Enjoy Mad Men while you can. Not only one of the best Netflix shows, but one of the best television shows of all time, Mad Men's about to leave Netflix. From June 9, the acclaimed series – starring John Hamm as the lead – will no longer be available on the streaming service. Where Mad Men will end up remains unknown, though many speculators believe the show may end up on HBO Max.
But, fear not. Sure, you can try and binge-watch Mad Men in the next few days, or you can check out some of the other best Netflix shows on this very list. We have documentaries, prestige drama, laugh-out-loud comedies, and originals that are already seen as classics. There are literally hundreds of hours of entertainment on this updating list, and there's not a single one that's anything less than brilliant.
Before you head down, one thing to note: our selection of the best Netflix shows are available in different regions around the world. Why's that? Our readership comes from all over, and we're trying to accommodate where we can. If a show isn't streaming in your region, we can help with that as we have a handy piece on the best VPN for Netflix. So, without further ado, let's get streaming!
Region: UK, US
Why it's one of the best Netflix shows: Are you ready to enrol at Greendale Community College? Community transformed over its lifetime on NBC – and one season on Yahoo – going from an innocuous comedy about the interactions of some college students who had lost their way in life to a show that broke TV rules at every turn. Over the course of Community's six seasons we get to know a dysfunctional study group – played by a group of then-unknown actors, including Donald Glover, Alison Brie, Gillian Jacobs and Joel McHale – as they struggle to succeed in a demotivating community college.
Community twists and turns in ways you don't expect. There are episodes shaped after Ray Liotta narrated crime movies, paintball homages to A Fistful of Dollars, and an informative documentary about historical pillow fights. If you haven't then check out this great American feel-good sitcom. And remember to cross your fingers and pray for #SixSeasonsAndAMovie.
- Read more: the best Community episodes, ranked!
The Last Dance
Why it's one of the best Netflix shows: Charting the Chicago Bulls' 1997/98 season, The Last Dance frames that fateful year with archival footage and interviews with Michael Jordan and some of his closest allies and enemies. Yet, despite being about basketball, you certainly don't need to be a major fan or the sport to be gripped by this 1- episode documentary.
The joint ESPN/Netflix production dives deep into what makes one of the biggest icons of the 20th Century tick: the feuds, the fights with front office, and the family stories all feature heavily here. It's all presented in a way that lets you learn as you go, without being condescending. Plus, if you are into b-ball, then you can rest easy in the knowledge that you're seeing a hidden side of one of the sport's greatest dynasties. Hundreds of hours of previously unseen footage were used for The Last Dance, and it offers a unique, complex take on the man they once called "Air."
Better Call Saul
Region: UK, US
Season(s): 1-5 (UK) 1-4 (US)
Why it's one of the best Netflix shows: Remember the screwy lawyer from Breaking Bad? This show's all about him - Saul Goodman. Things begin after the climactic events of that series, in the present day, and immediately jump back to before he became Saul. Six years prior he was known as Jimmy McGill. A likeable, good-hearted guy who dallies loosely with the law, he goes to bat for his low-income clientele with the help of fixer (and Breaking Bad regular) Mike Ehrmantraut. It's terrific getting to see the pair in their early days and discover what happened before Jimmy turned into Saul.
It's hard to imagine a Breaking Bad spin-off being able to cap the brilliance of that groundbreaking series. Thanks to the superb performance by Bob Odenkirk, who delves into practically every emotional state in its first season alone, and Rhea Seehorn as Kim Wexler, it's just as good – if not better.
Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness
Why it's one of the best Netflix shows: The true-crime documentary that has gripped the world, Tiger King's as bonkers as they say. The seven-part limited series follows Joe Exotic – a gay, gun-toting, mulleted, all-American zookeeper who despises a big cat activist named Carole Baskin. We're introduced to a host of colourful characters, including another zookeeper who allegedly has a harem, a man who claims to be the influence for Scarface, and a reality-show producer who's tried to document the whole thing but... well, we won't spoil it here. Oh, and there's a murder mystery as well.
