Best Netflix series and shows to watch now (June 2023)

Best Netflix series and shows to watch now (June 2023)

Table of Contents

However, if you’re more into sci-fi, Netflix still has you covered, with the popular sixth season of Black Mirror still available to stream on the platform.

There’s also plenty to keep documentary fans occupied, including Sir David Attenborough’s latest nature documentary series Our Planet II, Arnold Schwarzenegger’s life story (aptly called Arnold), and the second part of all-access tennis docuseries Break Point.

That’s not all – Netflix has recently added a whole lot of new, buzzy programming, including erotic thriller series Fake Profile, international dramas Scoop and The Days and one of David Tennant’s big recent series, Inside Man.

If you enjoyed Arnold, then you can also check out the star in action in his latest series FUBAR, while reality fans can enjoy titles such as Selling Sunset, which has just released season 6, The Ultimatum: Queer Love and Indian Matchmaking season 3.

However, if you’re looking for something a bit more old-school or familiar, fans can still find popular acquired series on the platform including Bodyguard, Back to Life and Taskmaster, all of which are available now.

Below, we’ve compiled a list of all the best TV series on Netflix so you can stop searching and start watching ASAP. Alternatively, you can check out our line-up of the best Netflix movies for other suggestions.

You can also tweet us @RadioTimes if we’ve missed your favourite off the list – otherwise, start scrolling and happy streaming!

Updated: 29th June 2023

Best series to watch on Netflix this month

The Witcher

Henry Cavill, Freya Allan and Anya Chalotra in The Witcher season 3

Henry Cavill, Freya Allan and Anya Chalotra in The Witcher season 3 Netflix/Susie Allnutt

Starring Henry Cavill for one last time as mutant monster-hunter Geralt of Rivia, The Witcher has returned for its third season, continuing to follow Geralt’s adventures with sorcerer Yennefer (Anya Chalotra) and Princess Ciri of Cintra (Freya Allen), as the fictional world they live in descends into war.

Stuffed with bizarre creatures, fast-paced action scenes and plenty of weird and wonderful characters, it’s no surprise that The Witcher has become one of Netflix’s biggest series over the years. And the creators of the earlier Witcher video game – based on the same collection of novels as the series – were probably pretty happy with the release too, given that sales of The Witcher 3 rose by 558 per cent following the Henry Cavill version’s debut.

The first five episodes from season 3 are available now, while the final three will arrive next month drawing a close on Cavill’s time in the lead role and setting the stage for Liam Hemsworth’s arrival in season 4. All this means there’s never been a better time to check out The Witcher – if nothing else, you’ll have a new earworm stuck in your head. – Huw Fullerton

Black Mirror

Black Mirror - Beyond The Sea with Josh Hartnett

Black Mirror. Josh Hartnett as David in Black Mirror. Nick Wall/Netflix

We’ve waited for four long years, and finally Black Mirror season 6 has arrived. The new episodes take a departure from previous instalments, giving us a number of stories set in the past, and one ‘Red Mirror’ presentation, which doesn’t have any specific link with technology at all.

However, you will quickly realise that technology has never truly been what Charlie Brooker’s dark, twisted anthology is about. It’s human nature and its darkest recesses, it’s about examining the present day and providing excellent, compelling character studies through an often fantastical lens. These five episodes remind us why Black Mirror remains such a talking-point and one of the most consistently brilliant series, let alone anthology series, that you can find. – James Hibbs

Break Point

Matteo Berrettini playing tennis

Matteo Berrettini in Break Point. Netflix

After months of waiting, Break Point part 2 is finally here, with five more episodes of the all-access tennis documentary from the makers of Formula 1 Drive to Survive. In part 2, the series continues to follow a select group of top tennis players, including Matteo Berrettini and Nick Kyrgios, giving an intimate look at their lives both on and off the pitch.

Just as the first part did, the second part of this docuseries continues to give as great an insight as ever before into the often-times gruelling world of Grand Slams and tournaments these players sign up to in order to achieve their ultimate dream of becoming number one. – James Hibbs

Arnold

Arnold Schwarzenegger in Arnold, laughing

Arnold Schwarzenegger in Arnold. Netflix

If watching FUBAR has got you in the mood for more Arnie, then here it is – the ultimate exploration of Arnold Schwarzenegger, told across three episodes. The series tells the story of Schwarzenegger’s bodybuilding, film and political careers, through a series of candid interviews with the man himself and his friends.

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It’s a surprisingly emotional, riveting telling of this incredibly story, which only gets more incredible the more you think about it and the deeper you dive into this series. If you’re an Arnie fan, or if you simply want to learn more about his extraordinary life, then this one’s for you. – James Hibbs

Our Planet II

Antelope running through a field

Our Planet II. Netflix

There have been some brilliant nature documentaries which have arrived on Netflix in recent months, including the stunning Chimp Empire. However, when you’re looking for a big name behind a series such as this, you really can’t get any bigger than Sir David Attenborough, who is back to narrate the second season of Our Planet.

The new season once again provides us with stunning views and insights into all aspects of the animal kingdom, with a particular focus on unravelling the mysteries of how and why animals migrate. These four new episodes give us never-before-seen views of animal behaviours, which are sure to astound even the most passionate nature documentary aficionados. – James Hibbs

Come Home

Greg (Christopher Eccleston), Marie (Paula Malcomson) and Molly (Darcey Mcneeley) in Come Home

Greg (Christopher Eccleston), Marie (Paula Malcomson) and Molly (Darcey Mcneeley) in Come Home BBC/Steffan Hill

This BBC drama from 2018 broke viewers’ hearts when it first debuted, and now a whole new audience can watch the powerfully emotional drama on Netflix.

The series stars Christopher Ecclestone as Greg, a father whose wife Marie mysteriously walks out on the family one day, leaving him both confused and devastated. With the series revealing its secrets over the course of three episodes, it was released to acclaim on the BBC, with viewers and critics alike praising the performances of Eccleston and his co-star Paula Malcomson. – James Hibbs

Fake Profile

Fake Profile - Netflix

Fake Profile on Netflix. Renata Bolívar/Netflix

In the age of dating apps and fake online personas, is there a subject matter more chilling than one that leans so close to reality? In this Netflix thriller, which has won over audiences across the globe, deception, lies and sex combine for a rollercoaster of a series.

Camila thinks she’s met the love of her life on a dating app but quickly finds out that her dream man, Fernando, has a different name and that, actually, he isn’t single at all. Armed with the truth, Camila sets out to destroy his life and make him pay for every lie he’s ever told her. But she’s soon dragged into a tangled web, one that she may struggle get out of. – Morgan Cormack

The Days

The cast of Netflix's The Days.

The Days. Netflix

This new eight-part series will be a hit for any documentary or drama lovers out there, as it is based on the true story of the Fukushima nuclear disaster which took place in Ōkuma, Fukushima, Japan, on 11th March 2011.

The nuclear disaster was the most severe since the Chernobyl disaster in 1986 and, to this day, there’s been ongoing controversy over the disaster due to the radioactive isotope-contaminated water that has been released into the Pacific Ocean during and after the disaster. But this series lays out the disaster from three different perspectives, making for emotional and unmissable viewing. – Morgan Cormack

Scoop

Crime journalist Jagruti Pathak sat in a room full of people at a press conference

Karishma Tanna as Jagruti Pathak. Netflix

It’s not often that headline-writing journalists become the headline – but that is the case in this new Hindi language series. Scoop tells the story of accomplished female journalist Jagruti Pathak, who is charged for the heinous murder of her fellow journalist.

It’s a tense watch, not least because while Pathak awaits trial, the truth is being dragged further away and quietly buried. It’s a complex exploration of the media as we know it, as well as the criminal underworld of Mumbai and the authorities that are tasked with bringing them to justice. – Morgan Cormack

Inside Man

David Tennant as Harry Watling in Inside Man sat at a bar with a drink.

David Tennant as Harry Watling in Inside Man. BBC/Hartswood/Paul Stephenson

Steven Moffat’s latest series, which debuted on BBC One last year, is now available to stream on Netflix, and if you haven’t seen it yet it features a stellar cast. David Tennant, Stanley Tucci, Lydia West and Dolly Wells star in this dark drama about a vicar who makes a catastrophic mistake and a death row inmate who solves crimes from his cell in America.

The dialogue may at times border on the unreal and some of the decisions made may stretch credulity, but the power of this drama is in its tense, heightened plot and some stunning performances by the central quartet. If you lean into the absurdity of the plot and go with its many twists and turns, it’s a dramatic, frequently entertaining binge. – James Hibbs

FUBAR

Monica Barbaro and Arnold Schwarzenegger in FUBAR

Monica Barbaro as Emma Brunner, Jay Baruchel as Carter Perlmutter and Arnold Schwarzenegger as Luke Brunner in FUBAR. Amanda Matlovich/Netflix

Get ready for action, explosions and plenty of one-liners – Arnie is back. That’s right, Arnold Schwarzenegger has returned to the genre for which he is most famous, in his first ever major series role. He stars as a CIA Operative on the verge of retirement, who discovers that his daughter is in fact also an operative, and has to go back into the field for one last mission.

The series itself may not be the most memorable, with some emotional moments which don’t land and too much insistence on its central father-daughter dispute. However, Monica Barbaro does good work, and Arnie successfully leans into the comedy, meaning he’s a joy to follow through the eight-part run. – James Hibbs

Working: What We Do All Day

President Barack Obama in Working: What We Do All Day

Former US President Barack Obama in Working: What We Do All Day. Ben Solomon/Netflix

The latest project from the production company owned by President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama is this new documentary series, exploring the ways in which we find meaning in our work and how our experiences and struggles connect us on a human level.

The series is narrated by the former President Barack Obama, who also appears alongside everyday people in their homes and places of work, and follows individuals at all levels of the workforce, from service jobs to home care and tech to hospitality. It’s a compelling look at an everyday subject and Obama is always captivating company, making this a worthwhile four-part series to dive in to. – James Hibbs

Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story

India Ria Amarteifio in Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story

Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story. Netflix

Bridgerton fans, assemble. While it’s not quite time for the hit period drama’s third season just yet, fans now have something to tide them over in the form of spin-off/prequel series Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story. The series focuses on the queen’s rise to prominence and power, exploring how her marriage to King George sparked both a great love story and a societal shift.

By tackling real-world issues around race and social attitudes which the main series has so far largely avoided, this prequel marks itself out from the original in the best way while also delivering a sweet, endearing love story which is sure to have fans gripped from start to finish. With strong central performances across the board, Queen Charlotte really is worth any Bridgerton fan’s time. – James Hibbs

Firefly Lane

Sarah Chalke as Kate and Katherine Heigl as Tully in Firefly Lane.

Sarah Chalke as Kate and Katherine Heigl as Tully in Firefly Lane. Netflix

Romcom veteran Katherine Heigl and Scrubs alum Sarah Chalke play childhood best friends in this Netflix adaptation of Kristin Hannah’s book of the same name, Firefly Lane. The first part of season 2 landed in December 2022, and now the final load of episodes is now available on the streamer. But be prepared: you’ll need a tissue or two.

The cliffhanger of season 2 part 1 saw the pair of best friends at logger-heads due to a car accident that involved Tully and Marah, prompting Kate to reflect on her friendship with Tully. But when she’s diagnosed with a rare and aggressive form of breast cancer, Kate now has to reckon with the prospect of not living to see all of her family and friends’ life achievements.

It’s set to be a touching final outing for the series, but how will things wrap up for the pair? – Morgan Cormack

Taskmaster

Greg Davies and Alex Horne in Taskmaster.

Greg Davies and Alex Horne in Taskmaster. Channel 4

Taskmaster fans, rejoice! The first six seasons of the hit comedy competition show are now available on Netflix, completely ad free! For those who have never seen the series, it features Greg Davies and his assistant Alex Horne setting tasks for a group of comedians to complete, with each season featuring a different group.

With the first six seasons featuring contestants including Roisin Conaty, Romesh Ranganathan, Katherine Ryan, Rob Beckett, Joe Lycett, Aisling Bea, Bob Mortimer, Russell Howard and Asim Chaudhry, and including some truly classic moments, it’s time to get streaming this hilarious series once more. – James Hibbs

The Nurse

Josephine Park as Christina Aistrup and Fanny Louise Bernth as Pernille Kurzmann in The Nurse.

Josephine Park as Christina Aistrup and Fanny Louise Bernth as Pernille Kurzmann in The Nurse. Netflix

True crime fans, this one’s for you. This new Danish thriller is based on an extraordinary true tale of deception and murder, which has some very eerie similarities to last year’s Netflix film hit, The Good Nurse.

This four-parter explores the case of Danish nurse Christina Aistrup Hansen, who was given a 12-year sentence after being found guilty of four counts of attempted manslaughter in May 2017. The nurse who helped bring her actions to light is Pernille Kurzmann (played in the series by Fanny Louise Bernth). When she suspects her close colleague Hansen (played by Josephine Park) of deliberately killing patients, she’s faced with a nightmarish quest to expose her. – Morgan Cormack

The Diplomat

Keri Russell as Kate Wyler in The Diplomat.

Keri Russell as Kate Wyler in The Diplomat. Alex Bailey/Netflix

Keri Russell stars in this brand new political drama series, which follows a new US ambassador as she attempts to build strategic alliances and avert global crises, all while managing her relationship to a fellow diplomat and political star played by Rufus Sewell.

Russell and Sewell make for a hugely engaging on-screen presence and their dynamic is the series’s best quality. The politics is broad and accessible, meaning this might not scratch an itch for some – but it does make for an easy binge-watch. Meanwhile, Rory Kinnear lights up every scene he’s in as the Prime Minister. – James Hibbs

Chimp Empire

An adult and baby chimp in Chimp Empire

Penelope in Chimp Empire. Netflix

If you’re enjoying the final season of Succession right now and are looking for something to scratch that social politics/family dynamics itch, then strangely the best place to find it may be in Chimp Empire, the new documentary series from the co-director of My Octopus Teacher.

The series is narrated by Mahershala Ali, so makes for very engaging listening as well as watching, and follows the largest chimpanzee tribe ever discovered in Uganda’s Ngogo Forest. Across a year, the documentary charts tumultuous battles and dramatic changes in the tribe’s history, as babies grow, relationships blossom and leaders rise and fall. If you’re a fan of nature documentaries, chimps or social dynamics, then look no further – this has them all. – James Hibbs

Obsession

The cast of Obsession.

The cast of Obsession. Netflix

If you’re a fan of erotic thrillers and are looking for something new to watch on Netflix, then look no further than Obsession, the brand new series starring Richard Armitage and Charlie Murphy. Based on Josephine Hart’s novella Damage, which has already been adapted into a film starring Jeremy Irons, the series focuses on a steamy affair between a surgeon and his son’s fiancée.

This may not tick all the boxes when it comes to turning up the heat, and it may not exactly be subtle, but if you’re a particular fan of the genre then you may get some thrills from this throwback to the era of films such as Fatal Attraction and Basic Instinct, while a strong cast help to liven things up. – James Hibbs

Beef

Steven Yeun as Danny and Ali Wong as Amy in Beef.

Steven Yeun as Danny and Ali Wong as Amy in Beef. Netflix

This comedy-drama series comes from film producing powerhouse A24, whose reputation speaks for itself, meaning you know you’re in a safe hands. It stars Steven Yeun and Ali Wong and focuses on the aftermath of a road rage incident as two people, Danny and Amy, enter a feud which threatens to destroy their entire lives.

The series balances its tones perfectly, with whip-sharp comic dialogue punctuating the darkness of the story. It is at its heart a deeply existential thought-piece about why we need to open up more and talk about our feelings, rather than letting them consume us – and with two terrific central performances, it sells every aspect of that message. – James Hibbs

Lewis Capaldi: How I’m Feeling Now

Lewis Capaldi: How I'm Feeling Now

Lewis Capaldi: How I’m Feeling Now Netflix

We all know Lewis Capaldi as Scottish singer whose tweets will make you cry with laughter while his emotional ballads evoke tears of a different sort – however, the BRIT award winner shows viewers what’s behind his cheeky chappy front in his intimate documentary, How I’m Feeling Now.

Taking the title from his single of the same name, How I’m Feeling Now follows the 26-year-old as he starts the daunting task of writing his second album. Despite the huge success of his first record, Capaldi’s self-doubt begins to affect his mental health as the pressure of delivering another golden set of songs results in panic attacks, anxiety and painful tics – which are later diagnosed as Tourette’s Syndrome. A truly all-access documentary showing all sides of the loveable singer, who clearly got his wicked sense of humour from his dedicated parents, How I’m Feeling Now is an emotional ride of a watch that’s an excellent addition to Netflix’s eclectic range of documentary content. – Lauren Morris

The Night Agent

Gabriel Basso as Peter Sutherland and Luciane Buchanan as Rose Larkin in The Night Agent.

Gabriel Basso as Peter Sutherland and Luciane Buchanan as Rose Larkin in The Night Agent. Dan Power/Netflix

Adding to the growing slate of tense political thrillers already on the platform is this brand new one, which is set to be the perfect edge-of-your-seat watch to dive into. The Night Agent is based on the 2012 novel of the same name by Matthew Quirk and follows one particular ‘night agent’ who gets embroiled in a dangerous conspiracy.

For those wondering what exactly a night agent does, our protagonist Peter Sutherland (Gabriel Basso) mans a top-secret phone line in the basement of the White House, but the phone line – which is for compromised undercover spies – never rings. Until one fateful day it does, with Rose Larkin (Luciane Buchanan) appealing for Peter’s help when her aunt and uncle get assassinated. As well as having a cast of familiar faces, this is one series that really keeps you gripped throughout its 10 episodes. – Morgan Cormack

Riverdale

Still wildly careening down the teen drama tracks is the seemingly unstoppable train that is Riverdale – The CW’s stylised series loosely based on the long-running Archie Comics. Starring KJ Apa as protagonist Archie Andrews, the series follows the high school jock as he joins his friends Betty (Lili Reinhart), Jughead (Cole Sprouse) and new student Veronica (Camila Mendes) in their search for the truth around missing rich kid Jason Blossom.

While Riverdale may have started in 2017 as a dark murder mystery that modernised Archie’s legendary comic book characters, over the past four years it’s ventured into a number of unpredictable, unrealistic, ridiculous and sometimes hilarious territories – from serial killer ‘The Black Hood’ terrorising Riverdale residents and students becoming obsessed with the Gargoyle King, to the emergence of a local cult that’s been secretly harvesting organs.

