17 Netflix Series That Are Essential Viewing

17 Netflix Series That Are Essential Viewing
Image: Netflix

Can you remember a time before Netflix? When you had to sit through 10 ad breaks, check a weekly TV guide or pay for a VPN to access half of your favourite shows?

They were definitely not the best of times but now we have Netflix in Australia and with it, a whole world of opportunity.

Netflix has brought us some absolutely stellar series and the streaming platform is now pumping out so much content it’s almost too hard to know where to start. To help you on your journey, we’ve compiled a list of the top Netflix series you need to watch at least once.

Top Netflix series to add to your binge list

Ozark

Ozark season 4
Ozark – Top Netflix Series (Image: Netflix)

Ozark is a dark Breaking Bad style drama you will absolutely get addicted to.

Jason Bateman stars as a financial planner who relocates his family to a summer resort community and has to launder $500 million over five years to please his drug lord boss.

The fourth and final chapter of Ozark is dropping in 2022 so you have plenty of time to catch up before the series ends.

Watch it here.

Sex Education

sex education netflix september streaming services
Sex Education – Top Netflix Series (Image: Netflix)

There hasn’t been a better teen drama out of Netflix than Sex Education.

On the surface, the show follows Otis, a socially awkward high school student, who becomes the school’s resident sex expert thanks to the advice he garners from his sex therapist mother.

But underneath that, Sex Education is so much more thanks to its diverse and accurate depictions of teenage sexuality. This show doesn’t shy away from awkward topics and it’s literally the sex education we all could’ve used in high school.

Sex Education has already been renewed for season 4 and you can catch up on the other three seasons on Netflix now.

Watch it here.

Behind Her Eyes

behind her eyes netflix
Behind Her Eyes – Top Netflix Series. (Image: Netflix)

The British supernatural psychological series Behind Her Eyes took Netflix by storm when it was released.

The show follows a single mother as she begins an affair with her psychiatrist boss and befriends his mysterious wife. It’s a love triangle with a heavy dose of mind games which you just cannot look away from.

Starring Simona Brown, Eve Hewson and Tom Bateman, Behind Her Eyes is based on the best-selling book of the same name. You can catch all six episodes of the show on Netflix now.

Watch it here.

Queen of the South

queen of the south
Queen of the South – Top Netflix Series. (Image: Netflix)

Another top Netflix series based on a bestselling book, Queen of the South recently finished its fifth and final season.

After a cartel kills her boyfriend, Teresa Mendoza is forced to flee her home in Mexico. She crosses the border into the US and vows to avenge her boyfriend’s death and bring down the leader of the drug trafficking ring.

All five seasons of Queen of the South are streaming now.

Watch it here.

Stranger Things

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Stranger Things – Top Netflix Series. (Image: Netflix)

Stranger Things is hands down one of the best sci-fi shows on Netflix. It blends a nostalgic ’80s small-town mystery with the terrifying sci-fi creatures of your nightmares and original characters you can’t help but love.

Season one starts with the disappearance of Will Byers but slowly unravels into a global conspiracy as his friends investigate and uncover shady government secrets far bigger than their small Indiana town.

Stranger Things is currently filming its fourth season so you can catch up on the other seasons now without fear of an unresolved cliffhanger.

Watch it here.

The Queen’s Gambit

queens gambit netflix
The Queen’s Gambit – Top Netflix Series (Image: Netflix)

Who knew a game of chess could be so interesting? But The Queen’s Gambit makes it so.

The miniseries follows the life of an orphan chess prodigy that takes on the world’s most elite chess players. The series is a poignant look at the struggles of addiction and the prejudices facing a woman in a male-dominated field in the ’50s and ’60s.

The Queen’s Gambit is raking in awards nominations right now for Best Limited Series and high praise for Anja Taylor-Joy as the literal chess queen, Elizabeth Harmon.

Watch it here.

The Witcher

the witcher netflix
The Witcher – Top Netflix Series (Image: Netflix)

The Witcher has been successful in both the book, video game and now TV series forms.

Geralt of Rivia (Henry Cavill) is a Witcher, a shunned magically enhanced human, who slays monsters for a living. After roaming the continent for years killing beasts, Geralt gets wrapped up in the wars between kingdoms and becomes linked by destiny to Princess Ciri of Cintra.

The Witcher is a rollicking ride for fans of fantasy, the supernatural and horror. Its first season is available on Netflix right now with season two debuting later in 2021.

Watch it here.

Bridgerton

sexy Bridgerton
Bridgerton – Top Netflix Series (Credit: Netflix)

The regency era period drama of Bridgerton took over the internet when it launched in late 2020.

