It’s the weekend, or a sick day, or just a regular Tuesday night, and you need to binge-watch something. You don’t just want it, you need it. Where to begin? Fear not — we’re here to help. Below you’ll find an ever-expanding recommended list of TV shows available on Netflix, curated by us TV-obsessives. The mix covers a myriad of genres, lengths, countries of origins, and much more, but the one thing they have in common is that they are all excellent. If you want the full monty, peruse our picks for the best series and TV shows on Netflix right now below.
From award-winning original series to all-time classics, here are the best shows you can stream on the platform in August 2021.
Omar Sy stars in this French mystery thriller about a master thief who seeks to steal back the necklace his father was falsely accused of stealing.
“The series also doesn’t waste a single minute, packing each and every moment full of suspense. Put all of that together, and it’s an early frontrunner to steal a spot as one of the best shows of the year,” according to Karen Han of Slate.
“Big Mouth” is a critically acclaimed animated comedy starring Nick Kroll, John Mulaney, Jessi Klein, Jason Mantzoukas, Fred Armisen, Maya Rudolph and Jordan Peele. It centers around awkward teens grappling with puberty.
The first season earned a perfect 100% score on Rotten Tomatoes out of 23 critic reviews.
“The Crown” is a historical drama about the reign of Queen Elizabeth II. Over four seasons, it has recounted major events from 1947 to the early 1990s. The show has been nominated for 63 Emmy Awards thus far.
“The Crown remains, by far, the best soap opera on television,” wrote critic Anita Singh in her review of the third season for The Telegraph.
“Sweet Tooth” is a fantasy drama based on the comic book of the same name. It follows a hybrid human-deer boy, who ventures out in a post-apocalyptic world.
“The performances are strong throughout… but it’s the consistently inventive writing and robust filmmaking that makes the project stand out. It’s heartfelt and fantastical at the same time,” wrote Brian Tallerico in his review for RogerEbert.com.
“I Think You Should Leave with Tim Robinson”
Tim Robinson (“Saturday Night Live,” “Detroiters”) created this high-energy sketch series for Netflix. Guest stars include Vanessa Bayer, Cecily Strong, Will Forte, Patti Harrison, Andy Samberg, Fred Willard, Tim Heidecker and Bob Odenkirk.
Regarding the second season, James Poniewozik of The New York Times wrote: “Blisteringly funny. But it’s more than that. … The new season is as bizarrely funny as the first, but it can also shade bittersweet, even poignant. Over and over, the sketches find a twisted path to pathos.”
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This pulse-pounding Spanish thriller became the most-watched non-English series of all time in 2020. It follows the mysterious “Professor” and his eight-person team as they execute two complex heists.
Each of the first three seasons received a perfect 100% critics score on Rotten Tomatoes.
“Shadow and Bone”
“Shadow and Bone” is a new fantasy series about a mapmaker who discovers she has a power that could free her country. She must learn how to wield it, while running from those who seek to destroy her.
In her review for Decider, Meghan O’Keefe stated that Netflix finally had its own “Game of Thrones.” She wrote: “‘Shadow and Bone’ delivers pure escapism with timely social commentary and good old-fashioned soapy storytelling. It is the next big fantasy sensation.”
“BoJack Horseman” is a surprisingly poignant animated comedy about a half-man, half-horse struggling in Hollywood after being one of its most successful sitcom stars.
It features an all-star voice cast of Will Arnett, Alison Brie, Paul F. Tompkins, Aaron Paul and Amy Sedaris.
“Stranger Things” is a science-fiction horror Netflix original set in 1980s Indiana. It follows a group of kids searching for their friend, and the supernatural adventures that ensue.
“There may be other equally great shows to watch this summer, but I guarantee you won’t have more fun watching any of them than you will watching ‘Stranger Things,'” wrote David Wiegand of the San Francisco Chronicle in his review of the first season.
Fans rejoiced when Netflix acquired this streaming series sequel to “The Karate Kid.” Set 34 years after the fight between Daniel LaRusso and Johnny Lawrence, the story follows Lawrence as he reopens the Cobra Kai dojo.
“‘Cobra Kai’ doesn’t live in the past; instead it hits viewers with bursts of nostalgia endorphins, leaving us giddy and defenseless against the next emotional wallop,” wrote Kristen Baldwin in her review for Entertainment Weekly.
