In the era of streaming television, no single platform has offered an easier way to watch your favorite shows—including exclusive properties—than Netflix. There’s enough shows on Netflix that you’ll never be able to plow through all of them before something new comes out. In fact, Netflix has made it so easy to watch your favorite content, from crime dramas to stand-up comedy, that the internet entertainment company has invented a whole new term for television on its own: the binge watch. Whether you’re up until 2 in the morning streaming old seasons of Grey’s Anatomy, or you’re spending your weekend watching the newest Marvel superhero crime shows, Netflix has got you covered for all your entertainment.
But with so many shows streaming on the platform, what should you watch? In this time of peak TV, it’s harder than ever to determine the good from the great—and luckily, we’ve done that for you right here. So settle in for a day of laughing, crying, and keeping your eyes glued to the screen. These are 40 of our favorite streaming shows on Netflix, updated weekly with new suggestions and new shows. And let us know in the comments below about your favorite streaming sensation!
You might remember the long-running Archie series of comics from your childhood, featuring the titular character and his friends Betty, Veronica, and Jughead shopping, studying, dating, and playing in their band. Riverdale invites you back to the world of Archie as you’ve never seen it before. Falling somewhere between Degrassi and Twin Peaks, Riverdale begins with one of Archie’s classmates being found murdered over his summer break, causing the town of Riverdale to change and evolve in ways never presented in the comics. It turns out everyone—especially the adults—have something to hide. The show takes a bit to start up, devoting a bit too much time in its early episodes to a misguided plot involving one of Archie’s teachers, but once the show refocuses itself around episode four, you’ll be hooked from beginning to end. Don’t sleep on this one: season one is currently streaming on Netflix, with season two ready to premiere on the CW October 11th.
This Netflix original series traces the rise and fall of real-life drug kingpin Pablo Escobar (Wagner Moura), and the U.S. and Colombian authorities who worked to bring him down. The series has a documentary sensibility, and is very true-to-life when the showrunners must have been tempted to sensationalize things. The show doesn’t have many sympathetic characters, but the tense writing and strong performances will keep you invested. Two seasons were previously streaming, and a third recently released on September 1st. If you’re new to the show, be careful to avoid spoilers!
38. The Good Place
One of the hottest new series from last fall, NBC’s The Good Place tells the story of Eleanor Shellstrop, a woman who’s woken up to find she’s dead and in heaven—or rather, The Good Place, as it’s called. Kristen Bell plays Eleanor, a woman who finds herself in a place she doesn’t deserve to be. Also starring is Cheers’ alumni Ted Danson as Michael, the creator of The Good Place, a man trying to make his residents as happy as possible in the afterlife. This series comes from creator Michael Schur, fresh off co-creating both Parks and Recreation and Brooklyn-99. Any fans of his previous work—he also wrote and acted on The Office, where he played Dwight’s cousin Mose Schrute—will find plenty to love here. Just don’t read too much into the plot online—serious spoilers abound. Season one is currently streaming on Netflix, with season two premiering on NBC on September 20th.
37. The Defenders
With solo series out of the way for Marvel’s four Netflix heroes—including Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, and Iron Fist—it’s time for them to take on their biggest roles yet. The Defenders see the four superheroes team up for an Avengers-style crossover, and early word of mouth seems to indicate a positive improvement over the problematic and slow Iron Fist that premiered back in March. If you’re a fan of Marvel’s edgier Netflix shows, and you’re ready to see your four favorite fighters team up to defend New York against Sigourney Weaver, The Defenders is perfect summer-popcorn fare on the small screen. Season one just became available for streaming this month.
This Netflix original thriller follows a dysfunctional family of hotel owners in Monroe County, Florida. When Danny, the black sheep of the family, comes home, no one is happy to see him. Skeletons will be brought out of closets, and family will consider unthinkable crimes. The series stars Kyle Chandler of Friday Night Lights fame, which earned him an Emmy nomination for his performance in season one. The series, which just closed out its third and final season, also stars Ben Mendelsohn (who also received an Emmy nom) and Linda Cardellini of Freaks and Geeks fame.
