Netflix is one of the largest streaming platforms in the world. There are thousands of TV shows and movies to watch at any time of the day. Many of the most popular programs today are actually exclusively on Netflix. Their shows are winning prestigious awards that were only going to network television less than a decade ago.
With Netflix taking the lead on original programming, other online platforms are doing the same. Today, Netflix’s shows range from comedy, drama, lifestyle, and much more, so there’s something for everyone. Not sure what to start binge-watching? These are some of the best shows Netflix has to offer.
Emma Stone and Jonah Hill star in this dramedy based on the 2014 novel of the same name. They play a couple of mentally-ill patients who volunteer to be a part of a cryptic pharmaceutical trial. Things don’t end up going as planned and the audience is taken on a wild journey into the subconscious of the main characters.
Maniac stands out due to its eye-catching visuals, catchy soundtrack, and the clear chemistry between Stone and Hill. It can be compared to the likes of Inception and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind with its themes and storyline.
Chilling Adventures of Sabrina
The story of a teenage girl with magic powers was popularized in the 1990s show Sabrina the Teenage Witch. The creator of Riverdale then adapted the story to fit into the modern day and turned it from a sitcom to a drama. Chilling Adventures of Sabrina follows half-witch, half-mortal teenage girl Sabrina as she must choose between her two worlds before her 16th birthday.
This show is all about female empowerment as Sabrina dares to reclaim the power that is almost taken away from her. It also tackles many controversial topics such as racism, gender roles, faith, and power dynamics.
Queer Eye is a reboot from a show of the same name that aired over a decade ago. Netflix updated the show and found the new “Fab Five” who set out to help straight men throughout the United States. Each has their own specialty including wardrobe, grooming, cultural pursuits, diet, and home décor.
Many reviewers praise these guys for their charming and engaging personalities. They are out to tackle deep social issues in places of the country where they are the minority. Viewers are able to relate to the heartfelt stories and true friendship. Plus, Jonathan Van Ness is a gift to the world.
Master of None
Right after his success on Parks and Recreation, Aziz Ansari created one of Netflix’s first originals, Master of None. Ansari stars on the show as a working actor in New York City. It mostly focuses on his professional and personal life, whether it be racism in the entertainment industry or the struggles of modern dating.
Master of None is also known for breaking format, with episodes that singularly focus on a serious topic in today’s society like disabilities. Currently, there’s potential for another season, but Ansari hasn’t committed to anything yet.
Nick Kroll and his childhood best friend Andrew Goldberg created an animated show based on their experience going through puberty. Big Mouth follows comedic middle school children being ravaged by puberty as they try to figure out how to handle it all with the help of their hormone monsters.
Many famous actors voice cartoon characters including Nick Kroll himself, John Mulaney, Fred Armisen, Maya Rudolph, Jordan Peele, and Andrew Rannells. The way that the show tackles topics like menstruation, body dysmorphia, sexuality, and Planned Parenthood in a hilariously beautiful way make it worth watching.
It can be risky to have a whole show centered around a character with autism, but Atypical captures the real-like circumstances in a relatable and authentic way. Each member of the family is needed to add dimension to each episode, whether that be the parents dealing with infidelity in their marriage or his sister questioning everything about who she is as a young teenage girl.
As the protagonist, Keir Gilchrist (Sam) had to learn how to play a character who was on the autism spectrum. Much like Leonardo DiCaprio in What’s Eating Gilbert Grape, audiences were dumbfounded to find out that he wasn’t actually on the spectrum in real life.
The Haunting of Hill House
The Haunting of Hill House is a drama, horror, and mystery wrapped into a Netflix series. Each episode flashes through the past and present, following a fractured family that has to confront haunting memories of their old home and the terrifying events that they escaped. As the paranormal forces entrap the family in Hill House, they are forced to face their demons.
Viewers are watching and re-watching this show due to each character’s rich backstory and the thrilling pace of how the plot unfolds. People should be cautious before delving into this horror series, but if they get past the terror, it includes heart-wrenching stories and complex character relationships.
When Stranger Things premiered in 2016, it was an instant hit. Fans all over the world binge-watched the series and the stars of the show became overnight celebrities. It centers around a young boy who goes missing on two separate occasions while his mother, friends, and the town’s police chief all unite to bring him back.
Millions of viewers caused this show to gain immense popularity. Stranger Things owes much of its success to the gifted child actors on the show who play their roles in a genuinely refreshing way. While it’s set in the 1980s, the show couldn’t feel more vibrant and timeless.
