If Netflix taught us anything, it’s that streaming is the future. The streaming giant has managed to weed out the competition dominate the world of entertainment. While Netflix has been a significant driving force behind the popularity of streaming, it has also become a content creator.
Netflix has managed to create an endless stream of entertaining and original content. The content spans almost every genre and features some of the biggest names in the industry. While some shows have been critically acclaimed and are addictive to watch, you can’t win them all. And there’s nothing worse than tuning in to a bad show. So we’ve ranked the best Netflix original shows that definitely deserve a place on your Netflix binge-list.
Black Mirror has continued to enthrall us all by showing what happens when the world’s greatest inventions collide. The satirical and thought-provoking show also holds up a mirror to some of humanity’s ugliest traits. Part of the appeal is that each episode is designed as a self-contained story with a completely new set of actors.
Still, each edgy and dark episode manages to follow a common theme of morality and human behavior and fits together in a beautiful and twisted way. Black Mirror is definitely a keeper and continues to show us what humans are capable of. It also gets better with time, so it’s best to watch from Season 3.
Stranger Things is another thrilling and hugely popular Netflix original show that has everyone hooked. The supernatural series is set in the 1980s in a small town in Middle America. The story centers around a boy named Will, who mysteriously disappears. When his mother embarks on her own investigation with some of Will’s friends, they begin to encounter some strange things.
From supernatural secrets to concerning government activities and questionable experiments, each episode is filled with intrigue. While the plot is gripping, the show is a keeper as it’s also filled with a stream of talented actors, like Winona Ryder. It pays nostalgic homage to all things the ‘80s, and we can totally understand why it’s one of the most popular fixtures on Netflix.
Maniac is actually an adapted remake of a Norwegian series and is easily one of the best releases of 2018. When Netflix remade the series, it wowed fans with a star-studded cast, world-class acting, a carefully crafted plot and great cinematography. The plots centers around the characters Owen and Annie, played by Jonah Hill and Emma Stone.
Both Owen and Annie suffer from mental disabilities and agree to a new medical trial which claims to solve their problems. Unsurprisingly, the trial doesn’t go quite to plan, but when Owen and Annie meet, they realize they have a cosmic connection. Maniac transports us all on a wild ride, filled with twists and turns and we can’t wait to see what’s in store for the next season.
Haunted House is a great contribution by Netflix into the horror genre, and is sure to have you gripped at the edge of your seat. The series is a remake of the novel by Shirley Jackson and focuses on the Crain family. As the plot unfolds, we see how the family is fractured, and the children have been haunted in different ways by their childhood living in Hill House.
In the show, the children all return to the house as adults and each character has a rich back story. As the series continues, the cast begins to uncover the same paranormal and mysterious activities that made them want to leave in the first place. The show is definitely binge-worthy, but might just have you sleeping with one eye open.
Mindhunter is another enthralling series that manages to leave us all desperate for more. The plot is set in the 70s and 80s that follows a special FBI agent, Holden Ford, as he tries to crack some serial murder cases. As the investigations continue, he becomes more interested in the psyche of serial killers and their obsession with their victims.
As Holden becomes more and more obsessed with solving the crimes, he also struggles to maintain his sanity. The show has been acclaimed as it’s so believable and takes viewers on a gripping journey, filled with plot twists and surprises. These are all the recipe for a Netflix hit.
The Crown tracks the early life of Queen Elizabeth II and is filled with plenty of exquisite drama and behind-the-scenes action. The Netflix series allows you to step into the glamorous world of the Royal Family and takes you on a journey through history, from a totally different, behind-the-scenes perspective.
While the show is filled with plenty of divine costumes and the cast are incredible, the plot also allows us to glimpse the human side of the Royal Family. It shows how they combine their life privilege and duty, with real relationships, struggles, and success. The series has already been commissioned for a third series and it’s definitely on our binge list.
And now for something a little more light-hearted. American Vandal offers a comedic take on a crime-thriller and centers around the story of a student who is expelled from school. Allegedly, he spray-painted 27 penises on various cars in the school car park. Amazingly, his friends jump to his defense and try to discover ‘whodunit’.
