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Best shows on Netflix: 50 great Netflix TV series

Best shows on Netflix: 50 great Netflix TV series

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by February 18, 2017 News Updates

Welcome to TechRadar’s always-updated selection of the best shows on Netflix – 50 TV shows that showcase the best Netflix series available in the UK.

Netflix’s transition from a DVD rental service to a streaming behemoth has been impressive to watch.

The company has sunk so much money and effort into making itself into the number one destination for on-demand content that it isn’t just a place to watch things, it also creates them. So much so that the big TV and movie studios are quite rightly running scared – as you will see with the following best Netflix shows.

While Netflix slowly makes a land grab for movies, it is perhaps its television output that is the reason most people have an account.

There’s a ton of TV content to feast upon – too much to ever consider watching in one lifetime, and more and more of it is in 4K too. And then there’s HDR-  many shows are making the switch to HDR, which means brighter and better picture quality.

We have created the TechRadar guide to the best Netflix shows in the UK right now to make sure you get the best out of Netflix. We will keep this best TV show list constantly updated with the latest television shows that you should be watching and also tell you why.

And with news that Netflix is cracking down on VPN use , if you are in the UK and are accessing the US version of Netflix, your choice is soon to get that bit more limited. All the more reason, then, to browse our extensive list of the best shows available.

Also, the streaming service has finally unveiled its long-rumoured Netflix offline viewing feature, which will allow you to download select shows to watch when you’re away from an internet connection.

Finally, if it’s a night in at the movies you want, then we have compiled the best movies on Netflix in the UK right now.

There’s over 100 to choose from and it’s broken down by category, so you should find something you like.

  • Check out our in-depth and completely updated Netflix review
  • Want to test out the rival? Here’s our Best Amazon Prime Video TV Shows
  • Want know the best movies on Netflix . Then this is your in-depth guide

The Jim Carey movie of the stories by Lemony Snicket was passable. But given there are 13 books on the exploits of Count Olaf and the Baudelaire children -Violet, Klaus, and Sunny – it made sense that Netflix would want to make a show out of it. Focusing on the first four books, the series nails the dour atmosphere of the books, with Patrick Wharburton popping up as Snicket to berate the viewer, much like the books. But it’s because of Neil Patrick Harris’ evil Count Olaf that the show really shines. He’s not as hammy as Carey but manages to be menacing while still having a blast.

Seasons on Netflix: 1

Pub quiz time: what does Downton Abbey and Archer have in common? Yup, that’s right, ISIS. Both shows had to magically rid themselves of the ISIS name – Downton’s dog was named ISIS, while Archer’s secret spy organisation had the name as its acronym. In Archer, the show does great at referencing just why the name disappears but that’s the beauty of Archer. It’s a show that is all-knowing and hilarious with it. Now in its seventh season, Archer has slightly rejigged its animation and kept itself completely relevant, cementing itself as one of the best ‘adult’ animations around.

Seasons on Netflix: 7

If it wasn’t for Netflix, Arrested Development would have stayed as a three-season wonder. The streaming giant decided to take a gamble and fund a fourth season of Mitchell Hurwitz’s brilliant family comedy and we are glad it did. While splitting the family up for most of the season meant some of the spark had disappeared – this was done to fit in with the actors’ busy schedules – the fourth season proved that there was still a lot to like about the dysfunctional Bluth family. Filled with season-long in-jokes, perfect site gags and spot-on wordplay, Arrested Development is a comedy that needs to be watched on repeat – and even then you will find something new to laugh at.

Seasons on Netflix: 4

Written by the folks behind Peep Show – Sam Bain and Jesse Armstrong – and helped into the world by Danny Boyle, who directed the first feature-long episode, Babylon is a searing satire of the British constabulary. Seen through the eyes of US PR machine Liz Garvey – a fantastic Brit Marling – the show charts a variety of people in the police force, from the ones on the street to those in the executive suites. Brazen in its mix of comedy and drama, Babylon is that rare, intelligent TV series that doesn’t shirk on showing the ineptitude that happens in a world governed by bureaucracy.