35. The Get Down
This musical drama about the birth of hip-hop and the death of disco is set in the South Bronx in 1977. The show was created by Moulin Rouge director Baz Luhrmann, whose specific art design and style has won over fans of his aesthetic worldwide. Though the series initially suffers from a slow burn, the show is both creative and visually-inspired, with a diverse cast led by Jaden Smith and Jimmy Smits. The show finished airing after two “parts,” making it a perfect weekend bing for fans of musical dramas and R&B alike.
A romantic comedy developed by Judd Apatow, Leslie Arfin, and Paul Rust, Love is a down-to-earth look at dating that explores the nature of romantic relationships through a variety of characters. Stars Rust and Community‘s Gillian Jacobs are forced to navigate their newly found relationship. The series isn’t perfect—it suffers from a number of problems we’ve seen with other Apatow productions, including an overlong pilot—but if you’re in the mood for some dark romantic comedy in the vein of You’re the Worst or Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, you’ll find plenty to love here (no pun intended). Two seasons are currently streaming, with a third season coming in 2018.
33. Grace & Frankie
Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin play the titular characters in this hilarious show, who form an unlikely friendship after their husbands announce they are in love with each other. The two women have never particularly liked each other, but when their husbands leave them, they move in together and support each other as they both try to navigate the next phase of their lives. After a critically-mixed season one, seasons two and three received critical acclaim for their renewed focus on comedy and a faster overall pace. The show also stars Martin Sheen and Sam Waterston. Seasons one through three are currently streaming, with a fourth on the way for 2018.
This dramedy anthology series and investigates the intricacies of a wide range of sexual and romantic relationships taking place in Chicago. It was written and directed by Joe Swanberg, a pioneer of “mumblecore” style filmmaking, which gives the show an intimate, authentic atmosphere. Season one features actors including Hannibal Buress, Orlando Bloom, Aya Cash, Dave Franco, and Jake Johnson. In April, Swanberg announced the anthology show had been renewed for a second season, presumably out either later this year or sometime in 2018.
31. The Ranch
Being a pro athlete didn’t pan out for Colt. Now he’s helping his dad and brother keep the family ranch afloat, and figuring out how he fits into the family. With a heavyweight cast including Ashton Kutcher, Sam Elliott, and Debra Winger, The Ranch has gained a reputation for sensitivity and strong performances, as well as a focus on red-state situational comedy. This also marks the second time Kutcher and Danny Masterson have shared the screen together, following their performances as Kelso and Hyde on That 70’s Show, respectively. The show is currently in the middle of season two, with both parts of season one and the first part of season two currently online.
30. Fuller House
This sequel to the sitcom Full House, which ran from 1987 to 1995, features the returning character of DJ, who is now a veterinarian and the widowed mother of three sons. Many of the original cast reprise their former roles, although Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen opted out. Fans of the original will love it, though newcomers to the series may not find enjoyment in this nostalgia-focused family-friendly show. Fuller House has aired a full two seasons on Netflix, with the first part of season three coming on September 22nd.
DC Comics has had better luck with its TV shows than its big-screen adaptations lately (at least until Wonder Woman came out), and Arrow is one of their strongest offerings. Wealthy scion Oliver Queen returns home with incredible archery skills and a desire to fight crime (it’s no sillier than Batman, if you think about it). Arrow has all the makings of great binge-watching, from a brooding protagonist to colorful, melodramatic plotting, and fun secondary characters who absolutely steal the show. Five seasons are currently streaming on the platform; season six will start airing on the CW this fall, and presumably will appear on Netflix following the season’s conclusion.
The first of many Marvel-Netflix partnerships, Daredevil follows the adventures of Matt Murdock, a blind lawyer by day and masked vigilante by night. As Murdock fights crime in his spare time in Hell’s Kitchen, New York City, he faces down organized crime and eventually more supernatural threats. Daredevil set the bar for Marvel’s Netflix offerings, with strong performances, visual style to spare, and impressive martial arts action. Two seasons of the show are currently available to watch, with season three coming to the service sometime in the future.
