34 Recommended Netflix Series.

Recommended Netflix Series

We are getting into cozy season so I thought it would be fun to pull together a big roundup of my favorite shows on Netflix. This is a busy season for me at work and one of my favorite ways to unwind at the end of the day is to relax with a great show. And while I love movies, sometimes a show is less daunting. It’s easier to commit to 30-60 minutes vs. a couple hours (although sometimes, I find myself bingeing an entire series)! Netflix has some of the best TV shows for all age groups and I love that they update their lists regularly (though it can be a challenge to keep up!). Today, a list of the recommended best series (in my opinion at least!), to help you plot your next Netflix binge watch!

And if you are looking for movie recommendations, be sure to check out these heartwarming movies and these comfort movies!

34 Recommended Netflix Series

Thrillers

You know that thrillers are probably my most favorite genre. There are so many good ones on Netflix!

You

I will tell you that this goes off the rails, the last season wasn’t very good… BUT the first few seasons were great, so if you are new to this series, get ready to dive in. Penn Badgley plays Joe Goldberg, a creep that we can’t help but (weirdly) root for? You won’t want to leave your curtains open after watching this one!

Lupin

This is a favorite and we just got another season! It is a retelling of the classic French story about Arsène Lupin, the world-famous gentleman thief and master of disguise. And it has all of my favorite things… opening Lupin trying to avenge his father for an injustice inflicted by a wealthy family. It’s fast paced and just really well done.

Devil in Ohio

What is fun about this (amongst other things) is that my friend Ruby’s sister Daria wrote the book! This is ultra creepy, just to warn you. A psychiatrist takes in a young patient who escaped from a cult, putting her family and life in danger.

Inventing Anna

This is one of my favorite of Netflix’s crime dramas as it is all true and I was living in New York as it happened. Julia Garner is reinvented as Anna Delvey, fake heiress. She did a fantastic job. And if you aren’t familiar with the story, Anna Delvey pretended to be a wealthy German socialite/heiress while deceiving New York’s elite. This chronicles a reporter (played by Anna Chlumsky from My Girl!) digging into Anna’s story. It’s a fun watch.

Dead to Me

Christina Applegate and Linda Cardellini star in what is part dark comedy, part thriller, part friendship story? I had a hard time classifying this one but I enjoyed it. Applegate plays Jen, whose husband died in a hit-and-run. She is determined to solve the crime. She meets Judy (Cardellini) who is free spirited and optimistic at a support group; and the two become unlikely friends. The only problem is that Judy has a huge secret that could destroy her life. It’s dark and weird and really well done.

The Sinner

Admittedly, I only watched the first two seasons of this, but I really enjoyed them both. Detective Harry Ambrose (played by Bill Pullman, who I love!) investigates a chilling new homicide each season. His methods aer a bit unusual and he winds up creating dangerously intimate bonds with his subjects. It’s dark and twisty and really good.

Russian Doll

Natasha Lyonne stars as Nadia, a young woman caught in a mysterious time loop. Every night, she is on a journey to be the guest of honor at a party in New York City. She repeatedly attends the same event and dies at the end of the night each time (only to awake alive and well the next day as if nothing had happened).

Riverdale

This is a fun one (based of the Archie comic books), as it combines some of my favorite things: high school drama and mystery. Archie and his gang navigate sex, romance, school, and family just like any other teen… except: they become entangled in a dark mystery.

A Nearly Normal Family

I just finished this one (there are six episodes, it is very easy to blow through them!!!!) and loved it. It is a Swedish drama series dubbed in English for the US. Adam and Ulrika Sandell live a seemingly perfect life with their daughter Stella, who seems to be the perfect daughter. When (at age 19), Stella ends up accused of murder, everything is upended. We learn of secret relationships, friendship tension, and wonder: is Stella guilty? If you liked Anatomy of a Scandal you will love this. There is a TW for sexual abuse and violence.

Legal + Political

Had to break these out separately as I love this genre.

