Netflix has something for everyone, but there are also plenty of duds. Our guide to the best TV shows on the platform is updated weekly to help you figure out what to watch. We include some less-than-obvious gems, so we're confident you'll find a must-watch series you don't already know about.
You can also try our guide to the best movies on Netflix for more options. And if you've already completed Netflix and are in need of a new challenge, check out our picks for the best shows on Hulu and the best shows on Disney+.
Jefferson Grieff (Stanley Tucci) is a former criminology professor on death row for killing his wife, telling his story to a journalist named Beth (Lydia West). Harry Watling (David Tennant) is an unassuming English vicar, tending to his parishioners. The two men are a world apart—until a horrific misunderstanding leads to Watling trapping a friend of Beth's in his basement. As Watling's situation and mental state deteriorate, Beth turns to the killer for help finding her friend. Created and written by Stephen Moffat, this tense transatlantic thriller has just a dash of The Silence of the Lambs, and with a cast at the top of their game, it’s gripping viewing. Best of all, its tight four episodes mean you can binge it in one go.
They’re baaaaaack! After what feels like far, far too long, the Fab Five return for another dose of more-than-a-makeover magic. Season 7 sees Karamo, Jonathan, Bobby, Tam, and Antoni bringing their unique skills to New Orleans, where they help a frat house clean up their toxic masculinity, revive stagnant relationships, and teach a teacher to love herself as much as her students—and that’s just a taste. Prepare to ugly-cry all over again.
If there's a West Wing-shaped hole in your life, look no further than The Diplomat—a tense geopolitical thriller elevated beyond the norms of the genre by a superb central performance by The Americans' Keri Russell as Kate Wyler, newly appointed US ambassador to the UK. Far from being an easy assignment in a friendly country, Kate's role coincides with an attack on a British aircraft carrier, leaving her to defuse an international crisis before it escalates into full-blown war. It's a job that might go easier if her own special relationship with husband Hal (Rufus Sewell) weren't fraying, as his resentment at being demoted leads him to interfere in her efforts. One of Netflix's biggest hits of 2023, The Diplomat has already been renewed for season two.
Based on the comic book by Jeff Lemire, Sweet Tooth is set 10 years after “The Sick”: a viral pandemic that killed most of the population, and led—somehow—to babies being born with part-human, part-animal characteristics. The first season follows Gus, a half-deer hybrid boy who leaves the wilderness in search of his mother, and “Big Man” Tommy Jeppard, a grizzled traveler who becomes his reluctant guide, protecting him from surviving humans who hate and fear the hybrids. The newly-dropped second season takes things into darker territory, merging Gus and Jeppard’s path with the once-disparate storyline of Aditya Singh (Adeel Akhtar), a scientist researching the origins of The Sick—and its connections to Gus. Part sci-fi, part fantasy, part mystery, Sweet Tooth offers viewers a postapocalyptic dystopia unlike any other.
Premiering on Netflix back in 2018, The Dragon Prince has had something of a slow-burn journey to cult favorite status—not helped by lower frame rate animation in its first season—but this sharp fantasy has more than earned its devoted fanbase. Set in a fantasy world where humans, elves, and dragons have lived apart for centuries, the show's first three-season arc follows human half-brothers Ezran and Callum as they are drawn together with elven assassin Rayla to return the last dragon egg to safety. Co-created by Avatar: The Last Airbender’s Aaron Ehasz, this ventures into similarly mature territory as it progresses, navigating themes of war and loss while brilliantly developing an expansive cast of characters. With its second multi-season arc—The Mystery of Aaravos—underway now, there’s no better time to dip into this rich universe of magic and myth.
In Victorian England, Jonathan Joestar clashes with his deranged adoptive brother Dio Brando, starting a centuries-long feud that will sweep the globe. This is no mere tale of warring clans, though, as Dio’s dabbling with dark forces sees him returning over the eras to plague Jonathan’s decendents anew. Luckily, each generation of the Joestar family has a champion (each with a name that can be trimmed to JoJo) to rise to the challenge, mastering arcane abilities of their own—notably summoning ghostly giants known as Stands—to combat Dio and a host of other supernatural threats across the ages. Original creator Hirohiko Araki drew influence from Western rock music and high fashion for his saga, which combine with exagerrated physiques and hyperkinetic action to make this anime adaptation visually and tonally unique. The decision to focus each season on a different era also makes for a surprisingly digestible viewing experience, despite the scope. Honestly, Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure is nonsense at times—but such hyper-stylish nonsense that you’ll easily be swept up in the madness. Just remember, the key word in the title is “bizarre”!