What follows is a hilarious plot, as the students start to conduct their own investigations and interviews of their own. Along the way, they also develop a few conspiracy theories, and the show has captivated everyone with its combination of great characters, witty dialogue and a clever plot. This parody crime series is a total Netflix gem and a must-watch for 2019.
Ozark is another thrilling Netflix drama, which viewers simply can’t resist. The series follows Jason Bateman, a financial adviser, who gets caught up in some shady business with a drug Lord that put his family in danger. So he is forced to uproot his family from Chicago to the Ozarks in Missouri.
Still, he can run but he can’t hide. While he’s there, he is forced to appease the drug lord by laundering $500 million over five years. As you can imagine, this gritty crime drama is filled with superb acting, plot twists and plenty of binge-worthy episodes.
The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina is a Netflix spin-off show of the cult 90’s teen series, Sabrina the Teenage Witch. The series features a brand new cast and the fact that it’s co-written by the creator of Riverdale, Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa, makes it arguably even more spellbinding and darker than the original.
The show follows a similar plot than the 90s version, and stars the 16-year-old Sabrina, who is forced to choose between the world of witchery with her family, or living a normal teen life. However, as the plot unfolds it becomes much more than a simplistic teen drama. It constantly switches between the paranormal and normal and explores themes like racism, faith, gender identity in a darker and edgier way, so is definitely one to watch.
Bodyguard is another highly intense and edgy Netflix thriller starring the likes of Richard Madden and Keeley Hawes. It follows an army veteran, David Budd whose life is turned upside down when he stops a potential suicide bomber on a train. The upshot is that he is promoted to a special protection officer for Julia Montague, the Home Secretary.
Then things get a little more complicated, as Julia is a divisive character who is plotting to take over as leader. To make it even more intense, passions start to ignite between the pair. So David is caught between defending a woman who has romantic feelings for, but whose beliefs he is against, but. The plot becomes tense and is full of twists and surprises that will have you totally gripped to your seat.
This raw Netflix documentary became a hot topic at every water cooler, as soon as it was released. The series follows Steven Avery, who was wrongly accused of attempted murder. After serving 18 years of a 20 years sentence, new evidence was presented and he was released.
When he tried to sue the county, newer evidence came to light and he was later convicted of a completely unrelated murder. In 2007, the case attracted the attention of some university students, who attempted to investigate it further. But the case was wrapped up in red tape, bureaucracy, drama, intrigue, and suspense, which makes for fascinating viewing.
This sassy series is a spin-off from the original Queer Eye For the Straight Guy show and features a squad of fabulous gay men. Each one is an expert in their own field, from fashion to culture and food, and each week they makeover a different straight male contestant.
The fab five are extremely likable, and each brings their own personality to the table. Many fans feel that the fab five are even more endearing and engaging than the original cast. The soulful show is a rating winner and has a feel-good vibe as they help contestants with their self-esteem, love, and relationships each time.
Master of None focuses on the central character, Dev, played by Aziz Ansari, who has an Italian background and works as an actor in New York City. The show resonates with fans as it explores the social issues of people with immigrant parents, as well as balancing romance and professional life.
The show has scored high on the Netflix ratings as each episode is a self-contained story, so you can dip in and then out of each chapter. The series is also light-hearted but explores some serious issues like racism, relationships, and society, with a great script and incredible cast of actors.
Dear White People is a thought-provoking series that follows a group of African American students who attend an Ivy League University. Each week the series focuses on a different member of the cast and explores issues like institutional racism and black identity.
While you might think it would make white students feel uncomfortable, the show is deeper and more profound than that. It also explores the conflict and hypocrisy that exists within the world of black activists, as well as Ivy League Institutions. The show is a rating winner, with captivating characters and a poignant yet entertaining plot.
The Marvel-inspired superhero spin-off show follows the story of Jessica Jones, played by Krysten Ritter. While she had a brief and failed career as a superhero, Jessica has now turned her talents to work as a private investigator. However, Jessica is still haunted by her past and struggles with PTSD.