There's absolutely no knowing what's coming next in Tiger King. Each episode adds another twist, and it's almost impossible to stop watching. Plus, after you're done, you can do some armchair detective work and find out where they all are now. Because, yes, this really a true-crime documentary, and not another season of American Vandal.
Why it's one of the best Netflix shows: The binge-watch series of the last few years. The Duffer brothers cobbled together a patchwork of '80s references then siphoned all of that into a killer plot about government experiments on members of a small town in Indiana. Things come to a head when a young lad, Will Byers, goes missing, causing his mother Joyce (Winona Ryder), the sheriff (David Harbour), and Will’s friends to consider the strangest possibility – that there's a parallel world to ours replete with horrific monsters and demons simply itching to get at you.
The whole cast is terrific (this writer personally was very pleased to see Winona Ryder back in the thick of it). However, it's the young leads who steal the show. Scurrying around Hawkins on their bikes in the dead of night and hunkering down in basements trying to find their missing pal, they will melt your hearts, especially Millie Bobby Brown as Eleven.
Read more: 80 Stranger Things season 3 easter eggs you may have missed
Why it's one of the best Netflix shows: Forget the 2003 misfire – this is the Daredevil fans have been waiting for. The first of Marvel’s Netflix universe charges out of the gate, Daredevil is a blustering blend of brooding character drama, hyperreal action and some of the best villainy since Heath Ledger embodied the Joker. Drew Goddard (Cloverfield) and Steven S. DeKnight (Blade) acted as showrunners on the early seasons, which received universal applause for its uncompromising take on blind lawyer-turned-do-gooder Matt Murdock. As the “Devil of Hell’s Kitchen”, he vows to rid the streets of its criminal element, no matter the cost.
Daredevil boasts some of the most adventurous stunt choreography ever seen in a TV series. Yes, I'm on about that season 1 corridor fight sequence. It's simply breathtaking to witness Murdock’s athletic prowess – because you know, he’s blind. The ambition of this first season has yet to be bettered elsewhere in the Netflix Marvel universe.
The Good Place
Region: UK, US
Season(s): 1-3 (US), 1-4 (UK)
Why it's one of the best Netflix shows: On the surface, former Parks and Recreation showrunner Michael Schur's show sounds similar-ish to Dead Like Me. Someone dies, experiences the afterlife, and embraces the comedy of the situation. It's not quite the same, though. Instead, it combines the cheerful glee of Parks with the existential WTF?-ness of something like Lost. Kristen Bell stars as Eleanor Shellstrop, a self-centred individual who is gifted to quite a pleasant post-life existence alongside her soulmate.
As well as being really, really funny and introducing us to yet another hugely talented group of actors, it also packs some great dramatic twists and turns that you won't see coming. Better get stuck in now before its fourth and final season lands.
Season(s): 1-5 and a Christmas special
Why it's one of the best Netflix shows: An anthology series, each episode serves as a standalone story that investigates a particular piece of tech and how they could lead to mankind's downfall. For the most part, Charlie Brooker's dystopian sci-fi show is set just a few years into the future, a place where our every technological whim is accounted for. The decision to set it so close to our own time has made it one of the most-talked-about shows in years.
While it's often described as sci-fi, Black Mirror packs in elements from every genre imaginable. Depending on the story, a particular episode may be romantic, action-packed, or creepy. One thing they all have in common, though, is that they're all downright terrifying.
Unbreakable Kimmy Smidt
Why it's one of the best Netflix shows: When it first dropped in 2015, Kimmy Schmidt’s theme song was all anyone could talk about. And yes, while it’s a hummable-as-fudgin’-heck, there’s more to this eccentric comedy from 30 Rock creators Tina Fey and Robert Carlock. A zany sitcom with heart and silliness in equal amounts, the show begins with New York newbie Kimmy Schmidt starting with a fresh slate after spending the previous fifteen years trapped in a doomsday cult led by the deranged Reverend Gary Wayne Gary (an eerily-good Jon Hamm). Now in the big city, Kimmy discovers a new-found joy for living, that’s got a distinct ‘90s edge.
