When you’ve got plenty of spare time on your hands (or just want to escape reality for a while), Netflix is the answer. The hugely successful streaming platform has plenty of original shows to offer that are certainly binge-worthy. We’re counting down the best Netflix series of the year with both new and old gems on offer.
Netflix has certainly changed the way we watch TV, and all for the better. Not only does it give you an easy platform for watching your favorite shows and movies, but it even produces a bunch of Netflix originals for you to enjoy.
2018 is already shaping up to be a big one for the company and along with some of their classics being revamped for new seasons this year, there are some brand new titles being released that promise to be just as entertaining. Time to get your binge-watching pants on!
#18: Orange is the New Black
Undoubtedly Netflix’s standout show and the one that got us all hooked on prison life. For those of you who haven’t watched it yet because you’ve been living under a rock, Orange is the New Black follows the lives of the women incarcerated at Litchfield Penitentiary.
It’s got the perfect mix of drama, humor, and shady activity, and although these ladies are criminals you can’t help but love them. Netflix has already released five seasons and season six is set to air on 27th July so it’s the perfect time to catch up and watch them all.
#17: House of Cards
Following the huge scandal around Kevin Spacey and allegations of sexual misconduct, Netflix decided to dump the headlining star of this political show and continue on with another season. The show is set to return in late 2018 with just the president’s wife, played by Robyn Wright, returning as POTUS.
Aside from the scandalous allegations that occurred outside of the show, there’s plenty of drama to enjoy on the series. With five seasons behind them already there’s quite a bit to wrap your head around before the new one starts, and we’re certain you won’t be disappointed.
#16: Queer Eye
When we first heard that they were rebooting Queer Eye for the Straight Guy, we were a little hesitant. However, it all managed to work out and they’ve developed a new series for 2018 that works way better than the original ever did.
What makes the new Queer Eye so good is that they’ve toned down on some of the camp qualities and turned it into a show that’s about more than just superficial stuff. Season one is out now and ready to be enjoyed, and you might shock yourself with just how much you love it.
#15: Comedians In Cars Getting Coffee
Everything that Jerry Seinfeld touches turns to gold, so is it any wonder that his wildly successful show about famous comedians is now in its 10th season? The premise behind this show is that Jerry Seinfeld takes a classic car around town, picks up a celebrity or comedian friend, takes them for coffee, and asks them the great questions that normally don’t get tackled in a TV interview.
Past guests have included Chris Rock, Julia Louis Dreyfus, and Jay Leno, so we’re all pretty excited to see what 2018 holds for Jerry. We’re not sure if it’s the cars, the coffee, or the celebrities that keep us tuned in, but whatever it is, it works.
#14: Luke Cage
Marvel and Netflix have paired up for a few shows by now, but none are as gritty as Luke Cage. Following the story of a real-life superhero with superhuman strength brought about by a failed experiment done on him, it doesn’t get much more action-packed than this.
The Luke Cage series intertwines with Jessica Jones, another great Marvel/Netflix mashup, and it ’s a must-have for lovers of the action or comic book genre. Season 2 aired mid-2018 so you’ve got two long seasons to catch up on if this sounds up your alley.
#13: Jessica Jones
Following on from Luke Cage, Jessica Jones is another dark superhero series that has managed to kick goals for Netflix. A former superhero who now uses her good for solving crimes in a detective agency, Jones is a seriously badass individual. Season two was released early 2018 and although it wasn’t as big of a hit as the first season, it’s still a must-have for anyone with a Netflix subscription.
Hearing the name Judd Apatow attached to a comedy pretty much guarantees its success, so what better reason do you have to check out Love? Created by Apatow and starring Paul Rust and Gillian Jacobs, this show is now in its third season and still as popular as ever.
Love follows the story of nice guy Gus who tries to turn his life around after being cheated on by his girlfriend, which leads him into the arms of rebellious Mickey. It’s light-hearted, will occasionally make you teary-eyed, but overall produces some quality laughs.
There’s nothing like a good psychological thriller to get you through the lonely evenings, so if you don’t mind delving into the thoughts of psychotic serial killers then Mindhunter will be the show for you. Starring Jonathan Groff (of Glee and Frozen fame) this is a seemingly new genre for him but one that he does well.
This fictional series is set back in the time before we knew much about serial killers, as two FBI detectives begin research on the subject. They interview known killers and try to build up a profile on what makes them tick, and it will truly keep you on the edge of your seat.
