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The Top Movies and TV Shows on Netflix in 2021

Whether you're looking to watch something chilling or chill, you'll find it here

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Allison Picurro

You could spend centuries looking for the best shows and movies to watch on Netflix by just watching everything on the streaming service, but why waste your time when we've done the hard work for you? Our list of the best shows and movies on Netflix has expanded with the additions of the supernatural teen series Locke & Key (which just returned for Season 2) and Sex, Love & goop, Gwyneth Paltrow's new reality show that talks all about sex, baby. Our list also includes recently released series like the anime Cowboy BebopThe Baby-Sitters Club, and On My Block.

Our selections might look different from other sites because we know you've watched most of the popular shows on Netflix already, so we're focusing more on new releases, buzzy shows and movies, and old favorites that were recently added to Netflix. Sure, Stranger Things isn't on the list right now, but don't worry, it will make our list when it's time to rewatch in anticipation of Season 4. There are other shows out that are more important in the zeitgeist at the moment. These are the best shows and movies to watch on Netflix right now

Looking for more recommendations of what to watch next? We have a ton of them! We also have hand-picked selections based on shows you already love.

Last updated Oct. 22; newer additions are at the top

Locke & Key


For fans of: Keys, teens, supernatural occurrences
Number of seasons: 2

Emilia Jones and Connor Jessup, Locke & Key

Emilia Jones and Connor Jessup, Locke & Key

Amanda Matlovich/Netflix

The TV drama with the highest concentration of keys per minute is back and key-ier than ever. After a first season that played it a little too safe, Locke & Key is letting loose in Season 2, which picks up with the Lockes finally enjoying themselves in Keyhouse now that they think they've banished Dodge through the Black Door. They haven't. Dodge, now in the form of Gabe (Griffin Gluck), is right under their noses. What will Kinsey (Emilia Jones) do when she finds out she's dating a demon? -Kelly Connolly [Trailer]


Sex, Love & Goop


For fans of: Getting your weekly Goop emails, talking about S-E-X
Number of seasons: 1

Michaela Boehm and Gwyneth Paltrow, Sex, Love & Goop

Michaela Boehm and Gwyneth Paltrow, Sex, Love & Goop

Netflix

Gwyneth Paltrow's latest Netflix project is a reality series about couples -- mostly ones who have been together for years and have recently hit a wall -- learning to have more fulfilling sex lives, with a distinctly Goop-y twist: Each couple is paired with a different sex expert, who gently walks the couples through their intimacy issues and teaches them that all of those issues are, in fact, treatable. Some of the couples love each other but are, to borrow language from the show, "sexually mismatched," while others have been on the verge of breaking up. The discoveries they make are centered around sex, but all come back to the basic foundation of any relationship: how to communicate with each other, and how to prioritize a partner's needs without sacrificing your own. It's not saccharine or overly woo-woo in its approach, and it leans into the inherent awkwardness of talking so openly about sex on camera. Even if you hate everything Paltrow and her lifestyle brand stand for, she doesn't so much as host as she does lead discussions with the couples, which she's actually pretty great at. Don't knock this show before you try it. [Trailer]


Cowboy Bebop


For fans of: Jazzzzz, space cowboys, watching something before the remake
Number of seasons: 1

Cowboy Bebop

Cowboy Bebop

BANDAI VISUAL/KOBAL/REX/SHUTTERSTOCK

With Netflix's anticipated Cowboy Bebop live-action series starring John Cho coming out soon (Nov. 19), the streamer did the right thing and ponied up the cash for the streaming rights to 1998 original anime, widely considered to be one of the best the genre has to offer. Set in the future when mankind has colonized various planets and space rocks, it follows a team of space bounty hunters on adventures, most notably the rivalry between lead character Spike and the criminal Vicious. A mish-mash of genres, Cowboy Bebop is a space western filled with comedy, action, and colorful characters. And it has a great soundtrack. -Tim Surette [Trailer]


The Baby-Sitters Club


For fans of: Warmth and wholesomeness, tween girl drama
Number of seasons: 2

Vivian Watson and Anais Lee, The Baby-Sitters Club

Vivian Watson and Anais Lee, The Baby-Sitters Club

Netflix

There's a tween girl inside all of us who just wants to watch a charming show about young girls trying to start a baby-sitting business. Embrace your inner Emily or Jayden or Madison and watch The Baby-Sitters Club, a true safe space in a world that wants to keep you down. Season 2 adds a few more members to the club, but the care to flesh out all its characters is still there. -Tim Surette [Trailer]


On My Block


For fans of: Coming-of-age stories with a real perspective, having great taste
Number of seasons: 4

Jason Genao, Brett Gray, Diego Tinoco, and Sierra Capri, On My Block

Jason Genao, Brett Gray, Diego Tinoco, and Sierra Capri, On My Block

Kevin Estrada/Netflix

On My Block is back for its fourth and final season. In its last batch of episodes, the teen comedy-drama explains how Monse (Sierra Capri), Jamal (Brett Gray), Cesar (Diego Tinco), Ruby (Jason Genao), and Jasmine (Jessica Marie Garcia) fell out and exactly what went down in the two-year time jump revealed at the end of Season 3. It's senior year, so the teens are faced with decisions about college and what a post-Freeridge life will look like for each of them as they try to outrun the sins of their past and just have a good time at prom. It's as funny and emotional as ever. -Megan Vick [Trailer]


