Whether your Netflix queue has run dry or you're simply overwhelmed by the streaming service's endless scroll and ever-fluctuating library, EW is here to help. If you're in need of something new to binge or a reminder of an old favorite to revisit, this is the list for you: We've assembled a lineup of the best TV shows currently available on Netflix, from classics of yesteryear to the hottest new titles. They're some of our favorites, and we hope they'll soon be some of yours too.
*Titles added for September 2021 are denoted with an asterisk.
After Life mixes sweet and bitter flavors in a way that feels perfectly suited to our time, as creator-star Ricky Gervais leavens his signature comic brutality with a moving story of grief and growth. Gervais plays Tony, a newspaperman who has become a miserably pessimistic, insult-hurling misanthrope after losing his wife Lisa (Kerry Godliman) to cancer. It will take the series' delightful cast of characters — including an older widow played by Downton Abbey's Penelope Wilton, the paper's eager new reporter, Sandy (Mandeep Dhillon), and a no-nonsense nurse (Extras' Ashley Jensen) — to push Tony back toward his will to live.
EW grade: A- (Read review here)
Talent: Ricky Gervais, Ashley Jensen, Penelope Wilton, Tom Basden, Tony Way
American Crime Story: The People v. O.J. Simpson
Byron Cohen /FX
As we eagerly await the arrival of American Crime Story's third season (focused on the Monica Lewinsky scandal and Bill Clinton's impeachment), it's an apt time to revisit its first season — though there's never really a bad time. The People v. O.J. Simpson remains a TV miracle, somehow finding a fresh way into one of the most widely scrutinized and discussed criminal cases in U.S. history. And the cast is top-notch across the board; you can see Sterling K. Brown becoming a star before your eyes, and Sarah Paulson forever redefined Marcia Clark with her heartbreaking performance. That this show pairs extremely well with the revelatory, Oscar-winning documentary O.J.: Made in America is the highest compliment we can give.
EW grade : A (Read review here)
Related reading: EW's 2016 cover story on The People v. O.J. Simpson
In the last decade or so, Arrested Development has seemed to complete the shift from cult favorite to in-the-canon classic (Netflix's revival seasons notwithstanding), finally giving the beloved but low-rated Fox series the audience it always deserved. But if you still haven't caught up with the tangled saga of a wealthy family who loses everything, and the one son who has no choice but to keep them all together, the series is available to stream in all its uproarious, quippy, chicken dancing glory. Time has only sharpened its critique of the one percent, but some elements never needed sharpening, particularly the late, great Jessica Walter's immortal performance as icy, perpetually sauced matriarch Lucille Bluth.
EW grade: A (Read EW's original review here)
Related reading: Jessica Walter's best Arrested Development moments as Lucille Bluth
Avatar: The Last Airbender
Avatar: The Last Airbender was available on Netflix once upon a time, but when the world needed it most, it vanished...until now, that is. Nickelodeon's beloved animated series returned to the streaming service in May, offering parents a much-needed new option to watch with their kids. Set in a world in which certain people can control one of the four elements (water, earth, fire, or air), the show follows Aang, the long-lost reincarnation of the Avatar — the master of all four. With the help of his friends, Aang must hone his skills in order to restore balance and peace to a world at war.
The Baby-Sitters Club
A warm cup of feel-good entertainment for the whole family, Netflix's reboot of The Baby-Sitters Club updates Ann M. Martin's beloved book series for the modern age, but loses none of the books' charm and wholesome spirit in the process. The show follows five middle-schoolers in Stoneybrook, Conn. as they start up a babysitting business while dealing with typical middle-school concerns: crushes, summer camp, family friction. Kids will relate, while adults can appreciate the diverse ensemble, the presence of Clueless icon Alicia Silverstone, and the show's generous and inclusive spirit.
EW grade: B (Read review here)
Talent: Alicia Silverstone, Sophie Grace, Momona Tamada, Mark Feuerstein
Better Call Saul
Greg Lewis/AMC/Sony Pictures Television
The Breaking Bad prequel recently wrapped up its fifth, and for our money best, season, which probably won't arrive on Netflix for a while. But in the meantime, you can catch up on the previous four, which follow Bob Odenkirk's Jimmy McGill on his path to becoming slippery lawyer Saul Goodman. Along the way: run-ins with the cartel, appearances by Bad favorites like Gus Fring (Giancarlo Esposito) and Mike (Jonathan Banks), and a tremendous performance by Rhea Seehorn as Jimmy's confidant and paramour Kim Wexler.
