The Best Shows on Netflix Right Now (March 2021)

Sit back, relax, and hit play, it doesn't get any better than this

Focused on binge-worthy content, the massive Netflix library has hundreds of fantastic options, including original shows, syndicated shows, and movies. It's difficult to decide what to watch next. To help, here are the best shows on Netflix you can queue up and jump into right now.

01
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Waffles + Mochi (2021): Food Facts from Former First Lady Michelle Obama and Friends

Michelle Obama in the Netflix show 'Waffles + Mochi'

ADAM ROSE/NETFLIX

IMDb rating: n/a

Genre: Family

Starring: Michelle Obama, Piotr Michael, Michelle Zamora

Created By: Erika Thormahlen, Jeremy Konner

Rating: TV-Y

Seasons: 1

Former First Lady Michelle Obama's favorite cause while living in the White House was getting kids to eat healthier. Now, she's continuing her mission to teach children about fruits and vegetables with a new family-friendly show called Waffles + Mochi. Waffles and Mochi are two adorable puppets who travel the world learning about food and cooking. They're joined by Mrs. Obama and celebrity guests like Jack Black, Zack Galifianakis, Samin Nosrat, and more. It looks very warm and fuzzy, and couldn't we all use that right now?

02
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Lupin (2021): An Addictive French Crime Thriller

Omar Sy in 'Lupin'

Netflix

IMDb rating: 7.6/10

Genre: Crime, Drama

Starring: Omar Sy, Vincent Londez, Ludivine Sagnier

Created By: George Kay

Rating: TV-MA

Seasons: 1

This stylish crime caper stars Omar Sy as gentleman thief Assane Diop, who is based on the fictional French anti-hero Arsene Lupin. Over the course of the show's inaugural season, he seeks revenge against a wealthy family that wronged his father, but things take an unexpected turn. The series is smart and fun, and Francophiles will enjoy the gorgeous Paris scenery.

03
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Pacific Rim: The Black (2021): Because Who Doesn't Love a Good Kaiju/Mecha Fight?

A mecha fights a kaiju in 'Pacific Rim: The Black'

Netflix

IMDb rating: n/a

Genre: Animation

Starring: Iku Minase

Created By: n/a

Rating: TV-14

Seasons: 1

Netflix's latest anime series is based on Guillermo del Toro's cult classic Pacific Rim movie franchise. Set in a near future where humanity battles gigantic kaiju using mechas called Jaegers, The Black focuses on two siblings in Australia who are searching for their parents. The animation looks gorgeous and who doesn't like to watch giant monsters and giant robots fight?

04
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Firefly Lane (2021): An Ode to Female Friendship and Feathered Bangs

Katherine Heigl and Sarah Chalke in 'Firefly Lane.'

Netflix

IMDb rating: 7.6/10

Genre: Drama

Starring: Katherine Heigl, Sarah Chalke

Created By: Maggie Friedman

Rating: TV-MA

Seasons: 1

Based on a novel by Kristin Hannah, Firefly Lane charts the friendship between two women over decades, from their teens to their 40s. But a single act of betrayal threatens a bond they previously thought unshakable. Filled with plenty of '70s,'80s, and '90s references, this show will likely please anyone who enjoys a good coming-of-age tale, the movie Beaches, or Fleetwood Mac.

05
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Bridgerton (2020): A Fun, Soapy Period Drama

Regé-Jean Page and Phoebe Dynevor in 'Bridgerton.'

Netflix

IMDb rating: 7.3/10

Genre: Drama, Romance

Starring: Phoebe Dynevor, Regé-Jean Page, Nicola Coughlan

Created By: Chris Van Dusen

Rating: TV-MA

Seasons: 1

This soapy period romance from Shondaland is inspired by a series of bestselling bodice rippers by Julia Quinn. Daphne Bridgerton (Phoebe Dynevor), the eldest daughter of the powerful Bridgerton family, is looking for a husband. But her older brother and a high society scandal sheet are hindering her prospects. That's when she meets the Duke of Hastings (Regé-Jean Page), a man who's committed to bachelorhood. It's a classic will-they-won't-they story with some gorgeous visuals and plenty of nudity. There are worse ways to spend a weekend.