Maid


For fans of: Mother-daughter stories, exploring how difficult it is to escape poverty
Number of seasons: 1

Margaret Qualley, Maid

Margaret Qualley, Maid

Ricardo Hubbs/Netflix

You won't often leave an episode of Maid — adapted from Stephanie Land's memoir Maid: Hard Work, Low Pay, and a Mother's Will to Survive — feeling overjoyed with the world, because the miniseries isn't afraid to focus on the difficulties faced by single mothers escaping abusive relationships. But stick around and you'll be inspired by the perseverance of Alex (Margaret Qualley in a star-making performance) as she becomes a housecleaner in Washington to make ends barely meet. Even though it's a little longer than it needs to be, you won't complain as long as Qualley is on the screen. -Tim Surette [Trailer]


Oats Studios, Vol. 1


For fans of: Apocalyptic hellscapes, Adult Swim parodies, short attention spans, Black Mirror, District 9
Number of seasons: 1

Oats Studios Vol. 1

Oats Studios Vol. 1

Netflix

Filmmaker Neill Blomkamp's vision for an apocalyptic future has been well established in movies like Chappie and District 9, and he takes that look and feel in this compilation of short films from his production company Oats Studios. The collection, from 2017, has what you'd expect — an alien invasion that's taken over the world, trouble on a lone mining spaceship — and what you wouldn't — an informercial parody for a very dangerous kitchen appliance, a comedy about a bumbling American president — creating a grab bag of science-fiction and satirical shorts that span various moods. It's the perfect thing to flip on when you don't know what you want to watch. –Tim Surette [Trailer]


The Guilty


For fans of: One-man plays, Jake Gyllenhaal, thrilling phone conversations

Jake Gyllenhaal, The Guilty

Jake Gyllenhaal, The Guilty

Joe Bayler/Netflix

If you enjoy watching celebrities like Jake Gyllenhaal talk on the phone, this is the movie for you! The latest from Training Day director Antoine Fuqua stars Gyllenhaal as a 9-1-1 operator who gets a call from a kidnapped woman that he just can't shake, so he goes out of his way to help her out. Based on a 2018 Danish crime thriller and adapted by True Detective creator Nic Pizzolatto, The Guilty is the rare intense thriller without any of the usual action, since it's set mostly in the call center, but Gyllenhaal and Fuqua keep things mesmerizing. If you watch this with a friend and want to impress them with some trivia, tell them Fuqua directed the entire thing from a van after coming into contact with someone who had tested positive for COVID. –Tim Surette [Trailer]


No One Gets Out Alive


For fans of: The class division, the immigrant experience, spooks

Cristina Rodlo, No One Gets Out Alive

Cristina Rodlo, No One Gets Out Alive

Teddy Cavendish/Netflix

A Latin American immigrant seeking work and housing in America shacks up in a boarding house where things aren't not haunted, if you get my drift. It's a great horror gem that taps into the immigrant experience and the difficulties the poor have with basic needs. -Tim Surette [Trailer | Review]


The Chestnut Man


For fans of: Slow-burn murder mysteries, The Killing, nuts galore
Number of seasons: 1

Mikkel Boe Folsgaard and Danica Curcic, The Chestnut Man

Mikkel Boe Folsgaard and Danica Curcic, The Chestnut Man

Tine Harden

The Danes are well known for their moody murder mysteries, most notably the 2007 series The Killing, which was adapted for American audiences in 2011. The Killing's creator Søren Sveistrup returns with a new creepy six-episode series about a serial killer who might have ties to the disappearance of a politician's daughter and likes to decorate his gruesome crime scenes with little men made out of chestnuts. Demented AND crafty? We're intrigued. –Tim Surette [Trailer]


Midnight Mass


For fans of: Stephen King, The Haunting of Hill House, cerebral horror
Number of seasons: 1

Hamish Linklater, Midnight Mass

Hamish Linklater, Midnight Mass

Netflix

Mike Flanagan follows up The Haunting of Hill House and The Haunting of Bly Manor with another winning horror miniseries, this time skipping a haunted house and going for a whole haunted island. Set in a remote fishing community, the seven-episode series puts religion in the spotlight when a charismatic new priest (Hamish Linklater) arrives on the island with promises to lead his growing flock to salvation. As you can guess, it doesn't quite work out that way. Telling you any more would be a disservice to the storytelling. –Tim Surette [Trailer | Review]


Squid Game


For fans of: Twisted tales of cruelty, extremely violent kids' games
Number of seasons: 1

Squid Game

Squid Game

Youngkyu Park/Netflix

Who remembers playing childhood games for fun on the playground? Who remembers playing them FOR YOUR LIFE? The unexpected hit Korean drama Squid Game is more the latter, as a group of people in bad need of money are taken in by a secret organization that has them play games -- like Red Light, Green Light -- for money. The catch? They lose, they die. Violently. What separates this from something like Saw is the humanity given to the characters. You'll care about some of these people... and then they will die. –Tim Surette [Trailer | More shows like Squid Game]