Seasons on Netflix: 1

Freddie Highmore was one of the sweetest child actors around in his younger years, playing cherubic children in the likes of Finding Neverland and the Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.

Now he’s a fully fledged adult he’s taken a much darker turn as future Psycho psycho Norman Bates in the show Bate Motel. A prequel of sorts to the Psycho movies, Bates Motel is a fantastic spin on the horror tale, ramping up the relationship Bates has with his mother – a cold and calculating Vera Farmiga – and sprinkling breadcrumbs along the way that point to how he became who he became.

Seasons on Netflix: 3

As far as dystopian fiction goes, Black Mirror is up there with the very best. Penned by Charlie Brooker, who before this was disassembling and decimating the news in his show NewsWipe, Black Mirror is a handful of caustic tales about the perils of technology, shady governments and human nature as a whole.

Not only has Netflix nabbed the original seven episodes of the show to stream, comprising two series and a Christmas special, but it also funded a further six. The episode’s themes are not too far from issues facing us all today: social media highs and embarrassing lows, technology going awry and new games that start to feel all-too real. Fantastic stuff.

Seasons on Netflix: 3

Vince Gilligan made no secret of the fact he wanted to re-visit the world of Breaking Bad and, while many were apprehensive that it was ‘too soon’, we shouldn’t have been worried. Yes, there was always a fear that Better Call Saul would turn out to be what Joey was to Friends but it has thankfully more Frasier to Cheers. This all thanks to Bob Odenkirk’s portrayal of Jimmy McGill, the lawyer who – despite the world he is in – has his heart is in the right place, even if he is consistently in the wrong place. The second season is just as masterful as the first, upping the tension between the Saul and his brother and more groundwork is laid for him becoming Saul Goodman. But that’s the brilliance of this show – you come expecting Saul Goodman but what Gilligan has done is offered up a fantastically flawed character study of a man on the constantly on the brink of being good.

Details of season 3 were recently released and the rumours are true: everyone’s favourite chicken man is to return – Gus Fring! The new season premieres on AMC in the US April 10, so expect it to land on Netflix soon after.

Seasons on Netflix: 2

A comedy about a failed ’90s sitcom star doesn’t sound like the most enticing premise for a cartoon. But when that failed star is a horse and is voiced by the brilliant Will Arnett, it turns out to be comedy gold. It takes a handful of episodes for the show to ease into itself, but once it does it doesn’t let up with the cutting comedic cynicism centred around Hollywood and its, well, bleakness.

The second season manages to pack more laughs into each scene but also shines a light on more serious issues such as mental illness. Yup, this isn’t your normal cartoon.

The third season has also landed, continuing the levels of absurdity and cementing the show as one of the best around.

Seasons on Netflix: 3

More addictive than the meth pushed by Walt and Jessie (apparently, ahem), Breaking Bad is brilliant binge-watching television. The initial plot is simple: a straight-laced teacher is told he has cancer and to make sure he leaves his family with the best possible life, he turns to drug making and dealing. There’s method to his madness as he ends up being pretty good at it. Creator Vince Gilligan has created such a good group of characters, he is currently mining the same world again with Better Call Saul. But that has some way to go reach the highest highs that Breaking Bad offers.

Seasons on Netflix: 5

Is The Crown Netflix’s crowning glory? Not quite, but it is a sumptuous look at one of the world’s most famous families: the Royal family. Charting the early years of the relationship between the Queen (Claire Foy) and Prince Philip  (former Doctor Who Matt Smith), the show was written by Peter Morgan and, at £100 million, is one of the most expensive TV series ever made. Which means there’s enough pomp and ceremony to keep those pining for a Downton Abbey replacement happy.

