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5 great Netflix shows to watch on the 4th of July

Two soldiers in the midst of war in Band of Brothers.
HBO

Thanks to its position as the first widely used streaming service, Netflix is often the first place that people go when they’re looking for something to watch. This Fourth of July, some of those viewers are likely going to be looking for something that represents America.

As anyone who has ever lived in America knows, though, this country is not just one thing. Because of that, we’ve pulled together a lineup of shows that are perfect for celebrating the Fourth of July, even if they don’t have a ton in common with one another. These are the best shows to watch on Netflix to celebrate the July Fourth holiday.

All American (2018-)

ALL AMERICAN Official Trailer (HD) The CW Drama Series

A brilliant story that has evolved and changed with its central characters, All American follows a talented football prospect who leaves his poorer, more diverse school for an opportunity to play in Beverly Hills. When he faces some culture shock, and discovers that he’s no longer his team’s only star, he has to live with the consequences.

All American has become one of the most popular shows on Netflix with good reason. It’s an excellent representation of the many beauties and pitfalls of being a hugely successful athlete.

You can watch All American on Netflix.

Band of Brothers (2001)

Band of Brothers | Trailer | Warner Bros. Entertainment

Steven Spielberg and Tom Hanks’ legendary HBO production that follows a single battalion through the crucible of D-Day and World War II, Band of Brothers is one of the greatest miniseries ever made.

Often focusing on different characters with each episode, Band of Brothers gives us what feels like an honest account of the struggles these men faced, and the heroism they often displayed in response. For all of America’s faults, these are the kinds of men we can genuinely be proud of.

You can watch Band of Brothers on Netflix.

The Diplomat (2023-)

Keri Russell in The Diplomat.
Netflix

A zippy, endlessly engaging if slightly fantastical series, The Diplomat is actually about an American diplomat who finds herself becoming the ambassador to the United Kingdom almost against her will.

As she deals with her crumbling marriage to another high-ranking diplomat, as well as her sudden ascension through the ranks of American politics, she also has to wrestle with a genuine crisis in the U.K. Keri Russell is the kind of actress who could sell anything, and in The Diplomat, she gets to play a compelling character who isn’t always likable or understandable.

You can watch The Diplomat on Netflix.

Friday Night Lights (2006-2011)

Friday Night Lights Season 1 Trailer

Football is the great American pastime, at least today, and Friday Night Lights is one of the greatest shows ever made about the gridiron. Set in a fictional Texas town that doesn’t have much going for it other than the high school football team, the series is both a story of that team and of the town that so desperately loves it.

Friday Night Lights is a deeply sincere, heartfelt show filled with great performances, but part of what makes it so great is its willingness to believe in the power of symbols like football, even if few people can make a living out of it.

You can watch Friday Night Lights on Netflix.

O.J.: Made in America (2016)

O.J. Simpson’s story is one of the more complicated tales in American history, but it’s also a perfect reflection of what America is. Made in America follows O.J. long before he was accused of murder, and long after he was acquitted, focusing on his entire life, and in particular on the way he has interacted with his own racial identity.

Because it is so in-depth, this documentary miniseries feels not just like the definitive retelling of O.J.’s story, but also a story about what it means to amass wealth and power as a Black man in America.

You can watch O.J.: Made in America on Netflix.

Joe Allen
Joe Allen is a freelance writer based in upstate New York focused on movies and TV.
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