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Best series to watch on Netflix right now – updated

From original series like The Crown and Bridgerton to favourites such as Doctor Who and Sherlock, check out the best TV shows to watch with our Netflix recommendations.

Shadow and Bone

The deal struck between Netflix and best-selling author Harlan Coben has already produced some highly addictive telly, and the latest adaptation is already wowing viewers.

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Spanish-language series The Innocent is based on Coben’s 2005 novel of the same name, and is one of many original Netflix series added to the platform in recent weeks.

Also debuting this Spring was fantasy series Shadow and Bone, the much-anticipated adaptation of Leigh Bardugo’s popular Grishaverse novels – which has already gone down a storm with fans.

There’s so much to watch on Netflix, we know it can be difficult to know where to start. So read on for our picks of the streaming service’s best TV series.

Updated 4th May

The Innocent 

Anibal in The Innocent (Netflix)
Netflix

Over the last few years, Netflix has repeatedly looked to the paperback thrillers of Harlan Coben for inspiration, and the streamer’s latest adaptation of the best-selling author’s work is this eight-part crime drama, filmed in Spanish. Complete with all the thrills we’ve come to expect from Coben adaptations, the series follows Mateo, a man who became an accidental murderer after trying to break up a fight nine years ago. He attempts to start his life anew with his wife Olivia, but as you might imagine things don’t quite go according to plan. Mateo soon finds himself dealing with some surprising new developments…

Shadow and Bone

This brand-new fantasy show blends together two different book series by Leigh Bardugo – the Shadow and Bone trilogy and the Six of Crows duology – into one highly enjoyable series. The main plotline concerns Alina Starkov (Jessie Mei Li), an orphaned mapmaker whose life changes forever when she discovers she has a magical power that could unite her war-torn world, and is taken under the wing of the enigmatic General Kirigan, the Shadow Summoner. At the same time, a charismatic trio of street smart criminals plan a heist that puts them on a collision course with Alina’s story.

Alice in Borderland

Alice in Borderland on Netflix
Netflix

This action-packed sci-fi drama is based on a popular manga series and sees 24-year-old Ryōhei Arisu transported to an eerily abandoned version of Tokyo, where he must survive a series of deadly challenges. With no clue why he has been sent here (nor how any of it is possible), he joins forces with a tough young woman he crosses paths with and together they go searching for answers. The series has gained international recognition for its compelling mysteries and impressive visual effects, securing it a much-deserved second season, which is currently in the works.

The Circle USA

Chloe on The Circle
Netflix

The US version of Channel 4’s social media reality series is back for a second season on Netflix, with eight new contestants entering The Circle in the hopes of charming their way to $100,000.

Filmed over the course of four weeks, The Circle USA follows the competitors as they try to become the most popular influencer on a unique social media platform, where they can either play as themselves or decide to be a catfish. With Too Hot to Handle’s Chloe joining The Circle USA cast, season two is the perfect watch for anyone mourning the UK version.

Love, Death and Robots

This animated anthology, produced by superstar director David Fincher, is a collection of sci-fi shorts that run between six and 18 minutes long. Each one is a self-contained tale with its own distinctive style of animation and tone, running a gamut from outright comedies to suspenseful thrillers. The series was hailed upon release for its creativity, allowing up and coming writers and artists to showcase their promising talents, as well as offering some highly memorable fables in their own right. The episodes can be watched in any order, so have a browse and pick whichever ones take your fancy. Now is the perfect time to get a flavour for Love, Death and Robots as season two is just around the corner.

Why Are You Like This?

This Australian comedy has just arrived on Netflix stars newcomer Naomi Higgins, Neighbours’ Olivia Junkier and Wil King as socially-conscious best friends trying to navigate their twenties. Touching on everything from cancel culture and identity politics, to mental health and nihilism, this raunchy six-parter examines the wild lives of unlikeable millennials Penny, Mia and Austin through a satirical lens and makes the perfect watch for fans of Search Party, Girls and Broad City.

Friday Night Dinner

(C4/FC)

Beloved actor Paul Ritter sadly passed away recently, and the star leaves behind an impressive body of work. His excellent career included many highlights, but he will probably be most fondly remembered for this Channel 4 comedy series, the first five seasons of which are currently available on Netflix.

Ritter stars as Martin Goodman, the father of a British Jewish family who gathers once a week for Shabbat dinner – an experience that is normally interrupted by all sorts of mishaps and shenanigans, including some scene-stealing moments from Mark Heap as unusual neighbour Jim Bell.

