Perfect binge material: what is the best series on Netflix?
(Credits: Best of Netflix / Netflix)


Perfect binge material: what is the best series on Netflix?

There are so many original movies and TV shows available to watch on Netflix that the possibility of endless scrolling potentially awaits anyone who doesn’t have a clear idea in mind of what they want to watch, but there are certain shows that stand out as being among the streaming service’s best ever.

Prestige drama and period piece enthusiasts have The Crown, those with a fondness for nostalgic adventures can opt for Stranger Things, there’s the dystopian thrills of Squid Game, the comedy of Bojack Horseman and Master of None, the atmospheric chills of Mike Flanagan’s multiple horror series, the slow-burning intensity of Ozark, the haunting When They See Us, the labyrinthine Russian Doll, and many more.

That’s barely scratching the surface of what the platform has at its disposal, making the choice of the best television show on Netflix entirely down to personal preference. There are popular TV shows, binge worthy shows, shows that capture the zeitgeist, shows that become cultural phenomena, and numerous other offshoots, making it a thorny subject to tackle.

There’s also a difference between being the best series on Netflix and the best Netflix series given the wealth of content the company licenses from other studios and distributors, but as it applies strictly to in-house productions that were crafted from the ground up by the streamer, it’s hard to look beyond Dark.

Created by Baran bo Odar and Jantje Friese, the sci-fi thriller aired for three seasons and 26 episodes between 2017 and 2020, with its narrative becoming so tightly-plotted that even the smallest details in one instalment end up being completely recontextualised as a major revelation hidden in plain sight further down the line.

What begins as a seemingly straightforward mystery revolving around the disappearance of a child in the small town of Winden soon becomes something else entirely, with Dark gradually unfolding to incorporate multiple timelines, following four families caught in the centre of a multi-generational power struggle, and the existential impact time can have not only on the human experience, but how those affected perceive and subsequently try to course-correct the past, present, and future.

Not everyone is inclined to agree, but in terms of atmosphere, aesthetic, nerve-shredding tension, thematic resonance, narrative ambition, nuance, complexity, entertainment value, and the all-important bingeability, even if Dark isn’t at the very top, it’s easily among the very best Netflix shows that have ever – and probably will ever – be made.

What is the best Netflix original horror movie?

Netflix hasn’t put quite as much stock into in-house horror as it has other genres, but there are plenty of titles available at the push of a button that cater to most tastes, whether it’s the Fear Street trilogy of slashers, the uncompromisingly brutal Apostle, the unexpected queasiness of The Perfection, or that man Mike Flanagan again with the chilling Hush and wince-inducing Stephen King adaptation Gerald’s Game.

In terms of conveying a message while chilling viewers right down to the bone, though, writer and director Remi Weekes’ astonishing His House might well take top honours. Using the refugee experience as the backdrop to the struggles in reconciling a life left behind with one as yet unlived, it’s a stunning first feature and a genuinely unsettling tour-de-force in terror.

What is the best Netflix original action movie?

Netflix spends an awful lot of money recruiting the biggest stars in Hollywood for this exact purpose, so for those who favour A-list wattage then there’s Dwayne Johnson’s Red Notice, Gal Gadot’s Heart of Stone, Ryan Gosling’s The Gray Man, Jennifer Lopez’s The Mother, Ryan Reynolds’ The Adam Project, and Chris Hemsworth’s Extraction to choose from.

As often tends to be the case in the action genre, however, Netflix’s international offerings are regularly superior to their Stateside counterparts. For the best of the bunch, look no further than Timo Tjahjanto’s relentless The Night Comes for Us, which reunited The Raid stars Iko Uwais and Joe Taslim for a no-holds-barred assault on the senses that leaves no stone unturned in its pursuit of bone-crunching greatness.

What is the best Netflix original comedy movie?

Adam Sandler may have comfortably cornered the market on Netflix comedy with his Happy Madison productions, but with the artform itself being entirely subjective, not everyone is as madly in love with the ‘Sandman’ as the viewing figures suggest.

The Coen brothers’ The Ballad of Buster Scruggs, Rian Johnson’s Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery, and Adam McKay’s Don’t Look Up all tick a myriad of comedic boxes, Do Revenge has plenty of rewatch value, and Always Be My Maybe became an instant favourite, but never forget about Eddie Murphy’s career-best turn in the hilarious, uproarious, and exceptionally entertaining Dolemite Is My Name.