The best TV shows on Netflix to watch right now

From original series like Stranger Things and The Crown to TV favourites like Sherlock, Doctor Who, Friends and more, check out the all-time best series currently on Netflix UK
By James Gill

Looking for your next binge watch? You've come to the right place.


Netflix is adding new Original series and old favourites all the time (and, yes, occasionally taking them away again), so check out some of the best TV series on the service right now. Who knows? Your next obsession could be here.

Updated 16th March 2018


In the past decade, Friends has been so ubiquitous on British telly that most people have already seen every single episode (all 236 of them) at least once. But with Netflix comes control: the opportunity to dip into your favourite episodes - the one with Ross' sandwich, the one with the apartment swap, the one where Ross and Rachel were on a break - at your whim. Who needs real friends? Watch on Netflix

Stranger Things

There's a reason why everyone's talking about it; this brilliantly scary horror series following four normal 1980s kids and one telekinetic super-girl is packed with heart. And an inter-dimensional monster that walks through walls. Oh, and an unmissable soundtrack too. Season two was the most anticipated launch on Netflix ever, and there's more to come... Watch on Netflix

Peaky Blinders

This Cillian Murphy-starring crime epic has won acclaim all over the world, with everyone from Tom Cruise to the late David Bowie singing its praises. That's quite a broad fanbase, but the Brummie-based 1920s gang series really does have something for everyone. Sharp suits, sharper razor blades, and performances that cut through all the usual bingewatching dross. Three series are on Netflix, and the fourth will be released soon now it has aired on the BBC. Watch on Netflix

Orange is the New Black

The series follows naïve, middle-class Piper Kerman (Taylor Schilling) as she embarked on a 15-month sentence. With its brilliant ensemble cast of strong, funny and racially diverse women, the four seasons of Orange contradict every "women behind bars" stereotype. Watch on Netflix

Line of Duty

Four series in, Line of Duty continues to deliver shocks and superb performances in equal measure. It all began here as when a charismatic cop (Lennie James) found himself under investigation by anti-corruption officers. New investigations come every series, with the threads all coming together at the climax of series three. The fourth piece of the puzzle isn't currently on Netflix, but this is still unmissable British crime. Watch on Netflix

The Wrong Mans

Gavin & Stacey co-creator and Late Late Show host James Corden proves he still has a gift for narrative comedy alongside breakout star Mathew Baynton. The Wrong Mans isn't a sitcom but a full-on comedy thriller, in which Corden and Baynton play humble losers wrapped up in a criminal/espionage conspiracy. Watch on Netflix

Making a Murderer

A poster child for Netflix, Making a Murderer has become one of the streaming giant's most talked about shows since the ten part documentary premiered in December 2015. Following the story of Steven Avery, a Wisconsin man who served 18-years in prison after being wrongly accused of attempted murder and sexual assault, and was subsequently convicted of a different murder, this series has gripped the world and become the focus of much debate. Made by filmmakers Laura Ricciardi and Moira Demos the extraordinary piece of television was filmed over a decade. A must watch for any true crime fans. Watch on Netflix

Marvel's Jessica Jones

If a few years ago someone had told you that 2015’s most acclaimed superhero would be a traumatised alcoholic detective called Jessica, you’d have laughed them out of the comic-book store. But it seems the future of truly original superhero stories is on the smaller screen thanks to Netflix's partnership with Marvel. Krysten Ritter was stellar in the central role as super-strong PI Jessica Jones, while David Tennant’s mind-controlling supercreep Kilgrave erased any happy memories of his Tenth Doctor. Season two has just been released, and it's as creepily brilliant as before. Watch on Netflix

Read more: Everything you need to know about Jessica Jones season 2

Happy Valley

Unhelpfully labelled 'Crime Drama' in the Netflix back catalogue, BBC1's brilliant drama by Sally Wainwright is so, so much more. It can be as black as Black Mirror or as sharply cutting as Gilmore Girls, but in the end it's peculiarly, perfectly British. Watch on Netflix

