Netflix: 45 of the most rated TV shows to watch
Netflix has a diverse library of television shows, and as, it becomes an exercise of sifting through the best of the bunch.
To save time, you'll find highlights of new content below as well as CNET's full list of best TV Originals on Netflix.
What's new this week (January 10-16)
Give them some considerations.
- Cheer (season 2) -- Documentary following the ups and downs of Navarro College's competitive cheer squad.
Thursday is the first day of the month.
- The Journalist (season 1) -- Japanese thriller. Follows a journalist pursuing the truth about government corruption.
Friday is the first day of the week.
- After Life (season 3) --Black comedy from Ricky Gervais. Follows a man whose life is turned upside down after his wife dies from breast cancer.
- Archive 81 (season 1) -- Sci-fi mystery about an archivist restoring damaged videotapes who's pulled into the case of a missing director and a demonic cult.
- The House (season 1) --Stop-motion series with Matthew Goode and Helena Bonham Carter among the voice cast.
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The entire list of best Netflix Original TV series includes the most comprehensive.
At the time of writing, these TV shows all scored at least 70 hits on Metacritic.
The drama is played by a talented team.
The Chair (2021)
Sandra Oh's warm heart gives the Chair the opportunity to have a very well-rounded time. Set at Pembroke University, Oh's Professor Ji-Yoon Kim has been appointed as the first woman to have been appointed as the chairman of the English department. With hilarious comments on academia, scene-stealing appearances by Holland Taylor as a senior faculty member, and ambitious social commentary, The Chair rises to new highs.
Never Have I Ever (2020)
Devi is your average high schooler who wants nothing more than to get a girlfriend. But it's hard to stay chipper after your dad dies. Mindy Kaling's coming-of-age story is on the rise in a variety of ways, but it stands out from the pack. Get this: John McEnroe is the author of this hilarious, charm-your-socks-off show.
Julie and the Phantoms (2020)
The Phantoms, a teenager who summons a boy band from the '90s, will send you through the joyous, ridiculously entertaining and, of course, romance-filled first season.
Feel Good (2020-2021)
Mae Martin's Feel Good is really trying to do what it says on the tin. It follows the repressed George (Charlotte Ritchie) as she falls for Martin's Mae after seeing her stand-up show. Mae is experiencing a drug problem that makes their love even more difficult.
Sex Education (2019)
The self-aware, John Hughes-possessed mishmash of American and British high school culture is a joyful breeze to watch. The explicit sex talk and scenes are addressed in refreshingly healthy and honest ways.
Russian Doll (2019)
The Russian Doll takes on its Groundhog Day theme and wrenches it apart in the most unpredictable ways. Natasha Lyonne is the crackling spark at the center of its time-looping mystery, playing Nadia, a game developer who repeatedly died on the night of her 36th birthday party.
Cobra Kai (2018)
Cobra Kai, based on the Karate Kid films, might sound like a cynical money-making spinoff of the martial arts franchise, but it's now one of Netflix's most popular shows, thanks to well-written characters and a good measure of nostalgia.
Derry Girls (2018)
A second unmissable show, Derry Girls, relates to Erin's teenage woes as well as antics from their equally hilarious parents based on the Northern Ireland conflict.
In dazzlingly crafted visuals, Maniac is a multilayered dive into the subconscious. It's dark and unpredictable, with a surprising touch of the warm sentimental stuff.
It's a purely fun comedy, which blends humor and underdog triumph and soars. Season 3 continues to expand into Las Vegas, having gone on to complete it. The pandemic and sadly it ended the season
Dear White People (2017-2021)
This empowering show delivers a timely look into modern race relations through the eyes of a different character each episode. Following several Black students at Winchester, an Ivy League institution, Dear White People blends its social commentary with a sharp sense of humor.
The End Of The F***ing World (2017-2019)
The End of The F***ing World, written by Psychopath James Lawther, is coming up with a plan to murder Alyssa (Jessica Barden) while they are on the run from their lousy parents. But as they jump across the open road and commit a couple of violent crimes, their callous hearts soften and they develop feelings for one another.
Phoebe Waller-Bridge wrote a six-part comedy that showcased her astonishing talents. Crashing follows six twenty-somethings living in a disused hospital and strict regulations in exchange for cheap rent.
Master of None (2015)
Aziz Ansari's wit and charm and the actor's music are remarkably mature. Season 3 gives a glimpse into his relationship with Aziz and Naomi Ackie.
Call My Agent! (2015-2020)
In the latter seasons, the French comedy Call My Agent! features a rising list of famous actors, from French stars to Americans like Sigourney Weaver (!)
BoJack Horseman (2014-2020)
BoJack Horseman is a big hit when it comes to cartoons that lower your guard before appointing you with thoughts on mental health. It follows a washed-up ex-sitcom star who attempts to return to his former celebrity by releasing a autobiography.
Margaret Qualley is a leading author of this miniseries, which features a memoir. Alex is a young mother who wants to help her daughter by working as a housecleaner. It's not all heavy subject matter, but it's not all heavy subject matter, with light and charming moments that give Maid that extra sheen.
The Queen's Gambit (2020)
How do you make chess the thrilling centerpiece of a coming-of-age tale? You stifle it into a cocktail of classic visuals, a rocking '60s soundtrack and the magnetic Anya Taylor-Joy as Beth Harmon, one of the most talented female chess players in the world.
Unorthodox, a largely thriller, follows Esty Shapiro, a 19-year-old woman from Brooklyn, and is exploring a new life outside the strict beliefs she grew up in.
This miniseries incorporates Western music, including Merritt Weaver and Michelle Dockery. Godless draws up the violence in a tale that sees an outlaw on the run from his boss seek refuge with a outcast widower.
