If you still haven’t check out what Netflix has to offer in New Zealand, you’ve already waited too long. While early criticism of Netflix’s content line-up was fair, the current state of its library of television shows is a much different story. Some of the best shows on television at the moment are Netflix Originals.
From political drama, to 80s inspired sci-fi, to the best superhero TV shows around, Netflix has been consistently knocking it out of the park since launching globally.
Now with four seasons under its belt, The Crown remains one of Netflix’s most acclaimed original shows. A dramatization about the reign of Queen Elizabeth II, the series chronicles the intrigues, love lives and machinations behind the great events that shaped the second half of the 20th century.
The Crown has a tremendous cast and excellent production values. While it may take some historical liberties, it also delivers an engaging narrative. Plus, seeing Emma Corrin flawlessly portray Princess Diana in season four is a real treat.
Cast: Claire Foy, Olivia Colman, Imelda Staunton, Emma Corrin, Gillian Anderson
2. Dash & Lily
A charming YA rom-com, Dash & Lily revolves around two teens who trade dares, dreams and desires in a notebook they pass back and forth at various locations around New York.
Perfect to binge around Christmas, the series delivers eight short episodes filled with holiday cheer. The cast is top-notch, the plot is intriguing, New York is beautiful. What more could you wish for?
Cast: Austin Abrams, Midori Francis, Dante Brown
3. The Queen’s Gambit
A polished and magnetic miniseries, The Queen’s Gambit centres on prodigious introvert Beth Harmon. Orphaned at 9, she discovers and masters the game of chess in 1960s USA. Too bad child stardom comes at a steep price.
If you like period dramas, this one is a must. The Queen’s Gambit is not only beautifully shot and rich in detail, but it boasts a nuanced performance from Anya Taylor-Joy and tells a complex, spell-binding story. Believe the hype – it really is that good.
Cast: Anya Taylor-Joy, Chloe Pirrie, Bill Camp, Marielle Heller
4. Emily in Paris
Created by Darren Star, also responsible for Sex and the City, Emily in Paris follows a young woman from Chicago who is sent by her company to a marketing firm in Paris to provide them with an American perspective. As soon as she arrives, however, she discovers that fitting in won’t be as seamless as she anticipated.
A mix or wanderlust and romance, the show may be cliché, but it provides a welcome escape from reality. Paris sure looks pretty.
Cast: Lily Collins, Philippine Leroy-Beaulieu, Ashley Park, Lucas Bravo
5. The Haunting of Bly Manor
Set in 1980s England, The Haunting of Bly Manor revolves around a young American nanny who starts working at the Bly Manor estate and realises that all is not as it seems. Dead doesn’t mean gone – and centuries of dark secrets of love and loss are waiting to be unearthed.
A follow-up to The Haunting of Hill House, the series isn’t as scary as its predecessor, but it has plenty to offer horror fans. The performances are terrific, the story is powerful, the ghosts are spooky. There’s a lot here to love.
Cast: Victoria Pedretti, Oliver Jackson-Cohen, Amelia Eve, Rahul Kohli, T’Nia Miller
A tense and visually stunning psychological thriller, Ratched follows the character of the same name from Ken Kesey’s 1962 novel One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. In 1947, Mildred Ratched begins working as a nurse at a leading psychiatric hospital. But beneath her stylish exterior lurks a growing darkness – one viewers will get to unravel as episodes go by.
With a powerhouse performance from Sarah Paulson, Ratched is captivating and fun to watch, especially if you’re a fan of Ryan Murphy’s previous work, most notably American Horror Story. Sit back and let the lavish darkness pull you in.
Cast: Sarah Paulson, Finn Wittrock, Cynthia Nixon
In Away, Hilary Swank portrays Emma, an astronaut who embarks on a treacherous mission to Mars in command of an international crew. However, she leaves behind her husband and teenage daughter, causing her to have mixed feelings about the whole ordeal.
As the crew’s journey into space intensifies, their personal dynamics and the effects of being away from their loved ones back on Earth become increasingly complex. The result? A nuanced space drama you don’t want to miss.
