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The 39 best TV box-sets on Netflix

From glossy US space operas to gritty British dramas, Netflix is stuffed with great series. We've rounded up our favourites. Updated for August 2021

The scheduling straightjacket of old has been thrown off replaced by a loose, comfortable gown we call Netflix. Welcome to Streamland.

These days, we can pick and choose what we want to watch, and when we want to watch it. And nowhere has that felt more revolutionary than with the good old-fashioned TV series. Netflix is packed with them: hundreds upon hundreds of hours of glorious televisual treats across pretty much every genre there is. 

In fact, it’s what made the streaming service the must-have TV power-up it is today: would it really be so popular were it not for original commissions such as Orange is the New Black or see-it-here-first super-shows such as Breaking Bad? Nope: while you may come to Netflix for the movies, it’s those box-sets you stay for.

But as is always the case with Netflix, it’s a tricky business filtering out the visual plankton in search of the oysters of excellence. So we’ve done it for you: below you’ll find 25 fantastic TV shows – enough to keep you occupied for the entire year.

MORE NETFLIX ARTICLES

If you’re after the best new stuff on Netflix we’ve also got you covered with our New on Netflix UK feature, and if you want to get a bit more specific, try these:

The 40 best films and TV shows on Netflix UK

The 19 best Netflix Originals on Netflix

The 16 best sci-fi movies and TV shows on Netflix UK

The 12 best documentaries on Netflix UK

The 15 best horror movies on Netflix UK

The 20 best comedy movies and TV shows on Netflix UK

The 20 best kids movies and TV shows on Netflix UK

The 8 best anime on Netflix UK

The 12 best sports movies and documentaries on Netflix UK

If you’re landing on this page and you’re based in the United States, then you might want to check out out separate list of the Best movies and TV shows on Netflix USA.

And of course we shouldn’t forget the almost-as-brilliant Amazon Prime Instant Video – you’ll find our Best Of list for that here.

Prefer Sky’s offerings? We’ve also got lists of The 19 best TV shows on Now TV and The 20 best movies on Now TV.

The Fall (S1-3)

A tense crime series focussed on two compelling characters – Gillian Anderson’s icy detective and Jamie Dornan’s obsessive serial killer – The Fall is equal parts police procedural and psychological thriller.

Anderson has been a great actor for decades, but former model Dornan (best known for playing Christian Grey in the 50 Shades movies) is superbly cast as an outwardly normal, caring family man with a deep-seated sickness sitting just beneath the surface. It’s dark, disturbing and seriously involving to watch.

Watch The Fall on Netflix

Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown (S1-12)

The late Anthony Bourdain has never been more watchable than in his long-running CNN series. Half travelogue, half culinary culture guide, Parts Unknown sees him visit hitherto overlooked countries and regions in search of interesting things to eat. If it all sounds a bit “Rick Stein on a gap year”, the actual results are far more enjoyable. Bourdain’s empathy, curiosity and warmth of spirit shine through over the course of 12 entire series – now that’s a true feast of eye-opening and mouth-watering TV.

Watch Parts Unknown on Netflix

Dark (S1-3)

If you’ll forgive us a lazy comparison, Dark is like a German version of Stranger Things: both follow a group of kids trying to unravel a supernatural mystery; both feature a missing child and frantic parents; both are set (at least partly) in the ’80s. And both are great TV shows.

It’s there that the similarities end though, because Dark is a much more challenging watch than its American counterpart (and not just because of those German subtitles). This is a complicated and complex series that delights in constantly pulling the rug out from under you: just when you think you know what’s going on, it’ll pull a surprise left turn. It’s also rather gruesome and not afraid to puts its characters through the emotional wringer. Don’t let that put you off though, because this is one Netflix Original you don’t want to skip.

Watch Dark on Netflix

Spaced (S1-2)

This is a sitcom about two London flatmates hanging out and talking about stuff, usually as a way of avoiding work. Written by and starring a (pre-Hollywood stardom) Simon Pegg and Jessica Hines, it might sound like your classic odd couple situation – but it’s much more than that. That’s partly thanks to the surreal assortment of supporting characters – from intense artist Brian to military-obsessed man-child Mike – but it’s the constant pop-culture references that have made Spaced so beloved. It’s a geek’s dream for 80s and 90s kids, with loving hat tips to everything from Star Wars to Pulp Fiction to Resident Evil.

