Although Netflix is not the best place to be productive, it is an amazing place to find captivating and engaging entertainment. If you’re looking for the next series to binge watch, look no further. Here is the list of the best 25 shows on Netflix this year, according to Netflix ratings and many popular review websites.
Black Mirror – 4 Seasons
“Not to wax philosophical, but how long can happiness last, anyway?”
The episodes of Black Mirror are stand-alone and usually end in preventable, yet unforeseen, consequences or disasters caused by new technologies. The picture painted by Black Mirror is somewhat depressing but hits home with viewers.
Why People Like It: One of the most prominent reasons that the show is so popular is the parallel it draws between our society and the near-future or alternative-present, technologically advanced society in which the show is set.
Themes: Drama, Suspense, Future
Similar Shows: The Twilight Zone, Altered Carbon
Stranger Things – 2 Seasons
“Nobody normal ever accomplished anything meaningful in this world.”
The Stranger Things story begins when Will Byers, is abducted on his way home from a friends house. As the story unfolds, the viewers learn of a secretive research laboratory in their town that uses human test subjects to study the paranormal and supernatural.
Why People Like It: The show is renowned for its character development, acting, and especially the accurate depiction of the 80s. Stranger Things draws on a lot of 80s movies like The Goonies, ET, and Stand By Me.
Themes: Sci-Fi, Drama, Mystery, Horror
Similar Shows: Dark, 13 Reasons Why
Dark – 1 Season
Dark is German science fiction series about a dark mystery in a small town. There are children that are disappearing, an elaborate conspiracy, time travel, and a nuclear power plant with a wormhole underneath it.
Why People Like It: The writing, acting, and storyline have been applauded by many and make for yet another creepy, binge-worthy series.
Themes: Mystery, Drama, Thriller, Sci-Fi
Similar Shows: Stranger Things, Black Mirror
Altered Carbon – 1 Season
“Humanity has spread to the stars.”
Altered Carbon takes place in a dystopian society, more than 350 years in the future. The show is filled with adventure and suspense as it follows the journey of former U.N. soldier, Takeshi Kovacs, as he attempts to win his freedom by solving a murder.
Why People Like It: The show is a faithful adaptation of the book and has a very traditional science-fiction theme.
Themes: Sci-Fi, Future, Dystopia, Cyberpunk, Thriller
Similar Shows: The Magicians, Dark Matter
Lost in Space – 1 Season
“Trust me, Major. Evil knows evil.”
The Robinson family finds themselves stranded on an alien planet after their Jupiter pod crash lands. With danger everywhere, including a harsh environment and the planets original inhabitants, the Robinson’s struggle to survive.
Why People Like It: Lost in Space is the perfect show to satisfy all your science nerd needs.
Themes: Sci-Fi, Adventure, Space Travel, Suspense
A Series of Unfortunate Events – 2 Seasons
“Why do you hate us so much?”
“Because it’s fun!”
A Series of Unfortunate Events follows the newly orphaned siblings (Violet, Klaus, and Sunny Baudelaire) as they are placed in custody with the murderous relative, Count Olaf. The Count is determined to claim the fortune that the children’s parents left them after their untimely death in a mysterious fire.
Why People Like It: The show has been praised for being well-produced and faithful to the original version. Not to mention Neil Patrick Harris’s incredible performance.
Themes: Mystery, Black Comedy
Similar Shows: Alice Through The Looking Glass, Once Upon A Time
Making A Murderer – 1 Season
“The fact that the victim identified the perpetrator as wearing white underwear when Steven Avery didn’t own underwear.”
For true crime fans, Making A Murderer is a gold mine. This ten-part series presents the case of Steven Avery, a man who served 18 years in prison for a crime he did not commit, and his search for justice.
Why People Like It: The story is captivating, satisfying, yet at times, infuriating.
Themes: Documentary, Drama, Mystery, Dark
Similar Shows: Amanda Knox, The Confession Tapes
Money Heist – 2 Seasons
“No one has ever hit that hard. Not even in New York, London, or Monte Carlo.”
Eight master thieves. Hostages. A criminal mastermind. The Spanish television show, Money Heist, checks all the boxes for a perfect crime movie. The show starts with a mysterious El Professor, who plans, what he hopes to be, the biggest heist in history. The objective? Steal 2.4 billion euros from The Royal Mint of Spain.
Why People Like It: The show, also known as La Casa de Papel, is engaging, suspenseful, and all around enjoyable to watch.
Themes: Crime, International, Suspense
Similar Shows: The Mechanism, La Polito
Mindhunter – 1 Season
“Personality and character far outweigh the presence of psychotic or defective diagnoses. In other words, by extrapolation, are criminals born or are they formed?”
Mindhunter gives you a glimpse inside the mind of maximum security prisoners. More specifically: serial killers. The show takes place in the perspectives of two FBI agents in the 70s who study the psychology of murder.
Why People Like It: The show is a bit disturbing but it will keep you hitting the “play next episode” button. Psychologists have said they do a great job at stay true to the psychology of serial killers and the audience is entertained by understanding the motives of these crimes.