Jessica is a compelling character, and each episode is filled with Marvel action and is more enthralling than the last. Fans love how the show explores some darker issues like trauma and assault and manages to change perceptions about powerful and successful women. The series has wowed fans and critics alike and is a total must-see.
Glow welcomes viewers into the Glorious world of Ladies Wrestling. While ladies wrestling might not be to everyone’s taste, the show has won over fans for its likable characters, and it’s intriguing, totally relatable and entertaining plot.
Part of the appeal of the show is that it lets us dive into a new world that’s totally unfamiliar to most of us. The series is set in the 1980s and does feature some of the stereotypes and gimmicks that you would associate with ladies wrestling. It also features an entertaining cast and captivating plot that really makes the show, and makes for compelling viewing.
Orange Is the New Black has now become a Netflix cult classic. The series is set in a women’s prison and follows the life Piper Chapman, whose criminal past catches up with her and she is incarcerated. When she arrives, she is stunned to find that Alex, her ex-accomplice, and former lover, is at the same prison.
The thought-provoking series allows us to glimpse behind-the-scenes as a women’s prison and view the hierarchies, cliques, and relationships that form. The plot is filled with corruption and crime on the inside, as well as uplifting moments of friendship and sorority. The incredible characters and intriguing and entertaining storylines make this a Netflix binge original.
Alias opened to critical acclaim when it was released by Netflix in 2017. The period drama is an adaptation of the book by Margaret Atwood and follows an Irish girl, Grace Marks, who emigrated to Canada with her mother. Sadly her mother passes away on the journey, so she finds a job as a maid.
The series starts with Grace, who has been sentenced for murder. She has been accused of murdering her employer and housekeeper but doesn’t remember any of this. After a visit from a psychiatrist, they have to unravel the mystery and find out if she could be pardoned on the basis of insanity. The period drama covers many issues around gender and class, and so far viewers have been gripped.
Unbreakable has been created by Tina Fey and Robert Carlock and has all the ingredients for a Netflix hit. The hilarious show focuses on Kimmy Shmidt, who has been held captive by a cult in Indiana for 15 years. After she is rescued, she’s determined not to be the victim and tries to start a new life for herself in New York City.
The show has received critical acclaim, both because of the incredible acting and because it deals with some serious issues like recovering from trauma in a relatable, humorous and entertaining way. It also delves into the world of modern dating, which makes it even more binge-watchable.
This light-hearted police drama stars Tony Danza, an ex-police officer who served time for corruption charges but is now on parole. His son, Josh Groban is much more of a ‘good’ cop and take his job seriously. Tony becomes determined to prove he’s still a good officer, so he unofficially teams with his son to solve some of Brooklyn’s biggest crimes.
The show is a spin-off of an Israeli show and has become a huge Netflix hit. Josh Groban has been praised for his stand-out performance and perfect comedy timing. The show also manages to strike the right balance between solving crimes and light-hearted comedy, so is effortless to watch.
Bojack Horseman is an animated comedy series set in Hollywood, created by Raphael Bob-Wakesberg. The show is set in a time when humans and automorphic animals live together in harmony. The plot follows Bojack, who is a washed up actor, who was famous in the 90s.
After spending ten years sitting on his couch and drinking, Bojack hatches a plan to return to stardom by releasing a shocking, tell-all autobiography. The show manages to take a satirical look at celebrity culture and current events while exploring darker issues like depression. There are also plenty of entertaining moments, which make it one of Netflix’s most watchable shows.
Godless is set in Colorado in the American West in the 1880s and has been nominated for numerous awards for its best-supporting actor. It’s also been praised for its beautiful script and exquisite cinematography. The series was created by Scott Franks and starts after a train-wreck has occurred.
The police immediately believe it’s the work of an outlaw, Frank Griffin. Roy goes to another town for refuge, called La Belle. Incredibly, after a mining accident, the town is inhabited only by women. The series explores the theme of women and femininity, as well as father-son relationships, and is truly a pleasure to watch.
