Whether you’re a fan of digestible comedies or thrilling dramas, everyone loves a good television series. If you’re itching for a new show to watch over the next few nights or weeks (or to binge in one sitting; don’t worry you’re not alone), your prayers have been answered.
We’ve gone through Netflix Australia’s entire catalogue and these are the absolute best series available on the streaming platform.
In this best Netflix shows article…
Starring: Steven Yeun, Ali Wong, Joseph Lee
Genre: Comedy, Drama
Steven Yeung and Ali Wong star in this black comedy series that revolves around a road rage incident that develops into a series of tit-for-tat acts of revenge between two strangers turned adversaries who are consumed with destroying one another.
Headlined by the excellent chemistry and performances of its two leads, Beef effectively taps into the anxiety, frustration, and anger that personifies the current American psyche, and does so without losing empathy for the series’ flawed yet relatable characters. Bold and provocative, Beef has been labelled one of the best series of the year for good reason.
Starring: Bryce Dallas Howard, Jon Hamm
Genre: Drama, Sci-Fi, Thriller
Every episode of Black Mirror tells a stand-alone story set in the not-so-distant future but all episodes are connected by their exploration of the dark side of technology. You’ll spot some well-known actors in various episodes, and will be captivated (and simultaneously horrified) by every single episode; although admittedly some episodes are better than others.
If you’re a thriller or sci-fi fanatic you have to watch Black Mirror.
Starring: Richard Madden, Sophie Rundle
Genre: Drama, Thriller
This thrilling mini-series follows David Budd, a war veteran who now works as a bodyguard. However, when David is assigned to protect Julia Montague, the UK’s Home Secretary he finds himself at a crossroads as he must shield her from harm but despises her and her political views.
A truly gripping show with excellent performances, writing, direction and cinematography, Bodyguard is a must-watch for those who love political thrillers (although we must warn you, with Madden’s accent, it sometimes sounds like he’s saying ‘mum’ but we assure you he’s saying ‘ma’am’).
Starring: Andy Samberg, Terry Crews
Genre: Comedy, Crime
Brooklyn Nine-Nine follows goofy but talented Detective Jake Peralta as well as all of the other lovable employees of Brooklyn’s 99th NYPD precinct. Charmingly funny with clever gags, well-written plots, and the occasional poignant moment, Brooklyn Nine-Nine is a refreshing take on a traditional ‘cop show’.
If you’re after a show that’ll genuinely make you laugh, this is the show for you.
Starring: Ralph Macchio, William Zabka
Genre: Action, Comedy, Drama
Released: 2018 – 2023
A continuation of the popular Karate Kid movies that were successful in the ‘80s, Cobra Kai catches up with golden boy karate “ace degenerate” Johnny Lawrence (William Zabka) 34 years after losing the 1984 All Valley Karate tournament to bullied teen Daniel LaRusso (Ralph Macchio). When the down-and-out Lawrence decides to change his life and resurrect the defunct Cobra Kai dojo, also resurrected is his decades-old feud with LaRusso who vows to stop Cobra Kai from negatively influencing a new generation of students.
Blending nostalgia with a modern-day story of teen angst and head-kicking martial arts, Cobra Kai is a superbly performed and written continuation of an American underdog classic that becomes more addictive with every season.
Starring: Keri Russell, Rufus Sewell, David Gyasi
Genre: Drama, Thriller
Political thriller The Diplomat stars Keri Russell as Kate Wyler, the newly appointed US ambassador to the United Kingdom, who on top of navigating an international crisis and forging ties in London, also tries to mend her marriage to former ambassador Hal Wyler (Rufus Sewell.)
An engrossing political drama that features an excellent lead performance by the always watchable Keri Russell who shares great chemistry with Rufus Sewell, The Diplomat blends statecraft thrills with domestic dramatics and does so with intelligent writing and a brisk pace, resulting in perfect binge-watch material.
Formula 1: Drive To Survive
Starring: Lewis Hamilton, Daniel Ricciardo, Max Verstappen
Genre: Documentary, Sport
A cultural phenomenon quite unlike anything sports has ever seen before, Formula 1: Drive To Survive is a unique and dramatic look behind the curtain of the world’s biggest motorsport.
This documentary series provides an interesting insight into the FIA Formula One World Championship. You’ll get a whole new appreciation for the F1 drivers and the inner workings of the competition with this enthralling series.