It's as if 30 Rock never ended. But with added Carol Kane, who absolutely slays it as Kimmy's wiseass landlady, Jane Krakowski, who continues to be one of the funniest comics on the small screen, and the musical genius who gave us Peeno Noir and Boobs in California, Titus Andromedon.
Orange is The New Black
Why it's one of the best Netflix shows: Loosely based on the real-life experiences of Piper Kerman, this comedy-drama from Weeds creator Jenji Kohan is like nothing else on the streaming platform. That's probably because it's a Netflix Original – and by 'eck, original it certainly is. The first season follows Kerman's memoir closely, as Taylor Schilling's Piper Chapman enters the prison system after being convicted of aiding a drug trafficker – her ex, played by That '70s Show's Laura Prepon – who also happens to be incarcerated in the same prison...
Once the show diverts from the true story, it becomes a wild mash of interesting plotlines. Piper's still in the mix, but there's a rich cast of fully fleshed-out characters who we learn lots of secretive tidbits about through flashbacks.
Why it's one of the best Netflix shows: Everyone has, at some point in their lives, experienced the soul-crushing, please-swallow-me-up-Earth awkwardness of discussing the birds and the bees with their parents. It’s a rite-of-passage. Now, take that feeling, and mutiply it by a thousand, and you’re somewhat close to the embarrassment at the heart of Sex Education. A Netflix Original starring Gillian Anderson as Jean Milburn, a sex therapist, the series revolves around her son, Otis played by Asa Butterfield. Unlike his chatty, open, mother, Otis’ is a little backwards in coming forwards, until he and his friends assemble their own sex therapy clinic for their classmates.
Fresh and easy to binge due to its fun, young cast, you may go in expecting crass humour – and you’re going to get some along with the heartfelt life lessons learned by its core crop of kids. Less concerned with preaching, the series is all about opening your mind and embracing our differences, which, may sound sentimental, yet it’s really anything but.
Halt and Catch Fire
Why it's one of the best Netflix shows: On the surface, its premise sounds remarkably similar to Silicon Valley. However, where that series takes place in the present day, Halt and Catch Fire is fixed firmly in the '80s. Kicking off at the height of the personal computer revolution, it revolves around Cardiff Electric, a fictional software company that receives a much-needed juju boost with the advent of a new trio played by Lee Pace, Scoot McNairy and Mackenzie Davis. All three are top of their field, and aim to outwit their competitors by reverse engineering a PC.
History buffs, rejoice. This quirky series is fiction, of course, yet it begins in the Silicon Prairie of Texas in the '80s, and steal inspiration from the era to fuel its plottings. The real-life tales of Bill Gates and Steve Jobs are two such industry figureheads. Using their stories to explore what happened behind-the-scenes during the '80s personal computer boom, the show fleshes out into its own world and is as bingeable as they get. One of the best Netflix shows you’ve never seen.
Why it's one of the best Netflix shows: The Crown charts the life of Queen Elizabeth II from the start of her reign up until the present day. Well, it will. This Netflix Original kicks off shortly before her Coronation, and up to its current season's end, which finds her at an interesting precipice in her role as sovereign and as wife and mother. The series weds top-notch drama with an array of great performances, led by Claire Foy – and later Olivia Colman – as the young monarch. It sheds light on unseen parts of the Queen’s duties, and the troubled dynamic of juggling a public and private life, starting with her marriage to Philip, and dealing with her father, George.
The early years of the current English monarch? Sounds great, but not for you, right? Bit too Downton? Seriously, don’t miss out on this brilliant series: this is a superb character drama that packs in loads of historical factoids and a rollicking good story. Without a doubt one of the best shows on Netflix. Plus, we can all do with more Olivia Colman in our lives.