The Crown

Reportedly the most expensive television programme that Netflix has ever made, this sumptuous royal drama charts the rise of Queen Elizabeth II from princess to monarch alongside her husband Prince Philip. An all-star cast is lead by Claire Foy and Matt Smith – for now. After season two, the production resets, with a new cast and a new time period. All hail Olivia Colman... Watch on Netflix

The Good Place

NBC’s high-concept after-life sitcom cannot be talked up enough – it has carved out a new mould that hasn’t been seen in a network sitcom since Seinfeld changed the game back in the 1990s. The series follows the lives of four individuals who have landed themselves in some sort of secular after-life, except one of them (Kristen Bell’s Eleanor Shellstrop) is there by mistake. A series of twist and turns throughout the first season prelude a massive shake-up in season two, which consistently leaves the audience wondering where on earth it can go next. Watch on Netflix

Arrested Development

The most dysfunctional family on television arrived on Netflix in 2013 for a long-awaited fourth season thanks to a deeply loyal cult fanbase that developed in the years following its cancellation by US network FOX in 2006. Peppered with references and in jokes that reward repeat viewing, the show is one of the best US sitcoms of the 2000s. Plus, Netflix announced it will be returning for a fifth season in 2018. Watch on Netflix

Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt

39 short, joy-filled episodes from the creators of 30 Rock, featuring a cast of eccentrics held together by sheer positivity. Kimmy (Ellie Kemper) emerged, having been held captive by a cult leader for 15 years, to re-establish herself in New York. She refused to be beaten down by circumstance, and was surrounded by brilliantly conceived characters, including a musical but self-absorbed roommate, a desperate socialite boss, and Jon Hamm. Watch on Netflix


Did you watch the first season on Channel 4? Did you give up? Well, it's time to come back into the fold and reacquaint yourself with Claire Danes' troubled CIA agent Carrie Mathieson. Sure, it's one of the most fluctuating shows on TV, but when it's good, it's really good. Watch on Netflix


The original Scandi obsession. The Killing and The Bridge have kept us well supplied when it comes to Nordic Noir, but for a true crime classic you can't do much better than Krister Henriksson's quiet, committed detective. Watch on Netflix

Doctor Who

With adventures in space and time in short supply as the series prepares for a new generation under Jodie Whittaker and Chris Chibnall, it pays to have the NuWho back catalogue on hand when times are hard. From Christopher Eccleston to Matt Smith, Peter Capaldi and beyond, the Doctor is always in the house. Watch on Netflix

American Vandal

Netflix’s mockumentary appears unwatchably silly on paper – but it’s sharp satire of the true crime craze and some subtle humour underlying an overarching dick joke make it well worth a try. The series sees a young filmmaker from a US high school’s AV Club attempt to find out who spray painted 27 dicks on cars in the faculty parking lot. Class clown and serial dick-artist Dylan Maxwell professes his innocence, but literally everyone thinks it was him. There’s even an eye-witness who claims to have seen the whole thing unfold. Yet, as with all the best mysteries, all is not as it seems… Watch on Netflix

13 Reasons Why

The much-discussed teen drama, based on Jay Asher's novel of the same name, tells the story of the suicide of 17-year-old Hannah Baker, after the fact. It's narrative is built upon a series of tapes that she left to a former love interest Clay Jensen, detailing her reasons for doing it. A controversial series to be sure, but an instant teen classic. Watch on Netflix

Breaking Bad

You've been told a million times already to go watch this, so we'll save you the hard sell and just leave the link here. In your own sweet time... Watch on Netflix

Pride and Prejudice

Yes, the Pride and Prejudice, the one with Colin Firth and Jennifer Ehle, the one that cannot fail to make you smile on a sneaky sick day or a rainy Sunday. Watch on Netflix

Gilmore Girls

The sharp-talking, caffeine-fuelled comedy made a remarkable comeback thanks to Netflix, with A Year in the Life picking up on the Gilmores after years away. Watch on Netflix


