The Best Netflix Shows and Original Series to Watch Right Now

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Because we know you need to binge

It’s the weekend, or a sick day, or just a regular Tuesday night, and you need to binge-watch something. You don’t just want it, you need it. Where to begin? Fear not — we’re here to help. Below you’ll find an ever-expanding recommended list of TV shows available on Netflix, curated by us TV-obsessives. The mix covers a myriad of genres, lengths, countries of origins, and much more, but the one thing they have in common is that they are all excellent. If you want the full monty, peruse our picks for the best series and TV shows on Netflix right now below.

Editor’s note: This article was last updated on October 7th to include The Empress.

The Lincoln Lawyer (2022-present)

Created by: David E. Kelley

Cast: Manuel Garcia-Rulfo, Neve Campbell, Becki Newton, Jazz Raycole

The Lincoln Lawyer is everything a great legal drama should be: suspenseful, compelling, and unpredictable. Anchored by Manuel Garcia-Rulfo’s excellent performance as Mickey Haller, a skeptical yet optimistic criminal defense attorney as well as a recovering addict who runs his practice out of his town car, The Lincoln Lawyer is a solid adaptation of the Michael Connelly novel of the same name. Other standouts include Neve Campbell as Maggie McPherson, Halley’s first wife and a criminal prosecutor. If you’re looking for a sleek, sophisticated series, The Lincoln Lawyer is sure to deliver. – Taylor Gates

The Empress (2022)

Created by: Katharina Eyssen, Lena Stahl

Cast: Devrim Lingnau, Philip Froissant

A steamy period drama in the vein of BridgertonThe Empress revolves around Elisabeth (Devrim Lingnau), the Empress of Austria who ruled at the end of the 19th century. An unconventional ruler, she marries the man that was intended for her sister. And that’s just where the complications start. Things get even more complex as she has to navigate meddling family members and politics. Romantic and intriguing, The Empress is a historical series worth a watch. – Taylor Gates

Dahmer – Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story (2022)

Created by: Ryan Murphy, Ian Brennan

Cast: Evan Peters, Niecy Nash, Molly Ringwald, Michael Learned, Richard Jenkins

Society has a fascination with true crime and serial killers, and Jeffrey Dahmer is one of the most obvious examples of this. From countless documentaries to the 2017 film My Friend Dahmer, there’s been a lot of media out there depicting the infamous murderer. This series, however, attempts something of a twist by retelling the tragedies from the victims’ points of view. Chilling and well-made, Dahmer – Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story focuses more on systemic failures than sensationalizing the crimes, which is a refreshing – and important – change. – Taylor Gates

Fate: the Winx Saga (2021-present)

Created by: Brian Young

Cast: Abigail Cowen, Hannah van der Westhuysen, Precious Mustapha, Eliot Salt

Based on the beloved Winx Club animated series, Fate: the Winx Saga takes a darker, more mature approach to the franchise. The story focuses on Bloom (Abigail Cowen), a fire fairy who enrolls at a magical boarding school. There, she makes friends with other magical beings and learns more about her past – and must work with them to defeat an ancient enemy that threatens Otherworld. Offering a compelling escape into a magical world, Fate: the Winx Saga makes for a solid addition to the teen fantasy genre. – Taylor Gatesc

Cobra Kai (2018-present)

Created by: Josh Heald, Jon Hurwitz, Hayden Schlossberg

Cast: Ralph Macchio, William Zabka, Courtney Henggeler, Xolo Maridueña, Tanner Buchanan

A sequel to the original Karate Kid movies, Cobra Kai is a martial arts dramedy that the whole family can enjoy. The series takes place 34 years after Johnny Lawrence (William Zabka) was defeated by Daniel LaRusso (Ralph Macchio) in the All-Valley Karate Tournament. Now in his 50s and working as a handyman, Johnny has been suffering from alcoholism and depression; however, after defending a local neighborhood kid (Xolo Maridueña) from a bully using his old moves, Johnny decides to reopen the Cobra Kai karate dojo to help him and other local children learn to protect themselves. Through this, Johnny rediscovers his purpose – and reignites his rivalry with Daniel. – Taylor Gates

Devil in Ohio (2022-present)

