Our picks of the best Netflix shows you can watch right now
Seinfeld is, without doubt, one of the most influential TV shows of all time. There are few other comedies that have left such a massive imprint on the cultural consciousness, and there’s a reason Netflix clamored for the worldwide streaming rights. If this is your first time meeting Jerry Seinfeld, George Constanza, Kramer, and the ineffable Elaine Benes, then you are in for a treat. And if you’ve watched this pack of New York terrors – and they really do become more terrible as the seasons’ pass – then there’s no time like the present to revisit this still excellent show.
It’s the K-drama that’s taken the internet – and the world – by storm, becoming the first Korean drama to reach the top spot on Netflix in the US. Squid Game follows a group of people with financial struggles who are invited to take part in a mysterious survival competition with a hefty cash prize. They must compete in a series of traditional games, but with deadly twists, risking their lives for ₩45.6 billion (that’s the equivalent of around $38 million). Once you start, you’ll be hooked.
Ewan McGregor stars as the famed fashionista Halston, offering a campy, overblown performance that’s risky and entirely brilliant. The five-part limited series is another show from Ryan Murphy, and if you’ve already bought into the Ratchet, Hollywood, and The Politician showrunner’s brand of television, then this is no doubt a must-watch. For everyone else: come for Obi-Wan Kenobi, stay for the high fashion, darling. Plus, McGregor’s backed by more than a few guest cameos, who we will not spoil here. But what else did you expect from a show of this creative caliber?
Shadow and Bone
Netflix’s new fantasy series Shadow and Bones brings epic world-building, magical action sequences, and hugely loveable characters to the platform. The show is based on Leigh Bardugo’s bestselling Grisha novels, and sees ordinary young woman Alina Starkov discover she possesses a tremendous power that just might save her country. Meanwhile, a group of thieves across the ocean have high-stakes plans of their own. It’s both an urgent and fun fantasy tale that will appease book-readers and those who don’t know their Grish from The Darkling. And once you’ve finished the series, be sure to check out our piece on the Shadow and Bone ending.
Sky Rojo (AKA Red Sky in English) is the latest project from the creators of the hugely popular Netflix show Money Heist. This series follows three sex workers (Verónica Sanchez, Lali Espósito, and Yany Prado) on the run from their pimp (Asier Etxeandia) and his henchmen (Miguel Ángel Silvestre and Enric Aucquer). Season 1 consists of eight 25-minute episodes, with a second season in the same format already confirmed. There are car chases, sequins, and gunfights in equal measure, making this a must-watch for anyone who loved the creators’ other series.
A French-language thriller that was the talk of the internet following its release, Lupin is based on the adventures of classic character, thief Arsene Lupin, who wants to avenge the death of his father. The show is absolutely captivating thanks to its style, daring heists, and Omar Sy, the show’s charismatic lead anyone would rob a bank for. There are few Netflix shows as well constructed and bingable. Part 2 delivers on the promise of the first, with a set of episodes centering around the kidnap of Assane’s son and the pursuit of the overarching villain, the portly Pellegrini. There are thrills, spills, and Assane’s inimitable roguish charm.
You’ve seen period dramas before – but not like this. From super-producer Shonda Rhimes comes Bridgerton, a flirty, feisty Netflix series that centres on the Bridgerton family. One of the daughters, Daphne, is of age to find a husband and ends up ‘pretending’ to fall in love with one of England’s most eligible bachelors, just so everyone will get off her back. Of course, things do not go to plan.
Yes, it’s a scandalous yet heartfelt love story; one that features colourblind casting, taught relationships, and lots of bonking – and we mean lots. No wonder, then, that it’s quickly become one of Netflix most-watched shows.
Dead To Me
A tragicomedy’s that twists and turns with the best of them as polar opposite pals Jen and Judy struggle through life, bonded through loss. A masterful blend of dark thrills and laugh-out-loud one-liners.
Christina Applegate and Linda Cardellini are both sensational as the central duo, while James Marsden turn as Steve and, in the second season, Steve’s twin brother is pure excellence. You won’t be able to stop watching.
This Eddy delivered on the promise of its international calibre. Written by screenwriting supremo Jack Thorne and with episodes directed by Damien Chazelle, Houda Benyamina, Laïla Marrakchi and Alan Poul, This is a gritty yet vibrant bop around the Paris jazz scene.
André Holland plays Elliot, the struggling manager of a Parisian nightclub. However, his business partner owes some people some money, and things quickly become even more difficult. And then Elliot’s estranged daughter, Julie, shows up. It’s one thing after another, but this music-enthused series grooves at its own tempo, slowing things down for reflection and, of course, a few jam sessions.
The Umbrella Academy
Netflix’s most overlooked superhero show – well, until season 2 came along and quickly became one of the most-watched series of 2020. The series centres on a group of superhero siblings who are all miraculously born at the same time from mothers who were not actually pregnant. The first series is a twist-filled joyride, and the second is somehow cooler, crazier, and crackles with more energy than its debut – with lessons having been learned from last year’s semi-stumble out of the blocks.
If you’re looking for a larger-than-life comic book adaptation to fill a superhero-sized void in your life then The Umbrella Academy is the show for you. Plus, this instantly adds to your emo-credentials, as My Chemical Romance’s Gerard Way wrote the source material.
Read more: Everything we know about The Umbrella Academy season 3
Charting the rise and fall of drug kingpin Pablo Escobar, Narcos features two DEA agents, Murphy and Pena, trying at nothing in the war against drugs. But they’ve met their match: Pablo is infinitely resourceful, Colombia is a country with dangerous people around every corner and it only gets worse from there. This is an American-Spanish show that will have you on the edge of your seats 99% of the time. The other 1% if you learning Spanish swear words, which is always fun.
Even if you know Pablo Escobar’s story, Narcos has been suitably embellished so every episode carries as many twist and turns as possible with it. That extends to its seasons, too. Each one does something different without straying too far from its main theme of ‘catch the bad guy.’ Without wanting to go into spoiler territory, the show turns everything upside down far sooner than you might think, too. This is a binge-worthy drama that’s an expert at keeping you on your toes.
Seeing as you’ve binged the hell out of Stranger Things multiple times, you’re gonna need something similar to tide you over until more episodes arrive. Enter Dark. From the outset, this German-language Netflix original makes no bones about its intentions: to be creepy, eerie and as Lynchian as possible. And that’s not just because it’s odd, but, because like a certain David Lynch created TV show, this delves into the rotten underbelly of seemingly perfect small-town life. In this case, it’s the tale of two missing children that stirs up trouble for a mysterious community.
You’re unlikely to see anything else quite like it. Sure, it may share ideas with some popular shows (there’s missing children, time travel, and other supernatural oddities) but Dark packs a lot of unique pieces into its puzzle.
There aren’t many shows that are able to make you cry every episode. Queer Eye happens to be one of those. The reality show follows five men from the LGBTQ+ community as they makeover a different person – or, as they are called on the show, “hero” – each episode. The Fab Five all have different speciality areas (food, fashion, culture, design, and grooming) and very different personas.
While that may not sound too emotional, just give the first episode a whirl. Seeing a divorced 57-year-old learn to properly look after himself and come to embrace the Fab Five is a remarkably endearing opener. As the show goes on, the “heroes” become more and more diverse, and each one has a moving story. You’ll laugh. You’ll cry. And you’ll pick up some great tips on self-care and self-love. Yaaas!
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