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In a Showhole? Cue Up These Best Shows on Netflix


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 on Netflix are. For that very purpose, I’ve always kept a handy list running in my office 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 a while now, and a #NaBloPoMo prompt gave me the perfect excuse. The question posed was: “What 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 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!


Photo Credit: ITV
  1. New Girl
  2. The Office
  3. Jane the Virgin
  4. Grace & Frankie
  5. Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt
  6. Parks and Rec
  7. Arrested Development
  8. Chewing Gum
  9. Derek
  10. Lilyhammer
  11. Maron
  12. The Ranch
  13. Easy
  14. Trailer Park Boys
  15. Flaked
  16. The Good Place
  17. Schitt’s Creek
  18. Santa Clarita Diet
  19. Rules of Engagement
  20. Master of None
  21. Glow
  22. Disjointed
  23. Portlandia 
    Top 5 Older: The Office, Parks and Rec, Arrested Development, New Girl, Portlandia
    Top 5 Newer:Jane the Virgin, Grace & Frankie, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, The Good Place, Santa Clarita Diet

Crime — Light

Photo Credit: Netflix
  1. Orange Is the New Black
  2. Law & Order: SVU
  3. Criminal Minds
  4. NCIS
  5. Blacklist
  6. Republic of Doyle
  7. Person of Interest
  8. White Collar
  9. Hawaii Five-O
  10. Blue Bloods
  11. Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries
  12. The Glades
  13. Crossing Jordan
  14. Leverage
  15. Quantico
  16. Limitless
  17.  Father Brown
  18. Death in Paradise
  19. Mind Hunter
  20. Breaking Bad
  21. Longmire

    Top 5: Law & Order: SVU, Criminal Minds, OITNB, Breaking Bad, Mind Hunter

Crime — Dark

Photo Credit: SundanceTV
  1. Rectify
  2. Hinterland
  3. Luther
  4. The Following
  5. The Fall
  6. Wentworth
  7. Marcella
  8. The Killing
  9. Broadchurch
  10. Bates Motel
  11. Dexter
  12. Slasher
  13. Top of the Lake
  14. Wallander
  15. American Crime
  16. Happy Valley
  17. Longmire
  18. Narcos
  19. Sons of Anarchy
  20. Crossing Lines
  21. Red Road
  22. Paranoid
  23. The Sinner
  24. Secret City
  25. Seven Seconds
  26. Shooter
  27. Harlan Coben’s SafeHarlan Coben’s The Five

    Top 6 Older: Rectify (!), Broadchurch, The Killing, The Fall, Dexter, Bates Motel
    Top 6 Newer: Marcella, Wentworth, Seven Seconds (!), Harlan Coben’s The Five, Harlan Coben’s Safe, The Sinner

Dramas About Families But Not Necessarily Family-Friendly

Photo Credit: Netflix
  1. Parenthood
  2. Shameless
  3. Bloodline
  4. Weeds
  5. Offspring
  6. Blackstone
  7. Last Tango in Halifax
  8. Doctor Foster
  9. Friends From College
  10. Dynasty
  11. Ozark
  12. Californication
  13. Wanted

    Top 5: Parenthood, Shameless, Bloodline, Weeds, Doctor Foster (new fave!)


Photo Credit: Hallmark
  1. Heartland
  2. When Calls the Heart
  3. Lost in Space
  4. A Series of Unfortunate Events
  5. Anne with an E
  6. Beyond Stranger Things
  7. Girl Meets World
  8. One Day at a Time
  9. The Good Witch
  10. The Worst Witch
  11. Liv and Maddie
  12. Alexa & Katie
  13. Bunk’d
  14. Fuller House
  15. Richie Rich
  16. Mako Mermaids
  17. Free Rein
  18. The Who Was? Show
    Top 5: When Calls the Heart, Lost in Space, A Series of Unfortunate Events, Anne with an E, The Worst Witch

Girly (For Lack of a Better Word)

Best Shows on Netflix: Gilmore Girls
Photo Credit: Warner Bros.
  1. Gossip Girl
  2. Gilmore Girls
  3. Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life
  4. Love
  5. Hart of Dixie
  6. Pretty Little Liars
  7. Girlfriends Guide to Divorce
  8. The Carrie Diaries
  9. Queen of the South
  10. Being Mary Jane
  11. Cable Girls
  12. Crazy Ex-Girlfriend
  13. The L Word
  14. Client List
  15. Sensitive Skin
  16. The Let Down

    Top 5: Gossip Girl, Gilmore Girls, Pretty Little Liars, Girlfriend’s Guide to Divorce, Queen of the South 


Photo Credit: ABC
  1. Grey’s Anatomy
  2. Private Practice
  3. Nurse Jackie
  4. Royal Pains
  5. The Night Shift

    Top 5: You’re lookin’ at ’em (above).


Photo Credit: FX
  1. Haven
  2. American Horror Story
  3. Zoo
  4. Supernatural
  5. Black Mirror
  6. The Returned
  7. The 4400
  8. Glitch
  9. Sense 8
  10. The OA
  11. The Travelers
  12. Altered Carbon
  13. Crazyhead
  14. Dark Matter
  15. Merlin
  16. Residue
  17. The Mist
  18. Wynonna Earp
  19. The Rain
  20. 3%
  21.  Into the Badlands
  22.  Once Upon a Time
  23.  Ash vs Evil Dead

    Top 5: AHS, The OA, Altered Carbon, The Mist, Once Upon a Time, Ash vs Evil Dead (honorable mention!)

