The best shows on Netflix Australia

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For its unrivalled range of content, from the gripping to the quirky and downright strange, Netflix Australia has you covered. If you’re wondering what to watch this weekend, fire up the telly – or tablet – load Netflix and settle in for some binge watching.

Netflix is one of the most popular streaming services in Australia as people move away from traditional free-to-air TV, sick of all the ads and mindless programming. The beauty of Netflix is that it’s constantly updating and expanding its library to deliver even more exciting content – both ‘Original’ and licensed. After Netflix announced that it will aim to make 50% of its content ‘Netflix Original’, there is growing anticipation about what the streaming giant will offer up next. Here are the top 20 shows to watch on Netflix, with many being Originals.

Netflix Australia – Top 20 Shows to Binge

Below are – in this author’s opinion – the top 20 shows you should take a look at on Netflix right now. Cast aside the clichéd Orange is the New Black and House of Cards recommendations for now – there are some left-of-field suggestions here, listed in no apparent order! Or prefer to watch a movie? See our list of the best movies on Netflix here.

Behind Her Eyes

A limited series based on a steamy but unnerving love triangle between three Londoners, Behind Her Eyes follows single-mum Louise as she begins her new job as a receptionist in a mental health institute. However, after meeting her new boss on a night out, the two start an affair, with Louise also striking up a friendship with her boss’ wife, with plenty of twists, turns and downright weird happenings in every episode.

Lupin

This Netflix original is giving us major Now You See Me vibes — which makes sense, seeing as the first five episodes are directed by the movie’s filmmaker Louis Leterrier. The French mystery thriller follows Assane Diop (played by The Intouchables Omar Sy) who lost his father after he hung himself after being wrongfully accused of a crime. 25 years later, Assane decides to get his revenge — taking inspiration from the world-famous gentleman thief “Arséne Lupin, Gentleman Burglar”. Set to the backdrop of a modern-day Paris (slightly more realistic than Emily in Paris), Lupin has everyone talking. Season two is already in the works!

Bling Empire

It’s the Crazy, Rich, Asians and Gossip Girl reality-drama crossover we never knew we needed — but here we are. Bling Empire follows a group of agonisingly-rich friends living in Los Angeles who basically just spend all of their money and gossip (goals). The stars of the show include the son of Singaporean billionaire Kane Liam, the ‘Calvin Harris’ of Asia and DJ Kim Lee, model Kevin Kreider, actor Andrew Gray, couture collector Christine Chiu, denim heiress Cherie Chan, entrepreneur Kelly Mi Li, former equestrian and daughter of a Beijing tech billionaire Jaime Xie and the half-Japanese and half-Russian daughter of a weapon manufacturer billionaire, Anna Sha. Yes, you read all of those correctly. It’s trashy TV, but oh so good.

Bridgerton

Fans of Grey’s Anatomy and How to Get Away with Murder know that Shonda Rhimes can pretty much do no wrong — and her new period drama is no different. Bridgerton, based off the beloved books by Julia Quinn, is set in London in the Regency period and follows the high society during ‘courting’ season. It’s pretty much Pride and Prejudice meets Gossip Girl (except the voiceover and narrator is Julie Andrews instead of Kristen Bell). Phoebe Dynevor stars as Daphne, the eldest daughter of the influential Bridgerton family and the most promising young debutante in the 1813 social season. The cutthroat London marriage circuit sees her land in the arms of the Duke of Hastings (Rege-Jean Page), the most sought-after, yet emotionally unavailable, suitor for the season.

Feel Good

This semi-autobiographical series from Canadian comedian Mae Martin was the underdog laugh-out-loud comedy series of 2020. Feel Good follows the life of Mae (played by Martin), a stand-up comedian and recovering addict who enters an all-consuming new relationship with her girlfriend George (Charlotte Richie). Mae’s addictive tendencies and George’s sexual identity prove to be a rocky pairing — but it’s certainly entertaining to watch. Feel Good also stars Lisa Kudrow as Mae’s mother and season two is slated for release sometime in 2021.

The Crown

Two new characters we’ve all been eagerly waiting for have finally arrived on The Crown — the one and only Lady Diana, and Gillian Anderson’s horrifically accurate Margaret Thatcher. The two newcomers breathe fresh life into the royal drama, moulding The Crown to its best television yet at four seasons in. With the same actors from the previous season, this new era covers the turbulent royal drama between 1977 and 1990, including the rollercoaster ‘love story’ of Diana (Emma Corrin) and Charles (Josh O’Connor, a man far too dreamy for the likes of Charles); the great rivalry between the Queen (Olivia Coleman) and Thatcher; Michael Fagan’s break-in at Buckingham Palace; and Lord Mountbatten’s funeral. God save the Queen; The Crown has never been better.

