Streaming services are known for having awards-worthy series, but also plenty of duds. Our guide to the best TV shows on Netflix is updated weekly to help you know which series you need to move to the top of your queue. They aren't all sure-fire Emmy-winners—we love a good less-than-obvious gem—but they're all worth your time, trust us.
Feel like you've already watched everything on this list you want to see? Try our guide to the best movies on Netflix for more options. And if you've already completed Netflix and are in need of a new challenge, check out our picks for the best shows on Hulu and the best shows on Disney+. Don't like our picks, or want to offer suggestions of your own? Head to the comments below.
A prequel spin-off to Bridgerton—the Shondaland-produced Regency era historical romance that continues to break Netflix viewership records—Queen Charlotte takes viewers back to 1761, exploring how a young Charlotte (India Amarteifio) meets and marries George III (Corey Mylchreest). In typical Bridgerton fashion though, there’s far more going on than a period love story, with the spirited Charlotte initially trying to escape the arranged marriage before learning to navigate the corridors of power—and manage George’s deteriorating mental health. Interspersed with scenes in Bridgerton’s “present day” 1817, where the now-formidable stateswoman Queen Charlotte (a returning Golda Rosheuvel) deals with a succession crisis to the Throne, this limited series is compulsory viewing for fans of the series, and a great entry point for anyone yet to be wooed by its charms.
Netflix screwed up the pitch on Disenchantment. Coming from The Simpsons creator Matt Groening, it was presented as the opposite of his show Futurama, lazily swapping sci-fi for fantasy. Go in with that expectation and you’ll be disappointed—this is instead a far more structured and arc-based show. Set in Dreamland, drunken troublemaker Princess Bean yearns to be free from her royal obligations. With the aid of her personal demon Luci and a besotted elf bestie named Elfo, she might just escape—but their efforts will flip the kingdom on its head, unearth secrets of Bean’s past, and take them to hell and heaven and back again. A far cry from the episodic, gag-a-minute approach of its creator’s predecessors, Disenchantment can be a bit of a slow burn at times, but with its drier comedy and refusal to stick to any status quo, it’s one of the most interesting American adult animated comedies in years.
By the waning years of the 21st century, a comet strike has all but wiped out humanity, while pollution has gotten so bad that even breathable air is a rarity. In what remains of Korea, the all-powerful Cheonmyeong Group controls everything, forcing the poor to serve as couriers delivering resources to the privileged rich, isolated away from the desert wasteland the surface has become. Yet one courier, the legendary and enigmatic “5-8” (Kim Woo-bin), is on course to deliver a revolution. With dashes of Mad Max, The 100, and even Hideo Kojima's bizarre sci-fi courier game Death Stranding, Black Knight will be familiar to fans of the post-apocalyptic genre, but its thrilling chases, brutally well-choreographed fight scenes, and darkly beautiful scenery make it compelling viewing, while its class and governance themes provide some depth beyond the spectacle.
Jefferson Grieff (Stanley Tucci) is a former criminology professor on death row for killing his wife, telling his story to a journalist named Beth (Lydia West). Harry Watling (David Tennant) is an unassuming English vicar, tending to his parishioners. The two men are a world apart—until a horrific misunderstanding leads to Watling trapping a friend of Beth's in his basement. As Watling's situation and mental state deteriorate, Beth turns to the killer for help finding her friend. Created and written by Stephen Moffat, this tense transatlantic thriller has just a dash of The Silence of the Lambs, and with a cast at the top of their game, it’s gripping viewing. Best of all, its tight four episodes mean you can binge it in one go.
They’re baaaaaack! After what feels like far, far too long, the Fab Five return for another dose of more-than-a-makeover magic. Season 7 sees Karamo, Jonathan, Bobby, Tam, and Antoni bringing their unique skills to New Orleans, where they help a frat house clean up their toxic masculinity, revive stagnant relationships, and teach a teacher to love herself as much as her students—and that’s just a taste. Prepare to ugly-cry all over again.