Cast: Hilary Swank, Josh Charles, Vivian Wu, Mark Ivanir
Lucifer Morningstar has decided he’s had enough of being the dutiful servant in Hell and proceeds to spend time on Earth to better understand humanity. He runs a club in Los Angeles and soon gets involved with the local police, assisting them in solving tricky criminal cases.
Lucifer initially aired on Fox in the US before being cancelled after three seasons. Shortly after, Netflix picked it up, to fans’ delight. The series is now an original Netflix production, with the first part of Season 5 currently available to stream.
Cast: Tom Ellis, Lauren German, Kevin Alejandro, D.B. Woodside
9. Teenage Bounty Hunters
This quirky comedy follows twin sisters Blair and Sterling, who balance teen life at an elite Southern high school with an unlikely new career as bounty hunters. A bunch of over-the-top adventures follow as they dive into the world of bail skipping baddies and suburban secrets.
Witty and stylish, the show will win you over in no time thanks to the chemistry between the two leads. If you’re on the lookout for a funny and unpredictable series, add this to your watchlist ASAP.
Cast: Maddie Phillips, Anjelica Bette Fellini, Kadeem Hardison, Virginia Williams
10. Cobra Kai
Decades after their 1984 All Valley Karate Tournament bout, now middle-aged Daniel LaRusso and Johnny Lawrence find themselves martial-arts rivals once again! When Johnny seeks redemption by reopening the infamous Cobra Kai dojo, he comes head-to-head with Daniel, now successful but struggling after the loss of mentor Mr. Miyagi.
Cobra Kai is set 34 years after the original Karate Kid film and used to stream on YouTube Premium before it was acquired by Netflix. Funny, compelling and thoughtful, the show doesn’t disappoint, even in a world saturated with revivals. Whether or not you’re a fan of the original film, there’s plenty to love here.
Cast: Ralph Macchio, William Zabka, Xolo Maridueña, Courtney Henggeler
11. The Baby-Sitters Club
Based on the book series of the same name, this charming Netflix reboot follows a group of young girls who start their own babysitting service.
The show offers a modern take on the story, which makes it appealing to nostalgic viewers and younger audiences alike. It’s sweet and hopeful, making for a delightful binge.
Cast: Sophie Grace, Momona Tamada, Shay Rudolph
Cursed is a captivating retelling of the Arthurian legend. The plot follows teenage sorceress Nimue, who joins forces with a young and charming mercenary named Arthur on a mission to save her people.
Katherine Langford offers a strong performance in the lead role, while the whole series is a treat for fantasy lovers, complete with untamed forests and shiny castles. All in all, it’s a lot of fun.
Cast: Bill Pullman, Matt Bomer, Chris Messina, Jessica Hecht
13. The Sinner
An anthology crime drama, The Sinner follows a detective who investigates crimes and attempts to uncover the culprits’ motivations. Each season focuses on a different case and features a fresh cast, so you can pick up anywhere and start streaming.
Season 3 of the series, currently available, revolves around a tragic car accident on the outskirts of Dorchester, in upstate New York. With an excellent cast and gripping story, it will keep you glued to the screen.
Cast: Bill Pullman, Matt Bomer, Chris Messina, Jessica Hecht
14. The Woods
Based on the novel of the same name by Harlan Coben, The Woods is a Polish mystery thriller about a prosecutor whose sister went missing under unexplained circumstances. However, the discovery of a body might lead to new clues and a much needed breakthrough in the investigation.
Well-crafted and tense, the show benefits from some tremendous performances and manages to capture the viewers’ attention thanks to the intriguing mystery. You’ll be dying to find out what happens next.
Cast: Grzegorz Damięcki, Agnieszka Grochowska, Hubert Miłkowski, Wiktoria Filus
15. Space Force
Space Force revolves around the people tasked with creating a sixth branch of the US armed services: The Space Force. At the centre of the action is dedicated four-star general Mark R. Naird, who uproots his family and moves to a remote base in Colorado to put together a team able of achieving total space dominance.
The series received mixed reviews upon release, but it’s still worth a stream given the stellar cast and great special effects. Seeing Carell and Malkovich together is always a treat.
Cast: Steve Carell, John Malkovich, Ben Schwartz, Diana Silvers
16. Sweet Magnolias
This charming series, based on the novels by Sherryl Woods, follows lifelong friends Maddie, Helen and Dana Sue. They lift each other up as they juggle relationships, family and careers in a small US town.
