10. Parks and Recreation
The show: Parks and Recreation stumbles a little during its first season, as reflected by its mixed reviews, but the powers-that-be took that advice and ran with it. Trust me, you’ll be laughing all week if you stick with it. Led by the brilliant Amy Poehler, it revolves around the day-to-day experiences of Leslie Knope, deputy director of the Pawnee parks and recreation department, and her misfit bunch of co-workers. Told through a mockumentary-style of shooting, the show uses the pettiness of small-town bureaucracy as its comedic fodder.
Why it's worth a watch: It swerves around the pitfalls of sitcom tedium, thanks to some of the most memorable comedy characters in TV history played by Nick Offerman (who will provide you with one-liners and woodwork advice), Aziz Ansari, Aubrey Plaza, Rashida Jones, Retta, and Chris Pratt.
9. Stranger Things
The show: THE binge-watch series of the last few years, the Duffer brothers cobbled together a patchwork of '80s references then siphoned all of that into a killer plot about government experiments on members of a small town in Indiana. Things come to a head in season 1 when a young lad Will Byers goes missing, causing his mother Joyce (Winona Ryder), the sheriff (David Harbour) and Will’s friends to consider the strangest possibility: That there's a parallel world to ours replete with horrific monsters and demons simply itching to get at you.
Why it's worth a watch: These kids! The whole cast is terrific (I personally was very pleased to see Winona Ryder back in the thick of it), however it's the young leads who steal the show. Scurrying around Hawkins on their bikes in the dead of night and hunkering down in basements trying to find their missing pal, they will melt your hearts, especially Millie Bobby Brown as Eleven.
Read more: 80 Stranger Things season 3 easter eggs you may have missed
8. The Haunting of Hill House
Region: UK, US
The show: Dubbed by one of its producers as “Six Feet Under with ghosts”, this latest iteration of Shirley Jackson’s terrifying novel is destined to become Netflix’s next must-see horror series. Loosely adapted by Mike Flanagan, whose previous Netflix features Hush and Gerald’s Game certainly showcase his flair for scares, the series follows the Crain family as they move into the remote Hill House. With the intention of renovating it and flipping it before they buy their real home, the Crains discover that the house has other plans. Fleeing in the middle of the night, the story picks up decades later as the scattered family is drawn together again by that darn house...
Why it’s worth a watch: This is the horror series you never knew you needed. A beautifully-cast show that plays out like Six Feet Under meets The Conjuring, there is simply nothing else like it. It’s densely-packed with story and scares, both elements so tightly interwoven it’s impossible to imagine this tale being told any other way. Flanagan’s decision to jump back and forth across timelines, with various incidents being shown from different perspectives, is what makes this one of the best shows on Netflix. As we learn over the course of ten episodes just what went down in that house, you won’t be able to look away… no matter how much you want to. And now we know that The Haunting of Hill House season 2 will actually be about The Haunting of Bly Manor story, there's no better time to catch up.
Read more: The Haunting of Hill House ending explained - everything you need to know after watching
The show: A period piece with no corsets or lofty accents, you say? Mindhunter hails from David Fincher and sets about recreating the fledgling days of serial killer profiling at the FBI. This is not your typical weekly crime procedural. Instead, this dark gem opts for the long, slow burn as Jonathan Groff’s eager agent and his disgruntled colleague (Holt McCallany) stray into dangerous territory: interviewing incarcerated serial murderers. Based on the true story of the first FBI profiler, his personal story is interwoven perfectly during the course of the first season, which tells episode after episode of rich, textured storytelling that’ll get under your skin and stay there.
Why it’s worth a watch: Decades of crime entertainment - ahem, CSI - have turned all of us into armchair sleuths, and the majority of movies and shows know that. Mindhunter is rewarding as hell to watch for entirely the opposite reason. You’ll be shouting at the TV as the two agents apply their newly-founded techniques to catch active killers.
6. Breaking Bad
The show: It’s hard to believe Breaking Bad recently celebrated its 10 year anniversary (!) when it remains one of the best TV shows to emerge in recent times. The killer premise of a chemistry teacher-turned-meth dealer spins out of control across five seasons, as the teacher in question, Walter White, slowly transforms from nice guy to antihero. All the while he hides his illegal shenanigans from his family, making for a slow bubbling tension throughout the entire series.
