We’ve all had one of those days when we’ve decided to give up productivity and succumb to the temptation of Netflix. If you’re looking for a TV series to satisfy your craving for a relaxing day off, we’ve got you covered. Any one of the top shows below can keep you entertained for an entire day or more of continuous watching.
Here’s a list of some of the best Netflix original series to binge-watch when you’re bored, or simply looking for a new addiction…
Sit back, relax, and enjoy the binge (or the chill, if that’s what you’re into)…
1. Orange is the New Black
Get a taste of what life is like inside a prison by watching Orange is the New Black. This Netflix original series may have met its conclusion but that doesn’t stop it from being ideal for anyone who craves that little bit of humor and drama in their lives. Criminals turn into much-loved characters in this realistic, highly-praised and engrossing show. The inmates feud, fall in love and form allegiances as they get on with their inhibited lives behind bars. It doesn’t get realer than this TV show.
2. House of Cards
Despite the controversy surrounding Kevin Spacey, there’s no denying that House of Cards is one of the best TV series on Netflix. Get engrossed in suspense, shock and political drama as you follow a congressman and his wife who are out to get revenge on those who betrayed them. This binge-worthy Netflix original series will have you hooked from the get-go and leave you wanting more after each episode.
3. Stranger Things
Prepare for some 80s nostalgia! Stranger Things takes you back to the iconic decade where sci-fi and horror movies were at their peak. Inspired by similar movies from that era, the thrilling television series centers around the friends and family of Will Byers– a young boy who’s suddenly gone missing. Supernatural and strange things occur leading many to believe Will has been taken by something beyond their reach. You’ll be hooked within minutes. Press play and find out what everyone’s been talking about!
You thought Walter White was bad? Wait until you delve into the true story of Pablo Escobar! Step into the world of the legendary drug-lord in the thrilling and popular original series, Narcos. The drug-trafficking drama follows the true story of the billionaire cocaine king of Colombia. Uncover the seediness and brutality of the drug-world during the 1980s and learn how Escobar earned his billions. Warning – it includes a lot of blood, sweat and tears…
5. The Punisher
Delve into the life of Frank Castle, a soldier turned vigilante who’s on a mission to avenge the death of his entire family. Frank proves he’s more than just human as he takes out enemy by enemy, ensuring they die brutal, painful and stomach-clenching deaths. Prepare for bloodshed, battles and loads of binge-watching. Episode after episode, The Punisher promises an adrenaline rush like no other. He may be an anti-hero, but Frank Castle certainly has a place in our hearts.
6. 13 Reasons Why
Hannah’s just killed herself and left behind 13 tapes. Each tape reveals one of the people involved in her death, including Clay, her former crush. Why is he to blame? Why are her 12 other “friends” responsible for taking her own life? Hannah opens a can of worms about her high school friends in a must see show that openly explores the subject of suicide. Find out what really goes on in the life of a troubled teen throughout this top rated Netflix series. We promise you’ll be gripped with every episode, eager to find out why Hannah, the seemingly happy girl killed herself.
7. The Crown
Find out what goes on behind the closed doors of the British Monarch and truly get to know Queen Elizabeth up, close and personal in this detailed and intimate Netflix series. Lifting the lid on all the royal affairs, The Crown follows the Queen throughout the height of her reign and gives us an authentic insight into the family’s everyday lives and politics. This addictive and dazzling historic drama will have you hooked whilst sipping on tea and biscuits in no time.
Yet another good TV show about serial killers – argh! How many more, right? But Mindhunter is rather different from your everyday procedural crime show. In this series featuring Jonathan Groff in the main role, a group of FBI agents interrogate serial killers to gather information about their behaviors and solve ongoing cases. A tense atmosphere, perfect cinematography, and gripping scenes with killers that sound a little too authentic – this show will seduce fans of true crime and keep them hooked for hours on-end.
9. Making a Murderer
This is the best that true crime can get. Making a Murderer has taken the world by storm thanks to its unique, unbelievable and complex story. Steven Avery has been framed for a rape and murder that he (and a lot of evidence) claims he didn’t do. Yet, he’s locked up in prison, struggling to get his conviction overturned. If you like crime, forensics, and criminal law, this is the Netflix documentary to tune in to.
10. On My Block
In On my Block, a group of teenagers go through life, love, and the difficulties of living in a rough neighborhood of Los Angeles. The show manages to be altogether fun, sincere, and incredibly well-researched when it comes to what life in difficult neighborhoods can be like. Prepare to get attached to every teen in this show and anticipate the laughter, tears and all. It’s certainly worth-watching!