Sweet Magnolias is an excellent comfort watch, brimming with warmth and soapy storylines. Perfect for when you’re looking to escape real life, at least for a few hours.
Cast: JoAnna Garcia Swisher, Brooke Elliott, Heather Headley, Logan Allen
Set years after the world has become a frozen wasteland, Snowpiercer centres on what’s left of humanity – a group of people who inhabit a gigantic, perpetually-moving train that circles the globe. The series is based on Bong Joon-ho’s gripping film of the same name.
A thrilling dystopian, Snowpiercer was a long time in the making. Now that it’s finally here, we’re happy to report that the series is stylish and perfectly cast. If you’re in the mood for an immersive and well-crafted sci-fi story, the show is a great ride, no pun intended.
Cast: Jennifer Connelly, Daveed Diggs, Mickey Sumner, Sheila Vand
Ryan Murphy’s latest miniseries follows aspiring actors and filmmakers in post-World War II Hollywood, who are ready to do almost anything to see their dreams come true. Each character offers a glimpse behind the gilded curtain of Hollywood’s Golden Age, spotlighting the unfair systems and biases that still hold up today.
The miniseries has a solid cast and style to spare, offering a fictionalised version of Hollywood that will appeal to movie buffs. It’s a classic tale with a twist, greatly benefiting from gorgeous production values. The glamour alone will take your breath away.
Cast: David Corenswet, Darren Criss, Laura Harrier, Joe Mantello
19. Never Have I Ever
This charming comedy co-created by Mindy Kaling follows the complicated life of a first-generation Indian-American teenager. That’s putting things simply, as the series has so much heart you’ll likely fall in love with it from the very first scene.
Never Have I Ever is inspired by Kaling’s own early life and starts newcomer Maitreyi Ramakrishnan as an overachieving high school sophomore. She’s perfect in the lead role, supported by a tremendous ensemble cast. Tune in immediately.
Cast: Maitreyi Ramakrishnan, Jaren Lewison, Darren Barnet, Poorna Jagannathan
20. After Life
Created, produced and directed by Ricky Gervais, who also stars, After Life follows a man who decides to do and say whatever he wants following his wife’s death. As you might expect, this ends up being trickier than he envisioned.
The series seamlessly switches from dark comedy to moving drama at a moment’s notice, offering a thoughtful exploration of grief, depression and resilience. It also boasts some wonderful performances, especially from Gervais himself.
Cast: Ricky Gervais, Tom Basden, Tony Way, Diane Morgan
21. Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness
This true crime documentary, which took the Internet by storm, is an exploration of big cat breeding and its bizarre underworld. The series centres on Joe Exotic, gun-toting polygamist and country western singer who presides over an Oklahoma roadside zoo. Things take a dark turn when Joe gets arrested for an unbelievable murder-for-hire plot following a rivalry with an animal activist, Carole Baskin.
The story is bonkers and bizarre – so if you’re looking for an entertaining binge, you can’t go wrong with Tiger King. Then, you might be able to answer the question that’s been on everyone’s mind. Did Carole feed her husband to the tigers? We need answers ASAP.
Cast: Joe Exotic, Carole Baskin, Bhagavan Antle, Howard Baskin, John Finlay
Ozark is a compelling Netflix drama with a fairly straightforward premise: it follows a married couple forced to relocate their family to the Ozarks to launder money for a Mexican drug cartel. But while the plot is intriguing on its own, what really makes the series stand out is the two excellent performances from Bateman and Linney, who only get better with each episode.
Moreover, the show goes from dark to darker, making it an addictive watch. If you can stand the tension, following these two as they struggle to get away with crime-related endeavours is highly satisfying.
Cast: Jason Bateman, Laura Linney, Sofia Hublitz, Skylar Gaertner
23. Dare Me
Based on the popular book of the same name, Dare Me revolves around two BFF cheerleaders whose relationship is tested when a new coach arrives to bring the team to prominence. Add a mysterious death into the mix and you’ve got yourself a thrilling small-down drama about jealousy, loyalty and the complexities of female friendship.
