Netflix on TV

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Let’s be real: we’ve all been there, scrolling endlessly through Netflix, trapped in the paradox of too many choices. It’s the modern version of wandering the aisles of Blockbuster on a Friday night, except now we’re in pajamas with a half-eaten pizza on our lap. Whether you’re dodging spoilers or just trying to find something to fill the void after your last series binge, the struggle is real. But fear not! We’ve sifted through the digital chaos to bring you the crème de la crème of Netflix shows. We have researched across multiple expert sources to bring you the top seven best Netflix shows of all time. Don’t agree with our ranking or feel we missed out on one that deserved to be in the top? We would love to hear from you in the comments down below. 

1. “Stranger Things” (2016 – 2025)

“Stranger Things” is a captivating and nostalgic Netflix series that takes viewers on a thrilling journey into the supernatural. Set in the 1980s, the show brilliantly combines elements of horror, science fiction, and coming-of-age drama to create a unique and addictive storyline.

Remember those classic ’80s movies like “The Goonies” and “E.T.”? “Stranger Things” is like that, but cranked up to eleven (pun intended)! Time Out says the show perfectly captures that nostalgic vibe, mixing influences from John Carpenter, Steven Spielberg, and Stephen King.

Throw in a mysterious parallel dimension, creepy government secrets, and a group of awesome kids battling monsters with their D&D skills, and you’ve got a recipe for binge-watching bliss! It’s no wonder “Stranger Things” became Netflix’s golden goose, according to Collider. The show even revived classic songs like Kate Bush’s “Running Up That Hill” – that’s some serious pop culture power!

“Stranger Things” isn’t just about nostalgia though. The AV Club praises the show for its incredible child actors, its ability to weave darkness into the seemingly perfect ’80s suburban setting, and its epic storytelling that feels like a classic Spielberg adventure. With a fifth and final season on the horizon, “Stranger Things” is sure to go out with a bang (or maybe a mind-blowing psychic blast!). So, grab your Eggo waffles and get ready to be transported to Hawkins, Indiana – the binge-watching adventure awaits!

2. “Bojack Horseman” (2014 – 2020)

This isn’t your typical animated comedy. BoJack is a washed-up ’90s sitcom star (who also happens to be a horse) who struggles with depression, addiction, and a whole lot of self-loathing. The show cleverly parodies dramas about flawed anti-heroes, but it also tackles serious issues with surprising depth.

So how can a show about a depressed horse be funny? Time Out says it’s the perfect blend of laugh-out-loud moments and emotional gut punches. Think dark humor, sharp wit, and a whole lot of animal puns – all wrapped up in a visually stunning animation style.

Collider even compares BoJack to TV greats like Don Draper and Tony Soprano – that’s high praise! So, if you’re looking for a show that’s both entertaining and thought-provoking, BoJack Horseman is a must-watch. Just be prepared for a wild ride (and maybe a few existential questions along the way).

3. “Master of None” (2015 – 2021)

“Master of None” is a critically acclaimed comedy-drama series that first premiered on Netflix in 2015. This show from Aziz Ansari and Alan Yang defies easy categorization. It’s a love story exploring modern dating in the age of smartphones, but it also tackles so much more.

Entertainment Weekly says the show excels in both its ongoing narrative – the complex relationships between Dev and his girlfriends – and its standalone episodes that delve into a variety of themes. From cultural clashes between generations to the immigrant experience in America, “Master of None” doesn’t shy away from real-life issues wrapped in humor.

Rolling Stone considers “Master of None” a standout of the 2010s for its unique vision. Ansari’s involvement as writer, director, and star in the early seasons led to beautiful and ambitious storytelling. The show explored Dev’s search for love alongside stories of his immigrant father’s journey, his friend’s coming-out process, and even a glimpse into the lives of New York cab drivers.

Remember the shift to focus on Denise in season three? Time Out says it might surprise viewers, but it showcases Ansari’s storytelling talent beyond his own experiences. This shift from a semi-autobiographical style to a character study of Denise proves “Master of None” is more than just Aziz Ansari’s story – it’s a platform for rich characters and diverse experiences. So, buckle up for a funny, insightful, and surprisingly moving ride!

4. “Squid Game” (2021 – )

“Squid Game” is a gripping and intense Korean television series that has taken the world by storm. This dystopian thriller has captivated audiences with its unique blend of suspense, action, and social commentary.

So, what’s all the hype about? CBR tells us it’s a story about down-on-their-luck people who sign up for a children’s game competition for a chance to win a life-changing amount of money. But things take a sinister turn when they realize these games are anything but child’s play.

Time Out compares “Squid Game” to “The Hunger Games,” but with a bigger dose of social commentary and violence. It’s intense, suspenseful, and sometimes hard to watch, but there’s no denying it’s addictive!

AV Club says the show’s success goes beyond the shocking plot and creepy visuals (think matching jumpsuits and a giant, creepy doll). The true power lies in the characters’ depth and the way they portray the desperation and fight for survival. “Squid Game” isn’t just a thrilling game show – it’s a powerful look at human nature under extreme circumstances.

5. “Orange Is The New Black” (2013 – 2019)

“Orange Is The New Black” is a critically acclaimed television series that first premiered on Netflix in 2013. Created by Jenji Kohan, the show is based on Piper Kerman’s memoir of the same name, which details her experiences in a women’s federal prison. Time Out says it wasn’t just the most-watched Netflix original ever at the time, but it totally changed the game. With its witty writing and unforgettable characters, this dramedy set in a women’s prison had everyone hooked from the very first episode.

It wasn’t all smooth sailing though. Rolling Stone says the show had its ups and downs creatively, especially in later seasons. But at its peak (think those first four seasons!), “Orange Is the New Black” was some of the best television around.

