The 30 best things to watch on Netflix right now

Fringe

JJ Abrams is a Marmite kind of writer, and Fringe is very much a Marmite kind of show. You could lazily call it an X-Files for the 21st century - and you’d be on the right track - but it’s grounded more in true science fiction than its forerunner, which was always liable to veer off into fantasy territory whenever it fancied a werewolf or vampire yarn.

Fringe, in contrast, attempts to justify all of its mysteries with hard science. It tells the story of an FBI team investigating unusual and unexplained cases - alright, so the X-Files comparison isn’t that lazy after all - but it soon becomes a proper sci-fi series dealing with alternate universes, time travel and some of the more fanciful frontiers of modern science. The Abrams-isms may grate (lens flare and overly funky titles ahoy!) but the cast, including Anna Torv, Joshua Jackson and the superb John Noble do a fine job and as sci-fi box-sets go, it’s well worth 100 hours of your time.
- Marc McLaren

Chuck

The kind of show that could only ever come from the United States, Chuck has the brains and style of an indie flick but the cast and budget of a blockbuster. The set-up - affable, underachieving geek accidentally has a CIA computer program downloaded into his brain - may not make much sense, but once you’ve set aside your cynicism, there’s bags of enjoyment to be had here.

Much of that is thanks to the cast, including Zachary Levi in the lead role, Yvonne Strahovsky as his all-action CIA handler and Adam Baldwin - a revelation as the single-minded John Casey; who knew a Baldwin could be so likeable? It’s sharp, funny and best of all, gives hope to geeks everywhere that they one day might be secret agents. Well, we’re still clinging on to that dream at least.
- Marc McLaren

More after the break...

I’m Alan Partridge

There are two types of people in the world. 1) Those who have seen I’m Alan Partridge and love it 2) Those who haven’t seen I’m Alan Partridge. Logically, we suppose, there could be a third type - those who have seen it but didn’t like it - but frankly, it seems too far-fetched to waste time on.

So, if you’re a type 2 person - maybe you’re too young, or were in some kind of coma throughout the late ’90s and early ’00s - here’s your chance to catch up on The Greatest British Comedy Of All Time. And if you’re a type 1 person, watch it again anyway - seeing the faux-pas-prone chat-show host attempt to navigate such real-world situations as a romantic meal and a trip to the garage for some tungsten-tipped screws will never grow old.
- Marc McLaren

The Killing

The big Scandi-crime-drama craze started here, with cold, analytical detective Sarah Lund and her amazing knitwear collection attempting to solve the mystery of a student’s disappearance. Unlike most crime dramas, it turns a forensic eye on the human side of the story, continuing to follow the missing girl’s family and friends long after most shows would’ve moved on to the hunt for suspects.

As a result, it’s often a bleak, difficult watch, in which you feel as if you’re genuinely intruding on private grief (it’s OK, you’re not; it’s a TV show). So, not one to watch on a sunny Sunday afternoon with the kids, but as dark, gripping dramas go, there are few better.
- Marc McLaren

READ MORE: The 15 best sci-fi movies on Netflix

The Bridge

The big Scandi-crime-drama craze continues here, with cold, analytical detective Saga Noren and her amazing collection of outrageously misjudged one-liners. The Bridge isn’t quite so dark as The Killing, but only in the way that being blindfolded and left in a cellar isn’t quite so dark as having no eyes.

That said, it does contain moments of genuine hilarity, mostly stemming from the odd-couple pairing of Noren’s by-the-book Swedish cop with affable Danish detective Martin Rohde. But also lots of murder and anguish and heartbreak and knitwear.
- Marc McLaren

Comments

Roger, this is our Netflix UK list. You can find our Netflix US list here: http://www.stuff.tv/netflix/20-best-things-watch-netflix-us-right-now/feature

This is my second time to look for your list on Netflix as the best to watch and both times 90%of the titles are "unavailable ".   What gives?

 

roger Williams USA

 

Every show and film listed is available on Netflix UK. We'll have a US-centric list coming soon.

Hard candy is not on Netflix.

Can't believe you have Priceless on your list; it's one of my favourite films of all time, yet very few people have heard of it. Yes, it's a bit of a rom-com, but don't let that put you off. It's funny, heartwarming, and stars the delectable Audrey Tautou. What's not to like?

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