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Home / Features / 41 best things to watch on Netflix UK

41 best things to watch on Netflix UK

Here's Netflix's best: the very finest films and TV shows the streaming service has to offer

Best Netflix shows: Baby Reindeer

Video-streaming service Netflix gives you a vast number of films, TV shows and documentaries to choose from. But with so much choice of UK streaming services out there, you may find yourself spending the entire evening shuffling through the selections in a vain hope of picking something suitable. Then realising you no longer have any time left to actually watch anything. The paralysis of choice, indeed!

Never fear. We’ve rifled through the Netflix catalogue to bring you our essential picks, from side-splitting comedy series to involving drama to action-packed adventure blockbusters. Let Stuff be the sherpa on your trek to home entertainment nirvana.


The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar

Netflix has paid over US$600m for the rights to adapt Roald Dahl’s written works for the screen. This 40-minute short directed by Wes Anderson is the result of that deal.

Anderson has excellent form when it comes to Dahl, having created 2009’s excellent Fantastic Mr. Fox, and puts together a star-studded cast for this whimsical and enjoyably stagy adaptation of the author’s 1970s short story about a man able to predict the future. Benedict Cumberbatch plays the eponymous Sugar, joined by Dev Patel, Richard Ayoade, Ralph Fiennes and Sir Ben Kingsley.

Can you handle this much quirkiness? Sure you can. And the good news for fans of Dahl and Anderson is that it’s just the first (and longest) of a whole bunch of Anderson-directed Dahl adaptations available on Netflix.

Watch The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar on Netflix

Baby Reindeer (S1)

Comedian Richard Gadd writes and stars in this drama based on his real-life experience as the victim of a stalker. If you’re expecting a black comedy, they don’t come much darker than this, as Gadd’s Donny Dunn – a struggling stand-up working in a London pub – enters a nightmare of self-loathing, abuse and exploitation as a result of a chance meeting.

The seven-part series ultimately ends on a reflective, contemplative and somewhat enlightened note, and while Donny’s hellish journey of self-discovery certainly isn’t for the faint-hearted viewer, it’s intensely gripping stuff throughout.

Watch Baby Reindeer on Netflix

Ripley (S1)

Beautifully shot in stark black and white, this eight-part adaptation of Patricia Highsmith’s novel is written and directed by Steven Zaillian (best known as for his Schindler’s List script) and stars Andrew Scott as the eponymous conman. Thomas Ripley is a shapeshifting sociopath who, arriving in 1960s Italy, inserts himself into a young couple’s glamorous lives.

Readers who remember Anthony Minghella’s film The Talented Mr. Ripley may wonder if Netflix’s series can match its compelling concoction of wonder and menace (if not its star-studded cast). Having watched the two adaptations, we think there’s enough room for both. With more time to play with, Scott and co-stars Johnny Flynn and Dakota Fanning deliver a more in-depth and detailed look at Tom Ripley’s life of deceit, deception and murder – even if you sometimes yearn for the film’s brisker pace.

Watch Ripley on Netflix

Better Call Saul (S1-6)

Everyone’s favourite sleazy-yet-likeable lawyer Saul Goodman (well, Jimmy McGill) returns to Netflix, in a series (now in fact four series, with a fifth on the way) that throws us back seven years before the explosive events of Breaking Bad.

Bob Odenkirk slips into his cheap suit with remarkable ease, and his superb performance allows his character’s desperation, tenacity and humour to seep through the screen and grab our attention with both hands.

It’s always fun to root for the underdog, and from the very first episode you’re right there alongside Goodman, wanting him to fight to the top – all while being aware of the dark things to come. Yet another belting Netflix Original.

Watch Better Call Saul on Netflix

3 Body Problem (S1)

Game of Thrones showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss return to the small screen with this adaptation of Chinese author Cixin Liu’s visionary (and utterly terrifying) sci-fi novel. The adaptation makes a raft of changes to Liu’s text – mostly for the better, in our opinion – and while the show’s pacing and script could be better, in general it hits a fine balance. The novel’s most interesting concepts and scenes are all here, and some of Liu’s rather dry exposition has been sexed up somewhat.

