If you’re always looking for a new show to watch on Netflix, the platform has some great options that were “home-made.” For years now, Netflix has known that more and more networks were going to launch their own streaming services (Peacock, CBS All Access, Discovery Plus, Disney Plus, and so on), which meant their content selection would eventually thin out. So, they decided to start investing in their own shows, picking up series that others quit on, and so on. Now they have an impressive list of original shows that are definitely worth watching.
We’ve gone digging through various websites to see what critics and viewers have to say about them, so we mixed in scores from IMDb, Metacritic, and Rotten Tomatoes and ran an average so we could compare them better.
Best 50 Netflix Original Shows
It’s a long list with 50 shows that were created or licensed by Netflix, and we’re always eager to have something new to watch, so let’s get to it.
1. Lenox Hill – 9.44
At the top of our list is a movie that is a fan favorite these days as it allows us to see more into what’s going on in hospitals. Featuring four medical professionals in several fields – neurosurgery, emergency medicine, and obstetrics, and gynecology -, we get to see the highs and lows of each doctor, learn more about their jobs and the hardships they encounter. All doctors work at the Lenox Hill Hospital, one of the best hospitals in New York City. Eight episodes were released in early June and a ninth one a couple of weeks later, this time, handling the pandemic.
2. Peaky Blinders – 9.07
This TV series comes from the UK, but it got licensed by Netflix for international distribution. The show features a fictional family of gangsters based in Birmingham, England, just after World War I. The Peaky Blinders gang goes head to head with rival gangs, police officers, and plenty of others. We get to watch Cillian Murphy, Sam Neill, Helen McCrory, Tom Hardy, and quite a few other great actors work together to create a really cool show that will keep you on your toes. So far, there are five seasons available, each featuring six episodes, and more are to come.
3. Middleditch and Schwartz – 9.06
When it comes to comedy, improv is particularly difficult but also incredibly funny if done well. Middleditch and Schwartz is going to give you exactly that – fabulously funny scenes based on random audience suggestions. Thomas Middleditch and Ben Schwartz are both brilliant in this show that features three hour-long performances. Critics believe this is a masterclass in improv comedy.
4. The Queen’s Gambit – 9.02
One of the best shows to come out of Netflix is The Queen’s Gambit featuring Anya Taylor-Joy. This 2020 drama series is based on the same-named novel by Walter Tevis. The show follows the story of Beth Harmon, an orphan chess prodigy who rises to become a grandmaster, defeating the biggest names in chess before she’s 20. We also get to enjoy watching Bill Camp, Thomas Brodie-Sangster, Harry Melling, and Marielle Heller.
5. BoJack Horsemen – 8.96
BoJack Horsemen may be an animation, but it’s not geared towards kids in the least. The show follows a washed-up star of a sitcom that keeps trying to be relevant through an autobiography written by a ghostwriter. Throughout the seasons, BoJack continues to put in an effort, crashes to the bottom of the pit before climbing back up again. The show takes on depression and trauma, addiction and racism, sexism and sexuality, and, most than all, the human condition. The voice cast includes Will Arnett, Amy Sedaris, Aaron Paul, Alison Brie, Paul Tompkins, and more. The show has six seasons, and it has wrapped up already, so you can binge it at a more relaxed pace as there will be no more episodes.
6. Dirty Money – 8.92
Do you want to find out more about some of the biggest stories of corporate corruption? We do! Dirty Money is a show that takes on exactly this topic – corruption within corporations, securities fraud, and all those tricks done in accounting to fix the numbers to suit the needs of those in charge. Each episode throughout the two seasons focuses on one example and includes interviews, so we can learn more. There are two seasons, each with six episodes, and we’ll learn more about the Volkswagen emissions scandal, HSBC, Donald Trump, and Jared Kushner, Wells Fargo, and many others.
7. Mindhunter – 8.92
If you enjoy psychological crime thrillers, then Mindhunter is a show you must not miss. The show follows a special unit within the FBI that tries to understand what makes killers tick in order to apply that knowledge in solving new cases. The Behavioral Science Unit manages to get a ton of information from serial killers and solve some really gnarly cases. The worst part of it all is that the seasons are based on real cases. Jonathan Groff and Holt McCallany are joined by Anna Torv, Cotter Smith, and others.