Vampires, Werewolves, & Zombies

Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC
  1. Bitten
  2. Hemlock Grove
  3. Lost Girl
  4. The Walking Dead
  5. The Vampire Diaries
  6. The Originals
  7. Z Nation
  8. Being Human (US version)
  9. Being Human (UK version)
  10. iZombie
  11. Helix
  12. Van Helsing
  13. Containment
  14.  Penny Dreadful

    Top 5: Bitten, Hemlock Grove, The Walking Dead, Penny Dreadful, Van Helsing


Photo Credit: Netflix
  1. Flash
  2. Arrow
  3. Jessica Jones
  4. Gotham
  5. Luke Cage
  6. Supergirl
  7. Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
  8. DC’s Legends of Tomorrow
  9. Black Lighting
  10. Daredevil
  11. The Defenders
  12. Punisher
  13. Iron Fist

    Top 5: Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Daredevil, Punisher, Luke Cage, Jessica Jones

Reality TV

Photo Credit: Netflix
  1. Fixer Upper
  2. Monster Fish
  3. Genevieve’s Renovation
  4. Fearless
  5.  Churchill’s Secret Agents: The New Recruits
  6. Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee
  7. Alaska State Troopers
  8. Girls Incarcerated
  9. Queer Eye: More Than a Makeover
  10. Skin Wars

    Top 5: Fixer Upper, Monster Fish, Churchill’s Secret Agents, Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee, Queer Eye


Photo Credit: BBC One
  1. Making a Murderer
  2. Planet Earth
  3. Blue Planet
  4. Africa
  5. Frozen Planet
  6. UnBranded
  7. Virunga
  8.  Miss Representation
  9. Life
  10.  13th
  11. The Ivory Game
  12. Into the Inferno
  13. American Vandal
  14. Auschwitz: The Nazis and the Final Solution
  15. Departures
  16. Evil Genius
  17. The Staircase
  18. The Confession Tapes
  19. Tales By Light
  20. The Keepers
  21. World War II in Color
  22. Inside the World’s Toughest Prisons

    Top 5: Making a Murderer, Planet Earth, 13th, The Confession Tapes, The Keepers


Photo Credit: CNN
  1. Cooked
  2. Chef’s Table
  3. Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown
  4. The Layover
  5. Cupcake Wars
  6. Food Inc.
  7. Rotten
  8. Nailed It
  9. The Great British Baking Show
  10. The Wild Chef
  11. Zumbo’s Just Desserts
  12. Young & Hungry
  13. The Big Family Cooking Showdown
  14. Ugly Delicious
  15. Somebody Feed Phil

    Top 7 (couldn’t do just 5): Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown, Nailed It, The Great British Baking Show, Zumbo’s Just Desserts, Young & Hungry, Ugly Delicious, Somebody Feed Phil


  1. Scandal
  2. House of Cards
  3. The Crown
  4. Drop Dead Diva
  5. Madam Secretary
  6. Better Call Saul
  7. The West Wing
  8. How to Get Away with Murder

    Top 5: Scandal, The Crown, Better Call Saul, The West Wing, How to Get Away with Murder


Photo Credit: Netflix
  1. Hell on Wheels
  2. Sherlock
  3. Strange Empire
  4. Reign
  5. Peaky Blinders
  6. Marco Polo
  7. Turn
  8. The Last Kingdom
  9. The Lizzie Borden Chronicles
  10. Spartacus
  11. The Tudors
  12. The Borgias
  13. Galavant
  14. Hatfields & McCoys
  15. Ripper Street
  16. Call the Midwife
  17. Mad Men
  18. Alias Grace
  19. Frontier
  20. Grand Hotel
  21. Marseille
  22. North & South
  23. The Frankenstein Chronicles
  24. Godless

    Top 5: Sherlock, Peaky Blinders, Call the Midwife, Alias Grace, Godless (fingers crossed for a second season!)


Photo Credit: NBC
  1. Friends
  2. Twin Peaks
  3. Freaks and Geeks
  4. Star Trek
  5. The Andy Griffith Show
  6. Cheers
  7.  The Twilight Zone
  8. That ‘70s Show
  9. Frasier
  10. Jericho
  11. Bill Nye the Science Guy
  12. Charmed
  13. Mystery Science Theater 3000
  14. Mystery Science Theater 3000: The Return
  15. Party of Five
  16. Pee-Wee’s Playhouse
  17. The Dick Van Dyke Show

    Top 5: Friends, Charmed, Cheers, That ’70s Show, Frasier

Far-Too-Short Series

Photo Credit: The CW Network
  1. Somewhere Between
  2. Life Sentence
  3. Vexed
  4. Spotless
  5. Rectify (yes this is in two categories… it’s that good)
  6. River
  7. About a Boy
  8. Emily Owens M.D.
  9. Gypsy
  10. Life Unexpected
  11. Nikita
  12. Reckless
  13. The Mysteries of Laura
  14. Valor
  15. Girlboss

    Top 5: Somewhere Between, Life Sentence, Rectify, Gypsy, Girlboss


Photo Credit: Netflix
  1. Friday Night Lights
  2. 90210 (the new years)
  3. Glee
  4. Haters Back Off
  5. Scream
  6. Switched at Birth
  7. The Fosters
  8. Atypical
  9. Degrassi: Next Class
  10. Everything Sucks
  11. Greenhouse Academy
  12. On My Block
  13. The End of the F***ing World
  14. Riverdale
  15. 13 Reasons Why
  16. The 100
  17. Stranger Things

    Top 5: Scream, Riverdale, 13 Reasons Why, The 100, Stranger Things

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