#10: Black Mirror
If you’ve ever watched an episode of Black Mirror, you probably walked away from it going “what on earth just happened?” The show holds a mirror up to society and imagines some truly terrifying scenarios of technology become far too involved in our lives.
What makes this such a good series is that the episodes are set in a not too distant future so it doesn’t seem too out there to imagine. Each episode is a new story so there’s no need to watch them in order either, and the latest season was released in 2018.
#9: Big Mouth
Nick Kroll is a huge name in comedy right now, and Netflix was lucky enough to score his animated series Big Mouth exclusively. Big Mouth is a cartoon version of what it was like growing up for Kroll so you can already imagine how funny it’s going to be.
The show has plenty of guest voices that you’ll recognize like Jenny Slate, Maya Rudolph, and John Mulaney. Only one season has been released so far in 2018 but we’re certainly hoping to see plenty more of Big Mouth and his friends in the future.
Easy technically scarped in just at the end of 2017 but we’ll allow it on the list because it’s received just great reviews. Starring Dave Franco, Jane Adams, Michael Chernus, and a whole slew of talented young actors, Easy has already delivered two stellar seasons for us to enjoy.
The show’s premise is around a bunch of friends from Chicago dealing with everyday stuff like love, family, careers, and culture. This is one to watch when you’re looking for a light-hearted but semi-deep series to get you thinking and feeling good at night.
#7: The Standups
For those of you who like short and sharp episodes that you can fit in when you need a quick laugh, The Standups is for you. Just as the name suggests, this series is about stand up comics, but more specifically the up and comers who are already making waves.
This show gives you a chance to sample their work and make yourself laugh in the process, so it’s perfect when you need a mood boost. Season two aired in 2018 and we’re certain it will return for a third, as this is a never before seen platform for comics to really get themselves noticed on a worldwide stage.
#6: On My Block
If you like your shows centered on high school students but don’t want anything immature, On My Block is the perfect choice. This is a coming of age fiction that aired in 2018 with news that they’ll return next year for the follow-up.
On My Block follows a bunch of high school kids as they navigate their way through the usual drama but they do it with a difference. There’s a diverse cast, it’s already become critically acclaimed, and it’s a lot more gritty than you’d expect from a teenage centered series.
#5: American Vandal
For those who loved the twisted Making A Murdered or other crime focused documentary series, you need to lighten the load a bit and check out American Vandal. This mockumentary series revolves around a series of high school pranks where a bunch of teacher’s cars are vandalized with some rather obscene drawings.
American Vandal is seriously clever and although you know it’s not real, you do get hooked on wanting to solve the crime. The only difference is you’ll be able to sleep at night without thinking about the potential murderers out there that you might know, and instead have a laugh to yourself.
#4: Dear White People
What started as a website then turned into a film then turned into a Netflix series, and it never managed to lose its shine. The Netflix series follows a group of young, black students at a predominantly white college as they try to work their way through the racist issues that occur.
This is a refreshing look at social issues and one that shows the problem on both sides but does so with humor. The second season aired in 2018 and they’ve already been renewed for a third, so you know they’re doing something right.
#3: Lost in Space
You’ve probably heard all about the original Lost in Space that aired in the 60’s, so you may as well give the Netflix reboot a try. As the most expensive series they have (production wise), Lost In Space is certainly entertaining, even if you’re not a fan of the sci-fi genre.
The show follows a family of space colonists trying to do everyday things in space, and it’s funny and laid back. The production alone would be entertaining enough but somehow the rest of the series works, so definitely give it a try next time you’re looking to binge something.
There’s nothing more badass than a bunch of wrestling chicks, and Glow offers them up in droves. GLOW or Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling stars Alison Brie and Betty Gilpin as the ultimate frenemies, and the costumes alone are enough to drag you in.
Don’t take Glow too seriously and enjoy it for the drama and campy qualities, and you’ll absolutely love it. Now in its second season which aired in 2018, fans are very excited to see what else is on offer from the often unseen world of women’s wrestling.
#1: Stranger Things
If you haven’t already watched Stranger Things then we don’t know how to break it to you: you’re seriously missing out. This show has a serious retro vibe whether it’s the spooky theme music, neon credits, or the entire story being set back in the early 80’s, but on top of that, it’s so much more.
Stranger Things centers on a group of young high school kids living in a small town, only they have access to a whole other supernatural world. The rally together, try to fight the bad guys (or things) and will make you laugh along the way. Definitely one of the better Netflix series out there in 2018.