EW grade: B (Read season 1 review here)
Related reading: Better Call Saul vs. Breaking Bad: We decide which is better
Per creator Charlie Brooker, we won't be getting another season of Black Mirror for a while, so it's an apt time to catch up on the British anthology series. True, its bleak outlook on modern society may not be what everyone needs right now, but the show's stories — spanning a variety of technological "what if" scenarios, such as "What if you could play back all of your memories" and "What if A.I. could re-create someone who died" — are great works of modern sci-fi.
Related reading: Every Black Mirror episode ranked
Netflix's recently-concluded original series BoJack Horseman is one of the funniest and most heartbreaking shows on TV, often in the same episode. The series follows the titular character, a washed-up former sitcom star who is also a horse, in a world where humans and anthropomorphic animals exist side-by-side. (Don't worry, you'll get used to it quickly.) With an all-star voice cast including Will Arnett, Alison Brie, Aaron Paul, and Amy Sedaris — all doing some of the best work of their careers — BoJack Horseman is a modern masterwork that can be, and indeed begs to be, viewed again and again and again.
EW grade: A (Read review here)
Talent: Will Arnett, Alison Brie, Aaron Paul, Amy Sedaris, Paul F. Tompkins
LIAM DANIEL/NETFLIX Regé-Jean Page and Phoebe Dynevor in 'Bridgerton' season 1
Starved for romance while in quarantine? We're not sure Bridgerton will help, but this adaptation of Julia Quinn's romance novels from TV powerhouse Shonda Rhimes will at least make a worthwhile watch. The first season tells the tale of Daphne Bridgerton (Phoebe Dynevor), a sheltered debutante who soon falls into a fauxmance with the rakish Duke of Hastings (Regé-Jean Page). The web of characters and storylines fanning out from there is far too intricate to detail here, but know that the show also involves a mysterious society columnist voiced by Dame Julie Andrews, drawing room intrigue, shirtless boxing matches, and lots and lots of sex. To the boudoir!
EW grade: B+ (Read review here)
Talent: Shonda Rhimes, Phoebe Dynevor, Regé-Jean Page, Julie Andrews
Related reading: How Bridgerton is poised to revolutionize romance on television
ELIZA MORSE/NETFLIX Sandra Oh in 'The Chair.'
Sandra Oh leads the sharp comedy series The Chair (created by actress Amanda Peet) as Dr. Ji-Yoon Kim, the first woman to chair the prestigious Pembroke University's English department. Ji-Yoon soon finds herself facing a unique set of challenges, including a popular professor (Jay Duplass) mired in controversy, a dean obsessed with the bottom line, and a disgruntled student body who feel the university is behind the times. Oh, and she's also juggling a seven-year-old daughter and a potential romance… with that controversial professor. If The Chair, like its protagonist, bites off a bit more than it can chew, it does so in highly entertaining fashion, with a perceptive, skewering take on academia to boot.
Related reading: See David Duchovny wear his iconic X-Files Speedo again in The Chair
Danielle Levitt/Comedy Central
Rick James. Clayton Bigsby. Lil Jon. Wayne Brady. You can now dive into Chappelle's Show's library of hilarious sketches on Netflix, after the show returned to the streamer following a dust-up over unpaid royalties between creator-star Dave Chappelle and Comedy Central. Much of the show's satirical humor retains its bite all these years later, but the pure silliness might hold up even better: look no further than Charlie Murphy's "True Hollywood Story" about a basketball game against Prince.
Talent: Dave Chappelle, Charlie Murphy, Neal Brennan
Game Show Network
Jeopardy is pretty much indisputably the greatest game show format of all time, but The Chase, in our humble opinion, is not too far behind. Anyone out there looking for their trivia fix would do well to check out the Game Show Network series, which pits contestants against formidable (and sharp-tongued) trivia expert Mark "The Beast" Labbett in a fast-paced game of knowledge. But you don't need to take our word for it: a glitzy remake of the show recently premiered on ABC, featuring Jeopardy GOATs James Holzhauer, Ken Jennings, and Brad Rutter. Consider it the official game show seal of approval.