The OA offers a compelling plot and follows the life of a blind girl, Prairie Johnson, who has been missing for seven years. One day she suddenly reappears, with the ability to see and with a few scars. While she initially refuses to tell the police what happened, she confides in a group of five people and enlists their help to rescue the other missing people.
It gets even more surreal as she says she can reach them through another dimension and transports viewers to an unknown universe. The show is unlike any other series out there and has managed to grip viewers with its imaginative and highly enjoyable plot.
Based on a best-selling novel by Charles Forsman, The End of the F***ing World follows the story of a teenage boy called James. The dark plot follows James, who thinks he might be a psychopath, and his main hobbies are killing animals. James develops a bond with his classmate Alyssa, and they run away together.
The British drama series follows them on a road trip around the UK and keeps you gripped throughout. The show and explores some very dark issues, and the main characters develop a very interesting relationship. The characters have received critical acclaim for their performances, and it’s definitely a Netflix must-watch.
Narcos focuses on the life story of Pablo Escobar, a notorious Columbian drug lord. The show follows the rise of one of the most prolific drug lords in history and observes the relationship he had with other fellow drug lords and the DEA agents who are trying to bring him down.
Narcos has proved to be addictively watchable and has had viewers gripped throughout. The show manages explores the character is such depth that the viewers soon form a love-hate relationship with him. The third series is set to focus on another drug lord, so we’re expecting more addictive viewing.
Daredevil is another Marvel comic spin-off and follows the life of Matt Murdoch, who is a lawyer by day and crime-fighter by night. Matt was blinded when he was a child, which has also heightened his other senses when night falls.
Matt uses his superpowers to help find the criminal underworld of New York City every night. The series is compelling and watchable and manages to balance humor with drama. The fact that it also delves deeper into the characters of heroes and villains, makes it even more thought-provoking and makes for another binge-worthy hit
This thrilling drama has been created by the Wachowsji siblings, the same directors behind the Matrix. The story introduces 8 strangers, who now live around the world and find each other. They also discover they all have a psychic connection, or ‘sensates’ since they have the same birth mother.
The plot thickens as the group must join together to avoid a man, dubbed ‘whispers’, who is threatening to capture their mother, Angelica. The trippy Netflix series explores issues like love, loss and unique connection and is sure to keep you at the edge of your armchairs.
While On My Block is set in a high school in Hollywood, this is no ordinary classic high-school drama. The story centers around four childhood friends who start high school and have their relationships tested. While they encounter typical teen issues, the show is also set against the backdrop of gang violence, which threatens their day-to-day lives.
The gritty drama features a talented cast and follows them as they navigate issues like gang violence, racism, poverty. The show is raw and heartwarming and has already received critical acclaim. It’s well worth a watch.
This UK comedy-drama is really one of a kind. It follows a group of twenty-somethings who all group together and decides to live together. But not in an ordinary flat share, they live as property guardians in a disused hospital. While the rent is cheaper, the rules are stricter, and the situations are even more entertaining and unconventional.
The series is filled with British humor, and the unconventional setting provides a backdrop for some hilarious situations and interesting relationships. The cast is hilarious and relatable and you can’t help but tune in to this show.
This is another Marvel spin-off, which brings together all our favorite superhero characters in one awesome show, including Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, Daredevil and Iron Fist. The series follows the motley crew of superheroes as they join together to fight crime in New York City.
For anyone who loves Marvel, you can see all your fave characters in one place. The show combines Marvel action with great character development and is filled with witty dialogue. This one is definitely a rating winner.
Peaky Blinders is set in Birmingham in the 1920s in the slums. The plot follows a gang known as Peaky Blinders, which is run by Tommy Shelby, the eldest son. The family own a network of pubs and betting shops, by Tommy is on a mission to become the most powerful gang in Britain.
As they manage to become more powerful and successful, they soon learn that success comes with a price. This period drama offers an incredible cast, excellent cinematography and explores many issues and storylines which are still relatable and relevant today. This should be on your watch list.
