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The Top Movies and TV Shows on Netflix in 2022

Queue up The Lost Daughter, Cobra Kai, and The Witcher

screen-shot-2020-04-02-at-8-50-16-am.png
Allison Picurro

Netflix is apparently still nursing off the effects of a fun New Year's celebration, because it's been a little lacking in quality content since the first of the year, uncharacteristic for a streaming service whose business plan is to drown its audience in so many things to watch. But the tier of the best movies and shows to watch on Netflix does have a great new entry in the second season of Greg Whiteley's Cheer, a docuseries about competitive cheerleading from the team that brought us Last Chance U. It joins a couple recent entries from late 2021, like Olivia Colman's The Lost Daughter and the Karate Kid successor Cobra Kai. The drought looks like it ends soon, with the rest of the month giving us the mystery series Archive 81, the charmingly strange stop-motion The House, and the first half of the final season of Ozark.

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

We also have lists of the best movies on Netflix and best TV shows on Netflix. 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, as well as suggestions for what to watch on Amazon Prime VideoHuluDisney+HBO MaxApple TV+, and Peacock.

Last updated Jan. 12; newer additions are at the top

Cheer

For fans of: Sports docuseries, watching the human body do unreal things, facing controversy head on
Number of seasons: 2

Cheer

Cheer

Netflix

Producer Greg Whiteley is one of TV's Midases, a man whose golden touch makes hits out of any sports docuseries he creates (see: Last Chance U, Last Chance U: Basketball). But Cheer, which follows college cheerleading powerhouse Navarro College, might be his best. Following a Season 1 that won three Emmys, Cheer returns for Season 2 with its world upside down and dealing with celebrity, both the good and bad. Season 2 also deals with controversy — Season 1 star Jerry Harris was charged with sexual abuse of a minor and child pornography in 2020 — head on, in addition to coronavirus and the brutal winter storms that hit Texas last winter. But the heart of the season is still the competition, which is magnified as cameras also follow Navarro's rivals, Trinity Valley, and the collision course of both teams in Daytona. -Tim Surette [Trailer]


Cobra Kai

For fans of: The Karate Kid, the '80s, the Valley
Number of seasons: 4

Ralph Macchio and William Zabka, Cobra Kai

Ralph Macchio and William Zabka, Cobra Kai

Netflix

It's hard to believe that a series following the lives of Johnny (William Zabka) and Daniel (Ralph Macchio) from The Karate Kid would be as good as Cobra Kai is, but there's some sort of indescribable magic going on that makes it work. Following up on Johnny in present day, Cobra Kai wonders what would happen if his rivalry with Daniel continued into their adult lives, culminating in them creating their own karate dojos where a new generation of martial artists fight for respect, rumble with their parents, and get into love triangles. The show's self-awareness holds everything together, but it's the twisting (albeit predictable) plot that makes it so bingeable. In Season 4, a new enemy appears, but is it enough to put a pause on Johnny and Daniel's rivalry? -Tim Surette [Trailer]


Emily in Paris

For fans of: Stereotypes, "fashion," rom-coms, brand engagement
Number of seasons: 2

Lucien Laviscount and Lily Collins, Emily in Paris

Lucien Laviscount and Lily Collins, Emily in Paris

Stéphanie Branchu/Netflix

Emily in Paris (and you gotta say it like it rhymes), who haunts the dreams of actual Parisians, is back on the streets of Paris like some kind of colorfully dressed cryptid. The new episodes kick off where Season 1 left off, with the titular American in Paris getting herself into a love triangle after sleeping with Gabriel (Lucas Bravo), which puts her in a tight spot with Camille (Camille Razat). Mon dieu! She's also wearing a checkered bucket hat in the trailer. Hard to tell which sin is worse. -Kelly Connolly  [Trailer]


The Lost Daughter

For fans of: Olivia Colman, bad vacations, "Livin' on a Prayer"

