Over the last few years (maybe more) there has been a shift in the way that we watch TV. We don’t have to be tied to someone else’s schedule, in order to watch some really amazing shows. Netflix has become way more than just a household name. It’s become this “thing” that we reference when talking to our friends. It is a “thing” that we turn to for comfort, or when we just need to chill. Not only that, but it has a ton of great TV shows to binge watch. Both their original content as well as from other networks. There is so much to watch out there, and because you might suffer from decision fatigue, we’ve compiled a list of the greatest TV series on Netflix.
Note – some of these videos might contain spoilers, depending on whether or not you’ve started watching the show, or how far along you are.
Happy Valley is a crime drama that elevates itself above the standard largely through Sally Wainwright’s superb writing, which tempers the nuts and bolts police procedural stuff with cracking characterization, snappy dialogue and real human emotion.
Sarah Lancashire excels as a middle-aged police sergeant in this BBC series. Less dry than Line of Duty, less silly than Luther, Happy Valley is the perfect TV show if you’re looking for a realistic cop show with heart and beauty.
Bojack Horseman is an animated sitcom, which stars Will Arnett as the main character, who happens to be a “Horseman”. Bojack found fame in a 90s sitcom but now lives in a haze of booze and self-loathing. Bojack is both a horse and a man, which is kind of confusing, but it definitely works. Aaron Paul plays Bojack’s best friend, Todd. The entire show is about Bojack’s life as a washed-up former star. It’s actually really funny. So if you’re looking for something light-hearted, this is the show for you.
Line of Duty
If you’ve ever wondered who polices the police, then you should be watching Line of Duty. This show follows the efforts of the Anti-Corruption Unit to uncover dark secrets within the police ranks. There are two seasons of the show on Netflix, which might not be enough to sate your appetite because Line of Duty‘s mastery of tense situations, conspiracy and behind-the-scenes corruption coupled with its fast-moving police procedural structure make one of the most compelling, binge-worthy British shows in years.
American Horror Story
American Horror Story has been around for a few years now, and it is extremely popular. For those of you who know me, you know that I’m not a big fan of the horror genre. But this show is kind of unique. It is actually from the creator of Glee, and while that might sound odd, it’s actually what has made it such a great show. It is known as an “anthology series”, with each season featuring a different time period, location and cast (for the most part). Which means, there are a lot of stories being told, rather than just one. Which is what you get with most TV series.
Mad Men made quite the impact when it was on TV. It was a period piece that let us look back at a certain time that is a mystery to many of us. But it was always keeping you guessing and making see things differently. But on the surface, Madmen is a drama series about people who work in advertising in the 1960s. Mad Men uses advertising to explore capitalist America. It also explores the hopes and fears of family and identity in a modern world. An amazing TV show. If you haven’t started watching this one, what exactly are you waiting for?
Better Call Saul
If you loved Breaking Bad, you’re going to love Better Call Saul. I mean it. It is set six years before Breaking Bad and follows the career of Saul Goodman, known as Jimmy McGill. Jimmy is a former con man trying to make it work on the right side of the law. This show doesn’t keep you on the edge of your seat quite as much as Breaking Bad, but it does manage to give us a funny, engrossing and binge-worthy show. There are currently three seasons, and I am looking forward to season four!
Arrested Development might be one of my favorite comedies of all time. I’m not sure if it’s being able to relate to a dysfunctional family, or just love the dry, sarcastic sense of humor of it all. I can’t explain how much I love this show! The family is like I said dysfunctional, but they are also extremely self-centered, and destructive. George Bluth tries to keep his family and fortune intact as their company is hit by the US Government for embezzlement. When I think of David Cross, I instantly think of “never nude”. But there are so many other things I could quote. The cast is amazing. This is a definite must watch, in my opinion.
This series, named after the 19th century Birmingham gang, is as good as anything else you’ll find on Netflix. Led by the strangely likable and very dangerous Tommy Shelby, it tells the tale of a razor-wielding crime family trying their very best to keep control of their city while avoiding the watchful Chief Inspector Chester Campbell. CIllian Murphy grabs the spotlight and will absolutely not let go of it in one of the finest drama series produced by the BBC in recent years. Get ready to binge-watch both seasons of this historical gangster drama.
Not to be confused with the Coen brothers’ (also highly recommended, also on Netflix) movie that inspired it – and from which it draws its winning blend of dark deeds, intricate plotting, looming dread and comic “Minnesota nice” dialogue – this is yet another TV series that begs to be binge-watched over a weekend. And at a relatively modest eight episodes, that’s entirely doable.
In the first series Martin Freeman, Colin Hanks and Allison Tolman all deliver fine performances as residents of the snowbound titular town, but it’s Billy Bob Thornton, oozing malevolence and menace as drifter Lorne Malvo, who lingers longest in the memory.
The superb second series has now also been added, telling a completely separate (but possibly even more compelling) story in the same town and featuring a similarly impressive cast including Ted Danson, Patrick Wilson and Kirsten Dunst.
There are a lot of Marvel shows and movies out right now, but it’s the TV shows that I find appealing. Daredevil explores the world of crime fighter, Matt Murdock. Murdock is a blind lawyer who takes on the slum lords and gangsters in Hell’s Kitchen.
Murdock’s nocturnal outings sit uneasily alongside his legal profession, while the show’s big villain in the first series (Vincent D’Onofrio) wants to raise Hell’s Kitchen out of the dirt by any means necessary. Making the most of its extended running time, the show’s ability to show the wider consequences of its hero’s actions – not all of which are positive.