Watch Spaced on Netflix

Homeland (S1-8)

If there were a graph that showed the tension levels of the tensest moment in the tensest thrillers in history, Homeland‘s producers would have taken it, twisted it into an infinitesimally thin rope and used it to whip Stressed Eric’s pulsing temple vein until it popped.

Yes, this show is tense. It begins as the story of the relationship between a CIA operative and a long-imprisoned ex-Marine, finally liberated from al-Qaeda and returned to America as a war hero – a hero with an abundance of devastating secrets – but moves beyond their relationship in later seasons (there are seven in total).

It’s packed with award-winning performances, believably flawed characters, just enough politics and more twists than a box of Curly-Wurlys. It loses its way in the middle seasons, occasionally skirting utter daftness, but it’s always compulsive and entertaining – and more recent stuff is back on form. To watch it is to learn to trust no-one, question everything and definitely not pursue a career as a spy. No fun at all, as it turns out.

Watch Homeland on Netflix

Ozark (S1-3)

Featuring some of the most unconscionably tense scenes put on a telly screen since Breaking Bad, Ozark follows Jason Bateman and Laura Linney’s bickering Chicago couple as they launder money for a ruthless drug cartel.

When Bateman’s financial advisor happens on a plan to “wash” the cartel’s dirty money in redneck rural Missouri, he and his family must immediately up sticks for a fresh start in one of the US’s most deprived area. And just like that, murderous Mexican narco-barons become only one of many problems for the family.

Filmed in moody desaturated tones with bags of brooding and squalor on show, Ozark isn’t always a pretty watch. But if you like your drama series perpetually poised on a knife edge, it’s right up your street.

Watch Ozark on Netflix

GLOW (S1-3)

This period comedy-drama about the Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling isn’t really about 1980s wrestling at all, but about how a group of women rally against their demons and the patriarchy that strives to keep them down. GLOW could have easily fallen into the trap of a camp curiosity, or a simple, shallow celebration of neon spandex and super-strength hairspray, but has swiftly established itself as a smartly-written, character-driven comedy that’s among Netflix’s most bingeworthy original series.

Watch GLOW on Netflix

Schitt’s Creek (S1-6)

Every episode of this beloved Canadian sitcom is now on Netflix, which means many hours of strangely reassuring, utterly enjoyable telly lie before you. Schitt’s Creek stars Eugene Levy and Catherine O’Hara as a once-wealthy couple now bankrupt and forced to slum it in a tiny town they previously bought as a joke. Managing to be both acerbic and full of heart, Schitt’s Creek is possibly the perfect series to binge on during those long lockdown weekends.

Watch Schitt’s Creek on Netflix

Community (S1-6)

Dan Harmon’s sitcom centres on a motley and diverse group of students at a US community college (often viewed Stateside as a sort of low-rent vocational alternative to university) and is packed with exactly the sort of knowing pop culture references, clever subversion of cliché and OTT characters that TV geeks adore.

Little wonder it’s a firm cult favourite – and now you can find out what all the fuss is about by binging the entire thing: all six seasons are available for streaming on Netflix (as well as Amazon Prime Video, if that’s your bag).

Watch Community on Netflix

Better Call Saul (S1-5)

Spin-off TV series rarely replicate the magic of their parent shows but, like the Cheers-spawned Frasier before it, Better Call Saul manages to succeed by creating its own magic. Starting six years before the events of Breaking Bad, it follows the early legal career of Saul Goodman – then known as Jimmy McGill – a former conman trying to make it work on the right side of the law.

While the stakes rarely get as butt-clenchingly high as they are for Walter White and friends in Breaking Bad, Better Call Saul manages to emerge from its shadow to deliver a series that is funny, engrossing and almost as binge-worthy as its predecessor. It’s currently four seasons in, with a fifth already commissioned.

Watch Better Call Saul on Netflix

Mindhunter (S1-2)

“How do we get ahead of crazy if we don’t know how crazy thinks?” This series tracks the efforts of two FBI agents to better understand the inner workings of serial killers’ minds. It was a field of research not considered useful by law enforcement top brass in the late 1970s, when the show is set, but our protagonists believe that learning how murderers’ brains function is key to being able to catch them.

If the subject matter sounds overly grim, don’t worry – Mindhunter isn’t all doom and gloom, being peppered with moments of comedy (often black comedy, admittedly) and underpinned by the interesting dynamic of the main characters’ often-strained relationship. It’s also extremely stylish, brilliantly soundtracked and exceedingly well-made across the board, with several episodes being masterfully directed by David Fincher.