Dakota Johnson and Olivia Colman, The Lost Daughter

Dakota Johnson and Olivia Colman, The Lost Daughter

Yannis Drakoulidis/Netflix

Maggie Gyllenhaal's directorial debut is dark, psychological goodness. In this adaptation of the Elena Ferrante novel, Olivia Colman stars as Leda, a college professor on a solo trip to Greece, where she meets and becomes obsessed with Nina (Dakota Johnson), a young, overwhelmed mother. It all quickly turns into the vacation from hell as Nina forces Leda to confront memories of her own experience as a young mother. Jessie Buckley plays the younger version of Leda in flashbacks, while Peter Sarsgaard, Ed Harris, Dagmara Dominczyk, and Paul Mescal fill out the rest of the cast. [Trailer]


The Witcher 

For fans of: Henry Cavill, serious fantasy
Number of seasons: 2

Henry Cavill, The Witcher

Henry Cavill, The Witcher

Jay Maidment/Netflix

It's been two long years since Netflix released The Witcher Season 1, but Season 2 of the fantasy hit is well worth the wait. Henry Cavill returns as Geralt of Rivia, the world-weary slayer of monsters who is tasked by destiny with protecting the magical Crown Princess Ciri (Freya Allan) from many different pursuers who all want her for their own nefarious ends. Season 2 is told in a linear fashion, which makes it easier to follow than Season 1, which had a timeline so complicated there are jokes about it in Season 2. But it's still a hardcore fantasy show that will satisfy the nerdiest fans of Andrzej Sapkowski's multimedia franchise. This season, Geralt battles numerous elaborate CGI monsters, but his greatest foe is the plot-Liam Mathews [Trailer]


Selling Tampa

For fans of: Selling Sunset, but Florida style
Number of seasons: 1

Selling Tampa

Selling Tampa

Malcolm Jackson/Netflix

The selling point (sorry) of Selling Tampa is that it's a Selling Sunset spin-off, but as a Floridian, what interests me is how they're going to sell Tampa. The new reality series follows a team of real estate agents at an all-female, Black-owned agency in Tampa, Florida, as they sell off luxury waterfront real estate and presumably don't hang out at the mall where I got my back-to-school clothes. This is the second reality series about Tampa in as many months, following Amazon's show about Tampa's lesbian scene, Tampa Baes. What was it Andy Warhol said? In the future every metropolitan area will get its 15 minutes of fame in a pair of streaming reality series. Looking forward to Selling Buffalo. -Kelly Connolly [Trailer]


The Hand of God

For fans of: Coming-of-age dramas, world-class directors in their prime

Filippo Scotti and Marlon Joubert, The Hand of God

Filippo Scotti and Marlon Joubert, The Hand of God

Gianni Fiorito

Italian movie magician Paolo Sorrentino (The Young Pope) is in peak form with his highly personal coming-of-age drama The Hand of God, which will almost certainly be nominated in the International Feature Film category at next year's Oscars. Set in the 1980s in Naples, Italy, The Hand of God follows a teen through the ups and downs of life, and ties it together with soccer star Diego Maradona's infamous "hand of god" play. Though some critics note its messiness, no one can deny that it's absolutely gorgeous. -Tim Surette [Trailer]


Lost in Space

For fans of: Swiss Family Robinson in space, sci-fi that isn't TOO sci-fi
Number of seasons: 3

Maxwell Jenkins, Lost in Space

Maxwell Jenkins, Lost in Space

Diyah Pera/Netflix

This reboot of the 1960s series still has all the same family entertainment of the original but with a lot better special effects. As the title indicates, it follows a family stuck in deep space, and in Season 3 — the series' final — they hop from planet to planet as they try to find a way home. There's a certain formula here: family gets into deep trouble, family gets out of deep trouble, but because this swashbuckling adventure is designed for families who don't need hard sci-fi, it gets the job done. -Tim Surette [Trailer]


Money Heist

For fans of: Snappy shows that were meant for bingeing, twisty action, finding out who lives and who dies
Number of seasons: Either 3 or 5, depending on how you count them

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! Netflix released the series' final episodes in early December. -Tim Surette [Trailer]