If there's a West Wing-shaped hole in your life, look no further than The Diplomat—a tense geopolitical thriller elevated beyond the norms of the genre by a superb central performance by The Americans' Keri Russell as Kate Wyler, newly appointed US ambassador to the UK. Far from being an easy assignment in a friendly country, Kate's role coincides with an attack on a British aircraft carrier, leaving her to defuse an international crisis before it escalates into full-blown war. It's a job that might go easier if her own special relationship with husband Hal (Rufus Sewell) weren't fraying, as his resentment at being demoted leads him to interfere in her efforts. One of Netflix's biggest hits of 2023, The Diplomat has already been renewed for season two.
Based on the comic book by Jeff Lemire, Sweet Tooth is set 10 years after “The Sick”: a viral pandemic that killed most of the population, and led—somehow—to babies being born with part-human, part-animal characteristics. The first season follows Gus, a half-deer hybrid boy who leaves the wilderness in search of his mother, and “Big Man” Tommy Jeppard, a grizzled traveler who becomes his reluctant guide, protecting him from surviving humans who hate and fear the hybrids. The newly-dropped second season takes things into darker territory, merging Gus and Jeppard’s path with the once-disparate storyline of Aditya Singh (Adeel Akhtar), a scientist researching the origins of The Sick—and its connections to Gus. Part sci-fi, part fantasy, part mystery, Sweet Tooth offers viewers a postapocalyptic dystopia unlike any other.
Premiering on Netflix back in 2018, The Dragon Prince has had something of a slow-burn journey to cult favorite status—not helped by lower frame rate animation in its first season—but this sharp fantasy has more than earned its devoted fanbase. Set in a fantasy world where humans, elves, and dragons have lived apart for centuries, the show's first three-season arc follows human half-brothers Ezran and Callum as they are drawn together with elven assassin Rayla to return the last dragon egg to safety. Co-created by Avatar: The Last Airbender’s Aaron Ehasz, this ventures into similarly mature territory as it progresses, navigating themes of war and loss while brilliantly developing an expansive cast of characters. With its second multi-season arc—The Mystery of Aaravos—underway now, there’s no better time to dip into this rich universe of magic and myth.
In Victorian England, Jonathan Joestar clashes with his deranged adoptive brother Dio Brando, starting a centuries-long feud that will sweep the globe. This is no mere tale of warring clans, though, as Dio’s dabbling with dark forces sees him returning over the eras to plague Jonathan’s decendents anew. Luckily, each generation of the Joestar family has a champion (each with a name that can be trimmed to JoJo) to rise to the challenge, mastering arcane abilities of their own—notably summoning ghostly giants known as Stands—to combat Dio and a host of other supernatural threats across the ages. Original creator Hirohiko Araki drew influence from Western rock music and high fashion for his saga, which combine with exagerrated physiques and hyperkinetic action to make this anime adaptation visually and tonally unique. The decision to focus each season on a different era also makes for a surprisingly digestible viewing experience, despite the scope. Honestly, Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure is nonsense at times—but such hyper-stylish nonsense that you’ll easily be swept up in the madness. Just remember, the key word in the title is “bizarre”!
Based on the novels of Caroline Kepnes, You is an often deeply disturbing tale of obsession. The first season follows Joe Goldberg (Penn Badgley), a bookstore manager in New York who falls in deranged love at first sight with aspiring author Guinevere Beck (Elizabeth Lail), while the second sees him relocate to Los Angeles, where heiress Love Quinn (Victoria Pedretti) becomes the focus of his attention. However, as their twisted relationship evolves, Love proves to have dark desires of her own. Often shocking, You is a gripping thriller that hits the same sinister sweet spot as early (read: good) seasons of Dexter.
It’s a few years old at this point, but Netflix’s update of the classic 1960s sci-fi show is one of the rarest entries on the service now—a genre show that the streamer can’t cancel after one season, because it’s already completed its three-season run. That means you can settle in to this glossier take on the Robinson family and their desperate attempt to survive on an alien planet without fear of a permanent cliffhanger or a never-coming conclusion. The stakes are far higher in this reboot though, with the Robinsons trapped on a dangerous alien world after an attempt to evacuate a doomed Earth goes disastrously wrong. Stranded, with no way to reunite with the colony mission they were once part of, the family’s fate may rest with a strange robot befriended by youngest son Will—but unlike in the original show, this robot caused the disaster that stranded them. With less saccharine family dynamics than the original, less camp (with the arguable exception of Parker Posey, stealing scenes as the nefarious Dr. Smith), and a more ambitious long-form story stretching across its three seasons, Lost in Space is a strong update for modern viewers.