Watch Mindhunter on Netflix

Stranger Things (S1-3)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XcnHOQ-cHa0

Stranger Things was originally envisioned as a one-off, or an anthology series in which each season would feature a new casting, setting and story. And yet its first season proved so successful that we now have three seasons, all set in Hawkins, Indiana and all focussed on the same group of kids and their families as the monstrous threat from the Upside Down looms once more.

Taking inspiration from classics like E.T., The Goonies, Gremlins and more, this show is shamelessly nostalgic for the 1980s – but despite the references and setting, it never comes across as overdone or hagiographic, and its themes and appeal are wide-ranging. Its blend of horror, sci-fi and coming-of-age drama works well, and the excellent production values and soundtrack serve to forge a sense of real quality.

Watch Stranger Things on Netflix

A Series of Unfortunate Events (S1-3)

A heavily made-up Neil Patrick Harris stars as antagonist Count Olaf in this adaptation of the dark and spooky children’s novels – charged with the care of three orphaned children but far more interested in securing their inheritance through nefarious means.

With no fewer than 13 Lemony Snicket books at the current count, there’s certainly no shortage of source material – so this box set could end up spawning another ten creepy seasons.

Watch A Series of Unfortunate Events on Netflix

The Good Place (S1-4)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RfBgT5djaQw

Despite being an all-round bad egg on Earth, Kristen Bell’s character in this Netflix Original somehow ends up in heaven after she shuffles off this mortal coil. Turns out even angels can make mistakes at work.

While Bell’s performance stands out with her relatable struggles to fit into a world full of goody-two-shoes, Jameela Jamil’s outlandish vanity and William Jackson Harper’s uptight morals will also subject you to a few giggling fits. And unlike most sitcoms, The Good Place has a plot that will keep you gasping and gawping until the very end.

Watch The Good Place on Netflix

Love (S1-3)

If you’re even slightly drawn to Judd Apatow’s particular brand of mumbly, honest, relationship-based humour, you’ll almost certainly enjoy this comedy drama series he co-created – now three seasons strong.

Love is the tale of a couple of directionless people at opposite ends of the loser spectrum who stumble into a relationship that doesn’t seem remotely healthy for either of them. Laugh-a-minute stuff this ain’t, but spending time with the substance-abusing Mickey (Community‘s Gillian Jacobs) and the pathetic pushover Gus (Paul Rust) is an often awkward, frequently guffaw-inducing pleasure.

Watch Love on Netflix

Queer Eye (S1-5)

Dragging the unfashionable makeover show kicking and screaming into the 21st century, the remixed Queer Eye has rapidly grown into one of Netflix’s most beloved series.

You likely already know the formula – a quintet of style experts descend upon an unsuspecting schlub (or schlubs) to give his, her or their looks and lifestyle a much-needed overhaul – but the raging emotional hurricane that follows in the Fab Five’s wake might surprise and delight you. It’s no accident that Queer Eye has become something resembling televisual comfort food – and proof positive that even makeover shows themselves benefit from a timely makeover.

Watch Queer Eye on Netflix

Friends (S1-10)

The presence of every single episode of the 1990s’ biggest sitcom on Netflix feels like an occasion worthy of fanfare – even if, let’s face it, you’ve probably seen them all multiple times before.

For the two or three readers that don’t know, Friends is a long-running (10 seasons!) multi-cam sitcom about a sextet of… well, let’s call them “buddies” living in New York. While it’s tightly packed with great gags and compelling, series-arching plots, the show’s true pull is in its sharply-drawn, likeable characters. Ross, Rachel, Phoebe, Joey, Chandler and Monica’s travails as they navigate love, career, life and everything in between are sure to suck you in, even if some of the writing and production values can feel dated at times.

Watch Friends on Netflix

Peep Show (S1-9)

All nine seasons of Peep Show are now streaming on Netflix, so if you haven’t yet watched Sam Bain and Jesse Armstrong’s groundbreaking sitcom – the longest-running in Channel 4’s history, no less – now is the time to venture into the minds of David Mitchell’s Mark and Robert Webb’s Jez, two best friends and flatmates who lurch from one disaster to the next.

Peep Show‘s “gimmick” is that we often see the action from Mark or Jez’s point-of-view, hearing their inner thoughts as audible voice-overs. In the great British comedy tradition self-delusion, self-hatred and social awkwardness loom large here, and though both the main characters are indisputably despicable, selfish idiots, it’s impossible not to get sucked into their (often horrifying) antics.

