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Say it’s a Saturday morning and you have absolutely nothing to do and nowhere to go. No commitments (well, except maybe with the couch and that box of takeout from the night before), no obligations, nothing. Let’s also imagine you want nothing more than to spend the day sitting somewhere between sitting up and laying down while watching the best Netflix TV shows the streamer has to offer for hours on end. But sometimes finding the best TV shows to binge watch is easier said than done and end up wasting half the day arguing with yourself and the platform’s labyrinthian library of shows and genres.
Well, my friend, you’ve come to the right place as we have have put together a list of around 25 of the best shows Netflix has to offer. And even though this list is admittedly a lot to take in, where else are you going to find the best sci-fi, musical comedies, and racy period dramas the streaming world has to offer?
Stranger Things (2016 - Present)
Stranger Things, or the Duffer brothers love letter to all things ‘80s, has all the makings of a show you can lose yourself to if you’re not careful. With three seasons (even more when Stranger Things Season 4 debuts) filled with sci-fi horror, a large ensemble cast featuring some of the best actors (both young and old), and a gripping story about a group of friends trying to avert disaster in their small Indiana town, there’s a lot to enjoy here.
Breaking Bad (2008 - 2013)
There are few shows that changed the trajectory of a lead actor more so than what Breaking Bad did for series lead, Bryan Cranston. Over the course of the show’s five seasons, Cranston’s Walter White transforms himself from an unassuming high school chemistry teacher to a notorious drug lord known simply as “Heisenberg.” Watch out, because this show will suck you in and won’t let you out until hours later.
The Great British Baking Show (2010 - Present)
But what if you want to lose yourself to the charming and sometimes hectic cooking competition show that is The Great British Baking Show? Well, Netflix is there with eight seasons of decedent desserts, colorful personalities, and a level of watchability that goes unmatched in the genre. Just make sure you have some snacks on hand or are prepared to cook more.
Mindhunter (2017 - 2019)
With only two seasons (we must accept Season 3 won’t happen), Mindhunter is a great way to spend a weekend if you’re not turned off by characters with severe psychological damage and eerily accurate representations of the 20th Century’s most notorious serial killers. Following the efforts of the FBI’s Behavioral Science Unit, David Fincher’s crime thriller is top notch in every regard.
Schitt’s Creek (2015 - 2020)
One of the best wholesome comedies streaming, Schitt’s Creek follows the Rose family in one of the funniest and most quotable riches to rags stories in recent memory. Over the course of six hilarious seasons, Daniel Levy, Eugene Levy, Annie Murphy, and Catherine O’Hara gave audiences some of the best (and most decorated) performances on television as they made a new life for themselves in the quaint town of Schitt’s Creek.
Community (2009 - 2015)
For six seasons Community was one of the funniest and most unique comedies on broadcast television and the cult favorite ended up launching the careers of everyone from Alison Brie to Donald Glover and Gillian Jacobs to even the Russo brothers in a way. There is a certain quality and charm to the show about the students and faculty at Greendale Community College that makes them feel like family to the viewer, family you don’t mind spending hours with on the couch.
The Good Place (2016 - 2020)
Although it only stuck around for four seasons, The Good Place, the NBC comedy about a recently deceased woman who is surprised to discover she made it to the show’s version of heaven, was one of the best shows of its time. With a cast anchored by Kristen Bell, Ted Danson, Jameela Jamil, D’Arcy Carden, and William Jackson Harper, The Good Place is perfect for a quick pick-me-up over the weekend.
Outlander (2014 - Present)
The first four seasons of Outlander, the romantic fantasy epic about a British Army nurse who finds herself trapped in 18th Century Scotland, can be streamed on Netflix (with more surely on the way). With something for just about everyone — intense romance, a ton of action, fantasy elements, historical events — it’s no surprise the Starz original remains one of the most popular and talked about shows on television.
Gilmore Girls (2000 - 2007)
There was a stretch of time where you couldn’t flip through channels in the morning without coming across reruns of the mother-daughter drama Gilmore Girls. Now you don’t have to worry about missing any of the adventures in love and life of Lorelai (Lauren Graham) and Rory Gilmore (Alexis Bledel) and the rest of the stacked cast, as all seven seasons (plus the 2016 miniseries) are available on Netflix. Grab some snacks and a box of tissues because you’ll need both on this marathon.
Bridgerton (2020 - Present)
Topping out at eight episodes (it premiered in December 2020), the Netflix original series Bridgerton has all the makings of a binge-worthy show. With an outstanding and diverse cast, an engaging story about families in England’s Regency era seeking love, fortune, and power, and a clever way of incorporating modern music and culture in a long ago period, the show is a fascinating addition to the Netflix library. Bring on Bridgerton Season 2.
The People Vs. O.J. Simpson (2016)
The “Trial of the Century” turned into one of the greatest TV shows of 2016 with the arrival of The People vs. O.J. Simpson, the first in Ryan Murphy’s American Crime Story anthology series. Coming in at 10 episodes, this dramatic retelling of the murder of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ron Goldman, the media circus that followed the crimes, and the trial of O.J. Simpson provides for moment after moment of riveting television.
