Streaming services are known for having award-worthy series but also plenty of duds. Our guide to the best TV shows on Netflix is updated weekly to help you figure out which series you should move to the top of your queue. They aren’t all surefire winners—and we love a less-than-obvious gem—but they’re all worth your time.
Feel like you’ve watched everything on this list? Try our guides 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 Amazon Prime and the best Disney+ series.
Talking about sex with your parents is always awkward, but for teenager Otis (Asa Butterfield) it’s even worse: His mother Jean (a captivating Gillian Anderson) is a renowned sex therapist who won’t stop talking about sex, leaving Otis himself ambivalent toward it. Still, something must have sunk in, and after helping a fellow student navigate a sexual conundrum, Otis finds himself almost accidentally running his own sex therapy clinic on campus. While the situations are often played for laughs, over its four seasons Sex Education thoughtfully explores intimacy, sexuality, and relationships in tender and even profound ways. With a fantastic ensemble cast including incoming Doctor Who star Ncuti Gatwa as Otis’ best friend Eric and Emma Mackey as love interest Maeve, this UK-set and Welsh-filmed coming-of-age dramedy has proven itself one of Netflix’s best series.
Time for our favorite Halloween tradition: a new Mike Flanagan horror miniseries, a staple of the spooky season since 2021’s Midnight Mass. This year, Flanagan treats viewers to not just an adaptation of Edgar Allan Poe’s title work, but rather several of the master of macabre’s pieces, brilliantly woven into a tapestry of terror. Like the title’s source, this eight-episode event hangs on twin siblings Roderick and Madeline Usher, here reimagined as the rulers of a shady pharmaceutical empire, now with a sprawling family of descendants and squabbling heirs. The fun twist is that each member of the Usher clan is adapted from characters found in Poe’s other works, including The Murders in the Rue Morgue, The Masque of the Red Death, and, of course, The Raven. As the characters start falling victim to a variety of unsettling deaths, leaving the family founders to watch in despair as their empire crumbles, Poe fans will delight in spotting the references. It’s not just for grown-up goths or erudite emos though—everyone will get a creepy kick out of this delectably gothic twist on Succession.
Imagine a supernatural figure appears and tells you precisely when you are going to die—what would you do? Now imagine if this wasn’t a one-off personal experience, but society as a whole were aware of such warnings from beyond. How do you think the world would react? Forget the trio of giant smoke demons bursting into reality to drag foretold victims to hell, the societal shifts are the real hook of this striking South Korean horror series from Train to Busan director Yeon Sang-ho. With the series split into two arcs—one set in 2022, the other in 2027—it delves into complex theological issues such as the nature of sin and humanity’s propensity to put faith in all the wrong places, making for one of the most innovative horror shows in years.
Adapted from the horror comic of the same name—itself a disturbingly dark reimagining of the light-hearted Archie Comics character—Chilling Adventures of Sabrina sees Kiernan Shipka as half-human, half-witch teenager Sabrina Spellman, caught between the mortal and supernatural worlds as she navigates her dual heritage. With four seasons to its run, it’s the first season that most lives up to the “chilling” moniker, diving deep into satanic imagery and lore and exploring themes of determinism and inevitability as Sabrina weighs up whether to sign her name—and soul—in the Book of the Beast. Frequently unsettling, it’s the closest to true horror the show comes, while later seasons up the camp factor and delve into schlocky territory, with warring witch clans, mystic doppelgängers, and an extremely meta fourth season that manages to fit in cameos from the 1990s Sabrina the Teenage Witch sitcom. It’s never less than thoroughly entertaining popcorn horror though—and with Michelle Gomez at her scene-stealing best as the gloriously vampy Madame Satan throughout the show, it’s perfect for a Halloween marathon.
