The 50 best shows on Netflix right now

When we said “Netflix and chill,” we weren’t talking about the weather! But fall is here at last, with winter soon to follow. This has been a year unlike any other, and new shows are beginning to become few and far between. Fortunately, Netflix has a deep bench of original series as well as selections from other networks. It’s hard to be bored when there are so many different TV shows to catch up on.

But it can be somewhat daunting to dive into Netflix without any idea which shows are worth hours and hours of binge time. That’s why we’ve done the legwork for you, in a wide variety of genres. There’s almost always a Netflix series for even the most discerning viewer, and we’ve assembled the best of the best right here.

Looking for something else? We’ve also rounded up the best movies on Amazon Prime, the best shows on Hulu, the best shows on Amazon Prime, and the best shows on Disney+.

Cursed on Netflix

Cursed

Arthurian lore goes back centuries, but it’s never quite been like this before. Cursed is based on Frank Miller’s illustrated novel that takes the spotlight off of Arthur (Devon Terrell) and puts the focus squarely on the Lady of the Lake. Or rather, the lady she was before. Nimue (Katherine Langford) is a young Fey girl who has to overcome her personal tragedy after she and her family are attacked by zealots. Nimue is also entrusted with the Sword of Power, which is cursed to corrupt anyone who wields it, including Nimue herself. Several familiar faces from the legend of King Arthur appear in new roles, and the show offers plenty of surprises along the way. Nimue’s story is very rewarding as it unfolds, and it’s not over yet.

Created by: Frank Miller, Tom Wheeler
Cast: Katherine Langford, Devon Terrell, Gustaf Skarsgård
Number of seasons: 1

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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

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The Office

The Office

The Office is TV comfort food … and what’s wrong with that? This series was largely inspired by the BBC original, but the American incarnation of The Office ultimately found its own identity while following the exploits of Dunder Mifflin’s eccentric employees. Steve Carell had a star-making turn as the clueless boss, Michael Scott. Over time, Michael did have some personal growth, but he always retained his goofy and quirky qualities as well. Carell was also supported by an amazing cast that included Rainn Wilson, John Krasinski, Jenna Fischer, B. J. Novak, Ed Helms, Craig Robinson, Mindy Kaling, and so many others. Over the course of nine seasons, it was very easy to welcome their characters into our collective hearts. And rewatching every episode is just another chance to catch the jokes that went by the first time.

Created by: Greg Daniels
Cast: Steve Carell, Rainn Wilson, John Krasinski
Number of seasons: 9

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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 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 teenage 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, 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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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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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 debut, 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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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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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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Lucifer on Netflix

Lucifer

Tom Ellis is quite literally the devil in this loose adaptation of the Lucifer comic book series. After leaving Hell behind to chart a new path in his life, Lucifer encounters Detective Chloe Decker (Lauren German) and quickly falls for her. To remain a part of Chloe’s life, Lucifer helps her solve murders in Los Angeles with his talent for making suspects give up his secrets. No one can say that Lucifer isn’t open about who and what he is. But it takes a while for Chloe to realize that she really has partnered up with the original Fallen Angel.

Created by: Tom Kapinos
Cast: Tom Ellis, Lauren German, Kevin Alejandro
Number of seasons: 5

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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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Johnny and Daniel face off in Cobra Kai, now on Netflix!

Cobra Kai

Cobra Kai is a rare sequel that re-contextualizes the original story. In classic ‘80s film The Karate Kid, the rivalry between Daniel LaRusso (Ralph Macchio) and Johnny Lawrence (William Zabka) was fairly straightforward. But their relationship is far more complicated when Cobra Kai picks up decades later. Daniel’s lost his sense of perspective, while Johnny’s been in a downward spiral for years.

Johnny largely takes the center stage in this series, and he reclaims some measure of control of his life by reopening the Cobra Kai dojo. In response, Daniel opens up a karate dojo of his own, which reignites their long-standing adversity and passes their feud to a new generation of students. There’s a third season of Cobra Kai coming to Netflix in 2021, but you can catch the first two seasons right now.