Dear White People


For fans of: Kids discovering themselves, Gillian Anderson
Number of seasons: 4

Logan Browning, Dear White People

Logan Browning, Dear White People

Lara Solanki/Netflix

Dear White People is back for one last semester, and although the wait has been excruciatingly long, it's going out with a bang. The final season is 100 times more musical, with the students of Winchester deciding to put on a variety show that celebrates Black culture. There are performances of songs we already like, like Montell Jordan's '90s classic "This Is How We Do It," and big showy dance numbers, and also the inevitable moments where all the characters have to reckon with the fact that they're about to be thrust into the world of adulthood. –Allison Picurro [Trailer]


Jaws


For fans of: Red water, scar talk

Richard Dreyfuss and Robert Shaw, Jaws

Richard Dreyfuss and Robert Shaw, Jaws

Universal

Steven Spielberg's classic about a great white shark that terrorized a tourist community still holds up today as one of the greatest horror movies ever. All of the Jaws movies are now on Netflix, but you're on your own if you want to watch any of the disappointing sequels. [Trailer]


The Father Who Moves Mountains


For fans of: Cinematography, the battle between sanity and madness, fast snow & slow burns

The Father Who Moves Mountains

The Father Who Moves Mountains

Netflix

This Romanian film follows a powerful man of means desperate to find his son after he goes missing on a mountain trek. It's not an action film, but rather a contemplative exploration of how far a man will go to save his son and at what cost to others. You'll understand why he does what he does, but you might not like him for it. [Trailer]


Sex Education


For fans of: Kids discovering themselves, Gillian Anderson
Number of seasons: 3

Asa Butterfield and Emma Mackey, Sex Education

Asa Butterfield and Emma Mackey, Sex Education

Netflix

There are so many coming-of-age television series out there, but few are as brazenly honest and endearing as this oneThe comedy, now in its third season, is a raunchy-on-the-outside and sweet-on-the-inside charmer about a teen boy who inadvertently becomes his school's go-to sex therapist. The series explores teen sexuality in a refreshingly non-judgemental, authentic way, and it posits that whether you're the most popular kid in school or the outcast eating lunch alone, there's a universal and terrifying confusion in growing up that can be made more manageable by a supportive community and communication. Plus, Gillian Anderson co-stars as Otis' eccentric divorcée mom, who is an actual sex therapist and has a house full of phallic statues, which is just a lot of fun. [Trailer]


Nightbooks


For fans of: Kids horror between Goosebumps and Fear Street, Krysten Ritter, hairless cats

Krysten Ritter, Nightbooks

Krysten Ritter, Nightbooks

Christos Kalohoridis/Netflix

This adaptation of the 2018 children's fantasy-horror book by J.A. White is the perfect movie for the young horror fan in your life who is too old for things like Goosebumps but not quite ready for the teen-slasher gore of the Fear Street movies. It follows a young boy who is captured by a witch (a delectable Krysten Ritter) and bargains for his life by agreeing to tell her a new scary story that he writes each night. While there's no real blood and gore, there are definitely some creepy things -- Sam Raimi is a producer -- that will give some young ones nightmares for weeks, so make sure your kiddo is mentally prepared before they sit down to watch this. -Tim Surette [Trailer]


Lucifer


For fans of: The devil, hell puns, supernatural romance
Number of seasons: 6

Tom Ellis and Lauren German, Lucifer

Tom Ellis and Lauren German, Lucifer

Netflix

Procedural fans know that anyone can become an unlikely police consultant, including, in this case, the literal devil. Lucifer Morningstar (Tom Ellis), who's abandoned hell to become a nightclub owner in Los Angeles, partners up with L.A.P.D. detective Chloe Decker (Lauren German) to solve crime -- stranger things have happened, maybe? -- while sorting out his otherworldly daddy issues. On top of being a fun show with a steamy will they/won't they couple, Lucifer is also a clever spin on redemption stories. -Kelly Connolly [Trailer]


Untold


For fans of: ESPN's 30 for 30 series, the human side of sports

Mardy Fish, Untold: Breaking Point

Mardy Fish, Untold: Breaking Point

Netflix

This series of five hourlong films is Netflix's answer to ESPN's 30 for 30 sports docuseries, and it's just as good. I'd recommend two in particular, starting with the premiere, which covers the infamous Malice at the Palace, an NBA game that saw members of the Indiana Pacers fight with fans in Detroit in the middle of a game. Viewed through what we know today, the narrative around the incident would have been much different. The final installment, Breaking Point, is the best look at the intersection of mental health and sports to date, covering Mardy Fish's pro tennis career as one of the great hopes for American tennis and the pressures that caused him to quit the U.S. Open in the midst of a career-defining run. Other episodes cover female boxer Christy Martin, a minor league hockey team financed by the mob, and Caitlyn Jenner's journey from Olympic superstar to embracing her identity as a trans woman. [Trailer]


Worth


For fans of: Incredibly difficult questions about life, sentimental biopics, Michael Keaton

Michael Keaton and Stanley Tucci, Worth

Michael Keaton and Stanley Tucci, Worth

Monika Lek/Netflix

Michael Keaton plays lawyer Kenneth Feinberg, who was assigned the task of formulating how money was distributed through the 9/11 Victims Compensation Fund, which the government granted to families whose loved ones were killed in the 9/11 attacks. It essentially asks how much a life is worth and whether they're all equal. Strong acting and directing overcome some pretty melodramatic moments. [Trailer]


