More From Decider

Best On Netflix

The Best Shows on Netflix: 50 Top Series for April 2023

Where to Stream:

American Vandal

Powered by Reelgood

Do you ever feel like you’ve already watched every television series on Netflix? After being (largely) stuck in our homes for the last six months and change, we don’t blame you for feeling that way — but it simply ain’t true. In moments like this, when you’re searching for something –nay, ANYTHING— to watch, Decider is here for you. (It’s right there in our name, after all!)

Over the last few weeks, the Decider team had some furious (yet socially distanced) debate about which of the thousands of shows on Netflix were the best of the bes–t. Some feelings were hurt, sure, but it was all in pursuit of the greater good. That good being YOUR good. No matter what you’re in the mood for —an uproarious comedy, a serious docuseries, a campy laugh riot, or an Emmy-winning drama— we’ve got something for you. So please, take a spin through our list of the 50 best shows on Netflix, a list that we’re constantly updating. Check early, check often, and happy bingewatching!

SEE ALSO: Netflix’s Top 10 Most Watched Movies and Shows, Updated Daily


'Wet Hot American Summer: Ten Years Later' (2017)

Photo: Netflix

CREATOR: Michael Showalter, David Wain
CAST: Elizabeth Banks, Lake Bell, Michael Ian Black

Wet Hot American Summer: 10 Years Later is as ridiculous as you want it to be and just what you expect from David Wain and Michael Showalter. What started in 2001 as a satire of ‘80s camp movies has become a franchise with the same hilarious ensemble, and the 10 Years Later series is just an excuse for them to flash forward and make a bunch of early-‘90s references and wardrobe choices over its eight-episode arc. If you’re of a certain generation that appreciates that nostalgia, it’s the perfect kind of entertainment.

Watch Wet Hot American Summer: Ten Years Later on Netflix


'Dead To Me’ (2019)

dead to me
Photo: Netflix

CREATORS: Liz Feldman
CAST: Christina Applegate, Linda Cardellini, James Marsden

Dead To Me is a comedy about two women who meet in a grief support group after both suffer tragic losses. Their shared love of wine and The Facts of Life binds them, but there’s also secrecy and mysteries to be solved as their lives become more intertwined. Linda Cardellini and Christina Applegate toggle seamlessly between comedy and drama, and the nuanced writing elevates the series.

Watch Dead To Me on Netflix


'Wild Wild Country' (2018)

Photo: Netflix

CREATORS: Maclain Way, Chapman Way
CAST: Ma Anand Sheela

Wild Wild Country is a fascinating true story of a cult that moved into and basically took over a small Oregon town, much to the locals’ chagrin. The group’s leader, Bhagwan Shree Rashneesh, was so shrouded in mystery that he rarely appeared publicly, leaving his personal assistant, Ma Anand Sheela, to be the public face of the group. Sheela would ultimately be tried in federal court for arson, wire-tapping, and several other crimes, and Wild Wild Country details the corruption and secrecy that shrouded her and the mysterious, controversial group.

Watch Wild, Wild Country on Netflix


'Atypical' (2017)

Photo: Netflix

CREATOR: Robia Rashid
CAST: Jennifer Jason Leigh, Keir Gilchrist, Michael Rapoport

Atypical is a rarely told story of what happens when someone with autism comes of age. When 18-year-old Sam (Keir Gilchrist) starts to catch feelings for women, his family grapples with his independence, the choices he’s making, and how it affects their own lives to see him growing. Though Gilchrist is not autistic in real life, he is portrayed deftly and sensitively, and the show features a supporting cast of autistic students.

Watch Atypical on Netflix


'Grace and Frankie’ (2015)

Photo: Saeed Adyani/Netflix

CREATORS: Marta Kaufmann, Howard J. Morris
CAST: Jane Fonda, Lily Tomlin

Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin, reunited on screen a few decades after 9 to 5, are in their element together on Grace and Frankie. As the title characters, they play two women who are strong-willed and opinionated (especially when it comes to each other), and yet they only have each other to lean on after their husbands fall in love and leave them during their retirement years. The A-list cast includes Martin Sheen and Sam Waterston, who, along with Fonda and Tomlin, are clearly having fun with the material and make it all the more fun to watch.