Created by: Daria Polatin

Cast: Emily Deschanel, Sam Jaeger, Gerardo Celasco, Madeleine Arthur

Based on the novel also by Daria Polatin, Devil in Ohio is a limited thriller series full of suspense and mystery that’s sure to have you on the edge of your seat. The series stars Bones’ Emily Deschanel as Dr. Suzanne Mathis, a psychiatrist at a hospital in the suburbs of Cleveland. She forms a connection with a patient named Mae (Madeleine Arthur), a teen girl who has escaped from a cult, and invites her to stay with her until she can find a foster home – something that disrupts the lives of Suzanne’s family. Slick and addictive, Devil in Ohio will keep you guessing throughout all eight episodes. – Taylor Gates

Echoes (2022-present)

Creator: Vanessa Gazy

Cast: Michelle Monaghan, Matt Bomer, Karen Robinson

Michelle Monaghan pulls double duty in Echoes, a terrifyingly mysterious thriller about twins (Monaghan) who spent their entire lives secretly swapping places with each other. Now adults, the culmination of their deceptions begins to unravel when one sister disappears and chaos ensues. Creator Vanessa Gazy crafts an alluring puzzle for audiences to piece together as the schemed and choreographed lives of these women fall apart. Supporting Monaghan’s intense performances is the exceptional Matt Bomer (Doom Patrol), who must deal with the disarray, along with chameleon Karen Robinson (Schitt’s Creek) as the diligent sheriff. – Yael Tygiel

Better Call Saul (2015-2022)

Creator: Vince Gilligan, Peter Gould

Cast: Bob Odenkirk, Rhea Seehorn, Jonathan Banks

Set in the Breaking Bad universe, Better Call Saul is a prequel series following criminal lawyer Jimmy McGill before his life-changing introduction to the infamous Walter White and Jesse Pinkman. Bob Odenkirk seamlessly slips back into his iconic character in the series, allowing creators Vince Gilligan and Peter Gould to peel back the layers of the fan-favorite lawman. While a handful of original characters crossover into Better Call Saul, the greatest addition to this story is the underrated Rhea Seehorn(Veep) as she brings Kim Wexler to life. – Yael Tygiel

The Sandman (2022-present)

Created by: Neil Gaiman, David S. Goyer, Allan Heinberg

Cast: Tom Sturridge, Boyd Holbrook, Vivienne Acheampong, Patton Oswalt

Based on the comics also by Neil GaimanThe Sandman is a grand, time-traveling story that focuses on The King of Dreams (Tom Sturridge), who, after being imprisoned by a mortal wizard for decades, goes on a quest to reclaim his lost items of power and restore his realm called The Dreaming. The series seemingly does the impossible by so faithfully adapting its rich, complex source material and has been praised for its performances and production design. A fantasy horror with depth that will have you asking hard questions – and possibly even make you reach for the tissues – The Sandman is a can’t-miss. – Taylor Gates

Uncoupled (2022-present)

Creators: Jeffrey Richman, Darren Star

Cast: Neil Patrick Harris, Tisha Campbell, Brooks Ashmanskas

Uncoupled stars Neil Patrick Harris (How I Met Your Mother) as a middle-aged gay man who gets dumped after nearly two decades of dating and is forced to salvage himself in this new stage in his life. Co-created by Jeffrey Richman (Modern Family) andDarren Star (Sex And The City), Uncoupled is a playful comedy commenting on the relatability of rediscovery at any age. Harris hones his comedic expertise in the series, joined on his journey by a best friend played by Tisha Campbell (Harley Quinn), with appearances from the incomparable Marcia Gay Harden (The Morning Show). Uncoupled is a superb comedy with a stellar cast and a genuine message for viewers of all generations. – Yael Tygiel

Boo, Bitch (2022-present)

Created by: Tim Schauer & Kuba Soltysiak, Erin Ehrlich & Lauren Iungerich

Cast: Lana Condor, Zoe Colletti, Mason Versaw

Lana Condor never disappoints. Since breaking out in the immensely popular To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before, she’s become a Netflix staple – and for good reason. She’s able to breathe life into an array of characters, expertly balancing both the drama and comedy that comes with growing up. Boo, Bitch is no different. She and Zoe Colletti have great chemistry as best friends Erika and Gia navigating high school together and trying to leave their mark before they graduate. There’s just one little complication: Erika dies after getting drunk at a party one night and must figure out how to live as a ghost. Boo, Bitch is a fun coming-of-age comedy with a supernatural twist sure to appeal to fans of shows like Booksmart and Never Have I Ever. – Taylor Gates

Inventing Anna (2021)

