The headline says it all, folks! It’s time to dive head first into the best Netflix series out there. Although, I will preface this yarn by saying these shows are absolutely not ranked in order. I love these telly series equally, no matter how cursed they are. I’m talking about you, You. Let’s do this.

1. Shadow & Bone (2021-)

A Netflix Original series. 

Ben Barnes and Jessie Mei Li stealing my heart.

Shadow & Bone is the fantasy series to watch, based on the worldwide bestselling Grishaverse novels by Leigh Bardugo.

The series opens up in war-torn Ravka, where lowly soldier and orphan Alina Starkov (Jessie Mei Li) has just unleashed an extraordinary power that could be the key to setting her country free from the Shadow Fold, a region of impenetrable darkness full of monsters.

Alina is torn from everything she knows to train as part of an elite army of magical soldiers known as the Grisha, helmed by their mysterious leader, General Kirigan (Ben Barnes).

At the same time, a crew of charismatic criminals plot to [REDACTED]. Fans of the Grishaverse will recognise these characters from Bardugo’s Six of Crows duology.

Shadow & Bone co-stars Archie RenauxFreddy CarterAmita Suman, and Kit Young.

I have watched it three times! Three!

2. The Serpent (2021)

A Netflix Original series. 

Best Netflix Series
Jenna Coleman and Tahar Rahim in The Serpent.

Introducing a hot contender for the best Netflix series ever title: The Serpent. 

Posing as a gem dealer, Charles Sobhraj (Golden Globe nominee Tahar Rahim) and his girlfriend Marie-Andrée Leclerc (Jenna Coleman) travelled across Thailand, Nepal and India in 1975 and 1976, carrying out a spree of crimes on the Asian ‘Hippie Trail,’ becoming the chief suspects in a series of murders of young Western travellers.

When Herman Knippenberg (Billy Howle), a junior diplomat at the Dutch Embassy in Bangkok, unwittingly walks into this intricate web of crime, he — with the help of his spouse Angela (Ellie Bamber), police around the world and witnesses of Sobhraj’s devious manipulation — sets off an extraordinary chain of events that will see Sobhraj become Interpol’s most wanted man, with arrest warrants in multiple continents.

3. Last Chance U: Basketball (2021)

A Netflix Original Series. 

The East LA College Huskies in Last Chance U: Basketball.

From Greg Whiteley (Cheer) and the team behind Emmy-winning Last Chance U comes this honest, gritty look inside the world of community college basketball.

Over the course of eight episodes, viewers follow the East Los Angeles College Huskies (ELAC) in their high stakes chase to an unprecedented California state basketball championship. Led by passionate head coach John Mosley, the ELAC team is made up of former D1 recruits and powerhouse athletes hustling to prove themselves for a last chance to fulfil their dreams of playing at the next level. But the team is tested as the players battle adversity, inner demons, and emotions on and off the court.

4. Lupin (2021-)

A Netflix Original series.

Best netflix series
Omar Sy in Lupin.

If you haven’t watched this one yet, DO IT – it is absolutely one of the best Netflix series out there. Plus, it’s French, so you can feel extra ~ cultured ~ while you watch it. Win, win.

As a teenager, Assane Diop’s (Omar Sy) life was turned upside down when his father died after being accused of a crime he didn’t commit. 25 years later, Assane will use “Arsène Lupin, Gentleman Burglar” as his inspiration to avenge his father.

5. Formula 1: Drive To Survive (2019-)

A Netflix Original Series.

VROOM, VROOM, BABY.

In the latest season of Formula 1: Drive To Survive, fans (my brother) are given unprecedented behind the scenes access to the 2020 season which saw the sport dramatically halted in Australia due to the COVID-19 pandemic and make a thrilling restart in Austria later that year.

Intense battles, fierce rivalries, unexpected podiums and Lewis Hamilton’s incredible seventh world title will ensure the series is one of the most action packed yet.

6. This Is A Robbery: The World’s Biggest Art Heist (2021)

A Netflix Original series. 

Best Netflix Series
FBI photograph of the crime scene after the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum robbery.

It was the biggest art heist in history: Over St. Patrick’s Day weekend in 1990, legendary works by Rembrandt, Vermeer and others worth over half a billion dollars today were stolen from the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston.

This four-part documentary series from director Colin Barnicle covers the leads, dead ends, lucky breaks and speculations that characterised the investigation of this still unsolved mystery.

ART HEIST, ART HEIST, ART HEIST.

7. Bling Empire (2021-)

A Netflix Original series.