The tale of wealth, lust and power hooked fans in as the eight Bridgerton siblings seek love in London’s high society. Produced by Shonda Rhimes (Grey’s Anatomy), Bridgerton made waves for its progressive and diverse portrayals of an era that was anything but.

You can catch up on all of season one of Bridgerton on Netflix right now. If you’ve already done that sit tight because a second season is on the way.

Watch it here. 

Shadow and Bone

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Shadow and Bone – Top Netflix Series. Image: Netflix (Supplied)

You can’t deny that young adult fantasy books make for good watching and Shadow and Bone was long overdue for an adaptation.

Finally, Netflix took the initiative and brought us the stunning Shadow and Bone series, which perfectly blends two series of Leigh Bardugo’s Grishaverse books. Both fans of the novels and newcomers will find something to love in Shadow and Bone’s epic fantasy tale, so what are you waiting for?

Watch it here.

Russian Doll

Russian Doll – Top Netflix Series. (Image: Netflix)

We’re all familiar with the concept of Groundhog Day but Netflix’s top comedy-drama series Russian Doll really gives it new meaning.

When Nadia Vulvokov gets stuck in a time loop of repeatedly dying on the same night, she sets out to solve the mystery and meets someone who is experiencing the exact same thing.

Brought to you by Natasha Lyonne (Orange Is the New Black), Amy Poehler (Parks and Recreation) and Leslye Headland (Sleeping With Other People), Russian Doll is the perfect comedy, sci-fi, mystery hit that you can finish in under a day.

Watch it here.

The Umbrella Academy

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The Umbrella Academy – Top Netflix Series (Image: Netflix)

A family of estranged superheroes reunite after their father’s death and uncover the shocking secrets that make up their history. The Umbrella Academy is a strange ride from start to finish and it encapsulates everything from time travel, to crazy cults, to dance parties.

You’ll fall in love with this cast of characters played by an all-star cast including Elliot Page, Aidan Gallagher, Robert Sheehan and Tom Hopper.

Season 3 of the Umbrella Academy is hopefully, finally coming out later this year but you can check out seasons 1 and 2 on Netflix in the meantime.

Watch it here.

Too Hot To Handle

too hot to handle
Too Hot To Handle – Top Netflix Series (Image: Netflix)

Netflix’s library covers a huge range of genres, and that includes reality TV.

The dating series Too Hot To Handle puts forward a new concept where a bunch of hot singles are stuck together on an island and must abstain from sex if they want a shot at a $100,000 prize.

It may sound like a simple sacrifice for a huge chunk of cash, but not for these people. Season 2 of Too Hot To Handle recently dropped on Netflix so get amongst it.

Watch it here.

Squid Game

squid game what to watch on netflix
Squid Game – Top Netflix Series. (Image: Netflix)

Now that Squid Game is the most viewed Netflix series of all time it should come as no surprise that the show has made its way to this list.

The violent Korean drama pits hundreds of contestants against each other in a series of children’s games with a deadly twist, all for the chance at a huge cash prize.

Squid Game will have you on the edge of your seat from start to finish and you’ll soon realise why it’s taken out the top spot on Netflix.

Watch it here.

Maid

Maid – Top Netflix Series. (Image: Netflix)

Maid is a dark yet gripping look at single parenting and living in poverty.

It follows Alex, a single mother who turns to house cleaning to make money as she escapes an abusive relationship and tries to make a better life for her daughter. The series stars Margaret Wualley, Andie MacDowell and Nick Robinson.

Watch it here.

Money Heist

money heist netflix what to watch
Money Heist – Top Netflix Series (Image: Netflix)

This Spanish-language thriller is all about, you guessed it, a money heist which is orchestrated by a mysterious mastermind and his band of thieves.

The upcoming fifth season of Money Heist will be the series’ last as the group attempt to deal with their most ambitious plan yet.

Watch it here.

The Serpent

the serpent netflix
The Serpent – Top Netflix Series (Image: Netflix)

If you’re partial to a true-crime drama with a sinister serial killer, look no further than The Serpent.

Inspired by true events, The Serpent follows notorious murderer and conman Charles Sobhraj as he and his girlfriend travel Asia in the 70s committing a spree. of crimes on the ‘Hippie Trail’.

Watch it here.

Sweet Tooth

sweet tooth netflix
Sweet Tooth – Top Netflix Series (Image: Netflix)

Adapted from the popular DC comic, Sweet Tooth is set in a post-apocalyptic world where hybrid human and animal babies have emerged.

One of these such hybrids is Gus, a nine-year-old who searches for a new beginning after his father’s death with the help of a gruff protector.

Watch it here.


Did you find your next binge-watch obsession on this list?

If the answer is yes then you can find all these epic series over on Netflix right now.

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