The Power of the Dog

For fans of: Tension, Benedict Cumberbatch being a big ol' meanie

Kodi Smit-McPhee and Benedict Cumberbatch, The Power of the Dog

Kodi Smit-McPhee and Benedict Cumberbatch, The Power of the Dog

Kristy Griffin/Netflix

Jane Campion's first film since 2009 heads out on the range with one mean cowboy in Benedict Cumberbatch. The 1925-set Western quickly reaches a boil and holds it as a rancher (Jesse Plemons) gets a new wife (Kirsten Dunst) whom his brother (Cumberbatch) takes a strong disliking to. It's a masterclass of simmering tension and spellbinding acting, but if you're here for shoot 'em ups, this Western ain't it. -Tim Surette [Trailer]


Single All the Way

For fans of: Shirtless Santas, cute Christmas rom-coms

Philemon Chambers and Michael Urie, Single All the Way

Philemon Chambers and Michael Urie, Single All the Way

Philippe Bosse/Netflix

Netflix's latest original Christmas film is a gay rom-com that's refreshingly out, focusing on the pain of being single during the holidays no matter who you fancy. Michael Urie stars as Peter, whose new beau was hiding the secret of being a married man, forcing Peter to bring his best friend, Nick (Philemon Chambers), home with him for Christmas to pretend they're a couple. But his family (including a wonderful Jennifer Coolidge and Kathy Najimy) plays matchmaker with a new hot trainer just as his feeling for Nick start to heat up. The rom-com tropes are there, but you won't mind with this fantastic cast. -Tim Surette [Trailer]


True Story

For fans of: Celebrities playing the martyr, Wesley Snipes
Number of seasons: 1

Kevin Hart and Wesley Snipes, True Story

Kevin Hart and Wesley Snipes, True Story

Adam Rose/Netflix

Remember when Kevin Hart lost his gig hosting the Oscars and got canceled for some old tweets? Kevin Hart sure does. In this miniseries, uhhh, thriller? Kevin Hart plays a famous comedian whose life is derailed when he wakes up next to a dead groupie. Luckily, his estranged brother (an excellent Wesley Snipes) is there to help him out of it. Fixers come and fixers go, and Hart's character makes bad decision after bad decision as he tries to cover up an avalanche of problems of his own creation. All the while, Hart paints a grotesque picture of a celebrity as a victim of the showbiz machine and social media. It's not a good show, but it's one of those shows you'll watch all the way through because you'll need to see how outrageous things get.  -Tim Surette [Trailer]


F Is for Family

For fans of: Screaming, dads
Number of seasons: 1

F Is for Family

F Is for Family

Netflix

In this case, F is not just for "family" or Frank's favorite word; F is also for "final season," as one of Netflix's better animated adult shows calls it a series after five seasons of cursing, screaming, and broken dreams. Frank Murphy (Bill Burr) is a man whose life didn't quite turn out as he had hoped, and as he strives to be a different father to his kids than his strict dad was with him, he finds himself becoming more like his old man than he's comfortable with. There's a lot of Northeast, blue-collar, mid-'70s energy in F Is for Family — it's amazing Frank hasn't committed homicides or had one too many arteries explode — but that just makes the well-earned heartfelt moments hit that much harder. Say goodbye to one of the best opening credits sequences out there. -Tim Surette [Trailer]


A Boy Called Christmas

For fans of: Fantasy, Christmas, adventure

Henry Lawfull, A Boy Called Christmas

Henry Lawfull, A Boy Called Christmas

Netflix

The Santa Claus origin story you've been looking for is right here! The Netflix original Christmas fantasy film adapts the 2015 book and tells the story of young Nikolas, who travels to the North Pole in search of his father and comes across a town of elves and other Christmas goodies. It's a family-friendly affair, as evidenced by the adorable CGI mouse that accompanies young Nik. Maggie SmithKristen Wiig, and Henry Lawfull star. -Tim Surette [Trailer]


Procession

For fans of: Healing, the power of art

Procession

Procession

Netflix

Robert Greene's gutting documentary comes to Netflix just two months after making its debut at Telluride, a quick turnaround that belies how much time went into this movie. Shot over three years, Procession focuses on six men who each suffered abuse by Catholic priests in the diocese of Kansas City, Missouri, when they were boys. Greene's project is unique: The men, working with both Greene and a therapist who uses theater in her work, create short films about their trauma. It's an unmissable story of how to reckon with evil. -Kelly Connolly [Trailer]


tick, tick... BOOM!