We don’t want to spoil too much, but the story involves the Chinese Cultural Revolution, deep-space radio transmitters, a spate of strange suicides, virtual reality video games and a truly paradigm-shifting discovery, all adding up to a science fiction tale that’ll leave you feeling very tiny and insignificant indeed. And with two more gripping, mind-bending books in Liu’s series still to adapt, this could be the start of something truly epic – assuming Netflix renews it for a second and possibly third series.

Watch 3 Body Problem on Netflix

The Last Dance (S1)

Arguably the biggest sporting icon of all time, Michael Jordan led the Chicago Bulls to a series of NBA championships in the 1990s, was the face of one of history’s most popular sneaker ranges and the star of a Hollywood movie. By 1998, however, it seemed like the Bulls’ era of dominance – and Jordan’s place at its heart – was in the balance. This engrossing, masterfully made 10-part documentary tells the story not just of that fateful season but of Jordan’s rise from green rookie to global superstar, and of how the Bulls planned and built their hegemony after years of underachievement.

The Last Dance will appeal not only to basketball and sport fans, but to anybody who appreciates a story well told and a glimpse into the strangely singular mind of mercilessly driven individuals like Jordan. Those looking for a nostalgic trip back to the 90s won’t be disappointed either – the era-appropriate soundtrack is superb.

Watch The Last Dance on Netflix

Stranger Things (S1-4)

Only 80s kids will understand this. Actually that’s not true at all, but Stranger Things is a love letter to many of the movies, TV shows and books that children who grew up in that decade will cherish: it’s replete with references to E.T., Close Encounters of the Third Kind, The Goonies, Stephen King, Dungeons & Dragons and Poltergeist, and the mood and feel is sure to dredge up nostalgia aplenty.

Take away the retro vibes though, and the show can still stand on its own as a decent sci-fi drama-thriller. And it doesn’t mess about too much – unlike a lot of Netflix Original Series, its episodes are reasonably tight (around 40 minutes each), and there are only eight of them in the entire fantastic first season, and nine in the (almost as enjoyable) second.

Watch Stranger Things on Netflix

I Think You Should Leave (S1-3)

Sketch shows, once kings of TV comedy, have fallen out of favour of late. But I Think You Should Leave is proof positive that there’s plenty of life left in the old format: it just needed a refreshing jolt of weirdness.

Former Saturday Night Live cast member Tim Robinson co-writes and appears (along with a parade of familiar guest faces like Bob Odenkirk, Tim Heidecker and Andy Samberg) in a collection of crude, inventive and hilarious skits that rarely end up where you expect them to. The humour usually comes from a character “committing to the bit” by taking a social miscue or bizarre personality trait to extremes. It sounds simple enough, but Robinson and co have done nothing less than reinvent the comedy skit.

Watch I Think You Should Leave on Netflix

Ozark (S1-4)

Featuring some of the most bum-clenchingly tense scenes witnessed on a TV screen since Breaking Bad, Ozark follows Jason Bateman and Laura Linney’s squabbling Chicago couple as they launder money for a brutal and merciless drug cartel. When Bateman’s put-upon financial advisor happens on a risky plan to “wash” the dirty cash in rural Missouri, he and his family must immediately up sticks for a brand new life in one of America’s most deprived places. All of a sudden, murderous Mexican narco-barons become just one of many problems for the family.

Filmed in muted, washed-out tones with bags of brooding and squalor on show, Ozark doesn’t always make for a pretty watch. But if you like your drama series perpetually poised on a knife edge, it’ll be right up your street.

Watch Ozark on Netflix

Squid Game (S1)

Subtitle-haters are missing out if they choose to avoid this dark drama series on account of it being Korean (yes, we know you can watch it dubbed into English, but please… don’t do that). The gripping story of a heartless life-or-death tournament in which desperate contestants compete in souped-up playground games for the prospect of a fat winner’s cheque, Squid Game has already become not only one of Netflix’s most popular foreign language series, but its most popular debut series full stop. A grim commentary on late capitalism and how it encourages screwing each other over to get by? Sure, but it’s also entertaining as hell.

