Here’s something to know about me: I don’t sleep much. I’m a bit of an insomniac, and I blame it on my brain — it never shuts up. No matter how tired I am, I cannot stop thinking. Fortunately, Netflix keeps me company. Between my insomniatic viewing habits and my job as an entertainment/TV writer, I’m forever being asked what the best shows to binge-watch on Netflix are.
For that very purpose, I’ve always kept a handy list saved to my desktop in case I should ever need to update the “shows you should be watching” feature I created for SheKnows or to rattle off some ideas to a friend languishing in a showhole (the emptiness you experience after finishing a series on Netflix and just don’t even know what to do with yourself anymore).
I’ve been thinking of updating it for awhile now, and today’s #NaBloPoMo prompt gave me the perfect excuse. The question posed was: “What fall TV show should just be canceled already?” Well, I racked my brain and didn’t have a good answer for that. Instead, I decided to go in the opposite direction and share watch-worthy shows.
It still kind of works, right? Just think of it this way — if you’re watching a fall TV show and it gets canceled or you lose interest, you could simply refer to this list to find a filler show to entertain you until a new crop comes to network television.
In full disclosure, this list is yuuuuuge. We’re talking 226 titles (and counting). Hopefully my genre categorization will help you hone in on the types of shows you’ll find most interesting. Or, at the very least, help you rule out some you know wouldn’t be your scene. It goes without saying, though, that I’m happy to answer questions about any of the shows listed or offer suggestions for whittling down your watch list based on my own personal favorites. Believe me, I have a few I feel like everyone should watch — which is why I’ve included a “Top 5” for every category.
Without further ado then, I present my curation of the best of Netflix. Oh, for your convenience, I’ve also linked the titles to their page on Netflix for easy access. Happy binge-watching!
Girly (For Lack of a Better Word)
Gossip Girl, Gilmore Girls, Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life, One Tree Hill, Love, Hart of Dixie, Revenge, Pretty Little Liars, Girlfriends Guide to Divorce, Glee, The Carrie Diaries, Lipstick Jungle, Cedar Cove
Top 5: Gossip Girl, Gilmore Girls, One Tree Hill, Revenge, Pretty Little Liars
Dramas About Families But Not Necessarily Family-Friendly
Top 5: Parenthood, Shameless, Bloodline, Weeds, Doctor Foster (new fave!)
Raising Hope, How I Met Your Mother, Wilfred, It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, New Girl, The League, The Office, Jane the Virgin, Grace & Frankie, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, Parks and Rec, 30 Rock, Arrested Development, Chewing Gum, Derek, Haters Back Off, Cristela, Lilyhammer, The Bernie Mac Show, Louie, The Riches, Maron, The Ranch, Easy, Trailer Park Boys, Flaked
Top 5 Older: Raising Hope, HIMYM, The Office, Parks and Rec, Arrested Development
Top 5 Newer: New Girl, Jane the Virgin, Grace & Frankie, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, Louie
Crime — Light
Bones, How to Get Away with Murder, Orange is the New Black, Graceland, Law & Order: SVU, CSI: Miami, CSI: NY, Criminal Minds, NCIS, Scream, Blacklist, Republic of Doyle, Person of Interest, Burn Notice, White Collar, Hawaii Five-O, Blue Bloods, Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries, The Glades, Crossing Jordan, Leverage, Quantico, Limitless, Vexed, Spotless
Top 5: Bones, Law & Order: SVU, Criminal Minds, OITNB, HTGAWM
Crime — Dark
Rectify, Hinterland, Luther, The Following, The Fall, River, Prison Break, Wentworth, Marcella, The Killing, Broadchurch, Breaking Bad, Bates Motel, Dexter, Slasher, Top of the Lake, Wallander, American Crime, Happy Valley, Longmire, Narcos, Sons of Anarchy, Crossing Lines, Red Road, Paranoid
Top 11 (impossible to narrow it down anymore… this entire category is amazing): Rectify (!), Hinterland, The Following, The Fall, Wentworth (!), Marcella, The Killing, Broadchurch (!), Breaking Bad, Bates Motel, Dexter (!), Paranoid
Top 5: You’re lookin’ at ’em (above).
Salem, Haven, The 100, Stranger Things, American Horror Story, Zoo, Lost, Supernatural, The X-Files, Black Mirror, The Returned, The 4400, Ghost Whisperer, Charmed, Glitch, Sense 8, The OA (new fave!), The Travelers
Top 5: Salem, The 100, Stranger Things, AHS, The OA
Vampires, Werewolves & Zombies
Top 5: Bitten, Hemlock Grove, The Walking Dead, The Vampire Diaries, iZombie
Top 5: Flash, Arrow, Jessica Jones, Once Upon a Time, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
Master of None, Making a Murderer, Planet Earth, The Blue Planet, Fixer Upper, Africa, Human Planet, Frozen Planet, UnBranded, Virunga, Miss Representation, Life, Inside the World’s Toughest Prisons, Monster Fish, Genevieve’s Renovation, Fearless, Hawaiian: The Legend of Eddie Aikau, 13th, The Siege of Jadotville, The Ivory Game, Into the Inferno
Top 5: Making a Murderer, Planet Earth, Fixer Upper, The Siege of Jadotville, The Ivory Game
Top 5: Chef’s Table, Super Size Me, Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown, The Great Food Truck Race, Food Inc.
Top 5: Scandal, Damages, House of Cards, The Crown, Madam Secretary
Hell on Wheels, Sherlock, Strange Empire, Reign, Peaky Blinders, Marco Polo, Penny Dreadful, Turn, The Last Kingdom, Merlin, Foyle’s War, The Lizzie Borden Chronicles, Spartacus, The Tudors, The Borgias, Galavant, Hatfields & McCoys, Ripper Street, Copper, Murdoch Mysteries, Call the Midwife, Madmen, Medici
Top 5: Hell on Wheels, Peaky Blinders, Penny Dreadful, The Last Kingdom, Madmen
Friends, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Twin Peaks, Freaks and Geeks, Quantum Leap, Star Trek, Battlestar Galactica, The Andy Griffith Show, Cheers, The Munsters, The Twilight Zone, That ‘70s Show, Roseanne, Frasier, Ally McBeal, The Wonder Years, Murder She Wrote, Xena: Warrior Princess, SeaQuest DSV, Jericho, Bill Nye the Science Guy
Top 5: Friends, Quantum Leap, That ’70s Show, Murder She Wrote, Xena: Warrior Princess
Images: Giphy (14)