Netflix: 44 of the absolute best TV shows to watch
Netflix has a bulging library of TV shows, and as, it becomes an exercise of sifting through the best of the bunch.
To cut time, you’ll find highlights of new content below, as well as CNET’s full list of best TV Originals on Netflix.
What to watch this week (Nov. 1 to 7)
Here’s what to watch this week.
- Catching Killers (season 1) — True crime series following police and prosecutors as they apprehend and incarcerate the world’s most violent killers.
The full list of best Netflix Original TV series
At time of writing, these TV shows all score at least 70 on Metacritic.
Margaret Qualley shines at the heart of this miniseries based on a memoir. Maid follows Alex, a young mother trying to support her daughter by working as a housecleaner. Alex’s task is made vastly more difficult thanks to an abusive relationship, poverty, homelessness and more. But it’s not all heavy subject matter, with light and charming moments that give Maid that extra sheen. A moving story expertly crafted, Maid is a superb watch and cements Qualley as a major star.
The Queen’s Gambit (2020)
How do you make chess the thrilling centerpiece of a coming-of-age tale? You shake it into a cocktail of stylish visuals, a rocking ’60s soundtrack and the magnetic Anya Taylor-Joy as Beth Harmon, one of the youngest (and few female) chess players in the world. The fictional story in The Queen’s Gambit, named after a chess opening, follows her rise from an orphanage to toppling the best players in the world — as long as her drug addiction and bags of wine bottles don’t get in the way.
This miniseries is based on a memoir and told primarily in Yiddish with painstaking detail. Almost a thriller, Unorthodox follows 19-year-old Esty Shapiro, who escapes her arranged marriage in an ultra-Orthodox community in Brooklyn. She ends up in Berlin, exploring a new life outside the strict beliefs she grew up in, but her community doesn’t let go that easily. Featuring a stunning performance from Shira Haas, Unorthodox lets you take a step into a relentlessly compelling world.
This miniseries carves itself firmly into the Western genre, with a female-led cast boasting Merritt Weaver and Downton Abbey’s Michelle Dockery. With its 1880s New Mexico vistas swirling around it, Godless draws up the violence in a tale that sees an outlaw on the run from his boss seek refuge with an outcast widower. Oh, Jeff Daniels is in this too, if the show wasn’t enticing enough.
The Crown (2016—)
Sumptuous is one word to describe the production values of The Crown’s drama about the British monarchy. Following Queen Elizabeth II’s life, starting in her 20s with a powerhouse performance from Claire Foy, The Crown captures the grand workings of historical events from deep within Buckingham Palace. Figures like Winston Churchill, Princess Margaret, Margaret Thatcher and more are treated with the highest cinematic sophistication. A fifth and sixth season are on their way to round out your knowledge of the queen’s reign into the early 21st century.
If you enjoyed Money Heist, then meet Lupin, another non-English language show with a propulsive action-packed story. This time we’re in France, where professional thief Assane Diop enacts his revenge mission on the man responsible for his father’s death. Inspired by a book about gentleman thief Arsène Lupin, Assane uses disguises, thieving know-how and a good dose of charisma to expose the wealthy and powerful Hubert Pellegrini’s crimes.
Bodyguard broke records when it first aired in Britain, climbing from cliffhanger to cliffhanger at a relentless pace. This might be the definition of the unstoppable binge, not surprising given it comes from the mind of Line of Duty’s Jed Mercurio. Game of Thrones’ Richard Madden plays the titular bodyguard, who suffers from PTSD after serving in the Afghanistan war. On top of that, he’s assigned to protect the Home Secretary (Keeley Hawes), whose politics he despises. Taking provocative turns, and crafting one of the best-ever 20-minute opening scenes, Bodyguard is an expert tension-building balancing act.