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The best Netflix New Zealand TV shows as of 2021

Overwhelmed by the sheer number of TV shows available on Netflix? Here are our top 50 to get you started

Netflix has undoubtedly been the game-changer in the world of streaming entertainment. With an enormous volume of original and classic content, including Netflix’s library of television shows, there is literally something for everyone.

From political drama to 80s-inspired sci-fi to the best superhero TV shows and everything in between, Netflix has been consistently knocking it out of the park. What’s not always quite so easy is determining what to watch.

From classics you may have missed through to some brand new entries, here are our top Netflix TV shows in New Zealand (in no particular order). They have been determined by a mix of critic reviews, audience responses and the expertise and opinion of our writer.


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1. Squid Game

A South Korean survival drama, Squid Game took the world by storm and is on track to becoming the most popular Netflix series of all time.

The plot follows a group of people struggling with debt who accept to play a set of children’s games with deadly consequences. If they win, they have a chance to walk away with an impressive sum of money. If they lose, they won’t walk away at all.

The series is inventive, gory and thought-provoking. It’s also quite addictive, so you might want to clear your schedule before tuning in. Once you’ve finished it all, check out our guide on Shows like Squid Game.

Cast: Lee Jung-jae, Park Hae-soo, Wi Ha-joon, Jung Ho-yeon

2. The Chair

The Chair centres on the English department chair at a major university, played flawlessly by Sandra Oh. As the first woman of colour to hold the position, she has to navigate a tricky landscape of low enrollment rates, teacher scandals and other issues related to the competitive world of academics.

An engaging comedy-drama, The Chair has a fun cast and tackles timely themes. At only 6 episodes, it’s a quick and enjoyable binge.

Cast: Sandra Oh, Jay Duplass, Bob Balaban, Holland Taylor, Nana Mensah

3. Shadow and Bone

Based on the Grishaverse novels by Leigh Bardugo, Shadow and Bone is a fantasy series set in a war-torn country where a huge piece of land is covered in darkness. When a mapmaker unleashes the tremendous power to summon light, the people have hope once again. Unfortunately, ruthless forces conspire to maintain the status quo.

Sumptuous and immersive, the show has an exceptional ensemble cast and welcomes viewers to a world filled with magic and political intrigue. You’ll be hooked in no time. In excellent news, the series has been renewed for a second season!

Cast: Jessie Mei Li, Ben Barnes, Archie Renaux, Amita Suman, Kit Young, Freddy Carter

4. Ginny & Georgia

Ginny & Georgia revolves around a teen daughter and her young mother, who move to a new town to start fresh. Soon, however, the mother’s dark past catches up with them, leading to unexpected developments.

Quirky and fun, Ginny & Georgia successfully juggles multiple storylines, managing to make you care for these characters almost instantly. It’s like a darker Gilmore Girls. The pop culture references are there, but dark secrets constantly loom just under the surface.

Cast: Brianne Howey, Antonia Gentry, Diesel La Torraca

5. Behind Her Eyes

In Behind Her Eyes, a single mother enters a world of twisted mind games when she begins an affair with her psychiatrist boss. Like that wasn’t enough, she also befriends his wife for good measure.

Based on the polarising book of the same name, this psychological thriller is a fun ride. Make it until the end and you’ll be rewarded with a twist we can almost guarantee you won’t see coming.

Cast: Simona Brown, Eve Hewson, Tom Bateman

6. Firefly Lane

This charming series follows two best friends, Tully and Kate, who meet as young girls and become inseparable over the course of the following decades. Eventually, though, their friendship has to face the ultimate test.

Firefly Lane quickly draws you in thanks to the chemistry between the two leads. It’s also very comforting, which translates to a heartwarming binge.

Cast: Katherine Heigl, Sarah Chalke

7. Lupin

A thrilling addition to Netflix’s ever-expanding catalogue of international TV series, Lupin is pure joy from start to finish. The action revolves around gentleman thief Assane Diop who, inspired by the adventures of Arsène Lupin, sets out to right a past wrong and avenge his father.

