Best Series On Netflix-In Order


A. This is a first pass, the rankings are fluid. 

B. Reviews do their best to reveal as few plot points as possible. 

C. Foreign shows should be watched with subtitles. It’s easy to go into the settings and choose them.


1. “Happy Valley”

A British crime drama starring the inimitable Sarah Lancashire,

Unfortunately it’s no longer on Netflix, but when it was this was my number one recommendation in all of streaming television.


2. “Borgen”

A political drama, illustrating how the sausage is made, as well as personal relationships and… More meaningful than “Happy Valley,” I’m having a hard time not making this number one. Sidse Babett Knudsen is so magnetic, she could carry the series all by herself, but she does not have to. Pilou Asbæk as Kasper Juul is so conniving and creepy, a man who believes the end justifies the means in all cases. If you haven’t watched this, turn it on TONIGHT!

3. “House of Cards”

This U.S. political drama is utterly incredible. It was the “Sopranos” of Netflix, the original series that put the outlet on the map. Kevin Spacey is amazing. As are the supporting actors.. But it’s the life/business lessons that will keep you riveted. The first four seasons are by far the best, because they were made under the aegis of showrunner Beau Willimon. Season five is watchable, worth your time, season six sans Spacey sucks.

Review: I’ve written about “House of Cards” many times. Go to and enter “House of Cards” in the search box. And be sure to click to the next page of results, I’ve written about “House of Cards” a lot!

4. “Ozark”

Upscale accountant and his family relocate full time to backwoods Missouri. With a drug cartel angle. I could watch “Ozark” every day if there were new episodes. Some seasons are better than others, but Laura Linney is incredible and Jason Bateman truly earns his stripes. Tension. In America. Watch it.

Review: I’ve written about the show a number of times. Go to and enter “Ozark” in the search box.

5. “Bonus Family”

That’s what they call a blended family in Sweden. Of all the shows I’ve watched on Netflix this has stuck with me the longest. People…who they are, what choices they make, how they do and do not get along. I’m making it sound heavier than it is. And I’d say it’s a family drama, but that’s got a bad connotation in the U.S. I think one episode is enough to make you decide whether you want to watch more. There are no shootings and all the tension is interpersonal. I LOVED IT! My only complaint is that it ended.


6. “Fauda”

You think you can’t handle violence, but that’s not what this show is about. Doron is a man’s man, but with a sensitive side. He’s strong yet not clamoring for attention. He just wants you to give him the ball and let him run, even though sometimes he’s out of control. This is a great investigation of the Israeli/Palestinian question. It’s not clear-cut. One side is not always right.


Season 1:

Season 2:

Season 3:

7. “Breaking Bad”

Many say it’s the best series ever, I don’t agree, but you should definitely watch it, it is excellent. However, the cheap production budget does undercut some of the scenes. It’s shot fast and flat, but the story of high school science teacher turned meth-cooker in the face of cancer will have you hanging in there. Aaron Paul as Jesse Pinkman is great, as a loser who may not really be one. And all his friends have you cracking up. And, of course, this is Bob Odenkirk’s breakthrough role as Saul Goodman. Needless to say, Bryan Cranston and the rest of the cast is top notch too.


8. “Master of None”

Comedy is hard to do, and Aziz Ansari hits it way over the fence, over two seasons! Aziz still hasn’t fully-emerged from #MeToo hell, but you need to watch this. It’s got the sensibility of a South Asian man navigating the world of his fame, and Eric Wareheim is worth the time all on his own.


Season 1:

Season 2:

9. “Narcos”

The first two seasons in Colombia, depicting the story of Pablo Escobar, are best, when the action shifts to Mexico it’s not as good, but the correlation with the truth in this drug-riddled era means you should watch it.

Review: I’ve written about the show many times. Go to and enter “Narcos” in the search box. And be sure to click to the next page of results, I’ve written about “Narcos” a lot!

10. “Ethos”

Turkish drama portraying the lives of different class members, one of the best explorations of mental outlook and psychotherapy extant. Everybody has problems.