Talent: Mark Labbett, Brooke Burns
The Emmy-nominated Cobra Kai picks up with Johnny Lawrence (William Zabka) three decades after the events of The Karate Kid, fallen far from his glory days at the Cobra Kai dojo. But things start to turn around when he agrees to help his teenage neighbor Miguel (Xolo Maridueña) learn karate to fend off bullies. The series soon grows into "a substantive, wildly enjoyable saga of redemption, humanity, and the creeping ennui of middle age," as EW's Kristen Baldwin wrote in her season 2 review, bringing in Ralph Macchio's Daniel LaRusso and other Karate Kid figures for a highly entertaining story of redemption, regret, and inter-dojo rivalry. And yes, there are crane kicks.
Review: B+ (Read season 2 review here)
Talent: William Zabka, Ralph Macchio, Courtney Henggeler, Xolo Maridueña
Lewis Jacobs/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images via Getty Images
NBC's cult-favorite sitcom arrived on Netflix in April, giving the perennially low-rated but critically-beloved show something of a moment five years after its final episode aired. Community follows disgraced lawyer Jeff Winger (Joel McHale) as he attends Greendale Community College to earn the law degree he never got, where he falls in with a group of misfits and finds himself unexpectedly learning to connect with people. That's the first season, anyway: from season 2 onward, the show became an explosive well of pop-culture parody and deconstruction, with many of its best episodes zeroing in on a specific genre or format or work to affectionately lampoon. Now is as good a time as any — even better, perhaps — to dive into the series: Not only is Community a perfect show for our current moment, but EW has been binging the show with the cast and creator Dan Harmon. We may never get that movie, but six seasons were enough to make Community an all-time classic.
Related reading: The 15 best episodes of Community
Robert Voets/The CW
Join us on a journey to West Covina, Calif. (just two hours from the beach!) and into the wild world of Rebecca Bunch (Rachel Bloom), a disillusioned lawyer who follows her ex-boyfriend Josh (Vincent Rodriguez III) out west in search of happiness… and maybe a re-connection. That's just the beginning of Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, which miraculously ran for four seasons on The CW, filled with hilarity, honest explorations of mental health and sexuality, and brilliant original musical numbers.
Talent: Rachel Bloom, Vincent Rodriguez III, Donna Lynne Champlin, Adam Schlesinger
Related reading: The 10 best songs from Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, ranked
You needn't be an ardent Anglophile to enjoy The Crown (though it certainly helps). The series is a feast of sumptuous production and costume design, delectable performances, and historical intrigue, following Queen Elizabeth II (played by Claire Foy, then Olivia Colman, and soon Imelda Staunton) over the course of her half-century-plus on the throne. The highlights are all there — Winston Churchill, the Suez Crisis, the Profumo affair, Margaret Thatcher, Diana — as is creator Peter Morgan's plentiful experience examining the British monarchy (see also 2006's The Queen, starring Helen Mirren).
EW grade: A- (Read season 4 review here)
Dead to Me
Dead to Me's second season dropped May 8, continuing the tragicomic story of Jen (Christina Applegate) and Judy (Linda Cardellini), who become friends in the wake of Jen's husband's death in a hit-and-run car accident. The central duo carry the show with winning chemistry, with Applegate, per EW's Kristen Baldwin, "giving the performance of her career" in this tale of grief, female friendship, and more than a touch of intrigue.
EW grade: B (Read review here)
Talent: Christina Applegate, Linda Cardellini, James Marsden
Related reading: Dead to Me cast answers spoiler-filled questions about season 2
Dear White People
Dear White People expands creator Justin Simien's 2014 indie film into an incisive, insightful series that plumbs complex issues of race and culture with wit and verve. Set at a fictional Ivy League school, the show centers around Samantha White (Logan Browning), who launches a combative radio program to enlighten the white folks on campus. Meanwhile, the rich ensemble of characters around her lets the show explore various perspectives and personal and political issues. Smart, satirical, and timely, Dear White People is an ideal binge right now — and it's the perfect time to catch up before the fourth and final season arrives.
EW grade: A (Read season 1 review here)
Talent: Logan Browning, Brandon P. Bell, Antoinette Robertson, Giancarlo Esposito
We could all use a few more laughs these days, and fortunately, Netflix has one of the funniest shows currently on the air in Documentary Now! Created by Fred Armisen, Bill Hader, Seth Meyers, and Rhys Thomas, the series spoofs a classic documentary in each episode, with numerous A-listers popping up in guest roles and cameos alongside Armisen and Hader, who appear in nearly every episode. Though it helps, familiarity with the films being spoofed isn't required; there's enough hilarious tomfoolery to satisfy anyone who doesn't know Grey Gardens from Gray's Anatomy.