Dare Me is a bit of a slow-burn, but it’s worth the time investment. Atmospheric and fueled by psychological mind games, the series does a great job at pulling in viewers as episodes go by. Come for the mean girl drama, stay for the insane twists.
Cast: Willa Fitzgerald, Herizen F. Guardiola, Marlo Kelly, Rob Heaps
24. Locke & Key
Based on the graphic novels from Joe Hill and Gabriel Rodriguez, this inventive show revolves around three siblings who move into a house filled with reality-bending keys following their father’s murder. However, it’s not all fun and games, especially when it turns out that a demonic entity is on the lookout for the keys as well.
Spooky and entertaining, Locke & Key will prove a worthy binge for fantasy lovers. Regardless of whether you’ve read the source material or not, the series is dark, twisty and intriguing. Here’s hoping that more seasons will be coming our way.
Cast: Darby Stanchfield, Connor Jessup, Emilia Jones, Jackson Robert Scott, Laysla De Oliveira
25. I Am Not Okay with This
I Am Not Okay with This follows a teenage girl who is navigating the usual trials and tribulations of high school. The twist? She has to deal with newly-discovered superpowers at the same time. Talk about stressful!
Sophia Lillis, whom you might know from blockbuster It or from HBO’s Sharp Objects, gives a powerful lead performance here. More than that, the series is charming and quirky, delivering a memorable coming-of-age story and exceeding genre expectations. Even better? You can binge it all in one afternoon.
Cast: Sophia Lillis, Wyatt Oleff, Sofia Bryant, Kathleen Rose Perkins
26. The Witcher
Based on the book series of the same name by Polish writer Andrzej Sapkowski, this ambitious Netflix original stars Henry Cavill as Geralt of Rivia, a lonely Witcher or monster hunter who roams the Continent slaying beasts. But when his path intertwines with a powerful sorceress and a mysterious princess, he’ll have to finally embrace his fate.
Epic in scale and boasting some truly excellent fight scenes, The Witcher is a treat for fantasy lovers. Cavill offers a memorable performance, there’s a catchy song you won’t be able to get out of your head after Episode 2, and the visuals are mesmerising. If you’re looking for a show full of magic and gore, you just stumbled upon the perfect binge.
Cast: Henry Cavill, Anya Chalotra, Freya Allan
You follows Joe, a brilliant bookstore clerk who one day crosses paths with Beck, an aspiring young writer. He develops an unhealthy crush and proceeds to use his Internet and real-life stalking skills to make Beck fall for him. Not only that, but he’s willing to go to great lengths to make sure that the girl he fancies only has eyes for him.
The best kind of unsettling, You is a highly addictive TV show, so make sure you set aside enough time to devour this delicious offering. Both thrilling and trashy, the series will definitely make you think about how you can better protect your privacy, especially online.
Cast: Penn Badgley, Elizabeth Lail, Shay Mitchell
28. Sex Education
Sex Education centers on Otis, a socially awkward and inexperienced high school student who has a sex therapist for a mom. After growing up surrounded by manuals and videos about sex, as well as having to endure multiple tedious conversations with his mom, Otis became a reluctant expert on the subject. To gain status at school, he decides to team up with a whip-smart girl and set up an underground sex therapy clinic for fellow students.
One of the most informative and sweetest teen comedies about sex, Sex Education is an often hilarious, always exciting series that feels fresh and honest. You can enjoy it regardless of age.
Based on true events, this powerful and unflinching show revolves around a series of sexual assaults which took place in Washington and Colorado in the US. After a teen reports a rape and then recants her story, her life changes forever. Three years later, two detectives join forces to follow the evidence that might finally lead to some answers.
This critically acclaimed miniseries is based on the 2015 news article An Unbelievable Story of Rape. Sometimes heartbreaking, other times infuriating, but ultimately just a tiny bit hopeful, Unbelievable tells the stories of survivors with the care and gravity. In the era of peak TV, it’s easy to overlook this initially bleak offering. We strongly advise you give it a stream.
Cast: Toni Collette, Merritt Wever, and Kaitlyn Dever
30. When They See Us
Created, co-written, and directed by Ava DuVernay, this powerful miniseries exposes the breakdown of the US criminal justice system during the infamous Central Park Five case. It follows five teens from Harlem who become trapped in a nightmare when they’re falsely accused of a brutal attack.
