We’ve already broken down the 100 best movies that you can watch on Netflix right now, but maybe you don’t like movies? Maybe you’re in the mood for a new TV series to binge or a classic you haven’t seen in a generation? A lot of people would rather spend hours or even days with the same characters in a TV series, and Netflix has one for every mood. Here are the 100 best TV shows you could binge right now, updated regularly as new shows enter and old shows leave. Watch all of them and report back.
ABC’s topical drama never quite found ratings success as it always felt like the kind of thing better suited to cable TV than network. The winner of multiple Emmys for Regina King — as well as nominations for Felicity Huffman, Lili Taylor, Timothy Hutton, and Richard Cabral — American Crime told a different story in each of its three seasons, using much of the same ensemble in different roles each year. It’s a riveting, conversation-starting drama.
American Crime Story
Both iterations of Ryan Murphy’s hit crime anthology series — The People vs. OJ Simpson and The Assassination of Gianni Versace — are available on Netflix. The first iteration is a flat-out masterpiece with one of the best modern TV performances from Sarah Paulson, and the second is pretty interesting in its own right. You can burn through both of these in a weekend. It’s a show made for binging.
American Horror Story
The multiple seasons of FX’s hit show have been a rollercoaster in terms of quality but just strap in and enjoy the ride. The latest outing (Apocalypse) isn’t quite on here yet but should be before the newest iteration premieres. The other seven are all here. Start with Murder House, of course, which is still the best of the seven seasons, but almost all of them have interesting beats, especially the 2017 Cult.
The first Netflix series on this list is also one of the best, a brilliant spoof of true crime documentaries that also serves as a clever commentary on teen life in the digital age. The first season — about a vandal who sprays male appendages on all the cars in the faculty parking lot — is arguably funnier than the feces-focused second year, but they both have value. And a lot of laughs. Netflix has axed the show, but there are rumors someone else may be interested in picking it up.
Has the current quality of Arrested Development allowed you to forget that the first three seasons were pure genius? Don’t let that happen. Go back and watch the early brilliance of the Bluth family saga, and you may even want to dip your toe in the revival a bit too before it returns on March 15th.
Ash vs. Evil Dead
Since Ash rode off into the medieval sunset in 1989’s Army of Darkness, there were several aborted attempts to bring the cynical killer of the undead back to the big screen, but he actually ended up on the small one, in this three-season wonder from Starz. Bruce Campbell, the star of Evil Dead 2 and living legend, returns as Ash, as do the trademark practical effects and cheesy humor from the Sam Raimi films. It’s a lot of fun.
Robia Rashid’s coming-of-age comedy developed into something smart and insightful in its second season, anchored by solid performances from Jennifer Jason Leigh and Michael Rapaport. The two veteran actors play the parents of 18-year-old Sam Gardner (played by Keir Gilchrist), who is on the autism spectrum. After some criticism that met season one, the show added more actors and writers on the spectrum themselves, and it became a stronger show. A third season has already been announced.
When a prequel TV series to Alfred Hitchcock’s classic Psycho was announced, it sounded like a very bad idea. What more could possibly be said about the life of Norman Bates? However, the A&E series actually developed into an insightful and fascinating examination of the debilitating relationship between Freddie Highmore’s Norman and Vera Farmiga’s Norma, his just-as-twisted mother.
Better Call Saul
The prequel to Breaking Bad has arguably surpassed its ancestor in terms of depth and performance. Bob Odenkirk stars as Jimmy McGill, the man who will someday become Walter White’s attorney. If Walter’s story was about a man going bad, this show is about a man trying to stay good. It’s one of the best shows of the ‘10s, and you can catch up now on Netflix before it returns to AMC.
Netflix has been really adventurous in its animated programming for adults with hits like BoJack Horseman, and this raunchy comedy from co-creators Nick Kroll and John Mulaney is one of its best. The voice work in this insightful look at teen horniness is quite simply some of the finest in the history of animation, with great contributions from Kroll, Mulaney, Jenny Slate, Jordan Peele, Jason Mantzoukas, and the scene-stealing Maya Rudolph.
It’s Charlie Brooker’s world, we just live in it. The modern answer to The Twilight Zone (at least until CBS All Access actually revives that show) is one of the most buzzed-about programs of the ‘10s. You simply have to see what all of the hype is about, don’t you? Watch it now before our technological overlords force you to.