EW grade: A (Read review here)
Related reading: John Mulaney breaks down his Documentary Now! Sondheim spoof
The Eddy revolves around the titular Parisian jazz club, co-owned by an American former pianist named Elliot (Andre Holland) who has decamped to France. Things start to unravel for Elliot as secrets emerge about his friend and business partner Farid (Tahar Rahim), just as Elliot's troubled daughter Julie (Amandla Stenberg) arrives to stay with him. Filled with original jazz numbers and an international cast, this eight-episode limited series also boasts a top-notch team of directors (Oscar winner Damien Chazelle), writers (Harry Potter and the Cursed Child's Jack Thorne), and musicians (six-time Grammy winner Glen Ballard) behind the scenes.
Talent: Andre Holland, Joanna Kulig, Amandla Stenberg, Damien Chazelle
A spooky paranormal thriller from the creators of The Good Wife? Yes indeed. Evil follows skeptical forensic psychologist Kristen Bouchard (Katja Herbers) as she partners with priest-in-training David Acosta (Luke Cage's Mike Colter) and contractor Ben Shakir (The Daily Show's Aasif Mandvi) to investigate purportedly supernatural happenings. It's the rare network procedural that grapples with issues of religion, technology, and morality so sharply, but Evil can also be appreciated for its sheer WTF factor. (Is Michael Emerson playing the Devil? Even he's not sure.)
EW grade: B+ (Read review here)
Friday Night Lights
Bill Records/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank Zach Gilford in 'Friday Night Lights.'
We here at EW have beaten the drum for Friday Night Lights once or twice in the past, but for this show, it bears repeating. Ostensibly the story of a high school football team in Dillon, Tex., Friday Night Lights used that framework to explore complex issues like racism, America's economic crisis, and our public education system. But it did so without sacrificing rich character work and compelling stories (well, depending how you feel about season 2), all anchored by Kyle Chandler's Coach Taylor and his wife, Tami (Connie Britton). Throw in one of the best mid-show resets in TV history, and it's easy to see why Friday Night Lights scored the number one spot on our list of the best teen TV shows ever.
Review: B (Read season 1 review here)
Related reading: Here's your ultimate Friday Night Lights binge guide
GLOW kicks off as the story of struggling actress Ruth (Alison Brie), who joins a lady-wrestler TV show in a last-ditch attempt to find work, but quickly develops into one of the richest female ensembles on TV. If the show feels overstuffed, it's only because the writers and actresses are determined to imbue all of the "Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling" with vibrant personalities and arcs, from Betty Gilpin's former soap opera fixture Debbie to Gayle Rankin's indelible Sheila the She-Wolf.
EW grade: A (Read season 1 review here)
Talent: Alison Brie, Betty Gilpin, Marc Maron
The Good Place
The Good Place begins as the story of Eleanor Shellstrop (Kristen Bell), a self-proclaimed "trash bag" who ends up in the titular afterlife locale by mistake. It ends up as… well, something different, but it remains a hilarious, unpredictable, philosophical ride throughout its four seasons, all of which are now streaming on Netflix. If you're a new arrival to the heavenly comedy, avoid spoilers at all costs — you won't want any of this show's holy-shirt moments ruined for you.
EW grade: A- (Read spoiler-y season 1 review here)
Related reading: Ted Danson goes deep on The Good Place finale — and that final line
The Haunting of Hill House
Creator and director Mike Flanagan (Gerald's Game) brings the modern horror movie renaissance to TV with this blend of supernatural horror, family drama, and bravura filmmaking. Loosely based on Shirley Jackson's classic novel, The Haunting of Hill House tells the tale of the Crain family, alternating between past and present as it traces their paranormal experiences at the titular mansion. It's to the show's credit that it works both as an examination of how trauma can haunt us throughout our lives, and as a straight-up ghost story that will scare you senseless.
How to Get Away With Murder
With How to Get Away With Murder having claimed its final victims, the Shondaland drama's full run now lurks on Netflix, awaiting a rewatch or a first-time binge. The series tells the twisty tale of lawyer and law professor Annalise Keating (Viola Davis, in an Emmy-winning performance), who, along with five of her students, becomes embroiled in a web of lies, deceit, and (you guessed it) murder.
