13.04.2021

This is your definitive guide to the *best* TV shows on Netflix

1. Ozark

1. Ozark
Who: Jason Bateman, Laura Linney.
What: When Marty Byrde (Jason Bateman) gets on the wrong side of a Mexican drug boss, he must move to the Ozark Lakes, Missouri, to launder money for the cartel and keep his family alive. Over three seasons (the third dropped at the end of March), we watch as Marty and his wife, Wendy (Laura Linney), get sucked further and further into the world of working for a dangerous – and powerful – drug cartel.
Why binge: If you liked Breaking Bad, you’ll love Ozark. Also, Julia Garner as sharp, foul-mouthed Ozark resident Ruth Langmore, and esteemed British actress Janet McTeer as steely lawyer Helen Pierce are just *chef’s kiss*.

2. Unorthodox

2. Unorthodox
Who: Shira Haas, Amit Rahav, Jeff Wilbusch.
What: One of Netflix’s latest offerings, Unorthodox is adapted from Deborah Feldman’s memoir of the same name and centres on Esther ‘Esty’ Shapiro, a young Hasidic Jewish woman who flees her orthodox home, tight-knit religious community and arranged marriage in Brooklyn for a new life Europe. Here, in cosmopolitan Berlin, she is taken in by a group of musicians – until she realises she may not be able to escape her past.
Why binge: 24-year-old Israeli actress Shira Haas is remarkable as Esty. This is her breakthrough role and we can’t wait to see what she does next.

3. Sex Education

3. Sex Education
Sex Education
Who: Emma Mackey, Aimee Lou Wood, Asa Butterfield, Gillian Anderson, Ncuti Gatwa.
What: If you haven’t already watched Netflix’s hit teen drama then now is the perfect time to get bingeing, as back in February, the streaming giant announced it will be returning for a third season. The show centres around Otis, a shy high-school student who is roped into setting up an underground sexual advice clinic – with advice garnered from his sex therapist mother – with his rebellious classmate Maeve.
Why binge: There’s nothing quite like it. It normalises subjects which are too often shied-away from – female sexual pleasure, masturbation, orgasm, and just about every sex-related query going – and does it with soul. It’s funny, moving, smart and infectious, with a razor-sharp script and a truck-load of charm.

4. Doctor Foster

4. Doctor Foster
Who: Suranne Jones, Bertie Carvel, Jodie Comer.
What: One of the BBC’s most loved dramas of recent years – and arguably the show that made the nation fall in love with Jodie Comer – Doctor Foster is an edge-of-your-seat, nail-biting, sometimes fist-pumping, often-wince-inducing drama about a woman who suspects her husband is having an affair. Dr. Gemma Foster (Suranne Jones) begins investigating her husband Simon’s (Bertie Carvel) actions, until what started out as suspicion turns into a dark – and seriously gripping – obsession.
Why binge: We are total Jodie Comer stans at GLAMOUR HQ, but Suranne Jones’s performance is what had us coming back for more episode after episode. Hell hath no fury like Dr. Foster scorned.

5. When They See Us

5. When They See Us
Who: Marquis Rodriguez, Jharrel Jerome, Asante Blackk, Caleel Harris, Ethan Herisse.
What: When a woman is attacked whilst jogging in Central Park in the summer of 1989, five black teens from Harlem are arrested, interrogated and convicted. They are the ‘Central Park Five’: Kevin Richardson, Antron McCray, Yusef Salaam, Korey Wise and Raymond Santana, and this is a four-part dramatised account of their real story.
Why binge: It’s a gut-wrenching, gripping look at how five young men of colour were victims of a broken justice system and systemic racism – something that director Ava DuVernay reminds us is still very much alive (Trump’s reaction is shown through press conference coverage), and how what happened to the Central Park Five back in 1989 could just as easily happen today.