This Is A Robbery: The World’s Biggest Art Heist

Netflix has established itself as the home of true crime documentaries and its latest offering is a corker. This Is A Robbery tells the story of a shocking heist that took place at Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston on St Patrick’s Day 1990, with the culprits getting away with a selection of classic paintings worth approximately $500 million. To this day, they haven’t been found but there are no shortage of theories about where they could be and who is responsible. Learn all about this intriguing conspiracy in this four-part documentary and keep an eye out for the paintings featured – there’s a $10 million reward for their safe return.

Ginny and Georgia

Ginny and Georgia
Netflix

This comedy drama courted some controversy when it debuted after including some questionable jokes about pop stars Taylor Swift, Lady Gaga and Lana Del Rey. However, these wobbles aside, critics have had a relatively positive reaction to the series which explores the relationship between a mother and her teenage daughter as they settle down in a new neighbourhood. Comparisons have been made between Ginny and Georgia and the much-lauded Gilmore Girls, with plenty of melodrama and shocking developments crammed into this busy first season.

Worn Stories

Worn Stories
Netflix

This eight-part docuseries from the producers of Orange is the New Black takes an eclectic group of people and opens their closets to reveal all the different stories behind their clothes. Based on Emily Spivack’s best-selling book of the same name, Worn Stories tells the “funny, tragic, poignant and celebratory” tales behind bits of attire through interviews with cultural figures and storytellers, animation and archival footage.

Featuring appearances from Spanish singer Charo, democrat representative Frederica Wilson, Barneys’ Creative Ambassador Simon Doonan and other interesting figures, the series is a fascinating look at the connection between memory and our clothes.

Below Deck

Below Deck
Bravo

With fans eagerly awaiting news of season nine, now is the perfect time to jump on the Below Deck hype train (or rather hype boat). The Bravo reality series follows crew members aboard a superyacht, led by Captain Lee Rosbach, during charter season.

Each series is filmed in a different location, with the superyacht staff looking after wealthy clients whilst sailing around Thailand, the Bahamas, the British Virgin Islands and the Caribbean, and although the staff tends to change from season to season, you can always rely on Captain Lee and regulars like bosun Eddie and head stewardess Kate to appear. With eight series of staff conflicts, on-board relationships, dramatic firings, difficult guest requests and the occasional crash to get through, there’s over 100 episodes of this superyacht reality show to sail through – and two series available on Netflix to get you started.

Unforgotten

The fourth run of acclaimed crime drama Unforgotten recently came to a close on ITV, and if you’re desperate to see what all the fuss is about you can catch up with the first three series on Netflix. Each season of the programme revolves around a different cold case, as detectives Cassie Stuart (Nicola Walker) and Sunil ‘Sunny’ Khan (Sanjeev Bhaskar) attempt to get to the bottom of some pretty gnarly crimes.

The series has consistently been praised for the quality of its writing, which never veers into salacious territory, and for the two powerful performances at its centre – while Sunny’s trademark backpack has even gained its own cult following on social media.

Nailed It! Double Trouble

Nailed It Season 3

The fifth series of Netflix’s baking show Nailed It! has landed on the streamer, with the contestants competing in pairs for this special ‘Double Trouble’ season.

Hosted by comedian Nicole Byer, this Emmy-nominated reality series challenges amateur bakers to replicate intricate, detailed cakes for the chance to win $10,000 and the Nailed It trophy. With different competitors entering the Nailed It kitchen each episode and a range of complicated bakes to copy, viewers are treated to some hilariously horrific results every time, while guest judges, from Adam Scott and Maya Rudolph, to Ron Funches and Jason Mantzoukas, watch in horror.

Brooklyn Nine-Nine

Andy Samberg and Terry Crews in Brooklyn Nine-Nine
NBC

The seventh season of Brooklyn Nine-Nine has finally arrived on Netflix, with the whole 13-episode series making its streaming debut one year after it originally aired on NBC in the US.

SNL and Palm Springs star Andy Samberg leads the cast as Jake Peralta – a fun-loving, childish cop with an excellent track record of crime-solving – in this police procedural comedy set in New York’s Brooklyn. He’s joined by an eclectic group of officers – from the fitness-obsessed Lieutenant Terry Jeffords (Terry Crews) and the hard-as-nails Rosa Diaz (Stephanie Beatriz), to uptight rule-stickler Amy Santiago (Melissa Fumero) and their boss – the deadpan Captain Raymond Holt (Andre Braugher).