Money Heist


For fans of: Snappy shows that were meant for bingeing, twisty action, finding out who lives and who dies

Jaime Lorente, Belen Cuesta, and Ursula Corbero, Money Heist

Jaime Lorente, Belen Cuesta, and Ursula Corbero, Money Heist

Tamara Arranz/Netflix

Netflix recently announced that 97 percent of its American subscribers have watched an international (non-English language) series on its service, and I'm willing to bet 97 percent of those people were watching Money Heist, Álex Pina's Spanish bank heist series. Pina's preference for style and mystery over everything else is all over Money Heist, making it highly bingeable and perfect for the Netflix formula. Action! Drama! Skin! More action! This is the first half of the final part; the last episodes premiere in December. [Trailer]


Wind River


For fans of: Yellowstone, Marvel stars in other things, snowy shootouts

Elizabeth Olsen and Jeremy Renner, Wind River

Elizabeth Olsen and Jeremy Renner, Wind River

Taylor Sheridan, who created the Paramount hit drama Yellowstone, sticks to the wilderness for this 2018 movie starring Jeremy Renner as a sharpshooting game official and Elizabeth Olsen as an FBI agent trying to solve a rape and murder on a Native American reservation in Wyoming during the winter. It's a character-driven whodunnit in America's untamed land. [Trailer]


Post Mortem: No One Dies in Skarnes


For fans of: Santa Clarita Diet, loud food eating, Norwegian dark humor and dark drama

Post Mortem: No One Dies in Skarnes

Post Mortem: No One Dies in Skarnes

Netflix

This Norwegian series couldn't decide if it wanted to be a comedy or a drama, so it chose to be both, and it does a damn fine job at it. It follows a woman not-so-curiously named Live (Kathrine Thorburg Johansen) who is murdered in a field but wakes up during her autopsy wondering what all the fuss is. In her second shot at life, she develops unusual traits, some good, like enhanced hearing, and some bad, like a, uhhhh, thirst for blood. Yeah, it's a bit like Santa Clarita Diet, but not about zombies and without the corniness. Busy people rejoice: Season 1 is only six episodes long. [Trailer]


The Old Ways


For fans of: Witchcraft, Latin American demonology, creepy crawlies

The Old Ways

The Old Ways

Netflix

A young journalist goes deep into the jungles of Veracruz, Mexico, for a story on indigenous people who practice ancient witchcraft, only to be kidnapped by them when they believe she is possessed by a demon. It's full of terrifying imagery, as is expected, but it's the claustrophobia of being imprisoned that really drives the horror. On top of that, there are themes of cultural identity that take it to a smarter level than your typical horror film, and visually, it's aces. [Trailer]


The Chair


For fans of: Sandra Oh, the pains of academia
Number of seasons: 1

Sandra Oh and Jay Duplass, The Chair

Sandra Oh and Jay Duplass, The Chair

Eliza Morse / Netflix

Sandra Oh is starring in another TV show, which means everything is once again right with the world. Oh plays Dr. Ji-Yoon Kim, the newest (and first woman) Chair of the embattled English department at a swanky university. She navigates both professional and personal struggles, and crushes on a professor played by Jay Duplass, which is very relatable.


Grace and Frankie


For fans of: Classic sitcom feels, female friendships, odd couples
Number of seasons: 7

Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin, Grace and Frankie

Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin, Grace and Frankie

Saeed Adyani/Netflix

One of Netflix's longest running original series (and soon to be its longest American series once its final season concludes), Grace and Frankie follows the two titular women, played by Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin, as they embark on new lives when their husbands come out as gay and couple up together. There's an Odd Couple vibe as Grace (Fonda) is a no-nonsense cosmetics mogul and Frankie (Tomlin) is a hippie artist, which only cements their friendship beyond the sitcom-setup bond. Netflix released the first four episodes of the final season, with the remaining 12 coming in 2022. [Trailer]


The Edge of Seventeen


For fans of: High schoolers not played by 25-year-old models, painful authenticity

Hailee Steinfeld, Edge of Seventeen

Hailee Steinfeld, Edge of Seventeen

STX Entertainment

One of the best teen comedies of the last decade, The Edge of Seventeen has everything you want in a coming-of-age movie. After finding out her best friend is hooking up with her popular older brother, awkward outsider Nadine (Hailee Steinfeld) is thrown into crisis mode. Meanwhile, Nadine is navigating a strained relationship with her mother (Kyra Sedgwick) and a crush on an older boy by herself, with her only friend being her teacher, Mr. Bruner (Woody Harrelson), who barely tolerates her existential ramblings. It's a funny, sweet movie that will remind you of the classics you already love, like Clueless and Mean Girls, while standing totally on its own. [Trailer]