Here’s what made it so special: TV Line tells us it started as a story based on a memoir, but quickly blossomed into something more. The show gave a platform to diverse characters, many played by up-and-coming actresses like Uzo Aduba and Laverne Cox, and tackled important social issues. Even the later seasons, with their flaws, offered a satisfying conclusion for the many characters we grew to love (or love to hate).

6. “The Crown” (2016 – 2023)

“The Crown” is a critically acclaimed historical drama series that delves into the captivating world of the British monarchy. Created by Peter Morgan, this Netflix original has garnered immense popularity and praise for its meticulous attention to detail and stellar performances.

Craving a historical drama that isn’t, well, boring? Look no further than “The Crown”! Time Out says this show about Queen Elizabeth II’s reign is an award-winner for a reason – the writing is sharp, the acting is phenomenal, and the visuals are stunning. They even convinced history buffs who usually avoid period pieces to give it a shot!

What makes “The Crown” so special? AV Club says it takes a juicy peek into the lives of the British royal family, revealing the real people behind the titles. Think lavish costumes, stunning recreations of historical events, and a healthy dose of royal drama – all served up with exceptional acting.

The show cleverly avoids becoming a stuffy period drama by focusing on the personal lives of the royals. TV Line commends the show’s decision to recast the main characters every two seasons. This keeps things fresh and allows a whole new wave of talented actors to bring these complex characters to life. Prepare to be transported to another era and captivated by the real story behind the glitz and glamour of royalty.

7. “I Think You Should Leave With Tim Robinson” (2019 – )

“I Think You Should Leave With Tim Robinson” is a hilarious sketch comedy show that first premiered on Netflix in 2019. Created by Tim Robinson, known for his work on “Saturday Night Live,” the series quickly gained a dedicated fan base for its offbeat humor and absurd sketches. Entertainment Weekly calls it the funniest show on Netflix, and for good reason. This sketch comedy series is packed with hilarious jokes and ridiculously funny characters.

Each episode throws you into a bizarre situation where someone leans way, way into a social faux pas and refuses to back down – all while delivering their outrageous arguments with hilarious conviction. Think awkward encounters, nonsensical beliefs, and side-splitting delivery!

Rolling Stone loves that the show packs so much comedic punch into short, bite-sized episodes – perfect for fitting in a laugh attack whenever you need it. They also praise the show’s commitment to its unique brand of humor, free from outside interference.

Sources used to create this consensus list

Note: This article was not paid for nor sponsored. StudyFinds is not connected to nor partnered with any of the brands mentioned and receives no compensation for its recommendations. This article may contain affiliate links in which we receive a commission if you make a purchase.

About Jilly Hite

Janelle is a freelance writer from New York. Her writing focuses on parenting, tech, business, interior design, education, and telling people’s inspiring stories. Janelle has written for Mustela and Newton Baby and has bylines in Pregnant Chicken, Syracuse Woman Magazine, the Baldwinsville Messenger, and Family Times Magazine. She holds a master’s degree in literacy from the State University of New York at Oswego.

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StudyFinds publishes digestible, agenda-free, transparent research summaries that are intended to inform the reader as well as stir civil, educated debate. We do not agree nor disagree with any of the studies we post, rather, we encourage our readers to debate the veracity of the findings themselves. All articles published on StudyFinds are vetted by our editors prior to publication and include links back to the source or corresponding journal article, if possible.

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21 Comments

  1. Diane Tedesco says:

    Shameless is my all time favorite, followed by Wentworth and Stranger Things! Too many to mention!

  2. Shay says:

    Let me say The Lincoln Lawyer is fantastic! Bing watch until the next season! Great! You will not be disappointed!

  3. Marc Crispiano says:

    Longmire should have been on the list or at least in the top 10. Peaky Blinders too! Look, there are many good and great shows on Netflix. It’s the Netflix audience that decides over the critic!

  4. Nicole says:

    Has everyone forgotten Lilyhammer? The original Netflix hit. While there have been some great shows since- Babylon Berlin, Money Heist, etc.- to me, that one was truly entertainment at its best.

    1. Mike says:

      OZARK OZARK OZARK!!!!!

  5. Gavin says:

    Good shows, but not great.

    I think the problem is, they have new actors, better camera work/ computer graphics, but same old story line.

  6. Mary says:

    Money Heist (Spain)

    1. Jill Siler says:

      Yes!

  7. Mafa says:

    I have enjoyed most of these selections but I think, hands down, the best thing on Netflix is Money Heist(Spain version). Incredible writing, acting, cinematography, and so on. IMHO

    1. Lina says:

      Exactly!! Any top series list without Money Heist included, just ain’t reliable.

  8. Alex Spindola says:

    What happened to DARK???…. I dont think Squid Game its better than Dark…

  9. Waterlily says:

    No Queen Gambit or OA? You lost some major credibility here

    1. Jlll Siler says:

      It makes me very curious about the median age of 1. Who conducted the studies and the interviewees. 16?

  10. Richard M says:

    Breaking Bad was one of the best series I’ve seen.

  11. Julianna says:

    Lucifer was the best

  12. kay walker says:

    How on earth could this list leave out The Queen’s Gambit and Call My Agent????

    1. Todd says:

      Peaky Blinders is far and above one of the best series to come along in some time.

  13. Robby Rogers says:

    This isn’t a great list at all. You basically listed their most famous releases ever…. Most of which are older. These are really the default stuff people watch and can find on Netflix’s own recommend frontage!

    Pull a new article together and hunt for the best content thats gone under the radar or something.

  14. Leslie says:

    Wentworth!!!!!

  15. Donna says:

    Ozark and Bloodline should be on this list

  16. Bluesun says:

    I was almost going to let this list as whatever then I saw your sources. None are credible sources making this list complete trash.