Watch Squid Game on Netflix

Black Mirror (S1-6)

Black Mirror has made the move from Channel 4 to Netflix in sumptuous, unsettling style.

Not only has the platform given Charlie Brooker and his team the freedom to tell more stories (the two Netflix-made series have six episodes rather than the usual three) and let each one run without ad breaks for as long as it needs to, it’s also given them a budget big enough to expand the scale, scope and special effects.

The feature-length final episode, Hated in the Nation, is a perfect case in point. What hasn’t changed is the overall theme. Each episode may tell a standalone story, but they’re all connected by the threads of modern humanity’s relationship with technology, the internet and social media.

Make no mistake, this is unnerving stuff, enhanced by the fact that the stories are generally set in a very near future that’s all too recognisable. But fear not, the trademark blacker-than-black humour has also been retained, so you’ll guffaw almost as much as you’ll squirm. This is must-see television for anyone who’s obsessed with tech.

Watch Black Mirror on Netflix

Sex Education (S1-4)

Using the word “raunchy” to describe a comedy-drama series makes us feel like 1970s tabloid journalists, but what better term to sum up a bunch of teenage sexcapades tied up by a fun plot and relatable, well-rounded and likeable characters? We’ll be calling it a “romp” next (which it also is) – but Sex Education is a genuinely inventive, engaging, insightful and occasionally moving series, and extremely easy to binge-watch.

Watch Sex Education on Netflix

Cobra Kai (S1-5)

A series that started life on YouTube Red as a giggle-worthy, nostalgia-fuelled spin-off of The Karate Kid movies, Cobra Kai is now firmly established as a fan-pleasing comedy-action-drama that arguably surpasses the beloved films that inspired it.

Back in the 80s, few could have imagined Karate Kid villain Johnny Lawrence being the nuanced, relatable protagonist of his own TV show over three decades later, but here we are. Johnny is just one of several characters from the movies now firmly ensconced in this new life, and being given far more depth as a result.

Watch Cobra Kai on Netflix

Mindhunter (S1-2)

David Fincher’s slick period drama series follows the efforts of two FBI agents to better understand how serial killers think. This sort of profiling wasn’t considered useful by law enforcement top brass in the late 1970s (when the first season of the show is set) but our protagonists believe that working out how murderers’ brains function is the key to stopping them.

If this all sound overly grim, don’t worry – Mindhunter isn’t all doom and gloom, being peppered with moments of comedy (often black, admittedly) and underpinned by the dynamic of the main characters’ strained relationship. It sadly appears to have been put on permanent hiatus since its second season, but rumours of a revival simply won’t go away. Fingers crossed.

Watch Mindhunter on Netflix

Guillermo Del Toro’s Cabinet of Curiosities (S1)

Guillermo Del Toro has recruited a horror movie dream team, including the directors of Mandy, The Babadook and Splice, tasking each member with delivering their own hour(ish)-long tale of terror for this brilliant, ghoulish and disturbing limited collection.

The result is a Twilight Zone-style anthology series of tall tales and spooky stories, with weightless CGI gimmickry reduced (if not ditched entirely) in favour of old-fashioned practical effects. From occult rituals and ravenous alien parasites to bizarre beauty products and restless spirits, there’s so much here for horror lovers to enjoy, and it’s all so beautifully made.

Watch Guillermo del Toro’s Cabinet of Curiosities on Netflix


Edge of Tomorrow

A cowardly officer accustomed only to sitting behind a desk finds himself fighting on the front lines against an alien invasion in Doug Liman’s underrated sci-fi movie. With no combat experience, he doesn’t last long. But immediately after he dies he finds himself waking up again that morning and repeating the entire experience, only slightly differently. He realises he’s trapped inside a Groundhog Day-style time loop, doomed to relive the day again and again – unless he can somehow find a way to survive it.

With fine performances from Tom Cruise and Emily Blunt, killer visual effects and a clever hook, it’s odd that Edge of Tomorrow didn’t prove a bigger hit. The bland title didn’t do it many favours (it’s now often known as Live Die Repeat, a far more evocative name), but despite its lacklustre box office performance it’s proved itself to be a slow-burn hit among critics and viewers – so much so that a sequel is reportedly in development.