Created by: Josh Heald, Jon Hurwitz. Hayden Schlossberg
Cast: Ralph Macchio, William Zabka, Courtney Henggeler
Number of seasons: 2

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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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Mindhunter Netflix

Mindhunter

In 1977, cultural earthquakes have toppled faith in the American ideal, and the agents of the FBI face an unfamiliar kind of criminal: The serial killer, whose crimes have no basis in reason as far as the agency can see. Agent Holden Ford (Jonathan Groff) believes that, with enough research, the FBI can make sense of the seemingly senseless violence. Together with Behavioral Science Unit agent Bill Tench (Holt McCallany), Ford travels the country, interviewing imprisoned serial killers to understand what drives them, but gazing into the abyss starts to gnaw at the agents. From director David Fincher, Mindhunter is a sleek, eerie production, with a focus on the nature of criminal psychology, rather than grotesque violence.

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

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Queer Eye

The original Queer Eye for the Straight Guy introduced the world to a whole new kind of reality show. More than a decade later, Netflix rebooted the franchise with a new Fab Five and a new mission. The new Fab Five consists of food and wine specialist Antoni Porowski, interior designer Bobby Berk, grooming consultant Jonathan Van Ness, fashion designer Tan France, and culture expert Karamo Brown. Every season, they travel to new parts of the country to meet and pick up under-recognized people, helping them to find the value within themselves and accomplish a specific goal. It’s a heart-warming, provocative show that sees the Fab Five fly into cities and rural areas where they very clearly stand out and attempt to prove that we’re all not that different after all.

Created by: David Collins
Cast:
Antoni Porowski, Bobby Berk, Jonathan Van Ness, Tan France, Karamo Brown
Number of seasons: 5

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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 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 prior to 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: 5

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Rectify Netflix

Rectify

How would you handle readjusting to life after being wrongfully imprisoned for 19 years of your life? Sundance TV’s Rectify addresses this quandary as it follows the life of Daniel Holden. Convicted and sent to death row as a teenager for the rape and murder of his 16-year-old girlfriend, new evidence sets the stage for his return home to Paulie, Georgia. Now in his late 30s, Holden attempts to rekindle relationships with his family and friends, something not easily accomplished for someone whose name had been denounced for so long.

Created by: Ray McKinnon
Cast:
Aden Young, Abigail Spencer, J. Smith-Cameron
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 decor 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: 5

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Sex Education Netflix

Sex Education

Sex Education is a bawdy comedy about teens grappling with sexuality. Just how bawdy is it, though? The opening scene concludes with a macho bully faking an orgasm, after which his girlfriend angrily demands to know “Where’s the spunk, Adam!?” As in a lot of high school comedies, the teens of Sex Education are having (or trying to have) a lot of sex, but for various reasons, none of them are really enjoying themselves; that’s where Otis (Asa Butterfield) comes in. The son of prominent sex therapist Jean (Gillian Anderson), Otis knows a thing or two about sexual dysfunction (due to some childhood trauma, he has some dysfunctions of his own). When a delinquent named Maeve (Emma Mackey) realizes Otis’s therapy skills could make money, they go into business together, treating the neuroses of their classmates. It should be smooth sailing, but then Otis realizes he has feelings for Maeve. Sex Education gets a lot of mileage out of sex jokes, but what leaves a lasting impression is the show’s recognition that sex can be an emotionally perilous adventure and the effects that can have on people.

Created by: Laurie Nunn
Cast: Asa Butterfield, Gillian Anderson, Ncuti Gatwa
Number of seasons: 3

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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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Transformers: War for Cybertron Trilogy

The original Transformers animated series was, admittedly, a cool way to sell kids toy robots that could turn into vehicles. There have been several subsequent Transformers animated series, but Transformers: War for Cybertron Trilogy is the first one to truly embrace the pathos behind the struggle between the Autobots and the Decepticons. The gorgeous CGI animation retains the look and feel of the Generation 1 Transformers, and it also adds moments of genuine awe in Cybertron and the return of some unexpected heroes and villains.

