The 78 Best Shows on Netflix Right Now (September 2023)

Our list of the best TV shows to watch on Netflix has a new entry. The live-action One Piece, which adapts most of the East Blue Saga from Eiichiro Oda’s seafaring manga series, has finally premiered. Even if you’ve never heard of Monkey D. Luffy and his quest to become the King of the Pirates, the Netflix adaptation welcomes you to join the Straw Hat Pirates as they set sail. 

Other recent new shows on Netflix include Season 2 of Heartstopper — a charming, twee story of two British high school boys who fall in love with each other that will turn you into a puddle. There’s also the HBO import Ballers, which is slathered in Axe body spray and follows the fiercely heterosexual exploits of sports agents in Miami.

This list is weighted toward the best shows to watch on Netflix right now, which means recently released Netflix Originals take priority, though you’ll find legacy Netflix shows further down the list. These are only the most relevant and worthwhile shows to watch on Netflix.  

Last updated Sept. 8; newer additions are at the top.

For fans of: Pirate adventures, epic fantasies
Number of seasons: 1

Mackenyu, Jacob Romero Gibson, Emily Rudd, Taz Skylar, One Piece

Netflix

Netflix’s One Piece may be the first live-action adaptation in TV history to receive generally positive reviews from anime fans. Sure, the series pales in comparison to the manga written and illustrated by Eiichiro Oda — and the anime that adapted it. But this version of One Piece exceeds expectations, with its thoughtful casting (the main Straw Hats? 10/10, no notes), intensive worldbuilding, and the obvious regard for Oda’s original work. -Kat Moon [Trailer]

For fans of: Smellin’ what the Rock is cookin’, Entourage but better
Number of seasons: 5

Rob Corddry and Dwayne Johnson, Ballers

Rob Corddry and Dwayne Johnson, Ballers

HBO

Part of Warner Discovery CEO David Zaslav’s plan to save a few bucks while destroying the most storied brand in premium television involves selectively ejecting HBO’s old shows onto other streaming services, and Ballers, a capable look at the lavish lives of sports agents in Miami, is Netflix’s gain. The fiercely macho dramedy has all the flashy cars, thong shots, and sports cameos you’d come to expect from a testosterone-fueled series like this, but it pulls it off thanks to the charisma of its megastar, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. If it can be Elizabeth Warren’s favorite show, it can be yours, too. -Tim Surette [Trailer]

For fans of: LGBTQ+ romances, comics come to life
Number of seasons: 2

Kit Connor and Joe Locke, Heartstopper

Kit Connor and Joe Locke, Heartstopper

Netflix

This cute and gentle British teen drama is based on a webcomic-turned-graphic novel that’s beloved by fans of romantic coming-of-age stories. Heartstopper follows Charlie Spring (Joe Locke), an openly gay secondary school student who develops an unlikely friendship with Nick (Kit Connor), a jock with a kind heart who invites Charlie to join the rugby team. And their friendship just might be developing into something more. It’s a sweet little show that keeps some comic book-inspired stylistic flourishes. Fans of the comic, and teen drama in general, will love it. -Liam Mathews [Trailer]

Untold

For fans of: ESPN’s 30 for 30, revisiting old sports news stories
Number of seasons: 3

Jake and Logan Paul, Untold

Jake and Logan Paul, Untold

Netflix

This sports documentary anthology series goes deep into controversial sports news stories from the past, telling the real, human story behind the sensational headlines. In Season 3, the highlight episode is — whether you like it or not — focused on YouTube influencer turned clown turned pro boxer Jake Paul, showing what goes on behind the PR machine, headed by Paul himself, that has capitalized on his antihero status and turned him into a major sports draw (and the unlikely lightning rod that has revitalized boxing). Also worth checking out are Season 1’s episodes on tennis player Mardy Fish and the “Malice at the Palace” NBA brawl and Season 2’s breakdown of the Manti Te’o controversy involving the Heisman candidate being catfished by a fraudster. -Liam Mathews and Tim Surette [Trailer]

More recommendations:

For fans of: Comfortable drama, margaritas
Number of seasons: 3

JoAnna Garcia Swisher, Brooke Elliott, and Heather Headley, Sweet Magnolias

JoAnna Garcia Swisher, Brooke Elliott, and Heather Headley, Sweet Magnolias

Netflix

This special brand of small-town drama is a fan favorite for its coziness, following the daily goings on of female friends Maddie (JoAnna Garcia Swisher), Helen (Heather Headley), and Dana Sue (Brooke Elliott) in the made-up town of Serenity, South Carolina. Expect some obstacles — but nothing too over the top — as the women navigate big and small issues with romance, careers, and family. It goes down like a cold glass of sweet tea. –Tim Surette [Trailer]

For fans of: Football, ice baths, minivans
Number of seasons: 1

Patrick Mahomes, Quarterback

Patrick Mahomes, Quarterback

Netflix

Netflix’s unobstructed blitz on sports docuseries continues with this look at the most important position in all of sports: the pigskin-slingers of the NFL. As with the streamer’s other jock shows, expect full access into the lives of its subjects: Kansas City Chiefs superstar Patrick Mahomes, Minnesota Vikings hurler and minivan driver Kirk Cousins, and Atlanta Falcons scapegoat Marcus Mariota. It’s great for NFL fans who want to relive the 2022 season… unless you’re a fan of the teams that Mahomes steamrolled on his way to another MVP award and Super Bowl victory. -Tim Surette [Trailer]

For fans of: Henry Cavill, serious fantasy
Number of seasons: 3

Henry Cavill and Anya Chalotra, The Witcher

Henry Cavill and Anya Chalotra, The Witcher

Susan Allnutt/Netflix

In this adaptation of the fantasy book series, Henry Cavill plays Geralt of Rivia, the world-weary slayer of monsters who is tasked by destiny with protecting the magical Crown Princess Ciri (Freya Allan) from many different pursuers who all want her for their own nefarious ends. While it isn’t always easy to follow, Seasons 2 and 3 settle in from Season 1, which had a timeline so complicated there are jokes about it in Season 2. But it’s still a hardcore fantasy show that will satisfy the nerdiest fans of Andrzej Sapkowski’s multimedia franchise. Season 3 is Cavill’s last as the lead as he departs the series, making way for Liam Hemsworth to take over in Season 4. -Liam Mathews [Trailer]

For fans of: Tennis, saying “I’m not even into tennis, but it’s so good” 
Number of seasons: 1

Ajla Tomljanovic, Break Point

Ajla Tomljanovic, Break Point

Netflix

Netflix hopes to do for tennis with Break Point what it did for Formula 1 with Drive to Survive. The tennis docuseries serves up a behind-the-scenes look at some of the sport’s “next-generation” players — those not named Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic, or Roger Federer, mostly — as they try to make it to the next level. Early installments of the five-episode first half of the season are almost too basic for veteran tennis fans, but as the season progresses, Break Point covers fascinating topics, most notably the mental toll this individual sport takes on its players and the difficulties women face in the sport. Part 2 has more of a groove, highlighted by a pair of excellent episodes about the 2022 U.S. Open, featuring Serena Williams’ final matches. -Tim Surette [Trailer]

For fans of: Animals on the move, harsh realities, David Attenborough
Number of seasons: 2