House of Cards

This series was one of the first shows I ever watched on Netflix. It is a dark look at Washington DC. Kevin Spacey stars as Francis Underwood, the ruthless US representative. When the show begins, he’s been promised Secretary of State in exchange for his support of a presidential candidate. But when the candidate changes his mind (just before the inauguration), Underwood and his wife Claire make a pact to destroy Walker and all of his allies. Throughout the series we watch Underwood ascend to the White House, die, and have his wife take over. I really loved this series. The original UK miniseries (same name!) is maybe even better!

Designated Survivor

Tom Kirkland (Keifer Sutherland) is a lower-level cabinet member who could never even imagine being president. But on the night of the State of the Union address, the unthinkable happens. He is at home, named designated survivor that night, and a horrible attack takes place, taking the lives of the president and most of the cabinet. Suddenly president, he must pull the country together and adjust to his new state of normal (while defending the country against a new set of horrors and defending himself from his many critics).

The Lincoln Lawyer

My boyfriend and I both really love this one. It’s so wholesome, while also having that mystery/thriller/drama element. Mickey Haller is an ideallistic lawyer, running his practice out of the back of his Lincoln town car. He takes on cases big and small across Los Angeles. His two ex-wives play a part, too. Neve Campbell plays the one who got away and Becki Newton is his paralegal.

Suits

This is an older series and not a Netflix original but it’s a favorite of mine. I’ve gotten both my bf and my parents really into it as well. Also, I have a huge crush on Harvey! Harvey Specter is a big time corporate lawyer, unable to find the perfect associate. When a chance encounter puts him and Mike Ross (who is brilliant but never went to law school) together, Harvey takes a chance and hires Mike. The rest of the cast is wonderful too. There is Harvey’s paralegal Donna (vivacious and smart and maybe Harvey’s soulmate), Louis Litt (Harvey’s archnemesis), and their boss Jessica. I loved this show.

The Diplomat

I really loved the first season and hope there wil be more: Keri Russell and Rufus Sewell play a political power couple (I love them both). Russell is blunt, to the point, and doesn’t like being center of attention. But as she dodges an international crisis, she must juggle her new high-profile job as ambassador to the United Kingdom and her marriage.

Light and fun

Grace and Frankie

This show just makes me so happy. Jane Fonda (Grace) and Lily Tomlin (Frankie) are brilliant. They play two women who couldn’t be more different (and want nothing to do with one another) until they’re thrown together when their husbands reveal that they are in love with each other. It’s funny, it’s a little sad at times, it is just a great show. And I love that the episodes are short, making them perfect to watch right before bed!

Ginny & Georgia

This is another favorite genre of mine… con artist with a heart of gold. Georgia is a free-spirited (and often very unorthadox!) mother to her two kids, Ginny and Austin. She will go to any length to protect them, which leads to a lot of adventure and misadventure. I just saw that it’s been renewed for a third season which makes me very very happy.

Virgin River

This is my guilty pleasure. Nothing really ever happens in this show but for whatever reason, watching it feels like a big warm hug. A nurse practitioner moves from Los Angeles to a (you guessed it!) remote Northern California town. She’s in search of a fresh start and doesn’t plan to stay for long but winds up finding love, found family, and a (surprisingly) fulfilling career. It’s very sweet.

Sweet Magnolias

This is like a southern version of Virgin River. Nothing really happens but it feels like chicken soup for the soul. Lifelong friends support each other as they juggle relationships, family, and careers. The cast cracks me up. Joanna Garcia (of Gossip Girl) is the lead, Chris Klein (remember him from American Pie?) is her ex, and Jamie Lynn Spears is his new partner. You aren’t going to get any smarter watching this but I still really enjoy this!

Glamorous

This is extremely fun, and perfect for anyone who was maybe missing Kim Cattrall on And Just Like That. Marco Mejia is a young gender non-conforming queer person, and he is obsessed with all things beauty. On a chance encounter, he meets legendary makeup mogul Madolyn Addison (Cattrall is perfect in this role) and lands a job working for her. It is heartwarming and cute with great costumes.

Partner Track

I really liked this one and was sad to see it cancelled! But wanted to include it as the first season was very good. It also gave me lots of New York nostalgia and the fashion was to die for. Ingrid Yun is an idealistic lawyer struggling with her moral compass as she fights to climb the partner track at a New York City law firm.