Stirring and immersive, When They See Us puts a lot on emphasis on what the boys and their families endured over their decades-long ordeal, shining light on all the ways in which the system failed them. Turns out, justice truly can be blind.
Known in English as Money Heist, this Spanish Netflix original revolves around an elaborate heist that takes place over several days at the Royal Mint of Spain. A group of thieves take hostages and lock themselves into the facility, all part of an elaborate plan to escape with millions of euros.
Melodramatic and highly addictive, this drama is the kind of show best enjoyed binged, so there’s no wonder it made its way onto Netflix’s generous library of foreign content. Soon after, it even became the most-watched foreign series on the service. If you don’t mind subtitles, you’ll be in for a delicious and twisty tale of manipulation and revolt.
Cast: Úrsula Corberó, Itziar Ituño, Álvaro Morte, Miguel Herrán, Paco Tous, Pedro Alonso
32. Stranger Things
It’s rare to see a show so lovingly dedicated to the 80s. Often TV shows, movies and books lean on nostalgia without weaving them into the narrative in any meaningful way. That’s far from the case in Stranger Things, now into its third season. The Duffer Brothers’ sci-fi/thriller/horror isn’t just a love letter, it stands alone as one of the greatest television shows today, thanks to its talented and diverse cast and its gripping season finale.
Season one starts with young nerd Will Byers vanishing from a quiet, rural town. His family, friends and community band together to bring him back from a mysterious and terrifying world. Each character has a hand to play in finding Will, but their individual journeys are just as important and entertaining to watch.
Cast: Millie Bobby Brown, Gaten Matarazzo, Finn Wolfhard, Caleb McLaughlin, Wynona Ryder
33. House of Cards
All the hype you’ve heard about House of Cards is true. The Primetime Emmy Award-winning Netflix-produced show about the devious machinations of US politics is television at its best. It’s conniving, it’s clever and it will change the way you watch the news. Oh, and Frank Underwood (Kevin Spacey) is the anti-hero you’ve been waiting for since Walter White left our screens. With six seasons under its belt, House of Cards is no doubt one of the most bingeable shows on Netflix.
Cast: Kevin Spacey, Robin Wright, Michael Kelly, Kate Mara
34. Master of None
Master of None is the kind of show that might turn people off in its first few episodes. In place of a traditional, run-of-the-mill season, Aziz Ansari’s comedy/drama often runs off in tangents focused on minor characters (and sometimes characters that aren’t even part of the recurring cast). While this might seem a little off-track to begin with, some of these episodes are Master of None’s best.
Ansari’s Dev runs the gamut of work and relationship troubles many have experienced firsthand with hilarious and sometimes devastating accuracy. But where Master of None truly shines is during the episodes that are less about the characters and more about an issue, place or celebration.
If you haven’t checked it out yet (or tried and put it down) we wholeheartedly recommend sticking it out. Ansari’s musings on love, work and life in the city are hilarious, poetic and brimming with heart.
Cast: Aziz Ansari, Eric Wareheim, Lena Waithe, Noël Wells
35. Black Mirror
The fact that a third season of Charlie Brooker’s Black Mirror series wasn’t picked up sooner is criminal. Brooker’s clever writing and biting satire are complemented by Netflix’s fat stacks of cash, which has helped bring on some huge talent, like Bryce Dallas Howard and Jerome Flynn in leading roles, as well as big-name directors like Joe Wright and Dan Trachtenberg.
While Season five had fans scratching their heads, season three brought us some of the best episodes the show has ever seen (San Junipero is some of the best television out there, hands down), and season four gets even more mind-boggling.
Cast: Hannah John-Kamen, Jon Hamm, Hayley Atwell, Daniel Kaluuya
36. 13 Reasons Why
13 Reasons Why follows the main character Hannah Baker, a young high school girl who releases cassette tapes telling her story of being bullied by fellow classmates. Although a sad and very realistic modern tale told from the point of view of the main character, who also happens to be dead, you’ll be hooked from the first scene.
Every episode focuses on a different character, which gives you the chance to learn about the peers surrounding Hannah Baker and how they ultimately contributed to her demise. Season three hit Netflix this year, which means you’ve got two entire seasons to binge watch – if you haven’t already.