If you’re pining for more Killing Eve, this German thriller may be the next best thing. Set in the late 1980s and early ’90s, the eight-part series follows the eponymous Kleo (Jella Haase), a Stasi assassin imprisoned by her agency on false treason charges. Released after the fall of the Berlin Wall, she seeks revenge on her former handlers—but West German detective Sven (Dimitrij Schaad), the only witness to her last kill, may have something to say about that. As dark and violent as you’d expect given the period and the themes of betrayal and vengeance, Kleo is lightened by its oft-deranged sense of humor and a charismatic lead duo who brilliantly bounce off one another. In late 2022, Netflix confirmed that there would be a second season, so now’s a perfect chance to catch up.
A spiritual successor to the likes of Gladiators, with a dash of Squid Game thrown in for good measure, this Korean reality show puts 100 contestants who are “in top physical shape” through a series of grueling challenges, and the last one standing wins a significant cash prize. Unlike previous endurance shows, though, Physical: 100 sees men and women compete together, with an international roster chasing glory. The only limit? Their own ability. The inventive challenges—including the sheer spectacle of dragging a fully loaded ship weighing 2.2 tons across a sand-filled arena—are awe-inspiring, and the psychological drama of rivals having to form teams to progress is engrossing. But what’s most impressive is the sheer feats of human ability on display, even as competitors are eliminated over the course of each roughly hour-long episode. The worst part? You’re definitely going to feel you need to up your workout goals after seeing this.
No, not Netflix’s live-action remake (although that really isn’t as bad as certain corners of the internet would have you think), but the 1998 animated original. Cowboy Bebop is often referred to as a gateway drug to anime, and it’s easy to see why—with its achingly cool characters, imaginative approaches to science fiction and cyberpunk in nearly every episode, and some of the smoothest animation ever committed to screen, the (mis-)adventures of down-on-their-luck bounty hunters Spike, Jet, Faye, and Ed (plus Ein, a corgi with genius-level intelligence) grab viewers from the start. It’s not just the spectacle that’s ensured Cowboy Bebop’s cultural standing over the last quarter-century, though—this is a show that uses its neo-noir and space Western trappings to explore themes of loneliness, regret, and ennui to deliver emotional blows as well. Powered by Yoko Kanno’s blisteringly brilliant jazz-infused soundtrack, Cowboy Bebop remains a masterpiece.
Based on the books by Jonathan Stroud and developed by Attack the Block director Joe Cornish, Lockwood & Co. follows a group of teen ghost hunters in an alternate present-day Britain. Don’t expect a transatlantic take on the recent Ghostbusters reboot though—this is a world where children are the only people able to combat the malign spirits plaguing the living. When Lucy Carlisle (Ruby Stokes) relocates to London after a mission in her hometown goes horribly wrong, she joins the eponymous ghost-hunting agency, run by teen savant Anthony Lockwood (Cameron Chapman) and his ally George (Ali Hadji-Heshmati). Dodging the adult-run organizations that typically send kids out to tackle the “Visitors,” the trio aims to make a name for themselves—and maybe prove that the authorities don’t have undead matters under control at all. Satisfyingly spooky, with some top-tier action and a talented young cast that relishes Cornish’s trademark sharp dialogue, Lockwood & Co. is a great addition to Netflix’s wider canon of supernatural teen dramas—and one that boasts a killer post-punk soundtrack to boot.
“A heist 25 years in the making” is how Netflix hypes this ambitious crime drama, following master thief Leo Pap (the ever-watchable Giancarlo Esposito) and his crew’s effort to steal a staggering $7 billion haul. However, that doesn’t quite do Kaleidoscope justice. It’s not just the audacity of the crime that impresses, or how the show weaves in and out of its cast’s lives over the quarter century leading up to, and shortly after, the heist itself, but the fact that you can watch the eight-episode season in any order. Netflix has dabbled with interactivity in the past, with game-like special episodes or spinoffs of popular shows, but Kaleidoscope takes that idea to a new level, with an almost Choose Your Own Adventure approach that offers a unique experience for every viewer. The unusual format is admittedly part of the charm—as a linear crime drama, it might not have the same appeal—but Kaleidoscope truly feels like something new on the platform, and with a possible 40,320 viewing orders, it’s worth at least one.