The Canadian frontier of the late 1700s was an unforgiving place, but the fur trade promised to make men rich if they could survive it. Jason Momoa (who you might have seen as Khal Drogo in in Game of Thrones or Aquaman in the upcoming Justice League movie) gives a powerhouse starring performance as Declan Harp, a half-Irish, half-Native American fur trapper who is determined to break the Hudson Bay Company’s grip on the region by any means necessary. The first season is currently available for streaming, with a second season presumably premiering sometime in 2018.
26. American Crime
Each season of this acclaimed ABC series starts with a crime and then spins out to show how it affects everyone involved. The series’ creator, John Ridley, wrote the screenplay for 12 Years a Slave, so you can expect some unflinching drama and serious looks at social issues from American Crime. Though critically acclaimed—with several Emmy wins and nominations under its belt—the show was criminally under-watched, and ended after the conclusion of its third season in 2017. All three seasons are available to watch on Netflix.
25. Luke Cage
Luke Cage (Mike Colter) is an ex-con with unbreakable skin and super strength who also made an appearance on Jessica Jones as a short-term love interest. This is Marvel’s third Netflix series, and it stands out with both a thoughtful focus on its largely African-American cast, and a winking 70s-Blaxploitation aesthetic. Luke wants to live a quiet life, but his determination to right wrongs makes him a reluctant hero of Harlem–and a target for local gangsters with big plans. Cage reappears in The Defenders, and has a second season on its way for 2018.
24. Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt
This sitcom was created by Tina Fey and Robert Carlock, and stars Ellie Kemper (of The Office) in the title role. 29-year-old Kimmy was rescued from a Doomsday Cult after spending 15 years as an underground hostage, held by the Reverend Richard Wayne Gary Wayne (played by Jon Hamm). She moves to New York to begin her life as an adult, and we get to follow her as she discovers our weird modern world with enthusiasm and zany naivete. Any fans of Fey and Carlock’s previous show, 30 Rock will find plenty to love here, including actress Jane Krakowski, who played Jenna Maroney on Fey’s previous sitcom. The show has three seasons currently streaming on Netflix, and has been renewed for a fourth season.
23. The Magicians
The Magicians takes an adult, intensely cynical look at the tropes of some famous children’s fantasy books. Quentin Coldwater (Jason Ralph) is a graduate student addicted to a Narnia-type book series, who discovers the world of the books is more than just escapism. He ends up at an elite school for young magicians (sound familiar?), makes a bunch of misfit friends, and ends up transported to the universe of his favorite fantasy novels. Meanwhile his childhood friend Julia (Stella Maeve) breaks into the world of magic by less traditional means. Season one is currently available for streaming, with season two expected to hit the service sometime next year.
Idris Elba is amazing as DCI John Luther, the tormented cop who returns to duty from a mental-health leave to come face to face with a psychotic serial killer, chillingly portrayed by Ruth Wilson. Dark and well-written, this show is propelled from good to great by Elba’s captivating performance. Inspired by both Sherlock Holmes and Columbo, any fan of murder mysteries will find something to love with Luther. Four series are available for streaming currently, with four one hour episodes in each series. A fifth series is scheduled to film in early 2018; presumably, the new episodes will be put on netflix sometime after.
21. Stranger Things
In this loving tribute to 1980s sci fi and fantasy, a group of kids investigate mysterious goings-on in their hometown. The cast is absurdly talented, with a standout performance from Winona Ryder as a missing boy’s frantic mother, and the show really nails the look and feel of the 80s movies it imitates. Created and written by the Duffer Brothers and featuring incredible performances from the adults and children alike, this show feels like Spielberg, Carpenter, and King thrown into a blender together. With season two coming on October 27th, now’s a perfect time to catch up on last summer’s breakout hit.
20. Crazy Ex-Girlfriend
A few minutes watching the pilot of this musical-dramedy and you’ll be hooked. This incredibly original series was written by screenwriter Aline Brosh McKenna (The Devil Wears Prada) and sketch-comedy and YouTube star Rachel Bloom, who stars as Rebecca Bunch in a role that has garnered Bloom a Golden Globe for Best Actress in 2016. Rebecca leaves an amazing career in New York after she runs into an ex-boyfriend, Josh Chan (Vincent Rodriguez III), who she went to summer camp with when she was 16. Convinced her happiness lies with Josh in West Covina, California, she leaves behind a promotion at her New York law firm to follow Chan back to his hometown. Crazy Ex-Girlfriend has won over millions of fans online, with a killer soundtrack and the ability to make you laugh and cry all at the same time. Make no mistake—this is one of the best shows on television right now. Seasons one and two are streaming on Netflix, with season three ready to premiere this October on the CW.