Cast: Katherine Langford, Dylan Minnette, Alisha Boe, Christian Navarro
OITNB, as it’s affectionately called, is loosely based on the real-life prison experiences of Piper Kerman. Basically, the show can be summarized as follows: WASP goes to prison, thinks it will be fine because she’s white and middle class, turns out she was very much mistaken.
The exceptional ensemble cast is what really drives this show, and it’s attracted praise for telling the stories of African-American and Hispanic women, while at the same time criticism for needing a white woman leading the show to do it. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll vaguely wonder about committing a minor crime so you too can go to prison and write about it.
Cast: Taylor Schilling, Uzo Aduba, Laura Prepon, Danielle Brooks
38. BoJack Horseman
Imagine every live-action character Will Arnett has ever played blended together in one anthropomorphic horse and you have Bojack Horseman. This story of a washed up equine actor seemed at first to be Netflix’s Family Guy or American Dad.
However, it’s so much more than that. Bojack is eternally chauvinistic and narcissistic, but unlike most sitcoms or cartoons, Bojack’s character actually goes through a lot of growth and characterization over its six seasons, thanks to a strong cast of supporting characters like Alison Brie’s Diane, Lisa Kudrow’s Wanda and Paul F. Tompkins’s Mr. Peanutbutter.
It’s not exactly what you would expect from a bizarre comedy about talking animals, but that’s what you get with Bojack.
Cast: Will Arnett, Aaron Paul, Alison Brie, Amy Sedaris
39. The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt
Tina Fey’s new show follows the tale of titular character Kimmy (Ellie Kemper), who spent 15 years in an underground bunker thanks to a doomsday cult and is now living in New York City. Her mission? To pursue a normal life. Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt might have its hits and misses in the name of making controversial jokes for the sake of it, but its two leads, Ellie Kemper and Tituss Burgess make the watch worth it.
Cast: Ellie Kemper, Tituss Burgess, Carol Kane, Jane Krakowski
40. Marvel’s Daredevil
While Marvel’s Jessica Jones and Luke Cage come in at a close second, Marvel’s Daredevil is still the strongest of all Netflix’s superhero shows. That’s thanks firstly to an incredibly strong origin story in its first season and an explosive second season that introduces two of the most interesting characters in the small-screen universe, Punisher and Elektra.
Sure, Jessica Jones is the stronger character here and deserves a good mention on this list, but Daredevil’s perfectly choreographed fight scenes and high-stakes stories make it the most engaging out of The Defenders’ respective shows.
Cast: Charlie Cox, Deborah Ann Woll, Elden Henson, Rosario Dawson
Vale Sense8. One of Netflix’s first victims (we’re not really counting Marco Polo here), Sense8‘s compelling story of eight mentally connected individuals from across the globe was cancelled after its second season, despite growing a large cult following.
It seems as popular as it was, Netflix just couldn’t keep up with globetrotting sensates and cancelled the series in 2017. Regardless, the Wachowskis have promised the Sense8 story will wrap up with a once-off movie-length episode, so you’ve got time to catch up with season one and two before it officially wraps up.
Cast: Jamie Clayton, Max Riemelt, Miguel Ángel Silvestre, Brian J. Smith
This groundbreaking Netflix documentary series was filmed over the course of 10 years. It examines the complicated life of Steven Avery, who spent 18 years in prison despite being wrongfully convicted of sexual assault. He was fully exonerated in 2003 by DNA evidence. However, a few years after his release, he was accused of murder and found guilty, being sent back to prison.
The series was a huge success among true-crime enthusiasts, encouraging numerous debates about the US criminal justice system. It also left viewers yearning to find out more about Steven Avery. Is he a psychopath or the victim of corrupt authority figures? Netflix announced a second season, but there’s no word yet on when it will premiere or what events it will cover. Until then, if you’re a fan of complex legal issues, this one is a must. Who knew documentaries could be so gripping?
Cast: Steven Avery, Dolores Avery, Ken Kratz, Brendan Dassey
Raw and gritty, this acclaimed series chronicles the real-life stories of the drug kingpins of the late 1980s. At the same time, it focuses on the efforts of law enforcement to meet them head on in brutal, bloody conflict. The first two seasons follow the infamous Pablo Escobar, who made billions from the production and sale of cocaine. Season three, meanwhile, picks up after the fall of the kingpin and sees the DEA take on the Cali Cartel.