When slacker Ryohei Arisu (Kento Yamazaki) is mysteriously transported to a deserted Tokyo, his keen gaming skills give him an edge navigating a series of lethal games that test intellect as much as physical prowess. Yet after barely scraping through several rounds, Arisu is no closer to uncovering the secrets of this strange borderland, or to finding a way home—and the stakes are about to get even higher. Not only are Arisu and his allies Usagi (Tao Tsuchiya), Kuina (Aya Asahina), and Chishiya (Nijiro Murakami) faced with another gauntlet of sadistic games, but they find themselves caught between rival card suit “courts” vying for power—and not everyone can be trusted.
With its willingness to kill off main characters at a moment’s notice, the first season of this gripping adaptation of Haro Aso’s manga kept viewers on tenterhooks throughout. As the long-awaited second season leans further into its twisted Alice in Wonderland imagery, expect more shocking developments in this taut thriller.
If the recent release of Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio has left you wanting more, this delectably dark anthology of macabre tales is the perfect follow-up. Taking cues from the likes of Alfred Hitchcock Presents or The Twilight Zone, del Toro himself introduces each episode, with stories including classic horror shorts, Lovecraftian adaptations, and original concepts. A rogue’s gallery of directorial talent—Vincenzo Natali, Ana Lily Amirpour, Catherine Hardwicke, and Keith Thomas among them—draws viewers into these strange worlds where monsters inevitably lurk, and while each grisly slice of horror allows directors to showcase their individual cinematic talents, the series is unified by del Toro’s signature approach to physical effects and prosthetics. Expect shambling masses of demonic tentacles, ravenous rats, and ancient sepulchres aplenty, all rendered magnificently in one of Netflix’s most visually mesmerizing—if frequently unsettling—new shows in years.
After a minor indiscretion at her "normie" school—releasing flesh-eating piranhas into a pool of swim-team bullies—the dismal doyenne of the Addams Family is sent to the imposing monster boarding school of the Nevermore Academy. Initially desperate to escape the horror high school cliques—goths are vampires, jocks are werewolves, and stoners are gorgons—and her alarmingly peppy roommate, Wednesday is soon drawn into a prophecy dating back decades, and a murder mystery that incriminates her own family.
It's easy to see the influences—Wednesday is equal parts Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, Riverdale, and Smallville (no surprise, given it's created by the latter's Alfred Gough and Miles Millar)—but it's all elevated by Jenna Ortega's brilliantly macabre and deliciously deadpan performance as Wednesday herself, not to mention the visual sensibilities of director Tim Burton. With a phenomenal supporting cast, including Catharine Zeta-Jones and Luis Guzmán as Morticia and Gomez Addams; Fred Armisen as deranged Uncle Fester; Gwendoline Christie as Nevermore's Principal Weems; and the cinematic Wednesday Addams, Christina Ricci, as a botany teacher, this latter-day Addams Family spinoff is a post-Halloween treat.
While the core Cyberpunk 2077 game from developer CD Projekt Red divided audiences when it launched in 2020, this adaptation instead strikes gold on its first try. Almost like an animated Breaking Bad, Edgerunners follows an enterprising teenager named David Martinez, whose promising life in the futuristic, corporate-controlled Night City collapses after his mother dies in a random act of violence. Unlike Breaking Bad though, David has the benefit of an advanced cybernetic implant that grants him bursts of superhuman strength and speed, and with the aid of Lucy, a netrunner living on the outskirts of society, he begins rising through the ranks of the criminal underworld. Dynamically animated by Studio Trigger—the Japanese studio behind anime masterworks Kill la Kill and BNA: Brand New Animal—Edgerunners is an exquisite exploration of corruption, desperation, trust, and betrayal, and it's accessible whether you're a hardcore fan of the game or your only experience with cyberpunk is watching Blade Runner that one time.
Let's be honest: Animated series based on video games often run the gamut from cheap cash-ins to half-decent-if-forgettable tie-ins, inaccessible to anyone but hardcore devotees. In contrast, Arcane stands apart from the crowd by making its connections to Riot Games' League of Legends almost optional. While its central figures, orphaned sisters Vi and Jinx, are playable characters in the game, viewers don't need foreknowledge of their story to enjoy this steampunk saga of class war, civil uprising, and the people caught in between. With a gorgeous painterly art style, strong characters, and frequently shocking story beats, Arcane defies its origins to become one of the best animated series in years—and it has racked up plenty of awards, including a Primetime Emmy for Outstanding Animated Program, to prove it.