The first season of this Netflix thriller, nominated for an Emmy in 20115, is really one of those that ushered in the second wave of original series success for the streaming service. The show never quite lived up to that brilliant first year, but there’s really great work throughout from Kyle Chandler, Sissy Spacek, Linda Cardellini, and especially Ben Mendelsohn. They all play members of a Florida family caught up in a web of lies and betrayal.
The surprise Golden Globe winner for Best Actor in a Drama earlier this year was a Netflix show that most people stateside hadn’t really heard of yet. Their friends across the pond sure knew what it was as Bodyguard was the biggest hit over there in over a decade. Fans of tense spy shows like 24 and Homeland shouldn’t miss this tight, 6-episode mini-series about a guard for a Home Secretary in the U.K.
Any conversation about the best animated programs on TV has to include Netflix’s Hollywood parody about, well, a depressed talking horse. BoJack Horseman is a difficult show to explain to someone who’s never seen it. It’s a goofy, pun-filled show about an over-the-hill TV star who happens to be a horse, but it’s also an insightful document of mental illness, depression, trauma, and loneliness. All that and a talking dog named Mr. Peanutbutter too.
Maybe you’ve heard of it? If there’s any chance you have yet to see one of the most acclaimed shows of the modern age, it’s right here for you to make up for the biggest hole in your personal TV canon. If you’ve been under a rock, Bryan Cranston gives one of the best performances in TV history as an average man who becomes an above-average drug lord. Even if you’ve seen it, it’s worth watching again.
Forget the American remake and go watch the amazing first season of this BBC mystery, starring David Tennant of Marvel’s Jessica Jones and one of our newest Oscar winners, Olivia Colman, giving one of her best performances. The first season, which has a self-contained mystery about a boy’s body found on a beach in a small town, is a masterpiece. The other two not so much.
So you think cheerleading is easy, huh? You won’t think that anymore after spending time with the Navarro College Bulldogs Cheer Team, a Texan group that’s preparing to compete in a National Cheerleading Competition. People have become obsessed with Cheer, a docuseries that not only takes its subject very seriously, offering a new appreciation of the art of the cheerleading, but presents the human stories that we really watch a series like this for in the first place.
Any list of the best TV comedies of all time that doesn’t include Cheers is just wrong. For most of the ‘80s, this was quite simply the best show on TV, and it’s held up incredibly well over the years. It’s still laugh-out-loud hysterical, anchored by one of the best ensembles in comedy TV history and razor-sharp writing. There’s a reason this show won 28 Emmys.
NBC’s critical darling is finally on Netflix! Joel McHale leads one of the best comedy ensembles of the modern comedy era, including Donald Glover, Alison Brie, Gillian Jacobs, Danny Pudi, Chevy Chase, and more. There’s a theory that ensemble comedies are only as good as their weakest performer and there’s not a weak one in this cast.
One of Netflix’s most beloved shows is really just getting started. Peter Morgan’s creation is designed to chronicle the reign of Queen Elizabeth II, and well, she’s been in charge since 1952. Claire Foy played the young Queen in the first two seasons, but she’s been replaced by Oscar winner Olivia Colman for the next two. Catch up before they get to Princess Diana.
This German import has become a cult hit through word of mouth on Netflix for a good reason. With echoes of shows like Stranger Things and Fringe, Baran bo Odar and Jantje Friese’s has a little bit of everything for genre fans, including missing children and the possibility of time travel. It’s a weird little show that feels like it echoes some American genre hits but also has its own distinct voice. A third and final season has already been commissioned, so don’t worry about plot threads never being resolved.
Dead to Me
Christina Applegate does the best work of her career and Linda Cardellini nearly matches her in this mystery-comedy about grief, forgiveness, and murder. Applegate plays Jen, a Californian whose husband was recently killed in a hit-and-run. Jen meets Cardellini’s Judy in a grief support group and comes to learn that Judy has a connection to her husband’s murder. Funny, moving, and clever, this is one of Netflix’s best new shows in a long time.
Dear White People
One of Netflix’s most underrated and smartest shows comes courtesy of Justin Simien, who has adapted his Sundance comedy into a brilliant commentary on race relations on modern campuses. With a great ensemble and razor-sharp writing, this is the best current show about what it’s like to be young in the digital age.
At the peak of the anti-hero, Showtime gave us one for the ages, Dexter Morgan, a serial killer with a code. Played by Michael C. Hall, Dexter is a Florida man who feeds his urge to kill by making sure those he dispatches deserve to die. There’s some bumpy ground over the show’s entire run, but Hall is excellent from the unforgettable premiere to the divisive finale.