Streaming platforms have taken over the world of entertainment with millions of people subscribed to at least one. Netflix has been changing the game with a ton of original content and other streaming platforms soon followed in their footsteps.
Many of Netflix’s original series have more viewers than shows on the major cable networks. Scripted shows, docuseries, and miniseries are a big part of their viewership. Find out which Netflix shows are the best according to factors such as critics’ picks, audience reviews, and more.
Unorthodox Is Relatable On Many Levels
Unorthodox is a four-episode miniseries that was both a critic and audience favorite. The show revolved around a woman (Shira Haas) coming of age in Brooklyn, New York who escaped her ultra-Orthodox life and arranged marriage to start a new life abroad.
The unique storyline was actually very relatable and had audiences rooting for the protagonist at all times. Unorthodox was nominated for several Primetime Emmy Awards and ended up winning Outstanding Directing with director Maria Schrader.
Stranger Things Has Some Changes Coming In Season Four
Stranger Things premiered on Netflix in 2016 and instantly became a fan-favorite. This show combines science fiction, fantasy, comedy, drama, and more to tell the story of kids in small-town Indiana dealing with supernatural forces.
It is in the top 100 shows on IMDb and won several Emmy Awards for categories such as Sound Editing, Casting, and Original Main Title Theme Music. The cast is currently filming the upcoming season four and announced there will be several new actors joining the show.
Down To Earth With Zac Efron Teaches Audiences About Sustainable Living
Those who are familiar with Zac Efron probably know him from his acting roles such as the High School Musical trilogy, Hairspray, or The Greatest Showman. He decided to launch a docuseries on Netflix called Down to Earth with Zac Efron.
The show follows him and good friend Darin Olien as they travel to other parts of the world to learn about healthy and sustainable ways to live. Almost five thousand audience members gave it an average rating of 8.1 out of 10 on IMDb because they thought it was both educational and captivating to watch.
Get To Know The Real Queen Elizabeth II In The Crown
Queen Elizabeth II has been one of the world’s most powerful people for decades and Netflix’s The Crown gives a deeper look into her life. It starts right before her reign and includes notable people she interacted with such as Princess Diana, Prince Charles, and Winston Churchill.
Audiences can watch different actresses portray Queen Elizabeth II as she ages and note the accuracy of their portrayals. The Crown is the 102nd most watched show according to IMDb and Olivia Colman recently won the Golden Globe for her role as the middle-aged Queen.
Keep Watching To Get The Best Of Ozark
Ozark centers around a family who has moved from Chicago to the Missouri Ozarks in order to run a lucrative money laundering business. The dynamic between the family can switch at any moment and there’s a lot of action packed into each episode.
Critics thought Ozark did okay after the first couple of seasons, but they thoroughly loved the third season and gave it a 97 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes. “Ozark finally finds its footing in a third season that ramps up the tension and shines a brighter spotlight on Laura Linney’s performance,” said one critic.
Love On The Spectrum Is A Refreshing Reality Show
One of the biggest categories in reality TV is love and relationships. Love on the Spectrum took that category and made it something that audiences hadn’t really seen before. The reality show followed a group of young adults on the autism spectrum as they tried to find love.
A reviewer named Daniel Hart said, “A reality series that helps to dispel some of the stigma surrounding autism is particularly welcome.” Audiences agreed with this and gave it mostly all positive reviews on sites such as IMDb and Rotten Tomatoes.
There Will Be Plenty More Episodes Of Big Mouth To Come
Adult animation is starting to become a popular category on Netflix, especially with Big Mouth. The animated series is a mature take on kids coming of age with the help of their Hormone Monsters.
The fourth season was just added to Netflix and two more seasons are guaranteed in the future. Big Mouth recently received its first Emmy Award for Outstanding Character Voice-Over Performance by Maya Rudolph. Critics also agreed it’s a great show with a 99 percent score on Rotten Tomatoes.
Russian Doll Is Very Unpredictable
Throughout the first season of Russian Doll, a cynical woman (Natasha Lyonne) is forced to relive the same day in New York City and must figure out a way to escape it. Even with a recycled storyline, Russian Doll is able to keep audiences guessing about what’s to come.
Rotten Tomatoes gave the show a 97 percent score because the tone shifts and acting by Lyonne are able to give it a lot of emotional depth. The second season is set to be released on Netflix soon.
Dash & Lily Is A Delightful Holiday Rom-Com
One of Netflix’s newest holiday shows is the young adult romantic comedy series Dash & Lily. The two leads communicate by writing to each other in a notebook as they adventure all over New York City.