If you’re a fan of F1, watching Formula 1: Drive To Survive is kind of a no-brainer; you’ll love it – and if you know nothing about F1, this is the perfect introduction to what’s fast becoming one of the world’s top sports.
Starring: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Monica Barbaro, Fortune Feimster
Genre: Action, Comedy
Releasing May 25 is FUBAR, an action-comedy series that stars Arnold Schwarzenegger (in his first TV leading role) as Luke Brunner, a legendary CIA operative who finds out his supposedly innocent daughter Emma (Monica Barbaro) is a ruthless CIA agent in her own right.
With Uncle Arnie leading the charge as a wise-cracking, butt-kicking super-agent facing his golden years, FUBAR is sure to be an entertaining watch especially if the father-daughter dynamic between Schwarzenegger and Top Gun: Maverick star Monica Barbaro lives up to expectations. If the highly entertaining trailer for FUBAR is any indication, it surely should.
Starring: Jordan Spieth, Justin Thomas, Brooks Koepa
Genre: Documentary, Sport
Documentary series Full Swing follows PGA players through a gruelling season of competition, with behind-the-scenes footage showing the grind, the wins, the loses, and the impact professional golf has on the personal lives of some of the biggest golfing stars playing today.
Doing for professional golf what Drive for Survive did for Formula 1, Full Swing delivers an intimate portrait of a sport undergoing major upheaval as the LIV Golf League establishes itself as a rival to the PGA and professional golfers field tempting big money offers to join the controversial promotion. Netflix has renewed the series for a second season.
The Last Dance
Starring: Michael Jordan, Phil Jackson
Genre: Documentary, Sport
A sports documentary miniseries co-produced by ESPN Films and Netflix, The Last Dance covers NBA legend Michael Jordan’s career with the Chicago Bulls, with a focus on the 1997-98 season which would prove to be Jordan’s last with the Bulls. Exclusive never-before-aired footage, along with new interviews with Jordan and various other NBA personalities, bring new insight into the career and mindset of the greatest basketball player of all time.
An engaging chronicle of how a once-in-a-lifetime athlete would go on to become a global superstar, all the while honing his now infamous never-surrender willpower into championship glory, The Last Dance proves to be the ultimate exploration into the mind of a champion athlete who had no compromise.
Starring: Conor McGregor
Genre: Documentary, Sports
Releasing May 17 is McGregor Forever, a four-part docuseries follows the turbulent career of controversial UFC superstar Conor McGregor post his boxing match with Floyd Mayweather. Now with all the money and success in the world, McGregor must answer the question of whether he still has the same hunger that made him the biggest fighter in the world.
Featuring behind-the-scenes footage of McGregor’s preparation and subsequent losses to Khabib Nurmagomedov and Dustin Poirier, McGregor Forever promises to delve behind the swagger of McGregor to reveal a complex yet always confident man who knows just what he is fighting for even when his unpredictable nature threatens to take it all away.
Starring: Jonathan Groff, Holt McCallany
Genre: Crime, Drama, Thriller
A psychological crime thriller that features Seven director David Fincher amongst its key creatives, Mindhunter tells the story of the FBI’s Behavioural Science Unit during the late 1970s, during which time three FBI agents launched a research project where they interview imprisoned serial killers such as Charles Manson and Ed Kemper to understand their psychology with the hopes of stopping future predators.
Serial killer stories have become the norm in both film and TV, yet Mindhunter stands apart from the blood-drenched pack with its character-driven story about conflicted people delving into the minds of monsters, and the effect this process has on their lives. Cinematic visuals and terrific performances further cement Mindhunter as a unique police-procedural that is as engrossing as it is terrifying.
Money Heist (La casa de papel)
Starring: Ursula Corbero, Alvaro Morte
Genre: Action, Crime, Drama
Money Heist has a sophisticated plot that follows a group of robbers as they attempt the biggest heist in history; stealing billions of euros from the Royal Mint of Spain. Each character is extremely well-written and acted, and the character development is astounding; plus, the heist itself is remarkably compelling.
If you love a good heist story, you have to watch Money Heist.
Starring: Wagner Moura, Pedro Pascal
Genre: Biography, Crime, Thriller
A true crime series that spanned three seasons, Narcos delves into the crime empire of infamous Colombian drug kingpin and narco-terrorist Pablo Escobar, who as the head of the Medellin Cartel during the 1970s became a billionaire through the production and distribution of cocaine. Narcos also focuses on Escobar’s interactions with other drug lords, and with the DEA agents tasked to bring him down.