6. Friends

6. Friends
Who: Jennifer Aniston, David Schwimmer, Courteney Cox, Lisa Kudrow, Matt LeBlanc, Matthew Perry.
What: Only the most famous group of friends in history. The beloved sitcom ran for 10 years, between 1994 and 2004, won 60 awards (including a BAFTA), was nominated for 63 Emmys, and raked in 8.6 million viewers for its finale episode in the UK, where it’s currently the most streamed show on Netflix. And back in March, the cast revealed there will be a reunion episode happening at some point in the near future. WE CAN’T WAIT.
Why binge: Guys, it’s Friends. Do you need a reason?

7. Gilmore Girls

7. Gilmore Girls
Who: Lauren Graham, Alexis Bledel, Scott Patterson.
What: Gilmore Girls is a much-beloved, Emma Award-winning comedy-drama about a mother-daughter relationship. Young, single mum Lorelai Gilmore raises gifted, Ivy League-bound daughter Rory Gilmore in the small town of Stars Hollow, Connecticut.
Why binge: We love this show for its quick, witty, thoughtful, often sarcastic dialogue, and how with each episode, it feels like we’re cozying up in a little corner of Rory and Lorelai’s world. Plus, if you’ve never seen it, there’s 7 seasons on Netflix and a four-part reunion series, set a decade after the finale. Aren’t you lucky?

8. The Crown

8. The Crown
Who: Claire Foy, Matt Smith, Olivia Colman, Helena Bonham Carter, Josh O’Connor.
What: This Golden Globe-winning series chronicles the life of Queen Elizabeth II from the 1940s to modern times.
Why binge: You’ve got three seasons of royal drama to catch up on before S4 drops – though we’re not too sure when that will be, Netflix announced the casting of Emma Corrin as Princess Diana in season 4 last April, so you best get bingeing.

9. The Bodyguard

9. The Bodyguard
Who: Richard Madden, Keeley Hawes, Gina McKee.
What: After thwarting a terrorist attack, war veteran David Budd (Richard Madden) finds work in the Met Police’s Royalty and Specialist Protection branch, as a bodyguard for the controversial home secretary Julia Montague (Keeley Hawes). Budd finds himself torn between his duty to protect and everything he believes in.
Why binge: After that opening scene on the train, you won’t need a reason. You’ll be hooked.

10. Happy Valley

10. Happy Valley
Who: Sarah Lancashire, James Norton, Siobhan Finneran.
What: A BBC drama centred on hard-nosed but troubled police sergeant, Catherine Cawood (Sarah Lancashire), in West Yorkshire. When the man who drove her daughter to suicide is released from prison, Catherine’s world is turned upside-down as she also attempts to solve a complex kidnapping and drug-related case.
Why binge: This isn’t just your standard Brit cop drama – sure, there’s murder, mutilation, drugs, kidnapping, prostitution and blackmail – but Happy Valley has a real human quality to it, too, seen particularly in Catherine’s relationship with her grandson as she battles with the grief of losing her daughter. ‘Second series syndrome’ doesn’t apply here; in fact, we think we might’ve enjoyed S2 more than S1.

11. Glow

11. Glow
Who: Alison Brie, Marc Maron, Betty Gilpin.
What: Netflix’s comedy made waves when it landed in 2017, and in all honesty, we’d happily rewatch it all again. GLOW (Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling) is a feisty, funny, feminist comedy-drama following a female wrestling league on TV in 1980s America. It centres on out-of-work actress Ruth (Alison Brie) and her best friend Debbie (Betty Gilpin), who end up cast in the same show and sloughing it out in the ring. There’s leotards, outrageous ’80s make-up and plenty of LOLs.
Why binge: Did we mention the feminism and leotards?