8. Master on None – 8.9
This series features two seasons, one that was released in 2015 and another in 2017. They both feature Aziz Ansari in the role of Dev Shav, a 30-year-old actor who goes through ups and downs in his career, experiences romance, and life in general. We have Aziz Ansari, Noel Wells, Eric Wareheim, Kelvin Yu, Lena Waithe, and Alessandra Mastronardi. However, we’ve also had plenty of guest appearances from Claire Danes, John Legend, or the wonderful Angela Bassett.
9. When They See Us – 8.86
This 2019 crime drama follows a real controversial case from back in the late 80s when a series of women were raped in New York City, including a jogger in Central Park. Five young men were falsely accused and imprisoned due to bias from the Police and prosecutors. The juvenile males of color were later released from prison and filed a lawsuit for wrongful conviction. We get to watch Asante Blackk, Caleel Harris, Ethan Herisse, Jharrel Jerome, and Marquis Rodriguez, as well as Vera Farmiga, Felicity Huffman, and John Leguizamo. The who gas received 11 nominations at the Primetime Emmy Awards and won the award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Limited Series or Movie for Jharrel Jerome.
10. Five Came Back – 8.8
Five Came Back is a documentary show that focuses on the experience of five US film directors on the frontline of the Second World War – John Ford, William Wyler, John Huston, Frank Capra, and George Stevens. We get to watch some of the footage they managed to capture, as well as some of the best modern directors talking about the impact and legacies of the predecessors. So, we’ll watch Steven Spielberg, Francis Ford Coppola, Guillermo del Toro, Paul Greengrass, and Lawrence Kasdan. We also must add that the documentary is narrated by none other than Meryl Streep.
11. Dark – 8.78
This next show comes from Germany, and it’s deeply twisted and requires your full attention to fully understand what’s going on. It’s a science fiction thriller series, and it ran for three seasons, between 2017 and 2020. The show focuses on the events in a fictional German town and how four families from there dive into a conspiracy regarding time travel that’s been in their families for generations. It’s a show where you visit multiple timelines, so it can get a bit confusing, but it’s thoroughly captivating.
12. Making a Murderer – 8.78
Marking a Murderer is a true-crime documentary that follows the story of Steven Avery, a man who was wrongfully convicted of sexual assault and attempted murder, serving 18 years in prison. After his release, he is charged with murder again, alongside his nephew. The documentary focuses on the possibility that Avery was framed and that he was, once more, wrongfully convicted. There are two seasons to watch here, one released in 2015 and another in 2018.
13. Unbelievable – 8.76
This series is a dramatization of the Washington and Colorado serial rape cases. Between 2008 and 2011, a man assaulted multiple women, but Police didn’t even believe the first victim, bullying her into recanting her statement and charging her with making a false report. The show is based on a Pulitzer Prize-winning article published by ProPublica, and it features Toni Collette and Merritt Wever, two detectives that managed to unearth the truth. There are eight episodes to binge!
14. Feel Good – 8.76
This new show has only just landed in early 2020. It’s a British comedy-drama that premiered on Channel 4 and then was pushed to Netflix who handles the international distribution. One season is already out, featuring six episodes, and a second and final season has already been ordered by Netflix. Feel Good follows the relationship between George and Mae grow. Mae is a Canadian comedian, while George is a middle-class English woman who fails to find the power to tell their friends and family about their relationship.
15. The Keepers – 8.75
The Keeper is a documentary that tries to get to the bottom of the unsolved murder of nun Catherine Cesnik back in 1969. The nun was teaching at the Archbishop Keough High School and was beloved by her students. Now, her students turned into investigators, and they believe there was a cover-up by authorities and that the real perpetrator was a priest that was also teaching at the high school, a man that had been guilty of sexually abusing students. There are seven episodes to watch.