The Sandman is one of the most beloved comic series of the past 40 years. A dark fantasy about dreams, reality, stories, and the mercurial relationship between them, Neil Gaiman's books have endured as essential reading for goth teens and literati alike. While attempts to bring the saga of Dream of the Endless—sometimes known as Morpheus, immortal embodiment and master of the nightlands, fierce and terrible in his wrath—to the screen have been underway practically since the comic debuted in 1988, this long-in-development Netflix adaptation is worth the wait. It’s a perfect translation of the first two graphic novels in the series and follows Dream (a sombre and imposing Tom Sturridge) as he restores his power and kingdom after being held in captivity for a century by occultists who snared him instead of his sister Death (Kirby Howell-Baptiste). Fittingly, the show has a dreamlike pacing to it, blurring the lines between episodic narratives and longer arcs, and it is as likely to leave viewers crying over a gargoyle’s fate as it is to shock them with the sadistic actions of an escaped nightmare-turned-serial killer named The Corinthian (Boyd Holbrook). The Sandman’s journey to the screen might have been the stuff of restless nights, but the result is a dream you won’t want to wake up from.
Adaptation: a word that here means “perfectly translating a deliciously dark series of young adult novels to a visual medium without sacrificing any of the otherworldly strangeness of the source material”—right down to the carefully considered dialog and fourth-wall-breaking bookends delivered by Lemony Snicket himself (or, if you’re picky, Patrick Warburton). Netflix’s take on Snicket’s 13-book series is a spectacular accomplishment, telling the full saga of the desperate Baudelaire orphans—Violet, Klaus, and baby Sunny—as they repeatedly escape the machinations of the foul Count Olaf (a scene-stealing Neil Patrick Harris) in the wake of their parents’ suspicious deaths. Forget the truncated 2004 movie version—this three-season masterpiece is the definitive vision of Snicket’s macabre world.
Developed by Deadpool director Tim Miller, Love, Death + Robots is perhaps Netflix’s most daring animated offering to date. In this anthology series, where the only common thread is each episode’s unique interpretation of that eponymous trio of themes, viewers are treated to wild concepts that include deadly gladiatorial twists on Pokémon-style beast battles, sentient yogurt, super-powered exoplanetary colonists, and adorable robots that have outlived humanity only to be confused by the world we’ve left behind. Wildly experimental, Love, Death + Robots isn’t afraid to play around with animation styles and genre, allowing a phenomenal roster of creators—including David Fincher, making his animation directing debut—freedom to tell whatever stories they want. The show is brimming with ideas and practically vibrating with visual energy, and you never know what you’re going to get—which is half the fun.
After preventing the apocalypse and getting trapped in the 1960s, the dysfunctional adoptive siblings of the Hargreeves family find themselves back in the present and face-to-face with ... the Hargreeves family. Turns out, messing with the space-time continuum can have unforeseen effects, like your abusive-father-figure-slash-mentor adopting seven different superpowered infants instead of you. Being trapped in an alternate timeline isn't the worst of it though—there's the small matter of a Kugelblitz about to destroy reality to contend with. This third season is where The Umbrella Academy overtakes the original comics (created by My Chemical Romance lead singer Gerard Way and artist Gabriel Bá), meaning viewers who are coming in fresh and those who've read every panel of the source material are equally in the dark about where this season will take them—and how weird things are about to get.
Netflix's nostalgic sci-fi/horror series is back for its fourth season, set six months after the Battle of Starcourt and with its core cast separated for the first time. The Byers family and Eleven are off in California, Hopper is still (somehow) in a Russian prison, and the remaining crew are home in Hawkins, Indiana, about to face down a terrifying new threat—high school. Oh, and another incursion from the horrific Upside Down. The Duffer Brothers continue to offer up plenty of 1980s nostalgia for viewers who grew up on a diet of Spielberg, Lucas, and Craven, while upping the stakes with a significant new threat. Expect drama, scares, and—of course—plenty of Dungeons & Dragons as the cult show roars toward its fifth and final season.