The Haunting of Hill House
Region: UK, US
Why it's one of the best Netflix shows: Dubbed by one of its producers as “Six Feet Under with ghosts”, this latest iteration of Shirley Jackson’s terrifying novel is Netflix’s next must-see horror series. Loosely adapted by Mike Flanagan, whose previous Netflix features Hush and Gerald’s Game, the series follows the Crain family as they move into the remote Hill House. With the intention of renovating it and flipping it before they buy their real home, the Crains discover that the house has other plans. Fleeing in the middle of the night, the story picks up decades later as the scattered family is drawn together again by that darn house...
This is the horror series you never knew you needed. A beautifully-cast show that plays out like Six Feet Under meets The Conjuring, there is simply nothing else like it. It’s densely-packed with story and scares, both elements so tightly interwoven it’s impossible to imagine this tale being told any other way. Flanagan’s decision to jump back and forth across timelines, with various incidents being shown from different perspectives, is what makes this one of the best Netflix shows. As we learn over the course of ten episodes just what went down in that house, you won’t be able to look away… no matter how much you want to. And now we know that The Haunting of Hill House season 2 will actually be about The Haunting of Bly Manor story, there's no better time to catch up.
Region: UK, US
Why it's one of the best Netflix shows: Ah, how the wealthy fall. Schitt’s Creek, a one-liner packed gem of a show, knows that its title is the punchline in many an anecdote, and recycles it as the punchline for its premise. The Rose family, led by video store tycoon Johnny (Eugene Levy) and his histrionic former soap opera star wife Moira (Catherine O’Hara), find themselves on hard times, losing their fortune when their business manager swindles them. All that’s left is the small town of Schitt’s Creek, purchased as a joke, that becomes the family’s new home. Manipulative, spoiled, and bratty, the Rose family relocates and struggles to settle in with the natives.
Based on its premise alone, Schitt’s Creek works magic. Throw in comedy class acts Catherine O’Hara and Eugene Levy, whose on-screen chemistry forces each other to raise their game, and you’ve got gold. It’s not all about the guffaws, though, with many tender moments emerging as the Rose family find themselves changing in their new surroundings.
Tuca & Bertie
Why it's one of the best Netflix shows: A Netflix Original that slipped under many radars. Tuca and Bertie hails from Lisa Hanawalt, one of the animators behind Bojack Horseman who steps out to tell an altogether different story. Ali Wong and Tiffany Haddish provide the voices for Tuca and Bertie – a self-assured, carefree toucan and an anxious songbird. The pair live in the same apartment building in Bird Town, a lush and vibrant metropolis that appears plucked from a kids cartoon. Make no mistake: Tuca and Bertie is definitely not for kids.
The notion of not tuning in to a series because of its early cancellation is, frankly, bananas. While we only got one season of this absurdist comedy that’s no reason to skip over it: it’s weirdness is part of its charm; its way of luring you in before revealing how damn smart it is. Instead of retreading similar terrain to Bojack, it explores the women at its heart, how they struggle with sobriety, singledom, and employment in a world geared towards men.
Region: UK, US
Seasons: 1-4 (UK), 1-5 (US)
Why it's one of the best Netflix shows: What do you get when you throw Cillian Murphy and Tom Hardy on the screen together? The Dark Knight fanfic come to life? Well yes, that, but I was referring to the brilliant Peaky Blinders. Set in 1919, the series takes its name from a particular street gang that took charge of Birmingham, England shortly after the Great War. Using whatever means necessary to rise through the criminal ranks is war veteran Thomas Shelby, who – along with his family – forms the focus of this gripping crime drama.
A show that’s dubbed the British Boardwalk Empire deserves checking out for that comparison alone. If you’re a fan of that HBO series, you’ll love what kicks off in this historical gangster masterclass, and if you’re not? Peaky Blinders captures an era and location that’s seldom given much screen time and makes you wonder why the hell not? Prepare to binge the entire thing.