Sex Education

High school is awkward enough; imagine having a mother who is a sex therapist? Otis is a socially awkward high school student and becomes a reluctant sex education expert thanks to his mom’s manuals, videos, and (awkward!) open conversations about sex. When his classmates learn about his mother’s career, Otis decides to use his knowledge to improve his status at school. He teams up with Maeve to set up an underground “sex therapy clinic” to help his classmates. This is just very funny.

Never Have I Ever

This is just charming and fun. It’s awkward and hilarious, the perfect high school drama. After a traumatic year, Devi (a first-generation Indian-American teenager) wants to improve her status at school, but friends, family, and feelings don’t make it easy on her. It is so silly and funny but also very heartwarming at times.

Period pieces

These are all very different but grouped together as they each have their own historical element.

All the Light We Cannot See

This just came out and I gobbled it up! While nothing will ever be as good as the book (by Anthony Doerr), this comes close. It’s a four part miniseries set in WWII. A blind French girl and a young German soldier’s paths collide in an unexpected way.

The Crown

This follows Queen Elizabeth from girlhood in the 1940s into modern day/old age and is a wonderfully enjoyable way to learn the history and get to better understand the inner workings of the royal family. The new season just dropped, I watched all four episodes in a day and am counting down!

Bridgerton

I only watched the first season of Bridgerton but it is a treat. During the Regency era in England, eight close-knit siblings of the powerful Bridgerton family attempt to find love. Between the dreamy Duke and the beautiful costumes, there is a lot of eye candy!

Tearjerker

I originally had these two shows under drama but separated them out as they both had me in tears. You’ve been warned, have a full box of tissues at the ready! (Note: they are both must-watches… I just know I like to be warned when something is very sad!)

Firefly Lane

Based on the book by Kristin Hannah, this is the story of Tully (played by Katherine Heigl), and Kate (played by Sarah Chalke)… childhood best friends. The book spans 30 years (from girlhood through adulthood) as bubbly Tully becomes a famous news anchor, while introverted Kate is a producer. It is a heartwarming story about the ups and downs of friendship but it is also horribly sad. I was sobbing (and maybe yelling at the TV a little bit) by the end.

From Scratch

This (based on the book by Tembi Locke) had me sobbing. Amahle (Amy), played by Zoe Saldana, begins as an American student studying abroad in Italy. There, she meets Lino, a Sicilian chef. The two ultimately build a life together despite disagreements and disapproval from their families. But when Lino faces health issues, the couple’s future together is threatened… and the families must come together to help Lino and Amahle.

Drama

The below titles are all lumped in together!

PainKiller

This is not as good as Dopesick but still worth the watch. And Matthew Broderick is great! This story tells the origins of the opioid crises in the United States. We meet the victims, the truth-seekers, the family behind the drug empire, and its employees. It is hard to watch but very engaging.

Orange is the New Black

I still remember when this came out back in 2013 and thinking that it was just some of the best television I’d seen in ages. Piper Chapman (played by Taylor Schilling) is a PR exec with a fiance (played by Jason Biggs), when her drug running past catches up to her and she is sentenced to spend time in a minimum security women’s prison. As she navigates her way through the corrections system and adjusts to her new life, she makes an eccentric group of friends.

Stranger Things

Admittedly, I fell off the wagon on this one but I really loved it for the first few seasons. (And now the kids are all so big!) It gave me a lot of 1980s nostalgia. A group of young friends witness supernatural forces and secret government exploits. As the kids search for answers, they unravel stranger thing after stranger thing… extraordinary mysteries! I might need to resume watching!

The Chair

This was cancelled after a single season but I really enjoyed it, probably because both my sister and boyfriend work in academia and it was fun to get a peek into their worlds. Sandra Oh plays Dr Ji-Yoon, the first woman of color to be made head of the English Department at a prestigious university. Smart and funny!

Dynasty

I love this remake of the classic. The wardrobe alone makes it worth watching! It has everything you could want. Drama, sibling rivalry, gobs of money. It’s fun, over the top soapy, and dramatic. I really enjoy it.