In Russian Doll, Nadia has one very big problem: Time keeps breaking around her. Season one finds Nadia—played by Natasha Lyonne, who is also a cocreator on the show—dying at her own birthday party, only to wake up there over and over again, trapped in a Groundhog Day-style loop until she can unravel her personalized knot in the space-time continuum. Things only get stranger in season two, where Nadia finds herself traveling back in time to 1982 and inhabiting the body of her own mother—currently heavily pregnant with Nadia herself. Both seasons are funny and thought-provoking, reflecting on personal and generational trauma, all without overegging the potential for philosophical musing.
The tagline on the first volume of creator Alice Oseman’s original graphic novels offers the most elegant synopsis of Heartstopper: “Boy meets boy.” A heartfelt teen comedy-drama set in and around a British grammar school, the show follows shy, awkward Charlie—the only openly gay student at Truman High—and his burgeoning romance with Nick, the popular “rugby king” of the school. Yet while the show tackles difficult topics, such as coming out, peer pressure, and even assault, Heartstopper’s main currencies are joy, charm, and hope. With phenomenal performances from a cast of young LGBTQ+ actors—and guest appearances by Olivia Colman as Nick’s mom—Heartstopper is a romance for the ages.
One of Netflix's first big successes remains one of its best shows. This seven-season prison drama initially follows Piper Chapman (Taylor Schilling) as she is sent to Litchfield Penitentiary for a drug-smuggling offense, but it soon blossoms into a show about the lives and circumstances of the people she’s incarcerated with—a cast that includes Kate Mulgrew, Laverne Cox, Uzo Aduba, and Russian Doll's Natasha Lyonne. Ostensibly a dramedy, OITNB gets progressively more serious, exploring issues of race, justice, corruption, and the flaws of the entire prison system while never feeling preachy. Challenging at times, but never less than utterly absorbing.
The brainchild of Friends cocreator Marta Kauffman, this sharp sitcom features Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin as the titular characters, longtime acquaintances forced to live together after their husbands leave them late in life—for each other. Grace and Frankie follows this contemporary Odd Couple as they deal with their ex-husbands' coming out, their adult children's drama, and each other's maddening personalities, all while building a genuine friendship and proving to themselves and the world that age is just a number. Taking cues from Arrested Development, Grace and Frankie's chief comedic currency is awkwardness, as the extended families—the rich, business-minded Hansons and the borderline hippie Bergsteins—unpack their neuroses while navigating adult familial relationships. Think of it as a modern-day Golden Girls—just with more swearing and drug use. All seven seasons are now available to binge.
A charismatic young priest joins the church of a small island township. Soon after, miracles follow: The paralyzed walk, the blind see, those with dementia regain their faculties. Yet a dismal secret lies at the heart of this religious revival, as the priest has brought something dark and hungry to the isolated community. Created by Mike Flanagan (Oculus, Doctor Sleep), this supernatural miniseries offers a slow-burn, creeping terror that ratchets the tension up over its seven episodes. It bleakly probes the rites and traditions of Christianity—the cannibalistic and vampiric aspects of transubstantiation, in particular—and the horror that can be found in scripture. But Midnight Mass also explores how religion can be used to corrupt and manipulate, all while serving up a host of phenomenal performances from a cast that includes Hamish Linklater, Rahul Kohli, Kate Siegel, and Zach Gilford.
Based on a film of the same name, Dear White People is a Netflix Original comedy that follows a group of American students of color who attend a mostly white Ivy League college. It covers largely the same ground as the film, but in series format each episode tells the story of a different character, diving deeper into their lives and individual personalities. There are also some laughs along the way. The show was originally released in 2017, and the fourth season debuted in September 2021.
Produced in Korea, Squid Game blends Hunger Games and Parasite with a battle-royal-style contest. Hundreds of desperate, broke people are recruited to a contest where they can win enough money to never need to worry about their debts again. All they have to do to win the ₩45.6 billion ($35.8 million) jackpot is complete six children’s games. But it’s not that simple: All the games have a twist, and very few people make it out alive. Squid Game is intense, brutal, and often very graphic, but it is also completely gripping. Netflix’s dubbing isn’t the best in this instance, but the nine episodes are compelling enough to make up for it.
