The weekend is fast approaching. Folks may have already finalized plans to go out of town, spend a day in the park, invite a friend over to their house, or simply be homebodies and enjoy some personal time. Among the many activities we like to do is binge watch shows on Netflix. Luckily, many series (and movies, if you are not into lengthy viewing) are available on the viewing platform for us to watch – safe to say there’s zero chance for anyone to run out of the best series to watch on Netflix. It feels like it would be best to get someone to ghostwrite your papers for you as you embark on a journey into Netflix shows.
But if you cannot make up your mind, and you take too much time deciding what to watch rather than the actual watching, then you would be happy to know that we did the brainstorming and deciding for you. Here is a list of the best series on Netflix you need to watch over the weekend.
When They See Us
Netflix just this year decided to make their own brand of limited series similar to HBO’s Big Little Lies and Sharp Objects, and When They See Us is among the first, which they released in May this year. When They See Us is a cinematic retelling of a real-life incident in 1989. It follows the story of five African American youths, labeled as the Central Park Five, in New York City falsely accused of raping a jogger in the middle of the night. The Netflix limited series is directed by Ava DuVernay, director of A Wrinkle in Time, who was personally committed to lend her poetic skills to tell the story of gross injustice into the spotlight.
A bit of disclaimer, this series is very emotional and might cause a lot of distress on you as a viewer because of how realistic it portrayed the injustice inside the system that is established to protect the people but failed to do so. After all, art is meant to disturb the comfortable, so this series does a good job of calling out the failures in the US Justice System and how corrupt people can be when it comes to their longing for power. What makes this one of the best series on Netflix is its timeliness, for American society is again at a crucial crossroads with respect to racism and other form of discrimination.
If you’re looking for a teen drama with a mix of politics, then The Society might be just for you. Don’t get us wrong, many people believe they above petty teenage conflicts, but if you have a series that reconstructs modern-day political concepts into a teen series, then maybe it’s worth another look. The Society is dubbed as a modern re-imagination of the William Golding novel Lord of the Flies. When timeless themes are intertwined with modern plots, the result is one of the best series on Netflix.
The series tells of a group of high school students who are supposed to go on a school trip, but upon riding the bus to go to their destination, they are redirected back home to find their town empty and all the roads out completely blocked. Without parents or any authority figure, they initially think it is the best days of their lives, but as days go by, they notice how complicated their situation is. Some take it upon themselves to become a leader and guide them into an equal distribution of work and resources, but conflict ensues when power struggle begins to enter the picture.
From the great minds of Glee and American Horror Stories creator Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk, Pose is an LGBTQ series on Netflix which creatively depicts the 1990 Ball culture and how it influenced pop culture and the mainstream through music (Madonna’s Vogue) and fashion. And that is not the only exciting part of the show. Pose also stars a diverse cast of Latin Americans, African Americans, and transgender men and women. The show was critically acclaimed because of the fresh and new concept it brings into the TV cinematic landscape.
Pose focuses on Blanca as she separates from her House to become a House Mother of her own. She recruits her children through the help of a Godfather, Pray Tell, who is also the Master of Ceremony of the New York Balls. Don’t worry if you don’t understand most of the terms now because I guarantee you, it’s all easy to catch when you finally decide to watch the series.
Another limited series on our list is Unbelievable, which is inspired by the Pulitzer Prize-winning article by ProPublica about the cost of not believing a woman’s recollection of her rape. This series is very trigger-heavy throughout the show, but it sheds light on the inconsistencies and inefficiencies of the US police force when it comes to protecting their citizenry, and how selective they are when it comes to believing a story.
Emmy Award-winning actresses Toni Collette and Merritt Wever portray two small-town police detectives who uncover the ways of a serial rapist who has been jumping from one town to another choosing one victim with very specific qualities, making it hard to link all the victims to each other than back to him. The series carries a lot of emotional weight but ends with a satisfying conclusion for all the right characters. This is easily one of the best series on Netflix due to its courageous take on one of today’s most controversial issues.
The Crown is one of the pioneer series on Netflix. It is a dramatic retelling of the UK’s reigning queen, Queen Elizabeth II. At a young age, Queen Elizabeth is forced to take over the royal responsibility after her father, the late King George VI, died of lung cancer. Queen Elizabeth is played by English actress Claire Foy, Prince Philip is played by former Doctor Who actor Matt Smith.