Seasons on Netflix: 1

When it comes to superhero movies, Marvel are bossing DC thanks to the rich tapestry it has weaved with its cinematic universe. Its TV shows, as fun as Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D and Agent Carter are, haven’t had the same success as DC’s The Arrow or The Flash. Thankfully Daredevil has come along to change all this. Released in one binge-watching dose, Daredevil is superb television, regardless if you are a superhero fan or not. Matt Murdoch’s (Boardwalk Empire’s Charlie Cox) rise from blind lawyer to vigilante is brutal and steeped in realism. The reason it works so well is that it doesn’t shy away from being violent – each crack and crunch is a world away from Ben Affleck’s terrible movie version. And special mention has to go to Vincent D’Onofrio as Wilson Fisk, his best role since the tortured Private Pyle.

Daredevil season two is out now and adds Elektra and Punisher into the mix. With new showrunners on board, the show has shifted slightly tonally but the brutality of the fight scenes are still there – you just need to check out Episode 3 to see what we mean.

The show was so successful that Punisher is now getting his very own – probably very gory – series. As well as this, Netflix has revealed that Daredevil will be getting a third season and released a teaser for The Defenders, where Daredevil teams up with Jessica Jones, Luke Cage and Iron Fist to fight off the terrors of New York.

 

Seasons on Netflix: 2

Mackenzie Crook was one of the breakout stars from The Office, swapping his brilliant performance as the hapless Gareth for Hollywood roles in Pirates of the Caribbean and Game of Thrones. But it’s on home soil where he fares best.

The Detectorists, written by and starring Mackenzie, is a warm, brilliant comedy. Based around the lives of a group of metal detectorists, it features brilliant writing, acting and characters – in any given episode, you will either be in tears of laughter or poignancy.

Seasons on Netflix: 2

A BBC version of Douglas Adams’ brilliant detective book didn’t quite hit the mark when it was released back in 2010, but this series certainly does. Starring Elijah Wood as Todd Brotzman and Samuel Barnett as Dirk Gently, the show plays like a nuttier version of Sherlock Holmes. Yes, it’s goofy but it’s a fun watch and will please Adams fans.

Seasons on Netflix: 1

Following in the footsteps of fellow ‘mumblecore’ members the Duplass brothers – whose brilliant Creep was a Netflix exclusive – Joe Swamberg has hit Netflix with a candid and considered look at sex and relationships.

Easy is an eight-episode look at relationships in Chicago. There’s a different subject for each episode, although each life portrayed eventually overlaps in the show in some way.

Cast-wise, Easy has some surprisingly big names. Malin Akerman and Orlando Bloom star in one vignette, while the likes of Emily Ratajkowski, Marc Maron and Dave Franco also make an appearance.

Don’t go into Easy expecting explosive drama or high-tense action, but as a realistic look at other people’s love lives it’s a great, if slightly meandering watch.

Seasons on Netflix: 1

There was a collective groan by Coen Brothers fans the world over when Fargo the television show was announced. But what could have been darn tootin’ awful ended up being fantastic, thanks to the casting of Billy Bob Thornton who is both funny and psychotic – well, his character is anyway. The series thankfully didn’t retread the movie but added to it, acting as a strange but sublime companion piece. It’s so good, the Coens initially refused to have their name on the show – until they saw it and loved it.

The second season is also now on Netflix and surpasses the first. The plotline veers away from the original film, but the heart of Fargo is still very much in this TV show. The second series flips back 27 years before the events of the original.

Seasons on Netlflix: 2

If you are still sad that Firefly has disappeared from Netflix, The Expanse will hopefully help to fill that space opera gap, albeit with a sprinkling more melodrama and dodgy haircuts. Thomas Jane stars in this pulpy noir-filled show that melds three storylines together. One is a space mystery, the other a spaceship survival story and the other about terrorism. It’s sometimes a confusing watch but it looks fantastic and has already been commissioned for a second season.