11. The OA
The OA is complicated to pin down as it blends many different genres, from thriller to sci-fi, fantasy to philosophy. In this show, Brit Marling stars as a young woman named Prairie, who returns to her adoptive parents after being abducted by a terrifying scientist named Hap. Hap has been kidnapping and studying victims of Near Death Experiences, hoping to find some kind of answer about what happens after death. The show may have been cancelled, but the two seasons can easily be viewed as a finite story – and a beautiful, clever and heart wrenching one at that.
12. The Haunting of Hill House
The Haunting of Hill House is the latest anthology series to hit Netflix, and like American Horror Story, every season will focus on new supernatural events with different casts and characters. Binge on the first season for the ultimate fright. It tells the story of a group of siblings reunited by a family tragedy and forced to face the horrifying house they inhabited as children – as well as its demons. This binge worthy show is not only amazing on the horror side, it’s also a psychological tale about family and grief that will stick with you for time.
13. The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina
When first announced, The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina made many frown, having including more an atmosphere of a horror movie than that of the Sabrina sitcom of our childhoods. But this teen show didn’t claim to be a reboot of the Teenage Witch humorous series. Instead, it awesomely draws inspiration directly from the comic books, which tell the story of a half-witch who must choose between a peaceful human life and a thrilling destiny as a witch. The tone is sombre and the aesthetics are too, making it a perfect show to binge through on Halloween.
In Trinkets, a group of teenagers who couldn’t have lesser things in common create an unlikely bond when they start attending the same Shoplifters Anonymous group. Becoming friends slowly but surely, they go against their parents’ wishes by challenging each other to steal stuff, while figuring themselves out as young adults. Trinkets isn’t “mind-blowing”, but it still manages to be entertaining and a good comment on teenage lives and how complex they can be.
15. The Society
In this TV show, reminiscent of The 100 and Lord of the Flies, a group of teenagers return from an interrupted school trip to find their small, perfect American town totally abandoned. They soon realize they’re living in a replica of their town, lost in the absolute middle of nowhere, forced to arrange their own micro-society. While it’s still a teen series in tone, The Society is clever in handling the many themes that come with teenagers having to build an entire government without adults. A must-watch!
16. Russian Doll
Starring Orange is the New Black star, Natasha Lyonne and being as hilarious as ever, Russian Doll follows Nadia, a woman who dies on her 36th birthday and finds herself reliving the same day over and over again. It might remind you of Groundhog Day, but Russian Doll is its own take on the neverending day trope, with Natasha Lyonne slowly exploring the many strange aspects of this weird non-afterlife she’s struggling to escape.
17. The Umbrella Academy
This binge worthy series, which is adapted from a comic written by ‘My Chemical Romance’ frontman, Gerard Way, tells the tale of extraordinary children who are adopted by an eccentric billionaire who raises them as little superheroes. Many years later, only a few of them come back to attend his funeral and find themselves having to join forces again against an unlikely threat. This show is everything a superhero show should be – entertaining, emotional, and badass. You won’t regret pressing play, and it’ll leave you craving a second season, too!
This Netflix original series fits right into the Marvel movie canon made up of favorites like Iron Man, The Avengers, and Guardians of the Galaxy. Compared to the movies of the MCU, Daredevil strikes an entirely different tone, making it more of a gritty crime thriller than a happy-go-lucky tale of heroism. It may have ended, but excellent character development, beautiful cinematography, editing, and fight choreography, and a plot full of cliffhangers make this series ideal for a weekend of binge watching.
19. Santa Clarita Diet
In this insane comedy, Drew Barrymore plays a regular realtor who suddenly becomes…a flesh-craving zombie. This puts a hilarious spin on her life, work, parenting and relationships with friends and neighbors, making it truly easy and enjoyable to watch. It may have been cancelled after three seasons, but it doesn’t stop Santa Clarita Diet from being hilarious, goofy and especially good in virtue of being carried by the amazing comedic chemistry between Drew Barrymore and Timothy Oliphant!
20. Raising Dion
Imagine discovering you’re a superhero… whilst eating your breakfast. That’s what happens to little Dion in this popular Netflix series. When realizing what her boy can do, his mother, Nicole does everything she can to protect Dion from the world, and from the threat that has already taken his father. Unlike other superhero shows or movies, Raising Dion is original in that it focuses less on the powered little boy and more on his mom’s determination to protect her son no matter what. Although the show doesn’t shy away from some tropes of the genre, it still manages to stand out in the crowd of sci-fi series out today.
In Easy, each episode explores the hardships and beautiful moments of a diverse range of couples, not shying away from topics such as sexism, racism, and more. The show has no taboo and it’s a perfect fit in 2020 when relationships are more complex than they’ve ever been in the age of digital and casual dating. A plus – the show might be an anthology, but the characters all live within the same universe and sometimes cross paths…
22. One Day At A Time
One Day At A Time was cancelled last year but will be picked up by Pop TV. That being said, you can still binge the amazing first three seasons on Netflix! This top series tells the story of an army veteran Cuban-American mother trying to make sense of her new life as a nurse while her children and eccentric mother deal with their own problems and help each other through life. This sitcom is not only funny, it also knows when to stop the laugh track to tackle more serious subjects such as racism, addiction, depression and more.