11. “Herrens Veje”

Danish. Starring Lars Mikkelsen who you know as Viktor Petrov in “House of Cards.” But he’s far superior here, playing a priest who tries to control the lives of his two boys. The first season is much better than the second, but if you’ve ever been under the thumb of a parent, if you’ve ever debated breaking away, you’ll identify.


12. “Broadchurch”

It’s hard to go wrong with English crime drama, and this is one of the best. David Tennant is excellent and this is Olivia Colman before she’s the Queen. Great.


13. “Giri/Haji”

Just plain excellent. A BBC Two crime/drug/Yakuza show that you’ll think was produced by the Japanese, the story takes place in Tokyo and London. Really damn good, a great ride.


14. “Occupied”

A Norwegian political thriller that deals with real issues, which keep you watching. Highly recommended.


15. “Mindhunter”

The FBI tries to get into the head of serial killers. The first season is haunting, the second season is not quite as good, but this is TV you can’t take your eyes off of. Featuring Jonathan Groff, the king from “Hamilton” and the incomparable Anna Torv, who is cold, creepy yet sometimes open.


Season 1:

Season 2:

16. “Delhi Crime”

Indian police drama. You get insight into life there and the performances are top notch and there’s context re America and you love it!


17. “Shtisel”

Like “Bonus Family,” it’s a family story. In this case Orthodox Jews in Israel. I tried and could not get into it, but years later, invested in Israeli drama, I pulled it back up and became riveted. I prefer “Srugim,” which is on Amazon Prime, but they’re both great.

18. “The Twelve”

You think you have it figured out, but do you? The more you watch this crime/courtroom drama, the more you’re hooked. Flemish.


19. “London Spy”

Ben Whitshaw is always good. And despite being fiction, the show rings true.

20. “Unorthodox”

Young woman leaves the faith. As good as you’ve heard. Shira Haas carries the show.


21. “The Break”

Belgian. With intense performances. A police drama, but on some level a story of therapy and youth and…

22. “The Queen’s Gambit”

The legendary series depicting the rise of a female chess champion. Very good, but not better than so many other offerings.


23. “The Fall”

I never watched “The X Files,” but all the hype had me thinking Gillian Anderson was a two-dimensional network TV actress. I was wrong. She dominates this show set in Northern Island about the hunt for a serial killer, another U.K. police drama that far surpasses its American equivalents.


24. “Bodyguard”

Another great British police drama. This time about privacy and mental trauma and…


25. “The Killing”

I’ve yet to see the Danish original, but the American version of this political drama keeps you glued to the screen.


26. “The Keepers”

My favorite Netflix documentary. Who killed Sister Cathy?


27. “Wild Wild Country”

The Bhagwan. Is he real, is it all a scam? Wealthy people buy into the teachings of an Indian guru and go about building a community in Oregon where the locals don’t want them.


28. “Babylon Berlin”

I’m loath to recommend this, because this is one of these series where you don’t really know what is going on, furthermore the first episode has you wondering what the tone is. But if you stick with it, you’ll get hooked. However, the first two seasons are superior to the third. Liv Lisa Fries is so charismatic you won’t be able to take your eyes off her. This was the most expensive German miniseries ever produced, and you can see the money on the screen. It depicts the era prior to World War II.


29. “The Mechanism”

By the guy who did “Narcos,” but the two series are different. It’s about corruption in the Brazilian government. I watched this just before I went to Rio, it’s all true, on the ground it’s even worse.


30. “The Spy”

Sacha Baron Cohen is great, but he doesn’t ring true when he’s in Israel, only when he’s playing a spy. The true story of the era, prior to the Six Day War, which many people do not know.


31. “River”

Another English police drama. Stellan Skarsgard is good, but Nicola Walker is even better.


32. “When Heroes Fly”

An Israeli series with gloss. Extremely watchable but nowhere near as true to life or as meaningful as most Israeli productions.

33. “The Woods”

A Harlan Coben book come to life, but produced in Poland, and better off for it. At first I thought “The Five” was better, but thinking back on it “The Woods” was superior, it felt more real.

34. “The Five”

Another Harlan Coben book. But the nature of these stories is there are unforeseen twists at the end and you wonder if your investment of time was worth it. Here it is.