19. Better Call Saul
In this spin-off/prequel to Breaking Bad, we see the early-2000s origin story to Saul Goodman, the skeezy lawyer Walter White used in the original show, played by Bob Odenkirk. Though a follow-up series to Breaking Bad about Odenkirk’s comic-relief character seemed like an odd decision when the show was first announced, three seasons in, some critics have argued the show surpasses its predecessor. While we wouldn’t go that far, the two shows, despite sharing a creative team and the same DNA behind the camera, are incredibly different. While the first show chronicled the downfall of family man Walter White, this show is far more comical, with a focus on Goodman’s—here still known as Jimmy McGill—law practice, and his relationship with his brother. Mike Ehrmantraut, played by Jonathan Banks, also returns from the original show. While the tone of Better Call Saul varies wildly from its Bad origins, Saul is a must-watch for fans of the first show. Seasons one and two are streaming in the United States, while all three seasons are streaming in other territories, marketed as a Netflix exclusive.
18. Freaks and Geeks
This hilarious 1999 high-school dramedy was created by Paul Feig (Bridesmaids, Spy), executive produced by Judd Apatow (Knocked Up, Trainwreck), and featured a soon-to-be all star cast—and yet, the show only ran for a single season, with its cancellation considered to be one of the greatest injustices in modern pop culture. It stars Linda Cardellini (Scooby-Doo, Mad Men) as Lindsay Weir, and John Francis Daley (Bones, writer of Spider-man: Homecoming) as her younger brother Sam, following them as they try to find and fit in with their school cliques. The cast also features Seth Rogen (Neighbors), James Franco (127 Hours), Jason Segel (Forgetting Sarah Marshall, How I Met Your Mother), Martin Starr (Silicon Valley), and Becky Ann Baker (Girls). All 18 episodes are currently streaming.
17. The Crown
The Crown follows the early life of Queen Elizabeth II, first beginning as she marries Prince Philip in 1947, and intends to cover the entirety of the Queen’s life before the show wraps up. Based partially on the 2006 film The Queen, Peter Morgan (writer of the 2006 film) creates a world that covers the drama and intensity of being in rule following the conclusion of World War II. The series has been acclaimed for its production value and performances, as well as its immaculate cinematography. Each season seems ready to cover about a decade of time in total, with plans in place for both season two and three. Claire Foy (Rosewater) and Matt Smith (Doctor Who) play Elizabeth II and Philip, respectively, and are joined by John Lithgow as Winston Churchill. Season one is already streaming, with season two premiering December 8th.
Eight strangers from around the world find that they are psychically linked to each other’s minds, experiencing whatever the other seven feel. This strange but promising premise comes courtesy of the Wachowskis (The Matrix, Cloud Atlas). It shuffles a diverse, interesting cast in creative ways, making for lots of intriguing, unexpected developments. Despite the complicated plot, the fanbase grew a cult following over its first two seasons of production. Though the show was unexpectedly cancelled after those two seasons, public outcry from the show’s massive fan base led to the greenlighting of an upcoming two-hour Netflix original movie in 2018 to wrap up the shows plotlines.
A cult-classic, Shameless offers some of the best entertainment to be had on television today. It’s about the Gallaghers, a family of six kids raised by the oldest, Fiona (Emmy Rossum). Dad Frank (William H. Macy) is a hopeless alcoholic, Mom Monica (Chloe Webb) split, and the kids have to use their heads to survive as they straddle the law and their own morality. The extremely gifted ensemble includes Cameron Monaghan as Ian, the gay son who comes out in the pilot. The entire family are super-industrious and the show never ceases to surprise. Seven seasons are currently available for streaming, and the eighth premieres on Showtime on November 5th.