Our Planet II

Our Planet II

Netflix

The Planet crew is back with the second season of the eco-conscious nature documentary series that was forged from the worldwide success of the Planet Earth series. The newly released second season follows migration patterns of animals, while also raising a red flag about the fact that our planet is turning into one giant, moody weather system that’s disrupting the balance of life. It can be gloomy — showing how animals react to this new world order isn’t always pretty — but it still reigns as one of the best looks at the animal kingdom. -Tim Surette [Trailer]

For fans of: Teen romance, Mindy Kaling, the omniscient voice of John McEnroe
Number of seasons: 4

Maitreyi Ramakrishnan and Darren Barnet, Never Have I Ever

Maitreyi Ramakrishnan and Darren Barnet, Never Have I Ever

Lara Solanki/Netflix

Mindy Kaling’s warm, wickedly funny spin on a classic high school comedy stars Maitreyi Ramakrishnan as Devi Vishwakumar, a high achiever desperate to reinvent herself after the sudden death of her father (Sendhil Ramamurthy, joining the ranks of TV’s hot dads even in flashbacks). As she navigates a love triangle and denies the depth of her grief, short-tempered Devi’s inner life is narrated, hilariously, by tennis legend John McEnroe. Who knew we all needed to hear John McEnroe say “thirst trap”? The series also ends with solid finality; Devi doesn’t tiptoe around her feelings. –Kelly Connolly [Trailer]

For fans of: Huge quads, big crashes, enormous pain
Number of seasons: 1

Tour de France: Unchained

Tour de France: Unchained

A.S.O./Pauline Ballet

Another quality addition to Netflix’s growing team of sports docuseries focuses on the world’s most prestigious — and most grueling — cycling race. The French production takes you inside the peloton with the greatest cyclists in the world, as they push their bodies to the limits, take huge spills, and do whatever it takes to get the yellow jersey. This one’s a bit more extreme than other Netflix sports docuseries. –Tim Surette [Trailer]

Siren: Survive the Island

For fans of: Squid Game, Physical 100, team-based strategy games
Number of seasons: 1

Siren: Survive the Island

Siren: Survive the Island

Netflix

Korean television inches closer to making Squid Game a reality with this brutal team-based competition that pits groups of women against each other. Squads of four built from tough professions — firefighters, soldiers, policewomen, etc. — battle royale it out on a remote island in a game that’s like Capture the Flag but more rugged. The ladies’ fierceness means the violence gets real, and when the siren blares — indicating that it’s time to raid each others’ bases — don’t be surprised to see Team Athlete bust out judo moves to eliminate other players. Add in mini-games, a unique currency system that allows teams to buy survival items, and back alley alliances, and you have one of the most tantalizing reality shows out there. –Tim Surette [Trailer]

Vortex

For fans of: Frequency, love and murder across timelines, VR
Number of seasons: 1

Camille Claris and Tomer Sisley, Vortex

Camille Claris and Tomer Sisley, Vortex

Netflix

This 2022 six-episode French series, a massive hit with critics and viewers in its home country, is a blend of sci-fi, romance, and murder mystery that’s held up by great performances from its leads. Vortex follows a cop named Ludo (Tomer Sisley) whose wife Melanie (Camille Claris) dies in 1998, but he sees her again in 2025 while investigating a murder through new virtual reality technology. Though Ludo has moved on with a new family, he and Melanie try to prevent her death back in 1998 and discover the two cases, though 27 years apart, may be connected (and that changing the past has consequences). It’s touching and mysterious, and a nice hidden gem for anyone looking for a great sci-fi/romance mashup. –Tim Surette [Trailer]

For fans of: Chaos, driving crooners, wet steaks, weak coffins, fart toilets, complex patterns on shirts
Number of seasons: 3

Tim Robinson, I Think You Should Leave with Tim Robinson

Tim Robinson, I Think You Should Leave with Tim Robinson

Netflix

Sometimes what you want is to see your id, your most base animal instincts, the unhinged thoughts you definitely have but rarely voice, reflected on screen. You may or may not remember Tim Robinson from his time on Saturday Night Live; honestly, they didn’t really know what to do with him over there, and in retrospect it’s clear that what he needed was something of his own where he could really let his freak flag fly. That’s I Think You Should Leave in a nutshell! It’s a madcap roller coaster of a sketch series that features Robinson playing a host of weirdo characters with big personalities and strong convictions about things that don’t really matter, such as his highly memeable hot dog mascot who refuses to admit he was the one who crashed his car into a storefront. Like anything that’s really, truly hilarious, it’s sort of impossible to describe. You just have to watch it to understand. -Allison Picurro [Trailer]

For fans of: True Lies, dad jokes, Arnold
Number of seasons: 1

Monica Barbaro and Arnold Schwarzenegger, FUBAR

Monica Barbaro and Arnold Schwarzenegger, FUBAR

Netflix

One of Hollywood’s unwritten rules is that aging action heroes MUST star in some vehicle in which they play retired super agents who have to go back into action for some stupid reason amid a flurry of jokes about how they’re too old for this sh–. And if you’re one of the biggest action heroes of all time, you keep making these things. Arnold Schwarzenegger stars in this action-comedy about a CIA agent who gets pulled back into duty to rescue his daughter, who also happens to be in the CIA. The thing is, neither of them knew the other was in the CIA at all! Yeah, it’s corny and not for everyone, but as long as you accept that, it can be a good time. –Tim Surette [Trailer]

For fans of: The To All the Boys trilogy, K-Pop
Number of seasons: 1

Anna Cathcart, XO, Kitty

Anna Cathcart, XO, Kitty

Park Young-Sol/Netflix

Return to the To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before Cinematic Universe (the TATBILBCU) with this new series spun off from the hit Netflix films. XO, Kitty, created by Jenny Han (who also wrote the books that inspired the movies), follows Kitty Covey (Anna Cathcart) as she moves to Seoul to attend the same boarding school her late mom went to. It doesn’t hurt that her long-distance boyfriend, Dae (Choi Min-young) goes there, too. But when that relationship hits a snag, Lara Jean’s younger sister will have to figure out what she really wants. –Kelly Connolly [Trailer]

For fans of: The insatiable urge for more Bridgerton
Number of seasons: 1

Corey Mylchreest and India Amarteifio, Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story

Corey Mylchreest and India Amarteifio, Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story

Liam Daniel/Netflix

Here’s a no-brainer: a Bridgerton prequel series. Say less! This limited series tells the origin story of Queen Charlotte (played as an older woman by Golda Rosheuvel and as a young woman by India Ria Amarteifio), exploring her rise to power and her rocky (but still very steamy, of course) marriage to King George III (Corey Mylchreest). [Trailer]

For fans of: Kids, animals, hybrid kid-animals, apocalyptic fantasy
Number of seasons: 2

Harvey Gui, Amie Donald, Naledi Murray, Christian Convery, Yonas Kibreab, Ruby Hall, Christopher Cooper Jnr, and Cyan Scott, Sweet Tooth

Harvey Gui, Amie Donald, Naledi Murray, Christian Convery, Yonas Kibreab, Ruby Hall, Christopher Cooper Jnr, and Cyan Scott, Sweet Tooth

Netflix

Yes, it’s another show about a deadly virus that wipes out most of humanity, but it also has cute half-animal, half-human kids in it. This fantasy series follows Gus (Christian Convery), a mutant boy with deer antlers who fights against some baddies who want to round up his kind because they think killing him will solve their problems, and a reluctant hero (Nonso Anozie) who tries to protect Gus. [Trailer]

For fans of: Soapy nonsense, celebs playing dress-up, BFFs forever
Number of seasons: 2