For fans of: Lin-Manuel Miranda, the artist's journey

Andrew Garfield, tick tick...Boom!

Andrew Garfield, tick tick...Boom!

Netflix

Lin-Manuel Miranda has a type: musicals about guys who are worried their time is running out. And why mess with success? Miranda makes his directorial debut with this film adaptation, already racking up good reviews, of Rent creator Jonathan Larson's semi-autobiographical musical. Andrew Garfield stars as the struggling playwright, who's anxious that he hasn't accomplished enough by his upcoming 30th birthday. (The story is made more poignant by Larson's real-life early death at the age of 35, the night before Rent's off-Broadway premiere.) Garfield is a hit in this, Vanessa Hudgens is in her element, and Bradley Whitford does a rock-solid Sondheim impersonation. -Kelly Connolly [Trailer]


Hellbound

For fans of: Incorrectly calling something the next Squid Game, religious chaos
Number of seasons: 1

Hellbound

Hellbound

Jung Jaegu/Netflix

Yeon Sang-ho is building a name for himself as a creative force out of Korea, following his zombie films Train to Busan and its wacky sequel Peninsula. He directs his first television series with Hellbound, an adaptation of his webtoon Hell, which wades in the murky waters of religion and faith as creatures appear on Earth to drag people to hell after a prophecy from an angel. But Hellbound approaches the subject of sin and paying for those sins through several characters, such as a police detective and a cult leader. The special effects may be a little iffy, but the brutality and philosophy are real. [Trailer]


Cowboy Bebop

For fans of: Gutsy adaptations, corgis, Westerns but in space
Number of seasons: 1

John Cho, Mustafa Shakir, and Daniella Pineda, Cowboy Bebop

John Cho, Mustafa Shakir, and Daniella Pineda, Cowboy Bebop

Geoffrey Short/Netflix

I get that fans of the sci-fi anime that Netflix's live-action adaptation is based on are overly protective of the original, but it's really not nearly as bad as they say. In the space Western, John Cho and Mustafa Shakir play a pair of bounty hunters who bust all sorts of wanted space criminals while dealing with their own problems, be it pining after a long-lost love or trying to acquire a hard-to-get toy for a daughter. It's stacked with humor, style, violence, and, according to its detractors, total and complete disrespect for the original. [Trailer]


Red Notice

For fans of: Stars wisecrackin', dumb action, dumber twists

Ryan Reynolds, Gal Gadot, Dwayne Johnson, Red Notice

Ryan Reynolds, Gal Gadot, Dwayne Johnson, Red Notice

Netflix

I watched this entire movie in one sitting and I had a great time, but in no reality would I say this is a good movie. It's one of those, y'know? It's a film in which the stars are secured and then you write the script. Those stars happen to be Dwayne Johnson, Gal Gadot, and Ryan Reynolds, some of the biggest celebrities on the planet, and the script sees them playing various combinations of FBI agents and art thieves, sometimes both! Add in a budget of about $200 million, and you've got yourself one of Netflix's most popular original movies ever. This is streaming candy; they can't all be Roma[Trailer]


7 Prisoners

For fans of: Quiet suspense, antiwork and the exploitation of the labor force, Rodrigo Santoro

