Ah, Summertime! So many possibilities lie ahead. Excursions with family and friends, exciting courses at your local parks department, the chance to really make a dent on that novel - it feels like the options are endless. Or, of course, you could sack all that off, stay indoors, and catch up on the best shows on Netflix. I know, you’re wondering, what on Earth could keep me from basking in the sunshine? I got plenty of reasons, 30 of ‘em to be exact, right here!
When the weather gets too much, you can’t beat a good old binge watch. Considering the epic quantity of series you can stream, you should probably just head to the couch right now to get started. Stranger Things season 3 is here in all its nostalgic glory, replete with a staggering amount of easter eggs and physics-defying hair. If you’ve already finished the summer’s big binge, dive into the first two seasons of Wynonna Earp, the Buffy-esque Western before season 3 drops later this month. Seriously, with the best shows on Netflix you’ve got plenty to keep you busy.
30. The OA
Region: UK, US
The show: Certain series are heralded as the ‘next big thing’ within their respective genres. The OA strikes out on its own - and by that I mean, this mind-boggling adventure pilfers from every single genre to construct a wacky tale that’s part romance, part mystery, with dashes of fantasy, supernatural, and.. Well, it’s not your run-of-the-mill Netflix Original. Brit Marling writes, produces, and stars as Prairie Johnson, a woman who returns to her family following a 7-year disappearance that’s she not keen to open up about...
Why it’s worth a watch: It’s unlike any other series on Netflix, or anywhere, for that matter. The creators, Marling and partner Zal Batmanglij, throw everything at the creatively innovative, and dare I say, utterly batty stories and plots. Without wanting to give anything away, it’s best to experience The OA as spoiler-free as possible.
Region: UK, US
The show: Whenever a show takes one country by storm, not long after the rest of the world asks: when can we see it, please? After hitting the UK and becoming one of THE biggest water cooler shows of the year, Bodyguard is now here for US viewers to devour in one sitting. I mean, weekend. Keeley Hawes stars in this six-parter, as Home Secretary and Conservative MP Julia Montague, who is under the protection of police sergeant David Budd (Game of Thrones’ Richard Madden), a war veteran with PTSD. He will do anything to ensure Julia’s safety, as that’s his job, but that doesn’t mean it’s easy: He loathes everything she stands for...
Why it’s worth a watch: Pure, can’t-tear-your-eyes-away entertainment that’s bound to have you saying “just one more episode before bed.” This is sterling television, a well-crafted crime thriller, which is what the BBC does best, that gets better and better with each episode. Don’t believe me? It’s officially the BBC’s most watched TV drama since records began.
Read more: Let’s talk about the Bodyguard TV series ending - 7 questions we have after THAT finale
The show: Forget your dreary, downbeat superheroes. Supergirl, both the show and its title character, are replete with optimism and hope, steering this adaptation into new terrain. Melissa Benoist stars as Kara Danvers, aka Supergirl, a twentysomething news reporter who struggles to ignore her abilities when there’s always justice to be served, and good to be done! Packed with great action sequences - alright, season 1 wavers a little on this front - and unique twists on DC comic lore, this is a blast of fun in a typically dark arena of entertainment. Each season incorporates a 22-episode long arc, that ropes in Kara’s adoptive sister Alex Danvers (Chyler Leigh), her long-time friends Lena Luthor (Katie McGrath), J’onn J’onzz (David Harewood) and Jimmy Olsen (Mehcad Brooks).
Why it’s worth a watch: Another small-screen superhero series? Following in the footsteps of The CW’s caped crusader-centric shows, Supergirl manages to be both a loyal adaptation of the character and a wholly entertaining show in its own right. A fun and compelling series that explores current social issues without bringing down the atmosphere. Season 4 warrants massive praise for tackling an alien immigration storyline along with a deftly-handled transgender character played by a transgender actor.
27. Brooklyn Nine-Nine
The show: If you haven’t heard about Brooklyn Nine-Nine’s brush with death, then here’s the short version: Fox canceled it, fans took to social media, 30 hours later NBC picks it up for another season. That’s how you make sure your favourite series gets to go out right, and for viewers who have come to love the cast of oddballs at Brooklyn’s 99th precinct, it was the only option. Andy Samberg leads the superb line-up of characters as Jake Peralta, a carefree NYPD cop, who works alongside a crew of detectives, who each bring their unique quirks to the job.
Why it's worth a watch: The fact that its die-hard fan base pulled together to rescue it from the axe is perhaps the biggest endorsement you could want for a show. Oh, and it’s *really* funny, which is what you want out of a sitcom really, isn’t it?
26. Wynonna Earp
Region: UK, US
The show: Another comic book adaptation set to win you over with its epic mash-up of blood, action, and comedy. Wynonna Earp is based on the IDW comic series that follows the great granddaughter of legendary gunslinger Wyatt Earp. After returning to her hometown of Purgatory following the mysterious death of her uncle, Wynonna reluctantly takes on the role bestowed upon Earp’s heirs: she becomes a demon hunter. Together with her sister Waverly she joins forces with a cop and an old pal of her grandfather’s to kick the butts of the Revenants - the resurrected souls of the men Wyatt Earp killed.
