We’ve all been overwhelmed by streaming TV choices, only to give up and watch something you’ve already seen. But this curated list of the best shows on Netflix is here to narrow down your choices and help you figure out exactly which titles you want to sample next.
Every high school has its legendary scandals, notorious pranks, and perennial screw-ups. Not every high school has them chronicled in an elaborate docu-series with lavish production values. In this extremely straight-faced mockumentary that’s also one of the best comedies on Netflix, Hanover High senior Dylan Maxwell (Jimmy Tatro) is assumed to have vandalized 27 faculty members’ cars by spray-painting phallic images on them, and gets expelled for it. When he maintains his innocence, classmates Peter Maldonado (Tyler Alvarez) and Sam Ecklund (Griffin Gluck) decide to film their own investigation. Season 2 takes them to another state, and another equally juvenile high school “crime.”
The titular BoJack (voice of Will Arnett) was, back in the ’90s, the star of a wildly successful family sitcom called Horsin’ Around. In the 2010s, he’s a has-been barely hanging on to his acting career. As part of a comeback attempt, he hires Diane Nguyen (Alison Brie) to ghost-write his memoir, drawing her into his world of substance use and depression. It really is a comedy! Paul F. Tompkins deserves special note for his work as BoJack’s one-time sitcom rival turned frenemy, a Labrador Retriever named Mr. Peanutbutter.
Life can be rough in late ’50s Poplar, a disadvantaged neighborhood in London’s East End. But while struggling residents must endure deprivations of all kinds—unethical landlords, insecure employment, open racism for new immigrants of color—one boon they can count on is top-notch medical care. Working with the U.K.’s National Health Service, an order of Anglican nuns, assisted by several secular nurse-midwives, provide pre- and post-natal care to Poplar families; as the series has progressed through more than ten seasons (and counting!), it’s also moved forward in time to show characters dealing with limb differences caused by Thalidomide; an outbreak of diptheria; and the introduction of the Pill. No less an eminence than Vanessa Redgrave narrates. The attention to detail on the period design, the understated performance, and the thoughtful portrayal of complex issues make this one of the best TV shows on Netflix. (Warning for anyone suffering with American health insurance—or in America, without it: the care depicted on this show may cause intense jealousy.)