14. The Walking Dead
This hit show, based on Robert Kirkman’s comic series by the same name, follows a group of survivors through a bleak and violent zombie apocalypse. Deputy Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) is our protagonist, swinging between hero and antihero as he tries to protect himself, his son, and the group that forms around him. The show is at its best when the characters manage to find moments humanity in spite of all the carnage—although some of the carnage makes for great TV, too. The first six seasons of this hit show are streaming on Netflix, with the seventh arriving for subscribers on September 8th. The eighth season premieres on AMC on October 22nd, leaving you with just over a month to catch up.
13. Queer as Folk
This Showtime production, based on the original series by Russell T. Davies (the first four series of Doctor Who) is an in-depth look at a group of queer friends: six men and a lesbian couple, all of whom have been ostracized in some way by straight society. By forming their new community under the matriarchal Debbie (one of the men’s moms, played with lighthearted humor and compassion by Sharon Gless), the group finds respite from the homophobic world. The story centers on the love affair between Brian (Gale Harold) and Justin (Randy Harrison), who have Moonlighting-quality sexual chemistry. Although the show shocked the world with its gay sex (in the pilot episode, the 17-year-old Justin is deflowered by the 29-year old Brian Kinney), it was timely and the show made great strides for the portrayal of LGBT characters on television. All five seasons are currently streaming on Netflix.
Created in 2007 by Jamie Brittain and Bryan Elsley, Skins was groundbreaking in so many ways. The cast is a diverse group of teenagers on their own since their parents are either absent or so clueless they might as well be. What are the kids up to? Barrels of fun, drugs, sex, pressure, eating disorders, death and all manner of peril. Leading the ensemble for the first two seasons is Tony Stonam (Nicholas Hoult, Mad Max: Fury Road), the kid everyone looks up to for his sexual prowess, confidence, and charm, while he leads his friends into all manner of trouble. His girlfriend, Michelle (April Pearson), helps him scheme to get his lovable, clueless best friend Sid (Mike Bailey) de-virginized on his sixteenth birthday in the pilot episode. Every two seasons, the cast shifts to represent a new cast of teenagers, with season seven acting as a reunion for all three groups. The entire show is currently streaming on Netflix.
Masterpiece Mystery, Mark Gattis, and Steven Moffat (showrunner for series 5 through 10 of Doctor Who) bring us this modern-day re-imagining of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s genius detective, Sherlock Holmes. Noted actor Benedict Cumberbatch (Doctor Strange) plays the title role, while Martin Freeman (The Office U.K., The Hobbit) plays his best friend, Watson. Sherlock is a self-identified “high-functioning sociopath,” and it’s fun to see him think rings around everyone else in the show. All four series of the show are currently streaming on Netflix—though the fourth series garnered criticism from fans and critics alike.
10. Penny Dreadful
Starring a cast of heavyweights, the show takes place in London of the 1890s. It’s a shameless mashup of 19th-century monster stories: Dracula, Dorian Gray, werewolves, and Frankenstein and his monster all play major roles. The core cast consists of Timothy Dalton as an aging adventurer, the brilliant Eva Green as a woman locked in a battle for her own soul, and Josh Hartnett as her tough American bodyguard (another Victorian-era cliche Penny Dreadful plays to the absolute hilt). The show came to an unexpected close after the season three finale, and you can find the entire series available for streaming on Netflix.
9. Peaky Blinders
Peaky Blinders tells the story of Tommy Shelby (Cillian Murphy, of Batman Begins and Inception), the brilliant leader behind the Peaky Blinders, an Irish-Gypsy gang in 1920s England. World War One casts a fascinating shadow over this show, as everyone was damaged in some way by the war, and the criminal underworld is still returning to “normal” after the men have come home. Shelby climbs the ranks of Birmingham’s underworld, making big plays while evading a police inspector (Sam Neill, Jurassic Park and Hunt for the Wilderpeople) dispatched by Winston Churchill himself to clean up the town. Tom Hardy (Inception, Dunkirk) joined the case in season two, and Adrian Brody (The Pianist, The Grand Budapest Hotel) is slated to join the cast in the upcoming fourth season. The first three series of the show are streaming currently, with a fourth and fifth already ordered by the BBC.