Why it's worth a watch: A supernatural western with a female lead, a slew of solid female supporting characters and a big dollop of horror? Yep, as a blend of Buffy, Supernatural with a touch of Westworld, this series is perfect for genre hounds. It also helps that it’s really funny.
25. Hap & Leonard
The show: Never heard of Hap and Leonard? Let me introduce you to your favourite new show based on a set of novels by Joe R. Lansdale. Set in 1980s Texas, this under-the-radar black comedy stars James Purefoy as Hap, an activist who served time behind bars, and Michael K. Williams as Leonard, a gay Vietnam vet. This unlikely pair become fast friends, working together as investigators of sorts. Each season is based on a different book, with season 1 kicking off after Hap loses his job and gets lured into a get-rich-quick scheme by his ex-wife Trudy (Christina Hendricks). The amusing dynamic between Leonard and Trudy are some of the best bits in that debut season. Proof that it’s possible for great original television to, sadly, go unnoticed.
Why it’s worth a watch: Aside from the fact that it’s an unlikely series that’s fun as all get out? How about, because the more people watch this, the more likely we are to get a season 4? While Hap and Leonard sadly was canceled last year by Sundance TV - its US network - lets not rule out the fact that Netflix could easily swoop in and save this charming gem.
24. Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt
The show: When it first dropped in 2015, Kimmy Schmidt’s theme song was all anyone could talk about. And yes, while it’s a hummable-as-fudgin’-heck, there’s more to this eccentric comedy from 30 Rock creators Tina Fey and Robert Carlock. A zany sitcom with heart and silliness in equal amounts, the show begins with New York newbie Kimmy Schmidt starting with a fresh slate after spending the previous fifteen years trapped in a doomsday cult led by the deranged Reverend Gary Wayne Gary (an eerily-good Jon Hamm). Now in the big city, Kimmy discovers a new-found joy for living, that’s got a distinct ‘90s edge.
Why it's worth a watch: It's as if 30 Rock never ended. But with added Carol Kane, who absolutely slays it as Kimmy's wiseass landlady, Jane Krakowski, who continues to be one of the funniest comics on the small screen, and the musical genius who gave us Peeno Noir and Boobs in California, Titus Andromedon.
23. Sex Education
The show: Everyone has, at some point in their lives, experienced the soul-crushing, please-swallow-me-up-Earth awkwardness of discussing the birds and the bees with their parents. It’s a rite-of-passage. Now, take that feeling, and multiply it by a thousand, and you’re somewhat close to the embarrassment at the heart of Sex Education. A Netflix Original starring Gillian Anderson as Jean Milburn, a sex therapist, the series revolves around her son, Otis played by Asa Butterfield. Unlike his chatty, open, mother, Otis is a little backwards in coming forwards, until he and his friends assemble their own sex therapy clinic for their classmates.
Why it’s worth a watch: Fresh and easy to binge due to its fun, young cast, you may go in expecting crass humour - and you’re going to get some along with the heartfelt life lessons learned by its core crop of kids. Less concerned with preaching, the series is all about opening your mind and embracing our differences, which, may sound sentimental, but it’s really anything but.
22. Jessica Jones
The show: Marvel's second Netflix Original series is a dark, gripping drama about a private investigator with super-powers who just wants to curl up with a bottle of Jack and be left alone. The world comes knocking with a problem, and it's up to Jessica Jones to track down the hellish man responsible... who just happens to be a familiar face. Along for the ride is trusty comrade Trish Walker, whose talk show sheds a little too much light on the ‘supers’ for Jessica’s taste, and neighbour Malcolm, who are both desperate to help Jessica put her demons to rest. As is often the case, her past returns to haunt her…
Why it's worth a watch: Kristen Ritter's performance as the titular hero, who resists her calling at every turn, is truly stunning to watch. Each episode charts her inner struggle to winning effect, and sheds a light on the true consequences of trauma. And with season 3, the last ever of the Marvel-Netflix superhero shows, now available, it's time to get caught up.
Region: UK, US
The show: The one where all the twentysomethings can afford spacious Manhattan apartments. Yes, I’m talking about Friends! Upon its debut in 1994 the show became an instant hit, and even now some 14 years after its finale aired, it is still considered one of the most popular sitcoms of all time. It’s hard to disagree, really, as the series continues to get better with age, following the lives of Monica, Rachel, Phoebe, Ross, Joey, and Chandler as they navigate through good times and bad. Oh, and numerous Thanksgiving mishaps, of course.
Why it’s worth watching: This is great feelgood TV, that performs so well and stands up to repeat viewings because the main cast is just so darn likeable. From the first episode, each of the six leads carves out a unique spot in the show without coming across like caricatures. Sure, Ross may get a tad whiny in later seasons, but hey, he’s been through a lot. They were on a break, right?
Read more: The 25 best Friends episodes you WILL rewatch again and again and...