You’ve finally given in. After being left out of all those conversations about what people watched on Netflix last night, you’ve done it and registered for your free two week trial. You sit down, ready to join the elite of home entertainment but are greeted by a seemingly endless choice of what to watch.
Anyone who has sat in a restaurant and stared blankly at a menu of mouth-watering possibilities knows that choice can be a burden. Fear not, for here is my top 10 shows on Netflix for your perusal. By the time you’ve worked your way through this lot, you will be as hooked as the rest of us.
- Queer Eye
It’s the TV sensation of the year. Many moons ago there was a questionable show on, I think, Living TV called Queer Eye for the Straight Guy. This has been given the mother of all reboots and is probably the most feel good TV you could ever experience. You will fall in love instantly with the Fab Five – Jonathan, Tan, Bobby, Karamo and Antoni as they set about making over the lives of deserving subjects. It isn’t just straight guys either a woman, a trans guy and a gay guy have all been given the Queer Eye treatment. I challenge you not to get to the end of this wonderful series without blubbering at least once. Perfect comfort TV.
A certain Ms Markle has dominated this programme since she trotted down the aisle with her very own prince but this glamorous drama set in the world of New York law has lots more going for it. Just renewed for its eighth season, the drama has all the back stabbing and rivalries you could possibly want. So sit back, pour a cocktail and binge.
- Stranger Things
This is nostalgia and cutting edge drama all rolled into one. It’s hard to summarise but if I was pitching it I’d go with The Goonies meets ET with a bit of Pan’s Labyrinth thrown in for good measure. Set in the early 80s, the show follows a gang of kids who accidentally discover a portal into another dimension called The Upside Down but who is the strange girl who has appeared in town and where is Barb?
- Grace and Frankie
Grace is Jane Fonda and Frankie is Lily Tomlin, so there you have it. No further words are required. This is one of the best double acts to hit the screen in a long time. Their respective husbands are partners and we find out in the first episode they’ve been sharing a bedroom as well as a boardroom. For socialite Grace and hippie Frankie, this brings all manner of issues. It is the Odd Couple for the 21st Century as they are thrown together and ultimately end up ruling the roost. You cannot miss this.
I was in two minds about whether to put this on here or not. The premise of it is good and to be fair, it did keep me guessing until the end but there was something about it which was a bit average. A teenage daughter goes missing just as her boyfriend’s body is found in a pool, we follow her father’s desperate attempt to uncover the truth. It’s nice to see some UK content at the forefront of Netflix’s output and the performances are strong, particularly from Michael C Hall.
- The Crown
You wanted UK content? Nothing gets more UK than peeking behind the pomp and ceremony of our Royal Family. It may be a sensationalised look but it’s totally binge worthily wonderful. The amazing Claire Foy brings a new respect for our Queen and Matt Smith plays a devilish Prince Philip, trying to find his role as consort whilst remaining Alpha Male. Vanessa Kirby steals every scene she is in as Princess Margaret and John Lithgow is a joy as Churchill. The first two seasons take us from coronation to the Suez crisis. Next will be all change for the cast as Olivia Coleman takes on the role of the older Queen Elizabeth in season 3, due later this year. Now is the time to catch up, but be warned, this series will take over your life.
- The Staircase
A woman’s body is found at the bottom of the stairs and the only other person on the property is her husband who is insistent he didn’t do it. So begins one of the most astonishing cases in US law. One thing Netflix do really well are documentaries following bizarre legal cases with hits such as Making of a Murderer and The Keepers so The Staircase is in good company. The film crew were given extraordinary access to the husband and his family which means another obsession on the horizon. Sorry but Netflix should come with a warning.
- RuPaul’s Drag Race
High camp and high energy, RuPaul’s Drag Race is the reality TV competition to slay them all. Here is my post on all things Ru which was the show which led me to Netflix in the first place.
- Orange is the New Black
OK I will be honest here, I started off strong with this female prison drama but my interest has waned a little. The show follows Piper Chapman who is sent to prison for a crime she had committed a decade earlier. We see how she settles into prison life, how her relations on the outside cope with her incarceration and the already existing network in the prison. It’s a good go-to if you’re stuck for something to watch but it got a bit monotonous for me.
- Sense 8
Apparently we are living in the golden age of TV and nothing says it more so than Sense 8. Sadly the series drew to a close this month with a fabulous finale (here’s my review but beware of spoilers). From the makers of The Matrix films this series follows 8 sensates who are spread across the globe but linked by some form of telepathy. So far, so good. But things are not as great as they seem, they are being pursued by a shady organisation and must work together to find a way through this. It’s is beautifully shot, the characters are wonderful and the twists and turns will keep you guessing until the end. A must watch.
So there you have it, my ten of the best series to start your Netflix journey. Some honourable mentions that didn’t make it onto the list but are still brilliant shows are Narcos, Blackfish, Arrested Development, Black Mirror and as a major guilty pleasure, Dynasty.
I hope you enjoy but don’t forget to go outside from time to time.