Themes: Drama, True Crime, Criminal Psychology
Similar Shows: Manhunt, Ozark
Wild Wild Country – 1 Season
“Love is not about possession. Love is about appreciation.”
Wild Wild Country is the story of the famous and controversial Indian guru and cult leader, Osho, and his personal assistant, Ma Anand Sheela. Osho attempted to build the perfect utopian society met resistance from the locals that captured the attention of the nation.
Why People Like It: Wild Wild Country addresses an incredible yet forgotten time in history. It is especially interesting from a sociological standpoint, as the docu-series shows an accurate portrait of groupthink.
Themes: Crime, Documentary, History
Similar Shows: Bobby Sands: 66 Days, On Yoga: The Architecture of Peace
The End of the F***ng World – 1 Season
“It’s strange. A lot of the time you don’t register the important moments as they happen. You only see that they were important when you look back.”
The End of the F***ing World is a thought-provoking coming of age story about James, a self-declared high school psychopath, and Alyssa, his rebellious and moody classmate, and their road trip across England. Some have called Alyssa, played by Jessica Barden, the best teen heroine of 2018.
Why People Like It: The authentic relationship and romance of the two that develops on the road trip really warms the heart.
Themes: Comedy, Coming of Age
Similar Shows: Riverdale, Everything Sucks
Documentary Now! – 2 Seasons
“In order to tackle a dangerous topic, a documentary filmmaker often has to put their own life on the line, and no group of filmmakers risk more than those at Dronez, a consortium of participant journalists whose motto is, “ballz to the wallz.’”
Saturday Night Live legends, Bill Hader, Seth Meyers and Fred Armisen, have created the perfect mockumentary series. Documentary Now! parodies popular shows such as Vice (in the episode DRONEZ: The Hunt for El Chingon) and Jiro Dreams of Sushi (in the episode Juan Likes Rice & Chicken.)
Why People Like It: The show is so well produced, the comedy so on-point, and the cast such fantastic actors, that it takes the audience a moment to realize the pure genius of the show. For SNL fans, the show is particularly exciting, as many previous cast members make appearances in the show.
Themes: Comedy, Mockumentary
Similar Shows: Portlandia, The Office
Master of None – 2 Seasons
“Frozen yogurt? No, that’s ice cream for losers.”
Master of None is a rom-com that follows Aziz Ansari’s character, Dev, who is an actor in New York City. The coolest characters on the show are Dev’s parents, who are played by Aziz Ansari’s real-life parents, Shoukath and Fatima.
Why People Like It: Besides the modern romance, the show touches all subjects including feminism, religion, and immigration while still refraining from being cheesy about it. Since its premiere in 2015, the show has won three Golden Globe Awards.
Themes: Comedy, Modern Romance, Drama
Similar Shows: Parks and Recreation, Friends from College
Big Mouth – 1 Season
“You are like literally a goddess and that’s why it’s so hard to not want to turn you into a human jumpsuit!”
Legend comedians, John Mulaney and Nick Kroll, play two prepubescent and very awkward boys who are feeling the power of puberty, all the while literal hormone monsters drive them to the brink of insanity.
Why People Like It: It’s easy to watch the show and reflect, laugh, and ponder our own teenage years.
Themes: Comedy, Coming of Age, Adult Animation, Surreal Humor
Similar Show: F is for Family, Bojack Horseman
On My Block – Season
“I’m over getting rejected. It’s called self-respect.”
On My Block is a witty and emotional coming-of-age story of four teens in inner-city Los Angeles. Monse, Ruby, Jamal, and Cesar find their friendship tested as they start high school and experience the struggles that come with being black and Hispanic teens.
Why People Like It: Very much a binge-worthy show, On My Block has won the interest of the Kids’ Choice Awards and has also been quickly renewed for a second season. The show has become very popular and praised for its diversity, real-life situations, storyline, and humor.
Themes: Comedy, Drama, Coming of Age
Similar Shows: Everything Sucks, Degrassi: Next Class
The Crown – 2 Seasons
“In an increasingly complex world, we all need certainty.”
If you were a fan of Downton Abbey, you will love The Crown. The Crown is the true story of Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom. The story begins at her wedding in 1947 and continues to present day.
Why People Like It: It is enjoyable to watch this show and to imagine that you are living the life of British royalty, alongside the kings and queens. Everything from the directing, cinematography, production, casting, and acting is perfect. Considering the budget was over $100 million, it makes sense.
Themes: Historical Drama, British Royalty, Biography
Similar Shows: The Royal House of Windsor, The Young Victoria
Marvel’s Jessica Jones – 2 Seasons
“Maybe it’s enough that the world thinks I’m a hero.”
Jessica Jones is a bad-ass private investigator with a disturbing past, determined to find her tormentor and bring him to justice.
Why People Like It: Like most Marvel adaptations, Jessica Jones is well-produced and has done the original comic justice. Jessica Jones has a great plot with an intense twist and a strong, female hero.