Based on the novels of Caroline Kepnes, You is an often deeply disturbing tale of obsession. The first season follows Joe Goldberg (Penn Badgley), a bookstore manager in New York who falls in deranged love at first sight with aspiring author Guinevere Beck (Elizabeth Lail), while the second sees him relocate to Los Angeles, where heiress Love Quinn (Victoria Pedretti) becomes the focus of his attention. However, as their twisted relationship evolves, Love proves to have dark desires of her own. Often shocking, You is a gripping thriller that hits the same sinister sweet spot as early (read: good) seasons of Dexter.
It’s a few years old at this point, but Netflix’s update of the classic 1960s sci-fi show is one of the rarest entries on the service now—a genre show that the streamer can’t cancel after one season, because it’s already completed its three-season run. That means you can settle in to this glossier take on the Robinson family and their desperate attempt to survive on an alien planet without fear of a permanent cliffhanger or a never-coming conclusion. The stakes are far higher in this reboot though, with the Robinsons trapped on a dangerous alien world after an attempt to evacuate a doomed Earth goes disastrously wrong. Stranded, with no way to reunite with the colony mission they were once part of, the family’s fate may rest with a strange robot befriended by youngest son Will—but unlike in the original show, this robot caused the disaster that stranded them. With less saccharine family dynamics than the original, less camp (with the arguable exception of Parker Posey, stealing scenes as the nefarious Dr. Smith), and a more ambitious long-form story stretching across its three seasons, Lost in Space is a strong update for modern viewers.
If you’re pining for more Killing Eve, this German thriller may be the next best thing. Set in the late 1980s and early ’90s, the eight-part series follows the eponymous Kleo (Jella Haase), a Stasi assassin imprisoned by her agency on false treason charges. Released after the fall of the Berlin Wall, she seeks revenge on her former handlers—but West German detective Sven (Dimitrij Schaad), the only witness to her last kill, may have something to say about that. As dark and violent as you’d expect given the period and the themes of betrayal and vengeance, Kleo is lightened by its oft-deranged sense of humor and a charismatic lead duo who brilliantly bounce off one another. In late 2022, Netflix confirmed that there would be a second season, so now’s a perfect chance to catch up.
A spiritual successor to the likes of Gladiators, with a dash of Squid Game thrown in for good measure, this Korean reality show puts 100 contestants who are “in top physical shape” through a series of grueling challenges, and the last one standing wins a significant cash prize. Unlike previous endurance shows, though, Physical: 100 sees men and women compete together, with an international roster chasing glory. The only limit? Their own ability. The inventive challenges—including the sheer spectacle of dragging a fully loaded ship weighing 2.2 tons across a sand-filled arena—are awe-inspiring, and the psychological drama of rivals having to form teams to progress is engrossing. But what’s most impressive is the sheer feats of human ability on display, even as competitors are eliminated over the course of each roughly hour-long episode. The worst part? You’re definitely going to feel you need to up your workout goals after seeing this.
No, not Netflix’s live-action remake (although that really isn’t as bad as certain corners of the internet would have you think), but the 1998 animated original. Cowboy Bebop is often referred to as a gateway drug to anime, and it’s easy to see why—with its achingly cool characters, imaginative approaches to science fiction and cyberpunk in nearly every episode, and some of the smoothest animation ever committed to screen, the (mis-)adventures of down-on-their-luck bounty hunters Spike, Jet, Faye, and Ed (plus Ein, a corgi with genius-level intelligence) grab viewers from the start. It’s not just the spectacle that’s ensured Cowboy Bebop’s cultural standing over the last quarter-century, though—this is a show that uses its neo-noir and space Western trappings to explore themes of loneliness, regret, and ennui to deliver emotional blows as well. Powered by Yoko Kanno’s blisteringly brilliant jazz-infused soundtrack, Cowboy Bebop remains a masterpiece.