“Queer Eye” is a touching reboot of a reality show in which five gay men turn someone’s life around via quick tutorials in fashion, culture, nutrition and personal style.
In his review for TVLine, Andy Swift praised the show for featuring, “…real, honest moments of genuine connection between people from starkly different walks of life who might otherwise never cross paths.”
“Community” is a cult-classic sitcom that resurged in popularity after Netflix acquired it in 2020.
The show follows the disbarred lawyer Jeff Winger, who joins a study group after he is forced to go to community college to earn a legitimate degree. It stars Joel McHale, Gillian Jacobs, Danny Pudi, Yvette Nicole Brown, Alison Brie, Donald Glover, Ken Jeong and Chevy Chase.
One of Netflix’s hottest new shows is this steamy period romance about the siblings of the high-society Bridgerton family looking for love in Regency-era London. The show is produced by Shonda Rhimes (“Grey’s Anatomy,” “Scandal.”)
“It’s an unqualified triumph. … ‘Bridgerton’ is Jane Austen meets ‘Scandal’ meets ‘Gossip Girl’ meets ‘The Favourite,’ resulting in a wonderfully anachronistic mashup with gorgeous visuals, high-end production values and suitably larger-than-life performances by the talented cast,” raved Richard Roeper in his review for the Chicago Sun-Times.
“Rhythm + Flow”
“Rhythm + Flow” is the first original music competition produced by Netflix. In its inaugural season, eight unsigned rappers try to impress the judges to win a $250,000 cash prize.
Cardi B, Chance the Rapper and T.I. serve as the show’s judges. Guest judges include Tay Keith, London on da Track, Miguel, Ty Dolla $ign, Jhené Aiko, Tory Lanez, Twista, Royce da 5’9″, Lupe Fiasco, Killer Mike, Quavo, Big Boi, Snoop Dogg, Anderson Paak and the late Nipsey Hussle.
“Avatar: The Last Airbender”
In 2020, the popular action adventure series from Nickelodeon found a home on Netflix, where it quickly set viewing records for children’s series that the platform has hosted.
It follows Aang, the last of his kind, as he learns to wield the four elemental powers and bring peace to the world.
The series has been named by numerous publications such as TV Guide and Vanity Fair as one of the best animated series of all time.
“Feel Good” stars Mae Martin in a semi-autobiographical romantic comedy about a comedian recovering from addiction while falling for a heterosexual woman. Both six-episode seasons are available on Netflix.
“‘Feel Good’ accomplishes so much in its tight six episodes that it’s both a blessing and curse that it leaves the viewer wanting more,” wrote IndieWire’s Jude Dry of the second season.
“Bodyguard” is a British political thriller series starring Richard Madden (“Game of Thrones”) as a police sergeant tasked with protecting the home secretary. Although he despises her politics at first, the two form a relationship neither would expect.
“This show excels at both the daring, gasp-inducing twist and the methodical construction of slower-burning thrills,” according to Daniel D’Addario of Variety.
Alastair Fothergill (“Planet Earth,” “Blue Planet”) created this nature documentary, narrated by the legendary David Attenborough.
In her review for Vanity Fair, Sonia Sarayia wrote: “A painfully beautiful eight-hour experience, bewitching in its loveliness and diversity even as it agitates, relentlessly, for human action against climate change.”
“Never Have I Ever”
Mindy Kaling created this series about a first-generation Indian-American teen navigating high school.
“‘Never Have I Ever’ is not Mindy Kaling’s funniest comedy, but it is perhaps her most honest. In short, it is terrific,” according to Allison Shoemaker of RogerEbert.com.
“The Queen’s Gambit”
“The Queen’s Gambit” was a sensation when it premiered on Netflix. The limited series follows the orphaned Beth Harmon out-maneuvering her own demons en route to becoming the best chess player in the world.
In her review for Paste, Allison Keene wrote: “With excellent pacing and a sure sense of itself out of the gate, ‘The Queen’s Gambit’ is a work of art-riveting, radiant, and simply spellbinding. Like Beth, it triumphs through its devotion to a love of the game.”
“Ozark” is an Emmy Award-winning series starring Jason Bateman and Laura Linney. It follows a couple who move to Lake of the Ozarks in Missouri to aid a money laundering scheme.