06
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They Ready (2019): Up-and-Coming Comedians Get Their Break

Comedian Aida Rodriguez in 'Tiffany Haddish Presents: They Ready.'

Netflix

IMDb rating: 6.2/10

Genre: Comedy

Starring: Tiffany Haddish

Created By: Page Hurwitz, Tiffany Haddish

Rating: TV-MA

Seasons: 2

Tiffany Haddish was once a struggling comedian before gaining fame for roles in The Carmichael Show, Tuca & Bertie, Girls Trip, and more. Now, she's paying it forward and giving up-and-coming comedians, especially comedians of color, a chance in the spotlight. (Although calling some of the performers "up-and-coming" isn't quite accurate, since some have been in the comedy trenches for decades.) The second season of They Ready highlights six funny people deserving of some recognition, including Godfrey, Erin Jackson, Tony Woods, and more.

07
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Cobra Kai (2018): Best '80s Nostalgia

Peyton List, left, and Jacob Bertrand star in 'Cobra Kai.'

Netflix

IMDb rating: 8.6/10

Genre: Action, Comedy

Starring: Ralph Macchio, William Zabka, Martin Kove

Created By: Josh Heald, Jon Hurwitz, Hayden Schlossberg

Rating: TV-14

Seasons: 3

Based on the '80s movie franchise The Karate Kid, Cobra Kai takes place thirty years after the events of the first film. Antagonist Johnny Lawrence (William Zabka) is now a handyman with an estranged son. When he rescues a boy named Miguel from some bullies, he's inspired to reopen the old Cobra Kai dojo. But doing so places him back into his old high school rivalry with Daniel LaRusso (Ralph Macchio) who's now a successful businessman.

Cobra Kai uses its time jump as an asset, turning a somewhat corny story into an interesting character study of two men who peaked in high school, and how their grudges and failures affect the next generation.

08
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Good Girls (2018): A Fun Basic Cable Crime Show

Christina Hendricks, Retta, and Mae Whitman in 'Good Girls.'

NBC

IMDb rating: 7.8/10

Genre: Comedy, Crime, Drama

Starring: Christina Hendricks, Retta, Mae Whitman 

Created By: Jenna Bans

Rating: TV-14

Seasons: 3

Christina Hendricks, Retta, Mae Whitman star as three suburban moms who, desperate for cash, team up to rob a supermarket. Things spiral from there. There's some good chemistry between the leads and some good laughs as the women continuously struggle to overcome one bad situation after another.

09
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Disenchantment (2018): A Fantasy Spoof from 'The Simpsons' Creator

Nat Faxon, Eric André, and Abbi Jacobson in 'Disenchantment.'

Netflix

IMDb rating: 7.2/10

Genre: Animated, Fantasy

Starring: Abbi Jacobson, Eric André, Nat Faxon

Created By: Matt Groening, Josh Weinstein

Rating: TV-14

Seasons: 3

Disenchantment is The Simpsons creator Matt Groening's send-up of the fantasy genre. Princess Tiabeanie Mariabeanie de la Rochambeau Grunkwitz, or just "Bean" to her friends, is a rebellious hard-drinking princess who runs away from her royal duties to go on adventures with her two best friends, an elf named Elfo and a demon named Luci. While it doesn't quite reach the quality of early Simpsons episodes or Futurama, it's a fun show with plenty of gags.

10
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The Magicians (2015): Harry Potter for Grown-ups

The cast of the TV show 'The Magicians.'

Syfy

IMDb rating: 7.6/10

Genre: Drama, Fantasy

Starring: Stella Maeve, Hale Appleman, Arjun Gupta

Created By: Sera Gamble, John McNamara

Rating: TV-14

Seasons: 5

Based on a trilogy of fantasy novels from Lev Grossman, The Magicians is about twenty-something-year-old students attending a secretive magical university in New York. Comparisons to a certain British children's book series are inevitable. The Magicians is a more mature, darker, and cynical story, though. Slow to start, it becomes wildly entertaining in later seasons.