Nevertheless, the show has hung on to a loyal group of fans who still tune in for the outrageous plot twists, the random romantic relationships and the meme-worthy dialogue. The seventh and final season is officially underway on Netflix, transporting the gang back in time to the 1950s. Probably best not to overthink it. – Lauren Morris

Shadow and Bone

Fantasy fans will find a lot to like from this sprawling adaptation of Leigh Bardugo’s Grishaverse novels. The series follows young Alina Starkov (Jessie Mei Li), an orphan who discovers she is part of a select group of people with magical powers – in her case, the rare ability to control light. This prophesied revelation sets her on a collision course with The Darkling (Ben Barnes) and his Shadow Fold, a region of complete darkness which threatens to grow stronger.

Critics have been kind to the two seasons released so far, declaring Shadow and Bone to be a cut above Netflix’s typical young adult fantasy fare. The performances from Mei Li, Barnes and co-star Zoë Wanamaker have received particular praise, along with the impressive world-building and visual effects. However, the complicated lore of Bardugo’s universe could potentially put off those who aren’t naturally drawn to the fantasy genre. – David Craig

Agent Elvis

Agent Elvis.

Agent Elvis. Netflix

While the premise of this animated series may seem initially unserious, Agent Elvis has proven to be a hilarious hit of a series, showing the world a completely different side to the late star.

Co-created by Priscilla Presley, the series follows Elvis as a secret agent who saves the world while simultaneously flitting back to his Las Vegas concerts, all with a chimpanzee sidekick at his side. Voiced by Matthew McConaughey, we follow Elvis as he trades his jumpsuit for a jetpack when he joins a secret spy program to stop villains from destroying the world. – Morgan Cormack

The Glory

It’s great to see how mega-hit Squid Game has sparked an enduring appetite for Korean drama all over the world, with UK viewers regularly consuming the latest offerings via Netflix. The Glory is currently dominating the streamer’s viewing charts having recently launched its concluding second part.

The dark drama follows a woman who suffered horrific bullying as a child that caused her to drop out of school early. Now, as an adult, she is seeking revenge on those who tormented her and does so by becoming a teacher at the school where their own children are now enrolled.

Reviews have been glowing for this suspenseful series, with many hailing it as one of the best revenge stories seen on the small screen in recent memory. Song Hye-kyo leads the cast, which also includes Parasite’s Jung Ji-so and Money Heist: Korea’s Lim Ji-Yeon. – David Craig

Narcos

If the one-two punch of The Last of Us and The Mandalorian still hasn’t satisfied your need for Pedro Pascal content, then perhaps it would be worth circling back to one of the projects that made him a household name.

Debuting not long after the finale of Breaking Bad, it was important for Narcos to distinguish itself from what came before – and it did so with incredible results. Unlike Vince Gilligan’s fictional saga, this series is partially grounded in fact, unravelling the extraordinary life of notorious kingpin Pablo Escobar (portrayed by Wagner Moura) from the late 1970s up to his death in 1993.

Pascal plays Javier Peña, another real figure from the case, who is tasked with bringing down Escobar. It’s no easy task, with the series offering plenty of thrills as it chronicles the efforts of his team at the DEA (Drug Enforcement Administration).

A sequel series, titled Narcos: Mexico, followed later. – David Craig

You

Penn Bedgley as Joe, Lukas Gage as Adam in episode 404 of You.

Penn Bedgley as Joe and Lukas Gage as Adam in You. Courtesy of Netflix

The world was completely gripped when You launched on Netflix at the end of 2018 – and viewers haven’t really stopped looking over their shoulders since. The psychological thriller, initially set in New York, began by following creepy (but also kind of likeable) Joe Goldberg (played by Penn Badgley) and his developing obsession for Guinevere Beck (Elizabeth Lail).

Over the course of 10 episodes, we stared in horror as his lust turned into toxic desire. At times, the Netflix series makes you laugh, but as the tone shifts in the story, so too does a viewer’s unease; this is quite simply not the kind of series you want to watch in the dark before bed. Seasons 2 and 3 saw Joe living in California where he was challenged by rival-slash-partner Love Quinn (Victoria Pedretti), while season 4 shakes up the format once again.

Now, the enigmatic stalker has arrived much closer to home – adopting a new persona in London! There, he rubs shoulders with members of high society, including Ghosts star Charlotte Ritchie as an icy art gallery curator. It isn’t long before someone dies, but shockingly, Joe isn’t the culprit this time. – Helen Daly

Outer Banks

(L to R) Madelyn Cline as Sarah Cameron, Chase Stokes as John B, Carlacia Grant as Cleo, Jonathan Daviss as Pope in Outer Banks

Madelyn Cline as Sarah Cameron, Chase Stokes as John B, Carlacia Grant as Cleo, Jonathan Daviss as Pope in Outer Banks. Jackson Lee Davis/Netflix

Netflix has very much cornered the teen drama market in the UK, with a glut of original titles and some major acquisitions – from Riverdale to Elite. However, Outer Banks may well be one of the streamer’s best, balancing the usual teen tropes with a rip-roaring sense of adventure as an over-arching search for buried treasure ties all the relationship drama together.

The show follows a group of ‘Pogues’, the working class residents of North Carolina’s Outer Banks who are searching for the missing father of the group’s ringleader, John B. Along the way they discover clues leading to a legendary treasure left behind by John’s father – but a group of wealthy ‘Kooks’ are also after the gold.

As a teen show there is the usual dose of melodrama and a few unrealistic situations, but otherwise the show makes for a fun and breezy binge that occasionally touches on more serious topics such as drug addiction, consent and class divides. However, North Carolina’s Outer Banks itself is the true star of the show, with some colourful cinematography and stunning locations truly creating the feel of an endless summer.

Season 3 recently arrived on Netflix, placing the Pogues in their most high-stakes scenario yet, while a fourth outing is already confirmed. – Daniel Furn

Formula 1: Drive to Survive

Drive to Survive has been credited with revolutionising the genre of sports documentaries, with its cinematic recaps of the preceding F1 season never failing to deliver shock twists and frosty interviews. If you’ve been interested in the adrenaline-fuelled world of motorsport, then this is the perfect place to start, introducing you to all the key players and rivalries ahead of a brand new year of competition.

Season 5 has recently landed on Netflix, reflecting on the most jaw-dropping moments from 2022, with its usual unrivalled access to big name talent. After boycotting the previous iteration – citing a misrepresentation of events – Red Bull driver Max Verstappen is back in the fray this time. As arguably the biggest name in the sport right now, there’s no doubt he’ll have some revealing remarks on everything that went down last year. – David Craig

Back to Life

From acclaimed comic talent Daisy Haggard and the executive producers of Fleabag, Back to Life is widely regarded as one of the best British comedies in recent memory. The series follows Miri Matteson (Haggard), who returns to her small coastal hometown in Kent after serving an 18-year prison sentence. She attempts to rebuild her life – getting a job and striking up a romance with her neighbour’s carer – but can she ever hope to fully escape her past?

In addition to Haggard, Back to Life features a stellar supporting cast including Geraldine James (The Beast Must Die), Richard Durden (Agatha Raisin), Adeel Akhtar (Sweet Tooth) and Jo Martin (Doctor Who). During its initial run on the BBC, critics praised how it explored heavy topics in an accessible, witty way, leading to its categorisation as a so-called tragicomedy. If you like your humour to pack a real punch, then this show is for you. – David Craig

Murdaugh Murders: A Southern Scandal

Alex Murdaugh

Alex Murdaugh. Tracy Glantz/The State/Tribune News Service via Getty Images

Netflix never fails to bring us thought-provoking and insightful true crime documentaries. This latest offering, which is directed by Julia Willoughby Nason and Jenner Furst (LuLaRich, The Pharmacist), is a three-part series exploring one of South Carolina’s most prominent families.

Their lives begin to unravel after the death of teenager Mallory Beach in a boating accident. When Paul Murdaugh – the alleged driver of the boat – and his mother Maggie are then found dead, family patriarch Alex Murdaugh is charged with their murders. His trial is ongoing.

Featuring first-hand accounts from those on the boat, there is a lot to unpack throughout these three episodes. It is a must-watch for any true crime fans. – Morgan Cormack

Red Rose

Originally having aired on BBC Three last year, this British horror drama has made its way to Netflix for more people to enjoy. While its cast of rising stars may be young, this is certainly one drama that doesn’t rely on childish jump scares. Instead, it’s a more chilling look at social media and societal pressures.

The Bolton-based drama centres around one mystery app, Red Rose, which quickly takes control of one group of friends’ lives during their summer holidays. However, if they fail to meet the increasingly dark demands of Red Rose, they suffer deadly consequences. – Morgan Cormack

Love

Fans of Judd Apatow films such as The 40-Year-Old Virgin, Knocked Up and The King of Staten Island are sure to enjoy this three-season comedy created by the prolific writer, director and producer. The series stars Community’s Gillian Jacobs and I Love You, Beth Cooper’s Paul Rust, and follows the ups and downs of their relationships both with one another and outside of that.

The series does have big laughs along the way, but it’s also very character-led and emotionally honest, making the central relationship authentic and heartfelt. It may not be the most original concept, but what it does with its well-worn themes it does well. – James Hibbs

Killing Eve

Killing Eve

Killing Eve. BBC

Only the first two seasons of this hit BBC thriller series is available on Netflix, but that might not be such a bad thing. After all, while the series featured phenomenal performances from Sandra Oh, Jodie Comer and Fiona Shaw throughout, there’s no denying that things went somewhat off the rails by the time the curtain closed on the series for good.

However, these first two seasons are a masterclass in subverting expectations, brewing tension and developing complex, engaging characters, with Phoebe Waller-Bridge’s thumbprint all over it. The series follows intelligence agent Eve Polastri as she tries to track down psychopathic assassin Villanelle, with the pair going on to develop an unhealthy yet hugely entertaining obsession with one another. – James Hibbs

The Law According to Lidia Poët

The Law According to Lidia Poet - Netflix

Matilda De Angelis as Lidia Poet in The Law According to Lidia Poet. Netflix

This new Italian period drama has just landed on Netflix and as well as telling the important true story of Italy’s first female lawyer, it also blends humour, romance, crime and drama into one truly enjoyable watch.

Leading the cast as Lidia is Matilda De Angelis, who starred alongside Nicole Kidman and Hugh Grant in The Undoing as Elena Alves. The series shows how Poët’s admission to the bar association was deemed unlawful and so she secures a job at her brother Enrico’s law firm instead. There, she assists criminal suspects by searching for the truth behind outward appearances and preconceptions. It’s a light procedural drama, perfect for the crime drama fans among us. – Morgan Cormack

Perfect Match

perfect match

Perfect Match Netflix

Having been positively inundated with dating reality shows as of late, it’s any wonder as to why this format has taken so long to come to pass. Perfect Match takes well-known faces from some of its most popular shows and, well, sticks them altogether for awkward encounters and new dating experiences aplenty in this new series.

The aim of the game is – you guessed it – to find your perfect match. But with exes, old flames and the prospect of brand new people constantly entering the villa, it’s one hell of a drama-packed series that will leave you tearing through episodes in no time. – Morgan Cormack

African Queens: Njinga

Adesuwa Oni plays Njinga in African Queens

Adesuwa Oni as Njinga in African Queens. Netflix

This new documentary series is not only executive produced by Jada Pinkett Smith but also tells the important and lesser known story of warrior Queen Njinga of modern day Angola. The four episodes explore how she became the nation’s first female ruler and how she became known for her blend of political and diplomatic skill with military prowess.

Featuring expert interviews and reenactments, this is one series that you’ll learn tons from, and most importantly, you’ll learn how Njinga became an icon of resistance. – Morgan Cormack

Girls5eva

This hilarious comedy comes from the mind of Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt writer Meredith Scardino, following the members of a girl group who had a taste of fame in the late ’90s, but quickly faded into obscurity. Now, they want to stage a comeback, with the perfect opportunity presenting itself when their song is sampled by an up-and-coming rap star.

Along with its sharp writing, Girls5eva benefits from a terrific cast, which includes musician Sara Bareilles, Hamilton’s Renée Elise Goldsberry, and comedy stars Busy Philipps (Cougar Town) and Paula Pell (AP Bio). Their electric chemistry is a side-splitting treat, which manages to generate memorable moments in each and every episode.

In short, you’ve just found your new favourite comedy – check it out now. – David Craig

Sky Rojo

Lali Espósito, Yany Prado and Verónica Sánchez in Sky Rojo

Netflix

Money Heist creator Alex Pina channels the pulp stylings of Quentin Tarantino for this darkly comedic thriller, which follows Coral, Gina and Wendy as they attempt to free themselves from the brothel in which they have become prisoners. The three make a messy, spontaneous escape one fateful evening, but ruthless henchmen Moisés and Christian are hot on their trail and closing in with every passing moment.

Sky Rojo crafts heartbreaking backstories for its three protagonists, with Verónica Sánchez, Yany Prado and superstar musician-turned-actor Lali Espósito excelling in some truly harrowing scenes. Indeed, this series offers an unflinching – and at times disturbing – look into the world of human trafficking and coerced sex work, but co-creator Pina is able to prevent the tone from becoming too bleak by leaning into pitch black humour at just the right moments.

With its lean 30-minute episodes, Sky Rojo naturally moves at a brisk pace which only goes to make the story feel even more chaotic. Interestingly, the second season flips the premise on its head, offering a fresh twist on what came before as the leading ladies take brutal revenge on their pursuers – while the recent season 3 provides a satisfying end. Imagine the stylish direction of Money Heist merging with the heightened reality of Kill Bill and you won’t be far off. – David Craig

Lockwood & Co

Ruby Stokes, Cameron Chapman and Ali Hadji-Heshmati in Lockwood & Co.

The cast of Lockwood & Co. Netflix

This new action-packed series is based on the popular young adult supernatural novels of the same name, written by Jonathan Stroud. It’s a detective drama meets supernatural thriller, meaning it’s firmly at the top of our watchlist right now.

It follows a small company that operates without adult supervision: Lockwood & Co. Run by Anthony Lockwood, a rebellious young entrepreneur haunted by his mysterious past, his brilliant but eccentric sidekick George and a newly arrived, supremely gifted girl called Lucy, this trio are about to unravel a terrifying mystery that will change the course of history.

It’s spooky in all the right places and far from your usual teenage-centred watch meaning you’ll lap up all episodes in no time at all. – Morgan Cormack

Gunther’s Millions

Maurizio Mian in Gunther's Millions.

Maurizio Mian in Gunther’s Millions. Netflix

If you’re an avid Netflix fan, you’ll know that the streamer has become well known for its jaw-dropping documentaries. And Gunther’s Millions is no different.

This new four-parter explores the story of multi-millionaire Gunther VI who lives in the lap of luxury. He travels on private planes, eats gold-flaked steaks for dinner and surrounds himself with a glamorous entourage of spokesmodels and entertainers. He is also a German shepherd.

The dog was said to have inherited $400 million from his countess owner in 1992 and it’s a fortune managed by family friend Maurizio Mian. But it’s also a story that involves sex cults, scientific experiments and tax schemes. Prepare for one wild ride when watching this series, that’s for certain. – Morgan Cormack

Freeridge

Freeridge Netflix

(L to R) Keyla Monterroso Mejia as Gloria, Ciara Riley Wilson as Demi, Tenzing Trainor as Cameron, Bryana Salaz as Ines in Freeridge. Kevin Estrada, Netflix

If you’re looking to relive your teenage glory days in a slightly random (but hilarious) coming-of-age story, look no further than Freeridge. If you’re a fan of On My Block, you’ll undoubtedly be excited for this spin-off series that focuses on a new core group of four friends, navigating the usual teenage angst and… a dark curse.

We follow sibling rivals Gloria and Ines, as well as their friends Demi and Cameron, who have unleashed a curse bringing dark misfortune into their lives. As well as a cast of rising talent, this rollercoaster of a series has some returning familiar faces from On My Block too. – Morgan Cormack

Women at War

The cast of Women at War.

The cast of Women at War. TF1

Runaway success Women at War has quickly shot up to the top of Netflix’s streaming charts – and for good reason. The new series tackles an underrepresented segment of history by platforming an important female perspective on the first World War.

The destinies of four women intersect: Marguerite, a mysterious Parisian sex worker; Caroline, propelled to the head of the family factory; Agnes, Mother Superior of a requisitioned convent; and Suzanne, a feminist nurse.

We follow the Women at War cast as German troops advance and the men around them leave for the frontlines, but they’re left to grapple with the devastating consequences of war at home. – Morgan Cormack

That ‘90s Show

(L to R) Kurtwood Smith as Red Forman, Debra Jo Rupp as Kitty Forman in That ‘90s Show

(L to R) Kurtwood Smith as Red Forman, Debra Jo Rupp as Kitty Forman in That ’90s Show. Patrick Wymore/Netflix

Those looking for a heavy dose of nostalgic comedy should check out That ’90s Show is here to fill that void. If you’re a fan of the original, you’ll be pleased to know that this new series may follow an entirely new group of teens, but also features some special guest appearances from the cast of That ’70s Show.

Set in 1995, the new 10-part series follows Leia Forman (Callie Haverda), the daughter of Eric and Donna from the original series, as she visits her grandparents in Point Place for the summer. She’s looking for friendship, adventure and a way to reinvent herself, but what will she face in the process? – Morgan Cormack

Baptiste

Baptiste

Baptiste BBC

The second season of this riveting BBC crime drama has now become available alongside the first on Netflix, and with The Missing available too, it means you can watch the whole saga from start to finish. This series acts as a spin-off/sequel to The Missing, with Tchéky Karyo’s detective Julien Baptiste now firmly front and centre.

With acclaimed stars including Tom Hollander and Fiona Shaw popping up for one season arcs, you know you’re in good hands on the acting front. The stories each season may not be quite as twisting and turning as in The Missing, but they still provide a good dose of tricksy, dark crime drama and Tchéky Karyo remains phenomenal in that central role. – James Hibbs

Woman of the Dead

Woman of the Dead - Netflix

Netflix

This Austrian mystery series is one that has quickly become the talk of Netflix, since it landed on the platform earlier this January.

It follows Brunhilde Blum (played by Anna Maria Mühe) as one woman intent on figuring out what happened to her dead husband, but it’s a vengeful quest and in the process, she ends up exposing her small community’s deepest and ugliest secrets. What lengths will she go to?

If you like crime thrillers and Nordic noir, this six-part series is most definitely the pick for you. Just be warned: you may be left thinking about the state of good versus evil for a long time after doing so. – Morgan Cormack

Vikings: Valhalla

Sam Corlett as Leif in Vikings: Valhalla season 2.