Currently, Dash & Lily has a 100 percent score on Rotten Tomatoes with critics saying it’s a delightful show with plenty of holiday cheer. Fans of another coming of age show called The Wonder Years may not know that half of the series was directed by Fred Savage.
Queer Eye Is A Feel-Good Reality Show
The reimagining of Queer Eye added a group called the Fab Five who set out to help people in different areas of their lives including health, fashion, hygiene, and home living. Their kindness and empathy towards others are prominent in every episode.
Over 15,000 people on IMDb gave their review of the show and it averaged a score of 8.5 out of 10. Queer Eye has also taken home the Emmy Award for Outstanding Structured Reality Program for the last three years in a row.
Tiger King Is The Epitome Of 2020
Tiger King is a show that quickly catapulted in popularity. The docuseries premiered in March of this year and detailed the rivalry between two eccentric exotic animal owners, Joe Exotic and Carole Baskin.
The show has an 86 percent score on Rotten Tomatoes and was nominated for six Emmy Awards including Best Documentary. While Joe Exotic remains in prison, Carole Baskin made headlines for her brief stint on Dancing with the Stars.
Ugly Delicious Has Some Pretty Gnarly Foods
Ugly Delicious is the sixth-highest ranked Netflix show on Rotten Tomatoes with a perfect score from critics. This food and travel docuseries is about celebrity chef David Chang and his journey tasting bizarre foods from around the world.
Most episodes include special appearances by his famous friends such as Ali Wong, Jimmy Kimmel, and Aziz Ansari. One audience review from IMDb praised Chang for including an unbiased dialogue about how food is one of the best ways to talk about cultures from other parts of the globe.
American Vandal Was Canceled Too Soon
Netflix has a ton of fan-favorite true crime shows. American Vandal satirizes the genre with a couple of high school boys who set out to solve mysteries involving their peers.
While the series is now canceled, it was met with critical acclaim including a 98 percent score on Rotten Tomatoes. American Vandal won a Peabody Award after its first season for its realistic portrayal of high schoolers during the current day. Steve Greene of IndieWire thought it had an “incredible sense of authenticity.”
Tons Of People Saw Unbelievable
One of the most highly-rated dramatic Netflix miniseries is Unbelievable. Released in 2019, it stars Toni Collette, Merritt Wever, Kaitlyn Dever, and more in a story about detectives trying to help girls and women find a common criminal among them.
Shortly after Unbelievable was released, Netflix revealed that over 32 million people had seen it. The show currently has a 98 percent score on Rotten Tomatoes and many of the actors were nominated for awards such as Golden Globes and Emmys.
Wild Wild Country Is Something They Don’t Show In History Books
Netflix docuseries focus on all kinds of unique and intriguing topics. One that got audiences attention was Wild Wild Country. It included rare footage from the past community of Rajneeshpuram followers combined with interviews from the members several decades later.
One critic on Rotten Tomatoes commented, “Wild Wild Country succeeds as an intriguing examination of a forgotten piece of American history and must be seen to be believed.” It certainly gained a massive viewership and earned a 98 percent score on Rotten Tomatoes.
Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt Earned A Lot Of Emmy Nominations
Created by Tina Fey, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt was an original comedy series that aired on Netflix for four seasons with a bonus interactive special. The show was about a woman who escaped from an underground bunker and must adjust to life in the current day.
It featured breakout stars such as Ellie Kemper and Titus Burgess, seasoned actors such as Jane Krakowski and Carol Kane, and plenty of famous guest stars. Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt was nominated for 20 Primetime Emmy Awards and received mostly favorable reviews from critics.
Never Have I Ever Is Loved By Critics
Created and loosely based on the life of actress Mindy Kaling, Never Have I Ever is about a first-generation Indian American girl coming of age in the current day. The show tackles relatable topics including race, religion, relationships, and family.
According to Rotten Tomatoes, the show has a 96 percent score across all critics. It was so well-received that they were picked up for season two, which they are currently filming. Never Have I Ever also just took home the People’s Choice Award for Comedy Show of the Year.
Our Planet Is A Wonderous On-Screen Experience
Nature documentaries were one of the first things recorded on film and they’ve come so far as technology has advanced. One of Netflix’s most cinematic original series is the nature show, Our Planet, featuring the voice of David Attenborough.
The critics on Rotten Tomatoes loved the cinematography, but also admired the docuseries’ message to audiences to do whatever they can to protect the environment. It received a 93 percent score on the site. Will Gompertz of BBC commented, “[It] gives us some of the most dazzling images you are ever likely to view on TV.”
