Netflix remains one of the biggest subscription streaming platforms with over 180 million subscribers globally.

The platform arguably made its mark with the show House of Cards in 2013 when political schemer Frank Underwood looked straight into the camera and casually snapped a dog’s neck.  That was the first series to only be available on the Internet.

Risky as it was the gamble paid off for Netflix which remains at the top. And while House of Cards, as writer Ed Power describes, quickly descended into potboiler nonsense due to sexual assault allegations against leading star Kevin Spacey, Netflix has managed to move on.


Here are eleven must-see shows:

I’m Not Okay With This

A coming-of-age drama is about a 17 year old (IT’s Sophia Lillis) who discovers she has telekinetic powers whilst also coming to terms with her sexuality. A hit with critics, Netflix announced in August that the series had been cancelled owing to Covid-19 related restrictions, and yes we are not okay with that.

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The Society

Another must-watch that Netflix cancelled this year is The Society. After premiering in May last year, the ‘Lord of the Flies’ inspired series gained a lot of love from fans.  The show is about a group of high-school students from a fictional Connecticut town called West Ham, who leave for a school trip only to return to find that everyone else has disappeared — and that they’re cut off from the rest of the world.

After the shock wears off, the kids form their own government for “New Ham” and establish laws. But at the end of season 1, there’s been a coup against the mostly decent leadership of Allie (Kathryn Newton) orchestrated by the psychopathic Campbell (Toby Wallace).

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As if that was not enough of a cliffhanger — Allie and her cohort are in mortal danger — in the final moments of The Society, the show reveals that over in the parallel universe of West Ham, the kids are considered missing, and life has continued on without them.

BoJack Horseman

A cartoon about a talking horse might not sound like something you want to watch but the series is moving and takes a funny look at depression and middle-age unease. Starring  Will Arnett as BoJack – a one time star of the nineties hit sitcom Horsin’ Around – as a lost soul whose turbo-charged narcissism prevents him from getting his life together. This show is weirdly relatable.

The Crown

You must be living under a rock if you have not heard about or watched at least one season of The Crown.  A right royal blockbuster from dramatist Peter Morgan, the show follows the reign of Elizabeth II from her days as a wide-eyed young woman propelled to the throne after the surprise early death of her father.

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The show also humanises the royals even as it paints their private lives as a bodice-ripping soap.

Selling Sunset

If you love watching beautiful homes with a large dose of drama from real estate agents, then the reality show Selling Sunset is a must-watch for you. The over the top show follows Los Angeles real estate brokers whose business is flogging multimillion-dollar homes on Los Angeles’s Sunset Strip.


This drug trafficking caper spells out exactly what kind of series it is with an early scene in which two gangsters zip around a multi-level car park on a motorbike firing a machine gun. Narcos, in other words, is for people who consider Pacino’s Scarface a touch too understated.

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Series one and two feature a mesmerising performance by Wagner Moura as Columbian cocaine kingpin Pablo Escobar, while season three focuses on the notorious Cali cartel. Reported to be one of Netflix’s biggest hits – the company doesn’t release audience figures – it turns its attention in its fourth and fifth season to Mexico’s interminable drugs wars, with Diego Luna playing Guadalajara cartel honcho Miguel Gallardo.

Trial By Media

This cheerfully gossipy miniseries drills into high profile legal cases from across the decades. These include a lawsuit caused by the murder of a guest on the Jenny Jones Show – by another guest – and the jailing of disgraced Chicago politician Rod Blagojevich.

The big conceit is that the media circus distorts the justice system, which is slightly hypocritical given the giddiness with which Trial By Media relays these stories.

Tiger King

In March, as the world adjusted to the new normal things got very abnormal on Netflix as the streaming service debuted this true-crime documentary about Oklahoma Tiger zoo owner Joe Exotic and animal rights nemesis Carole Baskin. Big cats, murder accusations, glow in the dark mullets and wild conspiracy theories added up to car-crash TV from which it was impossible to avert your gaze.

The Queen’s Gambit

Anya Taylor-Joy is magisterial in an icy psychodrama about an orphan chess prodigy who will stop at nothing to become the world’s greatest player.

Think of it as Darren Aronofsky’s Black Swan with similar levels of anguish but with tutus replaced by chess clocks. The 1950s period detail is wonderful yet is thoroughly outshone by Taylor-Joy as a chess star who was pawn to be wild.

Money Heist

The Spanish thriller has become one of Netflix’s most popular non-English language shows. There’s certainly lots going on. The story begins with a daring raid on the Royal Mint of Spain in Madrid, overseen by the mysterious Professor (Álvaro Morte)

Thereafter it gets steadily more bonkers and the location shifts from Spain to Germany and Thailand. Though all the twists and turns, highs and lows, Money Heist is never less than gripping.


A police procedural adapted from a long-form magazine exposé of American justice’s entrenched misogyny sounds like nobody’s idea of a fun night in. But Unbelievable makes serious points about how sufferers of sexual assault are marginalised and victim-blamed while also drawing the viewer into a compelling mystery.

Unflinching yet never gratuitous, it stars Toni Collette and Merritt Wever as hard-bitten detectives investigating a serial rapist. Booksmart’s Kaitlyn Dever, meanwhile, plays a young woman wrongly accused of crying wolf when a man attacks her in her apartment.

Original article appeared on Independent + additional reporting by TYI.