Watch Edge of Tomorrow on Netflix

Past Lives

One of the hit indie darlings of 2023, Past Lives actually lives up to the hype. And then some. The debut film from Korean-Canadian director Celine Song, it’s a story about childhood sweethearts whose lives completely diverge, only for them to reconnect again in adulthood.

This film feels like an examination of the choices we make and the roads we don’t take, with Song simply presenting events – impeccably acted by the central trio of Greta Lee, Teo Yoo and John Magaro – and allowing viewers to make up their own minds about the true nature of the relationship between Na-young and Hae-sung. Are they really in love with each other in the present? With their past selves? Or with the lives that they might have led had things been different?

Watch Past Lives on Netflix


Bong Joon-ho’s Best Picture-winning black comedy bucks lots of Oscar-winning trends, being the first foreign-language film to win the award and cynical and mischievous in tone – an area where the Academy usually favours earnestness and sentimentality – but watching it it’s easy to see why it’s been so lauded: it’s masterfully crafted, funny, shocking, insightful and extremely relevant to the current state of the world, all while moving along at a dizzying pace.

The film revolves around two Korean families: the working-class Kims and the wealthy upper-middle-class Parks. The Kims pull off a dazzlingly Machiavellian scheme to install themselves as well-paid household employees of the trusting Parks, but their victory is short-lived – and suddenly neither they nor the viewer really knows where they stand. An engaging treatise on class, inequality and how modern capitalism brings out the bloodsucker in everyone – rich and poor alike.

Watch Parasite on Netflix

Halloween (1978)

Establishing the standard (and many of the tropes) for horror films with a mute and seemingly unkillable masked murderer, Halloween’s deceptively ‘normal’ suburban locations, moody synth soundtrack (written and performed by director John Carpenter himself) and slow, steady build-up of tension make it a satisfyingly spooky watch almost 50 years after it was made.

Jamie Lee Curtis stars as the original ‘final girl’, babysitter-turned-serial-runner-away Laurie Strode while Donald Pleasance delivers gravitas and exposition as obsessive psychologist Dr Samuel Loomis. And the aforementioned killer Michael Myers, a looming knife-wielding ‘shape’ clad in an expressionless white mask, serves as an iconic cinematic manifestation of pure evil.

Watch Halloween on Netflix


The perfect antidote to our current ‘wild swimming’ craze, Jaws remains one of the most influential, entertaining and tension-filled films of all time.

Even if you haven’t watched it before (and statistically, you probably have), you surely know the deceptively simple premise: when a small New England seaside resort is terrorised by a killer Great White shark, the water-hating local police chief decides to hunt it down. But it’s this film’s camera work, script, direction and iconic John Williams score that make it such a cinematic icon; the first ever summer blockbuster, no less.

Director Steven Spielberg cranks up the tension through his use of perspective and sound, leaving the audience constantly on edge, but the film isn’t afraid to leaven its scares with moments of fun and comedy. It’s still a wonderful watch, over 40 years after its release.

Watch Jaws on Netflix


Watching an indie movie about jazz drumming might not sound like the most riveting way to spend an evening, but trust us: Whiplash is no ordinary indie movie about jazz drumming.

Miles Teller plays a New York music college student determined to become one of the skin-bashing greats. The problem is he’s never good enough to impress his insanely demanding band conductor, played in Oscar-winning form by J. K. Simmons. Simmons’ monstrous mentor looms over the film right through to the unforgettable final reel. We doubt you’ve ever seen a music movie that exhibits this much blood, sweat and tears.

Watch Whiplash on Netflix

Triangle of Sadness

Wealth, beauty and social hierarchy are in the crosshairs of Ruben Östlund’s astute and frequently nauseating social satire, which won the Cannes Palme d’Or as well as being nominated for Best Picture at the 2023 Oscars.