Netflix screwed up the pitch on Disenchantment. Coming from The Simpsons creator Matt Groening, it was presented in opposition to his later Futurama, lazily swapping sci-fi for fantasy. Go in with that expectation and you’ll be disappointed—this is a far more structured and arc-based show. Over the course of five seasons, it charts the journey of Princess Bean, who yearns to be free from her royal obligations to Dreamland, taking her from drunken troublemaker to reluctant hero. Incredibly reluctant. “Would rather stay a drunken troublemaker” reluctant. With the aid of her personal demon, Luci, and a besotted elf bestie named Elfo, Bean flips the kingdom on its head, unearths ancient secrets, and battles her greatest enemy: her mom. A far cry from the gag-a-minute approach of its creator’s predecessors, Disenchantment can be a bit of a slow burn at times, but with its drier comedy and rejection of an episodic status quo, it’s one of the most interesting adult animated comedies to come out of the US in years.
Gamera has never enjoyed the same respect that fellow kaiju Godzilla has. While the latter has earned the epithet “King of the Monsters” and movie franchises in both its native Japan and in the US, Gamera is perhaps best known as the subject of loving ridicule on Mystery Science Theater 3000. Here’s a secret though: Gamera is rad. He’s a giant, fire-breathing turtle with an impenetrable shell, and who can both fly and become a flame-spewing, razor-edged, aerial spinning top of doom. Oh, and he’s also, canonically, “friend to all children.” It’s that latter point that serves as the basis for Gamera Rebirth, the first new project for the turtle titan in 17 years. Set in 1989 Tokyo, this CG anime series follows youngsters Boco, Joe, and Junichi—and their bully Brody, an American whose parents work on a military base—as the world is besieged by hordes of monsters, with the barely-understood force of nature that is Gamera the only thing that can stop them. Rebirth’s format is unusual—45 minutes per episode, a rarity in anime—but allows each episode to spotlight one of the signature enemy kaiju from the classic films in greater depth, and pack in enough city-smashing action that you’ll be left asking “Godzilla who?”
In a triumph of on-the-nose conceptualizing, La Révolution spins an alt-history romp in on-the-cusp-of-revolt France, where the cruel aristocracy become literal “blue-bloods” thanks to a contagion that turns them into inky-veined, dandyish fiends ravenous for human flesh. A plucky reformist contessa who sympathizes with the commoners’ plight—first of being exploited by the ruling class, and then being eaten by them—allies with forces both rebel and supernatural as she tries to prevent the undead disease spreading from the elite of Versaille to the whole of France’s upper crust. Surprisingly great production values and a cast that’s clearly enjoying themselves elevates this above your standard zombie nonsense—and it’s subtitled, which definitely means it’s arthouse, right?
Netflix: *License one of Japan’s best SF dramas in years*. Also Netflix: *Do nothing, literally nothing, to promote it, not even create an English subbed trailer*. Which is where WIRED comes in—Pending Train is a show you (and Netflix) shouldn’t sleep on. When a train carriage is mysteriously transported into a post-apocalyptic future, the disparate passengers’ first concern is simply survival. Between exploring their new surroundings and clashing with people from another stranded train car over scarce resources, one group—including hairdresser Naoya, firefighter Yuto, and teacher Sae—begin to realize there may be a reason they’ve been catapulted through time: a chance to go back and avert the disaster that ruined the world. A tense, 10-episode journey, think of Pending Train as a Japanese twist on Lost, but one with tighter pacing and showrunners who actually have a clue where they want the story to go.
Mark one up for persistence: After numerous anime adaptations ranging from “awful” to “not too bad,” Netflix finally strikes gold with its live-action take on the global phenomenon One Piece. Despite fans’ fears, this spectacularly captures the charm, optimism, and glorious weirdness of Eiichiro Oda’s beloved manga, manifesting a fantasy world where people brandish outlandish powers and hunt for a legendary treasure in an Age of Piracy almost verbatim from the page. The perfectly cast Iñaki Godoy stars as Monkey D. Luffy, would-be King of the Pirates, bringing an almost elastic innate physicality to the role that brilliantly matches the characters rubber-based stretching powers, while the crew Luffy gathers over this first season—including swordsmaster Roronoa Zoro (Mackenyu), navigator and skilled thief Nami (Emily Rudd), sharpshooter Usopp (Jacob Romero Gibson), and martial artist chef Sanji (Taz Skylar)—all brilliantly embody their characters. A lot could have gone wrong bringing One Piece to life, but this is a voyage well worth taking.