The Queen’s Gambit

This period drama miniseries has captured the attention of the globe — and it’s literally about a game of chess. An adaption of Walter Tevis’ 1983 novel of the same name, The Queen’s Gambit tells the story of orphan and chess prodigy Beth Harmon (played by Anya Taylor-Joy). When sent to an orphanage at aged nine, Beth simultaneously discovers her unusual talent for chess and develops an addiction to tranquilisers provided by the orphanage to sedate the children. As Beth grows older, she discovers the power and money in the male-dominated world of competitive chess and becomes addicted to the thrill of winning (something which she has convinced herself she can’t do without the help of narcotics). As Beth rises to the top of the chess world, she begins to hit rock bottom as she plays a game far more dangerous than chess.

Arrow

Fans of DC will tell you that the bad-boy-turned-superhero TV action show Arrow is long-running (and never ending, with season eight just launching on Netflix) show for a reason. Based on the DC Comics character Green Arrow, Stephen Amell stars as the spoiled billionaire playboy Oliver Queen, who goes missing and is presumed dead after his yacht is lost at sea. That is, until he appears five years later as ‘The Hood’ and then later, ‘The Arrow’, to set about cleaning up and protecting his corrupted hometown, Starling City. Whether you’re a die-hard of the DC world or just starting to dip your toes in, Arrow is a great place to start.

Schitt’s Creek

Ew, David! Schitt’s Creek has recently been in the spotlight for sweeping the comedy category at the Emmy’s, but the feel-good Canadian comedy has been killing it since its release in 2015. Created by father-son due Eugene and Dan Levy, Schitt’s Creek follows the formally wealthy Rose family — Johnny (Eugene Levy), David (Dan Levy), Moira (Catherine O’Hara) and Alexis (Annie Murphy) — whose empty bank accounts force them to relocate to Schitt’s Creek, the small town they once bought as a joke. Now living in the ‘Rosebud motel’, the family have to learn to live without their money — and within five square feet of each other.

Sign up to BINGE

If BINGE’s huge library of quality movies sounds like the perfect streaming service for you, there are three plans to choose from, with different inclusions on each plan tier. Prices start at $10 per month for a basic package and go up to $18 per month. Check out the plan inclusions in the below table. This table includes links to a referral partner.

Brand Subscription Type No. of Screens/same time viewing Advertised Cost^^/month or year
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BINGE Basic Plan

  • Stream over 10,000+ hours of shows and movies
  • Watch on 1 screens at the same time
  • 2 week free trial

min. cost $10 over one month

1No. of Screens /same time viewing $10
Advertised Cost/month
Go To Site
Binge logo

BINGE Standard Plan

  • Stream over 10,000+ hours of shows and movies
  • Watch on 2 screens at the same time
  • HD available
  • 2 week free trial

min. cost $14 over one month

2No. of Screens /same time viewing $14
Advertised Cost/year
Go To Site
Binge logo

BINGE Premium Plan

  • Stream over 10,000+ hours of shows and movies
  • Watch on 4 screens at the same time
  • HD available
  • 2 week free trial

min. cost $18 over one month

4No. of Screens /same time viewing $18
Advertised Cost/year
Go To Site

Back to Netflix Shows

Cobra Kai

What started out as a YouTube Red miniseries sequel to the hit Karate Kid movies has now made its way to one of the biggest streaming platforms available. Originally created in 2018 as somewhat of a joke, Cobra Kai is set thirty-four years after the events of the 1984 All Valley Karate Tournament, starring the original leads from the movies, William Zabka as Johnny Lawrence and Ralph Macchio as Daniel LaRusso. Cobra Kai however, is told from the perspective of the once-antagonist Johnny Lawrence as he reopens the Cobra Kai karate dojo, which leads to the rekindling of his old rivalry with Daniel.

The Sinner

You may or may not have seen the first two seasons of The Sinner. We can’t deny it’s some of the very best detective crime/thriller television available on Netflix right now, but it was never the most-watched show on the platform. That was, until, the third season was released just recently. Arguably the best season of the anthology crime show to date, The Sinner is enjoying a new wave of success with Matt Bomer starring as this season’s ‘suspect/victim’. For those unfamiliar with the Jessica Biel-produced show’s concept, Bill Pullman stars as Detective Harry Ambrose (the only regular each season) as he investigates crimes committed by unlikely suspects and attempts to uncover their motivations. This time around Bomer stars as Jamie Burns, an expectant father who reaches out to Ambrose after the loss of a close friend. That’s all we’ll say for now.