Katherine Heigl and Sarah Chalke, Firefly Lane

Katherine Heigl and Sarah Chalke, Firefly Lane

Netflix

Netflix’s gold standard for “Why am I watching this?” content is Firefly Lane, a lady friends drama starring Katherine Heigl and Sarah Chalke as besties whose relationship spans the ’70s, ’80s, ’90s, and ’00s and goes through plenty of ups and downs. It is by no means quality television, but it is definitely bingeable television. The series’ final episodes premiered April 27. [Trailer]

For fans of: Keri Russell cursing, Scandal, making menial behind-the-scenes politics fun
Number of seasons: 1

Ato Essandoh and Keri Russell, The Diplomat

Ato Essandoh and Keri Russell, The Diplomat

Alex Bailey/Netflix

Cocaine Bear breakout star Keri Russell (can you imagine) leads The Diplomat, a political drama that brings the Americans alum back to TV and back to the world of international intrigue. Russell plays Kate Wyler, a diplomat who’s unexpectedly named the new U.S. ambassador to the United Kingdom, where she manages global crises while bristling at the spotlight. The series has serious political-TV credentials — its showrunner is Debora Cahn, former writer and producer on serious shows like The West Wing and Homeland — but it likes to have some fun, too. –Kelly Connolly [Trailer]

For fans of: Succession, nature documentaries
Number of seasons: 1

Chimp Empire

Chimp Empire

Netflix

More than a few people are comparing this nature docuseries to Succession, HBO’s drama about simians fighting for power with other family members. Oscar-winning director James Reed (My Octopus Teacher) tracks two rival clans of chimpanzees in the forests of Uganda and discovers a rich and complex social hierarchy, highlighted by the struggle of one generation of apes waiting for the aging alpha to cede power. Add Mahershala Ali’s smooth narration, and this four-episode miniseries is a fascinating watch. –Tim Surette [Trailer]

For fans of: Channeling anger into dark humor, Burger King chicken sandwiches (from that good Burger King you have to drive 90 minutes to)
Number of seasons: 1

Steven Yeun, Beef

Steven Yeun, Beef

Netflix

This meaty dark comedy stars Steven Yeun as a troubled contractor and Ali Wong as a seemingly-has-it-all entrepreneur whose lives collide when they get into a road range incident. Each determined not to let the other get the upper hand, they embark on a battle of wills as their personal lives crumble around them. Yeun is fantastic in this, and the endless parade of unfortunate circumstances that force both of them into their laser-eyed focus on destroying each other is a nice bit of schadenfreude. Who knew hate could be so fun? This is in the conversation of the best Netflix originals ever. –Tim Surette [Trailer]

For fans of: Medical dramas but REAL, frontline workers, drone shots of New York City
Number of seasons: 1

Emergency NYC

Emergency NYC

Netflix

A spiritual successor to the 2020 medical docuseries Lenox Hill, Emergency: NYC is a deeply personal look at frontline medical workers in New York City as they deal with the pressures of their job and personal lives. Set during the middle of the COVID pandemic, Emergency: NYC sees the doctors, nurses, and EMTs confront a new wave of patients who either neglected issues or were refused help due to overcrowding at hospitals. It’s unflinching in its access, leading to moments of overwhelming joy… and devastating tragedy. –Tim Surette [Trailer]

For fans of: Shawn Ryan shows, political conspiracies
Number of seasons: 1

Gabriel Basso, The Night Agent

Gabriel Basso, The Night Agent

Dan Power, Netflix

TV creator Shawn Ryan has produced some great shows — The Shield, Timeless, Terriers — and while his latest, The Night Agent, might not be on the same level of his other hits, it’s an easy binge that stays in Ryan’s lane. The political action-thriller is based on Matthew Quirk’s book, following a low-level FBI agent who mans a secret phone line in the basement of the White House. His job is a bore… until the phone rings! Then it’s all about uncovering a conspiracy that goes — say it with me — all the way to the top. –Tim Surette [Trailer]

For fans of: Alone, reality drama, watching people suffer
Number of seasons: 1

Justin Court, Outlast

Justin Court, Outlast

Netflix

This survival competition drops 16 competitors into the Alaskan wilderness with little more than their wits, just like History Channel’s series Alone, except it makes these self-proclaimed lone wolves work as a team. You know what that means: drama! And there’s plenty of it in the first season’s eight episodes, as teams find that the biggest threat to cashing the $1 million prize is a team that throws morality out the window. –Tim Surette [Trailer]

For fans of: Treasure huntin’ teens, keeping up with what’s popular with the kids
Number of seasons: 3

Madelyn Cline, Chase Stokes, Carlacia Grant, Jonathan Daviss, Outer Banks

Madelyn Cline, Chase Stokes, Carlacia Grant, Jonathan Daviss, Outer Banks

Netflix

At this point, the Outer Banks isn’t so much a place as it is a state of mind. In Season 3, Outer Banks is taking the action to the Caribbean — and beyond — as the Pogues are pulled into a dangerous hunt for a lost city. Season 2’s massive reveal about John B.’s (Chase Stokes) family leads into the new season, which was released in the dead of winter despite the previous seasons getting released in a warmer time of year. Being a summer show is also a state of mind. –Kelly Connolly [Trailer]

For fans of: Teens and their phones, tech-based horror, The Ring
Number of seasons: 1

Red Rose

Red Rose

Netflix

This BBC import is all about cutting down on kids’ screen time… by cutting down their lifetimes! Red Rose is an eight-episode horror series for today’s generation, following a group of teenagers who all download a phone app that sets them to task on increasingly dangerous challenges, occasionally leading to their untimely deaths via a supernatural presence. In addition to the paranoia of running out of batteries, Red Rose also confronts themes of grief, class, and peer pressure. It’s not a mandatory watch, but it is eerie enough to stave off boredom. -Tim Surette [Trailer]

For fans of: Creepy dudes, voiceover, problem after problem
Number of seasons: 4

Penn Badgley, You

Penn Badgley, You

Netflix

Joe Goldberg (Penn Badgely) is back for the fourth season of Netflix’s creepy stalker drama, except this time the stalker may be the stalkee! The New York murderer turned L.A. murderer is taking his questionable talents to Europe, where he’ll be masquerading as a professor, keeping tabs on his librarian crush (Tati Gabrielle), getting texts from a stalker, and palling around with privileged jerks. You can take the guy out of Gossip Girl, but you can’t take Gossip Girl out of the guy, am I right? -Allison Picurro [Trailer]

For fans of: Ali G., f—ing with history, Technotronic’s “Pump Up the Jam”
Number of seasons: 1

Diane Morgan, Cunk on Earth

Diane Morgan, Cunk on Earth

Jonathan Browning

Black Mirror‘s Charlie Brooker co-created this spoof of BBC documentaries that looks at the entire history of human civilization through dunderheaded host Philomena Cunk, whose grasp of history is equal to that of one who has suffered several massive head injuries. Borrowing from British icon Ali G., Cunk (played to perfection by comedian Diane Morgan), interviews experts in history with the stupidest questions you’ve ever heard, and it’s funny every time. It’s so dumb it’s brilliant. -Tim Surette [Trailer]

Lockwood & Co.