11
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The Queen's Gambit: Best I-Can't-Believe-I'm-Loving-A-Show-About-Chess Limited Series

The Queen's Gambit

IMDb rating: 8.6/10

Genre: Drama

Starring: Anya Taylor-Joy, Marielle Heller, Bill Camp

Created By: Scott Frank, Allan Scott

Rating: TV-MA

Seasons: 1 (Limited series; 7 episodes)

If you thought this was just another take on the British Royal Family, you are in for a jaw-dropping surprise. The word "queen" can apply in many ways to this oddly satisfying mid-century mini-series look at the world of chess and the unlikely prodigy who blithely climbs her way to the top of it.

Anya Taylor-Joy is a compelling delight to watch as her character Beth Harmon navigates a world filled with wild loops and daring plot twists. The supporting cast is superb at adding just the right touches of humor and lightness to a generally dramatic series. From Bill Camp's stern portrayal of an unlikely chess teacher to Marcin Dorocinski's rendering of a callous Russian world chess champion, every supporting character is brilliant at building unforgettable scenes that keep viewers rooting for the girl who handily rolls with every punch thrown. Do not leave this series off your list.

12
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Big Mouth (2017): Best Animated Series About Teenage Puberty

Jason Mantzoukas, Nick Kroll, and John Mulaney in 'Big Mouth.'

Netflix

IMDb rating: 8.0/10

Genre: Animated, Comedy

Starring: Nick Kroll, John Mulaney, Jessi Klein

Created By: Jennifer Flackett, Andrew Goldberg, Nick Kroll 

Rating: TV-MA

Seasons: 4

Big Mouth is an animated series about teens and the messiness of adolescence. It features the comedic talents of Nick Kroll, John Mulaney, Jason Mantzoukas, and more. Look past all the gross-out humor and you'll find a smart, empathetic look at how puberty affects teens both physically and emotionally. It's not suitable for younger viewers, though.

13
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The Crown: Because Olivia Colman, That's Why

Olivia Coleman in 'The Crown.'

Netflix

IMDb rating: 8.7/10

Genre: Drama

Starring: Claire Foy, Olivia Colman, Imelda Staunton

Created By: Peter Morgan

Rating: TV-MA

Seasons: 4

The much-anticipated fourth season of The Crown is now on Netflix. Known for its high drama and luxurious cinematography, the show chronicles the lives of one of the most famous families in the world, the royal family of England. Academy Award-winning actress Olivia Colman returns as Queen Elizabeth. She's joined by Gillian Anderson, who plays Margaret Thatcher. Newcomers Josh O’Connor and Emma Corrin play Charles and Diana, respectively.

14
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Dawson's Creek: Best for Fans of Teen Love Triangles

James Van Der Beek, Katie Holmes, Michelle Williams, and Joshua Jackson in 'Dawson's Creek'

Sony Pictures 

IMDb rating: 6.6/10

Genre: Drama

Starring: James Van Der Beek, Katie Holmes, Michelle Williams, Joshua Jackson

Created By: Kevin Williamson

Rating: TV-14

Seasons: 6

If you were a teen in the '90s, you may be happy to hear the entire run of Dawson's Creek is now on Netflix. You may even be humming its iconic theme song to yourself right now. (You won't hear Paula Cole's "I Don't Wanna Wait" in the Netflix version of the show, though, due to a rights issue.) For the uninitiated, this teen drama chronicles the lives and loves of four friends in a fictional Massachusetts town. It was a big hit when it first debuted and helped launch the careers of its four young leads.

15
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The Haunting of Bly Manor (2020): Best New Netflix Original Horror

Amelia Eve, Victoria Pedretti, and Amelie Bea Smith in 'The Haunting of Bly Manor.'