16. Narcos – 8.74
We also have Narcos on our list, and this is definitely a must-see if you want to find out more about the infamous drug kingpin Pablo Escobar. The series was set and filmed in Colombia, and while the first couple of seasons follow the story of Escobar, the third season follows the DEA’s efforts to also shut down the Cali Cartel. The show ran between 2015 and 2017 and features Wagner Moura, Petro Pascal, Eric Lange, Michael Stahl-David, Javier Camara, Pêpê Rapazote, and plenty others that will impress you.
17. The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance – 8.74
The next series on our list is The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance, a fantasy streaming TV series that is a prequel to The Dark Crystal from back in 1982. The show presents to us the world of Thra and follows the story of Rian, Deet, and Brea, three Gelflings who try to save their world from the Darkening. The voice cast includes Taron Egerton, Anya Taylor-Joy, Nathalie Emmanuel, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Helena Bonham Carter, Jason Isaacs, Simon Pegg, Benedict Wong, Mark Hamill, Awkwafina, Keegan-Michael Key, as well as Eddie Izzard, Lena Headey, Alicia Vikander, Theo James, and Natalie Dormer.
18. The Crown – 8.74
Arguably one of the most controversial series on Netflix, The Crown is on its fourth season on the platform. Ever since The Crown premiered, it has drawn criticism from the British Royal Family due to how some members are portrayed. The fourth season, in particular, has caused quite a stir due to it portraying the marriage between Prince Charles and Lady Di, as well as Margaret Thatcher’s tenure. Throughout the show, we get to watch Claire Foy, Olivia Colman, Matt Smith, John Lithgow, Gillian Anderson, Emma Corrin, Emerald Fennell, and many others. Each season features ten episodes, and we’re likely going to get the fifth one in 2022.
19. The Staircase – 8.72
Michael Peterson was convicted back in 2003 for murdering his wife, who had died after falling down the stairs. The first set of episodes were released in 2004 and premiered on Canal+ in France, then a new set was released in 2013, and the last batch went to Netflix in 2018, alongside the rest of them.
20. One Day at a Time – 8.7
A sitcom that will have you thinking about numerous touchy topics is One Day at a Time. The show premiered in 2017 and ran for three seasons on Netflix before the platform decided to cancel it. One Day at a Time was picked up by Pop for a fourth and final season. We get a look into the lives of a Cuban-American family, a mother, and her children. Penelope, a former US Army Nurse Corps vet suffering from PTSD, takes her children and leaves her alcoholic husband. We enjoy following Justina Machado, Todd Grinnell, Isabela Gomez, Marcel Ruiz, Stephen Tobolowsky, Rita Moreno, and many others. Some of the guests we saw on the show are Floria Estefan, Joe Manganiello, Ray Romano, Adam Rodriguez, and the wonderful Lin-Manuel Miranda.
21. The Haunting of Hill House – 8.68
The Haunting of Hill House is a supernatural horror show, so it needs to be your particular cup of tea. It’s actually part of a series, followed by another fan-favorite, The Haunting of Bly Manor. The show goes between two timelines, following five siblings who experience the paranormal at Hill House. Unfortunately, even after they’re grown, those experiences still haunt them. The Haunting of Hill House features Michiel Huisman, Carla Gugino, Timothy Hutton, Elizather Reaser, Oliver Jackson-Cohen, Kate Siegel, and Victoria Pedretti.
22. Stranger Things – 8.64
One of the most popular original Netflix shows is Stranger Things, a show that doesn’t just have fans but has created a ton of merchandise too and has transformed its young actors into megastars. The show takes place in the 1980s and follows a group of young teenagers who live in a town where supernatural events start occurring. Not only is the gate to the Upside Down, allowing some entities to enter the real world, but they also have a girl with psychokinesis enter their lives. Together, however, they make it work. We enjoy watching Millie Bobby Brown, Finn Wolfhard, Gaten Matarazzo, Caleb McLaughlin, Noah Schnapp, Winona Ryder, David Harbour, Natalia Dyer, Maya Hawke, Paul Reiser, Sean Astin, and many others. So far, we have three seasons, but a couple more are said to be needed before the story wraps up.
23. Sex Education – 8.64
This British comedy-drama TV series features a teenager whose mother is a sex therapist. As he struggles with the hardships of being a teenager in high school, he figures out he could start offering his colleagues advice about their sexual problems. The show features a ton of cast members, including Asa Butterfield, Gillian Anderson, Ncuti Gatwa, and Emma Mackey. There are two seasons out thus far, each featuring eight episodes, and a third season is scheduled soon.