For fans of: Doctor Who, bustin’ ghosts
Number of seasons: 1

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

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

Parisa Taghizadeh/Netflix

Attack the Block‘s Joe Cornish created this fun British series about a world where ghosts run rampant, so society turns to the only people who can save them: teenagers! Specifically, teens with psychic powers. While most spook hunters work for companies staffed by adults (eww), Lockwood & Co. is a three-teen outfit that does the work without the pretense. It’s a fun mix of British sci-fi, scary stories, and a killer goth music soundtrack, making it one of Netflix’s best YA shows to date. -Tim Surette [Trailer]

For fans of: Titillating gaudiness, badass women fighting drug dealers, Álex Pina
Number of seasons: 3

Yany Prado, Lali Espósito, and Verónica Sánchez, Sky Rojo

Yany Prado, Lali Espósito, and Verónica Sánchez, Sky Rojo

Tamara Arranz/Netflix

The success of Álex Pina’s Money Heist has given him free rein to deliver his stylish sense of violence, crime, and sex in other projects, and Sky Rojo is Pina at full blast. The Spanish series follows a trio of sex workers in the Canary Islands on the run from their pimp, using everything at their disposal to stay away from his clutches. It’s action-forward pulp fun, but it does spend lots of time developing these women into more interesting characters than you’d expect given its compact run times (usually 30 minutes or less per episode). It’s not for everyone, but it’s really for the people it’s for. Season 3 was released in January 2023. -Tim Surette [Trailer]

For fans of: Pillaging, plundering, family drama
Number of seasons: 2

Frida Gustavsson, Leo Suter, Vikings: Valhalla

Frida Gustavsson, Leo Suter, Vikings: Valhalla

Bernard Walsh/Netflix

The Norsemen and Norsewomen of Vikings, History’s cult favorite action-packed historical drama, have rowed their way to Netflix for Vikings: Valhalla, a sequel series that covers the next epoch of the Viking reign. Valhalla has a new cast and is set a century after the original show, and follows Leif Erikson’s (Sam Corlett) journey as he becomes the first European to set foot on North America alongside his sister Freydis (Frida Gustavsson), as well as Harald Hardrada (Leo Suter), who tried and failed to claim the English throne. So yes, this show is building toward the end of the Viking age. If you liked the clanging swords and sexy bearded warriors of the original Vikings, you’ll definitely want to check this out, because it’s more of that. -Liam Mathews [Trailer

For fans of: High school dramas, murder dramas, and relationship dramas all in one
Number of seasons: 2

Antonia Gentry and Brianne Howey, Ginny & Georgia

Antonia Gentry and Brianne Howey, Ginny & Georgia

Netflix

Is it a high school drama? Is it a romantic comedy? Is it a murder mystery? Why not all of those at once? One of the rare algorithm-friendly shows that work, Ginny & Georgia returns for Season 2 a little less Gilmore Girls and a little more Mommie Dearest as Ginny (Antonia Gentry) becomes wiser to her mom Georgia’s (Brianne Howey) potentially murderous past ways. But the playful romantic issues and teen drama are still there, the strong performances from Gentry and Howey elevate the material, and the closing walls add a bit of urgency to everything. It’s not Netflix’s best show, but it’s the best of its ilk. –Tim Surette [Trailer]

For fans of: Squid Game, manga, puzzles that kill you if you don’t solve them
Number of seasons: 2

Tao Tsuchiya and Kento Yamazaki, Alice in Borderland

Tao Tsuchiya and Kento Yamazaki, Alice in Borderland 

Kumiko Tsuchiya/Netflix

Alice in Borderland, adapted from the manga series of the same name, follows Arisu (Kento Yamazaki) as he suddenly finds himself in an alternate Tokyo where most humans have disappeared. He has no idea what happened, but must enter the mysterious competitions in order to earn “visas” that will prevent him from being executed. Along the way, he crosses paths with Usagi (Tao Tsuchiya), a rock climber who becomes Arisu’s partner in figuring out what is going on. -Kat Moon [Trailer]

For fans of: Stereotypes, “fashion,” rom-coms, brand engagement
Number of seasons: 3 (Renewed through Season 4)

Lily Collins, Emily in Paris

Lily Collins, Emily in Paris

Stéphanie Branchu/Netflix

Emily in Paris (and you gotta say it like it rhymes), who haunts the dreams of actual Parisians, is back on the streets of Paris like some kind of colorfully dressed cryptid. Netflix’s biggest original comedy isn’t its best show, but it is undeniably distinctive and addictive, thanks to Lily Collins’ entertaining performance and creator Darren Star’s knack for froth he first nailed on Sex and the City. –Kelly Connolly [Trailer]

For fans of: Inspiring sports stories
Number of seasons: 5 seasons of Last Chance U and 2 seasons of Last Chance U: Basketball

Last Chance U

Last Chance U

Netflix

One of TV’s best sports docuseries, every season of Last Chance U follows a different junior college football program across the U.S. It focuses on the students — many of whom are highly touted as players, but deal with challenges on and off the field — as they attempt to keep up their performance both on the team and in the classroom in order to remain eligible. The show gives unique access to the host of issues student athletes face, and goes deep into the ambition many of the players have to move into Division 1 football programs. Its spinoff, Last Chance U: Basketball, is just as good, with its first season spotlighting the East Los Angeles College Huskies as they try to turn their fortunes around with a roster made up of kids who failed to live up to expectations at higher division programs because of various factors. The sport is different, but the emotional impact remains the same as their coach pushes them to be the best players and people they can be. -Allison Picurro [Trailer]

For fans of: Supernatural teen dramas, Tim Burton, goths
Number of seasons: 1 (Renewed for Season 2)

Jenna Ortega, Wednesday

Jenna Ortega, Wednesday

Netflix

Was it the right call to turn The Addams Family into a boilerplate Netflix show about a girl at a supernatural school investigating a not-very-intriguing murder mystery and navigating some not-very-original high school drama? Probably not. This show didn’t have to be a Chilling Adventures of Sabrina redux. But Jenna Ortega’s winningly droll performance as the iconic morbid teen Wednesday Addams and director/executive producer Tim Burton’s distinctive brand of macabre whimsy make it entertaining enough to watch if you’re not expecting something spectacular. -Liam Mathews [Trailer | Review]

For fans of: Secrets, murder, seriously ride-or-die friendships
Number of seasons: 3

Christina Applegate and Linda Cardellini, Dead to Me

Christina Applegate and Linda Cardellini, Dead to Me

Saeed Adyani/Netflix

This dark comedy is one of Netflix’s best-written shows, and its snappy dialogue sounds like music when delivered by the talented duo of Christina Applegate and Linda Cardellini, who have both been nominated for Emmys for their performances. Applegate plays Jen, a woman grieving the death of her husband in a hit-and-run, and Cardellini plays Judy, who unbeknownst to Jen is responsible for her husband’s death. They become friends in a grief support group, and the twists and secrets just keep piling up from there. It’s wickedly funny and always surprising. Its recently released third season is its last. -Liam Mathews [Trailer]

For fans of: Puzzle boxes, being seasick
Number of seasons: 1

Aneurin Barnard, Emily Beecham, Andreas Pietschmann, 1899

Aneurin Barnard, Emily Beecham, Andreas Pietschmann, 1899

Netflix

This isn’t a prequel to Yellowstone, it’s an expensive but efficiently made supernatural mystery series set onboard a steamship carrying migrants from London to New York City. After the ship makes contact with another seemingly lost ship at sea, things get really weird. A “What is even happening?” type of weird. The show features a sprawling international cast meant to give it global appeal — you’ll hear eight different languages spoken — with Into the Badlands‘ Emily Beechum the top-billed performer. Its country of origin is Germany, and it was created by Dark‘s Jantje Friese and Baran bo Odar, masters of ambitious, narratively complex TV. It features a haunting score from composer Ben Frost that’s so good you may want to listen to on its own. -Liam Mathews [Trailer]