 Netflix

IMDb rating: 7.4/10

Genre: Horror

Starring: Victoria Pedretti, Tahirah Sharif, Benjamin Ainsworth

Created By: Mike Flanagan

Rating: TV-MA

Seasons: 1

The Haunting of Bly Manor is creator Mike Flanagan's follow-up to The Haunting of Hill House. Set in 1980s England, it tells the story of an American nanny (Victoria Pedretti) hired to care for two creepy orphans (Amelie Bea Smith, Benjamin Evan Ainsworth) after their last au pair dies. You would think that'd scare her off, but a job's a job, right? Of course, there are plenty of dark secrets, and literal and figurative ghosts, waiting to be uncovered on the manor's grounds. Bly Manor is loosely based on Henry James' classic novella The Turn of the Screw.

16
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Schitt’s Creek (2015): Best Canadian Fish-Out-of-Water Comedy

Catherine O'Hara, Eugene Levy, Annie Murphy, and Dan Levy in 'Schitt's Creek.'

Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC)

IMDb rating: 8.5/10

Genre: Comedy

Starring: Eugene Levy, Catherine O'Hara, Dan Levy

Created By: Dan Levy, Eugene Levy

Rating: TV-14

Seasons: 6

The entire run of Schitt's Creek is on Netflix, making this a good time to catch up. After the wealthy Schitt family loses their fortune they move to the aforementioned Schitt's Creek, a dreary little town they once bought as a joke. Featuring great ensemble humor from its leads (especially from veteran actor Catherine O'Hara), the show is a fish-out-of-water premise that mixes Arrested Development-style family dysfunction, clever writing, and crude humor.

17
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Evil (2019): Most Disturbingly Fun Show From Basic Cable

Aasif Mandvi, Katja Herbers, and Mike Colter in 'Evil.'

CBS

IMDb rating: 7.6/10

Genre: Horror

Starring: Katja Herbers, Mike Colter, Aasif Mandvi

Created By: Michelle King, Robert King

Rating: TV-14

Seasons: 1

The CBS drama Evil is about a forensic psychologist (Katja Herbers) hired by the Catholic Church to investigate a variety of supernatural phenomena. She's joined by a priest-in-training (Mike Colter) and a contractor (Aasif Mandvi). The first season has the trio investigating serial killers, modern-day prophets, a curiously addictive Christmas song, and more. Show creators Michelle and Robert King are also responsible for The Good Wife and The Good Fight. Like those shows, Evil features a talented cast, smart writing, and relatable characters.

18
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The Umbrella Academy (2019): Best Dysfunctional Superheroes

Ellen Page in 'The Umbrella Academy'

Netflix 

IMDb rating: 8.0/10

Genre: Action, Adventure, Comedy

Starring: Elliot Page, Tom Hopper, David Castañeda

Created By: Steve Blackman, Jeremy Slater

Rating: TV-14

Seasons: 2

Quite possibly the most dysfunctional family in comicdom, the Hargreeves siblings are seven people born with superpowers and adopted by an emotionally abusive billionaire. He turns the children into a crime-fighting team called The Umbrella Academy. Many years later, he dies under mysterious circumstances and the siblings reunite for his funeral. Oh, and there's also an apocalypse coming in about a week. The unusual premise is helped by an effective soundtrack, gorgeous visuals, and a story that focuses more on character emotions than superhero theatrics (although there's plenty of those, too).

19
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Somebody Feed Phil (2018): Best TV Comfort Food

Phil Rosenthal delights over a sandwich in 'Somebody Feed Phil'

Netflix

IMDb rating: 8.2/10

Genre: Travel Documentary

Starring: Phil Rosenthal

Created By: Phil Rosenthal

Rating: TV-14

Seasons: 4

This lighthearted travel documentary chronicles the adventures of Phil Rosenthal, the creator of Everybody Loves Raymond, as he eats his way around the world with almost childlike delight. The show doesn't dive as deeply into the cultures it visits as, say, Parts Unknown, and Rosenthal is the polar opposite of the late Anthony Bourdain. And the theme song will make you cringe every time you hear it. But, Rosenthal is an affable host and, like The Great British Bake Off, Somebody Feed Phil is pure feel-good comfort food.

