Netflix: 45 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’s new this week (Dec. 6 to 12)
A heap of new episodes to look forward to this week.
- Voir (2021) — Documentary executive produced by David Fincher. Film lovers examine the cinematic moments that thrilled, perplexed, challenged and forever changed them in this collection of visual essays.
- Shaman King (2021) — Action adventure anime based on the manga series of the same name about a 13-year-old shaman, who traverses the world fighting evil spirits and misguided shamans.
- Aranyak (2021) — Crime drama mystery from India about two mismatched hill station cops who navigate a web of suspects after a puzzling murder.
- How to Ruin Christmas (Season 2) — Dramedy from South Africa about prodigal daughter Tumi, who goes home for the holidays and manages to ruin her sister’s wedding plans. Now she must make things right before it’s too late.
- Inspector Koo (2021) — Action series from South Korea about the battle of a former police officer against a female college student who is a serial killer.
The full list of best Netflix Original TV series
At time of writing, these TV shows all score at least 70 on Metacritic.
The Chair (2021—)
A comedy-drama starring Sandra Oh? The answer is yes, and The Chair is a very good time thanks to Oh’s warm charms. Set at the fictional Pembroke University, The Chair follows Oh’s Professor Ji-Yoon Kim, the newly appointed chair of the English department. She’s the first woman chosen for the position and faces an uphill battle to move the stale department along with the changing times. With hilarious observations about academia, scene-stealing appearances by Holland Taylor as a senior faculty member, and ambitious social commentary, The Chair reaches worthy heights.
Never Have I Ever (2020—)
Devi is your average high schooler who wants nothing more than to be cool and get a boyfriend. But it’s hard to stay chipper after your dad dies. Mindy Kaling’s coming-of-age story covers familiar territory and yet it stands out from the pack in multiple ways. Get this: Its narrator is John McEnroe. The sporting connection is just one layer of this surprising, charm-your-socks-off show, depicting an Indian family living in California. You’ve seen these stories before, but not with these unique characters.
Julie and the Phantoms (2020—)
Stick with Julie and the Phantoms’ silly premise before making any judgements. Julie is a teenager who accidentally summons a boy band from the ’90s — The Phantoms. While Julie helps the band achieve their potential, they help her enjoy music and life again after the death of her mother. As music tends to do, the catchy tunes will send you soaring through the joyous, ridiculously entertaining and, of course, romance-filled first season. Ghost jokes are included.
Feel Good (2020-2021)
Comedian Mae Martin’s Feel Good really does try to do what it says on the tin. It follows the repressed George (Charlotte Ritchie) as she falls for Martin’s Mae after seeing her stand-up show. Their London-based romance sees George grappling with coming out to her middle-class friends and family, while Canadian Mae has a drug problem that makes their love even more difficult. A confidently told story with its sense of humor nailed on from the start, Feel Good exudes sweetness and grace.
Sex Education (2019—)
Binging Sex Education is a no-brainer: The self-aware, John Hughes-possessed mishmash of American and British high school culture is a joyful breeze to watch. We follow Otis (Asa Butterfield), the son of a sex therapist (Gillian Anderson), as he embarks on his sexual awakening. The explicit sex talk and scenes are addressed in refreshingly healthy and honest ways. Built around a diverse cast with pure charisma, the show gets even bigger in season 3.
Russian Doll (2019—)
Russian Doll takes its Groundhog Day premise and wrenches it apart in the most unpredictable ways. Natasha Lyonne is the crackling spark at the center of its time-looping mystery, playing Nadia, a game developer who repeatedly dies on the night of her 36th birthday party. The Amy Poehler co-created show uses time travel to explore self-reflection on a whole new level, making this a definite one-sitting appointment.
Cobra Kai (2018—)