EW grade: A (Read review here)
I Think You Should Leave with Tim Robinson
I Think You Should Leave might take some getting used to. This gleefully unhinged sketch show from comedian and Saturday Night Live alum Tim Robinson (and executive produced by The Lonely Island) takes simple premises and cranks the absurdity up as far as it will go. Many of the sketches feel like SNL segments that mutated into something weirder and more surreal; the best ones (such as the much-memed Hot Dog Car sketch) capture the feeling of life in a world gone mad. It's not for everyone, but those who like it will love it — and devour its six 15-minute episodes over and over until season 2 arrives.
Related reading: The best I Think You Should Leave sketches
The Legend of Korra
So you've already binged Avatar: The Last Airbender… multiple times? Check out sequel series The Legend of Korra, which follows Aang's successor as Avatar, picking up the story 70 years later. The series begins with Korra setting out to learn airbending, and tracks her journey as she strives to maintain balance in a world facing the trials of modernization, social unrest, and a crisis involving the spirit world. (The creators did not shy away from mature themes in Korra any more than they did in Avatar.) The series should appeal to Avatar fans looking to return to the world of bending, and features plenty of familiar faces along the way.
The Last Dance
Cue "Sirius." The 10-part documentary The Last Dance follows the rise, fall, and re-rise of the Michael Jordan-led Chicago Bulls, featuring interviews with all of the story's major figures and framed by never-before-seen footage from Jordan's final season. If that access comes at the cost of some incisiveness, The Last Dance still makes for a thrilling watch and a compelling study of Jordan and his teammates, and no basketball fan will tire of watching its abundant footage of His Airness in his prime.
Talent: Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen, Dennis Rodman
Emmanuel Guimier/Netflix Omar Sy as Assane Diop in 'Lupin'
Omar Sy (The Intouchables, Jurassic World) anchors this French mystery-thriller with a magnetic performance as Assane Diop, a professional thief who's modeled himself after the gentleman cambrioleur of French literature, Arsène Lupin. What seems at first to be a straightforward heist story soon deepens, as we learn Assane is pursuing revenge against a powerful businessman who framed his father for theft 25 years before. It's a socially conscious and devilishly entertaining thriller that will leave you wanting more — which, rest assured, is on the way.
Talent: Omar Sy
Related reading: 6 reasons you should stop everything and watch Lupin right now
Master of None
NETFLIX Lena Waithe and Naomi Ackie on Netflix's 'Master of None'
Former Parks and Recreation star Aziz Ansari unleashed his full creative potential with Master of None, which he co-created with Parks writer Alan Yang. Ansari plays Dev, a millennial actor navigating single life in modern New York and all that goes with it: dating, sex, friendship, feminism, and much more. But the show is hardly limited to his perspective; season 2's Emmy-winning episode "Thanksgiving" delves into the backstory of Dev's friend Denise (Lena Waithe), and the upcoming third season (out May 23) puts Denise fully front and center. Genre-bending, daring, poignant, and hilarious, it's a true Master-piece of the Peak TV era.
EW grade: A- (Read season 1 review here)
NETFLIX Naomi Osaka in her eponymous documentary.
Director Garrett Bradley — the filmmaker behind the Oscar-nominated documentary Time — brings her intimate and empathetic approach to this look at international tennis star Naomi Osaka. The docuseries follows Osaka over a historic two years in her career, as she defends her Grand Slam titles, finds her voice as an activist in the Black Lives Matter movement, and faces the pressures of training and public life, as well as the mental health struggles that would ultimately lead her to withdraw from the 2021 French Open. Sports fans will naturally be enthralled, but anyone can appreciate this fascinating look at a young woman finding herself and her voice.
Talent: Naomi Osaka, Garrett Bradley, LeBron James (executive producer)
The Midnight Gospel
EW's Darren Franich did an admirable job explaining what this new masterpiece from Adventure Time creator Pendleton Ward is all about; doing so here would take far more words than we have space for. Just know that The Midnight Gospel blends relentlessly inventive animation with spacey-yet-thoughtful conversations (taken from co-creator Duncan Trussell's podcast The Duncan Trussell Family Hour) encompassing death, religion, the multiverse, and more; that it's not for kids; and that it's not to be missed.