Jane the Virgin
Region: UK, US
Why it's one of the best Netflix shows: Don’t get hung up on the title of this crackin’ comedy series. Yes, the main character *is* a virgin, yet the show snakes around that fact with its bonkers premise. Determined to not let history repeat itself, Jane Villanueva (Gina Rodriguez) wants a life altogether different from that of her mother, who fell pregnant as a teen. She works hard, she’s got a great fiance who’s willing to wait until they’re married before consummating their relationship. However, during a routine medical checkup, Jane winds up getting artificially inseminated. And if that wasn’t bad enough, the donor? Yeah, it’s her boss...
A right pickle of a story is the perfect vehicle to explore all of the dilemmas Jane faces. There is a lot of humour, and even more heart to the show thanks to Rodriguez’s award-winning performance. Jane the Virgin tweaks the tried-and-tested soap opera formula to deliver a fresh and very funny look at life.
Region: UK, US
Why it's one of the best Netflix shows: Sherlock has taken the lead in movies and TV shows plenty of times over the years, becoming a recognisable figure in the realm of detective fiction. When it came to crafting a new series for the BBC showrunners Steven Moffatt and Mark Gatiss gave Doyle's creation a major facelift. Not just in casting Benedict Cumberbatch – an unlikely candidate who totally steals the show – as an almost-superhero, but in the lengthy episode format, that gives greater freedom to the exploits of Baker Street's iconoclastic investigator.
Taking the classic Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson characters from Arthur Conan Doyle’s classic tales and updating them to contemporary London is a masterstroke. Likewise, unshackled from typical modern TV storytelling, the format of Sherlock has each episode running at around 90 minutes.
Why it's one of the best Netflix shows: They grunt as their bare skin slaps onto the canvas. Theover-excited crowd. The outfits are divine... welcome to the world of GLOW! Another Netflix Original that’s ripe for bingeing, you’ll dig it whether wrestling is your thing or not. Because, really, it’s about the women involved in this true story and how they face the obstacles life has thrown their way. Alison Brie leads the pack as Ruth, an out-of-work actress who's made some questionable choices, and Marc Maron’s drole, chain-smoking producer, who cajoles performances out of the wrestlers in the hopes of making some serious cash. Come for the costumes, stay for the witty repartee.
For a show that’s based on wrestling, the main heft of what’s so enjoyable isn’t about the sport at all, but the circumstances of these women. Ruth and Debbie’s dynamic in particular is electric. Well, what would you expect with alter-ego names like Zoya the Destroyer and Liberty Belle?
American Crime Story
Region: UK, US
Why it's one of the best Netflix shows: Known for his battier-than-a-cave-full-of-bats horror anthology American Horror Story, executive producer Ryan Murphy turns his hand to another strand of cultural obsession: true crime. Taking high-profile cases and giving them the miniseries treatment, season 1 focuses on the O.J Simpson trial and season 2 studies the aftermath of Gianni Versace’s murder. Sarah Paulson’s season 1 showstopper performance as Marcia Clark earned her the Golden Globe, ditto Darren Criss’s season 2 scene-stealing turn as Andrew Cunanan.
Unlike your typical crime documentaries, American Crime Story is a fictionalised account of the events depicted. There are rarely any lulls in the action, with every scene serving as a vital component to the larger story being told. Think of it as a documentary on steroids – you’ll be hooked before the credits roll.
The West Wing
Why it's one of the best Netflix shows: Debuting back in 1999 (yes, it’s that old now), The West Wing is Aaron Sorkin’s grandiose dip into an alternate political climate. It’s the place he instigated the infamous ‘walk n talk’ shooting style and acts as the perfect vehicle for this cast of characters – those who wander behind the scenes in Washington, D.C. holding integrity above all else. Across seven seasons, the show became a game-changer that inspired many series to come, with Martin Sheen’s President Josiah Bartlet leading the charge as a commander-in-chief with a heart.
Why it’s worth a watch: It’s a delight to watch a political series driven by a desire for goodness – it’s the antithesis of House of Cards. Where that series exposed the brutality and ruthlessness at the heart of every politician, no matter the party, The West Wing showcases a hope in its progressive cabinet.