8. Breaking Bad
Oft-considered one of the best television shows ever made, Breaking Bad follows a supposedly mild-mannered chemistry teacher who is diagnosed with terminal cancer and decides to make some quick money by putting his chemistry knowledge to good use: cooking meth. The show features some incredible performances from the lead actors, amazing cinematography and direction, and some tough questions about human nature. Bryan Cranston, then fresh off his comic turn on both Seinfeld and Malcolm in the Middle, starts as Walter White in a shocking performance. The entire series is currently streaming.
7. Marco Polo
This engaging, pulpy show is a bit of historical fiction based on the life story of Marco Polo, the medieval Venetian merchant who traveled the Silk Road with his father, and was left in China as guest of Kublai Khan. Though the show ended after two seasons and a Christmas special, fans of historical action-based fiction or Game of Thrones will find plenty to love and appreciate here, including some beautiful cinematography and some solid acting by Benedict Wong as Kublai Khan and Tom Wu as “Hundred Eyes.” Both seasons are streaming on Netflix.
6. Jessica Jones
Jessica Jones is Marvel’s second comic-based series on Netflix. Jessica (Krysten Ritter) is a super-powered private eye who mostly wants to be left alone. The one person who won’t leave her alone is the villainous Kilgrave, an eccentric psychopath with the power to control minds, played by a terrifying David Tennant. Of the four Marvel-based shows on Netflix, Jones might be the easiest to get into: Ritter is wonderful as the lead character, and Tennant plays a whole new side of himself that Doctor Who fans won’t recognize. If you only watch one Marvel show, make it this one—oh, and The Defenders, which sees the return of Jones fighting alongside Luke Cage, Daredevil, and Iron Fist in a war for New York. Fans of Jones’s solo adventures need not fret either; the show’s been renewed for a second season due out in 2018.
5. House of Cards
Frank Underwood (Kevin Spacey) is the ruthless congressman who manipulates politicians to accumulate power from behind the scenes, with the help of his wife, Claire (Robin Wright). From the pilot, which opens with Underwood killing an injured dog with his bare hands and then lying to its owners, it’s clear that this is a man you don’t want to be on the wrong side of. But Spacey is so charming, and his rise to power so darkly engaging, that House of Cards is a wild ride. Acclaimed director David Fincher executive-produces and directs the first two episodes of the show. Seasons one through five are currently streaming on the platform, with the show renewed for a sixth season in 2018.
4. Orange is the New Black
Piper Chapman has been sentenced to fifteen months in prison after being ratted on by an ex. Now she must leave her fiancé and life behind and learn to adapt in women’s prison. Orange is the New Black has become one of Netflix’s most-watched original series. It’s also won many awards, and is the only television series to have won Emmys in both the Comedy and Drama categories. OitNB has five seasons streaming currently, with a sixth coming sometime in 2018 and a seventh sometime thereafter.
FBI agent Audrey Parker (Emily Rose) finds herself in the town of Haven, Maine, where the residents are suddenly afflicted with all sorts of supernatural troubles. There’s a deeper mystery tying it all together, connected to why “The Troubles” seem to recur every few decades, and maybe to Audrey herself. Fun characters, crime-serial structure, and an engaging love triangle all add binge-ability. This show is inspired by Stephen King’s novel The Colorado Kid, and it’s full of references to his other stories. All five seasons of the SyFy original are currently streaming online.
2. Burn Notice
Michael Westen (Jeffrey Donovan) was a secret agent until he got his “burn notice”–word that the agency was cutting him loose. Now stranded in Miami, he has no choice but to use his spy skills to go into business for himself. Some of the show’s more memorable elements include its clever “how-to” style narration and a supporting cast that includes cult action hero Bruce Campbell. The series has been well-received for its breezy action and comic relief, and you can watch the whole show on Netflix right now.
1. Mad Men
Starring Jon Hamm as ad-man Don Draper, Mad Men is Matthew Weiner’s tale of corruption and sex throughout the 50s, 60s, and 70s at an advertising firm. The series is filled with drama, intrigue, and romance, and tells the story of a man who has it all, and still finds himself unhappy and self-destructive. Actors Elisabeth Moss and January Jones made a name for themselves through this show, as did original network AMC. Often called one of the best television shows ever made, any lover of drama or period pieces will find plenty to love here. The entire series is streaming on Netflix.