It seems silly to complain that there’s “nothing to watch” on Netflix considering the unbelievable amount of content on the streaming site, but we’ve all been there. The truth is, it’s simply overwhelming. But worry not, we’re here to help simplify it for you. Whether you’re into Norwegian comedies, Oscar-nominated films, or home improvement shows, Netflix has got your back, and so do we. We want to help you navigate the tricky waters that stand between you and your new favorite thing to watch. We’ve got recommendations based on if you’re looking for a TV show or a film, and we’re also breaking it down for you based on interest. So, follow along below as we work to help you find the perfect thing to watch.
From our watch list to yours, we’re giving you the deets on all of Netflix‘s most recommended content. If you’re a Netflix junkie and you happen to have already seen some these, let us know what you thought! Without further ado, here are ten TV shows, and ten films that we’re recommending. Pass it on!
If You’re Into Horror: The Haunting Of Hill House
Based on a horror novel by Shirley Jackson, The Haunting of Hill House has been received positively by many reviewers. The modern adaptation of the 1959 novel even received the approval of Stephen King, which is pretty much as good as it gets in the horror world. The show follows the lives of five siblings whose family previously lived in Hill House when they were younger. The story is told partially in flashbacks and excels at the kind of horror that’s more psychological that blood and gore. Fans of the show also commend the complicated dynamics of the family the show focuses on, so if you also enjoy dramas, this may just the perfect hybrid of your favorite genres.
If You’re Looking For A Good Documentary: Fyre: The Greatest Party That Never Happened
Everybody’s talking about it, which either makes you want to watch this documentary really bad or do the opposite. We’re here to tell you to give in. Even if you don’t remember the details of the Fyre Festival, this documentary will likely bring the details back. If you’re a fan of films like The Big Short, we’d recommend this in-depth look at one of the best cons of the past few years. While the troubles of those who bought tickets to this outrageously priced festival may seem laughable, this documentary demonstrates just how far the effects of this fraud went and the longstanding effects it had on perhaps the most forgotten victims- the Bahamanians that were left to clean up the mess.
If You’re Looking For Something With New Episodes: Grace and Frankie
Starring Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin, this comedy about old age is like a modern Golden Girls. The only difference is that you’ll find these ladies drinking and cursing without shame. And then there’s that bit about their ex-husbands becoming a couple…If you’re looking for a comedy that ditches all the classic tropes and chooses senior citizens as their unapologetic leads, this is the show for you. Netflix released the fifth season for the show in January, so if you’ve got a lot of time on your hands, Grace and Frankie is a great contender for binge-watching.
If You’re Looking For A Fresh Take: Norsemen
Norsemen has been applauded for bringing a fresh take to an often explored group in the entertainment world: Vikings. While most onscreen depictions of Vikings feature angsty superheroes and burly men, this show eagerly throws all of that out the window. This Norwegian series is actually considered a comedy, and we’re totally here for the refreshing angle. The show was done quite well on Netflix (they’re expected to pick up season three sometime this year) and is so popular in Norway that about a fifth of the population watches it. We’d say that makes it worth giving it a go, don’t you think?
If You’re Looking For Something Animated: Big Mouth
If you’re a fan of animated shows, we definitely recommend checking out the Netflix series Big Mouth, which explores all the growing pains and puberty struggles of a group of seventh graders living in New York City. One could think of it as something like an animated version of Sex Education- young people exploring the ins and outs of their bodies and dealing with all the external consequences of their internal turmoil. As you’ve probably figured out, the show is geared towards adults. The show also features comedy veterans like Maya Rudolph, Jenny Slate, and Jordan Peele. Even Kat Dennings and Kristen Bell play recurring characters.
If You’re Looking For An Irish Comedy: Derry Girls
British comedies get a lot of attention on Netflix, but why not give the Irish a chance? Set in the mid-90s in the midst of “The Troubles,” this comedy will educate you without you even realizing it. The best thing about Derry Girls is the unconventional setting it chooses to tell the classic story of teenage misfits thriving to navigate their adolescence. It’s a reminder that humor can be found even in the midst of conflict and violence. If you’re already a fan of British comedies, this show will feel familiar. If you’re not, you might find yourself inspired by this unique comedy.