Netflix

Those who are fans of the original Vikings series will be pleased to hear they can now get their fix of Norse action in the spin-off series, the second season of which has just landed on Netflix.

This time round, you can expect more epic battles and a slew of personal vendettas. Season 2 picks up with our heroes shortly after the tragic fall of Kattegat, an event that has shattered their dreams and altered their destinies. Finding themselves suddenly fugitives in Scandinavia, they are forced to test their ambitions and courage in worlds beyond the fjords of Kattegat.

A number of key players are returning to the Vikings: Valhalla cast for season 2, with Sam Corlett (Chilling Adventures of Sabrina) leading the charge as Leif Eriksson, while Leo Suter (Sanditon) plays his trusted ally Harald Sigurdsson.

If you’re a fan of history, blood, gore and intense fight scenes, Vikings: Valhalla is a must-watch. – Morgan Cormack

Kaleidoscope

Paz Vega as Ava Mercer, Giancarlo Esposito as Leo Pap, Jai Courtney as Bob Goodwin, Peter Mark Kendall as Stan Loomis in episode White of Kaleidoscope

Courtesy of Netflix

This series dominated Netflix (and social media) at the start of the year – and for good reason, too. Quite unlike any other series out right now, Kaleidoscope is the drama that can be watched in any order as picked by the viewer.

The heist drama, which stars Giancarlo Esposito, Paz Vega, Rufus Sewell, Jai Courtney and more, follows a gang of thieves as they attempt to crack a seemingly unbreakable vault. Each episode reveals a vital detail of how the heist unfolds, but Netflix will line up the episodes in different orders for all users.

The story takes place over the course of 25 years so as well as telling a different story depending on the timeline of the episodes, it’ll be a series that’ll keep you guessing right till the very end. – Morgan Cormack

Ginny & Georgia

Antonia Gentry as Ginny and Brianne Howey as Georgia in Ginny & Georgia.

Antonia Gentry as Ginny and Brianne Howey as Georgia in Ginny & Georgia. Netflix

After garnering its fair share of attention across social media when the first season was released, Ginny & Georgia is back again with a highly-anticipated second instalment. After finding out that her mother is a murderer (yes, you read that correctly), Ginny now has to reckon with the fact that her mother killed her stepfather in order to protect her.

A perplexing thought to get your head around at the best of times, but throw in general teenage angst, blossoming romance and friendship groups, and you have the kind of coming-of-age drama turned murder mystery that makes for a truly gripping watch – as shown by those epic viewing figures. – Morgan Cormack

MADOFF: The Monster of Wall Street

Bernie Madoff in prison in 2017.

Bernie Madoff in prison in 2017. Netflix

With a new year comes a brand new true crime documentary series that is set to be the talk of viewers everywhere. This documentary reveals the truth behind Bernie Madoff’s infamous $64 billion global Ponzi scheme, the largest in history, that shattered the lives of countless individual investors who had placed their trust in the revered Wall Street statesman.

The four-part series includes testimonies from whistleblowers, employees, investigators and victims, as well as never-before-seen video depositions of Madoff himself. An intriguing and shocking watch for any true crime lovers out there. – Morgan Cormack

Alice in Borderland

The second season of this Japanese drama has finally arrived, which might interest fans of Squid Game as it also deals with people competing in sadistic survival games. However, Alice in Borderland takes a far more science-fiction-oriented approach, following gamer Arisu who finds himself transported to an empty, parallel version of Tokyo. Arisu is then forced to compete in dangerous games to extend his visa – or face execution via laser if it runs out.

Based on the manga of the same name, Alice in Borderland doesn’t hang about, getting straight into the all-important games without overdoing the exposition or keeping the premise a mystery for too long. It’s a good move, as it’s during the games that this show really shines, with slick visuals, well-choreographed action and clever games. The second season dropped over the Christmas period and is currently enjoying a spot in Netflix’s top ten shows worldwide. – Daniel Furn

The Recruit

Noah Centineo as Owen Hendricks in The Recruit.

Noah Centineo as Owen Hendricks in The Recruit Netflix

This brand-new Netflix original spy series sees Black Adam’s Noah Centineo in the lead role as Owen Hendricks, a CIA lawyer in his first week on the job. When he discovers a threatening letter from former asset Max Meladze (played by Laura Haddock), threatening to expose the agency, Owen must jump into action as he becomes entangled in a world of international espionage. With plenty of action, adventure and a somewhat satirical edge, The Recruit may not be the knockout punch some might be hoping for, but what it is is still a fun-filled ride which is sure to keep spy thriller fans entertained. – James Hibbs

Harry & Meghan

Prince Harry and Meghan, The Duke and Duchess of Sussex.

Prince Harry and Meghan, The Duke and Duchess of Sussex. Courtesy of Prince Harry and Meghan, The Duke and Duchess of Sussex. Courtesy of Prince Harry and Meghan, The Duke and Duchess of Sussex.

Labelled as a Netflix global event, it’s safe to say that this documentary series is one that will shoot to the top of the streaming platform’s charts, we’re sure.

With both volumes now available, the documentary has benefitted from a staggered release for viewers to absorb the details outlined in the six-part series. Co-produced by the couple, the episodes detail the media and press intrusion from the beginning of their relationship, as well as Meghan’s first meetings with members of the royal family and the public’s reception to the Duke and Duchess of Sussex. – Morgan Cormack

Crime Scene: Texas Killing Fields

Crime Scene: Texas Killing Fields

Crime Scene: Texas Killing Fields. Netflix

This gritty true crime documentary is back for its third run and this time round, the acclaimed series explores the “Texas Killing Fields”, a region with a dark pattern of girls who have disappeared and turned up dead.

The 25-acre patch of land remains a mystery throughout the entirety of the three episodes and don’t expect to finish watching the miniseries with any kind of resolute solution. Instead, like many good Netflix documentaries, we start to get a sense of the long-held beliefs and investigations into the area, where more than 30 women were found dead or went missing.

While it’s a haunting watch, it’s also one that follows the journey of one grieving father as he refuses to give up on the hunt for his daughter’s killer. We explore his story, his search and recovery organisation he founded which supports other local families facing similar tragedies and ultimately, his unflinching pursuit of justice for the victims. – Morgan Cormack

Wednesday

Jenna Ortega plays Wednesday Addams in Wednesday

Jenna Ortega in Wednesday. Netflix

With reboots, remakes and revivals reigning supreme in the world of TV, it was only a matter of time before the Addams Family were dusted off and resurrected by Netflix. Thankfully, it brought in the king of gothic whimsy, Tim Burton, to lead coming-of-age horror-comedy Wednesday. Gen Z scream queen Jenna Ortega is an inspired choice to play the titular deadpan teenager, who is sent to the Nevermore Academy after unleashing a pack of piranhas on Pugsley’s (Isaac Ordonez) bullies.

While Wednesday is initially unimpressed with the school for supernatural students, she soon becomes tied up in tracking down a murderous monster, channelling her own psychic abilities and absolving her parents, the loved-up Morticia (Catherine Zeta-Jones) and Gomez Addams (Luis Guzmán), from a crime they’re suspected of committing whilst at the school themselves. While this eight-parter at times leans too far into the teen drama genre that’s been desecrated by the likes of Riverdale, the show’s aesthetic, overall tone and Ortega’s excellent performance are Burtonesque enough to make this an eye-catching and entertaining watch. – Lauren Morris

Read more: Wednesday dance – Inside the Netflix dance moment taking TikTok by storm

The Missing

The Missing

BBC

This crime mystery BBC series first aired two seasons in 2014 and 2016, before spin-off Baptiste was created to follow Tchéky Karyo’s detective Julien Baptiste. Each season followed a new case, as Baptiste helped each family investigate the disappearance of a child many years before. With some striking plot twists and thrillingly tense sequences, it was exactly what you want from a crime drama of this variety.

James Nesbitt gave a heartbreaking performance as the father of missing boy Oliver in the first season, while the second season saw the central parent roles filled by a never-better Keeley Hawes and David Morrissey. Meanwhile Karyo was utterly magnetic as Baptiste, a detective performance for the ages. – James Hibbs

Elite

Elite season 7 cast

Elite season 7 cast. Netflix

This Spanish-language teen drama follows in the footsteps of juggernaut shows like Gossip Girl, Pretty Little Liars and 90210, following a group of young people getting into all manner of trouble. The show’s premise allows for examination of topics like class divide as it primarily follows three working-class scholarship students as they settle into life at a prestigious high school attended largely by the very wealthy.

As you’d expect from a teen drama, things soon get complicated. But Elite goes far beyond the usual love triangles and coming-of-age struggles, crafting suspenseful storylines involving kidnapping, murder and illness. The show has been a runaway success, which is why Netflix is making as much as it can before the actors inevitably age out of their roles. Seasons 5 and 6 both released this year, and a seventh is coming in 2023. – David Craig

Pepsi, Where’s My Jet?

Netflix’s latest docuseries on a bizarre moment in pop culture focuses on a botched publicity stunt by soft drink giant Pepsi, which offered a range of prizes in exchange for points earned by buying its products. Most were fairly ordinary – sunglasses and other apparel – but the top prize was what caught the attention of one ambitious student by the name of John Leonard.

He figured out that the 7 million points Pepsi was demanding for its top prize a Harrier Jump Jet, which the company had clearly considered an unthinkable level of loyalty, would cost $700,000 to accumulate – considerably less than its market value ($32 million). So he set about collecting them, eventually sending the manufacturer into crisis – and not for the last time.

If you’re unaware of the two stories contained in this documentary series then this is a must-watch, telling a jaw-dropping tale of bold marketing gone terribly awry. That said, those looking for a meaty topic to sink their teeth into might find this to be a bit too fluffy for their taste. – David Craig

Dead to Me

Dead to Me

Dead to Me Netflix

Make sure you set a few hours aside for this show, because once you start watching you won’t be able to stop. Dead to Me is a gripping comedy-drama telling the story of two charismatic but very different women, thrown together by unfortunate circumstances to form an unlikely double act.

Christina Applegate plays estate agent and mother of two, Jen, whose world falls apart when her husband is killed in a hit and run. She’ll stop at nothing to find the person who ruined everything. Judy (Linda Cardellini) sees life through a very different lens – although she has experienced awful moments of her own, she’s an optimist who sees the good in everything. The pair meet at a bereavement circle and strike up a friendship, but drama is lurking just around the corner.

Nominated for armfuls of Emmys, the show sparkles not only because of its thrilling mysteries and brilliant twists, but because of its two female leads, who feel refreshingly relatable, intriguing and like they’ve lived real lives. Oddly enough the show is executive produced by Will Ferrell, even though the humour is quite different to the kind you’d associate with his movies. The final season launches this month. – Emma Bullimore

The Crown

Imelda Staunton in The Crown

Imelda Staunton in The Crown Netflix

Of course, we can never really be sure of the balance between fact and fiction in this series, but how thrilling it is to get a glimpse behind palace doors, into the private lives of one of the world’s most famous families. Claire Foy and Matt Smith set the tone with their stunning portrayals of a young Elizabeth and Philip, whose relationship must survive the pressures of duty and the public gaze, and Vanessa Kirby made the world fall in love with a complex Princess Margaret.

As the years rolled by, Olivia Colman and Helena Bonham Carter led the cast into a new era of the monarchy, with Josh O’Connor and Emma Corrin bringing to life the difficult marriage of Prince Charles and Princess Diana. And now the series is back with another refreshed cast – with Imelda Staunton taking over in the lead role, and key parts for the likes of Dominic West, Elizabeth Debicki and Jonathan Pryce among, others.

Nominated for more awards than the producers can count, this show was a game-changer for Netflix, bringing prestige, acclaim and a whole new audience, who were dipping their toes into streaming service waters for the first time just because they wanted to see The Crown. Beautifully acted, lavish and with a huge budget, it offers a tantalising new insight into a world we thought we knew, and people whose lives we’ve followed so closely, from afar. – Emma Bullimore

Guillermo Del Toro’s Cabinet of Curiosities

Guillermo del Toro in Cabinet of Curiosities.

Guillermo del Toro in Cabinet of Curiosities Netflix

Acclaimed director Guillermo Del Toro, known for his horror and fantasy features such as Pan’s Labyrinth and The Shape of Water, has curated this new anthology series, full of eight approximately one-hour stories, each of which tells a new spooky tale for the Halloween season.

As with any anthology there will be outings which appeal more to some rather than others – however, there are enough scares and thrills, as well as poignant character moments and explorations, to keep any fans of the genre entertained. Directors such as David Prior and Jennifer Kent have stepped into the director’s chair for episodes of this first season, while stars including Ben Barnes, Rupert Grint and Kate Micucci fully commit to the strange, chilling tales their characters find themselves in. – James Hibbs

Big Mouth

Ayo Edebiri as Missy and Thandiwe Newton as Mona in Big Mouth.

Ayo Edebiri as Missy and Thandiwe Newton as Mona in Big Mouth Courtesy of Netflix

A coming-of-age tale quite unlike any other, Big Mouth is now six seasons in and shows no signs of stopping. Loosely based on the adolescence of creators Nick Kroll and Andrew Goldberg, Big Mouth follows teenage friends Nick, Andrew, Jessi, Missy and more as they go through the horrors of – gasp – puberty, resulting in plenty of hilariously awkward encounters as well as a few unexpected life lessons along the way.

Big Mouth’s premise meant it easily could have relied on cringe comedy and crass jokes alone and called it a day – and while the show is definitely not afraid to indulge in daring humour about the messiest parts of growing up, the show proves itself to be much, much more than that. Much like Netflix’s other teenage comedy Sex Education, Big Mouth explores sex and the human body with a frankness and honesty that is rarely seen on TV, exploring issues long considered too taboo for mainstream entertainment and embracing all the changes and differences that arise during one’s adolescence.

What is most impressive – and comically bizarre – is how they convey their message while still being entertaining, with personifications of puberty, celebrity ghosts and famous cameos all managing to imaginatively inform. – Daniel Furn

Unsolved Mysteries

Buffalo Jim Barrier.

Netflix

When Netflix rebooted Unsolved Mysteries in 2020, true crime fans couldn’t get enough of the docuseries, which dove into the various theories, suspects and investigations around major cold cases.

After two years, the series is back with its third volume and it’s just as captivating, heart-breaking and perplexing as the first set of Unsolved Mysteries that hit our screens. From the suspicious death of teenager Tiffany Valiante to the sudden disappearance of Josh Guimond, this true crime doc – which releases new episodes every Tuesday – breaks down the clues and information for each case in a way that is bound to inspire the amateur sleuth in everybody. – Lauren Morris

The Watcher

Mia Farrow stars in Ryan Murphy's The Watcher

Mia Farrow stars in Ryan Murphy’s The Watcher Netflix

Following hot on the heels of the mega success of Dahmer – Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story, another true crime thriller from Ryan Murphy and Ian Brennan has just arrived on Netflix. This time the pair are focusing on the true story of a married couple who moved into what seemed to be their dream home in New Jersey, only to find themselves the victims of harassment from a mysterious stalker known only as The Watcher.

Naomi Watts, Bobby Cannavale, and Mia Farrow are among the big names to feature in the star-studded cast for the series, which is based on an article that originally appeared in New York’s The Cut. It’s perhaps not Murphy’s most memorable work – but you can still very much feel his touch and there are plenty of unsettling moments. – Patrick Cremona

Cuckoo

Greg Davies and Taylor Lautner in Cuckoo

Greg Davies and Taylor Lautner in Cuckoo BBC

This Greg Davies sitcom went through a few different iterations over its five seasons, with Andy Samberg, Taylor Lautner and Andie MacDowell all filling the co-lead position at one time or another. The series focusses on Davies’ Ken, a man whose daughter brings home her new husband Cuckoo (Samberg) only for him to turn out to be a parent’s worst nightmare.

After Samberg left and Lautner joined is when the show surprisingly hit its stride, with Lautner showing himself to be a more than capable comic actor. He had great chemistry with Davies and the episode’s plots became more outlandish and hilariously tangled. A strong supporting cast including Friends’ Helen Baxendale and Outnumbered’s Tyger Drew-Honey makes this under-the-radar BBC sitcom criminally overlooked. – James Hibbs

Bodyguard

Richard Madden in Bodyguard header shot

Richard Madden in Bodyguard

Line of Duty has continued to earn its place as must-see TV for six seasons now, but midway through its run creator Jed Mercurio turned his hand to another series – Bodyguard. A fast-paced and tautly scripted thriller starring Richard Madden and Keeley Hawes, the series delivered twist after twist and kept the nation gripped across all six episodes.

The story saw Madden play an army veteran suffering from PTSD who is assigned while working for the police to act as the principal protection officer for the Home Secretary, whose politics he deeply disagrees with. A second season has long been mooted but never arrived, but for now all six episodes of season 1 are available on Netflix. – James Hibbs

Titans

Titans

HBO Max

Titans has had a rocky history since it debuted back in 2018 – for every phenomenal, mind-blowing twist and every emotional resonant well-paced episode, another will come along which slows things down to a glacial pace or revives one too many a dead character.

However, when this show hits, it really hits and can provide some of the best of DC, particularly after it got away from its early insistence on angsty darkness. Brenton Thwaites is brilliant as Robin/Nightwing, as are the supporting cast. The series’ problem is that it sometimes bites off more than it can chew, but with all that ambition its unsurprising that occasionally it gets the wider DC universe very right. – James Hibbs

Archer

Archer

Collection Christophel / Alamy Stock Photo

While Disney Plus is often seen as the new go-to for adult animation, with full box sets of The Simpsons, Family Guy and American Dad living on that platform, Netflix still has its own fair share of gems, including the raucous, offbeat spy spoof Archer.

Starring Bob’s Burgers’ H John Benjamin amongst a host of other acclaimed and popular voice actors, the series follows the titular dysfunctional secret-agent-for-hire Sterling Archer, and his colleagues at the agency. The show has its own unique visual style, tone and world building, with razor sharp comedy and some seriously ambitious plotlines. The first 12 seasons are available in full on Netflix, meaning there’s plenty to be sinking your teeth into. – James Hibbs

Motherland

Motherland

BBC

If you didn’t get a chance to watch Sharon Horgan’s schoolgate comedy Motherland before it left BBC iPlayer, then you’re in luck. You can watch the first two seasons of BAFTA-winning comedy now and dive straight into the overwhelming world of North London parent politics.