Why it's one of the best Netflix shows: A spin-off/sequel of the Coen brothers movie from the guy who also serves as the showrunner on Legion? That’s got your interest piqued, hasn’t it? For its first season, FX's award-winning anthology series concocted several new story strands, all interwoven to paint an eerily-similar story to the 1996 feature. That's what makes this a perfect series for drama, crime, and mystery lovers; you don't need to have seen the film, as this gloriously twisted piece of television stands on its own. Season 2 delves back into the past and season 3 leaps forward again; both tell tales of small-town folk who just can’t quite get a break...
Drawing out each tale over the course of an entire season is an inspired move, giving time for each character – and their duplicitous ways – time to bloom, and the plot to thoroughly unravel. The cast is also, simply put, excellent. Who knew that Peter Stormare's assassin could be outdone by Billy Bob Thornton? He steals every scene he's in during season 1. Likewise for Kirsten Dunst in season 2.
Parks and Recreation
Why it's one of the best Netflix shows: Parks and Recreation stumbles a little during its first season, as reflected by its mixed reviews, but the powers-that-be took that advice and ran with it. Trust us, you’ll be laughing all week if you stick with it. Led by the brilliant Amy Poehler, it revolves around the day-to-day experiences of Leslie Knope, deputy director of the Pawnee parks and recreation department, and her misfit bunch of co-workers. Told through a mockumentary-style of shooting, the show uses the pettiness of small-town bureaucracy as its comedic fodder.
It swerves around the pitfalls of sitcom tedium, thanks to some of the most memorable comedy characters in TV history played by Nick Offerman (who will provide you with one-liners and woodwork advice), Aziz Ansari, Aubrey Plaza, Rashida Jones, Retta, and Chris Pratt. Not only is it bursting with humour, it packs a ton of heart that makes this double as a bit of tearjerker too.
Why it's one of the best Netflix shows: A young woman is woken in the night to the sound of a man breaking into her home. Sounds like the beginning to a typical Netflix true-crime series, right? Unbelievable is anything but typical, subverting the usual TV tropes to provide a fresh angle that refuses to make women victims of the show’s repugnant villain. Toni Collette and Merritt Wever headline this limited series as two detectives from different districts who unite to bring a serial rapist to justice. The tale splits at the beginning to tell two stories across separate timelines. Things begin in Washington state in 2008 when Marie (a superb Kaitlyn Dever) is attacked, and flip back and forward to 2011 to a number of other cases with similar experiences.
Ambitious, driven, compelling. Taking a big risk on a difficult-to-watch topic is what makes this one of the best Netflix shows. Its headlining cast brings pathos and heart to this wrenching story, with Collette and Wever’s characters signalling the vast difference of how women are treated by female police officers as opposed to their male counterparts. This is gripping television that cannot be missed.
Why it's one of the best Netflix shows: Living the same day over and over is a concept we’ve seen a fair amount onscreen. Groundhog Day approaches that design with a mixture of amusement and sadness, and Russian Doll ups the ante by throwing in a dose of 2019 New York and a killer central performance. This ain’t a ‘90s movie, folks. Natasha Lyonne, who you’ll recognise from Orange is the New Black among other things, chain-smokes her way through this sticky predicament as Nadia. It’s her 36th birthday and her friends are throwing her a party in their loft. There’s just one snag: she keeps dying and waking up in the bathroom.
One of the most talked-about Netflix Originals is deserving of all the chatter and acclaim, ‘cause it’s funny as HELL. Come for the inventive premise and stay for the comedic performances.
Why it's one of the best Netflix shows: A failed ‘90s actor spirals through life on a mix of sex, drugs, and trying to deal with depression. Oh, and he’s a horse. Will Arnett voices the anthropomorphic stallion as he sees himself struggling against a tidal wave of self-pity, while also not trying to mess up everything good in his life. His best friend, Todd, voiced by Aaron Paul, often stands by his side – if he’s not knee-deep in another one of his get-rich-quick schemes. It’s also a comedy. Trust me.
