Whether we’ve just got home from work, we’re having a lazy weekend in bed, or we simply need a distraction for a couple of hours, we are all guilty of turning to Netflix to help pass the time. But more often than not we waste precious moments scrolling through Netflix’s endless catalogue of content, trying to find something to watch.
The reason for this is because we never really know what’s good, what’s bad, and what to view?! Well, that’s where this post can come in handy, because it can certainly point you in the right direction.
Below you will find a list of the best Netflix series to watch. From The Movies That Made Us and Squid Game, to Dark and Grace and Frankie, these are the shows you need to stick on your Netflix ‘watch list’.
First up is Netflix’s highly enjoyable teen drama about high school student, Otis Milburn, who finds himself becoming a self-appointed sex educator, when his fellow students need to learn about the birds, the bees, and everything in between. Over multiple seasons Otis dispenses advice, often with insightful (and hilarious) consequences, all the while trying to deal with the various problems that crop up in his own life.
Sex Education is bright, cheerful, and incredibly fun. Oh, and not only is it entertaining, it really is quite educational too!
Next up is one of the most popular shows on Netflix – the sci-fi/horror series, Stranger Things. If this show has passed you by, then you’ve probably not been paying attention.
The series – set during the 1980s – follows a group of teenagers/young adults, as they come face-to-face with all manner of weird and creepy phenomena in their home town of Hawkins. Stranger Things features an ensemble cast of young actors, who star alongside the likes of Winona Ryder and David Harbour.
Delightful, optimistic, and simply wonderful, Heartstopper is a superb teen drama about two high school students who find love, after developing a strong friendship in class. The show – which stars Joe Locke and Kit Connor – is based on the Alice Oseman graphic novels of the same name, and is one of Netflix’s most successful LGTBQ+ shows and also a damn good series!
The Toys That Made Us
Want to revisit classic toys from yesteryear, while learning about some of the most popular toy lines of the 1980s and 1990s? Then you need to stream The Toys That Made Us.
Each episode of this nostalgia-inducing documentary series focuses on one memorable toy from the past (Transformers, TMNT, Lego, etc). The show then details its journey from the drawing board to the toy shelf, to explain why it was popular back then and why it is still a hit all these years later.
Set around the British monarchy, The Crown is a historical drama about the reign of Queen Elizabeth II. Each season of the show details a different era of the Queen’s life, with the likes of Claire Foy, Olivia Colman, Matt Smith, Tobias Menzies, Helena Bonham Carter, and John Lithgow amongst the cast.
The Umbrella Academy
Based on the Dark Horse comic book by Gerard Way and Gabriel Bá, The Umbrella Academy is a superhero show about a dysfunctional family who reunite to solve the mystery of their father’s death. The first season of the show was a huge hit for Netflix when it began streaming back in 2019, paving the way for three further seasons.
Set in a medieval world, and based on the book series of the same name by Andrzej Sapkowski, The Witcher is an action-adventure series about Geralt of Rivia – a monster hunter known as a Witcher. The show is filled with magic, monsters, and magnificent stories, and stars Henry Cavill as the titular character.
In Ozark, Jason Bateman and Laura Linney take the lead as a married couple who move to the Lake of Ozarks for a spot of money laundering. The critically acclaimed series ran for four seasons on Netflix, totalling 44 episodes.
Based on the comic of the same name by Neil Gaiman, The Sandman is a fantasy drama about the titular Sandman, aka Dream/Morpheus. The fantasy series stars Tom Sturridge, Boyd Holbrook, Patton Oswalt, and Vivienne Acheampong.
Grace and Frankie
In Grace and Frankie, two ageing women form an unlikely friendship after they discover their husbands are planning on marrying each other. Jane Fonda takes on the role of Grace Hanson for this comedy-drama, while Lily Tomlin plays Frankie Bergstein.
She-Ra and the Princesses of Power
In this animated reimaging of the classic ‘80s cartoon, the story of She-Ra is updated for a new generation. Taking a more progressive approach, and including plenty of LGBTQ+ representation, She-Ra and the Princesses of Power is a delightful animated series about power, friendship, and truth.
Masters of the Universe: Revelation
And you can’t have She-Ra without a bit of He-Man, and that’s exactly what you get with Masters of the Universe: Revelation – a loose sequel to the original Masters of the Universe cartoon from the 1980s. In this series, He-Man and Skeletor trade blows once again, but this time with the bad guy coming out on top!
In Sense8, eight strangers from all over the world suddenly learn they are ‘sensates’ – human beings who are mentally and emotionally connected. The series – created by J. Michael Straczynski and The Wachowskis – stars Tuppence Middleton, Aml Ameen, and Doona Bae.