For fans of: The royals, revenge dresses
Number of seasons: 5 (Renewed for sixth and final season)

Dominic West and Elizabeth Debicki, The Crown

Dominic West and Elizabeth Debicki, The Crown

Keith Bernstein/Netflix

The acclaimed dramatization of the life of Queen Elizabeth II is now in its second-to-last season, set in the 1990s as Prince Charles (Dominic West) and Princess Diana (Elizabeth Debicki) divorce. Season 5 finds Imelda Staunton taking over the role of Her Majesty from Olivia Colman. It’s not as good as the fourth season, which dominated the Emmys in 2021, but it’s still one of Netflix’s best shows, and the only one left that’s a viable contender for the Outstanding Drama Series Emmy. -Liam Mathews [Trailer | Review]  

For fans of: Lost, when Netflix rescues canceled shows
Number of seasons: 4

Ty Doran, Parveen Kaur, Melissa Roxburgh, and Daryl Edwards, Manifest

Ty Doran, Parveen Kaur, Melissa Roxburgh, and Daryl Edwards, Manifest

Peter Kramer/Netflix

This supernatural mystery drama famously was canceled by NBC at the same time it became a massive hit on Netflix, which led to Netflix renewing it for a fourth and final season as a Netflix Original. That season has finally landed on the streaming service. The first half of the season will find the survivors of Flight 828 getting ever closer to unraveling the mystery of what happened to them when their plane disappeared and reappeared five years later. They find the missing black box! What do you think is on there? I wanna know! -Liam Mathews [Trailer 

For fans of: Human drama, utter emotional chaos
Number of seasons: 3 (Renewed through Season 5)

Cole Barnett, Love Is Blind

Cole Barnett, Love Is Blind

Patrick Wymore/Netflix

On this relationship reality sensation, a bunch of single people are sequestered in a house where they meet potential romantic partners. They get to know each other while talking for hours in pods where they can’t see each other. Some of them get engaged, and then we follow them as they try to make it work outside of the pods and prepare for their weddings. It drops in batches of episodes over the course of a few weeks, each covering a different part of the process. It’s a fascinating social experiment with jaw-dropping surprises and wild characters (I will never forget Jessica from Season 1, who gave her dog wine on-camera). The reality dating sensation took two years to return for Season 2, and now Season 3 is out less than a year after that. -Liam Mathews [Trailer]

For fans of: Survivor, sabotage
Number of seasons: 1

Alex Wagner, The Mole

Alex Wagner, The Mole

Netflix

This revival of a popular early-00s reality competition show is a Netflix reboot done right. Twelve strangers work together in challenges in order to add money to a pot that only one of them will win. And one of them is a mole whose job is to sabotage the other players. So in addition to competing in challenges, the players have to try to sniff out the rat. It’s an extremely compelling, high-stakes game with wild twists you won’t see coming, Journalist Alex Wagner hosts. -Liam Mathews [Trailer]

For fans of: Murder mysteries, BDSM
Number of seasons: 4

Bill Pullman, The Sinner

Bill Pullman, The Sinner

Michael Tompkins/USA Network

This “whydunit” mystery anthology series ran for four seasons on the USA Network. Every season, Det. Harry Ambrose (Bill Pullman) tries to solve a case in which he knows who committed the crime, but not why the person did it. During the course of his investigation, he grapples with questions of religious faith, childhood trauma, and toxic masculinity, among other big themes. It’s a dark and serious show, but always manages to be twisty and surprising. All four seasons are now on Netflix. -Liam Mathews [Trailer]

For fans of: Cyberpunk 2077, Love Death + Robots
Number of seasons: 1

Cyberpunk: Edgerunners

Cyberpunk: Edgerunners

Netflix

This eye-popping anime from renowned Japanese anime makers Studio Trigger is based in the dystopian, cyberpunk future of the video game Cyberpunk 2077, a setting rich in detail and possibility that Edgerunners uses to its fullest. Our hero is David Martinez, a young man who, after he’s struck with tragedy, drops out of high school and into a life of cyber-enhanced criminality. There’s violence, nudity, and cursing, so keep the kiddos away, and it’s a deep, jargony dive into tech, so keep the normies away, too. But if Blade Runner-style drama is of interest to you, jack in. -Tim Surette [Trailer]

For fans of: The Karate Kid, the ’80s, the Valley
Number of seasons: 5

Sean Kanan, Cobra Kai

Sean Kanan, Cobra Kai

Curtis Bonds Baker/Netflix

It’s hard to believe that a series following the lives of Johnny (William Zabka) and Daniel (Ralph Macchio) from The Karate Kid would be as good as Cobra Kai is, but there’s some sort of indescribable magic going on that makes it work. Following up on Johnny in the present day, Cobra Kai wonders what would happen if his rivalry with Daniel continued into their adult lives, culminating in them creating their own karate dojos where a new generation of martial artists fight for respect, rumble with their parents, and get into love triangles. The show’s self-awareness holds everything together, but it’s the twisting (albeit predictable) plot that makes it so bingeable. In Season 5, a foe from Daniel’s past reemerges: “Karate’s Bad Boy” Mike Barnes (Sean Kanan), who fought Daniel in The Karate Kid Part III. -Tim Surette [Trailer]

Bee and Puppycat

For fans of: Rilakkuma and Kaoru, Steven Universe
Number of seasons: 2

Bee and Puppycat

Bee and Puppycat

Netflix

This animated series may sound familiar; it dates all the way back to 2013, when it was a digital short by Adventure Time‘s Natasha Allegri, but it gets new life on Netflix with do-overs of the short first season and a new second season. The charming series follows an unemployed twentysomething woman who goes on adventures with Puppycat — a creature that is exactly what it sounds like (but seems more cat if we’re being honest) — mixing fantastical temp-jobs in space with more mundane down-to-Earth problems. It’s good for both kids and grown-ups, but should really resonate with those fresh out of high school or college and wondering what their next step in life should be. –Tim Surette [Trailer]

For fans of: Ramy, finding humor in the immigrant experience
Number of seasons: 1 (Renewed for Season 2)

Mo Amer, Mo

Mo Amer, Mo

Netflix

Ramy fans don’t need an introduction to comedian Mo Amer, and they probably won’t need any introduction to Mo, either. But for everyone else (is there anyone else?), here’s the scoop: The new Netflix comedy, created by Amer and Ramy Youssef and produced by A24, stars Amer as Mo Najjar, a Palestinian refugee living in Houston with his family and hustling to support them. If you like Ramy, you’ll like this, and if you don’t like Ramy, you haven’t watched it. –Kelly Connolly [Trailer]

Extraordinary Attorney Woo

For fans of: Legal dramas, wholesome romance
Number of seasons: 1 (Renewed for Season 2)

Park Eun-bin, Extraordinary Attorney Woo

Park Eun-bin, Extraordinary Attorney Woo

Netflix

No matter how familiar you are with K-dramas — from the scale of I-Watched-Squid-Game-in-English to chronic Second Lead Syndrome sufferer — Extraordinary Attorney Woo is a must-seePark Eun-bin stars as Woo Young-woo, an attorney with autism in Korea. Every episode features a different legal case, and Young-woo flexes her out-of-the-box thinking and high IQ of 164 to represent her clients in the best way possible. The series offers commentary on subjects ranging from patriarchal societies to Korea’s education system, and doesn’t shy away from heavy topics including domestic violence and sexual assault. And yet, Extraordinary Attorney Woo is not a somber drama. Woo Young-woo’s endearing personality and the heartwarming relationships she builds — including a romantic one with the law firm’s Mr. Popular Lee Junho (Kang Tae-oh) — make the show an uplifting watch. For more on the show, check out our interview with star Park. -Kat Moon [Trailer]