24. Rhythm + Flow – 8.64
This 2019 show is actually a music reality series, the first of its kind on Netflix. Rhythm + Flow sees artists Cardi B, T.I., and Chance the Raper become judges in a music competition that features unsigned rappers. With a $250,000 prize on the horizon, these rappers give it all. We also get to enjoy watching some extra judges join the three, like Snoop Dogg, Fat Joe, Jadakiss, Twista, DJ Khaled, and Miguel.
25. Flint Town – 8.62
Everyone in the world has heard about the issues the city of Flint in Michigan has had for many years now after tap water became poisoned with lead. The biggest problem is that even though this happened back in 2014, it still hasn’t gotten fixed. Flint Town is a documentary that follows what the local police officers are going through as they try to keep the peace in areas ridden by poverty.
26. American Vandal – 8.62
If you want to have a laugh, then American Vandal is certainly a good option. This mockumentary parodies true crime documentaries, investigating some ridiculous pranks. We can watch Tyler Alvarez, Griffin Gluck, Jimmy Tatro, and Travis Tope in this series. There are two seasons for this show, released in 2017 and 2018, and Netflix canceled it. However, we may get to see some more later on if the producers manage to get another network to pick the series.
27. The Last Kingdom – 8.62
This British historical fiction show premiered back in 2015 on BBC and aired for two seasons before Netflix took over. So far, there have been four seasons in total, and Netflix renewed it for a fifth one. The show is placed in the 800s when Anglo-Saxons are attacked by the Vikings. Uhtred may have been born a Saxon, but he was raised by Vikings, so the situation he’s in tests his loyalties. Throughout the four seasons, The Last Kingdom takes us over several decades, so it’s quite interesting to watch. We can watch Alexander Dreymon, David Dawson, Emily Cox, Ian Hart, Tobias Santelmann, and plenty of others.
28. Wild Wild Country – 8.6
We’re diving back into another cool documentary series called Wild Wild Country. This one follows Indian guru Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh, better known as Osho. We get to learn more about Osho and his views, especially as he travels with his group to Oregon, where they buy a huge plot of land to develop a new type of community. While the documentary is viewed as an intriguing look at Osho, critics have pointed out that some of the most troubling views are overlooked.
29. The Confession Killer – 8.6
The Confession Killer is a true-crime documentary miniseries that looks into Henry Lee Lucas, a man who confessed to over 100 murders back in 1983. Although he did die in prison, where he had been sentenced for murder, it seems that he wasn’t guilty of so many crimes, making most of them up. The six-part docuseries features footage of Lucas, interviews with journalists, various therapists, and law enforcement.
30 Cobra Kai – 8.56
Fans of the Karate Kid movies are likely thrilled that Cobra Kai is finally up on Netflix. Cobra Kai is set over 30 years after the original films, and it is told from Johnny Lawrence’s point. The first two seasons were released in 2018 and 2019, and then Netflix acquired the series, so they’re planning for a third season early in 2021. The show features Ralph Macchio, William Zabka, and Martin Kove from the old films, and plenty others.
31. Teenage Bounty Hunters – 8.56
This comedy-drama series follows fraternal twins Sterling and Blair Wesley trying to figure out a way to pay for their father’s truck repairs after they crash it. So, they decide to start bounty hunting to raise some money. The show features Maddie Phillips, Anjelica Bette Fellini, Kadeem Hardison, and Virginia Williams. The series has sadly been canceled, but you do get to enjoy the ten episodes they did release.
32. Alias Grace – 8.56
This miniseries is based on the same-named novel by Margaret Atwood, and it follows the story of a psychiatrist who takes on a delicate topic – whether a murderess should be pardoned on reason of insanity. The show features Sarah Gadon, Edward Holcroft, Rebecca Liddiard, Zachary Levi, Anna Paquin, and quite a few others. The series features only six episodes and ran for one season, so it’s definitely a quick binge.