Narcos and Narcos: Mexico
The crime drama series Narcos was an instant hit when it first appeared exclusively on Netflix in August of 2015. Starring Wagner Moura as Colombian drug lord Pablo Escobar, the series keeps audiences entertained with exciting plot twists and turns.
Instead of filming a fourth season of the show, producers decided to create a spin-off series, Narcos: Mexico streaming on Netflix.
The Queen’s Gambit
Based on a book of the same name, The Queen’s Gambit hit Netflix on October 23, 2020 and quickly became one of the most-watched miniseries of all time on the streaming service.
The series stars Anya Taylor-Joy as Beth Harmon, a young chess prodigy who struggles with addiction in the 1950s and 60s. The series captivated audiences who watched the seven episodes and were left wanting more.
Nailed It! Has One Wacky Host
Something that the whole family can enjoy on Netflix is the baking reality series, Nailed It! Host Nicole Byer is joined by chef Jacques Torres and various celebrity guest judges to critique amateur bakers and their hilarious creations.
Critics agreed that it’s a reality show full of joy that celebrates people trying their best. Many fans love Byer’s funny commentary throughout each episode, which earned her several nominations from the Emmy Awards, Online Film & Television Association, and the Gold Derby Awards.
Atypical Will Be Ending In 2021
Atypical centers on a boy coming of age who has to deal with the pitfalls of autism, which are heightened by his family’s drama. The first three seasons all received positive reviews from critics and any suggestions from earlier episodes were met with total agreement by the show’s creative team.
Atypical’s fourth and final season is set to air sometime in 2021 as the children in the family continue on in their college years. It was highly rated on both Rotten Tomatoes and IMDb with general audiences loving the original and complex characters.
Master Of None Is A Favorite Among Critics And Audiences
After starring on NBC’s Parks and Recreation, Aziz Ansari created and starred in an original Netflix series based on his life. Master of None details Ansari’s life in New York City as he deals with love, relationships, family, and more as a current-day Indian American.
Rotten Tomatoes ranks Master of None as their number one Netflix show with a 100 percent score from critics and 90 percent score from audiences. There have been two seasons thus far and it’s unknown if there will be another.
Coming in as one of the MCU’s TV series (not on Disney+), Daredevil brings viewers into the life of Matthew Murdock, a lawyer by day and a blind crime-fighting superhero by night.
Set in Hell’s Kitchen, New York, the series ties in the stories of Jessica Jones, The Punisher, and also Luke Cage, among others.
The Baby-Sitters Club Is Updated For A New Generation
Millennials may remember the iconic book series called The Baby-Sitters Club. The books have been turned into a film and 1990’s TV series, but in 2020 Netflix released an updated TV series. The show follows a group of girlfriends in middle-school who start a babysitting business.
One critic from Rotten Tomatoes said, “Sweet, sincere, and full of hope. The Baby-Sitters Club’s grounded approach honors its source material while updating the story for a new generation.” It currently has a 100 percent score on Rotten Tomatoes.
Feel Good Has A Familiar Face In The Cast
Fans of Friends may recognize Lisa Kudrow in one of Netflix’s newest British original series called Feel Good. Set in contemporary London, the show revolves around a comedienne falling in love in a new city.
Caroline Framke of Variety thought Feel Good was lowkey and insightful and was able to portray relationships in the current day in a realistic way. The show has a perfect score on Rotten Tomatoes and an 8.3 out of 10 rating on IMDb.
Lenox Hill Is Relevant To The Times
A lot more people are learning to appreciate medical workers. One docuseries that highlights the realities of working in that industry is Lenox Hill. Audiences can see the daily lives of four medical professionals in fields such as neurosurgery, emergency medicine, obstetrics, and gynecology.
Critics from The Hollywood Reporter and Variety loved the docuseries because not only did it educate people about working in a hospital, but it was very “emotionally nourishing.” Rotten Tomatoes gave Lenox Hill a score of 100 percent.
Mindhunter Is For All The True Crime Fans
Based on a book called Mindhunter: Inside the FBI’s Elite Serial Crime Unit, Netflix’s Mindhunter is a psychological crime series. It’s about FBI agents in Quantico who interview imprisoned criminals to see how they think.
According to Rotten Tomatoes, “Mindhunter distinguishes itself in a crowded genre with ambitiously cinematic visuals and a meticulous attention to character development.” The show currently has a score of 99 percent on Rotten Tomatoes and has two Primetime Emmy nominations.