Seasons on Netflix: 1

Unfairly cancelled after just one season, Freaks and Geeks was the starting point for many AAA comedy actors, directors and writers careers of today. Set around two factions of kids trying to get by in a typical US school: the freaks and, well, the geeks.

James Franco, Seth Rogan and Jason Segel are fantastic as part of the geek ensemble – Franco playing the heart throb, Rogan the monosyllabic beer fiend and Segel, the loveable stoner. While the geeks include Silicon Valley’s Martin Starr and a superb John Francis Daley. But it’s Lind Cardellini who’s standout, playing Lindsay Weir, the math kid who decides to rebel.

Created by Paul Feig, who recently tried his hand at rebooting GhostBusters, and written by Judd Apatow, the show is great antidote to the whimsical teenage world of Dawson Creek and the like.

Seasons on Netflix: 1

 

The Get Down has a lot to live up to. It’s the most expensive Netflix show ever made – knocking Marco Polo of that perch – thanks to its creator Baz Luhrmann’s vibrant style that suits the show’s premise. And that premise is a doozy: The Get Down charts the beginnings of hip-hop in the 1970s, telling the tale through the eyes of young rapper Ezekiel. Bombastic in its approach and beautiful to look at, The Get Down is a potent mix of fictional characters and real-life stars of the hip-hop scene, including Grandmaster Flash who also produced the show. The first six episodes are ready for you to binge on now, with the second six headed for Netflix later in the year.

Seasons on Netflix: 1

The first season of Hannibal is now on Netflix and it’s a real treat. Acting as a companion piece to the movies and books, the show follows Hannibal Lector – a fantastic Mads Mikkelsen – in his early days as a psychiatrist. The scenes of horror are graphic, the scenes of eating food are sumptuous and the whole season is wrapped in an ethereal dreamlike bubble which makes it a little difficult to follow but brilliant to watch.

Seasons on Netflix: 1

Okay, this is an acquired taste, but if you are a child of the ’80s and fancy a nostalgia hit, then He-Man is for you. As with many ’80s cartoons, He-Man was born with the sole purpose to sell toys for Mattel, but this is no bad thing: the first season is a great retro look back at a time when cartoons didn’t need to make a whole lot of sense to work. The basic premise is this: Adam is a humble prince until he mutters the words: “By the power of Grayskull” and then he turns into a beefcake with a broadsword and a battle cat, who has to battle bad guy Skeletor and his evil hordes.

To make sure you get an extra burst of nostalgia, the first season of She-Ra: Princess of Power is also available.

Seasons on Netflix: 1

Him & Her is one of the best British sitcoms in years. Based around the lives of a bored, lazy but happy 20-something couple, the show’s plot is slight but it manages to get laughs out of the most mundane happenings. Sarah Solemani is fantastic as Becky whose love for Steve (Russell Tovey) never falters, despite her parents disliking him. And Kerry Howard as Laura, Becky’s sister, is the most hateful character since, well, ever.

All four series are now on Netflix and are an essential watch.

Seasons on Netflix: 4

Homeland, now in its fifth season, is a very different show now than it was when it first aired back in 2011. Based on the Israeli series Prisoner of War, the first few seasons were based around the premise of a returning war hero that may or not be holding a dark secret. This duplicity has been a running theme since then but the narrative has moved on. What hasn’t changed is the brilliant central performance by Claire Danes as the CIA officer with bi-polar disorder – she’s superb and the glue that holds this sometimes disparate show together.

Seasons on Netflix: 5

If there ever was a poster boy for Netflix, House of Cards would be it. Funded completely by the streaming service, Cards’ first season boasted direction by David Fincher and acting by Kevin Spacey and was addictive television. The reason: Netflix positively wanted you to binge watch, putting all episodes up at once. Now in its third season, Netflix’s Card trick is still impressive and shows just how far Netflix has come, given it’s shot in both 4K and HDR.