I Think You Should Leave with Tim Robinson


For fans of: Chaos, having good car ideas
Number of seasons: 2

Tim Robinson, I Think You Should Leave

Tim Robinson, I Think You Should Leave

Netflix

Sometimes what you want is to see your id, your most base animal instincts, the unhinged thoughts you definitely have but rarely voice, reflected on screen. You may or may not remember Tim Robinson from his time on Saturday Night Live; honestly, they didn't really know what to do with him over there, and in retrospect it's clear that what he needed was something of his own where he could really let his freak flag fly. That's I Think You Should Leave in a nutshell! It's a madcap rollercoaster of a sketch series that features Robinson playing a host of weirdo characters with big personalities and strong convictions about things that don't really matter, such as his highly memeable hot dog mascot who refuses to admit he was the one who crashed his car into a storefront. Like anything that's really, truly hilarious, it's sort of impossible to describe. You just have to watch it to understand. [Trailer]


Gunpowder Milkshake


For fans of: Stylish violence by female heroines, Kill Bill

Karen Gillan and Chloe Colman, Gunpowder Milkshake

Karen Gillan and Chloe Colman, Gunpowder Milkshake

Reiner Bajo/Studiocanal SAS

If you are a fan of women shooting bad guys, breaking the necks of  bad guys, and just overall bringing pain of all sorts to bad guys, then the Netflix original movie Gunpowder Milkshake is for you. Karen Gillan stars as a female assassin who teams up with her estranged female assassin mom (Game of Thrones' Lena Headey) and her female assassin friends (Angela Bassett, Carla Gugino, Michelle Yeoh) to rescue a young girl from kidnappers, and the action is frequently put in slow-motion to soundtrack-ready songs like Janis Joplin's "Piece of My Heart." It's a fun film even if it's just more apery of Tarantino's catalog. -Tim Surette [Trailer]


The Fear Street trilogy


For fans of: Gruesome horror, not wanting to wait for the sequel or threequel

Fear Street: 1994

Fear Street: 1994

Netflix

R.L. Stine, the guy who wrote the Goosebumps books, set his sights on a slightly older crowd with his Fear Street novel series, which are now the foundation for one of Netflix's biggest film experiments yet. The three teen-slasher horror films, which all tell the origin story of a cursed town, were each released over three consecutive Fridays in July 2021. Each film is set in a different year (1994, 1978, and 1666), culminating in a flashback to witch trials in the 1600s, and feature carryover cast members and plenty of gory deaths. Let's just say you'll be extra careful around a bread slicer. -Tim Surette [Trailer]


Atypical


For fans of: Laughing and crying (sometimes at the same time), penguins
Number of seasons: 4

Keir Gilchrist, Brigette Lundy-Paine, Atypical

Keir Gilchrist, Brigette Lundy-Paine, Atypical

Netflix

Atypical is not your typical coming-of-age story. The family drama focuses on Sam (a wonderful Keir Gilchrist), a young man on the autism spectrum dealing with the drama of high school and college, and his family and friends, who are perpetually supporting him through the challenges of growing up even as his unique viewpoint and understanding of the world occasionally frustrate them. It's incredibly heartwarming as we watch Sam become a more independent person, but it gives Sam's friends and family equally enjoyable storylines. -Tim Surette [Trailer]


Black Summer


For fans of: Intense no-cut actions sequences, life and death situations
Number of seasons: 2

Christine Lee, Jaime King, and Justin Chu Gary, Black Summer

Christine Lee, Jaime King, and Justin Chu Gary, Black Summer

Netflix

Not all zombie shows are built the same, and this spiritual spin-off of the goofy Z Nation focuses on the gritty life-or-death situation of a small group of people trying to survive a zombie apocalypse. It's intentionally minimal on plot (and at times dialogue), letting the action -- frequently told in long takes with no cuts and some athletic cameramen -- tell the story. This is a different kind of zombie show. -Tim Surette [Trailer]


Alone


For fans of: Survivor, but scarier
Number of seasons: Season 7 available on Netflix

Alone

Alone

Brendan George Ko

History's survival competition Alone is unlike pretty much anything else on TV. The show invites tough people from all around the globe to be dropped in the middle of the wilderness with one rule: don't die! They're armed with limited resources and a camera to document their experience, and whoever succeeds the longest without getting choppered out of the woods wins half a million dollars. It's a pretty brutal watch, but thrilling and impressive if you're curious just how much humans are able to survive if they're resourceful. And even better to know you literally will never have to do this yourself! (Note: Only Season 7 is available on Netflix, but History has made a total of eight seasons of this baby so far.) [Trailer]


High on the Hog: How African American Culture Transformed America


For fans of: Getting a history lesson while your stomach growls
Number of seasons: 1 (four hour-long episodes)

Stephen Satterfield and Dr. Jessica B. Harris, High on the Hog: How African American Culture Transformed America

Stephen Satterfield and Dr. Jessica B. Harris, High on the Hog: How African American Culture Transformed America

Netflix

Netflix has a large catalog of food shows, but none quite like High on the Hog. Hosted by Stephen Satterfield, the four-part docuseries is about Satterfield's journey to learn about the storied history of African American cuisine. He learns about the contributions Black people have made to food, and how much of an influence food from the past has on the food we eat now, including the origins of okra, dishes created by Thomas Jefferson and George Washington's enslaved chefs, and how mac and cheese came to be. The show is infectiously joyful, and has a lovely "discover your roots" spirit. Fair warning, though: You're going to be starving after each episode. [Trailer]