Narcos doesn’t give you too many characters to root for, but it’s definitely addictive and illuminating, even if you’re already familiar with much of Escobar’s life. The series is stylish and action-packed, with top-notch performances and intense storytelling. Not recommended for the faint of heart.
Cast: Wagner Moura, Pedro Pascal, Boyd Holbrook, Alberto Ammann, Paulina Gaitan
44. Jessica Jones
In a television landscape overfilled with superhero shows, Jessica Jones stands out from the crowd due to its focus on the more human aspects of being a super-human. The show follows the titular heroine as she struggles to make it as a private investigator and deals with severe repercussions after being controlled by a villain. It’s more aftermath than origin story, which is a nice change for the Marvel universe.
Jessica Jones is dark and captivating, boasting brilliant performances from both Krysten Ritter and David Tennant. You won’t be blown away by the special effects – instead, you’ll be pulled in thanks to rich character drama and clever storytelling. At its core, the show is a tale of a woman confronting the abuser who almost ruined her life, which makes for compelling television.
Cast: Krysten Ritter, Mike Colter, Rachael Taylor, David Tennant, Eka Darville, Carrie-Anne Moss
45. WHAS: First Day of Camp
This glorious series is actually a prequel to the 2001 satirical film with the same name, following the counsellors and campers at a summer camp in Maine in 1981. With a tremendous ensemble cast and slightly ridiculous premise, the show is absurd and funny. Thankfully, the spot-on jokes appeal to both fans of the original film and newbies looking for an enjoyable weekend binge.
What’s great about the series is that it doesn’t rely solely on nostalgia to draw in viewers. It stands on its own and embraces the silliness that made the original become a cult classic. At the same time, it infuses new life into the premise, by offering answers to questions the film raised and seamlessly juggling all members of the huge cast. All in all, it’s a must-watch for any serious comedy fan.
Cast: Marguerite Moreau, Elizabeth Banks, Paul Rudd, Zak Orth, Michael Showalter, Bradley Cooper, Amy Poehler, Lake Bell
An anthology series, Easy explores several Chicago characters as they fumble through the modern maze of sex, technology and culture. It’s a refreshing take on love in the modern age, featuring a diverse cast and strong performances from everyone involved.
Utterly charming overall, the show paints a comprehensive picture of city life, as it focuses on characters of various ages, ethnicities, backgrounds and professions. Moreover, they all have different problems, so it’s likely you’ll find yourself in someone over the course of the series. If you don’t, at least you’ll gain some much-needed insight into the human psyche.
Cast: Orlando Bloom, Malin Akerman, Jake Johnson, Marc Maron, Dave Franco, Hannibal Buress, Emily Ratajkowski, Michael Chernus, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Aya Cash
One of the most ambitious projects to land at Netflix in recent years, The Get Down is a musical drama set in the South Bronx region of New York in the late ‘70s. The show follows a bunch of kids who find themselves at the nexus of the hip-hop, punk and disco scenes. It was very expensive to make, which is probably why Netflix decided not to go forward with season two. However, the first season of the series is available to stream in all its glory.
The story is universal, and the series as a whole very cinematic. The Get Down is energetic and vibrant. It also benefits from a strong cast and powerful depiction of the political and social environment of the 70s. The tone can be uneven at time, but it makes for a very enjoyable ride. If you’re into musical numbers, you shouldn’t miss this one.
Cast: Justice Smith, Shameik Moore, Herizen F. Guardiola, Skylan Brooks, Tremaine Brown Jr., Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Jimmy Smits
48. American Vandal
American Vandal is an odd little show, but one’s that’s totally worthy of your attention. A satirical true crime mystery, the series centres on a high school rocked by an act of vandalism. But when the main suspect pleads innocence, an aspiring sophomore documentarian decides to help him out. It’s ridiculous, thought-provoking and ultimately brilliant.