Rodrigo Santoro and Christian Malheiros, 7 Prisoners

Rodrigo Santoro and Christian Malheiros, 7 Prisoners

Aline Arruda/Netflix

For a real eye-opening movie experience, watch the Brazilian film 7 Prisoners, a tense movie about the exploitation of desperate young men and women looking for work in South America. Rodrigo Santoro (Westworld) stars as the owner of a salvage yard who enslaves youngsters from rural Brazil who think they're getting jobs in the big city. But the movie's strength is how it shows how this happens from the perspective of one of the young men, who ends up working with the owner in order to ensure his survival at the cost of the others. Though heavy, director Alexandre Moratto manages to keep the tone raw and impactful rather than depressing. [Trailer]


Passing

For fans of: Where the line of racial equality blurs, gorgeous black and white photos come to life

Ruth Negga and Tessa Thompson, Passing

Ruth Negga and Tessa Thompson, Passing

Netflix

Would you give up your culture if it meant you could have an easier life? That's the question posed in this stirring film set in 1920s New York City that stars Tessa Thompson as a Black woman who runs into a childhood friend (Ruth Negga) who has been passing for a white woman, bringing up questions of racial identity and whitewashing. Shot entirely in black and white and featuring wonderful performances from Thompson, Negga, and André Holland, Passing is already generating Oscar buzz. [Trailer]


Arcane

For fans of: League of Legends (or not, it doesn't matter!), dope animation
Number of seasons: 1

Arcane

Arcane

Netflix

The popular PC video game League of Legends has officially crossed mediums. Arcane adds life to two of the game's playable characters, Jinx (voiced by Ella Purnell) and Vi (voiced by Hailee Steinfeld), by digging into their backstories as petty thieves in the underworld city of Zaun and the tech-heavy city above it, Piltover. Arcane could have taken the easy route and thrown out a cookie-cutter TV adaptation with empty characters and showy action sequences, but instead, it has crafted a show with great characters, a deep story, and beautiful motion-capture animation that pops off the screen. You don't need to know a thing about League of Legends or be a fan of anime to enjoy this. [Trailer]


Found

For fans of: Heartfelt stories, discovering your roots and culture

Lily, Chloe, and Sadie, Found

Lily, Chloe, and Sadie, Found

Netflix

This documentary about three adopted Chinese high schoolers looking into their roots could also pass as a robot test, because if you aren't moved to tears at some point, then you're made out of tin. What makes it so effective is that it looks at adoption from every angle: the girls looking for answers and discovering their culture, their adoptive families looking to help them find their roots, the Chinese families who were forced to give up their babies under China's one-child policy, and the intrepid investigator who helps adopted children find their birth parents in China. It's an emotional wallop. -Tim Surette [Trailer]


Love Hard

For fans of: Christmas rom-coms, surprising rom-com leads, Asian representation

Nina Dobrev and Jimmy O. Yang, Love Hard

Nina Dobrev and Jimmy O. Yang, Love Hard

Bettina Strauss/Netflix

In this Netflix original holiday movie, Silicon Valley's Jimmy O. Yang plays a single guy unlucky in love who catfishes a hottie (The Vampire Diaries' Nina Dobrev) who ends up surprising him for Christmas. Horrified by what he's done, he agrees to help her get the guy (Never Have I Ever's Darren Barnet) she thought he was, in exchange for her pretending to be his girlfriend for his family, as is usually the case in movies like these. Yes, it's full of rom-com and Christmas movie tropes — including extended bits riffing on Love Actually — but it's also funny, and it sparkles because of Yang and Dobrev's surprising chemistry. Does he get the girl? Obviously. The better question is "Does the movie pull it off convincingly?" and it's a yes. Jimmy O. Yang is a bona fide dreamboat now. Who knew? [Trailer]


Narcos: Mexico

For fans of: Crime dramas, cartel violence, drugs
Number of seasons: 3

Scoot McNairy and Eric Etebari, Narcos: Mexico

Scoot McNairy and Eric Etebari, Narcos: Mexico

Juan Rosas/Netflix

The third and final season of the spin-off that we didn't know we needed continues on without its big bad Miguel Ángel Félix Gallardo (Diego Luna) after his arrest in the Season 2 finale, but that just means there's more chaos to be had in the ruckus to become the new Mexican drug kingpin. Expect lots of violence, obviously. [Trailer]