With the show’s eighth and final season on its way, now is the perfect time to binge the comedy, created by Parks and Recreation’s Dan Goor and Michael Schur,

The Irregulars

The latest in a long line of Sherlock Holmes adaptations, this brand new series takes rather a different approach to the genre – adding a supernatural element to the mix and focusing on a group of troubled street teens, who are manipulated into solving crimes by the sinister Doctor Watson and elusive Sherlock Holmes. The cast includes young actors Thaddea Graham, Darci Shaw, Jojo Macari and Mckell David, with Sherlock himself relegated to more of a supporting role.

Read our The Irregulars review.

Formula 1: Drive to Survive

F1 Drive To Survive

This documentary series follows key players, superstars, drivers and staff members on the F1 circuit and has recently returned for a third 10 episode run, coinciding with the start of the F1 calendar in 2021. The new series will offer a fresh perspective on some of the biggest events from the 2020 season, which saw Lewis Hamilton claim his historic seventh world title, while also providing a close-up look at how the teams coped in the behind-closed-doors circumstances made necessary by the coronavirus pandemic.

Waffles + Mocchi 

Michelle Obama Waffles + Mochi
Twitter/ @MichelleObama

Michelle Obama presents this educational series about food and culture around the world with the help of a pair of puppets named Waffles and Mochi. Across 10 episodes, Michelle and her new pals travel to kitchens, restaurants, farms and homes all over the world, learning about the cuisine of various nations including Italy, Peru and Japan – this is a must-watch for any budding foodies.

Bordertown

Bordertown
Netflix

This Finnish series is one of the many Nordic Noir series to have received significant acclaim around the world, and is available to view in full on Netflix.  It follows a talented detective who seeks a quieter life by taking a job in a small town, only to find himself drawn into a network of extremely disturbing network cases following the move.

Sky Rojo

Sky Rojo on Netflix
Netflix

From Alex Pina, the creator of hit dramas Money Heist and White Lines, comes this new darks comedic thriller – which tells of a trio of sex workers who go on the run from their pimp and his henchmen in a bid to “to stay alive for five more minutes”. As with his previous Netflix hits, there are laughs and thrills to be had on their adventures, but the series explores some darker themes as well.

Marriage or Mortgage

MarriageorMortgage
Netflix

This new reality series sees wedding planner Sarah Miller face off against real estate agent Nichole Holmes as a selection of married-couples-to-be choose what matters more to them: a perfect wedding or a dream home. Each couple has a budget that can be allocated either to their wedding or their house, and it’s up to Sarah and Nichole to convince them where to put their money.

The One

The One
Netflix

Based on a novel of the same name by John Marrs, this new psychological thriller is set in a world where a DNA researcher has created a new matchmaking service that guaranteed users will find the perfect partner. All is not what it seems though, and the service soon proves to have some damaging repercussions with people struggling to cope with its implications.

I’m Alan Partridge

Alan Partridge

Steve Coogan’s iconic character Alan Partridge is celebrating the 30th anniversary of his first appearance this year, and of the numerous projects he’s appeared in this sitcom from 1997 remains arguably his finest hour. The first series follows Partridge as he tried to get his life and media career back on track after being left by his wife and dropped by the BBC, while the second series, which aired five years later, sees him recuperate from a mental breakdown while living in a static caravan. There are just 12 episodes in total, but each is packed with legendary moments.

Murder Among the Mormons

Murder Among the Mormons on Netflix
Netflix

If you’re looking for your next true crime obsession, check out Murder Among the Mormons – a three-part miniseries looking at the Salt Lake City bombings of 1985. Directed by Jared Hess and Tyler Measom, this docuseries digs into the trio of bombings, that killed two people and shocked the Mormon community, and the criminal behind the atrocities.

The Bold Type

The Bold Type - Season Pilot
Freeform

All four series of Freeform’s comedy-drama The Bold Type are available to stream on Netflix, starring Katie Stevens, Aisha Dee and Meghann Fahy as three friends working and living in New York City. Throughout the show, Jane, Kat and Sutton try to make it in their chosen professions whilst embarking on a journey of self-discovery and entering into a series of relationships.

Homeland

Claire Danes in Homeland (Channel 4, EH)

The eighth and final season of gripping drama Homeland has arrived on Netflix, starring Claire Danes as CIA officer Carrie Mathison and Mandy Patinkin as her mentor, Saul Berenson. Airing on Showtime from 2011 until 2020, this political thriller first follows Mathison’s investigation into Marine Sergeant Nicolas Brody (Damian Lewis), who was previously missing in action but recently rescued from a terrorist compound. While he’s heralded as a war hero, Mathison begins to suspect he’s a double agent and could be planning an upcoming terrorist attack.

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