33. Russian Doll – 8.52
Orange Is the New Black’s Natasha Lyonne created and stared in Russian Doll, bringing in an interesting character. Lyonne plays Nadia, a woman who is the guest of honor at a New York City party only to find herself in a Groundhound Day-type situation where she repeatedly dies, resetting at the same moment at the party. The show was created by Lyonne in collaboration with Leslye Headland and the wonderful Amy Poehler. A second season is set to launch sometime in the future.
34. F Is For Family – 8.52
F Is For Family is another adult animated series, this time created by Bill Burr and Michael Price. The show follows a dysfunctional family in the 70s who face all sorts of issues as they learn to live with each other. The voice cast list includes Bill Burr, Laura Dern, Justin Long, Haley Reinhart, Debi Derryberry, and Sam Rockwell, although we’ve also heard Amy Sedaris, Snoop Dogg, Vince Vaughn, and Gary Cole. The show features four seasons thus far, and it was renewed recently, so we can expect more episodes.
35. Dash & Lily – 8.5
This romantic comedy series only premiered just a few weeks ago, but it’s already climbing people’s preferences. The show follows the building romance between Dash and Lily. Dash hates Christmas, while Lily likes to dream. The two start swapping dares and dreams and desires in a notebook they pass to one another across New York City. The show features eight episodes, and you can binge them all.
36. Elite – 8.5
Elite is a story about three teenage students that get a scholarship to study at an elite secondary school alongside really rich classmates. We get to watch regular teenage drama, but there’s also mystery involved as a student is murdered. There are three seasons already, and the show has been renewed for two more in the years to come. Keep in mind that this is a Spanish show, and while there is an English dub, you may want to watch with subtitles.
37. A Series of Unfortunate Events – 8.48
Based on the Lemony Snicket novels we’ve seen on screen before, A Series of Unfortunate Events features Neil Patrick Harris as Count Olaf, while Malina Weissman, Louis Hynes, and Presley Smith play the Baudelaire siblings. The Baudelaire children have to go live with Count Olaf after a fire destroys their home and leaves them orphaned. As Olaf tries to claim the family fortune for himself and get rid of the children, we get to enjoy lots of adventures. There are three seasons to watch here, as the show aired between 2017 and 2019.
38. Last Chance U – 8.47
Last Chance U is a documentary that takes us into the football program from East Mississippi Community College. What makes this program special is that it features collegiate athletes that have had troubles in their lives and struggle to get their lives together. So, they are forced to perform at junior college level before proving they have what it takes to return to Division I. The show features five seasons as they streamed between 2016 and 2020, a total of 40 episodes.
39. Giri/Haji – 8.46
Our next show comes from the UK, and it features dialogue in both English and Japanese. It follows a Tokyo detective who goes to London to look for his brother, who was previously assumed dead. We get to watch Takehiro Hira in the main role, alongside Kelly Macdonald, Yosuke Kubozuka, and Will Sharpe, to name a few. The show features a single season of 8 episodes, and that’s all you’re going to get since Netflix and BBC Two canceled it.
40. Never Have I Ever – 8.46
Created by Mindi Kaling and Lang Fisher, Never Have I Ever is a coming of age comedy and drama series. The story follows a teenage girl from Los Angeles who decides she needs to change up her social life after a horrible freshman year in high school. After her father dies, however, she loses the use of her legs for three months, making things even harder for her. the show features Maitreyi Ramakrishnan in the main role, Darren Barnet, Richa Moorjani, Poorna Jagannathan, Jaren Lewison, and John McEnroe.
41. The Midnight Gospel – 8.44
Since Netflix seems to have really specialized in adult animated shows, The Midnight Gospel is yet another cool option for those who want to get into a new story. The show was released in April 2020, and it is set in a dimension called Chromatic Ribbon. Here, Clancy Gilroy, a spacecaster, owns a multiverse simulator, and he uses it to travel through bizarre worlds to interview their residents. The voice actors for the show are Duncan Trussell, Phil Hendrie, Stephen Root, and many others, including guest stars like Natasha Leggero. There are eight episodes in the first season, so go binge them all.