Themes: Action, Superhero, American Comic Book
Similar Shows: Marvel’s Defenders, Marvel’s Luke Cage
The West Wing – 7 Seasons
“Every time we think we have measured our capacity to meet a challenge, we look up and we’re reminded that capacity may well be limitless.”
After popular demand, the political drama, The West Wing, has finally arrived on Netflix. The show takes place in the west wing of the White House, where the Oval Office and the senior staff offices are located.
Why People Like It: The show has won praise from political science professors for being informative, entertaining, and accurate. All in all, the show, which originally aired in 1999, has won three Golden Globe Awards and 26 Emmy Awards.
Theme: Political Drama
Similar Shows: Scandal, Commander in Chief
Love – 3 Seasons
“She’s a prima donna and she drinks these green drinks. Who drinks these green drinks when they’re 12? Where’s the Capri Sun at?”
Love is a quirky romance about two heartsick adults, Gus and Mickey, who both attempt to recover from their disastrous and painful breakups. Love is raw and honest, and the realistic portrayal of the ups and downs of a relationship are wonderful.
Why People Like It: The show is so relatable that at times it is even uncomfortable. For those who have experienced the complication of long-term relationships, and the heartache that comes from it, Love brings comfort and acceptance.
Themes: Romantic Comedy, Drama, Modern Dating
Similar Shows: Lovesick, Easy
Rapture – 1 Season
“Hip-hop is about being truthful. You tell a real story.”
Talented artists such as Logic, Nas, and Dave East appear on this Netflix show that presents how hip-hop culture has affected the world on a global scale. Rapture also gives an inside look into these artists’ journey to fame and the work ethic, mindset, and dedication they’ve developed along the way.
Why People Like It: Rapture is inspirational and the behind-the-scenes look at the struggle and passions of young hip-hop artists is very well conveyed.
Themes: Documentary, Music, Inspiring, Visionary
Similar Shows: Hip-Hop Evolution, More Than A Game
My Next Guest Needs No Introduction with David Letterman – 1 Season
“I was worried about being a good father.”
Since January of this year, the iconic David Letterman has hosted a Netflix-style talk show, where he interviews global figures such as Barack Obama, Jay-Z, and Malala Yousafzai. The show gives a fascinating insight into the life and experiences of these timeless legends.
Why People Like It: Even after 33 years on television, and at 71 years of age, David Letterman is just as charming and intelligent as always. Unlike other talk shows, such as 60 Minutes and 20/20, Letterman’s Netflix show is much more relaxed and interesting.
Themes: Documentary, Celebrity, Comedy, Talk Show, Witty
Similar Show: Comedians In A Car Getting Coffee, Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown
Planet Earth – 1 Season
“This [tropical] forest covers only 3 percent of the planet’s surface, but it contains more than 50 percent of all its plants and animals.”
BBC’s nature documentary, Planet Earth, which aired in 2006, is one of the most successful and most expensive of all time. In just eleven episodes, the viewers are brought to the deepest oceans, highest mountains, and the most remote jungles.
Why People Like It: The visuals in Planet Earth are stunning, winning them an Emmy Award among many others. Planet Earth is a timeless documentary series that shows just how beautiful life on Earth truly is.
Themes: Documentary, Nature, Natural History
Similar Shows: The Blue Planet, Africa
Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey – 1 Season
“To make this journey, we’ll need imagination, but imagination alone is not enough, because the reality of nature is far more wondrous than anything we can imagine.”
World famous astrophysicist, Neil deGrasse Tyson, takes us on a visually stimulating and educational journey through the cosmos in this entertaining docu-series. Be prepared for every episode to blow your mind in some way or another, as Neil travels to the furthest corners of the galaxy in search of answers to our biggest questions.
Why People Like It: Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey is a continuation of Carl Sagan’s 1980s show, Cosmos: A Personal Voyage, which is one of the most famous science documentaries of all time.
Themes: Science Documentary, Astronomy
Similar Shows: The Inexplicable Universe, Edge of the Universe
Chef’s Table – 4 Seasons
“Twelve tables in the heart of Modena tell a story of tradition in evolution.”
Chef’s Table is an Emmy nominated cooking show, where elite chefs create beautiful gourmet foods in new and unique ways. Each episode follows a different chef as the explore their creativity and see just how far they can push the boundaries of the palette.
Why People Like It: The chefs come from more than fifteen and each brings something new to the table. Chef’s Table is a mesmerizing and sophisticated television masterpiece.
Themes: Documentary, Foodie, International
Similar Shows: The Mind of a Chef, Chef’s Table: France, Jiro Dreams of Sushi
Ugly Delicious – 1 Season
“If anything, it was to show that empathy is a really important requisite to having a better understanding of food.”
Ugly Delicious is one of those shows that will leave you hungry, with a weird desire to travel to southeast Asia. Michelin star chef and culinary hero, David Chang, brings us with him as he travels all over the world in search of the best foods.
Why People Like It: Unlike most mainstream cooking shows, Ugly Delicious is known for their enlightening discussions about race, culture, and geopolitics that they open on their culinary adventures.
Themes: Documentary, Foodie, Travel
Similar Show: Ainsley Eats The Streets, Somebody Feed Phil