Unorthodox

Based on a true story from Deborah Feldman’s New York Times bestselling autobiography, Unorthodox is a terrifying story of one woman’s bravery and self-determination to leave her ultra-orthodox Jewish community in New York City for a new life in Berlin. Shira Hass stars as our hero, the 19-year-old Esther “Etsy” Shapiro, who is living in an unhappy arranged marriage in Brooklyn. In pursuit of a different life, she flees to Berlin where her estranged mother lives — but is closely followed by her husband, who is desperate to find her after learning she is pregnant. Unorthodox is only a four-part miniseries, but it will shake you to your core.

Never Have I Ever

Mindy Kaling can do no wrong. And her Netflix Original Never Have I Ever is further proof of that. The coming-of-age series follows a 15-year-old Indian-American living in California named Devi (played by newcomer Maitreyi Ramakrishnan). After a traumatic freshman year of high school dealing with the death of her father, Devi is determined to make the new year her best ever — by upping her popularity and finding a boyfriend. Inspired by Kaling’s childhood and narrated by tennis star John McEnroe, Never Have I Ever will pull at your heart strings and take you straight back to high school.

Sign up to Disney+ Australia

Disney+ is the new talk of the streaming world, so how can you get a subscription? There are two plan options to choose from – a monthly subscription at $11.99 per month, or prepay for a year at $119.99 and save on the monthly cost. Both plans include the same features, with unlimited downloads and the ability to stream on up to four screens at the same time. This table includes links to a referral partner.

Brand Subscription Type No. of Screens/same time viewing Advertised Cost^^/month or year
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Disney+ Monthly Subscription

  • Stream the Disney+ library, including Disney+ Originals, Star Wars, Pixar, Marvel, National Geographic & Star
  • Watch on 4 screens at the same time
  • Add up to 7 profiles
  • Unlimited downloads of shows and movies on up to 10 devices

min. cost $11.99 over one month

4No. of Screens /same time viewing $11.99
Advertised Cost/month
Get DealCanstar Blue receives a commission for sign-ups through Disney+ *
Disney+ Logo

Disney+ Yearly Subscription

  • Stream the Disney+ library, including Disney+ Originals, Star Wars, Pixar, Marvel, National Geographic & Star
  • Watch on 4 screens at the same time
  • Add up to 7 profiles
  • Unlimited downloads of shows and movies on up to 10 devices
  • Prepay for a yearly subscription and save on the monthly cost

min. cost $119.99 over one year

4No. of Screens /same time viewing $119.99
Advertised Cost/year
Get DealCanstar Blue receives a commission for sign-ups through Disney+ *

Back to Netflix Shows

Outer Banks

If you’re looking for a binge-worthy show so bad it’s good — look no further than the new Netflix Original series Outer Banks. The teen adventure-mystery is The Outsiders x The OC x The Goonies set to the backdrop of the Outer Banks of North Carolina. In the surfer town, you’re either a ‘Pogue’ with two jobs, or a ‘Kook’ with two houses — and our hero of the story is no Kook. John B (played by Chase Stokes, who narrates the series), is the leader of his tightknit group of Pogue friends, who are enjoying freedom, summer and partying. That is, until, the group stumbles into a $400 million treasure hunt tied to John B’s missing father. Suddenly, summer isn’t looking so low-key.

The Last Dance

The Last Dance is a 10-part docu-series chronicling the Chicago Bulls, specifically the career of basketball legend Michael Jordan, during the 1997-1998 NBA season. The season, dubbed ‘the last dance’ by coach Phil Jackson was one of many lasts; Jordan’s last season with the team, Jackson’s last season as coach, the last year of Scottie Pippen’s contract, and the last time that the Chicago Bulls have won an NBA championship. The episodes are being released two per week so be prepared to wait it out.

Teachers

Before Andrew Lincoln was slashing zombies in The Walking Dead and stalking Keira Knightley in Love Actually, he was partying his way through a profession as an English teacher. British comedy at its best, Teachers originally aired on Channel 4 back in 2001, but has since found a new home – and audience – on Netflix. Set in secondary school in Bristol, the show follows the juvenile Simon (Lincoln) as he struggles to grow up and accept responsibility for anything besides a pint and a good time. Simon and his chaotic group of fellow teachers tend to spend more time in the pub moaning about their hapless love lives than they do the classroom – ultimately regretting everything at 8am home room the next day. You’ll want them as your best friends – but have you asking, who gave these guys a qualification?