Many a true word is spoken in jest, as they say – and Peep Show is as much a meditation on the human condition as it is a comedy show. As the joyless Mark internally remarks after his girlfriend takes him to a fairground, "I suppose doing things you hate is just the price you pay to avoid loneliness."

Watch Peep Show on Netflix

People Just Do Nothing (S1-5)

People Just Do Nothing is ostensibly a behind-the-scenes documentary about West London pirate radio station Kurupt FM, but it’s actually a wickedly funny examination of the same kind of hubris and self-delusion as exhibited by David Brent in The Office, presented in a similar mockumentary fashion.

The fact that the Kurupt crew clearly do know their Artful Dodger from their Pied Piper – they’ve performed live at multiple events, in character – adds an extra layer of authenticity to the whole thing, but you certainly don’t need to be a two-step aficionado to enjoy what’s going on here. It’s one of the finest low budget BBC sitcoms in ages, and the first five seasons are available on Netflix.

Watch People Just Do Nothing on Netflix

Rick and Morty (S1-4)

This animated comedy series about a teenage boy, his mad scientist grandfather and the strange sci-fi adventures the two embark upon sounds like pretty wholesome stuff, but Rick and Morty is probably one of the dirtiest, most violent and most cynical shows on telly, regularly plumbing the depths of human (and alien) depravity for laughs. But it certainly does manage to get those laughs, which is the point – and it succeeds in posing lots of interesting questions about time, family, physics and existentialism while it does so.

Rick and Morty‘s blend of toilet humour, OTT cartoon violence, wit-sweetened cynicism and multi-dimensional adventuring makes it a hilarious, mind-bending and always enjoyable watch. Perfect material for a lazy Sunday in front of the TV, in other words – and now all four seasons’ worth of episodes are available to stream on Netflix.

Watch Rick & Morty on Netflix

Chef’s Table (S1-6)

This series (now five seasons strong; seven if you count spin-offs BBQ and Chef’s Table France) shadows world-renowned chefs as they take viewers on a personal journey through their culinary evolution. Each episode afford the viewer an intimate, informative glimpse into what gets a genius’s creative juices flowing.

Lovingly shot in razor-sharp Ultra HD quality (for those with the necessary Netflix subscription), you can almost smell the aromas seeping through your screen and tickling your nostrils. From glistening, perfectly-cooked pieces of meat to mouth-watering steaming pasta dishes, this is food porn of the highest order. Just try not to drool too much.

Watch Chef’s Table on Netflix

BoJack Horseman (S1-6)

This animated sitcom features Arrested Development‘s Will Arnett as the titular Horseman, a… er… “horse man” who found fame in a beloved 1990s sitcom but now lives in a haze of booze and self-loathing.

Set in a skewed version of Hollywood where humans coexist with anthropomorphic animals, BoJack Horseman features a strong cast (Breaking Bad‘s Aaron Paul plays BoJack’s best friend Todd), and offers a surprisingly nuanced portrayal of the “washed-up former star” trope. Most importantly, perhaps, it’s really, really funny. With dozens of episodes available (five seasons plus two specials), its perfect for binging.

Watch BoJack Horseman on Netflix

The Office (U.S., S1-9)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-C2z-nshFts

It may have started life under somewhat uninspired circumstances – US remakes of UK series rarely survive the dreaded Hollywood “glow up” without being entirely robbed of their charm – but The Office swiftly outgrew any restraints and developed its own identity.

With Steve Carell lighting up the earlier seasons as boss-from-hell Michael Scott and a strong supporting cast delivering great moments even into the Scott-free final few dozen episodes, it’s hard to think of a transatlantic TV reimagining that’s worked better. You’ll find all nine seasons (that’s an astounding 188 episodes by our count) streaming on Netflix.

Watch The Office (U.S.) on Netflix

American Horror Story (S1-8)

A horror series from the creator of Glee might not sound like the most congruous of concepts, but American Horror Story has quickly cemented itself as a scare-packed televisual stalwart.

It’s what’s known as an "anthology series", with each season (there are currently seven on Netflix) featuring a different time period, location and (with some notable exceptions) cast. So there are in fact lots of stories being told, rather than just one – and each of them is compelling and gruesome in its own unique way.

Watching American Horror Story is much like riding a ghost train or visiting The London Dungeon – you move from fright to fright, spanning a spectrum of horrible things from serial killers to vampires to witches to aliens. Lovely stuff.

Watch American Horror Story on Netflix

Arrested Development (S1-5)

Dysfunctional families have been done to death on both the big screen and TV, but the Bluths are up there with the most self-centred, destructive and, well, downright hilarious bunch of the lot.