23. American Vandal
American Vandal was short-lived, but it sure left a lasting impact on the very small world of true crime show parodies – a genre it pretty much pioneered. Meant as an anthology mockumentary/Making a Murderer parody, this original series follows two young high schoolers as they investigate minor crimes involving teens. The first season was about the mystery of a slew of penises drawn on the car of a high school parking lot, meanwhile the second season revolves around a contaminated lemonade that abruptly made students sick. Sounds insane? It pretty much is! But nonetheless entertaining…
24. Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt
Kimmy Schmidt is a strange young woman who spent several years locked up in a bunker expecting the world to end. Once out, she steps into the bustling streets of New York and tries to figure out who she is and who she’s meant to become, while befriending a range of lovely, eccentric characters that make her new life ten times more hilarious… and catastrophic!
25. A Series of Unfortunate Events
The latest adaptation of Lemony Snicket’s beloved series of Unfortunate books was awaited with a bit of anxiety from its fans, but it didn’t disappoint. Following the quirky, vintage and over-the-top aesthetics and tone of the books, the story remains the same – three orphans are going from new guardians to new guardians as they try to escape the terrifying and ridiculous, Count Olaf who will do anything to get his hands on their fortune.
26. Sex Education
Rest assured, this show isn’t one of those long, uncomfortable videos you’d watched during high school to learn about the birds and the bees. Instead, Netflix’s Sex Education follows a group of teens as they explore their sexuality and other problems. The focus is mainly on main character, Otis, who has grown up with a sex therapist for a mother (Gillian Anderson), something that has made him far too knowledgeable on the topic, while also keeping him from actually being confident about his own sexuality. Funny, intelligent, sincere… you name it.
27. Lost In Space
This show is adapted from the 1965 series of the same name, but it takes itself a little more seriously thanks to the much improved special effects and screenwriters that wanted to deliver something between family television and blockbuster thrills. In Lost In Space, a family chosen to start an outer-space colony must deal with their new life in space while handling a range of threats, from aliens to ill-willed humans…
28. Dear White People
Dear White People is one of the most underrated original Netflix shows. Adapted from the 2014 movie of the same name, the black students of a prestigious and predominantly white university navigate complex race relations, while the main character, Samantha White runs a witty, satirical radio station. The station called ‘Dear White People’ aims to expose the racist behaviors of her white peers and the complexities of American society’s relationship with race through the lense of university life. The show voices essential concerns while keeping some of the lighthearted tone of college comedies — a must-see!
29. The Witcher
This might just be Netflix’s biggest and most popular TV show yet. In fact, it’s one of the top rated, too – 8.4 (IMDb)! Follow the gripping adventures of Geralt, the Witcher and monster hunter and get tangled in the twisted timelines for the ultimate binge-watch. Some may say this is the latest Game of Thrones thanks to supernatural elements, magnificent, medieval costumes and spectacular fight scenes. Grab some popcorn and be all ears – The Witcher is a well-recommended watch!
30. Bojack Horseman
Sometimes, your Netflix and chill session doesn’t have to be so dead serious. In what is surely one of the best of Netflix originals, Bojack Horseman promises fun, humor, and heartwarming moments. Fantastic characters include a horse who’s a legendary 90’s sitcom star, his ex, a pink Persian cat, a Vietnamese-American writer and feminist, and many more. It’s the animation show you never knew you wanted.
31. Jessica Jones
If you liked Daredevil, you’ll love Jessica Jones. Taking place in the same New York neighborhood where the events of Daredevil unfolded, Netflix’s second collaboration with Marvel sees smart and strong superhero, Jessica solving crimes. Throw yourself into the entire 3 seasons, we promise you won’t be able to get enough.
32. When they See Us
Like Making a Murderer, When They See Us is a real life crime story about a group of young boys who have been wrongly accused for rape. Instead, this emotional and gripping story is told as a reconstructed drama, depicting the incidents of that awful night of the rape, the court case and the boys’ lives as they struggle to prove their innocence. Prepare the tissues, this one’s a tough ride.
Netflix never stops surprising us with its original creations and diverse stories. That being said, it can get difficult finding a good show to watch when the platform has so many titles to explore, from thrillers to fantasy, animation to comedy. We hope this list has helped you find your next best series!
Let us know in the comments if you recommend any other Netflix original series and if you’ve already watched these, do share your opinion with us!
Want more great lists from Tell Tales? We’ve also gathered a bunch of the best movies from 2019 – all worth the binge!