The Great British Bake Off has become a fan favorite on Netflix. Each season, the baking show features 10 eager contestants who compete to produce a series of amazing baking creations. Amazingly, the amateur bakers don’t compete for cash, they compete to be crowned the winner.
The baking show is full of charm and the presenters are wonderfully quirky. The competition is also gripping and fans continue to tune in each time to see what amazing baking wonders and baking disasters will happen.
One Day at a Time offers a remake of the classic 70s sitcom. The show follows the life of an American-Cuban family, and the main character is Justina Machado, a former nurse in the army, who is now a single mother.
Justina struggles to adjust to civilian life with her family, and the show explores many relatable themes, like PTSD, family relationships, sexuality, adolescence, and racism. The show has a classic appeal and manages to capture the essence of family life, in a gritty, believable and heart-warming way.
Big Mouth is an animated series that is not afraid to talk about the most awkward and embarrassing moments of puberty. The series follows the life of Nick as he enters 7th grade, and navigates through hormonal changes and fascination with girls.
While the storylines can be awkward, embarrassing, humorous and plain cringy, it’s cool as it’s still a cartoon. The show manages to deal with many of the issues with transitioning into a teenager in a relatable and comical way.
The Curious Creations of Christine McConnell welcomes you into the quirky and wonderful world of Christine, who loves all things the 1950s. She lives a huge and strange mansion and the show offers a clever mix of DIY fixes, baking creations and scripted sections which are all blended together into a creative, homely way.
Christine’s quirky 1950s themed house is inhabited by weird and wonderful creatures. This includes a faithful raccoon sidekick named Rose, an Egyptian cat-mummy called Rankle and a werewolf called Edgar. Her curious creations are also her delicious and quirky looking baking creations, and it’s fair to say viewers are totally mesmerized by her show.
Patriot Act is a daily politics show hosted by Hasan Minhaj, which deals with a range of hot topics. Hasan is not afraid to bring up taboo subjects, and talk about big names, so the issues range from politics, society, culture and everything in between.
Part of the appeal of the show is because Hasan is an engaging and charming host and always brings a touch of humor to the table. He also manages to not sound so preachy and tackles a range of topics in an engaging and entertaining way.
A Series of Unfortunate Events is a classic novel by Lemony Snicket and Netflix manages to bring the story to life in an imaginative way. The series features three orphaned children who are forced to live with an evil guardian, named Count Olaf. It soon becomes clear that Olaf’s real intention is to take the family’s inheritance.
While the children group together to try and stop Count Olaf’s evil plan, this leads them to plenty of adventures. The children also uncover some of the family’s best-kept secrets along the way, which makes for some addictive, imaginative and entertaining viewing.
The Keepers offers a thrilling documentary series that revisits the mysterious disappearance and unsolved murder of a nun named Cathy Cesnik in 1969. Cathy’s former students believe the suspect was a priest and there was a cover-up, so attempt to solve the mysterious case once and for all.
As the documentary continues, it follows what happened in the lead up to her murder and tries to unravel the mysteries surrounding the case. It also delves deeper to see if the claims of the cover-up are true and is sure to have you gripped at the edge of your sofa.
Chewing Gum follows a young 24-year-old girl named Tracey, who is eccentric, outspoken, quirky, heart-warming and totally endearing. She lives with her conservative and religious family on a council estate in London and tries to reconcile her beliefs and love for both Beyoncé, Jay Z as well as Jesus in a hilarious way.
While the show does have an eccentric premise, it discusses plenty of relatable themes, such as family, sexuality, and puberty. The quirky storyline is complemented by excellent acting and cleverly written script, and its well worth watching.
Mystery Science Theater 3000: The Return is a Netflix remake of an old cult classic, and offers a tongue-in-cheek take on all things sci-fi. The series features a group of scientists who after a muddled experiment, find themselves thrust into the future.
Soon enough, they find themselves surrounded by a mysterious group of mutants, androids, and some other humans. Both the storyline and characters make the show hugely watchable, and you can also dip in and out of the story. The sci-fi show manages to retain the charm of the original series while bringing it up to date for the Netflix binge-watching audience.