Starring Line of Duty’s Anna Maxwell Martin, Motherland follows middle-class mum Julia as she tries to juggle her work life alongside school drop offs, PTA duties and kids’ birthday parties with no help from her often-absent husband. Together with her best friends Liz (Diane Morgan) and Kevin (Paul Ready), Julia finds herself going up against Amanda (Lucy Punch), passive aggressive head of the Alpha Mums, in this sharp, hilarious sitcom. – Lauren Morris

Clark

Bill Skarsgård and Vilhelm Blomgren in Clark

Bill Skarsgård and Vilhelm Blomgren in Clark Eric Broms / Netflix

This utterly unique crime series based on true events debuted on Netflix earlier this year, and gave Bill Skarsgård the role of his career so far. The Swedish language show depicts the life of notorious gangster Clark Olofsson, who operated as a ‘celebrity criminal’ from the 1960s.

Despite being heavily involved in the Norrmalmstorg robbery, which gave rise to the popular term Stockholm Syndrome, Olofsson’s life remains largely unknown in the UK. This, therefore, feels like a crash course in the man, with director Jonas Åkerlund showing everything from his perspective – everything is heightened and the series rips along at a miraculous pace. It may stumble slightly in trying to assess the serious implications of Clark’s crimes in the final episode, but for the most part this is hugely entertaining and currently under-watched series. – James Hibbs

Dracula

Dracula (Claes Bang)

Dracula (Claes Bang)

With Steven Moffat’s latest series Inside Man debuting on BBC One, now is the perfect time to dive back into one of his other recent works, Dracula. This three-part adaptation of Bram Stoker’s gothic novel first debuted in 2020, with Claes Bang absolutely embodying the classic monster.

The third part in the series, which sees the action transported to present day may have been controversial, but there’s no denying that the first two episodes were taut, excellently written pieces of drama, with a stunning central performance and a creepy foreboding atmosphere worthy of the enigmatic vampire. The series retains the wit of Sherlock, while never being afraid to push the envelope when it comes to the horror elements. – James Hibbs

Glow

GLOW (Netflix) full cast

GLOW Netflix

Oh, what could have been. Glow, the joyful comedy-drama about women’s professional wrestling had been commissioned for a fourth and final season, wrapping up the stories of Alison Brie’s Ruth, Betty Gilpin’s Debbie and the rest of the show’s characters. Unfortunately, it wasn’t to be, and the COVID-19 pandemic shut down production, causing Netflix to cancel the series prematurely.

However, that doesn’t mean that you can’t still enjoy seasons 1-3 of this life-affirming, funny and warm show on the streamer. The series tells the story of the Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling, a real-life group of women’s wrestlers in the 1980s. Alison Brie puts in a show-stopping performance as Ruth, while Marc Maron is an absolute scene-stealer as director Sam Sylvia. It’s a light and fun series which still manages to tackle important issues in a sensitive manner, and has characters you definitely won’t be ready to say goodbye to. – James Hibbs

Dead Set

Dead Set

Dead Set Channel 4

With a revival of Big Brother having been announced by ITV and Charlie Brooker’s Black Mirror set to return, why not go back to the series which blended the two in sometimes hilarious, other times horrific fashion? Dead Set is an utterly unique series which follows the contestants in a fictional season of Big Brother as the zombie apocalypse goes on in the outside world, at first unbeknownst to them.

Starring a stellar cast including Jaime Winstone, Riz Ahmed as Riq Rahman, Kelly’s boyfriend and Warren Brown amongst others, and with Davina McCall, Marcus Bentley and Krishnan Guru-Murthy playing themselves, it’s a show with a biting satirical wit which could only have come from the mind of Charlie Brooker. But alongside the comedy, just as with Black Mirror, it knows when to take itself seriously, and therefore packs a powerful punch. – James Hibbs

Cobra Kai

William Zabka as Johnny Lawrence, Ralph Macchio as Daniel LaRusso and Yuji Okumoto as Chozen Toguchi in Cobra Kai.

William Zabka as Johnny Lawrence, Ralph Macchio as Daniel LaRusso and Yuji Okumoto as Chozen Toguchi in Cobra Kai. Curtis Bonds Baker/Netflix

With the fifth season of Cobra Kai about to arrive on the streamer, there’s never been a better time to go back and catch up on all four seasons to date. The show continues the story first started in 1984’s The Karate Kid, charting the rivalry of Ralph Macchio’s Daniel LaRusso and William Zabka’s Johnny Lawrence.

As revivals go, this has surely got to be one of the most successful, with the show having started life on YouTube and gone on to become a Netflix sensation since the show transitioned on to the platform. It’s a show that makes you truly care about its characters, but that is also not afraid to go brilliantly over-the-top and barnstormingly silly. It’s a rip-roaring ride from start to finish, and well worth your investment in all four (nearly five!) seasons. – James Hibbs

Russian Doll

Natasha Lyonne in Russian Doll

Natasha Lyonne in Russian Doll Netflix

Natasha Lyonne shines in this hilarious yet poignant take on a classic of the sci-fi genre, the time-loop story. Lyonne plays Nadia, a woman who repeatedly dies and relives the same night over and over again in the first season, while the second sees her in another sci-fi concept, travelling back in time and inhabiting her own mother’s body.

With concepts as out-there as these, the show could become unwieldy and complicated, yet everything remains grounded in a larger purpose and theme that the series wants to explore. The show’s creators, including Lyonne and Parks and Recreation’s Amy Poehler, have said they have ideas for a third season, yet whether or not that ever materialises these first two seasons are an engaging, thoughtful and hugely entertaining watch. – James Hibbs

Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events

Neil Patrick Harris as Count Olaf in A Series of Unfortunate Events season 2 (Netflix, JG)

Neil Patrick Harris as Count Olaf in A Series of Unfortunate Events season 2

If you’re a fan of A Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket, you’ll absolutely love the Netflix adaptation, which brings the wacky tale to life while staying fantastically faithful to the novels.

The three seasons tell the full saga of the Baudelaire orphans – Violet, Klaus, and baby Sunny – as they’re left at the mercy of the conniving Count Olaf (Neil Patrick Harris) following their parents’ suspicious deaths.

Unlike the 2004 feature film adaptation, which stuffed three novels into a 1-hour 40-minute runtime, the Netflix adaption turns each novel into a two-hour-long (ish) episode, leaving room for all the narration, black comedy, jokes and mystery that made the original novels so compelling. – Molly Moss

Selling the OC

Selling the OC

Selling the OC Netflix

If you love outrageously expensive listings with a side of drama, then you’re bound to take to Selling Sunset’s latest spin-off, Selling the OC.

The show follows our favourite Vin Diesel-looking property twins, Jason and Brett Oppenheim, as they run their second branch of the Oppenheim Group on Newport Beach, and provides a brand new cast of enthusiastic realtors and a bunch of cash-rich clients.

While it’s a shame that the eight-part series mimics the Sunset framework rather than forging its own identity, the spin-off certainly has charm and makes for a binge-able watch. – Molly Moss

The Sandman

The Sandman key art

Netflix

This adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s hugely popular comic book series is incredibly long-awaited, arriving 30 years after the source material was published – with various issues having held back its development. The good news for fans is that proves to be very much worth the wait, with our own four-star review calling it “a vision that Dream himself could have conjured”.

The complex plot concerns a cosmic being who controls all dreams, who must venture to an assortment of disparate worlds and timelines in a desperate bid to undo the damage stemming from his recent absence – when he was captured and held captive for more than a hundred years. Along the way, he encounters all sorts of beings and obstacles, making this a magical but frequently rather grim tale. – Patrick Cremona

Uncoupled

Brooks Ashmanskas as Stanley James, Neil Patrick Harris as Michael Lawson and Emerson Brooks as Billy Jackson in Uncoupled.

Brooks Ashmanskas as Stanley James, Neil Patrick Harris as Michael Lawson and Emerson Brooks as Billy Jackson in Uncoupled. Sarah Shatz/Netflix

This brand-new sitcom starring Neil Patrick Harris tells the story of Michael Lawson, a successful real estate agent whose partner of 17 years suddenly and unexpectedly leaves him. Michael then has to navigate life a single gay man in his mid-forties in New York City.

This makes for a charming and authentic look at the world of modern dating with all its ups and downs, while Harris have never been better than he is in the central role. At the end of the eight episodes, you’ll be left wanting more from this funny and surprisingly emotional series. – James Hibbs

Better Call Saul

Bob Odenkirk in Better Call Saul.

Bob Odenkirk in Better Call Saul Courtesy of Netflix

When Better Call Saul was first announced people were understandably sceptical. Prequels have a shaky history and anyway, how could anything measure up to Breaking Bad?

The answer of course was by standing on its own two feet, while still honouring the past and delivering some of the most nuanced characters of the decade in TV. Bob Odenkirk puts in masterful work as Slippin’ Jimmy McGill, a character so initially detached from the sleazy Saul Goodman that your heart can’t help but break in the knowledge of what he becomes.

The slow-burn series recently came to an end, with legal shenanigans taking more of a back seat to full-on mob warfare. Fans were largely agreed that their long term investment in the series paid off in a big way. – James Hibbs

Stranger Things

Vecna (Jamie Campbell Bower) in Stranger Things

Vecna in Stranger Things Netflix

With Volume 2 of Stranger Things 4 out now, what better time than to catch up on this zeitgeist phenomenon?

This ’80s-set-and-inspired sci-fi drama turned Netflix’s Original series output Upside Down (sorry), becoming a pop culture touchstone and genuine word-of-mouth hit as fans around the world become obsessed with the strange happenings in Hawkins, Indiana.

The meme-ification of this series can sometimes distract from just how warm, fun and scary Stranger Things can be, full of plucky kids, terrifying monsters and laugh-out-loud moments from the outset and continuing through its (admittedly patchier) second and third seasons.

Originally following the threat of a single monster slipping through from another dimension and facing off with a telekinetic young girl called Eleven (Millie Bobby Brown), the scope of Stranger Things has widened over the years to take in telepathic Mind-Flayers, teen romance, puberty, fashion, grief AND dastardly Russians – as well as a pretty rousing rendition of Never Ending Story at the end of the last season. – Huw Fullerton

Mindhunter

Jonathan Groff in Mindhunter

Jonathan Groff in Mindhunter. Netflix

David Fincher’s terrific psychological thriller series may only have lasted for two seasons but in that time it certainly made its mark. Jonathan Groff stars as FBI agent Holden Ford, who along with his partner Bill Tench (Holt McCallany) and psychologist Wendy Carr (Anna Torv) aims to interview serial killers in order to understand their mindset and stop similar perpetrators.

It’s a dark and murky series but it still retains a dry sense of humour throughout, while Groff, McCallany and Torv are all on top form. Fincher has said the series is at least done for now, but here’s hoping he eventually changes his mind, because this was a smart, intricately crafted thriller the likes of which we don’t see all too often. – James Hibbs

The End of the F***ing World

End of the F***ing World

The End of the F***ing World season 1. Netflix

Alex Lawther and Jessica Barden star in this black-comedy series which first aired on Channel 4 in the UK and Netflix internationally. The series revolves around a 17-year-old who believes he’s a psychopath and wants to commit his first murder – however, his target has problems of her own, leading them on a dark, twisted road-trip with plenty of shocks and surprises, and maybe even some romance along the way.

Both seasons of this show were perfectly pitched, unafraid to go to some seriously dark places and test our loyalty to the characters. It won’t be to everyone’s taste, but the comedy is sharp and the pacing moves along quickly, making for an exciting and easy binge watch across all 16 episodes. – James Hibbs

Arrested Development

Arrested Development

Arrested Development Netflix

Arrested Development had a somewhat bumpy ride over its five season run, from cancellation after season 3, the Netflix revival, season 4’s controversial structure and more. However, that doesn’t mean its still not one of the funniest sitcoms of the 21st century, starring a host of supremely talented comedy actors all giving it their all.

Jason Bateman stars as Michael, a member of the formerly wealthy, highly dysfunctional family the Bluths, and follows him as he tries to keep them all together and get them back on the straight and narrow. The entire cast are phenomenal and fully play into the quirky, offbeat humour the show is known for, but two particular stand-outs are Will Arnett and the late, great Jessica Walter, both of whom light up the screen and will have you in stitches any time they open their mouths. – James Hibbs

Friends

Friends cast

Friends Getty

The sitcom which launched a thousand copycats and absolutely took over the ’90s and early 2000s, Friends really was like lightning in a bottle. The core cast had such great, undeniable chemistry, and everyone suited their role down to the ground. Everyone has their favourite and there’s no objective stand-out.

Some may say it dipped off towards the end but in truth, there was no variation in quality. The show was funny and heartfelt throughout, and while some aspects may now be dated, the series still speaks to timeless themes and a period of life that will be relatable for so many. – James Hibbs

Breaking Bad

Bryan Cranston and Bob Odenkirk in Breaking Bad

Bryan Cranston and Bob Odenkirk in Breaking Bad AMC

All caught up with the latest episode of Better Call Saul and want to spend as much time in that world before it re-ends? Then why not revisit where it all began and binge your way through all five seasons of Breaking Bad on Netflix. Widely regarded as one of the best series of the 21st century, if not all time, Breaking Bad starts off with a killer premise and then just ramps up and up and up until it reaches one of the most satisfying finales for a long-running series ever.

Bryan Cranston, Aaron Paul, Anna Gunn, Bob Odenkirk – they all put in electric, utterly believable performances as these characters who have all, intentionally or not, got in way over their heads, while Giancarlo Esposito pulls off one of the most memorable villain performances on screen, so much so that it made the star a go-to baddie for huge series such as The Boys and The Mandalorian. – James Hibbs

Peep Show

Robert Webb with David Mitchell in Peep Show

Robert Webb and David Mitchell in Peep Show Channel 4

When thinking of modern classics of the sitcom format, there’s no doubting that most would jump straight to Peep Show, one of the most consistently hilarious series to hit British TV in quite some time. David Mitchell and Robert Webb are Mark and Jeremy, the classic odd-couple living in a flat share. Based on that description the series could seem obvious or more of the same from sitcom canon, but it’s a combination of relatability and razor sharp writing that makes it really tick.

The central pair are surrounded by a phenomenal supporting cast including Matt King, Sophie Winkleman and Isy Suttie – oh, and a little someone called Oscar winner Olivia Colman. No matter how excruciating things get, whether Jeremy’s reluctantly eating a dog or Mark’s bailing on his wedding, the series is utterly re-watchable and will have you coming back time and again. – James Hibbs

Man vs. Bee

Rowan Atkinson in Man Vs Bee.

Rowan Atkinson in Man vs. Bee. Netflix

Comedy great Rowan Atkinson has plenty of classic characters in his back catalogue – Mr Bean, Blackadder and Johnny English to name just a few. However, after some time away he’s now back with a brand-new character, Trevor Bingley, in the aptly titled Man vs. Bee.

The series does what it says on the tin – it’s a nine-part run made up of mostly 10-minute episodes, in which Atkinson’s Trevor tries to get a bee out of a luxury home in which he is housesitting, going to some seriously extreme lengths in his mission. Atkinson does what he does best, with the series relying on physical comedy rather than verbal jokes, and while its somewhat of a mixed bag, the comic’s fans will surely be satiated by this new, charmingly old-school series. – James Hibbs

Fresh Meat

The cast of Fresh Meat

The cast of Fresh Meat. Channel 4

All four seasons of Channel 4 sitcom Fresh Meat are available on Netflix, and if you’re currently a student or ever went to university, the painfully accurate depiction of student life is sure to ring true. Starring some acting and comedy titans in early roles, including Jack Whitehall, Zawe Ashton, Joe Thomas and Charlotte Ritchie, the series features a group of housemates who missed out on the opportunity to live in university halls and who we follow through all three years of their higher education.

The characters are what truly make this series great, being so well drawn by Peep Show creators Jesse Armstrong and Sam Bain. The comedy is consistent but so is the emotional heft, and the students go through everything from family deaths to academic mishaps and plenty of relationship drama. – James Hibbs

Keep Sweet: Pray and Obey

Keep Sweet: Pray and Obey

Keep Sweet: Pray and Obey Netflix

Netflix’s shocking new four-part documentary series Keep Sweet: Pray and Obey tells the story of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, in addition to the crimes of its leader Warren Jeffs, who was convicted of child sex abuse (you can read more about where Warren Jeffs is now here).

Directed by Emmy and Peabody Award-winning filmmaker Rachel Dretzin and using unseen archive footage and interviews with survivors, the series explores the polygamous and forced underage marriage practices, and paints of picture of what it was truly like inside the community, and in particular for the women who were a part of the church. Flora Carr

The Umbrella Academy

Umbrella Academy season 3

The cast of Umbrella Academy season 3 Netflix

Based on the graphic novel by Gerard Way and Gabriel Bá, The Umbrella Academy follows an adopted family of super-powered misfits, whose exploits as child heroes have left them wounded, traumatised, dead or just disaffected despite their incredible abilities.

With a third season landing on 22nd June 2022, make sure you catch up on the first two instalments. Forced back together by the death of their cruel “father”, the Hargreeves siblings – played by Elliot Page, Robert Sheehan, Tom Hopper, David Castañeda, Emmy Raver-Lampman, Aidan Gallagher and Justin H Min – stumble through a quest to save the world in the present day, before being thrown back through time and forced to do the same thing again in 1960s Dallas during the (superior) second season.

Named as one of Netflix’s most beloved series ever (apparently 43 million viewers streamed at least part of season 2, making it the sixth most popular show of 2020) and with season 3 arriving soon, on-demand shows don’t get much bigger than this peculiar offering.

The Umbrella Academy’s lesson is clear – all the super strength, mind control and necromancy in the world can’t mess you up more than your family. And amid all the action, dark jokes and death there’s something quite sweet about that. – Huw Fullerton

Peaky Blinders

Cillian Murphy as Tommy Shelby in Peaky Blinders

Tommy Shelby in Peaky Blinders season 6 BBC/Caryn Mandabach Productions Ltd./Robert Viglasky

The final instalment of Peaky Blinders is now on Netflix and dramas still don’t get more stylish than this. Set in Birmingham between the World Wars, it follows the exploits of the Shelby crime family – led by Cillian Murphy as Tommy Shelby, who has returned from the trenches to take over Birmingham (and beyond).

The show’s writer Steven Knight has built a story around gang warfare, socialism, fascism, poverty, violence, community, class, family, and Tommy Shelby’s constant scrabble to beat his enemies and rise to the top. But no matter how far his journey has taken him, the demons are never far behind. – Eleanor Bley Griffiths

Borgen: Power & Glory

The cast of Borgen season 4

The cast of Borgen season 4 Mike Kollöffel / Netflix

It has been almost a decade since the beloved Danish political drama Borgen was on our screens, but now the seminal series has returned with a little help from Netflix.