Join Mackenzie Crook and Toby Jones in this very British sitcom about a group of amateur metal detectorists as they attempt to find Saxon gold in a field. No, it doesn't sound very inspiring, but honestly, this is almost certainly the best thing ever to come out of BBC4. Pastoral beauty meets pitch perfect comedy and a pure heart. Watch on Netflix


David Fincher’s gloomy serial killer drama didn’t quite make it to the water cooler when it arrived in October, but its slow-building intrigue gripped enough people for Netflix to renew it for a second season. The series follows soft-spoken FBI agent Holden Ford (Jonathan Groff) and his gruff partner Bill Tench (Holt McCallany) as they tour the USA interviewing the nation’s most heinous serial killers. While it takes a bit of time to truly get going, the season soon develops into an intriguing character study, as Ford becomes more and more emotionally entangled in his work. Watch on Netflix


Remember back when you’d never seen Sherlock, before it became a worldwide phenomenon? It sounded terrible. Martin Freeman (that bloke from The Office) and Benedict Cumberbatch (some posh guy with praying mantis cheekbones) take on Arthur Conan Doyle’s classic stories. The fact that they’re now massive stars shows how well the experiment worked. Writers Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss realised Holmes’s appeal isn’t the detective work, but the characters. Sherlock starts off confident and, by the third series, erupts into a full-blown swagger. How like the detective himself. Watch on Netflix


This is a spectacular Netflix series, too often unfairly written off as a successor to Breaking Bad. The story, based on real events, follows the never-ending game of cat and mouse between drug king Pablo Escabar, the Columbian authorities and the DEA. Season three resets, turning its attention to the new drug lords on the block. Watch on Netflix

Peep Show

David Mitchell and Robert Webb at their best. In this classic Channel 4 sitcom they play Mark and Jez – one’s a slacker, one’s a loan manager. And together they’re two dysfunctional flatmates trying to fit into the adult world. Spoiler: they fail. Spectacularly. Again. And again. And again. Watch on Netflix

Master of None

Two seasons in, and Master of None has lorded it over almost all other Netflix Original comedy, with daring stylistic decisions and a New York swagger all of its own. Watch on Netflix

Parade's End

This luxurious BBC adaptation of Ford Madox Ford’s novels brings together Tom Stoppard’s heady dialogue with Benedict Cumberbatch’s star pulling power. But it's the viper wit of Rebecca Hall as Sylvia Tietjens that makes Parade’s End truly remarkable. Her reference to a character as “that scrub-faced ladies' champion of the regular bowel movement” must be one of the best putdowns on TV. Watch on Netflix

Him & Her

Learn how to slack off from the couple who made bunking off an art form. Sarah Solemani and Russell Tovey star in this mucky, beautiful BBC3 sitcom, which proves that instead of getting on in life, it's much, much nicer to just get on. Watch on Netflix

House of Cards

What will the legacy of House of Cards be? This is the series that announced Netflix as a serious player on the international entertainment stage. This is the series that signalled the new online era, the first programme to perfect “binge-watching”, which began as everyone’s secret and has become this generation’s defining verb.

This is also the series that starred Kevin Spacey. Season six will return with Robin Wright alone in the Oval Office, but how much can the past be re-written? Watch on Netflix

Read more: Everything you need to know about House of Cards season six


For a particular generation, this was the defining series of their teenage years, a ferociously fun drama with a tender heart. Even now it's absorbing stuff, with the added bonus of seeing the younger versions of stars who have gone onto bigger things, including Nicholas Hoult, Dev Patel, Kaya Scodelario, Daniel Kaluuya... Yep, a defining series for lots of people. Watch on Netflix

Black Mirror

It began as a Channel 4 shot in the dark, but Charlie Brooker's drama quickly became one of the most bleakly gripping series on TV. Then Netflix jumped in – because clearly a dystopian vision of the future where technology has taken over our lives is just the thing to show on a service specifically designed to keep you watching your screen for hours on end...