Based on the books by Jonathan Stroud and developed by Attack the Block director Joe Cornish, Lockwood & Co. follows a group of teen ghost hunters in an alternate present-day Britain. Don’t expect a transatlantic take on the recent Ghostbusters reboot though—this is a world where children are the only people able to combat the malign spirits plaguing the living. When Lucy Carlisle (Ruby Stokes) relocates to London after a mission in her hometown goes horribly wrong, she joins the eponymous ghost-hunting agency, run by teen savant Anthony Lockwood (Cameron Chapman) and his ally George (Ali Hadji-Heshmati). Dodging the adult-run organizations that typically send kids out to tackle the “Visitors,” the trio aims to make a name for themselves—and maybe prove that the authorities don’t have undead matters under control at all. Satisfyingly spooky, with some top-tier action and a talented young cast that relishes Cornish’s trademark sharp dialogue, Lockwood & Co. is a great addition to Netflix’s wider canon of supernatural teen dramas—and one that boasts a killer post-punk soundtrack to boot.
Based on the comic book by Jeff Lemire, Sweet Tooth is set 10 years after a viral pandemic that killed most of the population, and led—somehow—to babies being born with part-human, part-animal characteristics. It follows Gus, a half-deer hybrid boy who leaves the wilderness in search of his mother, and “Big Man” Tommy Jeppard, a grizzled traveller who becomes his reluctant guide, protecting him from surviving humans who hate and fear the hybrids. During the show, which is part sci-fi, part fantasy, part mystery, the pair’s journey begins to shed light on the cause of the plague, and what happened to humanity. Sweet Tooth has an eight-episode first season under its belt, with a second due to arrive soon.
“A heist 25 years in the making” is how Netflix hypes this ambitious crime drama, following master thief Leo Pap (the ever-watchable Giancarlo Esposito) and his crew’s effort to steal a staggering $7 billion haul. However, that doesn’t quite do Kaleidoscope justice. It’s not just the audacity of the crime that impresses, or how the show weaves in and out of its cast’s lives over the quarter century leading up to, and shortly after, the heist itself, but the fact that you can watch the eight-episode season in any order. Netflix has dabbled with interactivity in the past, with game-like special episodes or spinoffs of popular shows, but Kaleidoscope takes that idea to a new level, with an almost Choose Your Own Adventure approach that offers a unique experience for every viewer. The unusual format is admittedly part of the charm—as a linear crime drama, it might not have the same appeal—but Kaleidoscope truly feels like something new on the platform, and with a possible 40,320 viewing orders, it’s worth at least one.
When slacker Ryohei Arisu (Kento Yamazaki) is mysteriously transported to a deserted Tokyo, his keen gaming skills give him an edge navigating a series of lethal games that test intellect as much as physical prowess. Yet after barely scraping through several rounds, Arisu is no closer to uncovering the secrets of this strange borderland, or to finding a way home—and the stakes are about to get even higher. Not only are Arisu and his allies Usagi (Tao Tsuchiya), Kuina (Aya Asahina), and Chishiya (Nijiro Murakami) faced with another gauntlet of sadistic games, but they find themselves caught between rival card suit “courts” vying for power—and not everyone can be trusted.
With its willingness to kill off main characters at a moment’s notice, the first season of this gripping adaptation of Haro Aso’s manga kept viewers on tenterhooks throughout. As the long-awaited second season leans further into its twisted Alice in Wonderland imagery, expect more shocking developments in this taut thriller.
If the recent release of Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio has left you wanting more, this delectably dark anthology of macabre tales is the perfect follow-up. Taking cues from the likes of Alfred Hitchcock Presents or The Twilight Zone, del Toro himself introduces each episode, with stories including classic horror shorts, Lovecraftian adaptations, and original concepts. A rogue’s gallery of directorial talent—Vincenzo Natali, Ana Lily Amirpour, Catherine Hardwicke, and Keith Thomas among them—draws viewers into these strange worlds where monsters inevitably lurk, and while each grisly slice of horror allows directors to showcase their individual cinematic talents, the series is unified by del Toro’s signature approach to physical effects and prosthetics. Expect shambling masses of demonic tentacles, ravenous rats, and ancient sepulchres aplenty, all rendered magnificently in one of Netflix’s most visually mesmerizing—if frequently unsettling—new shows in years.
After a minor indiscretion at her "normie" school—releasing flesh-eating piranhas into a pool of swim-team bullies—the dismal doyenne of the Addams Family is sent to the imposing monster boarding school of the Nevermore Academy. Initially desperate to escape the horror high school cliques—goths are vampires, jocks are werewolves, and stoners are gorgons—and her alarmingly peppy roommate, Wednesday is soon drawn into a prophecy dating back decades, and a murder mystery that incriminates her own family.