Watch Grace and Frankie on Netflix


'Shadow and Bone' (2021)

Photo: Netflix

CREATOR: Eric Heisserer

CAST: Jessie Mei Li, Ben Barnes, Archie Renaux, Freddy Carter, Amita Suman, Kit Young
Shadow and Bone is half lavish fantasy saga, half gripping teen drama. Based on the beloved books by Leigh Bardugo, the show follows young Alina Starkov (Jessie Mei Li), a lowly cartographer in Ravka’s First Army. A dangerous journey across the Shadow Fold reveals that Alina might just have the power to save her world forever: she is a Sun Summoner. However, instead of making Alina feel special, this revelation puts a target on her back. While she battles enemies from all sides, she also has a group of charming thieves on her trail. And don’t get us started about Alina’s love life… Shadow and Bone is the kind of fantasy epic that sweeps you away. — Meghan O’Keefe

Watch Shadow and Bone on Netflix


'The Witcher' (2019)

Photo: Netflix

CREATOR: Lauren Schmidt Hissrich
CAST: Henry Cavill, Anya Cholatra, Freya Allan

Is The Witcher high art? No, though a case could be made for the way Henry Cavill is able to communicate volumes through just grunts in the gory Netflix fantasy saga. The Witcher is addictive, escapist, melodramatic, bloody fun. Based on the best-selling books and video game, Netflix’s big blockbuster series works because of the chemistry of the main cast. Even as plots get more convoluted and magic all the more preposterous, we want to follow these broken souls as they battle evil and build a dysfunctional found family all their own.


'Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt' (2015)

Photos: Netflix

CREATORS: Tina Fey, Robert Carlock
CAST: Ellie Kemper, Tituss Burgess, Jane Krakowski, Carol Kane

Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt is based on a ridiculous but riveting premise right out of the gate: a woman (Ellie Kemper) is rescued from a doomsday cult with no knowledge of the past 15 years and moves to New York City to start anew. Kemper’s wide-eyed ingenue performance was cultivated on The Office, and she’s perfected it so that her Kimmy is nuanced and more emotionally grounded, even when she’s dealing with stuff like getting her GED or, you know, facing “The Reverend” who imprisoned her for most of her life.

Watch Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt on Netflix


'Teenage Bounty Hunters' (2020)

Photo: Netflix

CREATORS: Kathleen Jordan
CAST: Maddie Phillips, Anjelica Bette Fellini

Cruelly cancelled after one perfect season, Teenage Bounty Hunters told the story of Sterling (Maddie Phillips) and Blair Wesley (Anjelica Bette Fellini). These two quippy fraternal twins belied Southern stereotypes and brought escaped convicts to task as the titular TBH. Besides being fun, the show provided a sweet love letter to Southern culture as well as a breathlessly fresh spin on LGBTQ+ romances. Don’t let its one season run deter you. Teenage Bounty Hunters is one of the best binges you can find on Netflix. — Meghan O’Keefe

Watch Teenage Bounty Hunters on Netflix


'Lovesick' (2014)

Photo: Netflix

CAST: Johnny Flynn, Antonia Thomas, Daniel Ings

Lovesick is like High Fidelity but with STDs. When Dylan (Johnny Flynn) learns he has chlamydia, he has to contact his long list of former sex partners to notify them. The series flashes back to those relationships and we see how and why they ended. The show allows those stories to piece together a more complex look at Dylan and his two closest friends who relive the flashback with him. It’s a funny and realistic look at the hope and promise young relationships offer (before the chlamydia infection, of course) and is surprisingly sweet.

Watch Lovesick on Netflix


'Flowers' (2016)

Photo: Netflix

CREATOR: Will Sharpe
CAST: Olivia Colman, Julian Barratt, Daniel Rigby

This dark (and I mean DARK) British comedy is charming and weird and sure to leave a lasting impression on you. Julian Barratt and Olivia Colman star in this half-hour series that takes on everything from the ridiculousness of family drama, the deep desire to fit in, and the relentless struggle of mental health but all with sweetly uplifting undertones. Discover the two wonderful seasons on your own but just know you’ve not seen much like this before, and when I think about it, I still feel it in my heart. —Lea Palmieri

Watch Flowers on Netflix


'After Life' (2019)

Photo: Netflix

CREATOR: Ricky Gervais
CAST: Ricky Gervais, Tom Basden, Ashley Jensen, Penelope Wilton

After Life is a classic Ricky Gervais series. Gervais stars as Andy, a happy man with a seemingly perfect life which is upended by the death of his wife. Andy’s entire demeanor changes, and his depression manifests as unfiltered anger at the world. This is a man who calls a small child a “c–t”; no one is protected from his brutal and brutish honesty. The series evolves and we watch Andy slowly redeem himself, but not before he works his way through the five stages of grief by way of cleverly crafted insults.