The fourth season, which has just dropped, features some of its most ambitious and gripping tales to date. Watch on Netflix


Inspired by the Coen Brothers' film of the same name, this "true" story of crime in Minnesota has two largely standalone series on Netflix, both worth your precious viewing time.

Series one stars Sherlock's Martin Freeman as a mild mannered insurance salesman in a provincial Minnesota town whose life unravels after meeting a mysterious stranger played by Billy Bob Thornton. The twists and turns keep you guessing to the end of this moody and intelligent piece of television drama.

Series two had a new cast including Kirsten Dunst, Patrick Wilson and Ted Danson. Set in March 1979 the story acts as a prequel to the first series and follows the complex story of the town during investigations of three murders. Meanwhile series three stars Ewan McGregor in a dual-role as brothers Emmit and Ray. Watch on Netflix

The Thick of It

Armando Iannucci's satire on modern British government is heralded as one of the best comedies of the modern age. And although politics in recent times has perhaps moved beyond satire, there is still plenty to enjoy in this breathtakingly well-observed comedy.

Starring Peter Capaldi as foul-mouthed spin doctor Malcolm Tucker, The Thick of It has gone on to inspire a film, an American version and the US comedy Veep, from the same creator. All four series of the original (and some may say the best) are on Netflix right now. Watch on Netflix

Gavin & Stacey

James Corden might be a household name in the United States these days, but long before he was a talk show host, he was the critically acclaimed co-writer and star of Gavin & Stacey. This well-loved comedy from the pen of Corden and Ruth Jones follows the long-distance relationship between Gavin from Essex and Stacey from South Wales, and the way their families interact with them and each other.

A breakthrough piece of television for the BBC Three, the show, which starred amongst others Matthew Horne, Joanna Page, Larry Lamb and Alison Steadman. Both brilliant seasons are available right now. Watch on Netflix

Queer Eye

The hit reality series is back with an all new Fab Five and a feel-good heart that most broadcasters could only dream of. The series has already found a loyal fan base, even including people who never watched the original. Watch on Netflix

Read more: Queer Eye's Karamo Brown wants to make you cry


David Attenborough's 2009 natural history series is yet another magical exploration of our planet best described pictures rather than words... Watch on Netflix


Miranda Hart's sitcom is a bit like Marmite in that some people love it and some people hate it - but if you're one of those who love it, you'll be pleased to know the fun and frolics of series one of the show are available to watch and rewatch to your heart's content right now. Watch on Netflix

Top of the Lake

Filmed and set against beautiful backdrop in New Zealand, this drama from the pens of Jane Campion and Gerard Lee stars Elisabeth "Mad Men" Moss as a detective investigating the disappearance of a 12-year-old pregnant girl. Expect intrigue and mystery from start to end of this moody show. Watch on Netflix

Flint Town

An incredible portrait of a town at breaking point, Netflix's series depicts Flint, Michigan through the eyes of the city's law enforcement – and the people they're meant to protect. Water crises, poverty, systematic neglect: the face of America today? Watch on Netflix

Mad Men

A slow burning drama from former Sopranos writer Matthew Weiner based around a smoke-filled Madison Avenue Ad agency in the 1950s and 60s and its leading creative man Don Draper - one of the great anti-heroes of the modern era of TV. Give it time, and you will reap the benefits. Watch on Netflix

BoJack Horseman

Animated comedy, anthropomorphic horses and astounding existential crisis – whatever Netflix execs were drinking when they greenlit this series, we want it. Watch on Netflix

The Trip


Do you like watching two middle-aged men doing moderate/good impressions of celebrities whilst eating very nice food in pretty locations? Yes? Have we got a show for you! The Trip stars Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon planning hyper-real versions of themselves doing just this. In the first series they're in the north of England and in the second series they're in the south of Italy - but both feature plenty of dark humour, incredible cinematography (from Michael Winterbottom) and a good helping of pathos. Watch on Netflix

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