EW grade: A (Read review here)
Never Have I Ever
Co-created by Mindy Kaling, Never Have I Ever stars newcomer Maitreyi Ramakrishnan as Devi Vishwakumar, a teen just trying to have a "sexy high school experience"...while also dealing with the death of her father, her demanding mother, and the usual high school pressures. The series' many pleasures include a delightful, diverse cast, an authentic perspective drawn from Kaling's own childhood, and narration by John McEnroe. Yes, the tennis legend John McEnroe.
EW grade: A- (Read review here)
Talent: Mindy Kaling, John McEnroe, Poorna Jagannathan, Niecy Nash
Looking for your next binge? You could do much, much worse than New Girl, which EW actually dubbed the perfect comfort binge a while back. The Fox sitcom stars Zooey Deschanel as Jess Day, a quirky teacher who moves into a loft with three guys, Nick (Jake Johnson), Schmidt (Max Greenfield), and Winston (Lamorne Morris). The show's seven seasons chronicle the group's adventures and misadventures (romantic and otherwise), with Jess's best friend Cece (Hannah Simone) and former loft-mate Coach (Damon Wayans Jr.) also along for the ride. Mileage may vary on the show's quirkiness, but its pitch-perfect ensemble (and ultimate will-they-won't-they in Nick and Jess) are almost guaranteed to win your heart.
Talent: Zooey Deschanel, Jake Johnson, Max Greenfield, Lamorne Morris
Related reading:Why New Girl is the perfect quarantine comfort binge
If you only watch one more gritty, morally murky crime drama, it should probably be Ozark. The Netflix series stars Jason Bateman as Marty Byrde, a Chicago financial planner who relocates his family to Missouri after a money-laundering scheme goes wrong. There, he embarks on an even bigger operation, laundering millions for a Mexican drug lord with the help of fierce local criminal Ruth (Julia Garner) and his savvy wife, Wendy (Laura Linney). Darkly comedic and twistily thrilling, Ozark is the perfect binge — and a showcase for the erstwhile Michael Bluth both in front of and behind the camera.
Review: Read review here
Talent: Jason Bateman, Laura Linney, Julia Garner
Related reading: Jason Bateman annotates a script page from Ozark
Patriot Act with Hasan Minhaj
The Daily Show breakout Hasan Minhaj landed his own satirical show in 2018, on the heels of his White House Correspondents' Dinner gig and acclaimed comedy special Homecoming King (also streaming on Netflix) the previous year. Patriot Act with Hasan Minhaj dissects a different big topic every week (much like Last Week Tonight from fellow Daily Show alum John Oliver), from why we're doing elections wrong to public transportation to corruption in the sport of cricket. The show was unfortunately canceled, but you can still catch up on old entries while yearning for Minhaj's spin on the latest issues.
Talent: Hasan Minhaj
The category is Pose, FX's groundbreaking series from co-creators Ryan Murphy, Brad Falchuk, and Steven Canals, which explores New York City's vibrant ballroom culture in the late 1980s. The diverse ensemble features the most transgender series regulars in American TV history, and includes Billy Porter as emcee Pray Tell, Mj Rodriguez as compassionate house mother Blanca, and Indya Moore as trans sex worker Angel, who's involved in an affair with Evan Peters' Trump Organization-employed yuppie. Season 2 gets even bolder, time-jumping to the early 1990s and grappling with the AIDS epidemic's effect on the ballroom community.
EW grade: B+ (Read season 1 review here)
The Queen’s Gambit
If you weren't one of the millions who helped make The Queen's Gambit Netflix's most-watched scripted limited series within its first month of release, have a seat at the chessboard for the tale of Beth Harmon (Anya Taylor-Joy). The Queen's Gambit follows Beth, a young, orphaned chess prodigy, as she ascends through the game's male-dominated ranks while battling various personal demons. Taylor-Joy's powerhouse performance anchors this coming-of-age tale, which is told with style to spare, and boasts one of the best (and most accurate) depictions of chess ever put on screen.
EW grade: B (Read review here)
If you need a burst of joy in your life (and who among us doesn't right now?) seek out Netflix's reboot of the 2000s Bravo reality series. Each episode of Queer Eye sees the "Fab Five" — food and wine expert Antoni, fashion expert Tan, culture expert Karamo, design expert Bobby, and grooming expert Jonathan — delivering a "make-better" to a contestant in need of a change. The latest season, which dropped in June, heads to Philadelphia for a lineup including a single dad whose confidence could use a boost, a gay pastor struggling with his identity, and an ambitious young climate activist. Grab the tissues and settle in for a binge.