Watch After Life on Netflix


'Lost In Space' (2018)

Who's Who in Lost in Space
Photo: Netflix ; Illustration: Dillen Phelps

CREATORS: Irwin Allen, Matt Sazama, Burk Sharpless
CAST: Molly Parker, Toby Stephens, Parker Posey

If it wasn’t enough that the Robinson family was chosen to help colonize a new star system in order to save the human race (no pressure), their spacecraft is damaged en route and they’re forced to colonize an unknown planet way off their original course. The danger they face as they try to reconnect with their ship and survive in a new world is riveting thanks to a wonderful cast. Similar to Battlestar Galactica, much of the story is told in flashbacks that relate the family’s former life on their home planet to the trials they face stranded in outer space.

Watch Lost In Space on Netflix


'Bridgerton' (2020)

Bridgerton 10
Photo: Netflix

CREATORS: Chris Van Dusen
CAST: Regé-Jean Page, Phoebe Dynevor, Jonathan Bailey, Nicola Coughlan

Bridgerton is a show about the joys of seduction. Based on the best-selling romance novels by Julia Quinn, the series — and first Netflix hit from Shondaland — follows a brood of gorgeous siblings as they try to find true love in the marriage market of Regency London. The first season wooed us with a steamy romance between eldest daughter Daphne and the rakish Duke of Hastings, but the show is way more than just sexy. It’s also a giddy soap opera full of hilarious fools, scheming mamas, and one wallflower with a pen of steel.

Watch Bridgerton on Netflix


'Godless' (2017)

Photo: Netflix

CREATORS: Scott Frank
CAST: Jeff Daniels, Michelle Dockery, Merritt Wever, Scoot McNairy

Written, directed and created by Scott Frank, the gritty Western Godless follows the injured outlaw Roy Goode (Jack O’Connell) who is on the run from his boss/mentor Frank Griffin (a menacing Jeff Daniels) after stealing the loot from a train heist gone horribly wrong. Goode seeks solace in La Belle, a town with a population of mostly women after a mining accident killed all their men. As Frank Griffin leaves a trail of violence and destruction is his wake, the inevitable showdown between the two men draws closer over the course of seven gripping episodes. Featuring a strong supporting cast of Michelle Dockery, Merritt Weaver, Scoot McNairy and Sam Waterson, Godless is a grim, bloody, and rewarding Western that deserves your attention as well as your patience in terms of its pacing.—Karen Kemmerle

Watch Godless on Netflix


'Sex Education' (2019)

Photo: Netflix

CREATOR: Laurie Nunn
CAST: Asa Butterfield, Gillian Anderson

Awkward virgin teenager Otis (Asa Butterfield) is just coming into his own physically and sexually, as are all of his high-school classmates. His mom (Gillian Anderson) is a sex therapist who overshares and gets a little too detailed when it comes to the mechanics of bumping and grinding. So really, there’s only one thing for him to do: use the information she gives him to advise his peers about their own sex lives. The series is graphic and filthy and charming and sweet all at the same time.

Watch Sex Education on Netflix


'The Queen’s Gambit' (2020)

Photo: Netflix

CREATORS: Scott Frank and Allan Scott
CAST: Anya Taylor-Joy, Marielle Heller, Moses Ingram, Thomas Brodie-Sangster

Who says chess is boring? In the fall of 2020, the world found itself gripped by the story of orphan Beth Harmon (Anya Taylor-Joy). Left to fend for herself in a 1950s Kentucky orphanage, the precocious redhead finds her salvation in two places: the world of chess and the tranquilizer pills the headmistress uses to numb her traumatized charges. Beth uses chess like a superpower, letting her prodigious talents buoy her first out of poverty and then into the glamorous upper echelons of the mental sport. The only problem? The higher she gets in her journey to the top, the more she is haunted by her twin demons: grief and addiction. — Meghan O’Keefe

Watch The Queen's Gambit on Netflix


'Cheer' (2020)

What To Watch: Cheer on Netflix
Photo: Netflix

CAST: Monica Aldama, Gabi Butler, Lexi Brumback, Jerry Harris

The lesson of Cheer is that hard work pays off, but it doesn’t hurt if you have a backup team providing mat talk, the effusive form of positive hyping you provide your peers from the sidelines. The docu-series follows the competitive cheer squad from Navarro College, coached by the tough but maternal Monica Aldama. The students at the heart of the series are at their physical peak, but all are flawed or have been dealt difficult hands in life, and their stories of perseverance make you root for them beyond their final competition.