Lupin is a quick binge, boasting a memorable performance from Omar Sy in the lead role. Plus, it’s a roller-coaster of action, thievery and human drama. The plot twists will have you engrossed in no time.

Cast: Omar Sy, Vincent Londez, Ludivine Sagnier

8. Bridgerton

Bridgerton‘s main themes? Love, lust and betrayal. Based on the popular Bridgerton novels by Julia Quinn, the series is set in Regency London and centres on the eldest daughter of the Bridgerton family, who enters the competitive marriage market. When all her suitors are deemed not worthy, a rebellious duke is there to sweep her off her feet.

Produced by Shonda Rhimes, Bridgerton is an addictive and charming series which is sure to appeal to romance enthusiasts. Add wonderful performances and gorgeous sets into the mix and we’ve got a winner.

Cast: Phoebe Dynevor, Regé-Jean Page, Nicola Coughlan, Jonathan Bailey

9. The Crown

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

10. 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

11. 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

12. 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

13. Away

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

14. Lucifer

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 Season 5 available to stream. The final season of the series is scheduled to premiere on 10 September 2021.

Cast: Tom Ellis, Lauren German, Kevin Alejandro, D.B. Woodside

15. 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

16. 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

17. 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

18. 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

19. 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

20. 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

21. Snowpiercer

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

22. Hollywood

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

23. 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

24. 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

25. 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

26. Ozark

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

27. 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

28. 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

29. 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

30. You

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

31. 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.

Cast: Gillian Anderson, Asa Butterfield, Emma Mackey, Ncuti Gatwa, Connor Swindells

32. Unbelievable

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

33. 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.

Cast: Asante Blackk, Caleel Harris, Ethan Herisse, Jharrel Jerome, Marquis Rodriguez

34. La Casa de Papel

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. The final season of La Casa de Papel will air in two parts – the first premieres on 3 September, with the second to follow on 3 December.

Cast: Úrsula Corberó, Itziar Ituño, Álvaro Morte, Miguel Herrán, Paco Tous, Pedro Alonso

35. 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

36. 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

37. 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

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38. Orange is the New Black

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

39. 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

40. 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

41. 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

42. Sense8

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

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43. Narcos

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

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45. The Get Down

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

46. 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

47. 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

48. Jupiter’s Legacy

A multi-generation superhero show? Why not?

Jupiter’s Legacy revolves around a family of superheroes. After nearly a century of keeping the world safe, the parents want to retire, so it will be up to the kids to follow in their footsteps. Too bad said kids struggle with the task at hand.

With great special effects and an attractive cast, this superhero show makes for quite an engaging binge. Watch it with a big bowl of popcorn.

Cast: Kristen Bell, Ted Danson, William Jackson Harper, Jameela Jamil, Manny Jacinto

49. Sweet Tooth

Sweet Tooth is set in a post-apocalyptic world where hybrids – which are a mix of two species – exist.

The plot follows on one such hybrid, a young boy who is half deer, half human. Hybrids are feared and hunted, so the boy lived in isolation for most of his life. Until one day, when he forms an unexpected bond with a loner and the two embark on a memorable adventure as they search for safety.

Based on that description alone, Sweet Tooth might sound depressing. Rest assured, it’s not. The series has a lot of heart and is surprisingly entertaining, making it a treat for fantasy fans of all ages. Plus, it will return with a second season, so there’s plenty more excitement to come.

Cast: Nonso Anozie, Christian Convery, Stefania LaVie Owen, Dania Ramirez

50. Outer Banks

A series that took the Internet by storm in 2020, Outer Banks shows no signs of slowing down in its sophomore season. The action revolves around a group of teens who are looking into the disappearance of their ringleader’s dad, while also hunting for treasure.

If that premise sounds like fun, we’re happy to report that it is. Outer Banks has an appealing cast and enough sense of adventure to keep viewers engaged, especially when it dials up the melodrama. If you’re looking for a relaxing binge, this one delivers.

Cast: Chase Stokes, Madelyn Cline, Madison Bailey, Jonathan Daviss

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