Borgen: Power & Glory follows former PM Birgitte Nyborg (Sidse Babett Knudsen) as she pursues her liberal agenda as the Foreign Minister and the head of the centrist party the New Democrats.

However, when oil is discovered in Greenland, a crisis develops for Birgitte and soon she will question how far she can shirk her once ever-important principles to hold on to her career and influence.

Meanwhile, her former advisor Katrine Fonsmark (Birgitte Hjort Sorensen) is back in the world of broadcast journalism but also finds that heavy is the head that wears the crown.

It’s good to have Borgen back and it feels more relevant now than ever. Lewis Knight.

Somebody Feed Phil

This travel documentary sees food aficionado Philip Rosenthal (best known as the creator of the sitcom Everybody Loves Raymond) jet off around the world with family and friends to experience the cuisine and culture. Season 5 showcases five destinations, each with unique culinary twists: Oaxaca in Mexico, Maine, Finland’s capital Helsinki, Portland Oregon and Madrid, where Rosenthal samples everything from street food to nine course meals.

With fascinating backstories to every dish that Phil tries, vibrant scenery, kitchen shenanigans and the presenter’s wonderful sense of humour, Rosenthal’s global gastronomic adventures offer something a bit different than your generic cooking show, where you just watch people make food. Molly Moss.

My Next Guest Needs No Introduction with David Letterman

My Next Guest Needs No Introduction With David Letterman.

Cardi B on My Next Guest Needs No Introduction With David Letterman Clifton Prescod/Netflix © 2022

These days, chat shows dominate the late night TV schedules – and yet it’s still worth checking out My Next Guest Needs No Introduction with David Letterman if you haven’t already.

A bearded broadcasting legend, the 75-year-old has decades of experience when it comes to getting the gossip from the stars of today and continues to place celebs in the hot seat in the brand new fourth season of this Netflix show. From Ryan Reynolds and Billie Eilish to Will Smith and Cardi B, Letterman leads in-depth conversations with A-listers, drilling down into sensitive topics whilst also having fun. Molly Moss.

Heartstopper

Kit Connor as Nick in Heartstopper

Kit Connor as Nick in Heartstopper Netflix

This LGBTQ+ romance has captured the hearts of viewers across the globe, telling the story of how schoolboys Charlie Spring (Joe Locke) and Nick Nelson (Kit Connor) go from being friends to boyfriends over the course of a fateful school term. The show dispenses with the drugs, sex and misery of edgier high school fare like Euphoria, in favour of an all-ages approach that makes up for in cuteness what it lacks in dramatic stakes.

With brisk 25-minute episodes, this is a series you can easily binge-watch – and if you’re a hopeless romantic, then you most likely will. Heartstopper boasts a cast comprised largely of newcomers (along with one A-list cameo), but expect to see plenty more from them in the years to come. In fact, trans actress Yasmin Finney – who plays caring schoolgirl Elle – has just been cast in Doctor Who’s 60th anniversary special by none other than Russell T Davies.

Love, Death + Robots

Legendary director David Fincher (Fight Club, Seven, Gone Girl) teams up with fellow filmmaker Tim Miller (Deadpool) for this acclaimed anthology series, which spotlights some of the most promising up and coming animation studios. Episodes vary between 6 and 18 minutes, each one with its own distinct style and high-concept sci-fi premise, ranging from dark and spooky to the downright absurd (“When The Yoghurt Took Over”, anyone?).

If you want to get a risk-free flavour of what to expect from Love, Death + Robots, you can! Netflix released an episode from the brand new third season on its YouTube channel for all to enjoy. 3 Robots: Exit Strategies is a sequel to a short film from season one, but we’re confident you’ll fall in love with its quirky protagonists whether you’ve seen the original or not.

Is It Cake?

Is It Cake? quiz

Netflix

For those of you who can’t get enough of The Great British Bake Off, and for those who enjoy their game shows with a spoonful of zaniness, look no further than the bizarre Is It Cake?.

If ever you’ve scrolled through social media and seen someone slice through a handbag, revealing that the handbag was in fact a Victoria sponge, Is It Cake? takes things to another extreme, as bakers compete to fool a panel of judges determined to spot their cake (made to look like an everyday object) hidden in a lineup of non-edible items.

Saturday Night Live’s Mikey Day hosts the series, with jokes and asides as offbeat and unexpected as the bakers’s creations. – Flora Carr

Grace and Frankie

Lily Tomlin and Jane Fonda in Grace and Frankie

Netflix

It’s hard to believe it’s been seven years since Grace & Frankie made its Netflix debut but the sitcom, created by Friends’ Marta Kauffman, is wrapping up with several Emmy and Golden Globe nominations under its belt.

Starring Hollywood veterans Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin, this odd couple comedy follows the fierce, cosmopolitan-drinking retired cosmetics mogul Grace (Fonda) and free-spirited, quirky artist Frankie (Tomlin) after their divorce lawyer husbands Robert (Martin Sheen) and Sol (Sam Waterston) divorce them for one another. When Grace and Frankie are forced to both live in the couples’ shared beach house, the pensioners – who never particularly liked one another – slowly become firm friends as they process the disintegration of their love lives and get into new shenanigans.

While this heart-warming comedy received mixed reviews in its first season, if you can push through to the second you’ll find that Grace & Frankie is well worth a watch thanks to the hilarious performances from its star-studded cast. – Lauren Morris

community

If you’re a fan of Rick and Morty, why not check out this loveable, quirky sitcom from one of its co-creators, Dan Harmon?

Starring Joel McHale, Alison Brie, Gillian Jacobs, Donald Glover and more, the series starts out focusing on the exploits of a community college study group, led by the cynical former lawyer Jeff. As the series progresses, Harmon started to flex his surrealist muscles, turning the show into something far more meta, existential and weird, while still grounding it in the central relationships.

Community might be an oft-overlooked chapter in American sitcom history, and its later seasons can be shaky, but when it comes to experimental, off-the-wall comedy, it remains a real delight. – James Hibbs

Anatomy of a Scandal

Anatomy of a Scandal

Netflix

From Big Little Lies creator David E Kelley comes a new thriller, trading in sandy beaches for the shadowy hallways of British parliament. Sienna Miller, Rupert Friend, and Downton Abbey star Michelle Dockery star in the series, with Miller taking on the lead role of Sophie, an Oxford-educated mother-of-two and wife to a rising Conservative politician James Whitehouse (Friend).

However, her picture-perfect life comes crashing down when James is accused of sexually assaulting his parliamentary researcher Olivia (Naomi Scott), with whom he’d been having an affair. Expect big twists and turns, with plenty of reveals and red herrings. – Flora Carr

People Just Do Nothing

Programme Name: People Just Do Nothing - TX: n/a - Episode: Generic (No. n/a) - Picture Shows: Chabuddy (ASIM CHAUDRY), Grindah (ALLAN 'SEAPA' MUSTAFA), Beats (HUGO CHEGWIN), Steves (STEVE STAMP), Fantasy (MARVIN JAY ALVAREZ), Decoy (DANIEL SYLVESTER WOOLFORD) - (C) Roughcut Television - Photographer: Jack Barnes

Jack Barnes/Roughcut TV

There have been more mockumentaries since the early 2000s than it’s possible to count, but don’t be fooled, this one really is something special. Originally airing on BBC Three, and later BBC Two, the five-season series follows the boys from Kurupt FM a garage pirate radio station operating in Brentford.

The characters may often not be particularly likeable but they are extremely memorable and regularly hilarious. The cream of the crop is of course Chabuddy G, a comedy creation for the ages and the funniest look at an on-screen entrepreneur since Del Boy. The series was given a spin-off feature film last year, Big In Japan, although that’s yet to hit the streamer. – James Hibbs

Jimmy Savile: A British Horror Story

Jimmy Savile: A British Horror Story

Netflix

Ahead of the upcoming Jimmy Savile series The Reckoning starring Steve Coogan, Netflix has released a harrowing two-part docuseries about the disgraced television star, who rose to fame hosting the likes of BBC’s Top of the Pops and Jim’ll Fix It.

The raw and insightful documentary doesn’t delve into great detail about how Savile’s serial sex abuse crimes were finally brought to light, instead focussing more on how the predatory sex offender “managed to fool an entire nation” up until his death in 2011, using extensive archive footage and including a wide variety of interviewees in the present-day, from Savile’s former friends and co-workers, to his funeral director, and finally one of his victims, Sam Brown, who is appropriately given the final, powerful word in the last episode. – Flora Carr

Top Boy

Stefan in Top Boy Season 4

Ana Blumenkron/Netflix

The production history behind crime drama Top Boy has been a fascinating one. Originally running for two seasons on Channel 4 in 2011 and 2013, the series was shelved by the broadcaster in 2014 and looked to have run its course – only for Netflix to step in a number of years later, thanks in large part to interest from Canadian rapper Drake. Now, the series has returned for its second Netflix run and continues to go from strength to strength, expanding its scope while remaining as gripping as ever.

Throughout the run, the series has been anchored by two terrific performances from Ashley Walters and Kane Robinson, while the brilliant Michael Ward has joined them since the Netflix revival. It’s an absorbing, gritty crime drama that makes the most of its location – brilliantly juggling more intimate personal storylines with grander ambitions. – Patrick Cremona

Bridgerton

Bridgerton. (L to R) Adjoa Andoh as Lady Danbury, Simone Ashley as Kate Sharma in episode 201 of Bridgerton.

Liam Daniel/Netflix © 2022

Netflix didn’t have much of a reputation for period drama until recently (unless you count The Crown, which is hurtling towards the present day). But everything changed in the lockdown Christmas of 2020, when the world needed a little cheer. Santa Claus delivered the most glorious series onto the streaming service on 25th December, just in time for us to binge watch with our tins of Quality Street. Based on Julia Quinn’s popular novels, Bridgerton focuses on eight siblings looking for love in sparkling Regency London.

First to meet her match was Daphne, played by Phoebe Dynevor, who started a fake love affair with the smouldering Duke of Hastings, aka breakout star and potential Bond Rege-Jean Page, while the recently released season two saw the focus shift to Anthony Bridgerton and his relationship with new character Kate Sharma. Fun and fresh, with brilliant performances, lavish costumes, and a modern soundtrack, the series is a joyous distraction from everyday life and has once again gone down a storm. – Emma Bullimore

Human Resources

Human Resources

Netflix

The spin-off from Big Mouth – the successful cartoon series loosely based on the adolescences of creators Nick Kroll and Andrew Goldberg – Netflix’s Human Resources introduces us to the bizarre and hilarious behind-the-scenes world of the monsters who guide their human “clients” through their emotions, from Hormone Monsters and Love-bugs to Shame Wizards and Hate Worms.

Saturday Night Live’s Aidy Bryant joins the starry voice cast as Emmy, an alcoholic, sex-obsessed Love-bug who just doesn’t get the importance of her job until she’s thrown into the deep end with her first client, a mother suffering from postnatal depression. The series retains the same zany feel of Big Mouth, but with the freedom to tackle more adult subjects – combined with workplace dramas and romances comparable to The Office. – Flora Carr

Inventing Anna

Inventing Anna

Netflix

If you haven’t yet watched Netflix crime drama series Inventing Anna, you may want to catch up: the zeitgeist drama has already spawned a Saturday Night Live parody and multiple, infinitely quotable catchphrases (“VIP is always better, Vivian”; “I can pay…”).

The series is inspired by real events, telling the true story behind Russian-born fake German heiress Anna Sorokin (Julia Garner) – the fraudster who conned New York high society out of thousands – and the magazine journalist determined to tell Anna’s story. Vivian (Anna Chlumsky) is a fictionalised version of journalist Jessica Pressler, who first broke the wild true story back in 2017, and who in the series battles both millionaires and her own editors in order to get the story out. – Flora Carr

The Last Kingdom

Game of Thrones fans should feel right at home in The Last Kingdom, an action-packed drama series partly inspired by real British history. Alexander Dreymon (American Horror Story) plays fierce warrior Uhtred of Bebbanburg, who was born to a Saxon nobleman but raised among Danish invaders. Torn between these two clashing worlds, he is forced to choose a side as the war for England rages on.

Dreymon is the breakout star of the show, with his roguish character embarking on many compelling quests as he strives to reclaim the land that is rightfully his. David Dawson (Year of the Rabbit) also earned acclaim for his performance as the pious King Alfred, who is both friend and foe to Uhtred at various stages in his life. Their complex bond is an electric component of the first three seasons.

Based on the popular novels by author Bernard Cornwell, The Last Kingdom began life as a BBC Two drama before later converting to a Netflix original. While it’s never enjoyed the hefty budget of George RR Martin’s fantasy epic, the show has nevertheless orchestrated some ambitious battles across its five-season run – with no shortage of swords, horses and, inevitably, blood. – David Craig

Rick and Morty

After a period of exclusivity on All4, the latest episodes of Rick and Morty are now available to stream on Netflix. If you haven’t yet taken the plunge into the smash-hit animated series, let us warn you it certainly isn’t for kids. The story follows genius inventor and intergalactic outlaw Rick, who takes his grandson Morty on adventures that frequently take a disturbing turn. But between the shock value moments is well-told human story about a family barely holding itself together.

Rick and Morty season 5 was another strong effort from creators Dan Harmon and Justin Roiland, in collaboration with their crack team of sci-fi writers, throwing dozens more zany concepts into the mix and continuing some long-running plot threads from earlier in the series. Most notably, fans have become fascinated by the existence of an evil Morty, whose actions in the finale have the potential to alter the show’s eccentric universe. – David Craig

The Andy Warhol Diaries

Fans of the legendary Andy Warhol should check out this new six-part docuseries, which is inspired by the memoirs he dictated before his death. Hearing defining moments from his life described in his own words gives us a remarkable insight into the mind of this enigmatic individual, while a wide range of interviewees offer added commentary on his state of being.

Adding some extra credibility to the proceedings is director Andrew Rossi, who has tackled similarly complex stories in the past with factual pieces on true crime cases and societal issues like the dissemination of fake news. While some might feel he could have been a little more disciplined in the editing room, The Andy Warhol Diaries remains a riveting watch. – David Craig

Cat Burglar

Cat Burglar is Netflix’s new animated special, following the exploits of the titular cat burglar, who must avoid Peanut the Security Pup in order to snatch a priceless painting in a museum. But there’s a big twist: you, the viewer, must answer trivia-like questions at intervals so that the show’s hero can sneak past Peanut. If you don’t answer correctly, then you can expect Rowdy Cat to face a suitable punishment.

The series comes from Charlie Brooker, the creator of Black Mirror’s choose-your-own-adventure story Bandersnatch. With grisly cartoonish violence harking back to the glory days of cartoons – think Tom and Jerry, Top Cat and Looney Toons – and dozens of storyline detours and animation sequences to explore (over an hour and a half of in fact), Cat Burglar is an entertaining ride and offers a great nostalgia trip for cartoon fans.

Love Is Blind

Believe it or not, in a time before the pandemic we fell in love with a show all about self isolation. Love is Blind is the dating show with a difference that took the world by storm in early 2020. The premise was simple, yet also quite extreme… 30 men and women were looking for love and entered a show centred on speed dating. They would enter a pod where they could talk with a prospective partner, but never meet them. The couple would only meet with each other if they got married.

We got adorable romances (we’re looking at you, Lauren and Cameron!), high drama, a runaway bride and so many awkward moments we don’t have enough space within this entry to name them all. If you love shows like Love Island and The Bachelor, you can’t miss Love is Blind. Plus, season two landed on the streamer in February 2022, so there’s never been a better time to catch up with the gang. – Helen Daly

All Of Us Are Dead

The latest hit South Korean series to land on Netflix is this killer coming-of-age zombie drama, which follows a group of teenagers as they attempt to engineer an escape from their high school – which has become ground zero for a zombie virus outbreak.

Across 12 episodes there are plenty of thrills and chills, as well as no shortage of emotional moments thanks to some excellent character work. It’s not a show for the faint-hearted, with plenty of blood and gore on show throughout, but if you can deal with the gruesome moments then this should prove another fiercely addictive series. – Patrick Cremona

It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia

Now the longest-running American sitcom ever, It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia recently aired season 15 and thankfully for UK fans, it is now finally on Netflix! The black comedy stars Rob McElhenney, Charlie Day, Glenn Howerton, Kaitlin Olson and Danny DeVito as a group of narcissistic, selfish friends running a bar in Philadelphia together and getting into various scrapes. Darkly hilarious and incredibly bingeable, It’s Always Sunny still stands up as one of the silliest, outrageous sitcoms out there. – Lauren Morris

The Woman in the House Across the Street from the Girl in the Window

It takes less time to get hooked on Netflix’s latest thriller parody The Woman in the House Across the Street from the Girl in the Window than it does to say the full title, which has to be one of the longest in the streamer’s history.

Starring Kristen Bell, The Woman in the House follows Anna – a broken woman with a fear of the rain who spends her days staring out of her window with a huge glass of red wine in her hand. When a handsome neighbour moves over the road, Anna begins to feel hopeful about her life – but she soon witnesses a murder that makes her question everything, including her own sanity.

While a bit hit-and-miss on the jokes front, this deadpan delight brings something new to Netflix and features excellent performances from Tom Riley, Mary Holland and Cameron Britton. – Lauren Morris

Snowpiercer

This TV adaptation of Bong Joon-ho’s superbly whacky sci-fi film of the same name (which was in turn based on the graphic novel Le Transperceneige) is now into its third season, with new episodes being released weekly during the first part of 2022. Since the first season, the already impressive cast has been further bolstered by the additions of Sean Bean and Archie Panjabi (in seasons 2 and 3 respectively) and the show has now majorly deviated from the source material.

As ever, the bulk of the action takes place on a train that endlessly circles the Earth following a tragic climate disaster that has left the whole planet frozen over and completely uninhabitable. Within that set-up, the show examines the relations between different characters on the train, which has come to adopt a rigid class system that eventually leads to a major revolt from those on the lowest rung of society.

However in the third run, with the train now split into two, some more time is devoted to life off Snowpiercer – with news reaching Layton and his gang of revolutionaries that parts of the world are now warm enough for human life to survive. Cue the arrival of Asha (Panjabi), one of those survivors. – Patrick Cremona

Ozark

The last seven episodes in the fourth and final season of Netflix hit Ozark have finally landed on Netflix – and it’s definitely been worth the wait.