Watch Cheer on Netflix


'Black Mirror' (2011)


CREATOR: Charlie Brooker
CAST: Jesse Plemons, Cristin Milioti, Hayley Atwell

Black Mirror is basically Twilight Zone: the Next Generation, but with so much style and star power. The anthology series focuses on a collection of dystopian what-ifs, exploring everything from horrifying political scandals to the nightmare that is social media to simulated realities with a Belinda Carlisle soundtrack. The international cast and filming locations give the series a grander scale than anything Rod Serling would have ever imagined.

Watch Black Mirror on Netflix


'Easy' (2016)

Courtesy Netflix

CREATOR: Joe Swanberg
CAST: Aubrey Plaza, Judy Greer, Jane Adams, Dave Franco

Easy is a star-studded modern rom-com produced in an anthology format: for those with short attention spans or early bedtimes, each standalone episode can be watched on its own with little commitment, though there are recurring characters and themes throughout. While some episodes take a lighter tone (and go heavy on the sex—hope you’re ready to watch Malin Ackerman and Orlando Bloom go at it for days), others are more nuanced and explore a more emotional intimacy.

Watch Easy on Netflix


'The Society' (2019)

Photo: Everett Collection

CREATOR: Christopher Keyser
CAST: Kathryn Newton, Gideon Adlon, Sean Berdy

It’s either a dream come true or your worst nightmare: you’re in high school and everyone in your town disappears. When a group of teens return to their small Connecticut town after a field trip to find everyone else who lives there gone and realize they’re cut off from the rest of the world, they have to go all Lord of the Flies and make up their own rules for survival. But not all of them survive.

Watch The Society on Netflix


'Never Have I Ever' (2020)


CREATORS: Mindy Kaling and Lang Fisher
CAST: Maitreyi Ramakrishnan, Richa Moorjani, Jaren Lewison

Inspired by Mindy Kaling’s own memories of being a horny teen stuck in suburbia, Never Have I Ever tells the story of young Devi (Maitreyi Ramakrishnan), a boy-crazy teenager struggling to deal with her surging hormones. Also adding to Devi’s frustrations? Coping with the recent death of her beloved father. Never Have I Ever is a delectable treat of a binge full of heart, wit, and a healthy number of horny daydreams. — Meghan O’Keefe

Watch Never Have I Ever on Netflix


'Squid Game' (2021)

Photo: Netflix

CREATORS: Hwang Dong-hyuk
CAST: Lee Jung-jae, Jung Ho-yeon, Park Hae-soo

Squid Game took the world by storm when it premiered on Netflix in the late summer of 2021. The show follows a horrific secret game where in hundreds of struggling Koreans play children’s games to the death for the chance to win a fortune. The series drew folks in with its macabre humor and social commentary, but it maintained a hold on audiences thanks to its brilliant ensemble cast of characters you loved (and hated) to root for.

Watch Squid Game on Netflix


'I Think You Should Leave' (2019)

Photo: Everett Collection

CREATORS: Tim Robinson, Zach Kanin
CAST: Tim Robinson, Andy Samberg, Sam Richardson, Fred Willard

Based on the cast alone and their notable (and totally bonkers in a great way) character work, I Think You Should Leave is worthy of your time. Tim Robinson has assembled the best (and often weirdest) minds working in comedy today, including Cecily Strong, Sam Richardson, Will Forte, Fred Willard, and Vanessa Bayer. Despite the fact that many of the comedians involved have a connection to SNL, this show allows for far more daring, inventive, and deranged sketches than they’d ever pull off over in Studio 8H.

Watch I Think You Should Leave on Netflix


'The Baby-Sitters Club' (2020)

Photo: Netflix

CREATOR: Rachel Shukert
CAST: Sophie Grace, Alicia Silverstone, Momona Tamada, Shay Rudolph, Malia Baker, Xochitl Gomez

The newest iteration of The Baby-Sitters Club is a gem. Funny, heartfelt, full of humor and style (as Claudia, Momona Tamada’s wardrobe is perfection), and a fresh, modern update of the books. It’s incredibly faithful to the original text but also full of storylines that have been revamped to feel relevant for the present day. This series was a labor of love for a crew who grew up on the original series, and that attention to detail shows.