Review: Read season 1 review here
Co-created by Natasha Lyonne, Amy Poehler, and indie filmmaker Leslye Headland, Russian Doll tells the story of Nadia (Lyonne), who dies on the night of her 36th birthday — only to find herself trapped in a time loop, Groundhog Day-style. It would be a disservice to reveal much more, but we will say that Nadia's strange journey is packed with both laughs and pathos, that Lyonne's performance is a gruff delight, and that you'll never hear Harry Nilsson's "Gotta Get Up" the same way again.
Talent: Natasha Lyonne, Charlie Barnett, Leslye Headland, Amy Poehler
Sam Taylor/NETFLIX Emma Mackey as Maeve Wiley, Aimee Lou Wood as Aimee Gibbs in 'Sex Education.'
As Netflix's horny and heartfelt teen dramedy returns for season 3, it's a good time to school yourself on Sex Education. Asa Butterfield stars as Otis, an insecure high schooler whose sexpertise — drawn from his sex-therapist mother Jean (Gillian Anderson) — gives him unexpected social capital among his classmates. Soon, he's dispensing advice with a makeshift sex-therapy clinic at school, alongside misunderstood bad girl Maeve (Emma Mackey). Come for the raunchy premise, stay for the empathetic story lines and winning cast, including Ncuti Gatwa as Otis' gay best friend who defies "gay best friend" tropes.
EW grade: A- (Read review here)
Talent: Asa Butterfield, Gillian Anderson, Ncuti Gatwa, Emma Mackey
The dearly departed Schitt's Creek's final season arrives on Netflix at last on Oct. 7, fresh off of a record-breaking Emmy sweep that included acting wins for all four of its leads. Those awards prove the Canadian import's bona fides as a perfect remedy for the quarantine blues. When the wealthy Rose family find themselves bereft of their fortune, they're forced to relocate to a motel in Schitt's Creek, a small town they once bought as a joke. The fish-out-of-water comedy quickly grows into a warm-hearted ensemble sitcom, with creator-star Dan Levy's David leading the way.
She-Ra and the Princesses of Power
The fifth and final season of She-Ra and the Princesses of Power dropped May 15, meaning you can now binge the complete run of Netflix's cosmic fantasy. The animated series, a reboot of the 1980s He-Man spinoff, follows teen soldier Adora (Aimee Carrero), who comes across a sword that transforms her into the titular princess, She-Ra and turns her life upside down. (Magical swords have a way of doing that.) Adora must turn against her best friend Catra (AJ Michalka), assemble a group of warriors known as the Princess Alliance, and work to prevent the sinister Horde from conquering the planet Etheria.
EW grade: B+ (Read review here)
CBS via Getty Images
"Space: the final frontier." Go back to where it all began with the adventures of Kirk, Spock, and the rest of the Enterprise crew in Star Trek: The Original Series, a show that has aged much better than its special effects would suggest. More than a half-century after it first aired on television, the original series remains a powerful blend of thoughtful sci-fi storytelling, luscious colors, and campy acting. Maybe you prefer J.J. Abrams' zippy, modern take on Trek; maybe you think Abrams' version only made the original series look better. Either way, the show's full run awaits on Netflix, ready to take you where no man has gone before.
Related reading: EW's complete coverage of Star Trek's 50th anniversary
Trigger Warning with Killer Mike
Something of a hidden gem, this satirical docuseries follows rapper Killer Mike of Run the Jewels as he engages in comedic activist stunts (or perhaps activist comedy stunts?) to spotlight issues affecting Black people in the U.S. Highlights include Mike attempting to only buy from Black-owned businesses for three days — which leaves him sleeping on a park bench with a can of beans for a pillow — helping Crips develop their own branded soda, and using porn to teach carpentry and plumbing.
Talent: Killer Mike, Vernon Chatman
Tuca & Bertie*
Netflix Ali Wong and Tiffany Haddish voice the animated series 'Tuca & Bertie.'
