Even with the streaming company’s sophisticated algorithms, it’s not always easy to decide what to watch on Netflix. The right mood is difficult to find and whether you’re feeling a black comedy like the BAFTA-nominated series “The End of the F***ing World” or a Netflix original like Ava DuVernay’s “When They See Us,” which racked up 16 Emmy nominations, there are options to fit every TV palate. Here are 15 binge-worthy shows to begin your transition into the holidays.
Jen (played by Emmy-nominated Christina Applegate) meets Judy (Linda Cardellini) after joining a support group to deal with the loss of her husband in a fatal car crash. The two women, each enduring separate tragedies, form a sweet duo until Jen receives information that changes everything. Season two is currently in development and will feature a new face; Natalie Morales has been cast in the recurring role of Michelle, Judy’s new witty friend.
Starring Toni Collette (“Hereditary”), Merritt Wever (“The Walking Dead”) and Kaitlyn Dever (“Booksmart”), this limited series dramatizes the real-life Pulitzer-winning ProPublica and Marshall Project investigation into a series of traumatic, unbelievable rapes. After she reports her own assault, Dever’s character, Marie, endures disbelief, ostracization and charges of filing a false police report.
This iconic five-season series about a high school chemistry teacher who decides to — forgive the pun — break bad and sell meth with his former student gets better with each rewatch. Whether it’s a decapitated head on a turtle or Nazis robbing a freight train, “Breaking Bad” never fails to captivate and surprise. Starring Bryan Cranston, Aaron Paul, Anna Gunn, Bob Odenkirk and Giancarlo Esposito, the AMC drama has inspired a spinoff series, “Better Call Saul,” and the recent “El Camino” film.
This BAFTA and Emmy-nominated black comedy follows the unlikely love story between the emotionally guarded, sarcastic Alyssa (Jessica Barden) and seemingly murderous misfit James (played by “Black Mirror” star Alex Lawther). Despite the show’s premise centering on James’s plans to murder Alyssa, “The End of the F***ing World” is a heartwarming and insightful story about love. Season two hit the streaming service on Nov. 5.
“Monty Python’s Flying Circus”
Relevant still, “Monty Python’s Flying Circus” is a solid British surreal sketch comedy that’s influenced the likes of “Saturday Night Live” and “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.” With four seasons of the Pythons available to watch, the series is perfect for uninterrupted hilarity.
This Duffer Brothers-helmed series combines all the best qualities of investigative drama, sci-fi thriller and young adult fiction. Winona Ryder, Finn Wolfhard, Caleb McLaughlin, Gaten Matarazzo, Joe Keery and Millie Bobby Brown star as residents in a small Indiana town forced to deal with extraterrestrial threats. With only three seasons, the series has already racked up 30 Emmy Award nominations.
The Ava DuVernay-created limited series tells the devastating true story of the Exonerated Five, five black boys who were wrongfully convicted for the 1989 rape and assault of a female jogger in Central Park. Niecy Nash, Asante Blackk and Jharrel Jerome — who won an Emmy for his performance — are just a few of the many standout cast members.
“The Great British Baking Show”
The purest series in the history of competition-based culinary shows has seven collections (seasons) and three additional supporting programs available for watching. Credited with a rise in baking interest, the series features amateur bakers competing against each other in efforts to impress hosts Mary Berry and Paul Hollywood.
Michael Schur’s unique comedy is packed with existential questions and philosophical punchlines as Eleanor Shellstrop (Kristen Bell) is surprised to find herself in a heavenly afterlife (The Good Place) after living a less-than-moral life. Soon enough, however, she finds out that she and her new friends are there by mistake.
Before “Fleabag,” there was “Chewing Gum.” This outrageously horny situational comedy features Michaela Coel (“Black Mirror”) as an overwhelmingly naive evangelical Christian desperate to lose her virginity. With every episode of the two-season series written by Coel, the BAFTA-winning series is vibrant, fresh and eager for absurdity.
After the season three overhaul with all-new actors for the same royal characters, “The Crown” increased the tension between royal tradition and Britain’s rapidly evolving political climate. Starring Academy-Award winner Olivia Colman (“The Favourite”), Helena Bonham Carter and Tobias Menzies (“Game of Thrones”), the new season of the historical drama covers 1963 through 1977.
In a biting, self-aware, commentary on society’s ever-increasing dependence on social media, “You” features phenomenal performances from Penn Badgley (“Gossip Girl”), Elizabeth Lail (“Once Upon a Time”) and Shay Mitchell (“Pretty Little Liars”). Badgley stars as Joe, an obsessive and increasingly violent bookstore manager, who falls in love with Lail’s Guinevere, a train wreck of a woman who is best friend to Mitchell’s scene-stealing Peach. Season two premieres Dec. 26.
From hidden Canadian treasure to a North American hit, “Schitt’s Creek” follows the downfall of the once-wealthy Rose family as they adjust to being broke in the small town of Schitt’s Creek. The Emmy-nominated series stars father-son duo Eugene and Dan Levy, Catherine O’Hara, Annie Murphy and Chris Elliott. The sixth and final season premieres on Pop TV Jan. 7, but all five previous seasons are available to stream now.
