural town, teens experimenting with sex, drugs, and peer pressure.

There are pieces of Stephen 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.

Created by: Matt Duffer, Ross Duffer
Cast: Millie Bobby Brown, Finn Wolfhard, Winona Ryder
Number of seasons: 3

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The Twilight Zone Netflix

The Twilight Zone

One of the most influential television series of all time, Rod Serling’s The Twilight Zone is an anthology series, with each episode telling a unique story in the realms of sci-fi, horror, or some mix thereof. Each story followed characters caught up in strange, often cruel circumstances beyond their comprehension. Written during a particularly hot part of the Cold War, many episodes — particularly those written by Serling — serve as parables, exploring social and political issues of the 20th century. Take, for example, The Monsters Are Due on Maple Street, set on a cozy, suburban block where the power mysteriously goes out one night, causing the neighbors to turn on each other. Or It’s a Good Life, about a small town cut off from the world, whose inhabitants must bow to every whim of a tyrannical tyke. Don’t let the archaic props and special effects deter you — The Twilight Zone is every bit as brilliant today as it was when it first aired.

Created by: Rod Serling
Cast: Rod Serling, Robert McCord, Jay Overholts
Number of seasons: 5

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Twin Peaks Netflix

Twin Peaks

This cult classic of the early ’90s came from the mind of director David Lynch. After homecoming queen Laura Palmer is murdered, FBI agent Dale Cooper arrives in the small Washington town to investigate. Weirdness ensues, with everything from homicidal demons and cryptic dreams to doppelgängers of dead people and an FBI agent who really likes cherry pie and a “damn fine cup of coffee.” Twin Peaks was a revelatory series in its heyday, and it still holds up thanks to its uniquely eccentric characters and memorable moments, even if the murder mystery fizzles out eventually.

Created by: Mark Frost, David Lynch
Cast: Kyle MacLachlan, Michael Ontkean, Mädchen Amick
Number of seasons: 2

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