The Queen’s Gambit
Chess becomes the focus of this next show – a limited series based on Walter Tevis’ novel of the same name. The show stars Anya Taylor-Joy as a chess prodigy who rises through the ranks to become one of the leading players in the world.
Brit Marling takes the lead in this 16-episode mystery drama, about a young woman who resurfaces after being missing for years. However, while once she was blind, she can now see, and she refers to herself as ‘the OA’.
A Series of Unfortunate Events
Based on the children’s novels of the same name by Lemony Snicket, A Series of Unfortunate Events is a black comedy-drama about three orphans and their continual encounters with the crazed Count Olaf. Some of the Lemony Snicket books have previously been adapted into a film, but this series covers the entire run of stories.
The Haunting of Hill House
Loosely based on the Shirley Jackson’s novel of the same name, The Haunting of Hill House is a spinetingling supernatural story, about a group of siblings and their frightening experiences at Hill House. The show operates across two timelines to tell its tale, and features an ensemble cast that includes Carla Gugino and Henry Thomas, amongst others.
Natasha Lyonne stars in this comedy-drama about a game developer who is stuck in a perpetual time loop. In the first season of the show, she continually finds herself reliving the same night – which happens to be a 36th birthday party.
Next up is a show about high school chemistry teacher, Walter White, who manufactures and distributes crystal meth after he discovers he is terminally ill with cancer. White goes into the drug business to secure additional income for his family, calling in a former student to assist him.
This five-season series is one of the greatest TV shows of all-time, and if you have still not checked it out then make sure you do! And speaking of Breaking Bad…
Better Call Saul
Set in the same world as Breaking Bad, Better Call Saul is a spin-off prequel series, which tells the story of criminal defence attorney, Saul Goodman. The show began airing shortly after its predecessor finished its run, and clocked up 63 episodes over the course of its critically acclaimed six seasons.
Based on Julia Quinn’s series of Regency romance novels, Bridgerton is a historical-romance drama about the eponymous Bridgertons – a noble family who are important players in London’s high society. The show stars an ensemble cast which includes Jonathan Bailey, Nicola Coughlan, and Adjoa Andoh, and was a huge success for Netflix when it made its debut during Christmas 2020.
Hamish Linklater, Kate Siegel, and Zach Gilford star in this supernatural horror series from creator/director, Mike Flanagan. Midnight Mass follows the story of an isolated community and the supernatural events which take place following the arrival of a mysterious priest.
Orange is the New Black
Set in an all-female prison, Orange is the New Black is a superb comedy-drama about a group of inmates, and the situations they find themselves in while completing their sentences. Although the series initially centres around new inmate, Piper Chapman, the show quickly shifts focus to spend more time with the supporting cast – most of whom are brilliant, memorable characters.
Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt
In hilarious sitcom, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, a 29-year-old attempts to readjust to normal life, after being rescued from a doomsday cult, where she was held captive for 15 years. Having spent more than half of her life living in a bunker with three other woman and the fanatical nutjob who kidnapped her, the woman’s view of the outside world is often quite different from those around her.
Based on the classic video game series of the same name, Castlevania is a terrific anime, about a monster hunter and his fight against evil forces. The series showcases some excellent visuals, as well as great voice work, and is a rip roarin’ adventure show.
Do you love watching shows that are almost too unbelievable to be true? Then you should definitely watch Tiger King – a true crime series about former zookeeper and convicted felon, Joe Exotic.
Tiger King retells Exotic’s larger-than-life life-story, covering his ownership of a zoo, his relationship with his work colleagues, and his long-running feud with Carole Baskin – the CEO of Big Cat Rescue. The show is completely bonkers, but incredibly addictive to watch.
Making a Murderer
Making a Murderer is a true-crime docu-series which revolves around the case of Steven Avery – a man convicted of murder in the US. But is Avery as guilty as the authorities claim, or has he been wrongfully imprisoned? These are the questions the show spends a great deal of time discussing.
When Making a Murderer made its debut on Netflix back in 2015, it rapidly became one of the most talked about shows on the streaming service, thanks to its real-life, mind-shatteringly bizarre story. If you still haven’t checked it out, you must!
In South Korean drama-thriller, Squid Game, a collection of desperate, down on their luck people are drawn into a game of survival. The prize is a life-changing sum of money, but the downside is that only one person can win.
Chilling Adventures of Sabrina
Kiernan Shipka stars in this deliciously dark teen-drama about a teenage witch who lives with her two aunts. The show follows Sabrina’s story as she balances witchcraft with the day-to-day dramas of high school.
The Chef Show
Inspired by the Jon Favreau-directed movie, Chef (2014), The Chef Show is a docu-series about different cultures and cuisines in the US. The series is co-presented by Favreau, along with chef Roy Choi, with each episode serving up a selection of mouth-watering dishes designed to delight and inspire.