Creator: Shonda Rhimes

Cast: Anna Chlumsky, Julia Garner, Arian Moayed, Katie Lowes

Created by Shonda Rhimes, the force behind Grey’s Anatomyand BridgertonInventing Anna is based on an article in New York magazine that exposed Anna Sorokin: a Russian-born woman who conned the New York City’s elite into believing she was a wealthy German heiress. Julia Garner plays the fascinating scammer to perfection, expertly capturing her bizarre accent and mannerisms. If you’re looking for proof that sometimes the truth really is stranger than fiction, look no further than this compelling and entertaining miniseries – Taylor Gates

Midnight Mass (2021)

Created by: Mike Flanagan

Cast: Kate Siegel, Zach Gilford, Kristin Lehman, Samantha Sloyan, Igby Rigney

It seems impossible to say that Mike Flanagan has done the damn thing yet again, but with Midnight Mass, a project that the writer-director describes as his most personal and longest-running plan in the works, he’s probably crafted the closest thing to an original magnum opus. Like his previous adaptations of Hill House and Bly Manor, there are plenty of monsters to provide frights, but similarly, there’s just as much emotional heartbreak wrapped up in the human story, not to mention characters who can be as terrifying as any ghost or as menacing as any vampire. Midnight Mass is a series that’s more likely to make you weep than gasp, but that doesn’t diminish its impact — or its staying power, not only on Netflix but in the annals of horror storytelling, period. – Carly Lane

You (2018-present)

Created by: Greg Berlanti and Sera Gamble (developed from the books by Caroline Kepnes)

Cast: Penn Badgley, Elizabeth Lail, Shay Mitchell, Ambyr Childers, Victoria Pedretti

After Badgley’s very memorable curtain call on Gossip Girl, the question of his next TV project was definitely circling around — but thanks to being cast as the sociopathic lead of You, he may have just found his true calling (not to mention cornered the market on a rather pleasing talent at voiceovers). As Joe Goldberg, Badgley has to walk the line between seduction and obsession, with the audience privy to every single one of his most intimate thoughts about his latest romantic fixation — no matter how disturbing. Initially enjoying a brief stint on Lifetime, You found new life on Netflix, where it has remained ever since and continues to remain one of the streamer’s most popular titles; it was renewed for a fourth season before the third even aired this year. – Carly Lane

Lucifer (2016-2021)

Showrunners: Joe Henderson and Ildy Modrovich

Cast: Tom Ellis, Lauren German, Kevin Alejandro, D. B. Woodside

The most impressive thing about Lucifer, which began as a supernatural procedural on Fox before Netflix revived it for what ended up being three additional seasons, is how the show has managed to not just survive but thrive, developing a passionate fanbase who genuinely loves the titular crime-solving devil and his friends. The newly released Season 6 officially brings the story to a close, but not before providing said fanbase with plenty of answers and some wild creative swings, including a partially-animated episode and an episode which reveals just how Lucifer (Tom Ellis) sees those who surround him. If you’ve never watched before, get ready to enjoy the binge — and if you’re already a fan, get ready to shed a few tears. – Liz Shannon Miller

Shadow and Bone (2021-present)

Created by: Eric Heisserer

Cast: Jessie Mei Li, Ben Barnes, Archie Renaux, Freddy Carter, Amita Suman, Kit Young

If The Witcher and Game of Thrones had a baby and that baby grew up to be a YA series, you’d have something along the lines of Shadow and Bone. But even that feels reductive, because this fantasy series based on the novels by Leigh Bardugo is far deeper and complex than you might be expecting. The show takes place in a fantasy world that is populated mostly by humans, but also has magic-folk known as “Grisha.” Grisha are a somewhatostracized group, so when an unassuming mapmaker not only terns out to be Grisha but a being known as the “Sun Summoner,” the world is upended. Mixed into this “Chosen One” narrative is a cadre of charming, compelling, and frankly sexy characters all of whom are just trying to make it through a harsh and unforgiving world. Give this one a couple of episodes and you’ll be hooked. – Adam Chitwood

Ozark (2017-2022)