You’ll go into the series expecting to laugh and end up moved by the short, 8-episode first season. The premise may be absurd, but you’ll soon find yourself immersed in the narrative. Moreover, the fact that American Vandal offers a realistic and nuanced portrayal of high school life doesn’t hurt either. It’s both funny and heartbreaking, and that’s a true feat. Season two has been made, meaning you’ve got more episodes to binge watch – if you haven’t already.
Cast: Tyler Alvarez, Griffin Gluck, Jimmy Tatro
49. She’s Gotta Have It
This quirky dramedy created by Spike Lee is based on the 1986 film with the same name. She’s Gotta Have It follows Nola, a passionate and outspoken woman in her late twenties who divides her time between three lovers. The show’s fierce female lead is like a breath of fresh air, with DeWanda Wise delivering a memorable performance. Nola might be juggling a lot, but she’s confident and complex, gifting viewers everywhere with a well-crafted portrayal of a woman who follows her own rules.
Not only that, but She’s Gotta Have It is also sexy and fun. Plus, the series addresses some important issues women face on a day-to-day basis. It doesn’t matter if you’ve seen the original movie or not. Its TV adaptation raises the bar and works well in the new era.
Based on a graphic novel with the same name, The End of the F***ing World follows two teenagers, James and Alyssa. James is pretty sure he’s a psychopath, while Alyssa is simply looking to escape her home life. She proposes they run away together and he accepts, hoping this will give him a chance to kill her. Not your typical coming-of-age story.
The End of the F***ing World is bleak and addictive, ultimately delivering a very human and sweet story. You might not like the two leads at first, but you’d be surprised with how fast you’ll start caring about them. A highly recommended show for dark humour enthusiasts.
Cast: Alex Lawther, Jessica Barden, Gemma Whelan, Wunmi Mosaku, Steve Oram, Christine Bottomley
51. Altered Carbon
Set in the future, this sci-fi series received mixed reviews upon its release, despite being well-received by the public. Which proves once again that critical acclaim and mass appeal don’t always go hand in hand. That being said, Altered Carbon is a whole lot of fun as long as you don’t ask too many questions. Simply bask in all that cyberpunk goodness and enjoy the powerful visuals.
In a society where death is no longer permanent, Takeshi Kovacs is offered a chance to live again, as long as he’s willing to solve an intricate murder. The plot is complex and there are a lot of big ideas floating around, so there’s little chance you’ll be bored during your binge. All in all, Altered Carbon may not be a masterpiece, but it’s a delight for any hardcore sci-fi fan.
Cast: Joel Kinnaman, James Purefoy, Martha Higareda, Chris Conner, Dichen Lachman, Ato Essandoh
52. Star Trek Discovery
A prequel to Star Trek: The Original Series, this new instalment in the popular franchise follows the voyages of Starfleet on their quest to explore new planets and new life forms. With the Klingons waging war against the United Federation of Planets, Science Specialist Michael Burnham finally realises that to understand all things alien she has first to figure out herself.
The series is ambitious and comforting at the same time, with limitless potential and some fresh ideas. Not only will it appeal to veteran fans, but it might also catch the eye of those completely new to the Star Trek universe. The characters are strong, there are a few twists along the way, and the show great overall.
Cast: Sonequa Martin-Green, Doug Jones, Shazad Latif, Anthony Rapp, Mary Wiseman, Jason Isaacs
53. The Good Place
Once in a blue moon, a show so whimsical comes along that you have to drop everything and tune in immediately. The Good Place is just that kind of show. Hilarious, original and fun. The premise? Eleanor wakes up and finds out that she has died and ended up in an afterlife called the Good Place. Problem is she wasn’t what you’d call a good person, so she was probably sent there by mistake. As a result, she has to hide her naturally bad habits from those around her in order to avoid being kicked out.
The Good Place is a charming comedy about the afterlife. It’s hilarious and lively, it’s weird and subversive, it’s well-written and brilliantly casted. You’ll be hooked from episode one.
Cast: Kristen Bell, Ted Danson, William Jackson Harper, Jameela Jamil, Manny Jacinto
Alexandra Plesa writes about Internet TV for Finder. When she’s not re-watching The West Wing for the 11th time, she likes to scour streaming services for any fascinating underrated gems they have on offer. She’ll never say no to a romantic comedy and she’ll press you to watch BoJack Horseman until you finally give in
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