House of Cards Season 4 is more timely than ever before. Frank Underwood is fighting to get re-voted in as president which, on the face of it, is about as likely as Donald Trump rising to power. Oh…

Seasons on Netflix: 4

Initially made on a shoe-string budget, It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia first season had a cult following, but low viewing figures meant it was destined to be a one-series wonder. Thankfully, everything changed when Season 2 was eventually green-lit, thanks to some big-time star power. Danny De Vito joined for a 10-episode run that was extended because he loved it so much. He’s still in the show that’s now in its 11th season, bringing with him huge viewing figures. The antics of Dennis (Glenn Howerton), Mac (Rob McElhenney, the show’s creator), Charlie (Charlie Kelly) and Sweet Dee (Kaitlin Olson) won’t be for everyone – at its darkest the show’s ‘comedy’ themes range from nazism to drug abuse – but stick with it and this deliciously depraved classic will reward you.A new, 11th season, has finally landed on Netflix, after airing in the US earlier this year. The second episode features one of the most horrific head wounds ever seen on TV. You have been warned.

Seasons on Netflix: 11

And there was us thinking that Daredevil’s subject matter was dark. Jessica Jones is another tale set in Hell’s Kitchen that may be under the Marvel banned but is about as far removed from the bromance of Thor and Iron Man that you are likely to see.

Breaking Bad’s Krysten Ritter is superb as the titular Jones, a private detective with superpowers and super issues. This is nocturnal noir that moves in the same circles as Daredevil – figuratively and literally as both characters will eventually team up in the Defenders. It may not have the bone-crunching violence that Daredevil is famed for, but there’s enough booze, sex and black humour on the screen to make this a cracking comic-book caper that’s strictly adults only.

A second season has been announced but. It has also been revealed that shooting of The Defenders will happen later this year.

Marvel will also release all episodes of its new Marvel show Luke Cage on 30 September,. Cage featured heavily in Jessica Jones, and as the below trailer shows, the show is set to be fantastic.

 

Check out our Jessica Jones review

Seasons on Netflix: 1

This awkward rom-com has been penned by Judd Apatow and it’s yet again another hit for Netflix Originals. It’s a similar bedfellow to Master of None, but it improves on the themes of dating, love and city life with characters that are more rounded and a touch more awkward. Community’s Gillian Jacobs is great as the prim Mickey, while Paul Rust is effortless as slacker Gus. The show stealer, though, is Apatow’s uber talented daughter Iris who plays a frankly horrible child star.

Seasons on Netflix: 1

Luke Cage is the latest addition to Netflix’s impressive and growing Marvel TV show offering. Marvel has created a rich cinematic universe and although some of its TV shows (Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D and Agent Carter) have struggled to stay on their feet others like Jessica Jones and Daredevil have flourished.

Luke Cage is more in the same vein as Jessica Jones and Daredevil, with less light-hearted superhero fun and more hard-hitting themes, violence, and grit.

After making his debut in the first series of Jessica Jones, Luke Cage is getting his own show which sees him swap Hell’s Kitchen for Harlem, delving into his origins as a hero. Viewers who lamented the fact that they didn’t get to see more of him in Jessica Jones will enjoy the opportunity to find out more about what makes his character tick here. Don’t worry if you haven’t watched Jessica Jones, it’s not a requirement to understand or appreciate anything about Luke Cage.

The first season in its entirety is on Netflix now, making it perfect to settle in and binge watch.

The next season in the Defenders series is Iron Fist and, as this, trailer shows, the show is going to be all about the action sequences.

 

Seasons on Netflix: 1

Idris Elba was a relatively unknown actor when he blew us all away as Stringer Bell in The Wire. After starring in the show his career catapulted him into the A List, but he thankfully never forgot his TV roots. Luther is a cop show with a difference, and that difference is Elba. He brings that bit extra to a cop who is battling both deranged criminals and his own demons. He befriends murderers and breaks rules, all amongst the beautiful but broken backdrop of London’s East End.