Blueprint for shows like “30 Rock” and “Community,” this serialized sitcom follows the dysfunctional Bluth family in their ever-changing states of poverty and riches. Jason Bateman (“Ozark”), Portia de Rossi (“Scandal”), Will Arnett (“BoJack Horseman”), Michael Cera (” Scott Pilgrim vs. the World”), Alia Shawkat (“I Lost My Body”), Tony Hale (“Veep”), David Cross (“Sorry to Bother You”) and Jessica Walter shine as members of the Bluths, each with their own ridiculous quirks.
Straight from the mind of David Lynch, the original “Twin Peaks” became one of the most iconic cinematic murder mysteries. Despite initial low ratings, the ahead-of-its-time series attracted a strong cult following and racked up 14 Emmy Award nominations.
Michael Douglas stars as Sandy Kominsky, a washed-up thespian merrily stuck in the past, in this Golden Globe-winning comedy. Along for the who-gives-a-sh–t ride of aging is Kominsky’s best friend and agent, Norman (played by Alan Arkin). Playfully ignorant about the changing times, the two recapture the magic of “Grace and Frankie” with a dour yet tender approach.
“Dolly Parton’s Heart Strings”
This new anthology series features live-action reenactments of the stories behind iconic Dolly Parton songs like “Jolene” and “These Old Bones.” With eight hour-long episodes, the heartfelt series features eight new songs from Parton. Beautifully designed, the series features appearances from Kathleen Turner, Delta Burke, Gerald McRaney, Ginnifer Goodwin, Julianne Hough, Kimberly Williams-Paisley, Timothy Busfield and Melissa Leo.
Here’s the chance to relive awkward sexual experiences from high school in hour-long episodes. “Sex Education,” stars Gillian Anderson (“The X-Files”) as Jean, a renowned sex therapist, and Asa Butterfield as Otis, Jean’s too-scared-to-masturbate case study of a son. This hilarious yet heartwarming dramedy follows Otis charging his peers to learn how to navigate their sexuality and communication skills in the face of raging hormones.
This witty series stars Ryan O’Connell, author of the 2015 memoir “I’m Special: And Other Lies We Tell Ourselves” and writer on “Awkward” and “Will and Grace,” dramatizing his life as a gay man with cerebral palsy. After O’Connell’s character, Ryan, is hit by a car before starting a new job in the pilot, his physical injuries are registered as an effect of the car accident, not his physical disability. Ryan decides to rewrite his identity, an unstable lie that nevertheless invites flawless situations like losing his virginity to a sex worker.
Directly from the mind of “BoJack Horseman’s” Lisa Hanawalt comes the freshest on screen depiction of 30-year-old women with 30-year-old-women problems. Tiffany Haddish (“Girls Trip”), Ali Wong (“Always Be My Maybe”) and Steven Yeun (“Sorry To Bother You”) star in this surreal, horny and vibrant animated series that invites conversation surrounding sexual assault, workplace sexism and STDS.
Set in the New York City 1980s ballroom scene, the Ryan Murphy-created drama highlights black and brown transgender and gender-nonconforming culture. The series follows Blanca (Mj Rodriguez), a transgender woman who starts a House for her misfit “children” to compete for recognition and freedom in the underground dance world.
Even though this AMC drama ended almost five years ago, the series is timeless. During its time on air, “Mad Men” won 16 Emmy Awards for its vivid depiction advertising agencies in the ’60s against the backdrop of changing dynamics of gender, race and politics. Jon Hamm, Elisabeth Moss, Vincent Kartheiser and January Jones star in this tense period piece.
Everyone’s favorite animated series about a clinically depressed horse will be getting the ax soon with “BoJack Horseman” ending after six seasons. Will Arnett, Amy Sedaris, Alison Brie, Paul F. Tompkins and Aaron Paul star in this vibrant satire. The second half of the final season will hit the streaming service Jan. 31.
Ryan Murphy’s anthology series portrays a different real-life crime mystery in each new season, and Netflix has both seasons currently available. While the first season sees a dramatization of the infamous O.J. Simpson case, Season 2 tells the story of fashion designer Gianni Versace’s murder and his psychopathic killer.
Jason Bateman (“Arrested Development”) acts as the money-laundering patriarch of the Byrde family in this high-stakes crime drama. After leaving a scandal in Chicago, the Byrde family becomes entangled with local criminals in addition to their debt to a Mexican drug cartel. Laura Linney, Sofia Hublitz, Skylar Gaertner and Esai Morales star alongside Bateman.
“Making a Murderer”
Written and directed by Emmy winners Laura Ricciardi and Moira Demos, “Making a Murderer” follows the case of Steven Avery and the many holes in his conviction. Filmed over 10 years, the docuseries premiered in 2015. The controversial series released a second season in 2018.
“The Twilight Zone”
It’s safe — and socially acceptable — to consider “Black Mirror” a modern knock-off of this Emmy-nominated series. Featuring a variety of genres like thriller, sci-fi, fantasy and horror, the iconic anthology series puts ordinary people in extraordinary situations. “Get Out” and “Us” director Jordan Peele helmed the third, and latest, revival, not yet available for streaming on Netflix.