“Bateman’s commanding performance powers a gripping, twisty, sometimes spotty yarn that plays like Breaking Bad in reverse,” according to Jeff Jensen of Entertainment Weekly.
“Orange is the New Black”
All seven seasons of “Orange is the New Black” are available to binge on Netflix. The original series, about a woman who gets sent to prison for her role in an international drug smuggling operation, earned 21 Emmy nominations during its run.
“In terms of character and ambitious writing and acting, ‘Orange Is the New Black’ is certainly one of the best shows going,” declared Hank Stuever of the Washington Post.
“Nailed It!” is a cooking competition for true amateurs. Each episode features three average bakers who struggle to replicate extravagant and complicated cakes and confections, often to hilarious results.
Comedian Nicole Byer and renowned French pastry chef Jacques Torres judge each episode with a guest. There are five seasons on Netflix, plus two holiday specials.
“Arrested Development” is a sitcom about the dysfunctional Bluth family trying to move on after their father is sent to prison.
It aired for three seasons on Fox from 2003 to 2006 before being canceled. In 2007, Time magazine named it one of the 100 best TV shows of all time. Netflix acquired the rights and made two additional seasons.
David Fincher executived-produced and directed several episodes of this psychological crime thriller, which follows the FBI’s Behavioral Science Unit in the late 1970s as they get into the heads of the country’s most dangerous criminals.
In his review for The Telegraph, Ed Power wrote: “It’s a remarkable achievement and one of those rare ‘binge-watch’ shows that lives up to the billing. You really will want to snaffle it down in one sitting.”
“Lucifer” is an urban fantasy. It follows the Devil as he leaves Hell to run a Los Angeles nightclub and work as a consultant to the Los Angeles Police Department.
Tom Ellis has received considerable acclaim for his portrayal of the titular character.
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“The Baby-Sitters Club”
This teen comedy, based on the novel series of the same name, follows a babysitting business started by five middle-school friends. So far, one season is on Netflix, with a second coming in late 2021.
Meghan O’Keefe of Decider wrote a rave review of the show, saying: “Netflix’s new version of ‘The Baby-Sitters Club’ is a total triumph. It’s sweet, funny, hopeful, but most of all, encouraging.”
“Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt”
Tina Fey created this wacky and lovable sitcom about a young adult adjusting to New York City after being rescued from a doomsday cult.
Ellie Kemper, Tituss Burgess, Carol Kane and Jane Krakowski star in the Netflix original series.
“A Series of Unfortunate Events”
Based on the critically acclaimed young-adult novel series of the same name, this dark comedy follows three orphans being tossed to worse-and-worse foster homes.
Neil Patrick Harris stars as Count Olaf, who attempts to steal the children’s inheritance at every stop.
“The Staircase” is a true crime documentary. It follows the trial of Michael Peterson, who was accused of murdering his wife.
The series won a Peabody Award in 2005.
“The Kominsky Method”
Chuck Lorre, the creator of such shows as “Two and Half Men” and “The Big Bang Theory,” made this series about an aging acting coach and his agent coming to terms with their lives in Hollywood.
It stars Academy Award-winners Michael Douglas and Alan Arkin.
“The Umbrella Academy”
This stylized fantasy show follows a dysfunctional adopted family of superheroes who unite to solve the mystery of their dead father and stop the oncoming apocalypse.
The comics it was based on were written by My Chemical Romance founder Gerard Way. The series has an ensemble cast led by Tom Hopper and Elliot Page.
Alison Brie stars in this critically acclaimed dramedy about a struggling actor who joins a women’s wrestling TV show in 1985 Los Angeles.
“Glow is joyous, delightful, smart and funny television that showcases the complicated dance of strength and vulnerability in women,” according to Allison Keene of Collider.
“The Good Place”
“The Good Place” is a fantasy comedy from Michael Schur (“The Office,” “Parks and Rec”) that follows a woman who is welcomed into an exclusive afterlife utopia after her death.
Kristen Bell, Jameela Jamil, D’Arcy Carden, Manny Jacinto and Ted Danson star in the series that won the Emmy Award for outstanding comedy series in its last two seasons.
“The Circle” is a new take on the reality genre. It’s a mixture of “Big Brother” and “Catfish.” Contestants can communicate only through text, presenting themselves any way they want.