Virgin River


For fans of: Hallmarkian romance, heartwarming tearjerkers
Number of seasons: 3

Alexandra Breckenridge and Martin Henderson, Virgin River

Alexandra Breckenridge and Martin Henderson, Virgin River

Netflix

Do you like your TV to feel like one long Hallmark movie? If that's the case, you should know that few other shows are currently doing that better than Virgin River. In this adaptation of the novels by Robyn Carr, Alexandra Breckenridge stars as Mel, a nurse practitioner from Los Angeles who, after having her heart broken one too many times, starts a new life in a remote Northern California town. As these things go, she quickly meets Jack (Martin Henderson), a bartender who makes her want to love again. This show really has everything: long lost twin brothers, bombshell pregnancies, and main characters getting shot by mysterious gunmen. OK, maybe it's more like Hallmark After Dark. [Trailer]


Bo Burnham: Inside


For fans of: Existentialism, music

Bo Burnham: Inside

Bo Burnham: Inside

Netflix

Indie auteur and certified bad movie boyfriend Bo Burnham surprised his fans when he announced he had orchestrated a return to his comedic roots during the pandemic. With Inside, which Burnham wrote, directed, and edited without a crew or an audience while stuck at home, he lets out his feelings through music, delivering a setlist of very catchy, very meme-worthy songs that have titles like "White Woman's Instagram" and "FaceTime with My Mom (Tonight)." The special gets in touch with the collective mood 2020 inspired in all of us -- the anguish, the despair, the horniness. Burnham's comedy has always touched on the existential, but he goes deeper than ever here in one of 2021's best. [Trailer]


Kim's Convenience


For fans of: Feel-good family sitcoms
Number of seasons: 5

Paul Sun-Hyung Lee, Kim's Convenience

Paul Sun-Hyung Lee, Kim's Convenience

Netflix

Following a Korean-Canadian family who own and operate a convenience store in Toronto, Kim's Convenience is a true screwball comedy that is as great as it is not only because of its takes on immigrant family life but also thanks to the bonds between its characters. The show understands how complicated parent-children relationships can be, even (or especially) when you love each other, which is what makes Appa (Paul Sun-Hyung Lee), the traditional and stubborn patriarch, slowly begin to mend his relationship with his estranged son Jung (Simu Liu), or Janet (Andrea Bang) trying to pave her own way as a young, independent woman without upsetting her mother (Jean Yung) so lovely to watch. It's the kind of show that feels like a hug. [Trailer]


Breaking Bad


For fans of: Great TV, great acting, great cinematography, great writing, great everything
Number of seasons: 5

Bryan Cranston and Giancarlo Esposito, Breaking Bad

Bryan Cranston and Giancarlo Esposito, Breaking Bad

Ursula Coyote/AMC

Well, it's perhaps the greatest television show ever made, so yeah, you should watch Breaking Bad. Bryan Cranston stars as antihero Walter White, a mild-mannered high school chemistry teacher who begins cooking meth to pay for his cancer treatments and finds that he really, really likes it. It won 16 Primetime Emmy Awards, including two for Best Drama Series in 2013 and 2014. Some will say the first season is only OK, but those people are morons. While you're at it, watch the excellent spin-off, Better Call Saul, which is also on Netflix. –Tim Surette [Trailer]


Bridgerton


For fans of: Romance, sexy times, string covers of pop songs
Number of seasons: 1 (renewed for Season 2, date TBD)

Regé-Jean Page and Phoebe Dynevor, Bridgerton

Regé-Jean Page and Phoebe Dynevor, Bridgerton

Liam Daniel/Netflix

The first fruit of Shonda Rhimes' massive Netflix development deal follows Daphne Bridgerton (Phoebe Dynevor) through her first season out in 1800s London society and her rollercoaster journey of falling in love with a reluctant duke (Rege-Jean Page), and it introduces us to the rest of the Bridgerton siblings and their immediate social circle as the elusive Lady Whistledown mysteriously catalogs all of the their gossip for her anonymous column. Phew! It's Pride and Prejudice meets Gossip Girl and Scandal in the most delicious way possible. Heads up: Though the art for the series may make it look like a demure relaxing binge, Shonda and company stay true to the spirit of the source material, and things get very steamy as you get further into the season. -Megan Vick [Trailer]


Blood Red Sky


For fans of: Airborne violence, supernatural horror

Peri Baumeister and Carl Koch, Blood Red Sky

Peri Baumeister and Carl Koch, Blood Red Sky

Netflix

Blood Red Sky hit Netflix with little fanfare but instantly shot up to the No. 1 spot on the Top 10 rankings in July 2021 based on positive reviews and word of mouth, which is a surprise considering it's a German- and English-language film with no actors who are well known to Americans. The supernatural thriller is set aboard a transatlantic flight that's hijacked, but the terrorists don't realize that one of the passengers isn't entirely human. Gore and surprises ensue in this surprisingly good flick. -Tim Surette [Trailer]


Da 5 Bloods


For fans of: Spike Lee, being reminded that war is bad

Isiah Whitlock Jr., Norm Lewis, Clarke Peters, Delroy Lindo, and Jonathan Majors, Da 5 Bloods

Isiah Whitlock Jr., Norm Lewis, Clarke Peters, Delroy Lindo, and Jonathan Majors, Da 5 Bloods