The Crown (2016)
The Crown reveals the great events of Queen Elizabeth II, starting in her 20s with a performance from Claire Foy. Figures like Winston Churchill, Princess Margaret, Margaret Thatcher, and more are on their way to brimming up your knowledge of the queen's reign in the early 21st century.
A professional thief Arsene Lupin is a writer who writes about the murder of Hubert Pellegrini.
When it first aired in Britain, bodyguard rose from cliffhanger to cliffhanger at a relentless pace. This might be the definition of the unstoppable binge, not surprising given it comes from Line of Duty's Jed Mercurio.
Dark's meditative look at time travel and its impact on human nature is waiting to be captured at full force.
House of Cards (2013-2018)
Kevin Spacey's sexual harassment allegations ended up putting this piece of politics' dark side behind it, but it's still worth watching if you dig power games and the occasional backstabbing. House of Cards' sixth and final season is slated to follow David (Robin Wright) as she takes on more power in the Oval Office.
Midnight Mass (2021)
The Haunting of Hill House and Bly Manor, written by Mike Flanagan, is another slow-burning horror series that'll haunt you for days.
The Haunting of Hill House (2018)
The Haunting of Hill House, loosely based on Shirley Jackson's novel of the same name, weaves its horror into a profound story about a broken family.
Howard Overman's insanely entertaining Misfits is the heart of this disturbingly entertaining series.
Sweet Tooth (2021)
This horror story based on Jeff Lemire's comic book is the definition of weird and wonderful. Sweet Tooth follows Gus, a half-deer half-human child who lives a sheltered life in the forest with his dad Pubba (Will Forte)
Age of Resistance: A Dark Crystal (2019)
The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance was not ready for a season, but the critically acclaimed fantasy series is, well, a gem. A prequel to the 1982 Jim Henson film, the series returns to the planet Thra, where three Gelflings fight against the absolutely diabolic Skeksis.
With the help of Kaitlyn Dever's amazing performance, this miniseries explores its disturbing and difficult subject matter. Toni Collette and Merritt Wever join together as whip-smart detectives who see what others fail to, adding another layer to Unbelievable's delicate, powerfully moving triumph.
When they visit Us (2019) they are contacted by the company.
When They See Us is a tough but critical viewing feature. It depicts the real-life incidents of the 1989 Central Park jogger case, involving five male suspects of color who were falsely accused of rape and assault.
The Sinner (2017)
The Sinner's three exciting seasons are expected to be open, with each being focused on a murder committed by an unlikely offender in unexpected situations.
Money Heist (2017)
The Professor, who is developing Ocean's Eleven-level prep work with equally entertaining reveals, is the mastermind of this drama.
Vandal of America (2017-2018)
The first two seasons of this mockumentary series have been shared on Netflix with a slant of true crime documents, such as Making a Murderer, capturing the aftermath of a high school prank.
Alias Grace (2017)
The Sinner follows Sarah Gadon as a servant for a family in colonial Toronto. Partly based on a true story, this miniseries isn't a straightforward mystery with straightforward answers.
Ed Kemper, a real-life serial killer, is absolutely chilling. Mindhunter is smarter and richer than any typical crime show, yet it would be a shame if the third season didn't happen ().
Pablo Escobar, a drug kingpin, has completed the three installments, which he claims to be the famed cocaine dealer and billionaire. Plus, the DEA's quest to bring Escobar down robs the reader of a historical scene.
Peaky Blinders (2013)
Netflix wisely purchased the rights to Peaky Blinders and there are five seasons, with the upcoming sixth to be the last, to traverse Thomas Shelby's brilliant gang performance. Prepare yourself for a memorable performance from Cillian Murphy in this family saga that has a great amount of fun and flair showing Shelby's interactions with other gangs, the police and the occasional lover.
With a sex, this is Regency London like you've rarely seen it. A gorge-worthy viewing is captured by a clog by Julie Andrews.
Judd Apatow's creation draws the best out of the talented Gillian Jacobs (Britta in Community) and Paul Rust. They play Mickey and Gus respectively, an opposites-attract couple, who are going to messy, frustrating, and endearing down-to-earth places that make this an honest look at a relationship being built over time.
The character of Lovesick is easy to catch, but with a set of humor we all can relate to. Helpless-in-love Dylan discovers he has chlamydia and must track down past flings and inform them that they might have it too. A flashback narrative keeps things interesting, especially when the focus turns to Dylan and Evie's feelings for each other. It never goes into soapy territory, with an eccentric but loveable supporting cast playing English flatmates in a Glasgow setting
Stranger Things (2016)
The Duffer Brothers' ode to '80s horror and Steven Spielberg are on the way. We follow El, a near-mute girl who was the subject of scientific experiments. She develops telekinetic powers, which she uses to fend off monsters who invade from a frightening alternative dimension.
The third season of Travelers has been canceled by Netflix, but the tightly crafted sci-fi out of Canada has failed to end with an ambitious bang. We start with Marcy, a disabled woman who's been beaten up after helping a friend escape thugs. She dies -- then returns to life. This powerful character-driven sci-fi reveals its secrets in clever ways, following operatives from the future tasked with preventing the collapse of society but also navigating the tricky territory of
Black Mirror (2011)
The bleak tech anthology series combines technical ideas from painfully human stories. One of those is San Junipero, who follows two women in the '80s (cue banging soundtrack) as they fall for each other in ways they could not do in their "real" lives outside the beach city. The tech aspect is revealed with genius timing and, in general, the show explores the consequences of our plugged-in experiences in disturbing and sometimes uplifting ways.