The 18 Best Binge-Worthy Shows on Netflix This Month (February 2021)

Stuff yourself with these delectable weekend delights

Netflix makes the most binge-worthy shows around, but many of them are too long to consume over a sick day or long weekend. We compiled the best and most binge-able Netflix shows that you could feasibly feed upon over the course of about one to three days.

Short, sweet, and to the point, these shows invoke that 'just one more' feeling at 3 a.m., but they don't overstay their welcome.

01
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Lupin (2021): Best French Take on Sherlock Holmes

Omar Sy in Lupin

Netflix

IMDb Rating: 7.8

Genre: Action, Crime, Drama

Starring: Omar Sy, Vincent Londez, Ludivine Sagnier

Created By: George Kay

TV Rating: TV-MA

Number of Seasons: 1

Inspired by the fictional French character Arsène Lupin, Lupin follows Assane Diop (Omar Sy), a thief who uses his savvy to avenge his father's death at the hands of corrupt businessman Hubert Pellegrini (Hervé Pierre). English-speaking audiences will likely notice strong similarities between Diop and Sherlock Holmes, another famous character from the same time period.

If you like the first episode, you'll want to binge the whole series, so set aside a good chunk of free time. The first five episodes of Lupin are available now, and five more will be out later this year.

Although the show is French, all of the dialogue is in English, so you don't have to worry about subtitles.

02
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The Idhun Chronicles (2021): Best High-Fantasy Anime Series Set in Modern Times

The Idhun Chronicles

Netflix

IMDb Rating: 5.3

Genre: Animation, Action, Fantasy

Starring: Itzan Escamilla, Michelle Jenner, Nico Romero

Created By: Andrés Carrión, Laura Gallego

TV Rating: TV-14

Number of Seasons: 2

After his parents are killed, teenage Jack (Itzan Escamilla) learns that he's from another world called Idhun, where an evil sorcerer named Ashran has taken over. With nothing else to lose, Jack teams up with a young wizard named Victoria (Michelle Jenner) to take on the assassin sent to purge all exiles.

The plot is pretty dark, but it's not nearly as violent as some other anime shows on Netflix. The latest season may be the last, so if you want more of The Idhun Chronicles, you'll have to read the manga series that inspired the show.

03
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Alien Worlds (2020): Best Speculative Documentary About Life on Other Planets

Alien Worlds

Netflix

IMDb Rating: 6.6

Genre: Documentary, Sci-Fi

Starring: Sophie Okonedo, Stuart Armstrong, Natalie Batalha

Created By: Netflix

TV Rating: TV-PG

Number of Seasons: 1

There are thousands of planets outside of our solar system, and it's very possible that at least one of them supports some form of life. In this four-part British docuseries, Sophie Okonedo takes viewers on a journey to computer-rendered worlds where whales fly and trees walk.

While the alien species depicted are all speculative, the science on which they are based is solid. Each episode includes interviews with experts who apply their knowledge of Earth's atmosphere to predict what extraterrestrial habitats would look like.

04
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Alice in Borderland (2020): Best Sci-Fi Series for Gamers

The cast of Alice in Borderland

Netflix

IMDb Rating: 8.0

Genre: Action, Fantasy, Mystery

Starring: Kento Yamazaki, Tao Tsuchiya, Keita Machida

Created By: Haro Aso

TV Rating: TV-MA

Number of Seasons: 1

Alice in Borderland, an adaptation of the popular Japanese manga series, is about three video game-obsessed teens who long for a more interesting reality. They get their wish and find themselves in an alternate version of Tokyo, where they must participate in a series of deadly games to stay alive.

If you've played the video game The World Ends With You, you'll likely notice similarities with Alice in Borderland. Indeed, the story of gamers getting trapped inside a video game has been done plenty of times before, but never have the stakes been quite this high. At just eight episodes, you can easily get through the entire series in a weekend.