In series of long chapters focussing on specific situations, Östlund delivers a pitch-black dissection of the hyper-rich, viewed through the eyes of a pair of (relatively poor) model-cum-influencers invited onto a luxury cruise. From painfully awkward interactions between members of different societal tiers and a Captain’s dinner that goes terribly wrong to a brilliant final section in which all manner of traditional roles – gender, class, race – are upended, this is an brilliant but bleak exploration of how the modern world keeps power and money intrinsically intertwined.

Watch Triangle of Sadness on Netflix

Get Out

Not many horror movies receive a Best Picture Oscar nomination, but Jordan Peele’s Get Out isn’t just any run-of-the-mill slasher flick or haunted house yarn – even if it does offer buckets of gore and plenty of unearthly discomfort as a young black man goes to upstate New York to spend the weekend with his white girlfriend’s family.

This is a genre-bending flick, working both as a straight-up scary movie and a wry take on the cloaked nature of modern-day racism. It’s also very funny. Add in Daniel Kaluuya’s fantastic lead performance and its status as a huge box office smash and you can see why it caught the Academy’s eye. For our money, it’s the most significant and interesting horror film of the past decade, and one everybody should see, whether they’re a fan of the genre not.

Watch Get Out on Netflix

Dune (2021)

Sci-fi novels don’t come any more influential than Frank Herbert’s Dune. The far-future epic has inspired everything from Star Wars to Warhammer 40,000 with its galaxy-spanning tale of interplanetary conflict, religious zealotry and, er, gigantic worms that burrow underground.

Succeeding in capturing the scope, drama and atmosphere of Dune, Denis Villeneuve’s movie is as close to a perfect adaptation as we’re ever likely to get. It’s beautifully filmed, both immense and intimate in scale, and succeeds in conveying the key parts of Herbert’s story in a (relatively) short amount of time. A second part will be arriving in cinemas in the summer of 2024.

Watch Dune on Netflix

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse

Everyone’s favourite web-slinger takes a break from the Marvel Cinematic Universe, forging an entirely new direction in this outrageously inventive animated film, which uses the multiverse theory to take the Spider-Man we think we all know and love in weird and wonderful directions.

To reveal more would diminish the joy of watching this alternate universe Spidey – Brooklyn schoolboy Miles Morales – embark on his own journey, brilliantly paralleling the one we’ve already seen in so many other movies, comics and games. The fact that it’s all brought to life in an amazing (no pun intended) animation style is simply the icing on a tasty cinematic cake.

Watch Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse on Netflix

Spirited Away

Studio Ghibli’s Oscar-winner showcases Hayao Miyazaki’s filmmaking at its very best: magical, thought-provoking and utterly absorbing. While the average Western animated movie is dubbed sophisticated if it throws in a couple of knowing references for any adults that happen to be watching, Spirited Away feels like it’s working on an entirely different plane of existence, confident enough to play by its own set of rules.

This beautifully animated tale of a coddled young girl unwittingly drawn into a strange parallel world of spirits, witches and demons effortlessly touches on universal themes like family, love, friendship and facing your fears, making it a compelling, engaging watch for viewers of any age.

Watch Spirited Away on Netflix

Gone Girl

Adapted from Gillian Flynn’s bestselling novel of the same name, Gone Girl is a smart, cold-blooded psychological thriller in which Ben Affleck’s small-town boy has to cope with his wife’s shock disappearance – and growing speculation that he may be the one responsible. As the plot unfolds, it becomes clearer and clearer that neither of the spouses are quite what they seem, and that this case is more than a simple whodunnit.

Slickly directed by the masterful David Fincher, this unconventional mystery is likely to fix its hooks into you from the off – unless of course you’ve already read Flynn’s book, in which case you’ll already know all the twists and turns before they happen.

Watch Gone Girl on Netflix

Pulp Fiction

Pulp Fiction has an astonishing legacy. Not only did it immediately elevate its young writer-director Quentin Tarantino into the Hollywood pantheon, it also made Samuel L. Jackson a household name, resuscitated John Travolta’s moribund career and delivered one of the all-time great movie monologues (Christopher Walken explaining the significance of that pocket watch).