Watch The Baby-Sitters Club on Netflix


'Nailed It!' (2018)

Photo: Netflix

CAST: Nicole Byer, Jacques Torres

Nailed It! Is like the anti-Great British Baking Show. On the Baking Show, people who are genuinely talented take on incredibly difficult bakes, usually to impressive results. On Nailed It!, less … erm, qualified folks who are more likely to create a cake wreck try their best, to often hilarious results. No shade—there’s room here for both shows, and thanks to the delightful Nicole Byer and the expertise of Jacques Torres, Nailed It! is great fun.

Watch Nailed It! on Netflix


'Gilmore Girls' (2000)

Everett Collection

CREATOR: Amy Sherman-Palladino
CAST: Lauren Graham, Alexis Bledel

Rory and Lorelai Gilmore are mother-daughter goals (if your goals include coffee drinking, conversing solely in pop-culture references, and enduring complicated dealings with men that likely stem from your complicated paternal relationships). Set in the fictional town of Stars Hollow, Connecticut (voted Warner Bros. Set I’d Most Like To Live In), the show sets the bar for quirky supporting cast and rapid-fire dialogue.

Watch Gilmore Girls on Netflix


'The Haunting of Hill House' (2018) & 'The Haunting of Bly Manor' (2020) (TIE)

Victoria Pedretti The Haunting of Hill House
Photo: Netflix ; Illustration: Dillen Phelps

CREATOR: Mike Flanagan
CAST: Michiel Huisman, Carla Gugino, Timothy Hutton, Elizabeth Reaser, Henry Thomas

Families tormented by the haunted mansions they live in are well-worn stories by now (oh, boo hoo, you have to share your huge house with the undead), but The Haunting of Hill House depicts that trauma and its devastating aftermath in new and disturbing ways, told through intertwining storylines of past and present. Watch the paranormal wreak havoc on the young Crain family, and see how their adult lives have unraveled as a result. And for a bonus trip to the dark side, visit the spooky environs of Bly Manor in Flanagan’s follow up to Hill House: The Haunting of Bly Manor. 

Watch The Haunting Of Hill House on Netflix


'Stranger Things' (2016)

Courtesy Netflix

CREATOR: The Duffer Brothers
CAST: Winona Ryder, David Harbour, Millie Bobby Brown, Finn Wolfhard

Stranger Things really put Netflix on the map. This throwback sci-fi/horror drama about a group of small-town nerds who stumble across an elaborate, inter-dimensional, supernatural government conspiracy gave Netflix its first Game of Thrones-level mainstream hit. The show mixes everything that a generation of kids loved (King novels, Carpenter movies, Spielberg characters, X-Men plots) and mutates them into something both viscerally authentic to the 1980s and surprisingly now. Watching Stranger Things makes you feel like being a teen again, with all the confusion and screaming drama amped up to 11 (pun intended).—Brett White

Watch Stranger Things on Netflix


'Magic For Humans' (2018)


CREATOR: Justin Willman
CAST: Justin Willman

Criss Angel and David Blaine are so ‘90s. If you want a magician who represents what we as a culture need in 2020, let me suggest the charming Justin Willman. Willman’s blend of magic and comedy is a refreshing antidote to self-serious magicians of yore, and yet the feats he pulls off are every bit as entertaining and impressive.

Watch Magic For Humans on Netflix


'One Day At A Time' (2017)

photo: Netflix

CREATORS: Norman Lear, Whitney Blake, Allan Manings, Gloria Calderón Kellett, Mike Royce
CAST: Justina Machado, Rita Moreno, Todd Grinnell, Isabella Gomez

That Rita Moreno is still blessing us with her acting is an honor. That she has such wonderful material to perform is a gift. In this update to the 1975 sitcom of the same name, Moreno serves as the matriarch of a Cuban-American family living with her daughter, Penelope (the fantastic Justina Machado), and Penelope’s two kids. The show is anchored by her complex and realistic (and yet still hilarious) chemistry with Machado.

Watch One Day At A Time on Netflix


'When They See Us' (2019)

Photo: Atsushi Nishijima/Netflix

CREATOR: Ava DuVernay
CAST: Asante Blackk, Caleel Harris, Ethan Herisse, Jharrel Jerome

Ava DuVernay’s telling of the story of the Central Park Five, the five Harlem teens who were wrongfully convicted of raping the Central Park Jogger in 1990, is gripping television that could only have been made right now, given all that has unfolded in the time since the event. Through DuVernay’s expert lens, the story that unfolds over the four episode miniseries humanizes everyone involved in the tragic event, while illuminating how the criminal justice system places little value on the lives of those within it.