05
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The Queen's Gambit (2020): Most Watched Original Netflix Series

Anya Taylor-Joy in The Queen's Gambit

Netflix

IMDb Rating: 8.7

Genre: Drama

Starring: Anya Taylor-Joy, Chloe Pirrie, Bill Camp 

Created By: Scott Frank, Allan Scott

TV Rating: TV-MA

Number of Seasons: 1

Following her mother's death, Beth Harmon (Anya Taylor-Joy) is sent to an orphanage where she picks up the game of chess to pass the time. After getting adopted, her new family encourages her to compete in tournaments, and everyone quickly learns that Beth is a chess prodigy.

Inspired by a 1983 book by Walter Tevis, The Queen's Gambit was a sleeper hit for Netflix, earning more views than any other original series in the first month of its release. Having won Best TV Series of the Year at the 2020 IGN Awards, The Queen's Gambit has enough to keep critics, chess enthusiasts, and casual viewers entertained.

06
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Tiny Pretty Things (2020): Best Teen Drama About Ballet School

A dance class in Tiny Pretty Things

Netflix

IMDb Rating: 5.5

Genre: Drama, Mystery, Thriller

Starring: Kylie Jefferson, Brennan Clost, Damon J. Gillespie

Created By: Michael MacLennan

TV Rating: TV-MA

Number of Seasons: 1

Neveah (Kylie Jefferson) gets an invitation to a prestigious ballet school in Chicago after a student is murdered. While she expected the world of professional dancing to be cutthroat, nothing could have prepared her for the drama awaiting her at the Archer School of Ballet.

Tiny Pretty Things has sparked a lot of controversies online for its racy scenes, which has only fueled interest in the series. While the show is about teenagers, it's clearly meant for audiences 18 and older.

07
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Selena: The Series (2020): Best Biopic Series About an 80s Pop Icon

Christian Serratos as Selena in Selena on Netflix

Netflix

IMDb Rating: 6.6

Genre: Biography, Drama, Music

Starring: Christian Serratos, Madison Taylor Baez, Ricardo Chavira

Created By: Moisés Zamora

TV Rating: TV-PG

Number of Seasons: 1

This series chronicles the life of Mexican-American singer Selena Quintanilla-Pérez, from her meteoric rise as a pop star to her tragic death at age 23. The father and sister of the real-life Selena serve as co-producers, so it's as authentic a look at the entertainer's life as you can get.

If you remember the 1997 movie of the same name starring Jeniffer Lopez, don't think of Selena: The Series as an extended version of that. The series stands on its own, and with only nine episodes, you can easily binge it over a weekend.

08
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Mr. Iglesias (2019): Best High School Comedy With a Diverse Cast

Mr. Iglesias (2019) cast

Netflix

IMDb Rating: 7.1

Genre: Comedy

Starring: Gloria Aung, Gabriel Iglesias, Sherri Shepherd

Created By: Kevin Hench

TV Rating: TV-14

Number of Seasons: 2

Gabriel Iglesias plays Mr. Iglesias, a teacher who returns to his old high school to work. After discovering a plot by the administration to convince low-performing students to drop-out, Iglesias takes misfit students under his wing.

Comedies about high school from the teacher's perspective are rare, and this one knocks it out of the park. Teachers and students alike will identify with the show's humor and conflicts. Mr. Iglesias manages to be heartwarming without feeling hokey and serious without feeling melodramatic.

09
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Great Pretender (2020): Best New Anime Based on a Japanese Manga

Great Pretender (2020)

Netflix

IMDb Rating: 8.0

Genre: Animation, Adventure, Comedy

Starring: Wolf Williams, Alan Lee, Aaron Phillips

Created By: Ryōta Kosawa

TV Rating: TV-MA

Number of Seasons: 2

Based on the manga of the same name, Great Pretender is about a Japanese conman who gets in over his head. Dubious characters try to out-swindle each other in this tragedy of errors that spans multiple continents.

Great Pretender debuted on Japanese networks Fuji TV and BS Fuji in July before coming to Netflix. At just 23 short episodes, you'll finish it off in a day or two. As an interesting side-note, the song at the end of each episode is Freddie Mercury's cover of The Great Pretender by The Platters.