The past few years have been full of various older TV shows coming back with reboots. Fuller House was one of the first to accomplish this, as they adapted the 1980s/1990s show, Full House. The daughters from the original are all grown up and have families of their own, eventually leading them to move back into their childhood home.
After five seasons, the cast is saying goodbye for the final time. Fuller House is filled with heavy nostalgia and some cheesy gags, but it’s something that people who grew up with the original can watch with their kids.
Set in present day, Bodyguard tells the story of the Royalty and Specialist Protection Branch of London’s Metropolitan Police Service. Protagonist David Budd is assigned to protect Home Secretary, Julia Montague, who is referred to as a “sociopath.” He struggles throughout the series to defend a woman that he completely disagrees with both morally and politically.
This contemporary thriller builds tension episode after episode. Audiences are left paranoid by the minds of each character after discovering their true motivations. The high velocity emotions grip viewers into questioning everything they see and hear.
Jason Bateman isn’t a stranger to Netflix original shows as he also stars as the main character on Arrested Development. Now, he’s taking on a more serious role in Ozark. Bateman plays a financial advisor who causes his family to move from Chicago to the Missouri Ozarks. There, he must figure out how to launder $500 million in five years to appease a drug lord.
Reviewers praise Ozark for its brilliant writing, casting, and acting. Each storyline leaves the audience waiting to see which characters make it out alive. It’s also a thriller that’s perfect for binge-watching.
Arrested Development originally aired on network TV and was canceled shortly after. About a decade later, Netflix picked it up leading to many more fans discovering the intellectual comedy. On his other Netflix show, Bateman plays Michael Bluth who is at the center of his eccentric and dysfunctional family.
The cast is one of the best things about this show. They all have incredible chemistry and can play off each other really well. It’s written with the intention for the characters to heighten all their comedic strengths. Ron Howard also plays the narrator and talks directly to the audience throughout each episode.
Having a plot where the main characters live the same day over and over may seem redundant and over-done. Russian Doll takes that as a simple guide and transforms into a show that can’t simply fit into one genre. Natasha Lyonne stars as a cynical New York woman that strives to figure out why she’s dying and returning back to her birthday party.
There’s comedy, drama, mystery, horror, thrill, and much more. It works well because the protagonist is almost unlikable, but after the audience learns of her backstory they want to know how she will break away from her greatest demons.
Not every Netflix original is scripted. There are countless categories for users to binge-watch. Nailed It! is a cooking show where amateur bakers compete to recreate food items for a cash prize. It also features some charismatic judges like comedienne Nicole Byer and chef Jacques Torres.
With all the cooking shows out there, this one stands out due to it not taking itself too seriously. The judges joke around with the contestants and they know that the finished product won’t be close to anything professional. There’s also a holiday-themed spin-off and a Mexican version available on Netflix as well.
Tidying Up with Marie Kondo
After Tidying Up with Marie Kondo premiered on Netflix, she became an instant sensation. People around the country were using her organizational tips to help them declutter their lives. Kondo’s main motto throughout the show was asking people if their personal items “sparked joy.”
A show about cleaning may seem dull at first glance, but she gets to the heart of the connection people have with their household objects. Audiences are drawn to her inspirational messages and constant positive attitude when working with her clients. She may be small, but she has the knowledge to last a lifetime.
Wet Hot American Summer: First Day of Camp & Ten Years Later
Almost 15 years after the film Wet Hot American Summer came out, Netflix turned it into a couple TV spin-offs. Wet Hot American Summer: First Day of Camp follows the original cast set back in time to relive their first day of camp, as opposed to the last day that’s portrayed in the 2001 movie. Next, Wet Hot American Summer: Ten Years Later features most of the original cast having a reunion that takes place 10 years after they went to camp.
The initial film included many famous actors before they were well-known such as Bradley Cooper, Elizabeth Banks, Paul Rudd, and Amy Poehler.
Haters Back Off!
YouTuber Colleen Ballinger created the character Miranda Sings. Now, almost a decade later, Netflix decided to adapt it into an original series. Haters Back Off!, named after the character’s classic catchphrase, follows an untalented and cocky girl who thinks she’s the next big star. The show differs from the YouTube videos because new family members are added and viewers are able to see Miranda outside of her bedroom.
Haters Back Off! has many mixed reviews. Some praise it for its emotional appeal and dynamic character relationships. Others felt that the show failed to translate Miranda Sings’ initial viral success in a TV format.