DAVID LEE/NETFLIX © 2020

Spike Lee's latest is a sprawling drama split between two timelines: the first during the Vietnam War, where a group of Black soldiers band together, and the second during the present, where the surviving members, now aging veterans, return to the country in the hopes of recovering the remains of their fallen squad leader (Chadwick Boseman, in one of his last performances) and locating the gold they buried years ago. It's a dazzling, stylized adventure, and the kind of movie that will make you walk away feeling like you learned something without skimping on character development. [Trailer]


Lupin


For fans of: Committing crimes with style
Number of seasons: 2

Antoine Gouy and Omar Sy, Lupin

Antoine Gouy and Omar Sy, Lupin

Emmanuel Guimier/Netflix

Omar Sy stars as Assane Diop, a man who is essentially a French Bruce Wayne if Batman was more of a cat burglar than dark knight. Inspired by the classic French character Arsène Lupin, known as the "gentleman burglar," Diop starts the series off trying to steal a valuable necklace from the Louvre with a grand heist as part of a revenge plot against the wealthy family responsible for the death of father several years prior. Sy is a charming dude, and the heists and trickery are fun, complicated acts, performed under the guise of being the good guy. It may not be the greatest show Netflix ever put out, but it is a very entertaining distraction that's easy to get through. -Tim Surette [Trailer]


Good Girls


For fans of: Moms with an edge, crime
Number of seasons: 3

Retta, Christina Hendricks, and Mae Whitman, Good Girls

Retta, Christina Hendricks, and Mae Whitman, Good Girls

Danielle Levitt/NBC

Christina HendricksMae Whitman, and Retta star as three working-class suburban moms exhausted by the never-ending struggle to make ends meet who decide to take control of their lives by robbing a local grocery store. They pull it off, but that's not the end of the story. It's the aftermath of the crime that Good Girls is interested in, and the different ways the women react to it, such as Beth's (Hendricks) realization that life as a criminal is preferable to life as a mother struggling to pay the bills. (Her relationship with Manny Montana's gang leader Rio will scratch that will they-won't they itch for you, too.) Good Girls is the kind of show that gets more fun to watch as the characters get in more trouble, so buckle up. [Trailer]


Shadow and Bone


For fans of: Game of Thrones by way of Freeform
Number of seasons: 1 (renewed for a second season, date TBD)

Ben Barnes and Jessie Mei Li, Shadow and Bone

Ben Barnes and Jessie Mei Li, Shadow and Bone

Netflix

Based on Leigh Bardugo's dueling Grishaverse novel series, Shadow and Bone and Six of Crows, the big-budget series follows a young woman who discovers she's in possession of a power that can save the kingdom, natch. The tone is somewhere between Game of Thrones and something you'd find on Freeform, with a dark color scheme and violence mixing it up with teen love triangles. If you liked The Witcher but could do without the occasional silliness of that show, you'll probably like this. Fair warning: the world-building of the first two episodes can get a little tedious, but it gets better after that. -Tim Surette [Trailer]


Never Have I Ever


For fans of: Teen romance, Mindy Kaling, the omniscient voice of John McEnroe
Number of seasons: 2 

Ramona Young, Lee Rodriguez, and Maitreyi Ramakrishnan, Never Have I Ever

Ramona Young, Lee Rodriguez, and Maitreyi Ramakrishnan, Never Have I Ever

Isabella B. Vosmikova/Netflix

Mindy Kaling's warm, wickedly funny spin on a classic high school comedy stars newcomer Maitreyi Ramakrishnan as Devi Vishwakumar, a high achiever desperate to reinvent herself after the sudden death of her father (Sendhil Ramamurthy, joining the ranks of TV's hot dads even in flashbacks). As she navigates a love triangle and denies the depth of her grief, short-tempered Devi's inner life is narrated, hilariously, by tennis legend John McEnroeNever Have I Ever is Kaling's best show yet, a charming Indian-American coming-of-age story that's both personal and absurd. Who knew we all needed to hear John McEnroe say "thirst trap"? -Kelly Connolly [Trailer]


Last Chance U & Last Chance U: Basketball


For fans of: Inspiring sports stories
Number of seasons: 5 seasons of Last Chance U and 1 season of Last Chance U: Basketball

Last Chance U Basketball

Last Chance U Basketball

Netflix

One of TV's best sports docuseries, Last Chance U follows different junior college football programs across the U.S. It focuses on the students -- many of whom are highly touted as players, but deal with challenges on and off the field -- as they attempt to keep up their performance both on the team and in the classroom in order to remain eligible. The show gives unique access to the host of issues student athletes face, and goes deep into the ambition many of the players have to move into Division 1 football programs. Its spinoff, Last Chance U: Basketball, is just as good, with its first season spotlighting the East Los Angeles College Huskies as they try to turn their fortunes around with a roster made up of kids who failed to live up to expectations at higher division programs because of various factors. The sport is different, but the emotional impact remains the same as their coach pushes them to be the best players and people they can be. [Trailer]


Manifest


For fans of: Doomed flights, twists and turns, Lost
Number of seasons: 3 (renewed for fourth and final season)