10
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Kipo and the Age of the Wonderbeasts (2020): Best Post-Apocalyptic Technicolor Wonderland

Kipo and the Age of the Wonderbeasts

Netflix

IMDb Rating: 8.4

Genre: Animation, Action, Adventure

Starring: Karen Fukuhara, Sydney Mikayla, Dee Bradley Baker

Created By: Radford Sechrist, Bill Wolkoff

TV Rating: TV-Y7

Number of Seasons: 3

With only three short seasons released over less than one calendar year, Kipo and the Age of the Wonderbeasts goes down quickly and leaves you wanting more. One of the best new animated series in years, Kipo follows its titular character (Karen Fukuhara) as a quest to find her father turns into one of self-discovery.

Ultimately, it's up to young Kipo and her friends (Sydney Mikayla, Dee Bradley Baker, et al.) to broker peace between humans who have fled underground in the face of a technicolor apocalypse and the wonderous beasts that took their place on the surface.

11
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Tiger King (2020): Best Documentary About the Worst People Doing the Weirdest Things

Joe Exotic in Tiger King

Netflix

IMDb Rating: 7.6

Genre: Documentary, Crime

Starring: Joe Exotic, Rick Kirkham, Carole Baskin 

Created By: Eric Goode, Rebecca Chaikilin

TV Rating: TV-MA

Number of Seasons: 1

Tiger King is the kind of documentary series that proves real life really can be stranger than fiction. Hewn together from material filmed for a doomed reality show and footage recorded by the titular Tiger King himself (Joe Exotic), this docuseries peels back the curtains to provide an in-depth look at big cat conservationists and collectors in the United States. In addition to Exotic, it also highlights Carole Baskin's Big Cat Rescue and Doc Antle's Institute for Greatly Endangered and Rare Species.

With only seven episodes, and a follow up special, it takes some discipline not to just shotgun the entire thing in one sitting. Each installment of Tiger King is more baffling than the last, from Doc Antle's strange cult of personality to Carole Baskin's missing husband and the increasingly erratic, and sometimes criminal, behavior of Joe Exotic.

12
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The Toys That Made Us (2017): Best Anthem to the Plastic Totems of Childhood

The Toys That Made Us

Netflix

IMDb Rating: 8.1

Genre: Documentary, Comedy, History

Starring: Donald Ian Black, Mark Bellomo, David Vonner 

Created By: Brian Volk-Weiss

TV Rating: TV-14

Number of Seasons: 3

The Toys That Made Us is a nostalgia bomb for anyone who harbors fond memories of toys like GI Joe, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, or Barbie. Each episode of this docuseries explores a different toy line through research and interviews with people who were involved in the creation and production of each line. It's everything you never knew you needed to know about your favorite toys, and it's fantastic.

If you reach the end of the mere 12 episodes and find yourself wanting more, the companion series The Movies That Made Us is also available on Netflix, and it's just as binge-worthy.

13
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Happy! (2017): Best Hyperviolent Urban Fantasy

Christopher Meloni in Happy!

Netflix

IMDb Rating: 8.2

Genre: Dark Comedy, Action, Crime

Starring: Christopher Meloni, Patton Oswalt

Created By: Grant Morrison, Brian Taylor

TV Rating: TV-MA

Number of Seasons: 2

Hitman Nick Sax (Christopher Meloni) teams up with his daughter's imaginary friend Happy (Patton Oswalt) after the girl is kidnapped in this hyperviolent, neon-colored nightmare of a darkly comedic urban fantasy tale. Sax is an unstoppable murder machine in pursuit of saving his daughter, dishing out and receiving a comically over the top amount of violence.

Squeamish viewers may want to stay away from this one, but there's a surprisingly heartfelt story here for anyone who wants to dig for it.