Best netflix series
The iconic Anna Shay and Christine Chiu hating each other in Bling Empire.

Bling Empire follows a wildly wealthy group of Asian and Asian American friends (and frenemies) in Los Angeles. Between hopping on a private jet to eat at a restaurant in Paris (true story) and running multi-billion dollar business, these friends are as good at keeping secrets as they are at spilling them.

And there is certainly no shortage of secrets.

14/10 recommend this show if you need a good reality TV binge.

8. Bridgerton (2020-)

A Netflix Original series. 

Best Netflix Series
SWOOOOOON.

Even if you haven’t watched Bridgerton, you’ve heard about it by now. The glossy drama is based on the eight-part book series by Julia Quinn, where each book focuses on a different Bridgerton sibling.

Season 1 is based on the first book in the series, introducing us to Daphne Bridgerton (Phoebe Dynevor) and his royal hotness Simon Basset, Duke of Hastings (Regé-Jean Page).

The horny series has already been renewed for its second, third, and fourth seasons, because of course it has. Bridgerton was watched by a record 82 million households around the world, making it Netflix’s biggest series ever.

Season 2 will focus on Anthony Bridgerton’s (Jonathan Bailey) story as he tries to find a partnerSex Education‘s Simone Ashley will star as his love interest, Kate Sharma (Kate Sheffield in the books). Find out everything about season 2 right HERE. 

9. Queen’s Gambit (2020)

A Netflix Original series.

Best Netflix Series
Golden Globe winner Anya Taylor-Joy as Beth Harmon.

Before Bridgerton did its thing, The Queen’s Gambit dominated the stage last year.

The limited series, based on the 1983 novel by Walter Tevis, focused on a young Beth Harmon (Anya Taylor-Joy) as she discovered her astonishing talent for chess, while battling addiction.

I knew nothing about chess before I dove into the series, but I was absolutely consumed by it. It’s so, so good.

The series is directed and written by two-time Academy Award nominee Scott Frank (Logan), and starred Marielle Heller, Thomas Brodie-Sangster, Moses Ingram, Harry Melling, and Bill Camp.

10. Unorthodox (2020)

A Netflix Original series. 

Best Netflix Series
Amit Rahav and Shira Haas on their way to make me sob.

Based on the New York Times bestselling memoir of the same name by Deborah FeldmanUnorthodox is a story about a young woman (Shira Haas) who rejects her radicalised upbringing in New York and leaves to start a new life in Berlin.

It’s one part coming-of-age story and one part thriller, as a girl discovers herself and uncovers the dangerous mysteries of her family’s past.

11. The Crown (2016-)

A Netflix Original series. 

Golden Globe winners Josh Corrin and Emma Corrin as Charles and Diana.

Written by Peter MorganThe Crown is a *fictional* portrayal of the life of Queen Elizabeth II and the royal family. It spans decades, from the Queen’s coronation, to Prince Charles‘ doomed marriage to Princess Diana.

The Crown has been renewed up to its sixth and final season, which is very sad considering it’s one of the best Netflix series around right now.

Imelda Staunton will play Queen Liz, taking over from Olivia Colman in season 5 and 6. Joining her is Lesley Manville as Princess Margaret and Jonathan Pryce as Prince Philip.

Elizabeth Debicki will star as Princess Diana, which is fabulous casting if you ask me.

Given everything that’s happened over the past year and this show’s popularity, when I think “best TV shows on Netflix”, I think The Crown. And that’s the royal tea.

For everything we know about The Crown season 5, click HERE.

12. The Umbrella Academy (2019-)

A Netflix Original series. 

Best Netflix Series
Love a good behind-the-scenes shot!

Next on my list of best Netflix series is The Umbrella Academy, which is based on the comics of the same name by My Chemical Romance‘s Gerard Way and artist Gabriel Bá. It follows the lives of the gifted Hargreeves siblings and their unique talent of causing/stoping the apocalypse.

Elliot Page leads the cast as Vanya Hargreeves, joining Aiden Gallagher as Five, Tom Hooper as Luther, David Castañeda as Diego, Emmy Raver-Lampman as Allison, and Robert Sheehan as Klaus.

The Umbrella Academy has been renewed for a third season and that is wonderful news considering season 2 ended on a cliffhanger.

13. The Witcher (2019-)

A Netflix Original series. 

Best Netflix Series
Henry Cavill as the extremely fit Geralt of Rivia.

The Witcher is an epic tale of fate and family, wrapped up in gore and magic.