Seasons on Netflix: 3

Marco Polo may not have had the accolades that Netflix would have hoped for such an pricey series – at $90 million only Game of Thrones is more expensive – but it has enough going for it to keep you entertained. Benedict Wong is Kublai Khan, founder of the Yuan dynasty, while Lorenzo Richelmy plays Marco Polo, the Venetian whose travels to China see him given a place in the Khan’s court.

Bombastic and old school, Marco Polo is a stunning watch – it’s also HDR-ready so make sure you have a TV that can handle this type of content.

It was announced recently that Marco Polo will not be getting a third season, making it the first Netflix-owned series to be cancelled.

Seasons on Netflix: 2

Aziz Ansari was part of one of the best comedy ensembles ever in Parks and Recreation, but in Master of None he proves he can hold his own when he goes it alone. Channeling Louie CK, by way of Curb Your Enthusiasm, Master of None is a fantastic look at being in your 30s in Hollywood and all the trappings that go with it. Ansari plays the fictional Dev but this sitcom comes off as deeply personal and is all the better for it.

Seasons on Netflix: 1

The world’s fascination with real crime seems to be at its highest at the moment and it’s all thanks to the podcast Serial. Now on to its second series, Serial highlights cases of crime in forensic detail. Making a Murderer is in a similar vein. This 10-part series looks at Steven Avery, someone who spent 18 years in prison for a crime he didn’t commit and is then accused of a different crime. The show has been ten years in the making and is gripping stuff.

Seasons on Netflix: 1

Narcos is that wonderful thing: a TV show that doesn’t scrimp on controversy. Based on the exploits of Columbian drug lord Pablo Escobar, the show examines the criminal’s rise to the top of one of the biggest drug rings the world has seen, while constantly trying to avoid the clutches of the DEA.

Uncompromising, uncomfortable but completely unforgettable, Narcos is exactly the sort of thing that Netflix should be commissioning. It’s also the sort of thing that HBO would have snapped up just a few years ago – which is very telling as to where television is today.

The second season of Narcos is out now!

Seasons on Netflix: 2

The OA rounds off what has been an exceptional year for television on Netflix. Co-created by and starring the ever-brilliant Brit Marling, the show consists of eight episodes that rival Stranger Things for, well, strangeness.

Marling is a blind woman who comes back after disappearing for many years. Her sight is restored and she has a tale to tell. Although there are eight episodes they vary wildly in length – from 70 minutes to 30 minutes. The whole thing has been made to make you feel uneasy and it does a great job of that.

Seasons on Netflix: 4

While the US Office took nine seasons to tell its ordinary tale of office life, the original UK version was on air for just two six-episode series and a Christmas double, and it’s perfect. Ricky Gervais manages to make the small – office life and the boredom, frustration and romance that can bring – seem big and does it with perfect comedy timing. Gervais and his co-creator Stephen Merchant have produced one of the greatest comedies ever made and as for David Brent… well, we all know one, don’t we?

Seasons on Netflix: 2

Orange Is The New Black consistently tries to oust House of Cards from the Netflix top spot, with its superb tale of life in a women’s prison. It’s so popular that its makers have announced that the show will be running until at least season seven.

The show has finally returned for a fourth season and things of gotten very dark! Racial tensions and issues with the US prison system are the main plot points for season four and while the comedy is still there, it’s slathered with a fair bit of drama.

Seasons on Netflix: 4

Fresh from giving horror anthologies a new spin with American Horror Story, creator Ryan Murphy has taken this idea and expanded it into the world of crime. The first series of American Crime Story focuses on the very public case of OJ Simpson and the death of his wife Nicole. It’s superb TV, dramatising what was one of the most engrossing true stories to come out of the ’90s. Cuba Gooding Jr is great as OJ but it’s the supporting cast that steals the show. Sarah Paulson, David Schwimmer, John Travolta and Courtney B Vance ham it up to the max and it makes for some of the most entertaining television in years.