The Pharmacist

Netflix does true crime like no other – and they haven’t disappointed us with their latest – The Pharmacist. The four-part doco series follows small town pharmacist Dan Schneider and the quest to solve his son’s murder case, and consequently his battle against giant pharmaceutical corporations. In 1999, Dan’s son was shot and killed whilst reportedly trying to buy drugs in New Orleans’s Ninth Ward. Unhappy with the slow pace of the police’s investigation, Dan sets out to solve the murder – and along the way stumbles into the world of prescription drug abuse and the impact it has on New Orleans opioid epidemic. The Pharmacist turns into a David Vs. Goliath fight between the everyday dad and the big pharma boys, as Dan investigates the drug OxyContin, determined to end pharmaceutical pill trafficking in his home state of Louisiana, and the whole of the US. With a 100% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, this isn’t one to miss.

The Ghost Bride

If true love really does last forever, then why are marriage vows made “til death us do part”? The Ghost Bride follows the journey of Pan Li Lian (Huang Peijia), a young girl who receives a proposal to marry the recently deceased and sinister son of the wealthy Lim family. By saying “I do” to Tian Ching (Kuang Tian), Li will save her family from debt in exchange for a lifetime of being haunted by her ghost husband. Unfortunately for the female lead, Tian Ching just doesn’t take no for an answer and quickly finds herself trapped in the afterlife. There’s also the very-much-alive Liam Tian Bai (Ludi Lin), a medical graduate who has stolen her heart. So, what will Li Lian choose? Love or family?

The Ghost Bride is based on the 2013 New York Times best-selling novel of the same name by Yangsze Choo and is inspired by the real-life tradition of ghost marriage still being carried out in places like Malaysia, China and France.

The Witcher

The most highly anticipated fantasy show to hit Netflix, The Witcher was one of the breakout shows of 2019 after its December release. While many shows have tried (and failed) to reach the popularity levels of Game of Thrones, The Witcher already had a fairly dedicated fan base of gamers and book fans to make this Netflix gamble really pay off. Season 1 introduces you to the three main characters — Princess Ciri, Yennefer of Vengerberg and the Witcher himself, Geralt of Rivia (played by Henry Cavill) — as their stories start to intertwine. There’s a lot of talk about destiny, plenty of monsters, magic, songs, action and bathtubs. While you might find yourself a bit confused by the timelines to start with, it all comes together by the end of the season and clicks into place nicely, leaving you longing for the next season.

This is a high fantasy show at its best. Henry Cavill’s passion as a dedicated fan of the Witcher games, really comes through as he brings the stoic Geralt to life. If you’re not the biggest fantasy fan, you might find it a bit too much magic and monsters compared to the more political Game of Thrones, however it is a fun ride with season 2 is already in production and rumoured to be released in 2021. Until then, you can toss a coin to your Witcher by checking out season 1 on Netflix.

Living with Yourself

Miles is feeling burned out on life and fears it’s only a matter of time until his career and relationship will end up in flames. After getting advice from a newly successful co-worker, he undergoes a strange procedure at a mysterious spa and wakes up to find that he’s been replaced by a better version of himself.

Created by Timothy Greenberg, Living with Yourself looks at whether the ‘best’ version of a person actually exists, and if making that transformation can be achieved authentically. The Netflix series is a drama comedy starring Paul Rudd as both ‘original Miles’ and ‘new Miles’, two characters who struggle to share and navigate their one life. The show also features Aisling Bea, Desmin Borges Zoë Chao and Karen Pittman.

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What should I binge watch on Netflix?

No matter your TV tastes, Netflix has new shows and new seasons releasing all the time. The beauty with Netflix is the large majority of its TV series are released all at once, meaning you can binge watch instead of having to wait weekly for the new episode. If you’re new to Netflix, get caught up with these shows and you’ll soon be at the cutting edge of the water cooler conversation, playgroup chat, or school drop-off catch-up.

Netflix has plenty on offer here, and if you’re looking for something new to watch, or you have a free weekend, the above shows may be suitable. So grab the popcorn and snacks, get in your pyjamas and have a weekend in full of bingeing delight! It’s also worth checking out the very best shows on Stan and Amazon Prime. And maybe even HayU if you’re feeling like a bit of trash TV.

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