If You’re Looking For A New Show: Sex Education
Initially, we were worried about how sustainable the premise of Sex Education would be. It was only a few years ago that The Secret Life Of An American Teenager tackled the subject of sex and teens in a high school drama. However, this show is different for a number of reasons. Perhaps it’s because the show is on Netflix, or maybe it’s because it’s a British show, but regardless of the reason, the show goes a lot further than Secret Life in exploring the topic at hand. In this update, sex is more than just a word spoken by the characters every few seconds. And not to worry, you won’t be hit over the head with the “education” part of it either.
If You’re Looking For Something With A Diverse Cast: On My Block
We don’t want to jinx it, but overall Netflix seems to have mastered the art of finding storytellers that are able to authentically capture the young adult experience. For the first time, that experience is as diverse as ever, with characters of all races, sexualities, and even varying socio-economic statuses. Set in a predominantly Hispanic and black neighborhood in Central LA, this coming of age story is for those that grew up in neighborhoods that were not always safe, and certainly far from ritzy. These teens are trying to balance chemistry homework and secret crushes while avoiding gang violence. Season to is expected to drop in the next few months.
If You’re Looking For Something With LGBT characters: Dear White People
Based on the film by Justin Simien, Dear White People follows the lives of predominantly black characters at a predominantly white Ivy League. Race is a major topic in the show, but mostly it’s used as a jumping point to discuss other topics. The show features a number of LGBT characters both male and female. It is also incredibly in-tune with popular culture and makes subtle references to both political and entertainment news. Every episode of this comedy-drama is told from a different character’s perspective, and breaking the fourth wall is the norm. We can’t really compare this show to any other, and that’s certainly a good thing.
If You’re Looking For Something To Wind Down To: Tidying Up With Marie Kondo
Often times the buzz surrounding new Netflix shows is mostly self-generated but in Marie Kondo’s case, it’s completely warranted. What the name Tidying Up leaves out is sweet Marie’s ability to heal families and bring joy wherever she goes. It’s one of those shows were the pretense, cleaning up your home, is a jumping point for a lot of deeper theme family tensions, materialism, etc. If you’re a fan of shows like Iyanla Fix My Life, Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, and Supernanny this will be right up your ally. Marie Kondo is called a “tidying expert,” but in a lot of ways, she’s more of a life coach. This feel-good show is guaranteed to inspire!
If You Want To Know What All The Fuss Is About: Roma
Written and directed by Alfonso Cuaron, Roma has been applauded not only because of the story it tells but also because of the barriers it’s breaking. The lead actress, Yalitza Aparicio, is the first indigenous woman to ever be nominated for an Oscar. The semi-autobiographical film inspired by Cuaron’s upbringing in Mexico in the 1970s has a record-breaking number of Oscar nominations rivaled only by Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon for a foreign film. While Oscar buzz can mean little to the average person, there’s been an encouraging trend of the prestigious awards recognizing stories that appeal to the underrepresented. Roma is this trend at its best.
If You’re Feeling Nostalgic: The Edge Of Seventeen
Technically, the coming of age dramedy Edge of Seventeen was released only two years ago, but if you’re over the edge of seventeen, it’s bound to make you feel nostalgic. Starring Hailee Steinfeld, Woody Harrelson, and Kyra Sedgwick, the film manages to capture the reality of adolescence and many films try and fail to do. Hailee’s character is forced to navigate sudden changes in her life when her best friend begins dating her older brother. This endearing, humorous, and profanity-laden teenage drama is right up for alley if you’re looking for a coming-of-age story with a bit of substance.
If You Want To Watch An Old Classic: Jaws
You may know it as the original shark films, or you may know it as the film that showed us just hold powerful theme songs can be. Regardless of what you call it, you’ve probably seen the cult classic Jaws, and if you haven’t here’s your chance. The film has only just been added to Netflix (along with Jaws 2 and 3) so why not make a marathon out of it? Believe it or not, this shark movie is still one of the highest grossing films of all time, and you’re probably aware of the countless shark films it inspired (Sharnado anyone?). As long as you remember that the film gives sharks an unfairly bad rep, there’s no harm in indulging in this one.