All nine seasons of Peep Show are now on Netflix – and if you haven’t seen the show, then you are in for a treat. Charting the rather mundane lives of two flatmates Jez (Robert Webb) and Mark (David Mitchell), the show is a wry look at adults trying and failing to be adults.

All shot in first person – hence the name – Peep Show doesn’t shirk from sex, drugs and political incorrectness but it does it all in such a brilliantly British way, that you don’t mind at all when you are watching some of the most awkward TV moments, including one of the characters serving up a dead dog for dinner.

Don’t ask, just watch.

Seasons on Netflix: 9

From the mind of Jonathan Nolan – Inception writer and brother to Christopher – this twist-ridden series is as high concept as it gets. A computer algorithm offers up ‘people of interest’ to a crack crime-fighting team which consists of former Jesus Jim Caviezel and Michael Emerson, last seen chewing the scenery as Lost’s big bad Benjamin Linus. While the first season is a little by the numbers, this show has blossomed into something of a must watch.

Seasons on Netflix: 4

As its third season nears, it’s a perfect time to get into Rick and Morty. The show on its most linear level focuses on the relationship between a grandfather and his grandson. But it’s oh so much more. It’s a meditation on sci-fi tropes, a pop culture cauldron, a high-concept cartoon that’s endlessly quotable and also a show that contains more than its fair share of fart jokes. It’s endlessly bingeable and very funny – all thanks to its creator, Community’s Dan Harmon.

Slathered with a fantastic dose of black comedy, Santa Clarita Diet stars Drew Barrymore are the stereotypical TV mum, with one difference: she likes eating people. This brand-new show on Netflix is a great send up of the family sitcom, taking all the tropes that make Modern Family and the like so successful, then turning them on their head, and then eating their head. And be warned: when things are eaten it’s all very grizzly. Timothy Olyphant also stars as the dad who is happy for his wife to be a flesh eater.

The Wachowski siblings have been more miss than hit lately – Cloud Atlas was brave but flawed, Jupiter Ascending was just flawed – but Sense8 sees something of a return to form for the directing duo.

Yes there are problems with Sense8 but this uneven show is brilliantly high concept and packed with interesting characters. Well, eight characters in all, from different parts of the globe that are connected in a variety of ways.

The disparate batch of characters means this is a show that has a lot in keeping with Cloud Atlas, where different genres nestled uneasily against each other. But it’s a brave show and one that suits the lavish cinematography the Wachowskis are famed for.

A Sense8 Christmas special has been added to keep you entertained until the second season lands.

Seasons on Netflix: 1

Sherlock is a show that has been drip-fed to it audience over a number of years. This is partly due to its stories working better as three-episode arcs but also because its main stars, Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman have become bonafide superstars during its run, so pinning them down is somewhat difficult.

Cumberbatch is superb has the modern day Sherlock, but the show works because of a potent mix of scriptwriting (thanks to Doctor Who’s Stephen Moffat), deft direction and a fair bit of challenging the viewer. Superb stuff.

Seasons on Netflix: 3

There’s very good reason Sons of Anarchy is the highest rated show on FX ever – its Shakespeare-esque plot (think Hamlet on bikes), following the tumultuous lives of a motorcycle gang, has everyone who watches it gripped. The show ended in 2014 after seven glorious seasons – although later seasons could never quite reach the glory days of one to three – and is perfect fodder for those looking for another Breaking Bad-style fix.

Seasons on Netflix: 7

Now celebrating its 50th year, Star Trek is a movie and TV phenomenon that has no signs of slowing down. The original series, The Next Generation, Voyager and Deep Space Nine have all landed on Netflix but it is the first two series that are the best.

Watching it now, the original Star Trek maybe full of creaky sets and suspect acting but the show was bold, colourful and slathered in ’60s sci-fi innovation. The first series is superb, with perhaps the greatest-ever TV double act: William Shatner’s Kirk and Leonard Nimoy’s Spock. Kirk is all bluster and pomp, Spock is cool, calm and authoritative.