For fans of: Epic fantasy, Neil Gaiman’s whole thing
Number of seasons: 1 (Renewed for Season 2)

Tom Sturridge, The Sandman

Tom Sturridge, The Sandman

Liam Daniel/Netflix

When I say this blockbuster fantasy series is long-awaited, I mean it. An adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s beloved comic series has been in development on and off since 1996. And it’s honestly a good thing that it didn’t get made into a movie back then, because TV is a much better format for a story this sprawling. It follows Morpheus, the Lord of Dreams (Tom Sturridge), as he breaks free from a century of human captivity and sets out to restore himself as the ruler of dreamworld. It’s a fantasy-superhero epic that features Game of Thrones‘ Gwendoline Christie as Lucifer Morningstar, who is technically the same character as Tom Ellis’ Lucifer Morningstar from Lucifer (the shows share source material), just a drastically different interpretation. -Liam Mathews [Trailer]  

Trainwreck: Woodstock ’99

For fans of: The ’90s, cultural documentaries, Korn 
Number of seasons: 1

Trainwreck: Woodstock '99

Trainwreck: Woodstock ’99

Netflix

This docuseries is all about the he-said-she-said bulls–t. It explores the debacle of Woodstock ’99, the music festival marred by violence, depravity, and Limp Bizkit. Last year’s HBO documentary Woodstock 99: Peace, Love, and Rage beat Trainwreck to the punch, but with three episodes, this one gets even deeper into how out of control it got. It’s an intense you-are-there look at things falling apart. -Liam Mathews [Trailer | Review]

For fans of: Hallmarkian romance, heartwarming tearjerkers
Number of seasons: 4 (Renewed for Season 5)

Alexandra Breckenridge and Martin Henderson, Virgin River

Alexandra Breckenridge and Martin Henderson, Virgin River

Netflix

Do you like it your TV to feel like one long Hallmark movie? If that’s the case, you should know that few other shows are currently doing that better than Virgin River. In this adaptation of the novels by Robyn Carr, Alexandra Breckenridge stars as Mel, a nurse practitioner from Los Angeles who, after having her heart broken one too many times, starts a new life in a remote Northern California town. As these things go, she quickly meets Jack (Martin Henderson), a bartender who makes her want to love again. This show really has everything: long lost twin brothers, bombshell pregnancies where it’s a mystery who the father is, and main characters getting shot by mysterious gunmen. -Allison Picurro [Trailer]

For fans of: Long mother-effin’ episodes, being part of pop culture
Number of seasons: 4 (Renewed for fifth and final season)

Millie Bobby Brown, Stranger Things

Millie Bobby Brown, Stranger Things

Netflix

Stranger Things is Netflix’s biggest show, and probably the biggest show on television right now. Just go to your local Hot Topic or ask your local tween for the lyrics to “Runnin’ Up That Hill” for proof. Season 4 is out in its entirety after being divvied up into two lengthy parts and setting streaming records, adding a new villain, new characters, and new locations. But you’re here to hang out with your old friends, like Steve. You rule, Steve! -Tim Surette [Review | Trailer]

For fans of: Young people with superpowers, Gerard Way 
Number of seasons: 3 (Renewed for Season 4)

Justin H. Min, The Umbrella Academy

Justin H. Min, The Umbrella Academy

Christos Kalohoridis/Netflix

Season 2 of The Umbrella Academy left off on a major cliffhanger when the gang time-traveled from the ’60s back to an alternate version of 2019 in which Hargreeves (Colm Feore) had trained seven different superpowered babies into becoming the Sparrow Academy. In Season 3, the series is picking up right where it left off, and the Umbrellas will have to deal with the apocalyptic event potentially caused by their timeline jumping. -Allison Picurro [Trailer]

For fans of: That haircut, period piece crime dramas 
Number of seasons: 6

Cillian Murphy, Peaky Blinders

Cillian Murphy, Peaky Blinders

Netflix

Peaky Blinders is one of the defining shows of the era when Netflix was ascendant — its first season came out the same year as House of Cards and Orange Is the New Black — and now it’s over. The sixth and final season of the Netfflix/BBC collaboration is now streaming, alongside the previous five seasons. It’s a stylish crime drama starring Cillian Murphy as antihero Tommy Shelby, the leader of the titular gang consisting of his relatives, as they rise to the top of the criminal underworld in interwar Birmingham. The costumes are glamorous, the anachronistic PJ Harvey-heavy soundtrack is cool, and the supporting performances from big stars like Tom Hardy and Anya Taylor-Joy are entertaining. If you never got around to Peaky Blinders, there’s no reason to not start now. -Liam Mathews [Trailer

For fans of: Documentaries about cults, Hulu’s Under the Banner of Heaven
Number of seasons: 1

Keep Sweet: Pray and Obey

Keep Sweet: Pray and Obey

Netflix

This four-part docuseries tells the story of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints and its polygamist leader and self-professed prophet, Warren Jeffs, who had his flock of believers under his thumb in the early 2000s. Jeffs controlled the women in his sect, used them as currency, chose who they married (even when they were as young as 14), banished threats to his rule, and lived a lavish lifestyle paid for by the businesses he took over in the name of the church. With harrowing first-person accounts from the victims of Jeffs’ mental and sexual abuse, Keep Sweet will send chills down your spine. -Tim Surette [Trailer]

For fans of: The West Wing, foreign excellence
Number of seasons: 4

Borgen: Power and Glory

Borgen: Power and Glory

Mike Kollöffel / Netflix

You like The West Wing? Then you’ll like this Danish political thriller, which is considered to be one of the first international shows at the level of the best dramas of Peak TV. It follows the unlikely rise of centrist politician Birgitte Nyborg Christensen (Sidse Babett Knudsen) to prime minister of Denmark. The new fourth season, a Netflix original, comes out nine years after Season 3 and focuses on a geopolitical crisis in Greenland. It’s more fun than it sounds. -Allison Picurro [Trailer]

For fans of: Sports, high school, the city of Los Angeles
Number of seasons: 5

All American

Daniel Ezra, All American

The CW

The very popular CW high school sports drama, which was inspired by former NFL player Spencer Paysinger’s life, follows Spencer James (Daniel Ezra), an aspiring football star balancing ambition and everyday teenage drama as he moves from his neighborhood to become MVP at a new school in Beverly Hills. Its fourth season hit Netflix in May. -Allison Picurro [Trailer | More shows like All American]

For fans of: Love, tender documentaries
Number of seasons: 1

Love on the Spectrum U.S.

Love on the Spectrum U.S.