Watch When They See Us on Netflix


'The Great British Baking Show' (2010)

Photo: Netflix/Channel 4

CREATOR: Anna Beattie
CAST: Paul Hollywood, Mary Berry, Prue Leith, Noel Fielding, Sandy Toksvig

There is no greater defeat than when Paul Hollywood jams his thick finger into a contestant’s loaf and declares it underbaked. No greater joy than when he tastes a loaf that’s been dappled with some combination of orange peel and cardamom and extends a congratulatory handshake to its creator. This is the extent of the emotional highs and lows of The Great British Baking Show. The British competition series has gained renown for its gentle demeanor — even the harshest baking critiques are delivered with kindness. And the grand prize? Why, there are no sponsorships here. All you get is a giant plate, a bouquet, likely picked from the pastoral landscape upon which the series is filmed, and the satisfaction of knowing you rose to the occasion and had this talent in you all along.

Watch The Great British Baking Show on Netflix


'Cobra Kai' (2018)

Photo: Netflix

CREATORS: Josh Heald, Jon Hurwitz, Hayden Schlossberg
CAST: William Zabka, Ralph Macchio

Cobra Kai is the rare reboot that not only works, but shines new light on its original material. The series follows the original characters from the hit ‘80s franchise The Karate Kid into the 2020s. Daniel LaRusso has gone from underdog to rich bully and Johnny Lawrence is now the unlikely hero we’re rooting for. But beyond that, it’s one of the few shows to effortlessly blend action, comedy, romance, and nostalgia. Quite simply, it’s a knockout.

Watch Cobra Kai on Netflix


'Better Call Saul' (2015)

Photo: AMC

CREATORS: Vince Gilligan, Peter Gould
CAST: Bob Odenkirk, Jonathan Banks, Rhea Seehorn, Michael McKean, Giancarlo Esposito

Bob Odenkirk didn’t even understand why he, of all people, was being asked to audition for the role of Saul Goodman on Breaking Bad. And yet, what was meant to just be a four-episode arc has turned into a career-making role that carries an entire spin-off series. It’s no small feat to take a con man who served as the wisecracking comic relief in one series and turn him into a beloved, if flawed, character, but Odenkirk has flourished in the role. Turns out, Saul has plenty of story to tell outside of the world of Walter White.

Watch Better Call Saul on Netflix


'Mindhunter' (2017)


CREATOR: Joe Penhall
CAST: Jonathan Groff, Anna Torv, Holt McCallany

Mindhunter follows two FBI agents played by Jonathan Groff and Holt McCallany, in the Behavioral Science Unit, as they profile serial killers to understand their motives and methods. Based on the book Mindhunter: Inside The FBI’s Elite Serial Crime Unit by former FBI agent John E. Douglas, the series has executive producer David Fincher’s stamp on it in many ways; dark and chilling at times, it seeks to understand what’s going on in the minds of not just killers, but then men who are studying them.

Watch Mindhunter on Netflix


'The Good Place' (2016)

The Good Place spoilers
Photos: Everett Collection, Shutter Stock ; Illustration: Dillen Phelps

CREATOR: Michael Schur
CAST: Kristen Bell, Ted Danson, William Jackson Harper, Jameela Jamil, Manny Jacinto, D’Arcy Carden

Everyone loves a TV show that flips the script, and The Good Place’s first season is right up there at the top of the list in terms of television shows where you just didn’t see the big twist coming. The Good Place is equal parts comedy and philosophy lesson, a true original that perfectly blends highbrow concepts, middlebrow comedy, a plethora of visual puns, and Ted Danson to create a magical show.

Watch The Good Place on Netflix


'Dear White People' (2017)

Dear White People 2
Photo: Netflix

CREATOR: Justin Simien
CAST: Logan Browning, Brandon P. Bell, DeRon Horton

Based on the 2014 film of the same name, Dear White People pulls off the difficult task of blending humor and satire with racial commentary. Set on a college campus full of white students who would identify as “woke,” the series takes a look at the realities of the black students on campus who have to navigate life among their peers and challenge the status quo. There are some truly genius episodes (the Scandal parody is a must-see) that make this show shine.