When They See Us Addresses A Crucial Historical Event
Ava DuVernay created, co-wrote, and directed the crime drama miniseries, When They See Us. The miniseries is based on the events from the 1989 Central Park jogger case and gives an in-depth look at the life of the five male suspects.
Within a month of the release of When They See Us, Netflix revealed over 23 million people had streamed it. The show currently has a 96 percent score on Rotten Tomatoes saying it “challenges viewers to reconsider what it means to find justice in America.”
Cheer Shows The Ins And Outs Of Cheerleading
All things relating to cheerleading can be found in Netflix’s docuseries called Cheer. It follows a college cheer team and their coach as they prepare to compete in the National Cheerleading Championship.
Cheer recently won three Emmy Awards for Outstanding Unstructured Reality Program, Directing, and Editing and has a 96 percent score on Rotten Tomatoes. “Cheer perfectly captures the highs and lows of what it takes to be a cheerleader,” said one critic. Members of the team have appeared on The Ellen DeGeneres Show and The Late Show with Stephen Colbert and they were even spoofed on Saturday Night Live.
On My Block Is Celebrated For Its Diverse Cast
On My Block is a teen comedy centered on four friends growing up in the heart of Los Angeles during their high school years. One of the reasons why the show has done well among both critics and audiences is the diverse cast, unique storylines, and great acting performances.
The show has a 95 percent approval rating from critics and a 91 percent approval rating from audiences on Rotten Tomatoes. One critic wrote, “Charming, realistic, and focused on underrepresented communities, On My Block is the respite from stylized teen dramas you didn’t know you needed.”
Audiences Are Obsessed With You
Anyone who loves a good psychological thriller should check out Netflix’s You. It follows a New York City bookstore manager who becomes obsessed with a customer and goes to great lengths to be a part of her life.
When the first season was added to Netflix, it acquired over 43 million viewers in its first month. After the second season premiere, it had over 54 million within a month. It was announced that a third season would be coming at some point in 2021, and the show currently has a 90 percent score on Rotten Tomatoes.
The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance
The animated fantasy series The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance is a must-see Netflix original. Following the story of three Gelflings, Rian, Deet, and Brea, as they go on a quest to unite the clans, discover horrifying secrets in the process, the epic adventure is fun for the whole family.
With an 88% on Rotten Tomatoes, the series is certified “Fresh” and
Drug gang rivalries run high in the Netflix series Top Boy. Taking viewers to east London, the series was revived by the streaming network, thanks to rapper Drake. Certified “Fresh” with a 95% on Rotten Tomatoes, the series has stellar reviews.
Ed Cumming of the Daily Telegraph said, “on the whole, this was a well-made, convincing drama, with an excellent ensemble cast.”
Bloodline is a Southern Florida-based crime drama that has a slow burn to an epic conclusion. Following the dysfunctional Rayburn family, the story is told over three seasons, with a lot of praise going towards the first.
One critic called the series “an addictive, tightly drawn brainteaser framed on a believable canvas.
Chilling Adventures Of Sabrina
In 2018, Netflix revived the beloved witch Sabrina Spellman in the original series the Chilling Adventures of Sabrina. Following the young witch as she navigates between being a regular high school teenager and a witch, the two season series is a must-see for fantasy lovers!
Sadly, the series was canceled after the finale of the second season.
The futuristic sci-fi series Altered Carbon is unlike anything Netflix has done before. Set 300 years in the future, the plot revolves around new technology and humans being able to interchange bodies, making death a thing of the past.
The series was met with positive reviews, despite being canceled after two seasons.
While Outer Banks seems like a series better suited for The CW, Netflix took the teen drama and ran with it. Based in the Outer Banks, North Carolina, the mystery series has teenager on a whirlwind hunt to find lost treasure.
not a dull episode in the mix, Outer Banks is beyond binge-worthy.
Set during the Regency era in England, Bridgerton pretty much broke the internet when the first season dropped on Netflix in 2020. Following the eight close-knit siblings of the powerful Bridgerton family, the series is full of young love and a whole lot of drama.
With an 87% on Rotten Tomatoes, the second season was quickly ordered by the streaming platform.
Santa Clarita Diet
Drew Barrymore and Timothy Olyphant star in the horror-comedy series Santa Clarita Diet. A strange concept that is very binge-worthy, the series revolves around the actors as they sell real estate and, eventually, turn into zombies who crave human flesh!
One critic said, “Santa Clarita Diet serves up an excellent cast, frequent laughs, and an engaging premise.”