Don't watch this when you're hungry. Each episode of this mouth-watering series goes into the kitchen of one of the world's top chefs for an intimate look at the person behind the plates. Chef's Table is the perfect way to get inspired about food—and creative passion—and there are six seasons to sink your teeth into. The most recent of these includes Sean Brock, who is dedicated to reviving lost flavors, and Tuscan butcher Dario Cecchini, who is trying to change how the world thinks about meat. If you really want to excite your taste buds, season four is entirely dedicated to pastry.
Set at the prestigious Pembroke University (fictional, but think Harvard, Yale, etc.), this smart drama/comedy takes place just after the English department at the school names its first female chair, played by Sandra Oh, whose character Ji-Yoon Kim is also one of the few women of color in the department. She has to navigate the politics of her new role, managing her colleagues—largely old, white, and tenured—her family life, and an electric relationship with eccentric star professor Bill Dobson. Sharp and very watchable, in half-hour chunks.
Yes, it’s disgusting and puerile, but then so was puberty, remember? Nick Kroll’s masterpiece of teenage angst is a wickedly smart, wickedly rude cartoon that follows a group of kids and their troupe of very influential friends—Hormone Monster, Shame Wizard, and the rest. Big Mouth turns dick jokes into poignant World War stories, makes sense of the ghost of Duke Ellington in the attic, and fearlessly takes on everything from mental health and bad parents to sexual and racial identities with whimsy and grace. Oh, and lots and lots of bodily fluids. One of the funniest shows of the past 10 years, period.
Arsène Lupin, the belle epoque burglar created by French novelist Maurice Leblanc in the early 1900s, is reinvented as Assane Diop, a first-generation Frenchman with a mania for Lupin books and a grudge against the powerful forces who decades ago framed his father for a theft he didn’t commit—and led him to die in prison. Pairing drones, social media bots, and hacking skills with traditional tools of the trade like fake beards, picklocks, and quick wits, Diop hunts down his adversaries as he searches for the truth about his father’s fate. In his spare time, Diop also tries to patch together a crumbling marriage and build a better rapport with his son. Worth watching in the French original, this five-episode series’ strength lies in the dialog, the character development, and the charismatic performance of Omar Sy as Assane. The actual escapades and daring heists are beautifully choreographed, but a lot of the mechanics—how a certain piece of legerdemain worked, when an impenetrable building was infiltrated—are left to the viewer's imagination.
From executive producer Shonda Rhimes comes a period drama that also happens to be Netflix’s most-watched series ever. Bridgerton is set during the Regency period in England and follows the powerful Bridgerton family as they navigate love, marriage, and scandal. Incredibly entertaining, the show is based on a series of novels, each of which focuses on a different Bridgerton sibling. The first series follows eldest sister Daphne (Phoebe Dynevor) and her turbulent marriage to one of London's most eligible bachelors, Duke Simon Basset (Regé-Jean Page). The second season explores the relationship between Daphne's brother Anthony (Jonathan Bailey), the woman he chooses to marry, and the family and societal dramas this sets in motion.
Last Chance U is one the most successful documentary series on Netflix, and Part Five is the best one yet. The series follows the travails of junior-college student-athletes aiming to break into big-time college football teams and ultimately the NFL, and its shift in focus from rural towns with outsize ambitions and imported talent to Laney College in Oakland, California, is a win. Laney isn’t rich. It doesn’t import players to improve its team. It doesn’t house or feed its players. It’s a genuine part of the community, and the players come from that community. The result is a series that shines a light on the growing dislocation and inequality in America as the overflow from neighboring San Francisco gentrifies the formerly blue-collar Oakland. And, unlike in previous seasons, Laney’s head coach isn’t an unbearable ass. The series goes to some dark places, but it is all the better for it.
This miniseries chronicles how Madam C. J. Walker went from widowed laundress to hair care mogul, becoming America’s first female self-made millionaire in the process. Based on the book On Her Own Ground, by A’Lelia Bundles, Walker’s great-great-granddaughter, the series provides a window into the life of African American women in the early 1900s. Academy Award–winning Octavia Spencer, who stars as the titular heroine, fights to overcome post-slavery racial biases and find her place in a male-dominated capitalist system.