Geralt of Rivia (Henry Cavill), a solitary monster hunter, struggles to find his place in a world where people often prove more wicked than beasts. But when destiny hurtles him toward a powerful sorceress and a young princess with a dangerous secret, the three must learn to navigate the increasingly volatile Continent together.

Plus, Geralt in the tub. Shirtless Henry Cavill may be the reason I’m rating this as one of the best Netflix series.

The show is an adaptation of the books by Andrzej Sapkowski, not the games. It stars Cavill as the White Wolf, Anya Chalotra as Yennefer, Freya Allan as Ciri, and Joey Batey as Jaskier.

Netflix still hasn’t confirmed a release date for season 2 of The Witcher, but we’ll surely cop it this year. Here’s what we know about the upcoming Season 2 so far.

14. Selling Sunset (2019-)

A Netflix Original series. 

Not pictured: Davina Potratz trying to sell a $75 million house on Selling Sunset.

Selling Sunset, a glorious Netflix reality series set in the world of LA’s high-end real estate, follows seven of the city’s most successful female realtors who all work under the same roof at the #1 agency in the Hollywood Hills and the Sunset Strip.

They work hard and play harder, as they compete with the cutthroat LA market and each other. These women will do what it takes to make it to the top of their game, all while trying to keep their personal lives intact.

Want to feel painfully poor? Watch this show!

The series stars Chrishell Stause, Heather Rae Young, Davina Potratz, Christine Quinn, Maya Vander, Mary Fitzgerald and her husband Romain Bonnet, and brothers Jason and Brett Oppenheim.

15. The Haunting Of Hill House (2018)

A Netflix Original series.

This basically sums up Hill House. 

Haunting is the two-part anthology horror series from Mike Flanagan, which is on ice indefinitely. Boo.

Season 1 is an absolute masterpiece and season 2 is fine, but nowhere near as good as season 1.

Season 1 is one of the best Netflix series ever in my books (and the scariest).

The Haunting Of Hill House is loosely based on the 1959 novel of the same name by Shirley Jackson. The series is set in modern times, introducing us to the Crain family. They’re a picture-perfect family, who make the unfortunate decision of moving into an extremely cursed home.

It starred Victoria PedrettiOliver Jackson-CohenKate SiegelHenry ThomasCarla GuginoElizabeth ReaserMichiel Huisman, Timothy Hutton, Mckenna Grace, Violet McGraw, and Julian Hilliard.

16. The Haunting Of Bly Manor (2020)

Cursed child, cursed child, and T’Nia Miller as Hannah in Bly Manor.

Season 2, or The Haunting of Bly Manor, takes most of its inspiration from Henry James‘ The Turn Of The Screw. The show is about a young American woman (Victoria Pedretti) who is hired to look after two orphaned siblings, Flora (Amelie Bea Smith) and Miles (Benjamin Evan Ainsworth) after the tragic death of their au pair, Rebecca (Tahirah Sharif).

I spent a wee bit of time figuring out who the ghosts were in season 2. I don’t know why I did that, considering I shit my pants every time. Self control? I don’t know her.

My favourite bit about season 2 is that Amelie Bea Smith is also the voice of Peppa Pig.

17. Mindhunter (2017-2019)

A Netflix Original series.

Holt McCallany and Jonathan Groff as Bill Tench and Holden Ford in Mindhunter.

It still hurts to write this, but Mindhunter is on an indefinite hiatus until further notice – devastating considering it has earned a rightful place as one of the best Netflix series ever. This isn’t the streaming giant’s doing though, creator David Fincher was just over it.

He had an ending in mind for the show, at least.

Mindhunter followed FBI agents Holden Ford (Jonathan Groff) and Bill Tench (Holt McCallany) as they probed into the psyches of history’s worst murderers and serial killers, including Ed KemperCharles Manson, and Dennis Rader… to an extent.

18. When They See Us (2019)

A Netflix Original series. 

Aunjanue Ellis and Ethan Herisse.

When They See Us is a four-part limited series focusing on the five teenagers of colour – dubbed the Central Park Five by the media – who were wrongfully convicted of beating and raping a white female jogger in Central Park in 1989. Their names are Antron McCrayKevin Richardson, Yusef Salaam, Raymond Santana, and Korey Wise.

When They See Us spans 25 years and covers the Central Park Five’s exoneration in 2002 and the settlement reached in 2014.

Ava DuVernay directed, created, and co-wrote the Netflix series.

19. Sex Education (2019-)

A Netflix Original series. 

Best Netflix Series
Emma Mackey as Maeve and Asa Butterfield as Otis.