But over and above all that, it’s just an incredibly cool and self-assured film. This non-chronological series of interrelated stories about Los Angeles crooks serves up a cavalcade of unforgettable scenes; it’s eminently quotable, perfectly framed and executed, and the kind of movie you can watch over and over again, each time finding some small new detail to appreciate. It’s arguably Tarantino’s best film, and without a doubt his most influential.

Watch Pulp Fiction on Netflix


You don’t need an interest in sport to get engrossed in this Oscar-winning doping exposé. Icarus is really two documentaries in one, with the first third of the film a kind of Super Size Me for performance-enhancing drugs: the filmmaker, a semi-pro cyclist, embarks on a hardcore doping program to show how flawed the drugs-testing process is.

But when his advisor, scientist Gregory Rodchenkov, suddenly finds himself in the eye of an international storm over Russia’s state-sponsored doping program, Icarus handbrake turns into an enthralling fly-on-the-wall thriller about the dangers of being a whistleblower in an authoritarian country. Cue mysterious deaths, tense interviews and a lot of hand-wringing as Rodchenkov goes into hiding from Putin’s cronies.

Watch Icarus on Netflix

Top Gun: Maverick

Is Top Gun: Maverick the movie that saved cinemas? Steven Spielberg certainly thinks so, crediting Tom Cruise’s return to his iconic 1980s role as a panacea in Panavision. Here was a blockbuster so universally appealing and crowd-pleasing that it convinced a public cowed by COVID-19 and coddled by an abundance of effort-free at-home streaming services into returning to picture houses en masse.

Maverick – in which Cruise’s middle-aged flyboy goes back to school to train the next generation of jet fighter pilots – is certainly an exhilarating and warmly nostalgic ride, offering plenty of call-backs for old-timers alongside some of the best airborne action sequences ever put on celluloid. Its arrival on Netflix means nobody has an excuse to miss this story of ace pilots, romance, redemption and learning to grow old gracefully. Even if a cinema screen is where it really belongs.

Watch Top Gun: Maverick on Netflix


The Office (US, S1-9)

US remakes of UK series rarely survive the Hollywood treatment with their appeal intact – but the American reimagining of Ricky Gervais’ The Office swiftly unshackled itself from its inspiration, finding its own brilliant voice in the process.

With a fantastic lead in Steve Carell as cringy boss Michael Scott and the talented supporting cast providing plenty of great character moments all the way into the Carell-free final seasons, it’s hard to think of a better mainstream US sitcom of the past 25 years. All nine seasons (that’s an astounding 188 episodes by our count) are streaming on Netflix.

Watch The Office (US) on Netflix

Seinfeld (S1-9)

Friends? Fuggedaboutit. For us, Seinfeld is the definitive New York-set 1990s sitcom about a group of pals just working their way through this crazy little thing we call life. An inventive, absurd and hilarious examination of the trivialities of the modern world, never relying on slapstick or coddling its viewers with cheap sentimentality (the vast majority of its characters are clearly horrible people), Seinfeld is quite simply a must-watch for all fans of comedy. With each episode clocking in at a little over 20 minutes, it’s also great fare for binge watching.

Watch Seinfeld on Netflix

Giri/Haji (S1)

Tokyo detective Kenzo Mori arrives in London in search of his wayward brother – who may or may not be on the run for a gangland murder – in this superb BBC-made crime drama. The series’ title, which translates to Duty/Shame, gives us a clue as to Mori’s motivations, but he’s a more complex character than to be driven by these feelings alone. Finding unlikely allies in the form of a local detective (Kelly Macdonald) and a drug-addicted sex worker (Will Sharpe), his search leads him deep into the belly of the London underworld – all while the fallout back in Japan threatens to erupt into an all-out gang war.

Watch Giri/Haji on Netflix

Peep Show (S1-9)

All nine seasons of Peep Show are 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 perfect 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

Neon Genesis Evangelion (S1)

Massive robots fighting gigantic monsters may seem like an anime cliché, but Neon Genesis Evangelion’s more nuanced (or, dare we say it, artsy-fartsy) take on the genre has established it as one of Japan’s most beloved cult phenomena.