Ozark

Marty Byrde (played by Jason Bateman who I love) is a financial planner who moves his fractured family from Chicago to a summer resort community in the Ozarks. When a money-laundering scheme goes wrong, he’s forced to pay off a debt to a Mexican drug lord by laundering $500 million dollars in 5 years to keep his family safe.

Wednesday

Based on The Addams Family! This is GOOD. I was a little bit surprised by how much I enjoyed it. The cinematography is gorgeous and it is visually stunning to look at (thank you Tim Burton), but the story is really wonderful. Jenna Ortega stars as Wednesday Addams, a difficult (but loveable) misfit attending Nevermore Academy. There, she must make friends and conquer high school, but also thwart a killing spree and solve a mystery. I found it so charming!

I could never get into some of Netflix’s favorites. Squid Game? Black Mirror? Not really my thing. And I’m not really a big reality show person. But let me know your favorite shows on Netflix in the comments section!

Leave a Comment

Leave a Comment

35 Comments

  1. Zara:

    Urgh i love Virgin River, even when nothing really happens in that story. And Firefly Lane really got me tearing up at the end…love how beautifully shot the story is.

    Reality TV might not be your thing but if you ever wanna try one, I hope Terrace House (Boys and Girls in The City) will be your pick!

    12.4.23 Reply
    • Thank you for the rec!!!

      12.4.23 Reply
      • Richard Jenkinson:

        my all time favorite is Heartstopper. it is a beautiful love story that is wonderfully acted and really touches your heart. I enjoyed several of the romantic series you mentioned but cannot believe you didn’t mention Heartstopper. Have you not seen it?

        12.4.23 Reply
      • Ronda Buhrmester:

        I love anything with Kristen Hannah!
        I watched Suits when it was network television, love seeing it back.
        Jane and Lily can never go wrong with any of these movies or series.
        I’m on Hulu too and just getting into Homeland…holy cow! I can’t stop watching!
        of course Billions on Prime!
        You and I have similar tastes in shows.
        Thanks for sharing.

        12.8.23 Reply
  2. Dana:

    Have you seen Bloodline? It’s an incredible family drama set in the Florida Keys about the lengths we will go to protect our own. Kyle Chandler and Sissy Spacek are both in it, and Ben Mendelsohn won an Emmy for his role.

    12.4.23 Reply
    • phill:

      It’s too slow for my liking, it takes foreverrrrr to get into the juicy bits lol however it is a descent enough show if you can bare the slow burn

      12.4.23 Reply
    • I started watching bloodline in the beginning of this year. I’ve binged watched whole series and could watch it a second time easily. It’s heart wrenching in some parts, and the siblings are quite believable in their parts of the series.

      12.4.23 Reply
      • Ronda Buhrmester:

        I love anything with Kristen Hannah!
        I watched Suits when it was network television, love seeing it back.
        Jane and Lily can never go wrong with any of these movies or series.
        Bloodline was great!!

        I’m on Hulu too and just getting into Homeland…holy cow! I can’t stop watching!
        Don’t forget Dropout -amazing! I read the book too Bad Blood by Brad Carryoe. All about Elizabeth Holmes and Sunny’s scam. True story and both are doing time. He is locked up in CA and she is in TX.
        of course Billions on Prime!
        You and I have similar tastes in shows.
        Thanks for sharing.

        12.8.23 Reply
    • I haven’t but I’ve heard great things. Gotta add it to my list!

      12.4.23 Reply
  3. Marin:

    I have seen many of the series on your list, I would recommend watching:
    -Gilmore Girls (it’s an oldie but love it!)
    -The Blacklist
    -The Kominsky method
    -Manifest
    -Generation 56K
    -Atypical (this is about a teen with autism spectrum disorder, trying to make his way into the world. It’s a drama, but has its sweet and fun moments)

    12.4.23 Reply
  4. phill:

    Ozark, Fall of the House of Usher, and The 100 probably the top of my Netflix list

    12.4.23 Reply
  5. Phill:

    The Society!!!! That was a crime that it did not get renewed. Everyone loves it as do I and it ends on a cliffhanger and a really good one at that Netflix was dirty for that

    12.4.23 Reply
  6. Jessica:

    Don’t sleep on Crazy Ex Girlfriend! Rachel Bloom and team are absolute geniuses. This show is so funny and relevant to anyone suffering from mental health issues. Her parodies of songs are SPOT ON and the cast is incredible!