12. The Thick of It

12. The Thick of It

Who: Peter Capaldi, Chris Addison, James Smith.
What: Don’t watch this political satire show if you prefer your protagonists to have, um, polite diction. Focused on the fictional Department of Social Affairs and Citizenship, Malcolm Tucker (Peter Capaldi) is the intimidating, foul-mouthed party spin doctor overseeing a bumbling cabinet minister.
Why binge: Malcolm Tucker’s one-liners. For example: “That was before, when your only problem was a f**king sh*t pun in a newspaper, and a face like Dot Cotton licking p*ss off a nettle,” and: “The guy is an epic f*ck-up; he’s so dense that light bends around him”. (We warned you about the diction).

13. Stranger Things

13. Stranger Things
Who: Millie Bobby Brown, Finn Wolfhard, Winona Ryder, Caleb McLaughlin, Gaten Matarazzo.
What: If you haven’t yet watched the cult phenomenon that is Stranger Things, quite frankly, where have you been? In this sci-fi thriller-drama, full of suspenseful scenes and characters you’re bound to fall in love with, a young boy goes missing, leaving his pals, his mum and a police chief to try and find him. Their journey leads them to a world of supernatural forces, terrifying monsters, and an creepy government laboratory.
Why binge: Because it would be rude of you not to. Then you can watch the teaser trailer for season 4.

14. You

14. You
Who: Penn Badgley, Elizabeth Lail, Victoria Pedretti, Ambyr Childers, James Scully.
What: In its first season, You follows the story of student Guinevere Beck, who meets articulate, smart bookworm Joe in the New York bookstore he works in. But Joe becomes increasingly obsessed with Beck, stalking her, stealing her belongings, and doing everything in his power to keep them together. Spoiler alert: things get a whole lot darker than Joe just nicking her phone.
Why binge: We are seriously jealous of anyone who hasn’t yet binged this WTF drama. We wouldn’t be surprised if anyone binge-watched both seasons in one weekend (best get the snacks in).

15. Ru Paul’s Drag Race

15. Ru Paul's Drag Race
Who: RuPaul Charles, Michelle Visage, Santino Rice.
What: Where do we even begin? The ultimate in drag queen competitions, Emmy Award-winning RuPaul’s Drag Race sees queens compete for $100k and the title of America’s Next Drag Superstar. From the stellar guest judges – Lady Gaga, Khloe Kardashian, Pamela Anderson to name just a few – to the Lip Sync Battle to the absolute top-notch dramz, there are endless reasons to fall in love with this show.
Why binge: MAMA RU, WE LOVE YOU!

16. Orange Is The New Black

16. Orange Is The New Black
Who: Taylor Schilling, Danielle Brooks, Taryn Manning.
What: Orange Is The New Black has won multiple awards since the first season launched in 2013 and was one of the most influential shows in cementing Netflix as an original content powerhouse. It is reportedly their most-watched original show, with 105 million houses viewing at least one episode throughout its run. The series begins with Piper Chapman (Taylor Schilling), a privileged New Yorker who is convinced of a decade-old crime of moving drug money, and must face the reality of spending 15 months inside Litchfield Penitentiary, a minimum-security federal women’s prison. Sadly, the show concluded last year. But the good news? You’ve got 7 seasons to get through.
Why binge: Suzanne ‘Crazy Eyes’ Warren. That is all.

17. Unbelievable

17. Unbelievable
Who: Kaitlyn Dever, Toni Collette, Merritt Wever.
What: Based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning article An Unbelievable Story Of Rapes, this series tells the story of 18-year-old Marie Adler (played by Booksmart‘s Kaitlyn Denver), a young woman who claims a man broke into her home and raped her. However, the local police force – and her family – refuse to believe her. But when two female detectives in another state who are investigating a serial rapist hear of Marie’s case, they start on the path to trust.
Why binge: It’s based on a true story that makes for harrowing and uncomfortable viewing, but that is exactly why it’s such a vital show.