Netflix

An American edition of the Australian reality documentary series following the dating lives of people on the autism spectrum. Like the original, the U.S. version is empathetic and deeply moving as it follows these lovable young people on their journeys to find love. It won the Emmy for Outstanding Unstructured Reality Program in 2022. -Liam Mathews [Trailer]

For fans of: Sex, time travel, history
Number of seasons: 6 (5 on Netflix)

Caitriona Balfe and Sam Heughan, Outlander

Caitriona Balfe and Sam Heughan, Outlander

Starz

Depending on who you ask, Outlander is either the sexiest show on TV, or it’s a historical drama with a touch of sci-fi. Or maybe it’s both! Based on the book series by Diana Gabaldon, Outlander revolves around Claire (Caitriona Balfe), a married World War II nurse who, during a trip with her husband (Tobias Menzies), mysteriously time travels back to 1743. Thrown into the past and desperate to get home, Claire finds herself embroiled in a Scottish uprising while slowly but surely falling in love with a young warrior named Jamie Fraser (Sam Heughan). If you’re looking for something that will give you an occasionally accurate history lesson and get you invested in a sweeping romance that spans centuries, Outlander is the show for you. The show is currently between its sixth and seventh seasons on Starz, but Season 5 was only recently added to Netflix. -Allison Picurro [Trailer]

For fans of: The Skarsgårds, insanity, antiheroes
Number of seasons: 1

Bill Skarsgård, Clark

Bill Skarsgård, Clark

Nikola Predovic / Netflix

This miniseries about the life of Swedish bank robber and folk hero Clark Olofsson is best described as pure, uncut, European insanity. It‘s Bill Skarsgård stars as the charming rascal who was supposedly so beloved that he was the origin of the term “Stockholm Syndrome” from hostages he took during heists, and the film takes stories — both real and tall tales — from Olofsson’s own biography to spin a tale of a dashing wild man you can’t help root for. Director Jonas Åkerlund gives Clark the appropriate unhinged energy it needs, with quick cuts, animated sequences, and diverse cinematographic techniques to match its star’s freneticism. Get ready for a wild ride. –Tim Surette [Trailer]

For fans of: Crime thrillers, saying “Oh s—!” at something shocking at least once an episode, the color blue
Number of seasons: 4

Jason Bateman, Ozark

Jason Bateman, Ozark

Netflix

This is it. WIll Mardy Byrde (Jason Bateman) die? Will Wendy Byrde (Laura Linney) die? Will Ruth (Julia Garner) die? Will Charlotte (Sofia Hublitz) die? Will Jonah (Skylar Gaertner) write algorithms to make him the leader of the next generation of money laundering professionals and then get caught and thrown in while collar prison? That’s all anyone wants to know as Ozark comes to a close after four seasons. With the bad guys closing in, all we know is someone is going to die. –Tim Surette [Trailer]

For fans of: Classic sitcom feels, female friendships, odd couples
Number of seasons: 7

Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin, Grace and Frankie

Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin, Grace and Frankie

Melissa Moseley/Netflix

Netflix’s longest-running original (it premiered in 2015 and is ending with 94 episodes, more than any other scripted Netflix series), Grace and Frankie follows the two titular women, played by Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin, as they embark on new lives when their husbands come out as gay and partner up together. There’s an Odd Couple vibe as Grace (Fonda) is a no-nonsense cosmetics mogul and Frankie (Tomlin) is a hippie artist, which only cements their friendship beyond the sitcom-setup bond. –Tim Surette [Trailer]

For fans of: Time loops, time travel, Natasha Lyonne
Number of seasons: 2

Natasha Lyonne, Russian Doll

Natasha Lyonne, Russian Doll

Netflix

The best show of early 2019 is back for a second season. Season 1 ended so perfectly and with such finality that it would have been a great limited series, but co-creator-star Natasha Lyonne had an idea for more. Season 2 is set four years after Manhattanites Nadia (Lyonne) and Alan (Charlie Barnett) escaped from their death-loop, and now they’re on a new sci-fi sadcom adventure where they encounter a time portal accessible via the 6 train that leads to a fate even worse than endless death: becoming your own mother. Season 2 doesn’t have the freshness of Season 1, but it’s still as fun as a comedy about generational trauma can be. –Liam Mathews [Trailer]

For fans of: Romance, string covers of pop songs
Number of seasons: 2 (Renewed for Seasons 3 & 4)

Will Tilston, Florence Emilia Hunt, Ruby Stokes, Luke Thompson, Jonathan Bailey, and Phoebe Dyvenor, Bridgerton

Will Tilston, Florence Emilia Hunt, Ruby Stokes, Luke Thompson, Jonathan Bailey, and Phoebe Dyvenor, Bridgerton

Liam Daniel/Netflix

Netflix’s megahit offers two full seasons of Regency-era romance, gossip, and gowns, given the golden touch by producer Shonda Rhimes. The 1800s London-set drama is told in season-long chapters, each covering a romance of one of the high society Bridgerton siblings, with Season 1 following Daphne (Phoebe Dynevor) and her coupling with the reluctant duke Simon (Regé-Jean Page), as well as their steamy on-screen sexploits that gave the show much of its popularity. Season 2 moves on to Anthony (Jonathan Bailey) and the woman he cautiously falls for, Kate (Simone Ashley), and while there’s less doin’ it, the push-and-pull romance is a blast to watch. –Tim Surette [Trailer]

For fans of: UK hip-hop music and culture, narco-dramas
Number of seasons: 3 on Netflix, 4 total

Ashley Walters, Top Boy

Ashley Walters, Top Boy

Chris Harris

This East London and Jamaica-set crime drama returns for its fourth season in 11 years (they make TV at a different pace across the pond) and first since 2019. This season, crime boss Dushane (Ashley Walters) is trying to keep a tight hold on his empire, which includes making Jamie (Micheal Ward), who once came gunning for him, work for him. Meanwhile, Dushane’s former partner Sully (Kane Robinson) is trying to get out of the game, but it’s not easy, especially with the trouble his young relative Pebbles (The Falcon and the Winter Soldier star Erin Kellyman) brings his way when she comes to him for help. Top Boy is a gritty and engrossing crime thriller, and it’s great that it’s back. -Liam Mathews [Trailer]

For fans of: Sports docuseries, watching the human body do unreal things, facing controversy head-on
Number of seasons: 2

Cheer

Cheer

Netflix

Producer Greg Whiteley is one of TV’s Midases, a man whose golden touch makes hits out of any sports docuseries he creates (see: Last Chance U, Last Chance U: Basketball). But Cheer, which follows college cheerleading powerhouse Navarro College, might be his best. Following a Season 1 that won three Emmys, Cheer returns for Season 2 with its world upside-down and dealing with celebrity, both the good and bad. Season 2 also deals with controversy — Season 1 star Jerry Harris was charged with sexual abuse of a minor and child pornography — head-on, in addition to coronavirus and the brutal winter storms that hit Texas last winter. But the heart of the season is still the competition, which is magnified as cameras also follow Navarro’s rivals Trinity Valley and the collision course of both teams in Daytona. -Tim Surette [Trailer]

For fans of: Snappy shows that were meant for bingeing, twisty action, antiheroes
Number of Seasons: 3

Jaime Lorente, Belen Cuesta, and Ursula Corbero, Money Heist

Jaime Lorente, Belen Cuesta, and Ursula Corbero, Money Heist

Tamara Arranz/Netflix

Netflix recently announced that 97 percent of its American subscribers have watched an international (non-English language) series on its service, and I’m willing to bet 97 percent of those people were watching Money Heist, Álex Pina’s Spanish bank heist series. Pina’s preference for style and mystery over everything else is all over Money Heist, making it highly bingeable and perfect for the Netflix formula. Action! Drama! Skin! More action! The complete series is out now. -Tim Surette [Trailer]

For fans of: League of Legends (or not, it doesn’t matter!), dope animation
Number of seasons: 1 (Renewed for Season 2)