    12.4.23 Reply
    • I couldn’t get into that one!!!! I had a hard time getting past the name and the musical parts didn’t do it for me. BUT so many people I know loved it so I may be in the minority 🙂

      12.4.23 Reply
  7. Rosemarie:

    My favorite Netflix shows are Great British Bake off, Madam Secretary, and the Diplomat (oh man I hope that gets a new season!!)

    12.4.23 Reply
    • Oh man I LOVED The Diplomat. Me too!

      12.4.23 Reply
      • zara:

        Just finished watching Bodyguard. SO GOOD and it’s just 6 episodes too! Great casts and of course the British accent is always sexy 🙂

        12.10.23 Reply
  8. Cy:

    I love Working moms, even though I’m only an auntie; really funny and deals with real mom scenarios . Wellmania with comedian Celeste Barber . Loved Wednesday so much, I rewatched it ( also Bridgerton). I absolutely love The Chair! I wish they would do a second season. I watch a lot of dark/ heavy stuff, so sometimes I like to end with a short comedy episode. Not a Netflix original, but I think Community is really clever too.

    12.4.23 Reply
  9. Cy:

    From Scratch broke my heart! All the light we cannot see I enjoyed; I thought the acting was very good, but it was just too short. The book was so amazing!

    12.4.23 Reply
    • Teresa:

      I loved Russian Doll and Never Have I Ever too. I would recommend Good Girls – 3 friends rob a grocery store to help their financial problems, and then things go WAY downhill from there. It’s so good! Also Ginny & Georgia – lots of drama!

      12.4.23 Reply
  10. I actually think some of the best content on Netflix are actually K-dramas. The cinematography on most shows is next level and the stories are so original. My favorite this year was The Glory which is a gripping revenge thriller. Everyone I’ve recommended it to has loved it. It’s nothing like Squid Game btw.

    12.4.23 Reply
    • Emily M.:

      New Amsterdam!! I don’t like greys but I love this medical show!

      12.9.23 Reply
    • Shelley:

      Have you seen Beef!? Not exactly a K drama but sooo smart and good.

      12.21.23 Reply
  11. Teresa:

    I loved Russian Doll and Never Have I Ever too. I would recommend Good Girls – 3 friends rob a grocery store to help their financial problems, and then things go WAY downhill from there. It’s so good! Also Ginny & Georgia – lots of drama!

    12.4.23 Reply
  12. Mike:

    I loved GLOW

    12.4.23 Reply
  13. Julia Coming:

    Love this round up!! Have you watched Ginny and Georgia? Another I love and recommend all the time!

    12.4.23 Reply
  14. Steve Brown:

    It would be nice if you included shows that people actually watch.

    12.5.23 Reply
  15. Marsha:

    Grace,
    Thank you so much for this list!! I will skip most of the really dark ones. I am such a baby. But the others that I haven’t seen are now on my list! I adore Madame Secretary. One of my all time favorites. Then there is West Wing….but I am not sure it is on Netflix. The acting on that series is next level. And for pure fun try Emily in Paris. The clothes are gorgeous and Emily’s antics are entertaining. I can see why it wouldn’t be for everyone, but I liked it. Oh, I wanted to say the Designated Survivor and Suits are two absolute faves as well. The kind of series that I can rewatch after a bit of time has passed! Harvey………sigh. I would watch it just to see him straighten those cuffs. And then to see Kiefer throw that coat on. Wow.

    12.8.23 Reply
  16. Maggie:

    Thank you for reminding me about Russian Doll, a friend recommended it a few months ago but I’d forgotten about it.

    12.8.23 Reply
  17. Tiphaine:

    I loved Glow, and Lovesick (a group of friends in Scotland, one of them has chlamydia, so he searches for his ex-girlfriends. very funny, alternates btw past and present)

    12.11.23 Reply