Netflix has undeniably transformed the way we consume television and movies forevermore. With a vast selection of strangely specific genres to delve into (from ‘Understated Independent Dysfunctional-Family Dramas’ all the way to ‘Feel-good Deep Sea Movies for ages 8 to 10), it’s easy to feel lost in an overwhelming rabble of choices. Its even more difficult when you’re in a group- especially when that group is a batch of hungover housemates who are struggling to use verbs. So when you find yourself sweatily fretting over what to watch, alone or with friends, fear not, for this list will provide with the ten most compelling, innovative and binge-worthy shows you can watch right now, spanning from the freshest comedies to the most intriguing dramas. Here are the 10 best shows to watch on Netflix.
1. The Good Place
The Good Place is sharp, silly and an absolute delight. This quirky show follows Eleanor Shelstrop, a wayward young woman who, following her death, unwittingly finds herself in The Good Place. Soon realising that there’s been a mix-up and she should, in fact, be in The Bad Place, Eleanor must lay low to ensure no one finds her out. The characters are hilarious and full of life (after death) with brilliant performances from Kristen Bell, Jameela Jamil, and Ted Danson. The show is full of surprises too, with rewarding twists and turns for loyal viewers. You will also fall in love with a peppy ‘magical slave robot’ called Janet, who acts as a personal assistant to all of the Good Place’s inhabitants.
A spin-off of the Coen brothers’ classic, Fargo is as cinematic, dark and wickedly funny as the original movie. Artfully told tales of mortality underlie these violent and thrilling stories. There are currently three series you can watch each with their own story, but all set against the atmospheric snowy backdrop of Minnesota. A good watch when you’re in the mood for murder.
3. Peaky Blinders
Ahh, Cilian Murphy, what did we do to deserve you? Set in the 1920’s Birmingham this dramatic show follows the Brummie gang the Peaky Blinders as their boss Thomas Shelby fights dirty to build a criminal empire in post-war Britain. You can’t help but fall for the devious yet charming Tommy. If you’re not really bothered about historical accuracy but love whiskey, cigarettes, and flat-caps, this show will have you hooked. There is a show on this list of the best shows to watch on Netflix for everyone.
4. The Crown
If you DO like at least a stab at historical accuracy and well, class, then look no further than The Crown for your upcoming binge-session. With a huge budget to bring Buckingham Palace, The Royal family, and even her Majesty’s floofy corgis to life, the Crown is commendable in its efforts to portray the often tumultuous private lives of a young Queen Elizabeth and her family. It’s beautiful, compelling and will probably make you a little more excited for Harry and Meghan’s wedding than you were before. Best enjoyed while quaffing champagne in the bath.
5. Freaks and Geeks
Written by Judd Apatow (The 40 Year Old Virgin and Knocked Up) Freaks and Geeks was canceled after just one season but has since achieved cult status. If you love Seth Rogan, James Franco and Jason Segel then you will be thrilled to see them as young’uns struggling through the emotional highs and lows of adolescence. The show is both funny and moving but never strays into the typical cheesiness of most American high-school shows.
6. Bojack Horseman
Bojack Horseman will seem completely ludicrous at first; an animated dark comedy following the struggles of a depressed, alcoholic and self-destructive 90’s sit-com star who is also horse isn’t something that any of us asked for. The show’s outlandish uniqueness is just one of the few things that make it one of the greatest shows on Netflix. It boasts sharp satire on celebrity culture and animal puns galore, but the show isn’t just a fun romp in this colourful cartoon re-imagining of LA. The characters are complicated, it’s criticisms of modern culture are cutting and at times the story is totally heartbreaking. If at first it’s slightly childish wackiness puts you off, stick with it, you’ll be happy you did. There are tons of options when it comes to the best shows to watch on Netflix.
7. Black Mirror
Charlie Brooker’s Black Mirror invites us to look at the dark side of our technologically advanced modern world. Each episode is a standalone story, with its own genre and cinematic style and a twisty-turny tale about humanity’s ability to fuck up, and how technology can seriously exacerbate our fuck-uppery. However, if you don’t want to get too bogged down in dystopian disaster, they have some uplifting episodes too. Watch San Junipero and Hang the DJ for a slightly less damning take on the future of humanity.
8. Mad Men
Set in a glamorous and successful ad agency in 1960’s New York, the appeal of Mad Men can be summarised in three simple points: 1. They hit the nail on the head when it comes to painting a picture of the sixties; The fashion, constant puffing of cigarettes and casual workplace sexism are all spot on. 2. It’s fascinating but not over the top, the drama is well-paced and totally captivating. 3. Jon Hamm: Jon Hamm is undeniably da man.
9. Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt
Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt is about a girl who was kidnapped and kept in a bunker for 15 years, who emerges and starts living her life in New York. Sounds dark? Kimmy Schmidt is nothing of the sort. It’s no surprise that Tina Fey, the comedy queen behind Mean Girls, created this show. It’s full of snappy one-liners, off the wall humour and ridiculous storylines that’ll give you full on belly laughs. This one quickly earned its spot on the list of the best shows to watch on Netflix.
10. A Series of Unfortunate Events
If you’re looking to bask in the warm glow of childhood nostalgia, then A Series of Unfortunate Events will provide you with a delightfully dismal blast from the past. For those who are unfamiliar with the Lemony Snicket books (and the movie adaptation starring Jim Carrey) The series follows the plight of three orphans, Violet, Klaus and Sunny Baudelaire who, following the sudden death of their parents, find themselves at the hands of their murderous relative, Count Olaf, who will do just about anything to get his hands on the Baudelaire fortune. It’ll make you smile, it’ll make you cry, and Neil Patrick Harris is magnificently monstrous as the villainous Count. This one had to make it on the list of best shows to watch on Netflix, I mean come on.
Are these the best shows to watch on Netflix? Let us know what you think in the comments below!
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