The 25 best TV shows on Netflix you should binge

As Netflix has shifted its focus from disc-by-mail to the ease of instant streaming, its catalog of TV shows allows small screen fans to devour entire series across very short periods. You know this. I know this. We're all guilty of binge-watching ("Nnggh, 12.37am… maybe I could just see if Walt goes to Gus's house…") and it's easier than ever to keep up-to-date with the best TV shows on Netflix. 

However, with the streaming giant frequently adding its own exclusive new shows into the mix – like gritty Marvel thrillers Daredevil, Jessica Jones and Luke Cage  – it can be a nightmare knowing where to start with the sheer quantity of titles on offer. Luckily, here's a hand-picked a guide to some of the best TV shows on Netflix that are currently available! From compelling character dramas, dark superhero outings, to quirky comedies, there's a little something in here for everyone. 

25. Orange Is The New Black

Region: Worldwide

Seasons: 1-4 

The show: Loosely based on the real-life experiences of Piper Kerman, this comedy-drama from Weeds creator Jenji Kohan is like nothing else on the streaming platform. That's probably because it's a Netflix original - and by 'eck, original it certainly is. The first season follows Kerman's memoir closely, following Taylor Schilling's Piper Chapman as she enters prison after being convicted of aiding a drug trafficker - her ex, played by Laura Prepon. Yeah, she, err, also happens to be locked up in there too... 

Why it's worth watching: Once the show diverts from the true story, it becomes an absolute hoot. Piper's still in the mix, but we get such a rich mixture of fully-fleshed characters who we learn lots of secretive tidbits about through flashbacks.  

24. Sons of Anarchy

Region: Worldwide

Seasons available: 1-7

The show: Imagine Goodfellas on bikes crossed with the histrionic machinations of a soap opera and you're somewhere in the vicinity of Sons Of Anarchy. Set in the dusty California town of Charming, the show follows Jax Teller, a vice president in a notorious biker gang, as he makes his way through the ranks. All the while he and his boys face off against rival gangs and the cold arm of the law.

Why it's worth watching: Like Game Of Thrones, there's no-one safe in this show. Characters are brutally offed, and their killers murdered as vengeance. Lather, rinse, repeat.

23. Futurama

Region: US

Seasons available: 1-10

The show: From the creator of The Simpsons, Matt Groening, Futurama is an irreverent and clever animated comedy about pizza delivery boy Fry who winds up living in the year 3000. Along with the delivery crew of Planet Express he explores the universe and the whole gang pass comment on the state of society with deft wry humour.

Why it's worth watching: Fry's robot best friend Bender is the perfect amalgam of American Dad's Roger and The Simpsons' Homer. Drunk, sharp-tongued with a raspy laugh, he's never afraid to make a total ass of himself.

22. House

Region: Worldwide

Seasons available: 1-8

The show: Hugh Laurie turns off the charm and into curmudgeonly doctor, Gregory House who specialises in diagnostic medicine. Across the years, House investigated many weighty topics as the doc and his assembly of eager students attempt to solve the mysteries of the human body.

Why it's worth watching: Laurie's performance is the epitome of a loveable antihero. He's brusque, selfish and inconsiderate. You still can't take your eyes off him. And, like all long-lasting shows, the format evolved from an 'illness of the week' procedural to a solid serial about House's own trials and tribulations. 

21. Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt

Region: Worldwide

Seasons available: 1-2

The show: The winner of last year's most hummable theme song! A new comedy from 30 Rock creators Tina Fey and Robert Carlock zeroes in on New York newbie Kimmy Schmidt, who had spent the previous fifteen years in a doomsday cult.

Why it's awesome: Its as if 30 Rock never ended. But with added Carol Kane, who absolutely slays it as Kimmy's wiseass landlady and the musical genius who gave us Peeno Noir - Titus Andromedon.

20. Luke Cage

Region: Worldwide

Seasons available: 1

The show: Marvel's Netflix universe kicked off with the likes of Daredevil and Jessica Jones, whose adventures in Hell's Kitchen showed us a side to superheroes we'd never seen before. Then there's Luke Cage. We met the bulletproof hero back in JJ season one, and here he is taking charge down in Harlem, as he comes under attack from a vicious gangster Cornell 'Cottonmouth' Stokes and his even more duplicitous cousin Mariah Dillard.  

Why it's worth watching: More than a superhero series, this is a show in harmony with the Harlem community. Producers brought in a slew of African-American actors, pulled together a sublime soundtrack (seriously, the theme? Yeah, might not seem much at first but you'll be humming it soon), and really let rip. It's in a league of its own. 

19. Archer

Region: US

Seasons available: 1-6

The show: Imagine the animated antithesis of Austin Powers. A secret spy whose suave allure is only matched by his humorous put-downs. That's Sterling Archer, an agent for ISIS (yeah, they later changed the name) whose missions are often thwarted by his own agenda to win back his girlfriend Lara - a fellow spy.

Why it's worth watching: The sheer irreverence of Archer is the show's strongest asset. He'll rally against his mother - which he does, frequently - if it means getting a leg up. Or over.

18. United States of Tara 

Region: US 

Seasons available: 1-3 

The show: Showtime cancelled this absolute gem from Juno scribe Diablo Cody before it had chance to wrap up its storylines. That's not a reason to pass on Toni Collette's award-winning turn as Tara Gregson, a woman whose dissociative identity disorder changes the lives of her entire family. 

Why it's worth watching: The moments when Collette switches from one alter (there's four) to another mid-scene are spectacular. That's not to say the rest of the cast don't deserve a look in; check out these three seasons for a brilliant turn by Brie Larson as Collette's daughter. 

17. Better Call Saul 

Region: UK, US

Seasons available:

The show: Remember the screwy lawyer from Breaking Bad? Yeah, this show's all about him - Saul Goodman. Things begin after the climactic events of that series, in the present day, and immediately jump back to before he became Saul. Jimmy McGill's the man of this show, a likeable, good-hearted guy who tends to dally loosely with the law. It's terrific getting to see him in his early days, and discover what happened before he turned slick. 

Why it's worth watching: It's hard to imagine a Breaking Bad spin-off being able to cap the brilliance of that groundbreaking series. Thanks to the superb performance by Bob Odenkirk, who delves into practically every emotional state in this one season, it's just as good if not better. 

16. Making a Murderer

Region: Worldwide

Seasons available: 1

The show: Interested in true crime? You're going to love this one. Netflix's latest foray into real-life entertainment focuses on the case of Steven Avery, a man who served time behind bars for murder, before being exonerated and shortly thereafter he was tried again for another homicide. As docuseries go, it's a compelling, can't-look-away glimpse into the criminal justice system.

Why it's worth watching: This show has become a cultural talking point, pushing officials to reconsider Avery's case after the series aired.


Gem is GR+'s west coast entertainment news reporter. She’s a bit obsessed with all things Aliens and Terminator.
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