The third season of The Crown is set to drop on Netflix on November 4 this year, and it features a more mature Queen Elizabeth portrayed by Academy Award-winner Olivia Colman and Helena Bonham Carter as her younger sister, Princess Margaret. If you binge watch the two seasons now, you’ll be just in time for season three. This historical drama illuminates history like no other series can, and this reason contributes to its status as one of the best series on Netflix.
Everyone loves a good heist film, but what if it comes in the form of a lengthy TV show? Clearly, we’re in paradise because Netflix's original series Money Heist offers all the intense action and twists of a thrilling and gripping heist movie, maybe even more! Money Heist was initially intended to be a two-part limited series. However, after it received due attention it deserved following its worldwide debut, Netflix picked up the show for more seasons.
Money Heist’s first two seasons revolve around an assault on the Royal Mint of Spain, and the story, amidst the backdrop of immoral excesses continually committed by the establishment, particularly favors the robbers involved with the multi-day heist. The series received critical acclaim for the sophisticated plot and interpersonal dramas. Following the themes that made movies like V for Vendetta successful, this cutthroat Spanish-made masterpiece is truly one of the best series on Netflix, if not of all time.
The Haunting of Hill House
If you are seeking the thrill of horror and jump scares but still want a gripping plot and well-rounded characters, then Netflix's original series The Haunting of Hill House is the perfect series for you. You would expect that most good horror stories are only in the form of movies, however, Netflix has proven otherwise. The Haunting of Hill House has used the series storytelling format to its advantage to deepen its plot and add more weight to its characters, and it is evidently very effective. Not only is it scary, but it also has emotional and intense family drama to add to your frustration as a viewer.
The Haunting of Hill House focuses on the story of five siblings – Steven, Shirley, Theodora, Luke, and Nell – and how living in the Hill House when they were young affect their upbringing. Growing up in the Hill House, they experience many paranormal events which result in a tragic loss and ongoing distress even as adults. Who would have thought that a contribution from the horror genre can top make the list of the best series on Netflix?
BoJack Horseman is an adult animated series. However, do not let that hinder you from watching the show. The Netflix original series uses self-deprecating humor and satire to highlight the daily struggles of real, sentient human beings. Although you’ll mostly find yourself laughing and smiling along to some characters, at the end of every season you will dprobably notice how heavy and penetrating the storyline is for the main protagonist and even secondary characters.
BoJack Horseman is set in an alternate universe called Hollywood where humans and anthropomorphic animals live side by side. BoJack is a washed-up 90s sitcom actor attempting to recover his career through an autobiography to be written by ghostwriter Diane Nguyen. From there, many personal struggles and self-actualization ensue for BoJack and the people around him as they try to uncover their self-purpose and what it takes to be good. In the tradition of seminal satirical animated series like The Simpsons and Family Guy, BoJack Horseman’s lighthearted yet deep conveyance of the human condition makes it a must-watch and of course, one of the best series on Netflix.
When you think of a zombie series, you wouldn’t imagine it to be a period drama set specifically in Korea, but Kingdom takes it there. This series is Netflix’s first original Korean drama, set in the historical Joseon period right after the Japanese occupation. Its main plot is concerned with a political coup against the Crown Prince, Yi Chang. However, Yi Chang is forced to investigate the spread of the ominous undead plague in their kingdom.
Kingdom has the elements of a brutal and violent zombie series. Upon its release, it immediately garnered audience success because of its fast-pace and spellbinding first episodes. Aside from the political conflicts that make it one of the very best series on Netflix, you get the bonus of monsters and zombies, which will surely satisfy your viewing.
Peaky Blinders has all the elements of a great gangster epic! Starring Cillian Murphy as family patriarch Tommy Shelby, Peaky Blinders is set in the aftermath of the First World War and revolves around the notorious gang Peaky Blinders and their rise and fall in the face of national and international political developments of the time. It also radiates themes of family reminiscent of The Godfather that will surely entice you to continue watching. The masterful interweaving of family, politics, and real-life historical events easily catapults Peaky Blinders to the top of the list of the best series on Netflix.
Peaky Blinders originally premiered on UK’s BBC Two, and Netflix eventually acquired US redistribution rights. Immediately upon release, it garnered several accolades for production, directing, screenplay, acting, and costume design. The latest season of Peaky Blinders has recently been released on Netflix, so if there’s any good time to binge-watch it, then it’s now.
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