But the most impressive part of this series is the way that it allows both Autobots and Decepticons to question their place in the war, as well as the morality of their leaders, Optimus Prime and Megatron. The line between the good and evil robots is no longer cut and dried. This incarnation of Transformers is an unexpectedly rich drama with terrific writing and performances. It’s the show we always wanted it to be.

Created by: F. J. DeSanto, George Krstic
Cast: Jake Foushee, Jason Marnocha, Joe Zieja
Number of seasons: 1

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Master of None Netflix

Master of None

Created by and starring comedian Aziz Ansari, the Netlfix original series Master of None concerns the everyday life of Dev, a 30-year-old actor who attempts to navigate the twists and turns of adulthood while making a living for himself in New York City. Reportedly based somewhat loosely on Ansari’s own life, the show even features the former Parks and Recreation actor’s real-life mother and father as Dev’s parents in the show. Even if you haven’t dabbled in Ansari’s prior work (you should, too, he’s absolutely hilarious) Master of None is sure to please with its witty dialogue, multidimensional cast of characters, and relatable storylines.

Created by: Aziz Ansari, Alan Yang
Cast: Aziz Ansari, Eric Wareheim, Lena Waithe
Number of seasons: 2

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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 lifestyle. 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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New Girl

Zooey Deschanel plays the quirky Jess in this Fox comedy about a woman who moves into a loft in L.A. with three guys she meets online. While Jake Johnson’s Nick character serves as the second lead behind Deschanel, it’s performances from Max Greenfield (Schmidt) and Lamorne Morris (Winston) that steal the show. This single-camera sitcom perfectly blends elements of drama into its comedic writing, and remains one of the wittiest shows on TV. To top things off, it even created its own drinking game called “True American.” What other show has that on its résumé?

Created by: Elizabeth Meriwether
Cast: Zooey Deschanel, Jake Johnson, Max Greenfield
Number of seasons: 7

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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-fueled 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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Dark Netflix

Dark

Although it drew a lot of comparisons to Stranger Things (due to the small-town setting and teenage protagonists), the German Netflix series Dark is its own thing, a strange, high-concept story set in a town where everyone has their secrets. Dark begins in Winden, a small, wooded town near a nuclear reactor. Teenager Jonas (Louis Hoffman) returns to school, having spent time getting therapy following his father’s suicide, only to find the town in a state of shock over a new tragedy: The disappearance of his fellow student, Erik Obendorf. Erik is not the first child to go missing in Winden’s history, nor will he be the last, and Jonas and his friends soon find themselves on the edge of a mystery that spans generations. Dark is an eerie drama, dense with mysteries and complicated characters.

Created by: Baran bo Odar, Jantje Friese
Cast: Karoline Eichhorn, Louis Hofmann, Jördis Triebel
Number of seasons: 3

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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 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: 2

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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 each and 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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Mads Mikkelsen as Hannibal

Hannibal

This NBC series takes another look at everybody’s favorite cannibal, Hannibal Lecter, the character made famous in Thomas Harris’ trilogy of novels and 1991’s The Silence of the Lambs. Hugh Dancy plays gifted criminal profiler Will Graham, whose unique way of thinking gives him the ability to empathize with anyone, even psychopaths. While pursuing a particularly difficult case with the FBI, however, he decides to enlist the help of psychiatrist Hannibal Lecter (Mads Mikkelsen). Their partnership flourishes and it soon seems that there is no villain they can’t catch together. Unfortunately, Lecter harbors a dark secret and his mind continually edges towards the dark side until he has more in common with the criminals they hunt than Will understands.

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

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