Created by: Bill Dubuque and Mark Williams

Cast: Jason Bateman, Laura Linney, Julia Garner, Peter Mullan, Janet McTeer

The Netflix original series Ozark is frequently one of the streaming service’s most popular shows, and for good reason. Almost like a backwoods version of Breaking Bad, the series opens with Jason Bateman’s life falling apart. He and his family are forced to move from Chicago to the Ozarks to start a money laundering business after he discovers his longtime business partner has been dealing with Mexican drug cartels, and they owe an inordinate amount of money. Bateman’s life is spared when he promises to recoup by opening a vacation destination in the Ozarks, but as he and his family enmesh themselves deeper and deeper into the criminal underworld, the line between good and bad becomes further blurred. It’s pretty thrilling, packed with twists, and the performances are solid. It’s not as tight or as emotionally satisfying as Breaking Bad, but then again what is? As far as substitutes go, Ozark is solid. – Adam Chitwood

Schitt’s Creek (2015-2020)

Created by: Daniel Levy and Eugene Levy

Cast: Eugene Levy, Catherine O’Hara, Daniel Levy, Annie Murphy

Imagine a less cynical Arrested Development crossed with an inverted Beverly Hillbillies, and you’re close to Schitt’s Creek—one of the most joyful shows on all of television. The Canadian sitcom tells the story of a wealthy family who loses everything when they’re defrauded by their business manager. The only thing they do own is a tiny, backwoods town the patriarch (Eugene Levy) bought for his son (Daniel Levy) as a joke gift back in 1991, and they’re then forced to move there and live out of a motel. They slowly begin to accept their new lives and even love their new town, despite their many, many quirks. The comedy is delightful, anchored by a phenomenal performance from Catherine O’Hara as the family matriarch, a former soap actress in denial about her social status. It’s also a delightfully forward-thinking series, as the son’s pansexuality is met not with scorn or judgment, but with full loving embrace. Hilarious, witty, and oh-so-sweet, Schitt’s Creek is the perfect show for when you need a pick-me-up. – Adam Chitwood

The Umbrella Academy (2019-present)

Created by: Steve Blackman and Jeremy Slater

Cast: Elliot Page, Tom Hopper, David Castañeda, Emmy Raver-Lampman

The Netflix original series The Umbrella Academy is the perfect antidote to those fatigued by the glut of superhero movies and TV shows. Based on the graphic novel series by Gerard Way and Gabriel Ba, the story revolves around seven children with extraordinary powers who were adopted by a strange (and very rich) man who trained them to be heroes. Their troubled upbringing drove them apart, but they reunite at the beginning of the first season when their estranged father turns up mysteriously dead. Not only that, but their brother — who’s been missing since they were children — appears via time travel and warns them the apocalypse is coming in a matter of days. This show is extremely joyful and funky and weird, giving weight each of its disparate characters while carrying on a compelling serial mystery all its own. If you want a show that’s fun and mysterious and a little spooky, check this one out. – Adam Chitwood

The Witcher (2019-present)

Created by: Lauren Schmidt Hissrich

Cast: Henry Cavill, Freya Allan, Eamon Farren, and Anya Chalotra

The Witcher is an absolute blast and a half. The fantasy series is indeed very fantasy—it’s more Lord of the Rings than Game of Thrones—but it also doesn’t take itself too seriously and whole-heartedly embraces all aspects of fantasy storytelling and gaming, including fun side-quests, POV battles, and even a bard who follows Henry Cavill’s titular human/creature hybrid around singing songs about his glories. The show’s first season follows three stories destined to converge: Cavill’s Witcher is a muscle-for-hire monster hunter who begins to question why so many princesses have been turning into creatures; Yennefer of Vengerberg (Anya Chalotra) is a powerful sorceress in training who struggles to keep her emotions in check; and princess Ciri (Freya Allan) is on the run after the sacking of her city, but harbors secrets of her own. Steeped in lore and world building but always engaging, The Witcher is a perfect kind of binge-viewing show. – Adam Chitwood

Breaking Bad (2008-2013)

Created by: Vince Gilligan

Cast: Bryan Cranston, Anna Gunn, Aaron Paul, Dean Norris, Betsy Brandt

It’s entirely possible that Breaking Bad will go down in history as the most influential TV drama ever. Creator Vince Gilligan makes good on a single story arc over the course of five seasons: Taking chemistry teacher Walter White (Bryan Cranston) from Mr. Chips to Scarface. That arc tracks, but along the way we get an engaging, twisty, character-rich story that can vacillate between deeply emotional and edge-of-your-seat thrilling. The show begins with the mild-mannered White receiving a terminal cancer diagnosis and opting to go into the crystal meth trade to put together some money to leave behind to his family. But as the story wears on and obstacles arise, Walter White morphs into something far more dangerous and terrifying—or was it always there, bubbling under the surface? – Adam Chitwood

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