Straight man George Bluth desperately tries to keep his family and fortune intact as their company is hit by the US government for embezzlement.

Superb performances from the likes of David Cross, coupled with tonnes of re-quote potential make this a must-watch. It gets a little lost after the first three seasons thanks to the actors’ other projects clashing with filming, but it’s still well worth watching until the very end.

Watch Arrested Development on Netflix

Peaky Blinders (S1-5)

This series, named after the 19th century Birmingham gang, is as good as anything else you’ll find on Netflix. Led by the strangely likeable and very dangerous Tommy Shelby, it tells the tale of a razor-wielding crime family trying their very best to keep control of their city while avoiding the watchful Chief Inspector Chester Campbell.

CIllian Murphy grabs the spotlight and will absolutely not let go of it in one of the finest drama series produced by the BBC in recent years. Get ready to binge-watch three full seasons of this historical gangster drama.

Watch Peaky Blinders on Netflix

Fargo (S1-3)

Not to be confused with the Coen brothers’ (also highly recommended, also on Netflix) movie that inspired it – and from which it draws its winning blend of dark deeds, intricate plotting, looming dread and comic “Minnesota nice” dialogue – this is yet another TV series that begs to be binge-watched over a weekend. And at a relatively modest eight episodes, that’s entirely doable.

In the first series Martin Freeman, Colin Hanks and Allison Tolman deliver fine performances as residents of the snowbound titular town, but it’s Billy Bob Thornton, oozing malevolence and menace as drifter Lorne Malvo, who lingers longest in the memory.

The second and third series are now available to stream too, each telling a completely separate (but no less compelling) story featuring an entirely new cast and setting.

Watch Fargo on Netflix

Neon Genesis Evangelion (S1, plus two movies)

Huge robots battling huge monsters – aka “mecha” – might be an anime cliché, but Neon Genesis Evangelion‘s nuanced, almost postmodern take on the genre has established it as one of Japan’s most beloved cult phenomena – and one of the definitive anime series of the 1990s.

The series revolves around three teenage pilots who control the mysterious Evas, towering robots that seem to be humanity’s only hope against the “angels” – equally mysterious creatures that appear from nowhere to wreak havoc on cities. But the Eva-versus-angel fights, while thrilling, are far from the most interesting thing here: the series’ complex characters and mature themes elevate Neon Genesis Evangelion to the level of classic anime.

As well as the 27-part series, Netflix includes the two feature-length movies that conclude the story.

Watch Neon Genesis Evangelion on Netflix

Brooklyn Nine-Nine (S1-5)

If you’re not already an Andy Samberg fan (shame on you), Brooklyn Nine-Nine will make you one. That’s not to say he’s the only draw in this comedy cop show, though – the super-childish detective he plays is always at the centre of things, but each of the nutjobs he shares a precinct with have their own hilarious idiosyncrasies, not least of all the seemingly dry and dull Captain Holt.

It’s all as silly and immature as things get, and that’s just fine by us.

Watch Brooklyn Nine-Nine on Netflix

Sons of Anarchy (S1-7)

All seven seasons of Kurt Sutter’s outlaw biker gang drama are now streaming on Netflix, so if you haven’t yet binged on the bloody adventures of SAMCRO, there’s no time like the present. While there’s plenty of mayhem and butchery to delight thrill-seekers, much of the appeal of Sons of Anarchy lies in its (self-consciously) Shakespearean family drama, full of dark secrets, jealousy, sins of the father and backstabbing (both figurative and literal).

While not always perfect (the ill-advised stint set in Northern Ireland, complete with a fiddle-dee-dee remix of the opening theme tune, springs to mind), the show offers more than enough compelling drama and complex characterisation to keep you hooked right through to its harrowing conclusion.

Watch Sons of Anarchy on Netflix

Orange Is The New Black (S1-6)

Like House Of Cards, Orange Is the New Black is Netflix’s own series, and like House Of Cards it’s also raunchy, compelling and strongly plotted. And really funny too.

Based on actual events, it tells the story of a middle-class New Yorker who ends up in women’s prison for a crime committed ten years previously – and through flashbacks explores her life (and the colourful lives of her fellow inmates) before incarceration.

With a full six seasons of jailtime drama to sink your teeth into, there’s a distinct danger you’ll find yourself doing a long stretch in a cell of your own – your living room.