42. Glow – 8.44
Up next, we have Glow, which is a comedy and drama TV series revolving around a 1980’s group of women professional wrestlers called Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling, or GLOW in short. The series has three seasons currently, and we were supposed to get a fourth one, but it got canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The cast includes Alison Brie, Betty Gilpin, Sydelle Noel, Britney Young, Gayle Rankin, Kia Stevens, and Jackie Tohn.
43. The End of the F***ing World – 8.42
The Brits certainly have their own sense of humor, and The End of the F***ing World certainly falls in line with that flavor. This dark comedy-drama debuted on Channel 4 before moving on to Netflix for international distribution. There are two seasons available, and the series is wrapped up, so you can safely binge it all. The End of the F***ing World follows the life of James, a teenage psychopath who kills animals for a hobby before deciding to try killing a human. He builds a relationship with a rebellious classmate, and they run away together on a trip across England. The show features Alex Lawther, Jessica Barden, Gemma Whelan, Wunmi Mosaku, Steve Oram, Christina Bottomley, and others.
44. Narcos: Mexico – 8.44
The original show is already on our list, but the sequel has also made it here – Narcos: Mexico. This was originally intended to be a fourth season for Narcos, but they decided to instead give it its own life. The series follows on the illegal drug trade in Mexico, moving on from Colombia. There are currently two seasons, and a third has already been announced. The show features Michael Pena, Diego Luna, Tenoch Huerta, and plenty others, although Luna won’t be returning for the third season.
45. She-Ra and the Princess of Power – 8.4
She-Ra has been around for decades, but we’ve finally got a reboot – She-Ra and the Princess of Power! The anime ran between 2018 and 2020 for a full five seasons. The show tells the stories of Adora and Catra, two orphans raised to be soldiers on Etheria. When Adora finds a magic sword, she’s transformed into She-Ra. The voices come from Aimee Carrero, AJ Michalka, Karen Fukurama, Marcus Scribner, Lorraine Toussaint, and plenty others.
46. Cheer – 8.4
Cheerleaders do not have an easy time doing their jobs, and it’s really quite complicated. Cheer is a docuseries that landed on Netflix in early 2020, and it follows the Navarro College Bulldogs Cheer Team from Texas and their practice rounds as they prepare for the National Cheerleading Championship. Sit back and watch their routines in wonder.
47. Lady Dynamite – 8.35
Who’s up for a laugh? Right! Well, Lady Dynamite will have you laughing quite a bit. This Netflix series features two seasons that ran in 2016 and 2018. It features Maria Bamford, a stand-up comedian, and actor, who moves back to LA. She tries to build back her life after spending six months in recovery for bipolar disorder. We get to watch Bamford alongside Fred Melamed, Mary Kay Place, and many others.
48. Atypical – 8.34
If you’re interested in a show that’s still going strong, then Atypical is a good option. The show follows young Sam Gardner, who has autism spectrum disorder. As he reaches an age where he wants to start dating, his universe expands, and he begins to be closer with his parents too. Atypical has been praised in more recent seasons for actually featuring actors and writers on the spectrum. We get to enjoy watching Keir Gilchrist, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Brigitte Lundy-Paine, Amy Okuda, and Micael Rapaport. The show has three seasons, and a fourth has been ordered and will premiere in 2021.
49. On My Block – 8.34
On My Block is a teen drama filled with plenty of laughter. We get to take a look into life in Freeridge, an LA neighborhood, and four teenagers whose friendship is tested when they start high school. There are three seasons so far, with the latest premiering in March 2020. The show features Sierra Capri, Jason Ganao, Brett Gray, Diego Tinoco, and others.
50. Queer Eye – 8.3
Queer Eye is a reality TV series that everyone should watch. This Netflix show is actually a reboot of the same-named Bravo series. The new Fab Five features Tan France, a fashion expert, Karamo Brown, the culture expert, Bobby Berk, a fabulous interior designer, Antoni Porowski, a food and wine expert, as well as Jonathan Van Ness, the grooming guru. They set out across the United States and start changing the lives of people nominated for the show, renovating their homes, changing their wardrobes, building up their confidence, and teaching them some extra grooming tricks and new ways to cook to stay healthy and impress their loved ones. There are five seasons out already, and a sixth one has already been ordered.