Why it's worth a watch: There’s a reason it’s the biggest watercooler series to arrive in the last decade. Just when you think the stakes can't get raised any higher, Mr. White steps up his game, taking his quest to ever-crazy heights of excess. His quietly simmering rage is spectacular to watch thanks to a nuanced turn from Bryan Cranston, who manages to make White a incredibly compelling character.
Read more: Let Netflix convince you that The Walking Dead is a sequel to Breaking Bad
5. Star Trek Discovery
The show: It was a risk to set a new Star Trek show several years before the events of the Original Series, but, as it turns out, it was a risk worth taking. Star Trek Discovery explores a whole new realm of the Trek universe through the experiences of science officer Michael Burnham (Sonequa Martin-Green). Yep, the captain isn’t the lead here. That’s the first of many smart decisions made by creators Bryan Fuller and Alex Kurtzman, who deliberately avoids rehashing other Trek shows to craft something different, charting the experiences of the USS Discovery crew during wartime in Star Trek Discovery season 1.
Why it’s worth a watch: Loaded with expectation, there was every chance that Discovery would fall flat, failing to live up to its significant potential… and then it arrived and blew everyone’s collective socks off. Strong, intelligent casting twinned with some of the most compelling storytelling of recent years, and that doesn’t even touch the twists and turns. With Star Trek Discovery season 2 now streaming weekly you'd better get cracking on this stellar piece of modern television.
Read more: Who is Star Trek Discovery's Red Angel?
4. Mad Men
Region: UK, US
The show: This award-winning period piece rides the wave of prestige television, taking a high dive into some seriously low behaviour. A glimpse back into the 1960s era of Madison Avenue advertising execs, those self-dubbed titular mad men, this HBO series explores their hedonistic extra-curricular activities and how that affects the workplace. One of the most celebrated TV shows in recent times follows the employees of reputable agency Sterling Cooper, led by the smooth-yet-troubled Don Draper, as they navigate through the decade.
Why it's worth a watch: Dramatic, funny, insightful - and that's just in the first episode. This is a compelling slice of nostalgic Americana, looking back at a period of great change with knowing winks and uber-cool style. You might find yourself getting frustrated at how misogynistic things are, but it’s rewarding to see trends change as time passes.
3. Russian Doll
The show: Living the same day over and over is a concept we’ve seen a fair amount onscreen. Groundhog Day approaches that design with a mixture of amusement and sadness, and Russian Doll ups the ante by throwing in a dose of 2019 New York and a killer central performance. This ain’t a ‘90s movie, folks. Natasha Lyonne, who you’ll recognise from Orange is the New Black among other things, chain-smokes her way through this sticky predicament as Nadia. It’s her 36th birthday and her friends are throwing her a party in their loft. There’s just one snag: she keeps dying and waking up in the bathroom.
Why it’s worth a watch: One of the most talked-about Netflix Originals is deserving of all the chatter and acclaim, ‘cause it’s funny as HELL. Come for the inventive premise and stay for the comedic performances that should hopefully snag the cast a bunch of awards next year.
Read more: Russian Doll ending explained - every unanswered question, story thread, and time loop
2. BoJack Horseman
The show: A failed ‘90s actor spirals through life on a mix of sex, drugs, and trying to deal with depression. Oh, and he’s a horse. Will Arnett voices the anthropomorphic stallion as he sees himself struggling against a tidal wave of self-pity, while also not trying to mess up everything good in his life. His best friend, Todd, voiced by Aaron Paul, often stands by his side – if he’s not knee-deep in another one of his get-rich-quick schemes. It’s also a comedy. Trust me.
Why it’s worth a watch: It’s done something that very few animated (or live-action) shows have even bothered to approach before: depression. While the show can have you crying with laughter at points, it can also have you crying. It’s a hugely complex look at a self-destructive man (well, man-horse) in a world just as crazy as he is.
1. Better Call Saul
Region: UK, US
Season(s): 1-4 (UK) 1-3 (US)
The show: Remember the screwy lawyer from Breaking Bad? 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. Six years prior he was known as Jimmy McGill. A likeable, good-hearted guy who dallies loosely with the law, he goes to bat for his low-income clientele with the help of fixer (and Breaking Bad regular) Mike Ehrmantraut. It's terrific getting to see the pair in their early days, and discover what happened before Jimmy turned into Saul.
Why it's worth a watch: 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 its first season alone, and Rhea Seehorn as Kim Wexler, it's just as good if not better.