Featuring terrific performances from Wagner Moura as Escobar and Pedro Pascal as DEA Agent Javier Pena, Narcos especially received praise for its documentary style of filmmaking that gave the series tension and edge, while taking viewers into territory very few cartel crime dramas have ventured into before.
The Night Agent
Starring: Gabriel Basso, Luciane Buchanan, Fola Evans-Akingbola
Genre: Action, Thriller
White House set action thriller The Night Agent stars Gabriel Basso as Peter Sutherland, an FBI agent who works as a Night Action telephone operator. When one night he receives a distressed call, it propels him into a conspiracy involving a cybersecurity entrepreneur (Luciane Buchanan) that leads right to the oval office.
A huge hit for Netflix, The Night Agent is a perfectly binge-able action series that features much in the way of tension and a fast pace to move its conspiracy thriller plot along. Gabriel Basso delivers a charismatic action-man performance, while his chemistry with New Zealand actress Luciane Buchanan is off the charts good.
Starring: Jason Bateman, Laura Linney
Genre: Crime, Drama, Thriller
A seemingly normal family must leave Chicago and move to the Missouri Ozarks after the father, Marty Byrde, a money launderer, gets in too deep with a large drug cartel. Ozark has a complex plot that’s executed well and features gripping performances from both Bateman and Linney.
If you’re after a new dark crime drama, you’ll definitely enjoy Ozark.
Starring: Cillian Murphy, Tom Hardy
Genre: Crime, Drama
Set in post-war England in the 1900s, Peaky Blinders is about a gang and their cut-throat leader, Tommy Shelby. With violence, sex, drugs and cool flat caps, Peaky Blinders is enjoyable and fast-paced.
The wonderful cast and absorbing plot are what make Peaky Blinders a show you need to watch.
The Queen’s Gambit
Starring: Anya Taylor-Joy
Young Beth Harmon is a prodigy at chess, and is well on her way to becoming the U.S. Open champion… If she can overcome her drug addiction. Excellently adapted from the book of the same name, The Queen’s Gambit is smart and moving.
If you’re after a totally binge-worthy series, The Queen’s Gambit is a great choice.
Starring: Jerry Seinfeld, Julia Louis-Dreyfus
A sitcom that’s literally about nothing, Seinfeld follows four friends – Jerry Seinfeld, George Constanza, Elaine Benes & Cosmo Kramer, as they navigate the everyday hassles of life. The tight-knit writing and hilarious jokes make Seinfeld extremely enjoyable even 30+ years later.
If you’re wanting a good chuckle, Seinfeld’s the show to give it to you.
Squid Game (Ojing-eo geim)
Starring: Lee Jung-jae, Park Hae-soo
Genre: Action, Drama, Mystery
If you haven’t watched Netflix’s most-watched series, then what have you been doing? This South Korean drama is well worth the hype. Squid Game follows poor Seong Gi-hun who decides to participate in a mysterious competition where the winners will be given a large cash prize. However, things take a deadly turn…
A compelling thriller with a clear social commentary and the occasional gory violent scene, Squid Game is a show you should watch immediately. Apparently, a second series is in the works, so if you haven’t already watched Squid Game, get amongst it ASAP.
Starring: Winona Ryder, David Harbour, Millie Bobbie Brown
Genre: Drama, Fantasy, Horror
Stranger Things starts with the disappearance of a young boy named Will. Will’s mother, desperate to get him back, soon discovers, along with the local chief of police and Will’s friends, that the disappearance may have involved supernatural forces beyond their control.
Set in the 80s, Stranger Things has a phenomenal and well-written plotline that’s acted to perfection by the cast and supported by a wonderful 80s soundtrack.
Starring: Gabriel Macht, Patrick J. Adams
Genre: Comedy, Drama
It’s the show that made Megan Markle famous long before she married Prince Harry. Suits centres around one of New York’s best corporate lawyers, Harvey Specter, who decides to take a risk and hires brilliant college drop-out, Mike, who has a photographic memory, as an associate.
Sharp dialogue and a fun premise are what make Suits a great show you should definitely add to your watch list.
Starring: Henry Cavill
Genre: Action, Adventure, Fantasy
A professional but mutated monster hunter named Geralt of Rivia kills beasts for money. But with corruption, poverty, violence and intolerance running rampant, Geralt struggles to find his place in this world where humans may just be more wicked than beasts.
Great acting performances and a solid story are what make The Witcher a show you’ll enjoy. It’s one of the few good video game TV adaptations.