Watch Orange is the New Black on Netflix

Black Mirror (S1-5)

Charlie Brooker’s series of standalone tales cautioning against the dangers of technology isn’t exactly what we’d call perfect binge watch fodder – the sheer darkness and cynicism on display can really start to weigh you down after more than a couple of episodes.

And yet Black Mirro is one of the most compelling and fascinating things on TV, particularly for those with an interest in how our lives are affected (some might say infected) by our relationship with smartphones, computers, video games, VR and social media.

Stuff readers, we suspect, fall into that category – although you don’t need to be a gadget expert to appreciate the wildly disturbing – yet scarily plausible – scenarios Brooker brings to life.

Watch Black Mirror on Netflix

House of Cards (S1-6)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ULwUzF1q5w4

Even if you know very little about the convoluted workings of US politics you’ll find lots to love about House Of Cards.

Kevin Spacey’s portrayal of a ruthless congressman’s scrap to the top of the VIP pile is mesmerising, and the cold, clinical manner in which he partners up with his on-screen wife (Robin Wright), is brilliantly chilling. Even if the goings-on in the real-life White House have made the Machiavellian machinations of Spacey and Wright’s characters seem ridiculous and unnecessary (turns out you don’t need to be clever, articulate, scheming and morally bankrupt to grab the presidency – just the latter), these six seasons of political wrangling, sexual weirdness, murder and more make for compelling viewing.

Powerful acting, a gripping plot. It’s worth getting a Netflix subscription for this alone.

Watch House of Cards on Netflix

It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia (S1-14)

Narcissistic. Sociopathic. Sexist. Elitist. Delusional. And egos the size of a bull elephant. All descriptions that adequately fit every single member of staff at Paddy’s Bar in Philadelphia.

From kidnapping cats to poisoning rivals, to stalking love interests and getting drunk at every opportunity, you’re unlikely to ever find a group of people that you hate to love more.

Hilarity, madness (and Danny Devito in tight, tight skinny jeans) await.

Watch It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia on Netflix

The Office (S1-2)

Gareth’s obsession with lesb

The Crown (S1-4)

The Crown ranks as one of Netflix’s best original series to date. That’s partly down to the phenomenal production values that have been instilled in this retelling of Queen Lizzie II’s early years. Over £100 million was invested in this extravaganza, starring Claire Foy and Matt Smith, and that all adds up to a swanky amount of period detail.

Even those of a staunchly republican bent might find themselves sucked in to the two full seasons, which chart a series of major national events as well as delve deeply into the personal lives of the royal family. And with Olivia Colman taking the throne as an older, wiser Elizabeth in the upcoming third season, The Crown remains in a very safe set of hands.

Watch The Crown on Netflix

Archer (S1-10)

A James Bond-esque secret agent with the womanising, drinking and love of casual violence turned right up to 11, Archer is one of the greatest anti-heroes we’ve seen in an animated show. He’s in good company at private spy agency ISIS (in hindsight, an unfortunate choice of name) staffed as it is with a collection of selfish, bungling agents and perverts.

Perfect for Netflix binge-watching, thanks to its 20-minute episodes, it’s generously packed with snappy one-liners and Arrested Development-esque in-jokes. It’s just as good as it sounds.

Watch Archer on Netflix

Narcos (S1-3)

https://youtu.be/U7elNhHwgBU

The most critically acclaimed Netflix original series of 2015 tells the bloody story of Colombian cocaine kingpin Pablo Escobar and the man tasked with taking him down. Sounds like a laugh riot, right?

While Narcos lacks much in the way of light-relief, watching American DEA agent Steve Murphy submerge himself in a viciously amoral cesspit is a constant thrill. What could well be a high-minded exercise in true crime melodrama is elevated to nerve-shredding nirvana via some classy performances and the disturbing use of archive footage. Escobar’s brutal legacy lives on through your telebox, and the horror of it all will make you wince in anguish.

And once you’re done with all three seasons of the original show, there’s new spin-off Narcos: Mexico to get your teeth into.

Watch Narcos on Netflix

Breaking Bad (S1-5)

If you’re one of those people that gets put off by TV shows just because everyone else in the world is watching and raving about them, then put aside your cynacism and grow up. Because where Breaking Bad is concerned, you’d be missing out.

Bryan Cranston’s transformation from a mild-mannered chemistry teacher to a dangerous, meth-making super-criminal is one of the greatest examples of character acting we’ve ever witnessed, and he’s got a stonking cast surrounding him to boot.

Gripping, edge-of-your seat television at its finest.

Watch Breaking Bad on Netflix