If you’re a fan of Norse mythology but Marvel’s Thor got too goofy for you with Love and Thunder, this Norwegian fantasy drama may be more to your liking. Set in the present day, young Magne Seier (David Stakston) finds he is the reincarnation of the god of thunder, just in time to make a stand against the sinister Jutul family whose polluting factories blight his hometown of Edda. No, the show is not subtle with its references, nor its environmentalism, but it’s a fun reimagining of myth, especially as more members of the Norse pantheon start cropping up. Best of all, with only three six-episode seasons and an actual ending—no surprise cancelations here!—it’s a nicely digestible binge watch.
Based on the comic American Jesus by writer Mark Millar (Kick-Ass, Kingsman) and artist Peter Gross (Lucifer), The Chosen One follows 12-year-old Jodie (Bobby Luhnow), raised in Mexico by his mother Sarah (Dianna Agron). While the young boy would rather hang out with his friends, his life—and potentially the world—changes forever when he starts exhibiting miraculous powers, attracting dangerous attention from sinister forces. While this could have been yet another formulaic entry in Netflix’s expansive library of supernatural teen dramas (the Stranger Things vibe is particularly strong), the decision to shoot on film and in a 4:3 aspect ratio make this a visual delight, unlike almost anything else on the streamer at present. There’s an English dub, but stick to the original Spanish with English subs for a better viewing experience. (Confusingly, there’s another show with the exact same title on Netflix, a 2019 Brazilian series following a trio of relief doctors in a village dominated by a cult leader—also worth a watch, but don’t get them confused!)
Travelers is something of a hidden gem, albeit one that’s increasingly less hidden as people realize the genius of this tight, entertaining Canadian sci-fi series. Run by Brad Wright, one of the cocreators of Stargate SG-1, the show follows a team of time travelers sent back to “the 21st” to prevent the postapocalyptic future from which they came. The twist is how they travel. The travelers have their consciousness transferred into the bodies of people shortly before their death, adopting their identities and living their lives between missions. It’s an often thrilling, sometimes complicated watch that perfectly treads the line between serious sci-fi and accessible entertainment.
Arguably the most joyful show on Netflix is back for another school year of teen drama and heartfelt romance. With Charlie (Joe Locke) and Nick (Kit Connor) now officially dating, this long-awaited second season starts off with Nick struggling to come out as bisexual—but it’s openly gay Charlie’s parents who seem to struggle the most with their relationship. Meanwhile, Elle (Yasmin Finney) and Tao’s (William Gao) will-they-won’t-they saga continues to sizzle, and a school trip to Paris turns into a crucible for everyone’s emotions. Although it steps into slightly darker terrain this season, the brilliant adaptation of Alice Oseman’s graphic novels continues to be an utter delight—the show that younger LGBTQ+ viewers need now, that older ones needed years ago, and that everyone needs to watch whatever your sexuality.
While this latter-day sequel to The Karate Kid films of the 1980s started life on YouTube Red (remember that?), it’s really come into its own since moving to Netflix. Picking up decades after Daniel LaRusso and Johnny Lawrence’s iconic fight at the end of the first movie, the debut season of Cobra Kai finds the tables turned, with Daniel living the charmed life while Johnny is washed up. Yet after defending his young neighbor Miguel (Xolo Maridueña) in a fight, Johnny finds new meaning by reopening the eponymous karate dojo and guiding a new generation of students. As the series progresses, the stakes get higher—and frankly, increasingly, gloriously ludicrous—as rival martial arts schools start cropping up all over California and alliances are forged and broken with alarming regularity. It’s all presented a little bit tongue in cheek, and with Ralph Macchio and William Zabka reprising their 1980s roles, the show is an unabashed love letter to the classic action flicks. But thanks to some seriously impressive fights and stunt work, and with a younger cast you can’t help but root for, it’s a retro-styled delight. With a sixth and final season in the works, now is the perfect time to binge the first five.