American Horror Story (2011 - Present)
American Horror Story will be returning for a 10th season in 2021, so now is the perfect time to go back and watch all previous seasons on Netflix. Ryan Murphy’s long-running horror anthology series has taken viewers to haunted houses, insane asylums, hotels, cults, and more over the years, with each individual story being good enough to stand on its own. This spooky, kooky, and downright terrifying series is a must-watch.
The Crown (2016 - Present)
The Crown is one of those shows that almost has to be binged to get the full experience. With so many characters coming in and out of Buckingham Palace (and 10 Downing Street) over the course of each of the show’s four seasons, there’s a lot to keep track of, but it pays off handsomely. From the final days of King George VI and Queen Elizabeth II taking over the throne up to the late 1980s in The Crown Season 4, Peter Morgan’s tireless efforts to unfold the drama of the royal family make for one of the most engaging and enchanting shows of the modern ear.
The Queen’s Gambit (2020)
There are few limited series that grabbed ahold of the Netflix subscriber base more than The Queen’s Gambit in late 2020. Seriously, the story of a young chess prodigy with all sorts of demons and personal struggles to overcome told over seven episodes is a masterpiece in television drama. From the early days of Beth Harmon (Anya Taylor-Joy) learning to play chess in an orphanage’s basement to the show’s fulfilling ending, The Queen’s Gambit is damn near perfect from top to bottom.
Comedians In Cars Getting Coffee (2012 - Present)
Although it originally started out as a Crackle exclusive, Jerry Seinfeld’s Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee later moved over to Netflix and continued the show’s tradition of featuring unique cars and even more unique conversations between the former sitcom star and the biggest names in show business. From Eddie Murphy to Mel Brooks and from former President Barack Obama to Steve Martin, nearly 100 icons of pop culture have taken a drive with Seinfeld over the years.
The Chef Show (2019 - Present)
Jon Favreau has done a lot over the course of his career. From being “that guy” in PCU to kickstarting the Marvel Cinematic Universe with Iron Man in 2008 to creating one of the best Star Wars properties with The Mandalorian, he’s been a busy man. That doesn’t stop him, however, from taking part in one of his true passions: cooking. His Netflix cooking series The Chef Show, which completed its second season in 2020, combines Favreau’s love of film and cooking and makes for one hell of an appetizing delight.
Trailer Park Boys (2001 - Present)
Somewhere right now, a group of college-aged friends are sitting around binging Trailer Park Boys, the long-running mockumentary series about the life and times of the residents of Sunnyvale Trailer Park. The show has a way of sucking you into its gravitational pull and not letting go. From the “Green Bastard” to the “Jump the Cheeseburger” moment, there are dozens of amazing Trailer Park Boys episodes to kill a few hours and brain cells along the way.
Grey’s Anatomy (2005 - Present)
It’s crazy to think about, but Grey’s Anatomy has been on the air for 17 seasons now and all but one of those seasons can be streamed on Netflix right now. This moving medical drama set in Seattle Grace Mercy West Hospital has the perfect balance of hospital action and touching love stories between the staff, creating one of the best entries in the genre (which is saying a lot, actually).
Black Mirror (2011 - 2019)
There are few shows as fun or terrifying as the sci-fi anthology series Black Mirror. Over the course of the five available seasons on Netflix, you can watch characters face a reality in which the advancement and technology and the ease it brings to their lives can also be their downfall. Plus, some of today’s biggest stars of film and television got their big break here.
Glee (2011 - 2019)
From its debut in 2009 up until its finale six years later, the musical comedy Glee featured some of television’s best rising stars, big music numbers, and emotional stories about the high school experience. And while most people have seen an episode, or two, or 121, it’s never a bad time to go back and start it all from the beginning.
Daredevil (2015 - 2018)
Remember when Marvel and Netflix had a deal that spawned multiple badass comic book adaptations? Those were the days, right? Well, go back and watch all three seasons from the beginning with Daredevil, the 2015 series that started it all for the Defenders and helped bring a level of grit and realism to the world of comic book adaptations. Plus, is there anyone more brutal than Vincent D’Onofrio’s Wilson “Kingpin” Fisk?
Cobra Kai (2018 - Present)
Who would have thought a continuation of The Karate Kid decades later would be so much fun. Well, that’s the case for Cobra Kai, the former YouTube original that found a home on Netflix for its third and most recent season. Finally seeing things through the eyes of Johnny Lawrence (William Zabka) and his transformation over the years adds a nice spin to the decades-old franchise.
Sherlock (2010 - 2017)
Before he became the Sorcerer Supreme in Doctor Strange, Benedict Cumberbatch brought new life to another classic character on the British drama series Sherlock. Each of the show’s four seasons play out like four-hour movies and can be knocked out in a single weekend, which is made a lot easier by the show’s pace and outstanding cast.
Shameless (2011 - Present)
Before we all say goodbye to the Gallagher family with the Shameless series finale in April 2021, we should all go back and see how it began for them back in 2011. Even though the final season isn’t yet available on Netflix, Season 1 through 10 are there in all their streaming glory.
Well, that is certainly more than enough Netflix to hold you over for days, weeks, and possible even months. If you want even more television, however, you can always check out CinemaBlend’s 2021 TV schedule for all the latest information.