Ozark revolves around Marty Byrde (Jason Bateman) and the obstacles he and his family encounter after joining forces with a Mexican drug cartel. Season 4 part 2 finds Marty and Wendy on damage control, trying to stop a grieving Ruth from exacting her vengeance on cartel kingpin Javi. Could their time be finally running out?

With the tiniest wrong move threatening to finish off the entire Byrde family, this enthralling series certainly keeps you hooked, so why not check out Ozark season 4 on Netflix – if nothing else, you’ll enjoy stellar performances from Bateman and Linney. – Molly Moss

Cheer

A lot has happened since the Navarro College Bulldogs Cheerleading Team first came under the spotlight in the first season of the documentary series Cheer in 2020, and this follow-up series examines how the squad has fared in the intervening months.

In particular, the new run explores how the team dealt with their newfound fame, the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, and some serious accusations which were levelled against their former teammate Jerry Harris after the first season was released (Harris denies any wrongdoing).

Meanwhile, there is also more focus on the Bulldogs rivals – Trinity Valley Community College’s The Cardinals – who are very focused on besting their competitors at the upcoming NCAA National Championship. – Patrick Cremona

Lost in Space

This sci-fi offering from Netflix may have flown under your radar, not getting quite the same level of the attention as some of the streamer’s other blockbuster originals. But now is the perfect time to catch up as the third and final season has dropped, earning acclaim from critics and bringing this saga to a satisfying end. That means there’s no need to fret about an abrupt cancellation leaving major plot threads unresolved; a fate that has befallen many other cult favourite shows over the years.

Toby Stephens (Black Sails) and Molly Parker (House of Cards) lead the cast as a couple who venture into space on a colonising mission with their kids that soon goes awry, leaving them – as the title suggests – lost in space. They’ll have to work together if they have any hope of surviving and making their way back to civilisation, facing some perilous threats along the way – as well as making a new ally in a mysterious alien robot.

Lost In Space has been praised for its emotional story arcs, strong performances and stunning visual effects, with most fans agreeing that the show only gets better as it proceeds, rather than suffering a dip in quality during its run. If you have fond memories of the classic 1965 series on which this show is inspired, you can rest assured that Netflix’s iteration is a fitting tribute. – David Craig

True Story

Stand-up comedian turned actor Kevin Hart shows a more dramatic side in this recently released miniseries, where he plays Philadelphia-born movie star Kid, a character not dissimilar from is real-world persona. At the start of the story, he’s on top of the world, performing a sellout tour and celebrating the success of a billion dollar blockbuster. However, things take a dark turn after a night out with his brother Carlton (Wesley Snipes), as the woman he goes home with dies in his hotel room from an overdose – a fact that both of them are keen to cover-up.

True Story is not up there with the best crime thrillers Netflix has produced, with a plot containing twists that can easily be considered silly and predictable. But nevertheless, the show succeeds in sinking its hooks into you, as it keeps you guessing over whether Kid can salvage his career from this nightmare or if his misdeeds will be exposed for the world to see. Snipes and Hart do a good job selling the sometimes questionable material, while the 30-minute episodes keep the show feeling relatively fast-paced. You could easily binge in a weekend! – David Craig

Read more: Is Netflix’s True Story really a True Story?

Narcos: Mexico

Original show Narcos continued to be a must-watch despite the exit of central character Pablo Escobar, and Narcos: Mexico has found an identity all on its own with a brand new cast of characters. As Narcos charted the establishment of Colombia’s illegal drug trade up to the 1990s, this spin-off does the same for Mexico, rewinding back to the 1980s to explore the rise and fall of the infamous Guadalajara Cartel.

While there are a few notable guest appearances from key characters from the original Narcos series, Narcos: Mexico tells a largely separate story with a brand new cast of cartel leaders, DEA agents and politicians – yet retains the same stellar production values, impeccable acting in multiple different languages and of course the show’s signature violence. A mostly Mexican cast shines, with Rogue One’s Diego Luna playing against type as a drug trafficker who is as charismatic as he is brutal, while Michael Peña showcases his dramatic chops as agent Kiki Camarena, a DEA agent whose name has gone down in history in both the organisation and the country of Mexico.

The Narcos saga comes to an end with the third season of Narcos: Mexico, and together the two shows have done the near-impossible job of dramatising the sprawling story of the war on drugs – bringing us right up to the modern world where the war continues to rage. – Daniel Furn

Selling Sunset

A surprise hit of the last year came in the form of Selling Sunset, a reality TV show centred on The Oppenheim Group in Los Angeles. The group operates in the wealthiest parts of LA selling multi-million dollar homes to those lucky enough to afford them. The glamour is high throughout with more pairs of Louboutins than we can count on both hands, and enviable outfits are a must. But what’s most alluring with Selling Sunset, is the drama.

The series is packed to the brim with gossip even the Kardashians couldn’t produce and there’s enough backstabbing to keep you gripped throughout the seasons. There are weddings, babies, fall out and some seriously pricey properties which might well make for the perfect recipe for a reality show. Tune in before the highly-anticipated new series comes later in 2021. – Helen Daly

Arcane: League of Legends

Video game adaptations don’t have the best track record, so you’d be forgiven for being sceptical about whether Arcane is worth your valuable time. However, rest assured that it most definitely is. The animated series is inspired by the online phenomenon League of Legends, but you don’t require any knowledge of the source material to be enraptured by its larger-than-life characters or get lost in its rich fantasy world.

The story follows Vi (Hawkeye’s Hailee Steinfeld), a brave teenage girl living in the impoverished Zaun, an underground city located beneath the technologically advanced haven of Piltover. On one of her trips to the surface, she plans to burgle the home of an affluent academic with help from a few friends, but gets more than she bargained for when they cause a massive explosion after mishandling one of their target’s experiments – setting the enforcers on their trail.

Not only does Arcane boast a compelling story and strong character work, but it also stands out among the crowded animated landscape with a beautiful art style that blends 2D and 3D animation to create a truly unique look. There are some breathtaking moments in just the first three episodes, with many more to come as Netflix continues a phased rollout of the series throughout November. Give it a chance, you won’t regret it! – David Craig

Tiger King

It’s up for debate whether Tiger King’s success can be attributed to the quality of the zany documentary series or to the fact that it enjoyed a captive audience, with most of us locked in our homes as the COVID-19 pandemic took hold. The muted response to the second season suggests it might well be the latter, but there’s still plenty of fun to be had from this fascinatingly bizarre story – particularly now that we can enjoy post-lockdown viewing parties.

If you (somehow) missed the first season or just need a refresher, Tiger King centres on outlandish zookeeper Joe Exotic, whose amateur big cat enclosures become the target of animal rights activist Carole Baskin, who is quite the character herself. Filmmakers Eric Goode and Rebecca Chaiklin tell the story of their epic feud, which ends with one of them being thrown in jail, while taking occasional detours to examine some of America’s other notorious big cat owners. – David Craig

Locke and Key

Based on an acclaimed comic book, Locke and Key has a premise that will likely prove irresistible to fans of dark fantasy. After the tragic and violent death of their father, the Locke family moves to their ancestral home in the quaint town of Matheson, Massachusetts, where youngest son Bode soon makes an unbelievable discovery. Within the grand old house are magical keys that – when put in the correct doors – give the holder the ability to do incredible things.

Whether it’s leaving your physical body to float around on the astral plane or taking a trip into your mind to literally remove your demons, there is virtually no limit to what is possible with these mysterious magical artefacts. But such power is sure to attract malicious forces looking to wield it for their own nefarious purposes, with the Locke children soon getting swept up in something more dangerous than they could ever have imagined.

Netflix’s Locke and Key does justice to the source material with a faithful and suspenseful adaptation, which packs some impressive visual effects and likeable performances. It’s true that some of the high school drama is littered with tropes we’ve seen before, but the main plot is compelling enough to make it worth sticking through those segments. A second season is out now and Netflix has already ordered a third, so make sure you’re caught up if you want to avoid spoilers. – David Craig

Inside Job

Recent events and the advent of social media have made conspiracy theories more prevalent – and powerful – than ever, so it’s good to see a sitcom attempt to see the funny side. Inside Job follows the employees of shadowy government organisation Cognito, where it turns out every conspiracy – from lizard-people to JFK’s assassination to robot presidents – is real, and it’s up to anti-social genius Reagan Ridley and her co-workers to keep them out of public view. Cue a workplace comedy unlike any other, with just about every conspiracy theory imaginable getting a hilarious explanation or knowing reference.

An intriguing mix of Rick and Morty, Men in Black and The Office, Inside Job comes from creator Alex Hirsch, creator of cult favourite Gravity Falls, and certainly retains the wacky humour of his previous projects. Thankfully, Inside Job builds upon its interesting premise with whip-smart and often meta comedy, sharp satire of real-world issues and uniquely oddball characters, with a nice subversion of the lonely tortured genius trope. The Inside Job cast does a great job too, made up of the talents of Lizzy Caplan, Mr. Robot’s Christian Slater and The US Office’s Clark Duke. – Daniel Furn

My Name

It certainly didn’t hurt that Korean series My Name arrived so soon after the phenomenal success of Squid Game – but it also helped that the revenge thriller is rather good on its own merits. Climbing high among Top 10 charts around the world upon its release, My Name opens with teenager Yoon Ji-woo tragically witnessing her father’s murder. Intent on revenge, Ji-woo begs a crime boss to join her father’s old gang, who train her up – and then send her into the police as an undercover agent to find the cop who killed her father.

On paper My Name may sound like the many predictable revenge thrillers that have come before, but soon proves itself to be much, much more, thanks in a large part to the many dynamic action sequences and a fittingly pulse-pounding soundtrack. However My Name never loses sight of the character drama, exploring how Ji-woo gives up far more than her name when she goes undercover – erasing her whole identity and at risk of turning into a monster to achieve revenge. Much of this rests on the shoulders of Korean star Han So-hee – who ably carries the show in a tour de force performance as she nails both her role as an action heroine and the more emotional moments as her character goes through the absolute wringer. – Daniel Furn

The Chestnut Man

Scandi-noir has been all the rage since The Killing burst onto British screens over a decade ago, so it was only a matter of time before there too was a Netflix series filled with bleak landscapes, chunky jackets and peaceful communities hiding dark secrets. The Chestnut Man is a prime example of the genre, following two detectives investigating a grisly murder scene, which has been mysteriously decorated by a figurine made out of chestnuts. This creepy clue soon launches the detectives into a hunt for a politician’s missing child – and the serial killer linked to his disappearance.

The appeal of Scandi-noir has long been documented and discussed, and although The Chestnut Man doesn’t necessarily reinvent the genre it does sit amongst the best of Scandinavia’s crime drama exports. Featuring a bleak autumnal atmosphere, a suspenseful slow-burn mystery and Scandi-noir’s trademark focus on domestic issues, all combined with Netflix’s excellent production values… need we say any more? Plus, you’ll never look at chestnuts the same way again… – Daniel Furn

Squid Game

If you’re one of the few people on Earth who are yet to see viral sensation Squid Game, then you are in for one wild, violent and thought-provoking ride. The breakout South Korean series follows several indebted individuals who are given the chance to compete for 45.6 billion-won prize, and all they have to do is play popular children’s games. However these aren’t quite the same harmless activities from our youth – with losers brutally murdered in their hundreds.

Despite arriving on Netflix with little promotion outside of Korea, Squid Game is on track to become the streaming service’s biggest show of all time, becoming a bonafide pop culture phenomenon complete with social media challenges, fan cosplays and a surge in popularity in the show’s dalgona candy. It’s easy to see why – Squid Game is simply great television that is well acted, tightly written, sharply directed, as well as acting as a critique of the predatory competition a capitalist society inspires. But even those not looking for a social commentary will finding something to enjoy, with plenty of white-knuckle survival sequences – made all the more effective because the compelling human drama means we actually care about the characters. – Daniel Furn

Maid

Maid’s arrival may have been somewhat overshadowed by the unexpected success of Squid Game, but this grounded and sensitive comedy-drama is the perfect detox after the South Korean killer game series. Based on the New York Times bestseller Maid: Hard Work, Low Pay, and a Mother’s Will to Survive, Maid stars Margaret Qualley (Once Upon a Time in Hollywood) as Alex, a young single mother who has recently fled an abusive relationship. She then turns to cleaning houses, contending with occasionally repellent work, low pay and the ongoing impacts of domestic abuse as she attempts to give her young daughter a better life.

Maid’s premise may seem less ambitious or inventive than other shows on the streamer, but it’s the unflinching realism that gives the show its edge – not only for its accurate depiction of those living on the poverty line, but also for showing how domestic abuse is not always physical. The show is anchored by a standout performance by Qualley as the resilient Alex who is determined to rewrite her life and redefine her worth, but she is helped by a strong supporting cast – with some of the best scenes featuring the interactions between Alex and her mentally ill mother, played by screen legend Andie MacDowell. – Daniel Furn

Midnight Mass

It’s become something of a tradition for Netflix to release a new limited series from Mike Flanagan just in time for spooky season, and this year’s offering is the brilliantly creepy Midnight Mass. Unlike his two previous series for the streamer, the Hauntings of Hill House and Bly Manor, this new series is not based on an existing work of horror fiction – but is instead a wholly original work, in part inspired by Flanagan’s past as an altar boy in the Catholic Church.

The series is set on the isolated community of Crockett Island, which is suddenly shaken by a couple of new arrivals – most notably that of a charismatic but rather mysterious new priest by the name of Father Paul, who claims to be filling in for the parish’s long-serving Monsignor John Pruitt. When Paul appears to start performing miracles, the faith of Crockett’s inhabitants is put to the test – and some of them are more skeptical than others about what this new priest has planned.

A challenging, ambitious and thrillingly unique new series, Midnight Mass packs in some great frights, intriguing discussions and one or two moments that will live long in the memory of those who watch. – Patrick Cremona

Sex Education

With season three of comedy-drama Sex Education now arriving, there couldn’t be a better time to visit Moordale Secondary School and its puberty-stricken, lovelorn, angsty students. Created by Laurie Nunn, this Netflix original stars Hugo’s Asa Butterfield as Otis Milburn, an insecure teen who struggles with his mum Jean (Gillian Anderson) being a very candid sex therapist. While initially desperate to distance himself from his mum’s line of work, he finds himself inadvertently helping the school bully with his sexual performance anxiety and subsequently sets up his own sex advice clinic with troubled classmate Maeve (Emma Mackey).

A hilarious, heart-warming and at times infuriating comedy-drama about the ins-and-outs of teenage adolescence, Sex Education is well worth the watch for the performances alone – Ncuti Gatwa shines as Otis’s openly gay best friend Eric, while Aimee Lou Wood (Maeve’s friend Aimee) comes into her element in season 2. – Lauren Morris

Jack Whitehall: Travels With My Father

Jack Whitehall is becoming quite the name in Hollywood after starring with the likes of The Rock and Emily Blunt in Jungle Cruise, but luckily for fans of his travel show, he still finds time for some highly unconventional father-son bonding. As the title suggests, Jack Whitehall: Travels with My Father sees the titular charismatic actor and comedian go sightseeing with his stuffy and old-fashioned father. It’s no surprise that the two don’t exactly have the same idea of an ideal holiday – cue humorous antics from the mismatched pair across South East Asia, Eastern Europe, western US, Australia and a final trip in the UK.

Shows in which comedians see the world with a family member are a dime a dozen these days, but Travels With My Father has a secret weapon: Michael Whitehall. Just as funny as his comedian son – and at times even more so – the former talent agent’s wry put-downs and grumpy reactions have given him quite the fan base, and led to his inclusion in more father-son comedy specials with hopefully many more to come. Not that Jack is not pulling his weight, as his usual zany antics and self-deprecating humour provide the perfect foil – but he also opens up during some of the show’s surprisingly emotional moments. – Daniel Furn

Lucifer

Miranda star Tom Ellis has completely reinvented his image with this fantasy drama, going from innocent chef next door Gary to the literal Lord of Hell. Impressive! But an even greater accomplishment is the dedicated fandom this series has built up since its debut back in 2016, with legions of so called “Lucifans” ready to defend it to the ends of the earth.

The show follows the devil himself, Lucifer Morningstar, after he relocates from hell to Los Angeles and begins solving murder cases with the local police department. He quickly strikes up a bond with detective Chloe Decker (Lauren German) and their romance becomes the focal point of the show, with no shortage of obstacles in their path to happiness.

It’s a slightly odd show that occasionally pokes fun at its own eccentric premise, which plays out like Midsomer Murders meets Twilight. The show holds a dear place in the heart of many viewers, as proven by the staggering one million tweets that were sent to protest its premature cancellation by FOX in 2018 – prompting Netflix to rescue the show and renew it for an additional three seasons. – David Craig

Money Heist

Heist thrillers have to walk a fine line between realistic – or at least believable – burglary schemes and enough tension-filled twists and turns to keep things entertaining – and it’s a balance that Money Heist (mostly) manages to pull off. Money Heist dedicates several seasons each to two heists planned by the enigmatic criminal mastermind The Professor, who recruits an unusual group of robbers named after cities to take hostages in key financial centres in Madrid. However, mistakes, emotional dynamics and impulsive relationships on both sides on the heist mean the plans soon go wrong – and robbers, hostages and police alike are all in a race to outwit each other before it’s too late.

Initially regarded as a failure after first airing on Spanish TV, Money Heist was added to Netflix with little fanfare and barely any promotion – yet still became an absolute worldwide phenomenon, with a whole new audience falling in love with The Professor and his Dali-masked accomplices while a certain earworm swept the European charts. It was enough for Netflix to order three additional seasons, the last of which is split into two parts with the final instalment arriving in December 2021.

The heist genre gets subverted in this crime caper, which uses a female narrator, a Spanish cultural lens and a twisty-turny narrative to update the long-running formula with a series where the complex characters and their relationships matter just as much as the actual heist. A few unnecessary love triangles mean the show veers dangerously close to soap opera territory in later seasons – but at its best Money Heist is a smart, inventive and utterly gripping series that truly deserves its status as one of the most-watched non-English language shows in the world. – Daniel Furn

The Chair

Sandra Oh takes a beak from cat-and-mouse hunts with psychopaths in Killing Eve in order to star in The Chair, a rather different show exploring sexism, racism and ageism entrenched in the staunchly traditional world of academia through a highly satirical lens. The series follows Oh’s Professor Ji-Yoon Kim, the first woman of colour to become chair at a prestigious university. Ji-Yoon must then navigate the dizzying pressure of her new position, save the failing English department and navigate her relationships with her crush, an inventive up-and-coming colleague as well as strong-willed adoptive daughter Ju Ju.