Unlike the original series, the Next Generation took a few seasons to get things right but it still fantastic viewing. Patrick Stewart is effortless as Captain Jean-Luc Picard and the rest of the crew are – including Data, William T Riker and Geordi La Forge – up there in stature with the original crew.

Seasons on Netflix: 3 (Original Series); 7 (The Next Generation)

When it comes to TV and movies, the ’80s is the nostalgia decade of the moment. Whether it’s Jeff Nichols’ Midnight Special that plays like a Steven Spielberg film, if Spielberg still made films like he did in the Eighties, or The Goldbergs and Red Oaks mining the decade for laughs, filmmakers can’t get enough of the shell suits and Sony Walkmans.

Stranger Things is another brilliant homage to this era. Leaning heavily on Spielberg, John Carpenter and Stephen King – so much King – the story revolves around a small town, a group of friends, a missing person and a dodgy science lab. Writing anything else would give away the myriad twists in a show that is full of brilliant creepy fun.

The second season of Stranger Things was one of the most talked about things at this year’s Superbowl – watch the trailer to see why.

 

Seasons on Netflix: 1

The Thick Of It is perfect satire. It is the closest we will ever get to the machinations of politics, until they decide to let cameras roll 24/7 at Number 10. From the ever-sweary Malcolm Tucker to the string of forever-wrong MPs he has to protect with his profanities, The Thick Of It manages to show the world what an omnishambles a government in charge can be, with hilarious consequences.

Seasons on Netflix: 4

The Trip is the perfect gig for Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon and one that must have been too good to pass on. Based on the flimsy premise that hyper realised versions of the two comedians drive around rural England eating in the best restaurants as food critics, the show shouldn’t work but it really really does. Completely unscripted, each episode is strewn with movie star impressions and passive-aggressive jokes, where the two try to one-up each other. Director Michael Winterbottom manages to hold the show together with clever editing and cinematography and manages to add subtle plot through phone conversations with Steve and Rob and their respective families.

The second season has also landed on Netflix and it feels like a sumptuous main course. Italy is the setting and its beautiful surroundings seems to have made the pair more relaxed about life, while still bringing the funny.

Seasons on Netflix: 2

We’ll admit that we were a little disappointed when we heard director Guillermo Del Toro was making a show called Troll Hunters that it wasn’t a spin-off of the excellent Scandinavian documentary, but this animated show is a delight. It stars the vocal talent of Ron Perlman, the late Anton Yelchin and Kelsey Grammar and focuses on a teenager who is chosen to be the guardian of Arcadia, a town overrun with trolls. Part one is out now and features some beautiful animation from DreamWorks.

Seasons on Netflix: 1 (Part one)

Someone escaping from a Domesday cult shouldn’t be a recipe for comedy but Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt manages to squeeze the funny out of this premise. Created by Tina Fey and starring Ellie Kemper as the title character, the show sparkles with wit and is the right side of kooky – unlike some other shows *cough* New Girl *cough* we won’t mention.

Season Two of Kimmy Schmidt has arrived and is fizzing with the same energy of Season One.

Seasons on Netflix: 2

The prequel to a film sequel that no one watched, Wet Hot American Summer: First Day of Camp is both fantastic and utterly stupid. It has a cast list to die for – most of Mad Men are in there as is Ant Man’s Paul Rudd and Bradley Cooper – and focuses on the goings on at the first day at camp.

These goings on include X-Files style conspiracies, homoerotic dancing, long lost rock singers, journalists going undercover and government hit men. In the original film the cast were in their 30s and were playing 17 year olds. In the prequel, the same cast is now in their 40s and are playing their characters’ younger selves. If you can get your head around that, then you are going to love the show.

Netflix has also announced that it is making a sequel to Wet Hot American Summer, which follows the gang 10 years after they left school. Set to film next year, the average age of most of the cast will be 44person o. Brilliant.

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