Since its arrival in Australia in early 2015, Netflix has become extremely popular. So popular in fact, that it acquires 100,000 new subscribers every month, and it has already captured more than 2.5 million Aussies. That’s 10% of the entire population!
For those of you who have Netflix, you probably know by now that we’re spoiled for choice when it comes to high-quality content. So much so that it can become difficult to actually choose something to watch. This is pretty much the definition of a first-world problem, but regardless, we’ve assembled a list of our top 10 favourite shows on Netflix to help you decide what to binge on a Thursday Night! We’ve picked a pretty diverse range of shows in here, so there’s bound to be at least one that strikes your fancy.
1. Gossip Girl
Gossip Girl is a teen drama set in an exclusive New York boarding school, and narrated by an anonymous blogger. Privileged teens can’t hide their secrets when the blogger is always watching.
Gossip Girl was originally supposed to be a movie, but when that project didn’t come to fruition, it was adapted into a TV show, and debuted in 2007. It received mixed reviews upon its initial release, but has acquired a cult following from its fans due to its unique premise and episode format.
Starring: Blake Lively (The Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants, The Age of Adaline), Leighton Meester (By The Gun, Life Partners), Penn Badgley (Easy A, John Tucker Must Die).
If you are a fan of shows like Pretty Little Liars, The OC, The Vampire Diaries, then consider checking out Gossip Girl.
2. Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt
Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt is yet another brainchild of comedy genius Tina Fey, and stars Ellie Kemper in the Titular role. After being rescued from a doomsday cult, the main character Kimmy attempts to start life all over again in New York City. Despite many challenges she faces while trying to adapt to a normal life, Kimmy makes the best of it all.
Unbreakable has received critical acclaim since its release in early 2015, and is considered as one of the first great sitcoms of the streaming era. There are only 13 episodes per season, so it won’t eat into much of your time.
Stars: Ellie Kemper (The Office, 21 Jump Street, Bridesmaids), Jane Krakowski (30 Rock, Ally McBeal), Tituss Burgess (30 Rock, Grand Theft Auto V – voices).
For those who also like shows similar to Absolutely Fabulous, Derek and 30 Rock. This show also features in our best new Netflix shows in 2016 article.
3. Orphan Black
Orphan Black is a science fiction thriller that premiered in March 2013, and has recently been renewed for a 5th and final season. It stars Tatiana Maslany as con artist Sarah Manning.
When Sarah witnesses a suicide, and finds that the woman looks exactly like her, she assumes the stranger’s identity, unlocking a whole world of conspiracies and secrets while avoiding the assassin that is out to get her and others just like her.
It received mostly positive reviews in the first few seasons, and if the critics are to be believed (which they usually are), it has actually gotten better since then, holding a 97% approval rating for the latest season. A show that gets better over time is a rare thing, so it might be worth your time to check this one out.
Featuring: Tatiana Maslany (Woman in Gold, The Vow), Dylan Bruce (Arrow, Unstoppable, Flowers in the Attic), Jordan Gavaria (Curse of Chucky, Unnatural History).
For those who also like Orange is the New Black, Sense 8 and American Horror Story.
The only animated series in this list, Archer is an adult spy comedy that debuted in January 2010. It has won several Primetime Emmy and Critic’s Choice awards and has never reached a score lower than 92% for a season on Rotten Tomatoes.
The series follows spy Sterling Archer as he carries out his duties for the International Secret Intelligence Service (ISIS). The rather unfortunate name was changed in later seasons. Archer compares himself to James Bond, but doesn’t really take any situation too seriously, and only succeeds at his job due to blind luck, despite his incompetence and ignorance.
Stars: Jon Benjamin (Bob’s Burgers, Family Guy), Aisha Tyler (Whose line is it Anyways, Friends), Jessica Walter (Arrested Development), Chris Parnell (Saturday Night Live, 30 Rock), and Judy Greer (Ant-man, Arrested Development).
If you’re a fan of adult animated comedies such as South Park or American Dad, then Archer might be the perfect show for you.
5. Brooklyn Nine-Nine
Upholding the law, but certainly not orderly, this comedy tracks the characters, cases, and haphazard investigations of the fictitious 99th Brooklyn Police Precinct. At the centre of the show is detective Jake Peralta (Andy Samberg), who is a talented yet immature man who initially butts heads with his robotic and stern new captain, played in a brilliant deadpan style by Andre Braugher.
Stars: Andy Samberg (Hotel Transylvania, Hot Rod, Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs), Andre Braugher (Law & Order: SVU, Last Resort, House M.D.), Chelsea Peretti (Chelsea Peretti: One of the Greats) and Melissa Fumero (One life to Live, Gossip Girl).
Since the show was created by the same people who made The Office and Parks & Recreation, you will surely love this show if you liked either of them.
6. Orange is the New Black
If you haven’t already spent three days straight binge-watching this Netflix original, then we must ask the question: why not?
This immensely popular series follows the life of Piper Chapman, a privileged New York woman whose crimes of her youth catch up to her. As the series progresses, we find out more about the other women in Litchfield Prison, and follow the drama that surrounds them.