18. Love Is Blind

18. Love Is Blind
Who: Nick & Vanessa Lachey.
What: The reality show that became a cultural phenomenon overnight, Love Is Blind puts 15 men and 15 women in separate accommodation and has them date via ‘pods’, where they can talk but cannot see each other. If they fall in love, without knowing what the other person looks like, they must propose to progress to the next stage of the show, where they finally get to see each other on their honeymoon, before moving in together, integrating their lives and deciding – at the altar on their wedding day – whether they want to spend the rest of their lives together.
Why binge: So you can finally understand the memes about Barnett, Lauren and Cameron, and the dog with the wine.

19. Mindhunter

19. Mindhunter
Who: Jonathan Groff, Holt McCallany, Anna Torv.
What: Another from Netflix’s crime drama offering, Mindhunter follows FBI agents Holden Ford (Jonathan Groff) and Bill Tench (Holt McCallany) as they interview serial killers to try and work out the psychology driving their actions.
Why binge: The show is almost entirely based on real life, with dramatised interviews with criminals including Edmund Kemper and Charles Manson.

20. Tiger King

20. Tiger King
Who: Joe Exotic, Carole Baskin.
What: Netflix’s latest documentary has everyone hooked. Tiger King has ignited convos in endless WhatsApp groups, spawned dozens of memes and even inspired Miley Cyrus to chop her fringe to look like the infamous zookeeper, Joe Exotic, who attempted to hire a hit man to kill animal rights activist, Carole Baskin. There’s murder, hit men, drug lords, and of course, some really big cats.
Why binge: Probably so you can understand what the hell everyone’s talking about right now.

21. Power

21. Power
Who: Omari Hardwick, Lela Loren, Naturi Naughton, Joseph Sikora.
What: Created by Courtney Kemp Agboh in association with 50 Cent, Power had us hooked since it first aired in 2014, all the way through to its sixth and final season which was shown on Netflix UK this year. Its protagonist is James St. Patrick who leads a double life: one, as a wealthy, respectable club owner and businessman; the other, as one of the biggest drug lords in New York, who goes by the street name ‘Ghost’.
Why binge: Because it’s just damn good TV. The numbers speak for themselves – season 5 saw an average of 10.8 million viewers per episode across platforms. Why? The violent, sensational storylines, the complex characters, the many (many) sex scenes, the tortured family relations, the bloodthirsty criminals – the list goes on. Or, as Sabrina Ford says in The Undefeated: “We don’t often get a chance to see flawed, messy black characters on TV that we are supposed to root for. White characters get to be flawed…whereas oftentimes with black TV characters, you only root for them if they are 100% good. I like that Power is messy. That makes it more interesting.”

22. The Pharmacist

22. The Pharmacist
Who: Dan Schneider.
What: Another must-watch from Netflix’s recent roster of documentaries, The Pharmacist tells the story small town pharmacist Dan Schneider. After his son is murdered in a drug-related shooting in New Orleans in 1999, Dan embarks on a relentless mission to find his son’s killer. Soon, he realises that hordes of seemingly young and healthy people are bringing prescriptions for heavy doses of OxyContin into his pharmacy – and they were all being prescribed by the same woman. He knew there was a problem long before the opioid crisis gained critical attention, and set about trying to save the lives of other young people in his community.
Why binge: Netflix has a ton of true crime documentaries, but what sets The Pharmacist apart is that Dan isn’t just sitting in a leather armchair recounting what happened – he recorded almost all of it on video cassette and camera at the time, which gives this documentary a gripping immediacy that others lack.

23. Black Mirror

23. Black Mirror
Who: Various.
What: From the mind of Charlie Brooker, this dark sci-fi anthology series examines society’s reliance on, and obsession with, modern technology – and its consequences. Though this narrative underpins each episode, Black Mirror‘s five seasons could not be more diverse – there’s political satire, futuristic worlds, serial killers, war, and good old romance.
Why binge: Though we love how varied it is, that also means you probably won’t love every episode, so here are our favourites to get you started: Nosedive (S3, E1), Crocodile (S4, E3), Shut Up And Dance (S3, E3), The Entire History Of You (S1, E3) and Be Right Back (S2, E1).

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