After making her name in life-or-death dramas such as Grey’s Anatomy and the aforementioned Killing Eve, it’s highly refreshing to see Oh show off her comedic chops, consistently hilarious as a professor constantly at the end of her tether yet still managing to exude wit and warmth to those around her. Showrunner Amanda Peet takes academia – a world still largely unexplored onscreen – and explores the modern issues within, finding the comedy in this nuanced take as Ji-Yoon fights to save an education system that struggles to accept her. The show could have done with a bit more time to fully examine the many complex topics it throws up – six half-hour episodes go quick – but Oh’s performance and great writing still make this a must-watch. – Daniel Furn

Hit and Run

Israeli series Hit and Run dominated Netflix’s top ten charts for several weeks after its release, proving the platform is the perfect home for international drama following the success of shows such as Money Heist and Lupin. The series follows Segev Azulai, a happily married man whose life is turned upside down after his wife is killed in a hit and run in Tel Aviv. Soon discovering the incident was no mere accident, Segev heads to the US along with ex-lover Naomi Hicks to look for answers – but perhaps wishes he hadn’t after finding some disturbing secrets…

Hit and Run was co-created by writer-journalist Avi Issacharof, who was also behind acclaimed war drama and fellow international hit Fauda. With two other co-creators formerly writers and executive producers on The Killing, there was certainly a high standard set for Hit and Run – which it easily reaches with so many twists, turns and action that it truly lives up to the definition of a thriller and then some. Netflix has had a good run with mystery thrillers following hits such as The Stranger and You, and Hit and Run is the latest addition that will have you reaching for the ‘next episode’ button. – Daniel Furn

Untold

After releasing excellent Michael Jordan documentary The Last Dance in 2020, Netflix is soon becoming home to high-quality sports docuseries, and Untold is one of the latest well-reviewed additions to the roster. As the title suggests, the series examines previously untold stories or provides new perspectives to people and events from across the world of sport, covering remarkable incidents from tennis, boxing, basketball and more.

The first subject is Untold: Malice at the Palace, which provides a re-contextualisation of the infamous Pacers-Pistons NBA brawl of 2004 that involved both teams and spectators, re-examining the role of the fans after the media largely blamed the players. The reshaping of established narratives is a theme that continues in later episodes, with attention turning to topics such as the rise and fall of boxer Christy Martin, the athletic career of Caitlyn Jenner and Mardy Fish’s decision to withdraw from the US Open due to struggles with anxiety.

While each episode is presented as feature-length films running at 75-90 minutes, they are all part of the Untold series created by brothers Chapman Way and Maclain Way, the team behind Netflix‘s true crime hit Wild Wild Country. After a triumphant and somewhat eventful return to live sport in 2021, the time is perfect for an engaging, thought-producing exploration of sport and public perception. – Daniel Furn

Atypical

Robia Rashid’s comedy-drama about a teenager on the autism spectrum recently returned to Netflix for a fourth and final season, so why not binge-watch the hit series from the beginning?

Atypical follows 18-year-old Sam Gardner (played by Keir Gilchrist), who works at local appliance store Techtropolis and is obsessed with penguins and Antarctica. At the start of the series he begins to explore the world of online dating.

The show also focuses on Sam’s family, including matriarch Elsa, who begins a flirtation and later extra-marital affair with a bartender; and Casey, Sam’s younger, athletic sister who begins to have romantic feelings for a close friend. – Flora Carr

Never Have I Ever

Created by Mindy Kaling and Lang Fisher, this joyful coming-of-age comedy-drama recently launched its second series, once again following Devi (Maitreyi Ramakrishnan) as she attempts to improve her social status in high school while simultaneously dealing with her (almost literally) crippling grief.

Before the events of Never Have I Ever, Devi’s beloved father had a heart attack and died during a school concert in her freshman year, after which she lost the use of her legs for three months. But it’s a new school year, and Devi is desperate to forge a new identity for herself, beyond both her public loss and her fiery temper (appropriately, famously quick-tempered tennis player John McEnroe narrates the show).

The series is laugh-out-loud funny, and has been widely praised for its South Asian representation and for breaking Asian stereotypes. – Flora Carr

Young Royals

Swedish-language, coming-of-age boarding school drama Young Royals takes the well-worn “love versus duty” predicament and turns it on its head, telling the story of a Swedish prince who is packed off following a public scandal.

Prince Wilhelm (Edvin Ryding) is the disaffected, second-born royal prince, but he still feels suffocated by the weight of expectation placed upon him. At Hillerska (a fictional, prestigious boarding school in Sweden, where Young Royals was filmed), he’s expected to mix with Sweden’s most elite teenagers; but he finds himself drawn to ostracised scholarship student Simon, who is shown to be (almost literally) from the ‘wrong side of the tracks’.

While the series feels predictable in some places (you can find out more in our non-spoiler Young Royals review), in others the heartfelt six-part drama subverts the viewer’s expectations completely, with a gut-wrenching twist. – Flora Carr

Feel Good

When it comes to Netflix comedy-dramas, you don’t get much better than Feel Good – Mae Martin’s semi-autobiographical series that will have you laughing one minute and crying the next.

The romcom stars Martin as Canadian comedian and ex-cocaine addict Mae, who meets repressed middle-class woman George (Charlotte Ritchie) at a comedy club and the two strike up a relationship. Following the couple as they face hurdles in their intense relationship, from George’s hesitancy to introduce Mae as her girlfriend to Mae’s addiction past, the series is an intimate, hilarious and yet utterly heart-breaking look at complex queer relationships.

While Ritchie and Martin stand out in Feel Good, Friends star Lisa Kudrow is always a scene-stealer in the few episodes she appears in as Mae’s uptight, cold mother, while the likes of Sophie Thompson, The Umbrella Academy’s Ritu Arya, Ophelia Lovibond, Adrian Lukis and Anthony Head fill out the rest of the talented cast. – Lauren Morris.

I Think You Should Leave with Tim Robinson

Returning for a third season, Saturday Night Live star Tim Robinson’s absurd sketch show is back for more of the strangest yet most side-splitting hours of television on Netflix. The first season became the breakout critical hit of 2019 for its offbeat, irreverent and wholly original reinvention of the format, with sketches including a man singing yacht rock at his mother’s funeral, a hotdog car crashing into a clothes shop and an octogenarian at a car focus group that has become a viral sensation.

Robinson’s sketches are undeniably bizarre, but what makes them work is that they are (mostly) deeply relatable, with the comedian targeting the usual cringe-worthy situations and social faux pas before hijacking them to extreme levels of absurdity. Better Call Saul’s Bob Odenkirk and Cruella’s Paul Walter Houser are among the celebrities joining in the surreal skits in season two, joining an already impressive list of guest stars that has previously included Andy Samberg, Will Forte and Steven Yeun. – Daniel Furn.

Lupin

Part Two of French mystery thriller Lupin arrived on Netflix last week and quickly shot up the platform’s Top 10 most-watched list, with fans desperate to check back in with ‘gentleman thief’ Assane after Part One’s tense cliffhanger.

If you haven’t yet streamed Lupin, then you’re seriously missing out. The ever-charismatic Omar Sy stars as Assane Diop, a man seeking revenge against the creepy tycoon Hubert Pellegrini (Hervé Pierre), who framed his late father Babakar for a crime he didn’t commit 25 years prior. Inspired by the adventures of literary icon Arsène Lupin – (think a French combination of Sherlock Holmes and Robin Hood) – Assane sets out to harness Lupin’s powers of persuasion to get justice for his father.

An exciting, gripping and action-filled heist caper featuring a terrific performance from Sy, Lupin is guaranteed to steal your heart. – Lauren Morris

Sweet Tooth

If you’re looking for your next fantasy obsession, then look no further. Now available to stream on Netflix is Sweet Tooth – a post-apocalyptic fantasy drama executive produced by Marvel mensch Robert Downey Jr.

Starring The Last Man on Earth star Will Forte and Game of Thrones’s Nonso Anozie, the eight-parter follows Gus (Christian Convery) – a half-human, half-deer living secretly in the Nebraskan woods with his sickly father in a time when humanity has been nearly wiped out by a deadly virus. With the remaining humans unsure whether the virus caused the human-animal hybrids or vice versa, Gus ventures out into a hostile world when his father dies and is rescued by a mysterious loner named Jepperd.

A heartwarming tale of adventure with a post-apocalyptic horror twist, this drama certainly lives up to its name. – Lauren Morris

Young Sheldon

Many fans gave up on The Big Bang Theory towards the end of its whopping twelve-season run – but spin-off Young Sheldon is the perfect refresh for the franchise. As the title suggests, Young Sheldon follows the formative years of the socially impaired genius, beginning with his decision to pursue theoretical physics at nine years old and depicting several events referenced in The Big Bang Theory, including Sheldon starting university aged eleven and his attempt to build a nuclear reactor. However the spotlight extends to include Sheldon’s family also – which includes Sheldon’s mother Mary Cooper (played by the real-life daughter of The Big Bang Theory’s Laurie Metcalf), father George Sr., Sheldon’s beloved Meemaw Constance and siblings Georgie and Missy.

Much of The Big Bang Theory’s geek references and Sheldon’s fish-out-of-water shenanigans remain, but Young Sheldon swaps out much of the adult and sometimes crass humour of its predecessor for a much more family-friendly and wholesome coming-of-age tale. The result is half-hour episodes of pure joy, thanks largely to a wonderfully confident performance by Iain Armitage as young Sheldon, who both nails the mannerisms of his predecessor but also adds his own spin on this more vulnerable and naive version of the character. Jim Parsons returns as narrator and a few references to The Big Bang Theory – though wonderfully restrained – will surely delight long-term fans. –-Daniel Furn

Seinfeld

It’s not often Netflix runs a full-on promotional campaign for an older title joining its library – so you know it must be something special when the streaming service makes quite the commotion over a twenty-five-year-old show. And Seinfeld is certainly special, becoming a pop culture phenomenon, subverting sitcom expectations and giving Friends a run for its money for the ’90s comedy crown.

Seinfeld is famously “a show about nothing”, following Jerry Seinfeld as a fictionalised version of himself, who wrestles with life’s most tricial concerns along with friend George (Jason Alexander), ex-girlfriend Elaine (Julia Louis-Dreyfus) and neighbour Cosmo (Michael Richards).

Seinfeld threw out the sitcom rulebook with morally dubious characters who do not grow as people at all, a staunch refusal to set up a romance between Jerry and Elaine and numerous meta storylines long before they became widely used. It’s a move that seemed to pay off – Seinfeld consistently dominated TV ratings during its run – ending with one of the most-watched finales in history – with its many quirks and catchphrases have since become an eduring piece of pop culture, and its influence on comedy can be still be felt today. – Daniel Furn

Kim’s Convenience

The fifth season of Canadian comedy Kim’s Convenience has just dropped on Netflix, with Paul Sun-Hyung Lee, Jean Yoon, Andrea Bang and Simu Liu reprising their roles as the much-loved Kim family.

Since making its CBC Television debut in 2016, the sitcom from Ins Choi has slowly become a word-of-mouth hit in the UK on Netflix (à la Schitt’s Creek) thanks to its sharp, quick-witted dialogue and comical characters. Set in Toronto, the comedy follows Korean immigrants Sang-il Kim (Sun-Hyung Lee) and Yong-mi Kim (Yoon), whose lives revolve around their corner shop in the Moss Park neighbourhood and their children – university student Janet (Bang) and Jung (Liu). A screw-ball sitcom with bite, Kim’s Convenience is worth a watch if you’re in need of a chuckle. – Lauren Morris

Master of None

Aziz Ansari’s dramedy Master of None is back for a third series, but with a completely different focus this time around. While Ansari reprises his role as Dev (who took centre stage in seasons one and two) a handful of times, the third season shines a spotlight on Denise (Westworld’s Lena Waithe) and her relationship with Alicia (The End of the F***ing World’s Naomi Ackie).

Titled Master of None Presents: Moments in Love, the third season follows Denise, a 37-year-old lesbian novelist, as she navigates her marriage to Alicia, who embarks on an emotional IVF journey. Waithe and Ackie are superb in this five-parter, written by both Ansari and Waithe, with the minimised cast really emphasising Denise and Alicia’s relationship as the season’s key focus point. If you were a fan of Master of None’s first two seasons, you’ll love this long-awaited season three and its rejuvenation of the comedy-drama genre even more. – Lauren Morris

Downton Abbey

If you’ve somehow missed out on the pop culture phenomenon that was Downton Abbey, all six series of the prestigious period drama are now available on Netflix to binge ahead of the upcoming Downton Abbey 2. For the uninitiated, the show follows the Crawley family and their domestic servants in the post-Edwardian era between 1912 and 1926, as the British aristocracy begins a slow and steady decline. Several real-life events and their impact on the British social hierarchy are featured, most notably the sinking of the Titanic, the First World War, the Irish War of Independence and the Beer Hall Putsch.

As well as becoming a sensation in the UK, Downton Abbey also became an international success, leading to Hollywood careers for stars such as Lily James, Dan Stevens and Hugh Bonneville. However several cast members were acting legends in their own right already – with Dame Maggie Smith’s character Violet and her devastating put-downs one of the show’s many highlights. A feature film was released in 2019, with a long-awaited sequel due out in 2022. – Daniel Furn

Castlevania

Netflix is unfurling its wings one last time, as Castlevania bows out with its final season. Following the cliffhanger ending of season three, the forces of Carmilla are ready to rid the world of humans, Isaac questions his loyalties to the vampire world, and Alucard seems to be following in his father’s footsteps.

At its core, Castlevania season four evolves from just being about Trevor Belmont (Richard Armitage) and Sypha Belnades (Alejandra Reynoso). After living Sypha’s life of “adventures and victories”, things descend into the bloody world of Belmont. The bickering duo works together like a vampire-hunting Bonnie and Clyde, with the final season debuting a Belmont-esque Sypha that even swears. There’s also plenty for the pale-skinned Alucard, who is at his most dangerous and shows the toll of what being Dracula’s son really means..

The real highlight though is Jaime Murray’s performance as Carmilla. Not since Buffy butted heads with Drusilla has a vampire villainess been so enigmatic and interesting.

Watch out too for an epic showdown in episode nine – a glorious shower of blood and guts that looks like it’s been pulled directly from a Castlevania game. It’s a symphony of the macabre that becomes one of the most beautiful things we’ve seen on Netflix. – Tom Chapman

The Stranger

Harlan Coben is fast becoming Netflix’s answer to Jed Mercurio, and this series has all the tension and intrigue of Line of Duty. Hot off the heels of his hugely successful series Safe, The Stranger tells the intriguing story of a woman who parachutes into people’s lives, drops bombshells and then disappears as quickly as she arrived.

For example, Adam (played by Richard Armitage) is minding his own business at his son’s football match when The Stranger says hello, tells him his wife faked her most recent pregnancy (and subsequent miscarriage), and then dashes off before he can work out what on earth is going on. Unsurprisingly his life is thrown into a spin and he can’t work out who to trust. B

ut why does this woman want to stir trouble? And how does she find out these closely guarded secrets? With an exceptional cast including Jennifer Saunders, Siobhan Finneran and Dervla Kirwan, the mysteries will keep you guessing right up to the very end. In fact, we still have a couple of questions even though we devoured every episode in record time… – Emma Bullimore

Dark

Netflix’s first German-language show, Dark is a terrific sci-fi series with a superb cast and a plot that redefines the word mind-bending.

Equal parts gritty Nordic Noir mystery, early Twin Peaks and Back to the Future, the show introduces viewers to Jonas – a teenager whose father recently died who gets sucked into a mysterious plot concerning missing children and a portal that leads him to the 1980s.

Ahead of the third and final season, released in 2020, the show set itself a difficult task: with a set-up so complex and a mythology so knotty, it seemed almost impossible the series could tie itself up in a neat little bow and reach a conclusion that would satisfy it’s adoring fanbase.

Thankfully however, it delivered– the final series was another irresistible piece of sci-fi television, equal parts mesmerising and confounding, with a sweeping scope that gave it the sense of a true epic. With its exhilarating finale Dark has earned its place among the list of the very best original series made for the streamer. – Patrick Cremona

The Haunting of Hill House

Henry Thomas in The Haunting of Hill HouseNow this is how you update a classic horror story. Mike Flanagan’s loose adaptation of Shirley Jackson’s classic novel of the same name is a stylish, heartbreaking and – most importantly terrifying – piece of television, one of the finest horror series to ever air on the small screen.

At its heart is a group of five siblings, Steven, Shirley, Theodora, Luke, and Eleanor (Nell), whose lives continue to be profoundly affected by a traumatic incident they experienced in their childhood, while staring at the eponymous property. When another tragedy strikes, the family is brought together once again, finally getting the chance to confront their ongoing trauma. The series flits between both timelines and is awash with superb performances – with Victoria Pedretti and Oliver Jackson-Cohen among the standouts.

It was followed in 2020 by The Haunting of Bly Manor, a different story from the same creative team, this time finding inspiration in the work of Henry James, and specifically his novella The Turn of the Screw. Although not quite at the same level as its predecessor, it was another ambitious and bold series once again using ghosts as a means of exploring trauma and grief in an endlessly inventive way. – Patrick Cremona

Good Girls

Christina Hendricks, Rette and Mae Whitman in Good GirlsConsidering the phenomenal success of Desperate Housewives, it’s unbelievable how few shows have tried to replicate its very specific appeal. While the premise of Good Girls is different, DH fans will love its vibe – the show gives us three leading ladies, living ordinary lives but facing extraordinary plot lines, wading through dangerous situations with humour and a perfect blow dry.

We’re also given three stellar actresses at the top of their game – Retta from Parks and Rec, Mad Men’s Christina Hendricks and Arrested Development’s Mae Whitman – playing women who all have legitimate reasons for needing a cash injection in their lives. They hatch a misjudged plan to rob a local grocery store, only to discover that a serious gang had their eye on the same payday.

Spin forward a bit and three quietly brilliant housewives find themselves drawn into a life of crime, with brilliantly addictive results. Fresh, funny and fearless, the show is now on its fourth season, but still seems to fly under the radar. It never quite had the fanfare of Dead to Me, but the show is just as easy to obsess over. Give it a try. – Emma Bullimore

13 Reasons Why

Hugely popular Netflix hit 13 Reasons Why came to an end in 2020 after four seasons, and while the teen drama generated a lot of controversy for its depiction of suicide, sexual assault and bullying, it raked in millions of viewers over its four-year run. Executive produced by Selena Gomez and based on Jay Asher’s novel of the same name, 13 Reasons Why stars Dylan Minnette as Clay, a teenager who receives a collection of cassettes recorded by Hannah Baker (Katherine Langford) – a classmate of his who recently died by suicide. As he listens to the tapes one by one, he discovers what drove Hannah to end her life and how 12 people at their school, including himself, were responsible in some way.