A change of pace for this next show – a sinister sci-fi thriller from Germany. Dark ran for three seasons between 2017 and 2020, and revolved around the fictional village of Winden, where a generation-spanning mystery unfolds.
Strange, unusual, and often quite perplexing, Dark is ideal for those who love a series that poses as many questions as it answers. The show stars Louis Hofmann.
The Movies That Made Us
Ever wondered how your favourite movies made it into production? Well, wonder no longer, because in docu-series, The Movies That Made Us, various industry insiders lift the lid on the fascinating stories behind some of cinema’s greatest epics.
Want to know all about Back to the Future, Halloween, and Dirty Dancing? Well, now you can.
Don’t F**k with Cats
While the title of this show might seem a little odd, don’t sleep on this fascinating true crime docu-series about a group of strangers who help track down a killer over the internet. Featuring input from those involved in solving the case, Don’t F**k with Cats is a remarkable and unnerving story you simply won’t believe.
In reality makeover show, Queer Eye, five guys from the LGBTQ+ community spread positivity and light as they spend a few days helping a member of the public get out of a self-imposed rut. Through various tips, tricks, and conversations, the Fab Five equip their new friend with the tools to overcome any obstacle and make some incredible changes in their life.
Queer Eye is without doubt one of the nicest, kindest, and most uplifting shows on Netflix. It only takes one episode to get hooked, and believe me, you’ll binge the whole thing!
Lost in Space
In this superb reworking of the classic ‘60s show, the Robinson family return for all-new adventures as they become lost in space! The cast this time around includes Toby Stephens, Molly Parker, and Maxwell Jenkins, with Parker Posey taking on the iconic role of Dr. Smith.
Crime Scene: The Vanishing at the Cecil Hotel
Netflix is known for producing some unusual and/or quirky true crime stories, and if that’s something you’re interested in, then you should take a look at this mini-series. The show is Crime Scene: The Vanishing at the Cecil Hotel – a four-episode docu-series which looks at the disappearance and death of Elisa Lam.
Across the course of its short run, the series looks at the circumstances surrounding Lam’s death, with input from various insiders, including journalists, medical professionals, and more. The Vanishing at the Cecil Hotel then provides a conclusion to the case to explain what happened in this tragic case.
Arcane: League of Legends
Arcane is an animated action-adventure series set in the world of League of Legends – an online gaming world which is hugely popular. The show focuses on sisters Vi and Jinx, but also explores the characters and mythology that make up this expansive universe.
The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance
Created as a prequel series to the 1982 Jim Henson movie, The Dark Crystal, The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance is a ten-episode mini-series, about three Gelflings, and their quest to save their planet. The show debuted on Netflix back in 2019, and was met with an overwhelmingly positive response from critics and fans of the original film.
In off-beat sitcom, After Life, a recently widowed husband tries to come to terms with the death of his wife, following her tragic battle with cancer. At first, he can’t see a reason to keep going without her, but over time he comes to alter his viewpoint, often thanks to his interactions with quirky friends and work colleagues who offer him a different perspective on love and loss.
And finally, The Rain is a brilliant, Danish post-apocalyptic drama, set in a world in which the rain carries a deadly virus. The series – which stars Alba August and Lucas Lynggaard Tønnesen – follows the story of a group of survivors who are trying to make sense of the world, while trying to find a cure to this devastating predicament.
The Rain made its debut in 2018 and ran for three seasons. If you’ve not checked it out, then do yourself a favour and stream all 20 episodes as soon as you get the opportunity.
OK, so those are all of the best Netflix TV shows, now it’s time for a recap. And to save you having to scroll back up, here are all the Netflix series in one handy list.
- Sex Education
- Stranger Things
- The Toys That Made Us
- The Crown
- The Umbrella Academy
- The Witcher
- The Sandman
- Grace and Frankie
- She-Ra and the Princesses of Power
- Masters of the Universe: Revelation
- The Queen’s Gambit
- The OA
- A Series of Unfortunate Events
- The Haunting of Hill House
- Russian Doll
- Breaking Bad
- Better Call Saul
- Midnight Mass
- Orange is the New Black
- Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt
- Tiger King
- Making a Murderer
- Squid Game
- Chilling Adventures of Sabrina
- The Chef Show
- The Movies That Made Us
- Don’t F**k with Cats
- Queer Eye
- Lost in Space
- Crime Scene: The Vanishing at the Cecil Hotel
- Arcane: League of Legends
- The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance
- After Life
- The Rain
Thank you for stopping by It’s A Stampede! to read this post about the best Netflix shows – I hope it has proved useful. For more useful posts, be sure to check out the recommended reads below.