If You’re Looking To Catch Up On Your Rom-Coms: Set It Up
It’s been said that Netflix is heralding the return of rom-coms, and Set It Up is strong support of this theory. We’d argue that the Golden Age of rom-coms (I.E. the early 2000s) ended not because people got tired of love, but because they got tired of seeing predictable, saccharine storylines with mostly white characters. Netflix is proof that it is still possible to have a successful rom-com in the age of woke-ness we’ve entered. Taye Diggs and Lucy Lui are the leads in this film, but the real story is with their lovable assistants, Zoey Deutch and Glen Powell. If you’re a struggling 20-something tired of rom-coms that have made you feel like you’re behind in life, Set It Up is for you.
If You’re Looking For Something With Big Stars: Lion
It originally came to theaters in 2016, but if you initially missed Lion during its debut, you will not miss catching it on Netflix. Remember Slumdog Millionaire? Remember what a tear-jerker that was?! Trust us when we say that Dev Patel has a knack for pulling at people’s heartstrings because he does it again in this film. Based on a true story, this Oscar-nominated film (La La Land stole the spotlight from a lot of people in 2017, just saying…) also stars Nicole Kidman as Dev’s mom. The film tells the story of a five year old boy who gets lost on a train in India, eventually gets adopted by an Australian couple, and sets out on a quest to find his birth family twenty five years later. You’ll need a lot of tissues.
If You Miss The Holidays: The Holiday Calendar
If the holidays are your favorite time of year, then you’ll be happy to know that Netflix still has a number of Christmas films available. It’s too soon to miss December for most of us, but we’re not here to judge. If you feel like indulging, Netflix’s 2018 release The Holiday Calendar is still up, and it’s a film that’s relatively reasonable compared to what we know of Christmas movies. Kat Graham plays a photographer who receives a magical advent calendar and Quincy Brown plays on of her love interests. You can probably make some predictions about how the whole thing ends, but we won’t spoil it for you.
If You Want To Watch A Foreign Film: Ali’s Wedding
The Australian comedy Ali’s Wedding was hailed by its written and star Osamah Sami as the “first Muslim rom-com.” This bold declaration may be disputable, but the film is unique in its focus on a minority immigrant population in Australia. The film’s title character Ali struggles to balance his family’s expectations with his own desires, particularly as it pertains to who he wants to marry. The film performed well in Australia and received a positive review from the site Rotten Tomatoes. If you’re looking for an updated Hallmark-type film, then Ali’s Wedding is for you.
If You’re Looking For An Indie Film: Nocturama
This French film chronicles the aftermath of a terror attack in Paris facilitated by a group of teenagers. It’s premise is uncharted territory, and if you’re looking for a foreign film it may be the way to go. Set over the course of twelve hours, this movie was actually filmed before the 2015 Paris terrorist attacks. If you enjoy thrillers you’ll likely be enticed by this film. You’ll either love it or hate it. The film soundtrack is a big highlight for you music junkies out there.
If You Like Period Pieces: Cold Mountain
This 2003 film stars big names like Nicole Kidman, Jude Law, and Renee Zellweger. Based on the book of the same name, it follows the journey of a wounded Civil War soldier making his journey back home to his lover. Cold Mountain was a box office success when it came out, and it scored Renee a slew of awards, including an Academy Award. The film was also applauded for its soundtrack and the fact that it was edited using Final Cut Pro, rather than a more expensive system. Overall, this film is a great recommendation for fans of period pieces.
If You’re Looking For Something Wholesome: August Rush
If you’re looking for something to watch with the whole family, then August Rush should be a strong consideration. Jonathan Rhys Myers and Keri Russell are both quite easy on the eyes, and if you feel like crying your eyes out there’s a whole story about a musically gifted orphan you can follow. Since music is an important part of the film, it is heavily featured. Some have suggested that the film is essentially a modern, musical adaption of Oliver Twist. If that sounds like something you’re interested in, then you know exactly what to watch next. You’re welcome.