Josh Dallas, Manifest

Josh Dallas, Manifest

NBC

You may have heard that people were extremely upset when NBC canceled Manifest after three seasons — and extremely happy when Netflix saved it for a supersized final season. The supernatural drama has a strong hold on a very vocal group of fans, and it's pretty easy to see why people love it so much. The Lost-ian series centers on the passengers of a flight that was presumed missing for five years. When the plane finally lands, the people aboard have to reintegrate into a society they no longer recognize, with some of them even beginning to discover that there's a much deeper mystery going on that they have to work to uncover. [Trailer]


Master of None


For fans of: When comedians enter their serious auteur era
Number of seasons: 3

Lena Waithe and Naomi Ackie, Master of None

Lena Waithe and Naomi Ackie, Master of None

Netflix

When Master of None first premiered in 2015, the series became a reset for co-creator and star Aziz Ansari's career, who up until that point had mostly been known for his role as the guy on Parks and Recreation who gave us "treat yo' self." Ansari played Dev, a New York actor struggling with the personal and the professional, and the show was pretty universally acclaimed, especially in its triumphant second season, which brought black-and-white cinematography, references to French New Wave, and a beautiful, Golden Globe-winning episode about Dev's friend Denise's (Lena Waithe) coming out. It was in between Season 2 and its surprise Season 3 that sexual misconduct allegations against Ansari were made public, and when the show eventually did return after a long hiatus, it shifted the focus from Dev to Denise, exploring her relationship with her wife Alicia (Naomi Ackie). The good news is that it stayed fascinating throughout, wrestling with the characters' flaws and exploring regret and loss in an entirely human way. [Trailer]


Pose


For fans of: Unbridled joy, queer history
Number of seasons: 3

Pose (FX)

Indya Moore, Pose

JoJo Whilden/FX

How wrong we were to believe we'd seen a full, three-dimensional representation of the LGBTQ community on TV before Pose arrived in 2018. The FX series, set decades ago in the New York City ballroom community, has served to show us how much we don't know and haven't seen. In this heartwarming and often hilarious drama, the trans women who started the ballroom scene -- the scene that's made black/Latinx gay lingo like "slay," "read," and "spill the tea" mainstream -- get their due, making them the subject of the story instead of the afterthoughts. Through characters Blanca (Mj Rodriguez), Elektra (Dominique Jackson), Angel (Indya Moore), and Pray Tell (Billy Porter), we befriend queer people of color who've banded together for survival, for love, and the pursuit of happiness. It's radical for humanizing trans people and portraying their unique experiences with compassion, but it shouldn't be: It's fundamentally an engrossing, uplifting show stuffed with drama and heart. Consider it essential viewing. –Malcolm Venable [Trailer]


Uncut Gems


For fans of: Anxiety, the year 2012, serious Sandler

Adam Sandler, Uncut Gems

Adam Sandler, Uncut Gems

A24

I have one piece of advice for you if you decide to hit play on Uncut Gems: Don't go in with any Adam Sandler-related expectations. Josh and Benny Safdie's frenetic crime thriller, in which he plays Howard, a gambling-addicted jeweler in New York's Diamond District, is the Sandman's way of reminding us that he has pretty incredible range as an actor. Howard's a guy whose lifestyle is becoming increasingly unmanageable -- he's in the middle of separating from his wife (Idina Menzel), trying to keep his girlfriend (Julia Fox) happy, and has recently come into possession of an item he believes will save him from his many debts: a rare black opal from Ethiopia, which is allegedly worth millions. Uncut Gems isn't technically a horror film, but it keeps you on the edge of your seat like one, and you'll probably yell at your screen watching Howard try to fast-talk his way out of yet another confrontation. Come for the sight of Adam Sandler in transition lenses, stay for an excellent performance from first-time actor Kevin Garnett. [Trailer]


Roma


For fans of: Oscar winners, art films, being moved to a shell of yourself

Roma

Roma

Carlos Somonte

Sorry Mank, you aren't the best black-and-white film on Netflix. Not even close. Alfonso Cuaron's 2018 personal tale of a housekeeper in Mexico to a wealthy Mexican family won Best Foreign Film, Best Director (Cuaron), and Best Cinematography (Cuaron) at the 91st Academy Awards, but could have won tons more. It's both quiet and epic in scope, balancing a fascinating relationship between a hard-working woman named Cleo and the family that relies on her, unforgettable shots involving hundreds of extras, and a larger story on life. Stick out the first 20 minutes and you'll be amazed. –Tim Surette [Trailer]


Outlander


For fans of: Sex, time travel, history
Number of seasons: 4

Caitriona Balfe and Sam Heughan, Outlander

Caitriona Balfe and Sam Heughan, Outlander

Starz

Depending on who you ask, Outlander is either the sexiest show on TV, or it's a historical drama with a touch of sci-fi. Or maybe it's both! Based on the book series by Diana Gabaldon, Outlander revolves around Claire (Caitriona Balfe), a married World War II nurse who, during a trip with her husband (Tobias Menzies), mysteriously time travels back to 1743. Thrown into the past and desperate to get home, Claire finds herself embroiled in a Scottish uprising while slowly but surely falling in love with a young warrior named Jamie Fraser (Sam Heughan). If you're looking for something that will give you an occasionally accurate history lesson and get you invested in a sweeping romance that spans centuries, Outlander is the show for you. [Trailer]