When a team of nine criminals launches an audacious heist at Spain’s Royal Mint, they are convinced that their meticulous plan covers every eventuality. But things start to unravel when the enigmatic mastermind behind the heist starts getting close to the police detective in charge of securing the safe release of the 67 hostages. Although the twisting plot strains the limits of credulity at points, Money Heist is a deliciously frenetic and tension-filled series that makes its flawed main characters surprisingly sympathetic.
This miniseries follows Esty, a 19-year-old woman who flees her ultra-orthodox upbringing in Williamsburg’s Hasidic Jewish community and ends up in Berlin, where she quickly discovers how different life can be. But as she is trying to find new friends and make a fresh start in the city, her husband and his cousin come after her, determined to bring her back. The plot is dramatic and compelling, and flashbacks to Esty’s experience with arranged marriage offer insight into orthodox life and her struggles to play the role expected of her. The clash of cultures is sometimes played up to the point of silliness, but Shira Haas’ performance in the leading role will keep you glued to the screen.
Jason Bateman fans got used to seeing him as a sad-sack goof when he played Michael Bluth in Arrested Development. On Ozark, he reveals a whole new side, playing financial advisor Marty Byrde, who finds himself relocating his entire family from a Chicago suburb to the Ozark mountains in Missouri. The reason? He got involved with a money-laundering scheme for Mexican cartels that he’s having trouble disentangling from. The atmosphere, heavy with suspense, guilt, and trouble-making drug lords, is reminiscent of Breaking Bad. It's one of Netflix's most popular shows, and with its fourth and final season complete, now is the perfect time to dive into this murky but gripping world.
Although it has a distinctly American vibe, with jocks, a capella groups, and mean girls, Sex Education is set in the UK and filmed in Wales. Asa Butterfield stars as an awkward teenager who starts giving sex counseling for money, and Gillian Anderson is captivating as his (actually qualified) sex therapist mother. While the titular topic is often a source of comedy, Sex Education also explores issues related to intimacy and identity in a smart and relatable way.
Netflix Original The Witcher is, by objective critical standards, not particularly good. But as binge-worthy escapist enjoyment, it’s an absolute triumph. Based on a Polish fantasy literature franchise that gained global popularity following its successful video game adaptation, the series follows Geralt of Rivia (Henry Cavill), whose occupation as a mutant “witcher” has him slaying monsters for money. Our beefy, gravel-voiced hero finds himself caught up in a bigger plot, however, as his destiny becomes entwined with an orphaned princess on the run and a powerful sorceress testing the limits of her abilities. With its restrained dialog, monster violence, and discombobulated timeline, the series sometimes feels more like a mashup of video game cutscenes than a cohesive dramatic narrative—but it works. The Witcher recognizes that viewers don’t always want their ridiculous fantasy shows to be too high-brow and are mainly there to see some cool magic effects and sexy Geralt in the bath (surprising exactly no one, there is plenty of gratuitous female nudity too).
When Marie Adler (Kaitlyn Dever) reports that she has been raped, she finds herself thrown into a deeply flawed system that will tear her already traumatized life apart. Based on a true story, Unbelievable follows the aftermath of Adler's rape and the two female detectives who years later team up to uncover a series of disturbingly similar crimes. Adler's devastating ordeal makes this an understandably difficult watch at times, but the excellent lead performances and focus on the voices of victims—so often missing in shows that portray violence against women—make it a nuanced and unmissable exploration of the lasting impacts of sexual violence.
If you like your TV moody and brooding, the sci-fi series Dark is for you. The first German-language Netflix Original series (there’s an option for English dubbing, though the undubbed version is superior), Dark opens with a secret liaison, a missing teenager, and a spooky-looking cave, which sets the vibe for the rest of the show. What initially appears to be a straightforward mystery investigation soon turns into an ambitious time travel plot with plenty of atmosphere. A tight 26 episodes are spread over three seasons, and the more you watch, the more you see how appropriate the title is.
Back in the 1990s, BoJack Horseman was the star of a hit TV sitcom. A lot has changed since then. The animated series picks up with BoJack 20 years after his peak as he sinks deeper into middle age and an endless cycle of substance abuse. In an LA half-populated by human-animal hybrids, BoJack comes to terms with his existential dread in this bleak and darkly funny comedy. The first half of season one is a little heavy on the bleakness and light on laughs, but once it hits its stride, this surreal comedy comes into its own with stellar voice performances from Amy Sedaris, Will Arnett, and Aaron Paul.