Netflix started as a service focused on movies, but now fans tend to think of great shows first. Netflix has so many great TV shows that it can be hard to know where to begin. You might have a lot of time on your hands all of a sudden, and want to watch shows on Netflix that you know are worth your time on the couch. Here are the best 21 Netflix shows in 2021, separated by original series and library shows.
Best Netflix Original Series
Netflix is the gold standard for streaming service original series. It now has an excellent original show empire, from the co-produced Lilyhammer to its first big in-house hit with House of Cards, and beyond.
We’re Not in Hawkins Anymore
Stranger Things Series
Stranger Things has racked up love from fans, critics, and Netflix, as the show has delivered attention and views. Dive into the supernatural, conspiracies, and the Upside-Down with local, small-town kids and the superpowered Eleven.
Breads & Cakes & Pies. Oh My!
The Great British Baking Show
This cooking competition is exactly what we need right now. Paul Hollywood, Mary Berry & Prue Leith judge this pleasant & fun show where amateur bakers struggle, grow & help one another towards victory.
New Episodes to Binge
This mind-bending series is set hundreds of years in the future, which sounds pretty good right now. A soldier turned prisoner, frozen in the past, is revived to solve a high-profile crime.
An Alcoholic Horse, Man …
BoJack Horseman, a delightfully strange and surreal show, is the kind of show that could have only lived six full seasons on Netflix. This animated series focuses on the titular former TV star as he figures out a life among addiction and absurdity.
Cheer Eyes & Full Hearts
This brand new docuseries follows a top-ranked college Cheer team. Watch the drama of the competition as the team prepares for Nationals, which unfortunately was canceled.
Keep Calm & Stream On
Follow Queen Elizabeth II as she rules in this drama that follows the British Royalty. Season 4 is filming now, so it’s the right time to get caught up on the early seasons.
Love is Blind
Can you imagine becoming engaged to someone you spent hours connecting with but never saw? See if contestants who date in special isolation pods adjust to wedding planning face to face.
Crown the Kingpin
Narcos takes a serious look at the real-life drug game in this crime drama that follows drug kingpins. Follow the ups and downs of the cartel and the DEA that’s fighting to put them away.
Teens in the Hood
On My Block
On My Block is a coming of age story set in a rough neighborhood in Los Angeles riddled with gangs and turf wars told through the perspective of four teenage friends. Together, they deal with their first year of high school, relationship ups and downs, and hardship lives just around the block.
When the Family Feuds
Jason Bateman stars in this hit drama as a family man on the run from trouble involving stolen cash and a drug cartel. A new season is set to hit streaming later this month, so get in now.
All-New Fab Five
An evolution of the original series, Queer Eye on Netflix has an all-new crew of experts that go beyond makeovers. This crew gets to the root of the emotions that got people in dire need of help. Prepare to watch with tissues.
The Witcher Series
The Witcher follows a monster hunter as he deals with people he can’t strike down at will. Fans of the book series, along with newcomers, have been overall positive about the first season of this Netflix adaptation.
Best Netflix Library Series
Not every great show on Netflix is an original. Netflix also has plenty of series in its library that aired on other networks. Some of these have new seasons airing now, while others are about to ship off to other streaming services. Enjoy these great shows as part of Netflix today.
It’s Saul Goodman!
Better Call Saul
This prequel series takes a different tone than Breaking Bad (more on this next), but it manages to still be fresh, tense, and surprising. It explores lawyer Jimmy McGill’s spiral down to become Saul Goodman. Season five is airing now on AMC.
Stream the One Who Knocks
Watch all five seasons of one of the most highly regarded TV shows ever and celebrate how its popularity grew through streaming. Walter White goes from chemistry teacher to drug lord while battling cancer.
The Miracle of Life
Call the Midwife
This British show has become a hit in the states on PBS, and now you can catch up on the first eight seasons on Netflix. Follow the lives of midwives from a nursing convent in the 1950s if you’re looking for a period drama.
The Good Place
This series ends up being so much more than the funny, quirky sitcom you think it is. Take a journey through the afterlife with four people who are anything but normal. Season four just finished airing.
Grab a Cocktail
Return to the 1950s and 60s America, and learn about the lives of the advertising agencies that pioneered the field and made products cool. The complete seven seasons of Don Draper await you.
Now is the Time!
This could be your last chance to rewatch the complete U.S. series of The Office on Netflix, as it’s leaving the service in 2021. Follow the lives of the employees at Dunder Mifflin Paper, who do not work from home.
If it’s Not Scottish, it’s Crap
This is a love story for all time … travel. A 1900’s nurse and a 1700’s warrior meet under strange circumstances. Watch as each season tells the tales of a book in the popular novel series.
Without a Paddle
This Canadian comedy has become a hit in the U.S. too, as the series imagines the life of a rich family that loses everything except a town they bought as a lark. The final episodes are airing now, so stream the first five seasons now.
Oh Captain, My Janeway
Star Trek Voyager
There are tons of Star Trek available on Netflix, but Voyager has proven surprisingly popular on rewatch. Travel to a new quadrant of the Star Trek galaxy, and see the debut of new species and new adventures.
The Best of the Best for you
Netflix has TV shows to suit nearly any taste, so it should be possible to find something just right for you. Plus, a Netflix subscription makes it easy to try before you commit.
If you need help with where to start, give Stranger Things a go. It’s a show that features excellent acting, especially from the children who have the freedom to behave like real kids even through scary situations. The show provides jump scares, deep thinking, and touching moments to bridge the gaps. If you’d rather something different, take a ride with BoJack Horseman. The show is unlike any other, and there is a real pleasure that comes from knowing the entire series is ready for you to binge.
The Good Place may require a wait for the final season to come to Netflix, but that means you can take your time digesting the series. It’s unique to find a comedy that drives you to research philosophers or question your beliefs on spirituality and mortality.
In the times we live in now, if you’d rather have a balance of silly and dark, you Better Call Saul. It delivers on a promise to be sleazy, slick, and shifty as you root for the underdog right up to the line until he becomes the enemy. Watch it, but keep a hand on your wallet while you do.
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