The series revolves around three teenagers who pilot Evas, the towering mechs that represent humanity’s final hope against a race of otherwise unstoppable otherworldly creatures known as “angels”. But the Eva-versus-angel fights are far from the most interesting thing here – it’s the complex characters and rarely explored themes that elevate Neon Genesis Evangelion to the level of classic anime.

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

Watch Neon Genesis Evangelion on Netflix

Derry Girls (S1-3)

The first two series of Channel 4’s riotously funny and beautifully observed sitcom are now available on Netflix, so if you missed them the first time round (or just couldn’t deal with All 4’s terrible picture quality and proliferation of ads), now’s your chance to be whisked away to early 1990s Northern Ireland and into the lives of four Catholic girls (and one English boy) as they navigate their teenage years against the background of the Troubles. Not that Derry Girls ever takes itself too seriously or drifts into mawkishness; sectarianism is just another comic seam to be mined in this joyous and hilarious coming-of-age comedy show.

Watch Derry Girls on Netflix

Schitt’s Creek (S1-6)

Every single episode of this beloved Canadian sitcom is available to stream 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 who, after losing their entire fortune, must slum it in a tiny town they previously purchased as a joke. Managing to be both sharp and full of heart, this is a perfect show to binge-watch, especially if you’ve already made it through the older classics.

Watch Schitt’s Creek on Netflix

Breaking Bad (S1-5)

What, did you think we’d forgotten? Breaking Bad has been praised to the heavens by critics and those members of the public who clap their hands over their ears and shriek “spoilers!” when you start talking about it. So of course it’s going in this list.

Like Tony Soprano and Don Draper, Bryan Cranston’s Walter White is one of the great protagonists of 21st-century television; a mild-mannered chemistry teacher whose cancer diagnosis prompts him to turn his skills to creating crystal meth, enlisting wayward former student Jesse as his partner in crime. Series creator Vince Gilligan pitched the show as being the story of “a man who transforms himself from Mr Chips into Scarface” and while early episodes play up White’s faltering attempts to enter the drugs trade, as the series progresses he develops into a genuinely chilling character.

Watch Breaking Bad. Now. If only so that you don’t have to keep clapping your hands over your ears and shrieking “spoilers!” whenever anyone mentions it.

Watch Breaking Bad on Netflix

Hannibal (S1-3)

Mads Mikkelsen is one of the most interesting and watchable actors of his generation – arguably never more so than when he’s clad in the perfectly cut suits of this TV incarnation of cannibalistic serial killer Hannibal Lecter.

As per Thomas Harris’ original books, Lecter is a psychiatrist brought in to assist FBI profiler Will Graham (Hugh Dancy), but it’s not long before the doctor is manipulating the prodigious but fragile Graham. This is pretty high-brow stuff for a network TV show, chock-full of startling imagery, Lynchian characters and dinner scenes that will make your stomach rumble – a little unsettling once you realise what’s in most of them.

Watch Hannibal on Netflix

Detectorists (S1-3)

The Office’s Mackenzie Crook writes, directs and stars in this quintessentially English sitcom about a group of Essex metal detector enthusiasts. On paper it sounds like the recipe for a broadly comic, canned laughter-laden Last of the Summer Wine-style “aren’t these country folks weird?” series, but Detectorists (the proper name for people who use metal detectors) is far more sophisticated.

It’s funny, certainly, with sharp writing and fine performances from Crook and Toby Jones, but aside from its well-drawn, likeable and flawed characters there’s something special in its depiction of the English landscape that these men and women trudge over in search of Roman gold or Saxon silver day after day – almost always coming away empty-handed aside from a few ring pulls. Warm and affectionate without being sentimental, and a beautiful homage to hobbies, it’s a series that somehow feels both low-key and significant.

Watch Detectorists on Netflix

Profile image of Sam Kieldsen Sam Kieldsen Contributor


Tech journalism's answer to The Littlest Hobo, I've written for a host of titles and lived in three different countries in my 15 years-plus as a freelancer. But I've always come back home to Stuff eventually, where I specialise in writing about cameras, streaming services and being tragically addicted to Destiny.

Areas of expertise

Cameras, drones, video games, film and TV