Watch Dear White People on Netflix


'Community' (2009)

Photo: NBC

CREATOR: Dan Harmon
CAST: Joel McHale, Donald Glover, Danny Pudi, Alison Brie, Yvette Nicole Brown, Gillian Jacobs, Chevy Chase

Community is that perfect ensemble show where you truly can’t pick a favorite character because they all complement each other so well and each cast member adds the perfect element to the weird, meta, referential humor in the scripts. (And just as it’s hard to believe superstar Cardi B was once just a reality star on Love & Hip Hop, we tend to forget that Donald Glover a.k.a. Childish Gambino is also Troy Barnes, of “Troy and Abed In The Morning” fame.)

Watch Community on Netflix


'Queer Eye' (2018)

Photo: Netflix

CREATOR: David Collins
CAST: Bobby Berk, Karamo Brown, Jonathan Van Ness, Antoni Porowski, Tan France

Queer Eye is the comfort show we all needed in 2018 when it premiered as a reboot of the early aughts’ Queer Eye For The Straight Guy, and it continues to be a comfort in 2020. Leaving the “straight guy” behind, the new version of the series opens itself up to new clientele, be they gay, straight, or trans. The entire makeover crew, known at the Fab Five, are cast to perfection to create a judgment-free zone where you’ll laugh, you’ll cry, and you’ll most definitely start referring to literally everything as “gorgeous.”

Watch Queer Eye on Netflix


'Derry Girls' (2018)

Cast of 'Derry Girls'
Photos: NETFLIX ; Illustration: Dillen Phelps

CAST: Saoirse-Monica Jackson, Louisa Harland, Nicola Coughlan, Jamie-Lee O’Donnell

A show set in 1990s Northern Ireland at the height of the “Troubles” might sound like a march through despair, but Derry Girls is an uproarious hilarious look at the embarrassments of teen life. The show follows four native Derry girls and the English-born male cousin who gets hooked into their idiosyncratic world. With devastating one liners and foreign-sounding slang, Derry Girls pulls off that magic trick of comedy: by being hyper specific, the show feels emotionally universal. Don’t sleep on this one. (But, uh, maybe watch with the subtitles on? You’ll have a greater appreciation for showrunner Lisa McGee’s exquisite joke writing.)—Meghan O’Keefe

Watch Derry Girls on Netflix


'Unbelievable' (2019)

Kaitlyn Dever in Unbelievable
Photo: NETFLIX ; Illustration: Dillen Phelps

CREATOR: Susannah Grant, Ayelet Waldman, and Michael Chabon
CAST: Toni Collette, Kaitlyn Dever, Meritt Wever

Netflix’s Unbelievable may have been snubbed at the 2020 Emmys, but it remains one of the most essential dramas of the past few years. Based on a 2015 ProPublica story, Unbelievable follows a teenager named Marie (Kaitlyn Dever) who is accused of lying after she reports her rape to the police. Years later, two female detectives (Toni Collette and Meritt Wever) pick up the investigation and give it the attention it deserves, and before long, they connect Marie’s case to a serial rapist. Despite the dark subject material, Unbelievable succeeds because of its female-centric, victim-first POV, which ensures that the emotional impact of sexual assault, rather than the assault itself, remains at the forefront of the narrative.—Claire Spellberg

Watch Unbelievable on Netflix


'Bojack Horseman' (2014)

Everett Collection

CREATOR: Raphael Bob-Waksberg
CAST: Will Arnett, Amy Sedaris, Alison Brie, Paul F. Tompkins, Aaron Paul

BoJack Horseman‘s very first episode revolves around BoJack (Will Arnett) begrudgingly accepting he needs a ghostwriter for his memoir. Within minutes of meeting her, Diane (Alison Brie) tells BoJack, “You’re responsible for your own happiness.” BoJack immediately dismisses the notion as depressing before making a couple of self-deprecating jokes and throwing up a truly staggering amount of cotton candy. Six seasons later it’s clear that Diane was right all along. As BoJack Horseman proved, we are all responsible for our own happiness and, more importantly, the journey it takes to get there.—Kayla Cobb

Watch Bojack Horseman on Netflix


'Arrested Development' (2003)


CREATOR: Mitchell Hurwitz
CAST: Jason Bateman, Portia de Rossi, Will Arnett, Tony Hale, Jessica Walter, Jeffrey Tambor

Arrested Development is like a live-action Simpsons, each episode richly layered with visual gags you’ll pause your TV to rewatch, and scripts full of jokes that are destined to become catchphrases. (“There’s always money in the banana stand” will be on my tombstone, mark my words.) It’s the series that formally introduced us to Michael Cera, Tony Hale, and Will Arnett, revitalized Jason Bateman’s comedy career, and gave Liza Minelli vertigo.