35. “Nobel”

A Norwegian drama. Re the country’s involvement in Afghanistan.

36. “Safe”

Another Coben series. Once again, you’ve got the twists and turns, but you’ve also got Michael C. Hall and the incomparable Audrey Fleurot, a charismatic, edgy star from France who most Americans are unaware of, to their detriment.

37. “Doctor Foster”

A series about betrayals. Excellent performances, especially by Suranne Jones. The story is not ultimately as believable as the production, but I recommend it. Another U.K. drama.

38. “Russian Doll”

Natasha Lyonne is fantastic, but she’s better than the series itself. The “Groundhog Day” construct is interesting, but the ending is not as good as what comes before.

39. “Evil Genius”

One of the vaunted Netflix documentaries, this time about a bank heist. Not as good as “The Keepers,” but very good, worth your while.

40. “Godless”

A western. The best I’ve ever seen Merritt Wever. Who acts subtly, but ends up owning the screen. And Michelle Dockery is excellent too.

41. “Bloodline”

You can feel the humidity steaming off the screen. Kinda like “Body Heat,” but not as good. Family exploits in Florida. Gets worse with each season, the last is borderline, but watch an episode and if you dig it, stay with it. Ben Mendelsohn is so good.


42. “The Devil Next Door”

The John Demjanjuk story, you know, the Nazi deported from the U.S. at an old age who was accused of being Ivan the Terrible. Was he? No matter how much you know about this case, this documentary will have you re-evaluating your take.

43. “Wormwood”

An Errol Morris docudrama focused on the U.S. biological warfare program.

44. “Suburra”

Organized crime in Italy. Great performances, but not as great as other Mafia productions.


45. “Pretend It’s A City”

Overrated. There are moments of sheer brilliance, but the HBO documentary was better, in this case length works again the story. Fran Lebowitz is a phenomenal social critic with a quick wit, and she says her opinion doesn’t matter, it’s just her own, but it resonates too heavily with the cognoscenti who don’t realize that in truth, technology is not the enemy, Fran just ends up looking too out of touch for today’s world. As for the format… If you want dinner conversation, “My Dinner With Andre” is better. Different, yet better.

46. “The Society”

I got hooked on this, but then they canceled the series because of Covid-19. Kids without their parents, who is in charge, what should they do. American in the best way.


47. “Atypical”

Family copes with autistic son. It’s hard to believe Michael Rapaport is so reasonable and restrained after being an such out of control bully on the Howard Stern show, but the true star is the sister, Brigette Lundy-Paine. The star, Keir Gilchrist, doesn’t really ring true as a person on the spectrum, but the issues do. It’s heartwarming and heartbreaking.


Season 1:

Season 3:

48. “The Time In Between”

A visually beautiful relatively slow-moving story about Spaniards in the era of the Civil War. Interesting, if for no other reason that many don’t know what happened in that era. Unfortunately no longer on Netflix.

49. “13 Reasons Why”

The first season is definitely worth your time, you can stop after that, I did. These creators are so thrilled to get their stories on screen that when they garner success they don’t know how to follow it up, with the spotlight upon them. Unjustifiably crucified for portraying teen suicide, America can’t handle the truth.


50. “Unbelievable”

True crime. The story of serial rape cases. But it’s overrated. Worth watching, but on some level the series just doesn’t ring true, because the character portrayals are in many cases unbelievable.

51. “The Valhalla Murders”

Nowhere near as good as the hype. Beautiful photography in Iceland, but if you want noir, go further east to the productions of the Scandinavian countries.


52. “Tiger King”

The lockdown breakout. I’m not sure that you need to see it now, but then again these people are so nuts and so invested in big cat mania that it’s interesting going down the rabbit hole with them.

53. “Stranger”

A lauded Korean police drama, it is very interesting, and Bae Donna is so charismatic without being overbearing, but are 32 episodes worth it? I’d say yes, but it soured me on Korean drama, it’s a bit heavy-handed and unbelievable.

54. “Dead to Me”

Vastly overrated. Yes, Christina Applegate is good, and so is utility player Linda Cardellini, but by time you get to the second season the plotting becomes ridiculous and the series dissipates into cardboard and you turn it off.


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