It’s done something that very few animated (or live-action) shows have even bothered to approach before: depression. While the show can have you crying with laughter at points, it can also have you crying. It’s a hugely complex look at a self-destructive man (well, man-horse) in a world just as crazy as he is.
Why it's one of the best Netflix shows: David Lynch and Mark Frost placed a stone-cold whodunnit story within the rainy climes of the Pacific Northwest, spawning a cult classic in the process. The mystery begins when the body of popular teen Laura Palmer is found washed up on the beach. With a cast of characters that range from the downright chipper, such as Kyle Maclachlan’s Agent Dale Cooper, to the utterly sinister, ahem, paging the Log Lady, this is Lynch at his best.
Dark, twisted, and uncomfortably funny, it's unlike any other murder-mystery you've ever seen. Perfect for pausing, rewinding, and analysing, it’s a puzzle that you’ll almost solve… but can you ever really be sure when you’re dealing with the dreamscape of Lynch?
Why it's one of the best Netflix shows: Breaking Bad remains one of the best TV shows to emerge in recent years. The killer premise of a chemistry teacher-turned-meth dealer spins out of control across five seasons, as the teacher in question, Walter White, slowly transforms from nice guy to antihero. All the while he hides his illegal shenanigans from his family, making for a slow bubbling tension throughout the entire series.
Just when you think the stakes can't get raised any higher, Mr. White steps up his game, taking his quest to ever-crazy heights of excess. His quietly simmering rage is spectacular to watch thanks to a nuanced turn from Bryan Cranston, who manages to make White an incredibly compelling character.
Why it's one of the best Netflix shows: You might think you know Hannibal thanks to Anthony Hopkins’ legendary take on the sinister cannibal. Alas, where the rest of the franchise made him into a laughable caricature, this small-screen version is another matter, entirely. In the hands of showrunner Bryan Fuller, Mads Mikkelsen’s Lecter blossoms into an even more terrifying figure. A smooth-talking sharp dresser without a jot of remorse we meet him decades before the events of Silence of the Lambs, where he begins a working relationship with FBI profiler, Will Graham (Hugh Dancy)
It’s cold and beautiful – almost like it, too, hails from the devious mind of its antagonist. Like Hannibal, the series showcases a precision and attention to detail to its aesthetic, from the opening credits sequence (ripped off years later by Daredevil) to the staging of Hannibal’s victims, it's like a terrible diorama plucked from your nightmares. There’s no other show this daring.
Region: UK, US
Why it's one of the best Netflix shows: This award-winning period piece rides the wave of prestige television, taking a high dive into some seriously low behaviour. A glimpse back into the '60s era of Madison Avenue advertising execs, those self-dubbed eponymous mad men, this HBO series explores their hedonistic extra-curricular activities and how that affects the workplace. One of the most celebrated TV shows in recent times follows the employees of reputable agency Sterling Cooper, led by the smooth-yet-troubled Don Draper, as they navigate through the decade.
Dramatic, funny, insightful – and that's just in the first episode. This is a compelling slice of nostalgic Americana, looking back at a period of great change with knowing winks and uber-cool style. You might find yourself getting frustrated at how misogynistic things are, but it’s rewarding to see trends change as time passes.
Why it's one of the best Netflix shows: A period piece with no corsets or lofty accents, you say? Mindhunter hails from David Fincher and sets about recreating the fledgling days of serial killer profiling at the FBI. This is not your typical weekly crime procedural. Instead, this dark gem opts for the long, slow burn as Jonathan Groff’s eager agent and his disgruntled colleague (Holt McCallany) stray into dangerous territory: interviewing incarcerated serial murderers. Based on the true story of the first FBI profiler, his personal story is interwoven perfectly during the course of the first season, which tells episode after episode of rich, textured storytelling that’ll get under your skin and stay there.
Decades of crime entertainment – ahem, CSI – have turned all of us into armchair sleuths, and the majority of movies and shows know that. Mindhunter is rewarding as hell to watch for entirely the opposite reason. You’ll be shouting at the TV as the two agents apply their newly-founded techniques to catch active killers.