Watch Arrested Development on Netflix


'New Girl' (2011)

Everett Collection

CREATOR: Elizabeth Meriwether
CAST: Zooey Deschanel, Jake Johnson, Lamorne Morris, Max Greenfield, Hannah Simone

We’ve all already watched New Girl in its entirety several times, right? This sitcom feels designed to be enjoyed over and over again. It’s just one of those shows that might be even more perfect now as the thing that helps me drift off to sleep or gives me the same Schmidt chuckle on a day when I need it most. New Girl is both sharper and sweeter than it really ever gets credit for and knowing it’s on Netflix is knowing you’ve lot a loft-full of caring roommates ready to give you the equivalent of a streaming hug.—Lea Palmieri

Watch New Girl on Netflix


'Avatar: The Last Airbender' (2005)

Photo: Everett Collection

CREATORS: Michael Dante DiMartino, Brian Konietzko
CAST: Zach Tyler, Mae Whitman, Jack De Sena

Avatar: The Last Airbender is one of those shows that kids and adults can both appreciate on multiple levels. Rooted in comic book mythology, ATLA takes place in a fantasy world where the four elements — air, water, earth and fire — can be manipulated in order to maintain harmony and balance in the world. Its killer soundtrack and smart writing elevate the animated series and make it a great watch (with or without kids).

Watch Avatar: The Last Airbender on Netflix


'Breaking Bad' (2008)

Photo: AMC

CREATOR: Vince Gilligan
CAST: Bryan Cranston, Aaron Paul, Anna Gunn, Dean Norris, Betsy Brandt

Broke and desperate high school teacher uses his chemistry knowledge to become drug kingpin in order to provide for his family. (When we put it that way, the plot of Breaking Bad actually seems kinda… realistic? But the story of meth cookers Walter White and his student, Jesse Pinkman, is far more brutal and gory than that simple log line.) Bryan Cranston’s performance as Walter White (and White’s alter ego, Heisenberg the drug dealer) is one of the great performances in recent years, and helped to place Breaking Bad alongside The Wire and The Sopranos as one of the defining dramas in this golden age of prestige television.

Watch Breaking Bad on Netflix


'Russian Doll' (2019)

Photo: Netflix

CREATORS: Leslye Headland, Natasha Lyonne, Amy Poehler
CAST: Natasha Lyonne, Charlie Barnett, Greta Lee

There are comparisons aplenty between Russian Doll and Groundhog Day, and while it’s true that the protagonists of both are stuck in a time loop, destined to repeat the same day over and over, tonally and visually they are drastically different. Natasha Lyonne’s Nadia doesn’t just relive each day, she dies each night (in a sometimes shocking, sometimes hilarious fashion). Eventually fate brings Nadia together with Alan, who’s stuck in his own time loop, and they have to figure out how their paths intersect. You’ll definitely be downloading Harry Nilsson’s “Gotta Get Up” after watching.

Watch Russian Doll on Netflix


'GLOW' (2017)

Alison Brie and Betty Gilpin in Netflix's GLOW Photo: Netflix

CREATORS: Liz Flahive, Carly Mensch
CAST: Alison Brie, Betty Gilpin, Marc Maron

GLOW begins as a series that’s presumably about an out-of-work actress (Alison Brie) taking a job as part of an all-female wrestling ensemble out of desperation. Along the way she finds herself working alongside her ex-best friend (Betty Gilpin) and a scummy B-movie director (Marc Maron), and as it turns out, everyone is a lot more complex, difficult, and kind than they first appeared. GLOW has become one of the great dramedies in recent years, with incredible performances from Gilpin, Brie, and a hugely talented supporting cast.

Watch GLOW on Netflix


'American Vandal' (2018)

American Vandal Cast
Photos: NETFLIX ; Illustration: Dillen Phelps

CREATORS: Tony Yacenda, Dan Perrault
CAST: Tyler Alvarez, Griffin Gluck, Jimmy Tatro, Camille Hyde

If there’s one genre Netflix has become known for it’s true crime, so it only makes sense that their satire of a true crime series would be just as lauded. When a graffiti scandal rocks a local high school (seriously, who drew the dicks?) a student documentarian uses his journalistic skills to solve the crime. Tipping its hat to every crime story trope out there, American Vandal is hilarious and yet somehow just as gripping as any real-life mystery.

Watch American Vandal on Netflix