Big Mouth

For fans of: Vile, disgusting things like puberty and horny teenagers
Number of seasons: 5

Big Mouth

Big Mouth

Netflix

Netflix's raunchy 'toon about extremely horny kids wrestling with pubescent urges is not for the prim-and-proper set, and, despite being animated, it certainly isn't for anyone who can't vote yet. This show is gross as all heck, and that's what makes it great. Nick Kroll and John Mulaney voice a couple of best friends who get ants in their pants in middle school, and in Season 5, their desires are manifested as lovebugs and hate worms to really drive home the emotional roller coasters of middle-school crushes. It's going to be disgusting (and underneath it all maybe a little sweet). [Trailer]


The Harder They Fall

For fans of: Quentin Tarantino films, Red Dead Redemption, lots of shooting

Regina King, Idris Elba, and LaKeith Stanfield, The Harder They Fall

Regina King, Idris Elba, and LaKeith Stanfield, The Harder They Fall

Netflix

Netflix's latest blockbuster is an action Western with a lot more style than you're used to. Director Jeymes Samuel takes a tried-and-true cowboy premise — a gang gets together to exact revenge on the persons responsible for the deaths of loved ones — and infuses it with gorgeous violence, snappy dialogue, and a predominantly Black cast that includes Regina KingIdris ElbaLaKeith StanfieldJonathan MajorsDelroy Lindo, and Zazie Beetz. The result is a rollicking good time and one of the gosh dang coolest films of the year. [Trailer]


Colin in Black & White

For fans of: Social justice, doing the right thing, youth sports
Number of seasons: 1

Colin Kaepernick, Colin in Black and White

Colin Kaepernick, Colin in Black & White

Netflix

Colin Kaepernick went from being known as a fleet-footed NFL quarterback to an activist with just one move: kneeling for the National Anthem to protest racial injustice and police brutality. In this six-episode limited series, Kaepernick and director Ava DuVernay give Kaepernick a space to tell his story, which he does through monologues, reenactments, and a comedy-drama about his childhood as a Black kid with dreams of being a quarterback who was adopted into a white family. It's a bizarre mix that admittedly takes a bit to get used to, but it's all tied together through Kaepernick's bold truths and sincerity. Bonus: His parents are played by Mary-Louise Parker and Nick Offerman, and young Colin is played by the very charming Jaden Michael[Trailer]


Maya and the Three

For fans of: Cool Mesoamerican art style, Raya and the Last Dragon, dazzling visuals
Number of seasons: 1

Maya and the Three

Maya and the Three

Netflix

Maya and the Three -- from The Book of Life creator Jorge R. Gutierrez -- may just be the coolest looking thing on Netflix. The nine-episode kids' miniseries celebrates pre-colonial Mexican culture with panache, dressing its characters in ceremonial headdresses, warpaint, and detailed costumes that pop off the screen as the magical characters scale enormous Aztec-influenced edifices and soar over the picturesque beauty of Central America. There's a story, too: A 15-year-old warrior princess named Maya (voiced by Zoe Saldana) goes on a quest to stop the gods of the underworld from destroying humanity, and while that sounds serious, Maya and the Three is packed with humor for all ages. This isn't just one of Netflix's best kids shows, it's one of Netflix's best shows, period. -Tim Surette [Trailer]


The Trip

For fans of: Couples therapy, violence, Noomi Rapace 

Aksel Hennie and Noomi Rapace, The Trip

Aksel Hennie and Noomi Rapace, The Trip

Netflix

This Norwegian dark comedy follows a couple (Aksel Hennie and Noomi Rapace) who go to a remote cabin in an attempt to repair their dissolving relationship. Little do they know that they each plan to murder each other as their solution to their problems. Even littler do they know that others are out there in the wilderness to give them even more troubles. Spectacularly violent with humor as black as the night, The Trip is a trip. -Tim Surette [Trailer]


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]


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]


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]


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]


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]


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]


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]


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]


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]


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]


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]


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]