Sex Education is about Otis Milburn (Asa Butterfield), a socially awkward high school student who lives with his sex therapist mother, Jean (Gillian Anderson). It’s the best Netflix series to show awkward teens in their element so far — I wish I’d seen it when I was younger, tbh.

In the very first season of the show, Otis and his friend Maeve Wiley (Emma Mackey) open a sex clinic at school to capitalise on his intuitive talent for sex advice. In season 2, Otis must master his newly discovered horniness in order to maintain his relationship with his girlfriend Ola (Patricia Allison), while dealing with his now strained relationship with Maeve.

Meanwhile, Chlamydia overruns Moordale Secondary. Hate it when that happens.

Sex Education season 3 is coming soon to Australia, we’ll let you know when Netflix announces a release date. Meanwhile, here’s everything we know about S3 so far.

20. Dead To Me (2019-)

A Netflix Original series. 

Christina Applegate as Jen and Lina Cardellini as Judy.

Dead To Me is about the friendship that develops between Jen (Christina Applegate) and Judy (Linda Cardellini), after Jen’s husband died in a hit-and-run and Judy’s fiancé carked it from a heart attack.

Nothing suss going on here, folks!

In season 2, a surprising new visitor comes to town and Detective Perez (Diana Maria Riva) is hot on their heels, so Jen and Judy take drastic measures to protect their loves ones and each other.

Last July, Netflix announced Dead To Me had been renewed for its third and final season. All good things (and the best Netflix series) must come to an end.

21. Unbelievable (2019)

A Netflix Original series. 

Best Netflix Series
Kaitlyn Dever as Marie Adler.

Want to watch something really frustrating that’ll make you want to scream your lungs out? Try Unbelievable. 

When teenager Marie Adler (Kaitlyn Dever) files a police report claiming she’s been sexually assaulted by an intruder in her home, the investigating detectives, as well as her friends, don’t believe her.

Meanwhile, hundreds of miles away, detectives Grace Rasmussen and Karen Duvall (Toni Collette and Merritt Wever) meet while investigating an eerily similar pair of cases.

The series was inspired by the ProPublica Pulitzer Prize-winning article, “An Unbelievable Story of Rape” written by T. Christian Miller and Ken Armstrong, as well as the This American Life radio episode, Anatomy Of Doubt. 

I couldn’t binge this series in one go, it was so difficult to watch. But once you get through it, you’ll know why it’s one of the best Netflix series ever.

22. Russian Doll (2019-???)

A Netflix Original series. 

WHAT A CONCEPT.

Russian Doll follows a young woman named Nadia (Natasha Lyonne) on her journey as the guest of honour at a seemingly inescapable party one night in New York City.

I didn’t mean to binge this one, but I’m extremely glad I did because it’s one of the best Netflix series I’ve ever seen. If anything, this picture has proved to be incredibly useful.

The series was co-created by Amy Poehler, Leslye Headland, and Lyonne.

Season 2 is apparently coming, and has been for sometime now. No idea if Netflix will actually deliver it though.

23. You (2018-)

A Netflix Original series. 

Best Netflix Series
Penn Badgley as Joe Goldberg and Elizabeth Lail as Beck.

Ugh, even that picture gives me the ick.

You is based on the book by Caroline Kepnes, and it follows a bookstore manager (Penn Badgley) who crosses paths with an aspiring writer. And then he obsesses over her, because he’s a psychopath, and uses the internet and social media to gather intimate details about her. It’s the sort of show that makes you set all your accounts to private, which is exactly what I did.

OH, and season 2 is even more fucked than season 1. Aggressively click on the below if you would like a taste of it.

While we wait for season 3 to drop, here’s everything you need to know about it.

I genuinely used to find Penn Badgley attractive, but after You… I just don’t. I really don’t.

24. Big Mouth (2017-)

A Netflix Original series. 

Anxiety mozzie, Nick, anxiety mozzie, Rick, anxiety mozzie, anxiety mozzie.

Like Sex Education, I really needed this show in high school, tell ya what.

Big Mouth is about, well, everything to do with growing up. I’m talking hormones, periods, masturbation, mental health, relationships, sexuality, identity, and the joyful experience that is high school.

Comedian John Mulaney lends his voice to the character of Andrew, while Nick Kroll (who serves as co-creator and executive producer) voices many characters including Andrew’s best friend, Nick. Maya Rudolph, Jason MantzoukasJordan Peele, Fred Armisen, Ayo Edebiri, and Jessi Klein co-star.

The series has been renewed through to its sixth season at the streaming giant.