Well-liked contestants then become “influencers” who can eliminate others from the game. So far, two seasons are available on Netflix.
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“Peaky Blinders” is a British period series that follows the criminal activity of the Shelby family after World War I.
The ensemble cast is lead by Cillian Murphy, but also features Tom Hardy, Adrien Brody, Aidan Gillen and Anya Taylor-Joy.
“Tuca & Bertie”
Lisa Hanawalt (“BoJack Horseman”) created this animated sitcom that features all-star voice talent from Tiffany Haddish, Ali Wong and Steven Yeun. The series follows the exploits of a toucan and her songbird friend.
“A rare treat of a show. … Hanawalt finally gets to play in a sandbox entirely of her own making, and the results are as weird as they are wonderful,” wrote Caroline Framke of Variety.
“You” is a twisty suspenseful thriller about a bookstore manager who becomes obsessed with an aspiring writer.
Two seasons are available on Netflix, with a third on the way.
“Schitt’s Creek” is an Emmy Award-winning sitcom created by and starring father and son Eugene and Dan Levy. It follows the once-wealthy Rose family, who have to relocate to a small town they once bought as a joke.
Catherine O’Hara, Annie Murphy and Emily Hampshire also star. All six seasons are available to binge on Netflix.
“Narcos” tells the story of the DEA agents attempting to bring down Pablo Escobar and the Medellín cocaine cartel in 1980s Columbia.
All three seasons are available to binge on Netflix now.
“Grace and Frankie”
“Grace and Frankie” is a sitcom starring six-time Emmy Award-winner Lily Tomlin and two-time Academy Award-winner Jane Fonda. Their characters are brought together after their husbands fall in love with each other.
The seventh and final season, currently in production, will make the show Netflix’s longest-running original program.
“Marvel’s Luke Cage”
Fans of the Marvel Cinematic Universe should check out this series about a former convict with superhuman strength and unbreakable skin.
Luke Cage can also be seen with Daredevil, Jessica Jones and Iron Fist in the Netflix miniseries “The Defenders.”
“Atypical” is a coming-of-age comedy about a high-school senior with autism who ventures into the world of dating, much to the distress of his overprotective mother.
In his review for TV Guide, Matt Roush wrote: “Terrific and moving family comedy, which can make you laugh out loud then choke back tears with the manipulative panache of ‘This Is Us.'”
“F is for Family”
Standup comic Bill Burr created and stars in this animated sitcom about a man and his wife (Laura Dern) doing their best to raise a family in 1973 Pennsylvania.
So far four seasons have been released, and Netflix has renewed the show for a fifth and final season.
“The Witcher” is a popular fantasy series based on the books and video games of the same name.
It stars Henry Cavill as Geralt of Rivia, a magically enhanced monster-hunter. The second season is scheduled to premiere on December 17, 2021.
“Masters of the Universe: Revelation”
Netflix rebooted this beloved 1980s cartoon with crisp animation and stellar storylines to excite children and nostalgic fans alike.
Kevin Smith created and produced the series. It stars Chris Wood, Mark Hamill, Sarah Michelle Gellar and “Game of Thrones” alums Liam Cunningham and Lena Headey.
“The Great British Baking Show”
“The Great British Baking Show” is a feel-good reality series, where amateur bakers compete to impress celebrity chefs.
In 2020, it entered the top 10 most-streamed shows in America according to Nielson ratings.
“Kim’s Convenience” is a Canadian sitcom about a Korean Canadian family running a corner store in Toronto. The first season received a perfect 100% score from critics on Rotten Tomatoes.
In his review for Vulture, Bryan Washington wrote: “I haven’t laughed as hard all year, with feeling, as I have alongside the series.”
Often cited as one of the best shows of all time, “Breaking Bad” recounts the evolution of a chemistry teacher who starts cooking crystal meth to raise money for his cancer treatments.
It stars Bryan Cranston, Aaron Paul, Anna Gunn, Dean Norris, Bob Odenkirk and Giancarlo Esposito.
Its spin-off, “Better Call Saul,” is also available on Netflix.
“Formula 1: Drive to Survive”
Formula 1 racing has surged in popularity among Americans, thanks to this docuseries that chronicles the quest for the Formula One World Championship.