Arcane

Arcane

Netflix

The popular PC video game League of Legends has officially crossed mediums. Arcane adds life to two the game’s playable characters, Jinx (voiced by Ella Purnell) and Vi (voiced by Hailee Steinfeld), by digging into their backstories as petty thieves in the underworld city of Zaun and the tech-heavy city above it, Piltover. Arcane could have taken the easy route and thrown out a cookie-cutter TV adaptation with empty characters and showy action sequences, but instead it has crafted a show with great characters, a deep story, and beautiful motion-capture animation that pops off the screen. You don’t need to know a thing about League of Legends or be a fan of anime to enjoy this. -Allison Picurro [Trailer]

For fans of: Crime dramas, cartel violence, drugs
Number of seasons: 3

Scoot McNairy and Eric Etebari, Narcos: Mexico

Scoot McNairy and Eric Etebari, Narcos: Mexico

Juan Rosas/Netflix

The third and final season of the spin-off that we didn’t know we needed continues on without its big bad Miguel Ángel Félix Gallardo (Diego Luna) after his arrest in the Season 2 finale, but that just means there’s more chaos to be had in the ruckus to become the new Mexican drug kingpin. Expect lots of violence, obviously. -Allison Picurro [Trailer]

For fans of: Warmth and wholesomeness, tween girl drama
Number of seasons: 2

Vivian Watson and Anais Lee, The Baby-Sitters Club

Vivian Watson and Anais Lee, The Baby-Sitters Club

Netflix

There’s a tween girl inside all of us who just wants to watch a charming show about young girls trying to start a baby-sitting business. Embrace your inner Emily or Jayden or Madison and watch The Baby-Sitters Club, a true safe space in a world that wants to keep you down. Season 2 adds a few more members to the club, but the care to flesh out all its characters is still there. –Tim Surette [Trailer]

For fans of: The struggle, female empowerment, making bad decisions and then good decisions, the Pacific Northwest
Number of seasons: 1

Margaret Qualley, Maid

Margaret Qualley, Maid

Ricardo Hubbs/Netflix

You won’t often end an episode of Maid — adapted from Stephanie Land’s memoir Maid: Hard Work, Low Pay and a Mother’s Will to Survive — feeling overjoyed with the world, because the miniseries isn’t afraid to focus on the difficulties single mothers escaping abusive relationships face. But stick around and you’ll be inspired by the perseverance of Alex (Margaret Qualley in a star-making performance) as she becomes a housecleaner in Washington to make ends barely meet. Even though it’s a little longer than it needs to be, you won’t complain as long as Qualley is on the screen. –Tim Surette [Trailer]

For fans of: Twisted tales of cruelty, extremely violent kids’ games
Number of seasons: 1 (Renewed for Season 2)

Squid Game

Squid Game

Youngkyu Park/Netflix

Who remembers playing childhood games for fun on the playground? Who remembers playing them FOR YOUR LIFE? The unexpected hit Korean drama Squid Game is more the latter, as a group of people in bad need of money are taken in by a secret organization that has them play games — like Red Light, Green Light — for money. The catch? They lose, they die. Violently. What separates this from something like Saw is the humanity given to the characters. You’ll care about some of these people… and then they will die. –Tim Surette [Trailer | More shows like Squid Game]

For fans of: Kids discovering themselves, Gillian Anderson
Number of seasons: 3 (Renewed for Season 4)

Asa Butterfield and Emma Mackey, Sex Education

Asa Butterfield and Emma Mackey, Sex Education

Netflix

There are so many coming-of-age television series out there, but few are as brazenly honest and endearing as this oneThe comedy, now in its third season, is a raunchy-on-the-outside and sweet-on-the-inside charmer about a teen boy who inadvertently becomes his school’s go-to sex therapist. The series explores teen sexuality in a refreshingly non-judgemental, authentic way, and it posits that whether you’re the most popular kid in school or the outcast eating lunch alone, there’s a universal and terrifying confusion in growing up that can be made more manageable by a supportive community and communication. Plus, Gillian Anderson co-stars as Otis’ eccentric divorcée mom, who is an actual sex therapist and has a house full of phallic statues, which is just a lot of fun. -Allison Picurro [Trailer]

For fans of: Getting a history lesson while your stomach growls
Number of seasons: 1 

Stephen Satterfield and Dr. Jessica B. Harris, High on the Hog: How African American Culture Transformed America

Stephen Satterfield and Dr. Jessica B. Harris, High on the Hog: How African American Culture Transformed America

Netflix

Netflix has a large catalog of food shows, but none quite like High on the Hog. Hosted by Stephen Satterfield, the four-part docuseries is about Satterfield’s journey to learn about the storied history of African American cuisine. He learns about the contributions Black people have made to food, and how much of an influence food from the past has on the food we eat now, including the origins of okra, dishes created by Thomas Jefferson and George Washington’s enslaved chefs, and how mac and cheese came to be. The show is infectiously joyful, and has a lovely “discover your roots” spirit. Fair warning, though: You’re going to be starving after each episode.  -Allison Picurro [Trailer]

For fans of: Intense no-cut actions sequences, life and death situations
Number of seasons: 2

Christine Lee, Jaime King, and Justin Chu Gary, Black Summer

Christine Lee, Jaime King, and Justin Chu Gary, Black Summer

Netflix

Not all zombie shows are built the same, and this spiritual spin-off of the goofy Z Nation focuses on the gritty life-or-death situation of a small group of people trying to survive a zombie apocalypse. It’s intentionally minimal on plot (and at times dialogue), letting the action — frequently told in long takes with no cuts and some athletic cameramen — tell the story. For my money, it’s the best zombie show on TV. –Tim Surette [Trailer]

For fans of: Great TV, great acting, great cinematography, great writing, great everything
Number of seasons: 5

Bryan Cranston and Giancarlo Esposito, Breaking Bad

Bryan Cranston and Giancarlo Esposito, Breaking Bad

Ursula Coyote/AMC

Well, it’s perhaps the greatest television show ever made, so yeah, you should watch it. Bryan Cranston stars as antihero Walter White, a mild-mannered high school chemistry teacher who begins cooking meth to pay for his cancer treatments and finds that he really, really likes it. It won 16 Primetime Emmy Awards, including two for Best Drama Series in 2013 and 2014. Some will say the first season is only OK, but those people are morons. While you’re at it, watch the spin-off, Better Call Saul, which is also on Netflix. –Tim Surette [Trailer]

For fans of: When comedians enter their serious auteur era
Number of seasons: 3

Lena Waithe and Naomi Ackie, Master of None

Lena Waithe and Naomi Ackie, Master of None

Netflix

When Master of None first premiered in 2015, the series became a reset for co-creator and star Aziz Ansari’s career, who up until that point had mostly been known for his role as the guy on Parks and Recreation who gave us “treat yo’ self.” Ansari played Dev, a New York actor struggling with the personal and the professional, and the show was pretty universally acclaimed, especially in its triumphant second season, which brought black-and-white cinematography, references to French New Wave, and a beautiful, Golden Globe-winning episode about Dev’s friend Denise’s (Lena Waithe) coming out. It was in between Season 2 and its surprise Season 3 that sexual misconduct allegations against Ansari were made public, and when the show eventually did return after a long hiatus, it shifted the focus from Dev to Denise, exploring her relationship with her wife Alicia (Naomi Ackie). The good news is that it stayed fascinating throughout, wrestling with the characters’ flaws and exploring regret and loss in an entirely human way. -Allison Picurro [Trailer]