14
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Unbelievable (2019): Best True Crime That's Sometimes Tough to Watch

Kaitlyn Dever in Unbelievable

Netflix

IMDb Rating: 8.4

Genre: True Crime, Drama

Starring: Kaitlyn Dever, Toni Collette, Merritt Wever 

Created By: Susannah Grant, Michael Chabon, Ayelet Waldman

TV Rating: TV-MA

Number of Seasons: 1

Unbelievable is the true-life story of Marie Adler (Kaitlyn Dever), who is victimized twice: first by the man who breaks into her apartment while she's asleep, and then by a justice system that catastrophically fails to help her. Due to a mixture of her own uncertainty and shame, and poor police work, her story is deemed unbelievable, and the perpetrator is allowed to skip town and set up shop in a different state.

The story continues with Detectives Grace Rasmussen (Toni Collette) and Karen Duvall (Merritt Wever), whose independent investigations point toward a single suspect. This miniseries only has eight episodes, but the material is dense enough that some viewers will find it difficult to binge in a single sitting.

15
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The End of the F***ing World (2017): Weirdest Road Trip

Alex Lawther and Jessica Barden in End of the F***ing World

Netflix

IMDb Rating: 8.1

Genre: Dark Comedy, Crime, Road Trip

Starring: Jessica Barden, Alex Lawther, Steve Oram

Created By: Jonathan Entwhistle, Charles Forsman (comic)

TV Rating: TV-MA

Number of Seasons: 2

Teenage James (Alex Lawther) secretly believes he's a psychopath, and he settles on classmate Alyssa (Jessica Barden) as his first murder victim. They start dating instead and then embark on one of the weirdest road trips across England ever. Their actions during this trip have grave consequences that are explored in the second season.

Strangely touching at times, with tight writing and fantastic acting, The End of the F***ing World clocks in at two seasons of eight episodes each: perfect for a lazy sick day or a more leisurely binge over a weekend.

16
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Glow (2017): Best Mom Jeans and Leotards

Allison Brie and Betty Gilpin in GLOW

Netflix

IMDb Rating: 8.0

Genre: Comedy, Drama, Sports

Starring: Alison Brie, Marc Maron, Betty Gilpin

Created By: Liz Flahive, Carly Mensch

TV Rating: TV-MA

Number of Seasons: 3

Aspiring actress Ruth Wilder (Alison Brie) falls backward into the world of costumed wrestling when she and estranged friend Debbie Eagan (Betty Gilpin) end up leading the cast of the GLOW professional wrestling promotion. Their soured relationship is played out in the ring, as wrestlers Zoya the Destroya and Liberty Belle, as they and a cast of colorful characters try to make GLOW a success as a live show, a storyline-rich TV show, and finally an elaborate Las Vegas stage show.

17
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The Circle (2020): Most Quarantine-Appropriate Reality Show Ever

The Circle

Netflix

IMDb Rating: 7.4

Genre: Game Show, Reality TV

Starring: Michelle Buteau, Sammie Cimarelli, Shubham Goel

Created By: Tim Harcourt, Studio Lambert

TV Rating: TV-MA

Number of Seasons: 1

One of Netflix's first forays into the world of reality television, The Circle has a bit of a twist at its core: the contestants never meet face to face or even speak with each other during the show. The basic concept is simple. A number of people move into an apartment building and join a social network called The Circle. They interact with each other using text chat, but they never meet face to face.

Some contestants play it straight, or at least claim to, while others are there to "catfish" the others with fake profile pictures and personas. The catch is that when someone is voted off, they can meet with one person of their choice before leaving the show.

The contestants essentially being in quarantine feels oddly appropriate for the time frame the series was released in, but you'll end up bingeing it for the same reason we watch any reality show: to watch alliances form and crumble, personalities clash, and one person ultimately walk away with a prize.

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Sugar Rush (2018): Most Likely to Give You Cavities

Sugar Rush

Netflix

IMDb Rating: 7.0

Genre: Game Show, Cooking

Starring: Hunter March, Candace Nelson, Adriano Zumbo 

Created By: Doneen Arquines

TV Rating: TV-PG

Number of Seasons: 3

This game show with a twist is so chock full of sweets that watching it is enough to nudge your blood sugar. In each episode, teams of professional confectioners square off for the chance to take home a $10,000 prize.

In addition to a slate of professional chefs, the judging panel features a rotating cast of celebrities like Colin Hanks and Nick Lachey.

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