25. Castlevania (2017-)

A Netflix Original series. 

Best Netflix Series
Alejandra Reynoso as Sypha Belnades, Richard Armitage as Trevor Belmont, and James Callis Alucard.

Based on the classic video game series, Castlevania introduces us to the extremely salty vampire hunter Trevor Belmont (Richard Armitage), who comes from a long line of impressive vampire hunters. His story begins just as Dracula (Graham McTavish) unleashes an army of undead on the world.

Trevor begrudgingly sets out to save humanity alongside seeker (like a sorcerer) Sypha (Alejandra Reynoso) and Drac’s son, Alucard (James Callis), who kinda has daddy issues.

It’s a lot of fun, I promise (albeit quite violent).

26. GLOW (2017-2019)

A Netflix Original series.

Glow, baby, GLOW.

In 1980s Los Angeles, a crew of misfits reinvent themselves as the Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling. Glow was absolutely cut down during its prime when Netflix suddenly cancelled it ahead of its fourth season.

It starred Alison Brie, Betty Gilpin, Britt Baron, Sydelle Noel, Kate Nash, and Britney Young.

27. Lucifer (2016-)

A Netflix Original series. 

Best Netflix Series
Tom Ellis and his devilish grin.

I wouldn’t say Lucifer is the best TV show on Netflix I’ve ever watched, but it is an easy procedural series to follow. Plus, it just has such a massive following, which is why it’s on the list.

Basically, Lucifer (Tom Ellis) – like the actual devil – teams up with detective Chloe Decker (Lauren German) to solve crimes. Why? The Lord of Hell is bored.

Plenty of supernatural antics follow, including visits from demons and angels alike.

Lucifer was originally a Fox show, before it was cancelled and resurrected by Netflix.

Lucifer has been renewed through to its sixth and final season.

28. Grace And Frankie (2015-)

A Netflix Original series. 

Best Netflix Series
You can’t see it in this picture, but Jane Fonda is sitting on Ryan Gosling’s face.

If you’re after some wholesome content then I 14/10 recommend Grace And Frankie, a totally joyful experience for the whole family.

The series introduces us to Grace and Frankie (Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin), two women who don’t like each other and are only “friends” because their husbands are business partners (Martin Sheen and Sam Waterston) and best mates.

So, what happens when their husbands leave them for each other? Absolute chaos of the very best kind.

Grace And Frankie will end after its seventh season and 94th episode, making it Netflix’s longest-running original series to date.

29. Schitt’s Creek (2015-2020)

Is it currently on Netflix? Yes.

The royal family.

Suddenly broke, the formerly filthy-rich Rose family is reduced to living in a shitty motel in a town they once bought as a joke: Schitt’s Creek.

The award-winning series was created by father and son duo Eugene and Dan Levy, who also starred in the series alongside Annie Murphy and Catherine O’Hara.

30. Black Mirror (2011-)

A Netflix Original series. 

Pictured: Mackenzie Davis in the one episode that didn’t make me want to rip my eyeballs out.

Sometimes I just think of certain Black Mirror episodes – you absolutely know the one I’m talking about – and immediately feel ill. Still, it’s a fascinating series to watch if you like to visit Grim Central.

Black Mirror is an anthology series, exploring the twisted relationship between the modern world and humans. I hate it, yet love it.

Over the years, a whole slew of big names have appeared in the series including Daniel Kaluuya, Miley Cyrus, and Bryce Dallas Howard.

The five current seasons of Black Mirror are streaming now on Netflix, plus the interactive Black Mirror: Bandersnatch film.

I don’t even know which trailer to use here, god.

31. Avatar: The Last Airbender (2005-2008)

Is it currently on Netflix? Yes.

Appa, Sokka, Katara, Aang, and little Momo.

Avatar takes place during a time of great war. Four nations, or societies, stand on edge as the Fire Nation seeks to take over the world. Enter Aang, a “bender” who is able to manipulate the elements – Earth, Fire, Water, Air. He’s the Avatar, but he’s also a 12-year-old boy struggling to understand his destiny.

The series isn’t just smart and funny, it’s also compelling and emotional. And it’s not just for children either. The older you become, the more you realise how packed Avatar is with critical world commentary.

It’s a must-watch.

So there you have my own personal list of the best Netflix series. If you’re unmoved and have now decided you’d rather watch a full-length film, head over to our list of the best movies HERE.

Worked your way through Aussie Netflix? We’ve written up a hand how-to if you want to watch American Netflix in Australia. Check that out HERE.

Image: Netflix