The show’s approach to incredibly dark and gravely serious matters of mental health isn’t as thoughtful, sensitive or tactful as it should be considering its teen target audience and on this front, it only seems to get worse as the seasons go on – however, Minnette, Langford and Kate Walsh, who plays Hannah’s mother Olivia, deliver stunning performances as each of their characters emotionally unravel throughout this Netflix drama’s first season. – Lauren Morris

Virgin River

Mel and Jack in Virgin River on NetflixIf you’re a sucker for romantic dramas, then you need to watch Virgin River – the Netflix series based on Robyn Carr’s novels of the same name. Starring The Walking Dead’s Alexandra Breckenridge, this hugely popular series follows midwife Mel Monroe as she moves to the rural North Californian town Virgin River to start a new life and leave her painful past behind in the city. While she continues to battle heartbreak and still agonises over a deep tragic secret, Mel finds herself striking up a connection with local bar owner and former marine Jack Sheridan (Martin Henderson), who’s haunted by his own traumas.

Since arriving on the platform in 2019, Virgin River has regularly dominated Netflix’s top 10 list, with season two even overtaking The Crown to claim the top spot towards the end of last year – which comes as no surprise considering how charming the small-town series is. Packed with endearing characters – from the stubborn yet caring local doctor Doc Mullins (Tim Matheson) to the honourable and kind chef Preacher (Colin Lawrence) – and more love triangles than you’d expect to find in a tiny, unfrequented village, this romantic drama is a warm hug in TV form, so binge-able that you’ll sail through its two seasons in just a few sittings. – Lauren Morris

Homeland

An iconic piece of modern-day television, Homeland ran for almost 10 years and, in this critic’s eyes, will no doubt be looked back on as a defining TV show of the 2010s. However, the drama will probably be best remembered for its first three seasons, charting the cat-and-mouse relationship between Nicholas Brody (Damian Lewis), an American soldier and prisoner of war held captive by al-Qaeda, and Carrie Mathison (Claire Danes), a CIA officer with bipolar disorder.

After Brody returns home to the US and begins debating a career in politics, Carrie becomes convinced that Brody was ‘turned’ during his captivity, and is now working as a double agent. Both Lewis and Danes won Emmy Awards for their roles; and perhaps an even more prestigious recommendation is former President Barack Obama’s well-known love for the show. In the UK, the series was released on Channel 4, with the season one finale drawing in 2.8 million viewers. Mandy Patinkin also stars as Saul Berenson, a CIA chief and Carrie’s mentor; while Morena Baccarin plays Brody’s wife Jessica, who had long assumed her husband was dead and had begun a relationship with his best friend. – Flora Carr

Brooklyn Nine-Nine

When it comes to silly sitcoms, few ever reach the dizzying heights of Brooklyn Nine-Nine – the police procedural comedy starring Andy Samberg. Set in New York City’s fictional 99th precinct, this NBC series (formerly Fox) follows its detectives: the immature but effective Jake Peralta (Samberg), his foodie best friend Charles Boyle (Joe Lo Troglio), hard-as-nails cop Rosa Diaz (Stephanie Beatriz) and bodybuilding lieutenant Terry Jeffords (Terry Crews). Overseen by their overly-formal, monotonous captain Raymond Holt (Andre Braugher), Brooklyn Nine-Nine focuses on the cops’ various cases, their crime-solving attempts and the shenanigans they get up to when they’re not out in the field.

Hilariously wacky, fast-paced and consistently entertaining, all seven series of this Michael Schur-produced sitcom consist of bingeworthy gems, full of stellar guest stars (Nick Kroll, Bill Hader, Kathryn Hahn, Maya Rudolph and Zooey Deschanel among others) and heart-warming moments between the show’s multi-layered characters. With an eighth (and sadly final) season on its way, now is the perfect time to revisit this feel-good comedy. – Lauren Morris

The Queen’s Gambit

The Queen’s Gambit on NetflixChess might be a fascinating game, but it’s probably fair to say most don’t really view it as a spectator sport. On the face of it, then, a limited series revolving around the subject might not sound like a likely candidate for a mega word-of-mouth smash, but Scott Frank’s series, The Queen’s Gambit, became exactly that when it arrived on Netflix in 2020.

Based on a novel by Walter Tevis, the narrative follows Beth Harmon – a young orphan and chess prodigy whose rise to the top of the game is offset by frequent struggles with addiction. Anya Taylor-Joy turns in one of the best small-screen performances in recent memory in the lead role, and is helped by a brilliant supporting cast that includes Marielle Heller, Harry Melling and Thomas Brodie-Sangster.

Lavishly produced and filled with wonderful period detail, the sumptuous series includes an array of expertly-staged chess match set-pieces and a plot that will keep you engaged for every minute of its seven-episode run. – Patrick Cremona

After Life

While there are lots of TV shows about death and murder, there are very few that really examine the experience of grief. And the last person you might expect to give us a sensitive depiction of loss is the man famed for cringe comedy, Ricky Gervais. But while it looks a little strange on paper, After Life is exceptionally funny and devastating in equal measure. And very sweary in places (if bad language offends you, you’re probably best to give it a swerve).

When Tony loses his wife to cancer, the only reason he has to get out of bed in the morning is his dog. The rest of his life feels empty, his job at the local paper seems pointless and the world infuriates him. But gradually (and reluctantly) he begins to piece together a way to live his life again. The show features a brilliant cast (look out for Penelope Wilton as the woman who shares his grief at the cemetery), a great German Shepherd, and uncomfortable emotions that sometimes only comedy can confront. No wonder this is the only one of Gervais’ shows that he has agreed to write a third season for. – Emma Bullimore

The Good Place

While the idea of setting a sitcom in the afterlife and spending four seasons examining different philosophical theories around morality and human existence doesn’t sound like the best concept for a fun, light-hearted watch, The Good Place is nothing like the comedies that came before it. Created by Michael Schur (The Office US), this fantasy sitcom stars Kristen Bell as Eleanor Shellstrop, an inconsiderate Arizona-based pharmaceutical saleswoman who dies in a shopping trolley accident and finds herself in the Good Place: a utopian afterlife is populated exclusively by those who lived righteous and upstanding lives on Earth.

After being welcomed by the architect Michael (Ted Danson), she soon realises that she’s been let in by mistake and convinces her appointed “soul mate”, an ethics professor named Chidi (William Jackson Harper), to help her become a better person. Despite touching on a number of philosophical concepts throughout the show, The Good Place shares a sense of humour with sitcoms like Parks and Recreation and Brooklyn Nine-Nine and keeps fans entertained the ridiculous one-liners from its vastly different characters – narcissistic British philanthropist Tahani (Jameela Jamil) and unintelligent DJ and drug dealer Jason (Manny Jacinto) to name a few – and the hilarious performances from its stars, like Emmy-nominated D’Arcy Carden who shines as the Good Place human-like database Janet. – Lauren Morris

BoJack Horseman

Across six wonderful seasons, this animated series about an alcoholic humanoid horse did something very few TV shows can manage: it perfectly blended laugh out loud comedy with dark, deep subject matter in a way that felt both effortless and profound.

Will Arnett leads the voice cast as the titular BoJack, a washed up television star living in Hollywood and desperately angling for a comeback at any cost. Throughout the series, we also meet his affable former rival Mr Peanut Butter, his agent and ex-girlfriend Princess Caroline, and two human characters, Todd Chavez and Diane Nguyen, each of whom get numerous chances to shine in both humorous and serious storylines.

Tackling issues including the perils of fame, addiction and depression but also containing an incredible range of visual gags and wordplay BoJack Horseman is easily one of the best Netflix originals currently available, and arguably one of the finest TV shows of all time. – Patrick Cremona

The Serpent

The SerpentThis co-production first aired on the BBC as their prestige New Year’s Day drama earlier in 2021, and is now available in full on Netflix. The current craze for true crime gets a 1970s spin in The Serpent, a dramatisation of the life of Charles Sobhraj who was the chief suspect in the murder of at least twelve Western travellers along the Hippie Trail between 1963 and 1976. Spanning five or six countries over a twenty-year-plus period, the limited series is a truly globe-trotting crime odyssey detailing how Sobhraj earned his nickname of The Serpent by constantly slipping through police clutches, conducting numerous elaborate prison escapes and bouncing between borders with a bevy of stolen passports.

A chilling Tahir Rahim steals the show with his understated and reptilian take on Sobhraj, but Victoria’s Jenna Coleman gives him a good run for his money as devoted follower Marie-Andrée Leclerc. MotherFaherSon’s Billy Howle plays the dedicated Duch diplomat who dedicates his life to a cat-and-mouse chase with the criminal, with Les Misérables star Ellie Bamber rounding out the cast as his wife and fellow investigator. Indeed it seems a few dodgy accents and a tad too much time hopping are the only flaws in this international crime caper – otherwise The Serpent remains an unnerving examination of a serpentine serial killer, an obsessive focus on catching him and the attitudes and apathy of the time that let him get away with it. – Daniel Furn

The OA

It’s hard to categorise The OA at times. Throughout the 16 episodes you’ll see elements of mystery, thriller, sci-fi, fantasy and teen-drama, but what it is, is brilliant. The complex and building series was created by Brit Marling (who also leads the cast) and Zal Batmanglij who had planned for five parts, but sadly only got two. Nevertheless, the captivating story of Prairie Johnson is unmissable.

Prairie was missing for seven years and showed up completely unexpectedly with her blindness cured. Harbouring some nasty scars, her family desperately try to coax her story out of her. Now going by the name “The OA”, she connects with people who have had a similar experience to her while revealing her terrifying story. You’ll want to concentrate on this one, but the pay-offs are completely worth it. – Helen Daly

Orange is the New Black

Orange Is the New Black is not only Netflix’s most-watched original series, but also its longest – and if that doesn’t tempt you to it, then allow me to continue. Jenji Kohan’s trailblazing series is famous for breaking boundaries, telling stories of humanity, and its fantastic cast. We follow Taylor Schilling’s Piper Chapman, a 30-something woman who is sentenced to 15 months in a minimum-security prison after smuggling drugs. When she arrives at Litchfield Penitentiary, she finds an eccentric bunch of inmates all with very unique and personal stories to tell.

Alliances are formed, broken and tested throughout the course of the seven seasons, with Piper constantly at the heart of the story. As you continue through the story, you’ll laugh, cry, and have your heart-broken as the series delves into some hard-hitting topics including corruption, prison privatisation, racial discrimination and sexism. To put it simply, Orange Is the New Black is not only unmissable TV, it’s essential viewing. – Helen Daly

Anne with an E

Netflix series Anne with an E is the latest adaptation of Lucy Maud Montgomery’s 1908 classic novel, Anne of Green Gables. However, the show immediately stood out from past screen versions for tackling more gritty issues, including trauma and child abandonment, mined from the original book’s subtext. The three-season series follows Anne Shirley (Amybeth McNulty), an imaginative red-haired orphan adopted by an elderly brother and sister who live in Prince Edward Island, on their ancestral farm Green Gables.

The Cuthberts, Marilla (Geraldine James) and Matthew (R. H. Thomson), had planned to adopt an orphan boy to help around the farm, but instead Anne arrives by accident, turning their lives upside down. Anne is whip-smart, but she’s also scatter-brained, sensitive to slights, and accident-prone, resulting in countless scrapes – and a rather dramatic first encounter with a young man named Gilbert Blythe (Lucas Jade Zumann). Showrunner Moira Walley-Beckett scripted the first season, and was joined by an all-female writing team on later seasons. The series first premiered back in 2017, and ran for a total of three seasons. You can watch the entire series from start to finish on Netflix now. – Flora Carr

Too Hot to Handle

When it comes to dating shows, not many come close to Love Island. With its stellar line-up of singletons, crazy challenges and twists which always stir the pot, it’s arguably the crème da la crème of reality TV shows. So, when we saw the trailer for Too Hot To Handle – which is basically Love Island minus the physical contact – we thought it had no chance!

Fast forward to the series finale, where the super-hot singletons got to find out how much of the original £100k cash prize they’d lost from breaking the rules (touching or kissing one another) and who would be taking home what was left of it, and we just couldn’t get enough of the show.

From contestants purposely breaking the rules (yes Hayley and Francesca, we’re talking to you) to others forming what looked like promising relationships, as Rhonda opened up to potential dates about being a single mum, we fell in love with the show literally overnight –it’s pretty easy to binge with just 10 episodes.

And with a new series on the way including a whole new cast, what better way to get started than by watching the first series. Trust me, you won’t be disappointed. – Grace Henry

How to Get Away with Murder

With multiple TV awards and accolades, it’s safe to say Peter Nowalk struck gold with the critically acclaimed How To Get Away With Murder, which she debuted in 2014. Starring Emmy Award winning actress Viola Davis, who became the first black woman to win a primetime Emmy for her role as no-nonsense law professor Annalise Keating, HTGAWM has got to be one of the best legal thrillers that there is!

As the title implies, it follows Keating who works at a prestigious Philadelphia university, who with five of her students becomes wrapped up in a murder plot.

While Davis is impeccable as the complex character that is Keating, battling her own issues with alcohol, sexuality and so on, we also have an ensemble cast when it comes to her students known as “The Keating Five”.

We see Harry Potter star Alfred Enoch as the loveable orphan, Wes Gibbins, Jack Falahee as the ambitious, yet sometimes selfish Connor Walsh, Aja Naomi King as outspoken student, Michaela Pratt, Matt McGorry as Asher Millstone – who begins the series completely unaware of his white privilege – and Karla Souza as the headstrong, Laurel Castillo.

And if that wasn’t enough to draw you in, we also have Bridgerton’s very own Shonda Rhimes as the executive producer. There’s even a cross over with Scandal in season 7 – yes Olivia Pope and Annalise Keating were in a courtroom together. Talk about Black Girl Magic! – Grace Henry

Ackley Bridge

We’ve all spent years traipsing up and down corridors, weighed down by oversized backpacks and trying to avoid committing any social faux-pas, so it’s no wonder that school-based dramas like Waterloo Road always attract an immediate and broad fanbase. While Netflix’s Sex Education has the cringe factor of teen relationships well and truly nailed for now, Channel 4’s Ackley Bridge has a lot more ground to cover.

The story starts when two Yorkshire schools are forced to merge, sparking instant rivalries and drama as two communities are thrown together. Never scared to address complex and uncomfortable subject matter, the show goes on to tackle storylines about sexuality, racism and poverty, while also giving us lighter moments and characters to fall in love with. There’s an impressive cast too, featuring the likes of Jo Joyner, Sunetra Sarker, Paul Nicholls, Rob James-Collier and Amy-Leigh Hickman. Even Girls Aloud star Kimberley Walsh crops up as a home-wrecking netball teacher, what more could you want?!

But the best part is that this show has an authentic, young voice, never speaking down to its teen audience and finding ways to explore the issues that matter to them. – Emma Bullimore

Power

You don’t need to love crime dramas to be able to get on board with Power. Produced by Courtney A. Kemp in collaboration with Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson, it follows “reformed gangster” and nightclub owner Jamie (or Ghost depending on who’s asking), as he tries to get away from the hood life and build his empire. But with close alliances, including his best pal Tommy Egan, played by Joseph Sikora, still very much in the game – and also using his business to clean their dirty money – Jamie is never really able to get away from crime.

One of Starz’s most highly rated shows and one of cable’s most watched shows, Power is a true gem, touching on various themes from love to violence, drugs and gangs.

The soundtrack is pretty lit too, with the iconic, theme tune by R&B star Joe pretty much topping the show, as he sings: “They say this is a big rich town, I just came from the poorest parts” over the beginning credits. – Grace Henry

The Irregulars

With so many different takes on Sherlock Holmes delivered over the years, Netflix’s new take on the famous sleuth goes for broke with not one but two revisionist takes on Arthur Conan Doyle’s greatest creation, plunging him into a fantasy world while also sidelining him in favour of side-characters from the original stories.

Specifically, The Irregulars follows a gang of homeless teenagers hired by Doctor Watson (Royce Pierreson) to investigate strange crimes while Sherlock Holmes (Henry Lloyd-Hughes) is indisposed. Simultaneously, this reframing of the story is accompanied by a supernatural reimagining of Holmes’ Victorian playground, drawing from Conan Doyle’s well-documented interest in the fantastic (and some of his supernatural short stories) in a contrast to the rational mind of his great detective.

The final effect could be a bit of a mess, but anchored with winning performances from the younger stars (including Harrison Osterfield, Thaddea Graham, Darci Shaw, Mckell David and Jojo Macari) and fun monster-of-the-week stories, The Irregulars ends up as a compelling if slightly uneven fantasy adventure.

Though if you’re just waiting around to see Lloyd-Hughes’ new take on Sherlock, you might have a while to pass the time – this particular detective isn’t at Holmes until at least halfway through the series. – Huw Fullerton

Unorthodox

Unorthodox may only be four episodes long, but it still packs a punch. The miniseries tells the story of Etsy, a 19-year-old Jewish woman who leaves her husband to escape her strict Hasidic Jewish upbringing. Etsy ends up in Berlin where she experiences a whole new way of life, makes new friends and realises how sheltered she’s been. Meanwhile, her husband and his cousin are intent on tracking her down to bring her home.

Based on the book of the same name, Unorthodox gives an insight into orthodox life through flashbacks and Etsy’s experiences that makes for a gripping binge watch. While it veers sometimes into stereotypes, it always manages to pull it back thanks to the standout performance from Shira Haas, who plays Etsy. – Jo-Anne Rowney

Schitt’s Creek

If you’ve ever felt like a fish out of water, Schitt’s Creek is the show for you. The Rose family quite literally ends up at dead-end town Schitt’s Creek without a paddle after their business loses their money and they are forced to give up their wealth. The easy-watch sitcom was penned by father and son duo Eugene and Dan Levy who also star as on-screen dad and child Johnny and David.

But really, the star of the show is the impeccable Catherine O’Hara, who brings too many fabulous outfits to count and the most sass seen on the small screen. Her timing is perfect, her acting is gently extra and we all really could be a little bit more like Moira. There’s plenty of heart, genuinely hilarious moments and plot you won’t want to miss. – Helen Daly

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