20
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Carmen Sandiego (2019): Best Educational Cartoon Series

Carmen Sandiego

Netflix

 

IMDb rating: 7.9/10

Genre: Animated

Starring: Gina Rodriguez, Finn Wolfhard, Liam O'Brien

Created By: Duane Capizzi

Rating: TV-Y7-FV

Seasons: 3

Carmen Sandiego's third season is now on Netflix, bringing all-new educational adventures for young viewers and a heavy dose of nostalgia for those who remember the video games this show is based on. It has a caper-of-the-week format that sees Carmen squaring off against the agents of V.I.L.E. and stealing priceless artifacts. Along the way, it manages to incorporate some of the educational elements Carmen Sandiego is famous for, presenting factsheets and information on the locales and peoples the anti-hero visits during her heists.

21
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Ozark (2017): Moodiest Crime Thriller

Ozark

Netflix

IMDb rating: 8.4/10

Genre: Crime, Drama, Thriller

Starring: Jason Bateman, Laura Linney, Julia Garner

Created By: Bill Dubuque, Mark Williams

Rating: TV-MA

Seasons: 3

In this atmospheric crime drama, crooked accountant Marty Byrde (Jason Bateman) finds himself staring down the barrel of a gun when his partner slips up. Rather than accept his fate, Byrde suggests a solution: He'll move to the Lake of the Ozarks and set up a money laundering operation. The deal accepted, Marty heads south with wife Wendy (Laura Linney) and their two kids.

Like a set of dominos falling one after the other, Marty and Wendy can't help but get deeper and deeper into this mess, even sucking locals like Ruth Langmore (Julia Garner) into their wake. In a dangerous world where any slip up could result in brutal death, Marty and Wendy do their best to stay one step ahead of both the cartel and each other.

22
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The Witcher (2019): Best Fantasy Action and Adventure

The Witcher

Netflix

IMDb rating: 8.2/10

Genre: Fantasy, Adventure, Action

Starring: Henry Cavill, Freya Allan, Anya Chalotra

Created By: Lauren Schmidt

Rating: TV-MA

Seasons: 1

The Witcher tells the story of Geralt of Rivia (Henry Cavill), a Witcher, which is an order of mutated monster hunters. The first season also weaves in stories about Ciri (Freya Allan), a young princess linked to Geralt by a mistake of destiny, and sorceress Yennefer (Anya Chalotra), whose origin story is explored most thoroughly of the three.

If you aren't familiar with the source material, The Witcher may confuse you at first. It freely weaves the three main stories together without always making it clear that they aren't actually happening at the same time. The first season ties together nicely though, setting the stage for a massively epic fantasy to come.

23
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Stranger Things (2019): Best Love Letter to 80s Synths

Stranger Things

Netflix

IMDb rating: 8.7/10

Genre: Fantasy, Horror, Drama

Starring: Millie Bobby Brown, Finn Wolfhard, Winona Ryder

Created By: Matt Duffer, Ross Duffer

Rating: TV-14

Seasons: 3

Stranger Things is a deeply atmospheric love letter not just to synths, but to 1980s cinema in general. This Golden Globe-winning series follows a group of young teens as they try to figure out which way is up in a world that no longer makes any sense. When Will Byers (Noah Schnapp) goes missing, his mother (Winona Ryder) and friends ultimately come to the conclusion that he may have been somehow transported to another world.

Meanwhile, another of the teens, Mike Wheeler (Finn Wolfhard), finds and gives shelter to a young girl (Millie Bobby Brown) who seems to have escaped a nearby military facility. Nicknamed Eleven, she manifests strange powers that may be the key to saving Will. And that's just the beginning, as Stranger Things already has three binge-worthy seasons with another on the way.

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