Canceled by Netflix after a single season, Tuca & Bertie now roosts at Adult Swim for the foreseeable future (it's been renewed for a third season at the network). But that incredible first season still dwells on the streamer, serving as a gateway to the series' fabulous, feathered, far-out world. Created by BoJack Horseman designer Lisa Hanawalt, Tuca & Bertie follows the eponymous duo of 30-year-old, bird-woman BFFs (voiced by Ali Wong and Tiffany Haddish) as they navigate a new chapter in their lives. Packed with eye-popping visuals even more adventurous than BoJack's, Hanawalt's utterly unique and surreal vision (there are plant people involved), and nuanced storytelling about repressed trauma, sexuality, and friendship, it's a treat for adult animation fans of all feathers.
Talent: Ali Wong, Tiffany Haddish, Steven Yeun, Lisa Hanawalt
The Vampire Diaries
Bob Mahoney/CW /Courtesy Everett Collection Nina Dobrev and Ian Somerhalder in 'The Vampire Diaries.'
The show that proved vampires definitely do not suck, The Vampire Diaries tells the tale of Elena Gilbert (Nina Dobrev), who's grieving the loss of her parents when she meets vampire brothers Stefan (Paul Wesley) and Damon Salvatore (Ian Somerhalder). The trio would become a love triangle for the ages, as TVD also delivered shocking twists, supernatural adventures (Werewolves! Witches! Ghosts!), and classic high school stories (Prom! Cheerleading! Doppelgängers! Wait…). And if you need any more proof that this show is worth binging (or re-binging), EW has been doing exactly that on our Binge: The Vampire Diaries podcast. Trust us: It's a bloody good time.
Review: B+ (Read EW's original review here)
When They See Us
Directed and co-written by Ava DuVernay, When They See Us is a powerful and urgent account of the 1989 Central Park Five case, in which five minority teenagers were wrongly convicted of the assault and rape of a white female jogger. The four-part limited series burns with contemporary resonance and incendiary performances, none more so than Jharrel Jerome's Emmy-winning portrayal of the oldest of the five, Korey Wise, both at age 16 and as an adult. As DuVernay told EW, "It's asking us to engage and really think about all of our assumptions."
Related reading: Ava DuVernay goes deep on When They See Us
Michelle Faye/Wynonna Earp Productions, Inc./SYFY
Dearly departed cult favorite Wynonna Earp is a blast of quippy, feminist, supernatural Western fun, following the titular great-great-granddaughter of legendary lawman Wyatt Earp as she battles the vengeful spirits of outlaws Wyatt killed. Not enough for you? Add in immortal cowboy Doc Holliday, a romance between Wynonna's half-sister Waverly and badass deputy sheriff Nicole Haught, and a magic gun called Peacemaker, and this show ought to get a "yee-haw" out of anyone.
Talent: Melanie Scrofano, Shamier Anderson, Tim Rozon, Dominique Provost-Chalkley
Tyler Golden/Netflix Penn Badgley in the TV show You.
The history of YOU will always be bound up with Netflix, where the show famously found a massive audience after a low-rated first season on Lifetime. With season 3 on the way, it's a good time to catch up on the psychological thriller, which stars Penn Badgley as Joe, a New York bookstore manager who meet-cutes with aspiring poet Beck (Elizabeth Lail). Soon, though, Joe's interest in her spirals into full-blown obsession, as he reveals himself to be a tech-savvy stalker — unbeknownst to Beck, of course. The show's twisty plot will keep you hooked at every turn, but it's Badgley's killer performance that will truly make YOU your own obsession.
EW grade: B+ (Read season 1 review here)
Talent: Penn Badgley, Elizabeth Lail, Victoria Pedretti
Paul Drinkwater/NBC Alec Baldwin, Tina Fey, and Tracy Morgan.
Grab your night cheese and page Dr. Spaceman, because 30 Rock is back on Netflix. Tina Fey leads the beloved sitcom as Liz Lemon, the know-it-all, very hungry head writer of an NBC sketch comedy show, who must juggle her unpredictable stars (Tracy Morgan and Jane Krakowski), her demanding boss (Alec Baldwin), and her truly dispiriting love life. (Exhibit A: On-and-off boyfriend Dennis "Dummy" Duffy.) But that description really doesn't do justice to the wacky, breakneck-pace, absurdly quotable (and memeable) chaos that awaits over 30 Rock's seven seasons; it truly must be seen to be believed. Blerg!
Review: A (Read season 1 review here)
Talent: Tina Fey, Alec Baldwin, Tracy Morgan, Jane Krakowski
Related reading: The best 30 Rock guest stars
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