Stars: Taylor Schilling (The Lucky One, Argo), Laura Prepon (That 70’s Show), Taryn Manning (Hawaii Five-0, 8 Mile), Uzo Aduba (Pearly Gates, How to Live Like a Lady), Kate Mulgrew (Star Trek: Voyager, Batman: The Animated Series)
This is not a show for fans of other shows, this is one for everybody; I have not yet met a person who doesn’t like Orange is the New Black.
7. Arrested Development
One of the older shows on this list, Arrested Development was released back in 2003 and ran for three seasons until 2006. It has since been revived for a 4th season in 2013 due to its massive popularity and cult following. It received widespread critical acclaim upon its release and has repeatedly been named among the funniest shows of all time.
The show follows the fictitious Bluth Family (who all lead extravagant lifestyles) after the patriarch of the family is arrested for money laundering, defrauding investors and some ‘light treason’. The center of the show is Michael Bluth (Jason Bateman), who serves as the shows straight man, as he tries to deal with his dysfunctional family, who are all selfish and manipulative. Despite most of the characters in the show being horrible people, you can’t help but love them.
Stars: Jason Bateman (Horrible Bosses, The Gift), Will Arnett (The Lego Movie, (30 Rock), Michael Cera (Superbad, Juno), Jeffrey Tambor (The Larry Sanders Show, The Hangover) and Jessica Walter (Archer).
Best suited for fans of shows like Seinfeld, It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia and the Office.
8. House of Cards
Since its release in 2014, the political drama starring Kevin Spacey has been taking the TV world by storm, receiving a whopping 33 Primetime Emmy Award nominations. The two leads, Kevin Spacey and Robin Wright, have both won Golden Globes for their portrayals of Frank Underwood and Claire Underwood.
Without giving too much away, House of Cards follows morally ambiguous democratic politician Frank Underwood on his ascension to power, aided by ruthless pragmatism, manipulation, and power.
Stars: Kevin Spacey (The Usual Suspects, Se7en), Robin Wright (Forrest Gump, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo), Michael Kelly (The Sopranos, Man of Steel), Kate Mara (The Martian, Fantastic Four) and Nathan Darrow (Gotham, Preacher).
If you like political dramas, then you will love this show. It has been compared to The West Wing, and has similar themes to Breaking Bad.
A Netflix original series, Daredevil is set in the Marvel Cinematic Universe and shares continuity with the film franchises, such as the Avengers. All of the episodes in the first season were released at once on April 10, 2015. The series immediately earnt critical acclaim, and was swiftly renewed for a 2nd season, which aired earlier this year.
The story follows blind lawyer Matt Murdock who uses his other heightened senses to fight crime. It has gathered the most acclaim for its excellent action sequences, which can get quite bloody. It’s definitely more violent that the Marvel Movies, but it is also complimented by strong writing, sitting at 98% on Rotten Tomatoes.
Stars: Charlie Cox (The Theory of Everything, Downton Abbey), Jon Bernthal (The Walking Dead, The Wolf of Wall Street), Vincent D’Onofrio (Law & Order: Crimninal Intent, Jurassic World), and Deborah Ann Woll (True Blood).
10. Stranger Things
The newest addition to this list, Stranger Things was released on July 15 this year. It is a Netflix Original supernatural horror series, and has been praised by critics immediately upon release due to its excellent characters, acting and the atmosphere it creates. I can’t go into too much more detail, since I haven’t seen it yet and don’t want to look up the plot!
Stars: Winona Ryder (Star Trek, Black Swan), David Harbour (Brokeback Mountain, Suicide Squad), Finn Wolfhard, Millie Bobby Brown and Gaten Matarazzo.
- Jessica Jones: Another Netflix original as well as a continuation of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Jessica Jones is about a former superhero who opens her own detective agency. Stars Krysten Ritter (Breaking Bad) as well as David Tennant (Dr. Who, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire).
- Master of None: Sitting on an approval rating of 100% for its first season, this comedy starring funny man Aziz Anzari (Parks and Recreation) is not to be missed if you’re a comedy lover.
- Frozen Planet: This 2011 British nature documentary, which consists of seven episodes on life in the arctic – won 4 Primetime Emmy awards in 2012. And it also stars the legendary David Attenborough, who could narrate paint drying and make it sound interesting. If you’re a nature lover, then stop what you’re doing and watch it.
- Walking with Dinosaurs: Picked for nostalgic purposes, Walking with Dinosaurs debuted back in 1999 and inspired a generation of children to learn about Dinosaurs. It also won quite a lot of awards too. Only consisting of 6-30 minute episodes, this one can be finished in a single evening.
- Skins: Skins is a British teen comedy drama that follows a group of teenagers in Bristol, England. It deals with the mature themes of mental illness, gender, substance abuse and sexuality, and makes for excellent viewing as a result. Just don’t confuse it with the short-lived American remake. Really, don’t.
These are our top 10 recommended shows that you can watch right now on Netflix. Of course, there are still dozens and dozens of other high-quality shows available, and we couldn’t possibly list them all. That’s why you should see our complete list of Netflix TV shows on Netflix, to help you find the perfect binge-watching material for you.