Make sure you’re getting the best out of your Netflix account with these television gems.
We’ve picked out more than 50 great selections over the following pages, but if you want to jump straight to the best, these are our top five new shows on Netflix Australia:
Since its arrival on Australian shores, we’ve enjoyed unfettered access to all of the Netflix’s critically-lauded original shows. Not only that, users also have access to a wealth of other licensed material.
If you’re like us, you spend a good deal of your time Netflixing. Sure, Netflix also streams movies, but its television output is perhaps the reason most people have signed up for an account. There’s nothing quite like firing up Netflix and binge-watching a series at your own pace. Getting instant access to entire seasons of Stranger Things from day one is half the appeal.
This is why we’ve created the TechRadar guide to the best shows on Netflix Australia right now (in no particular order). We’ll keep this best TV show list constantly updated with the latest television shows that you should be watching on Netflix in Australia and also tell you why.
Queer Eye is back! While the original Fab Five are nowhere to be seen, a new team has been put together with the same ultimate mission: to remodel individuals into the best possible version of themselves, whether it be their wardrobe, living arrangements, grooming, diet or even their confidence. We know, makeover shows are usually pretty lame, but this one is fantastic in the way that the guys really get to the emotional heart of each subject they undertake. Often, there’s a reason these men (who aren’t all straight this time around) have let themselves go or have put up defensive walls against the outside world. Because the Fab Five really seem to care about them, it becomes incredibly rewarding to watch them go from unhappy to full of life. Chances are you’ll cry at least once per episode.
Based on the science fiction novel of the same name by Richard K. Morgan, Altered Carbon explores a futuristic world where death has become an inconvenience rather than a permanent state. A human’s entire life can be backed up onto a chip in their neck, so when they die, they can move onto to a different body and continue on in another form. But when a wealthy man’s chip is destroyed by a would-be assassin (lucky he’s rich enough to have a 24-hour satellite backup), he brings Takeshi Kovacs (Joel Kinnaman) out of digital prison after 250 years to solve his murder. Kovacs is the last remaining Envoy, a super soldier who is now tasked with working for the very people he fought a war against. With an epic scope and a visual style influenced by the cyberpunk classic Blade Runner, Altered Carbon is the most epic show that Netflix has produced to date.
For people of a certain age, the toys they grew up with would come to define their childhoods. In this 8-part documentary series (only 4 eps are currently available), we get to see how our favourite toys came to be, while also meeting the people responsible for them. Kicking off with Star Wars toys, the show them gives us a glimpse at the surprising origins of Barbie, G. I. Joe and He-Man and the Masters of the Universe. It’s hard to imagine anyone who grew up in the 70s/80s/90s not getting a massive kick out of this.
A hilarious and refreshing comedy series, The Good Place sees Eleanor (Kristen Bell) arrive in a Heaven-like afterlife only to be greeted by Michael (Ted Danson), architect of what is known as ‘The Good Place’. This beautiful neighbourhood is meant to be a reward for living an upstanding life. The problem is, she totally doesn’t belong there, and now Eleanor must hide her wrongdoings, lest she be sent to The Bad Place instead. Witty and full of terrific one-liners, The Good Place is a delightful show with some unexpected twists and turns to keep you on your toes.
Marvel’s most polarising Netflix series to date, The Punisher seems the return of Frank Castle (Joe Bernthal) after the events of Daredevil: Season 2. Having already killed everyone involved in his family’s death, Frank’s attempts to lay low are interrupted when he is dragged into a military conspiracy that he may or may not have been involved in. Though it can be slow-paced at times (please Netflix/Marvel, look up the phrase ‘cut to the chase’ for me), it is nonetheless a powerful and violent show that isn’t afraid to deal with some heavy topics. As a study on the effects of PTSD, The Punisher is surprisingly poignant. It may not hit the heights of Daredevil or Jessica Jones, but The Punisher still makes for a welcome addition to Marvel’s television landscape.
Need a badass western series to tide you over until Westworld returns next year? Well, saddle up pardner, because Netflix’s new limited series Godless should keep your spurs from jingling and jangling. From Scott Frank, director of The Lookout and A Walk Among the Tombstones, comes Godless, a show that sees an outlaw chase his ex-partner into a New Mexico town populated entirely by women. Starring Jeff Daniels, Michelle Dockery and Scott McNairy, Godless is a gripping western that will shock and surprise you.
What causes a seemingly normal woman to violently murder a random person while out at the beach with her husband and newborn child? That is the premise behind The Sinner, a show which sees Jessica Biel take on a darker character than she ever has before. Bull Pullman also stars as an investigator who becomes obsessed with finding out where these violent fits of rage come from. Is there something hidden deep in her past that even she doesn’t know about? Thrillingly told and terrifically acted, The Sinner is compelling viewing.
Perfectly timed with Halloween this year, Stranger Things season 2 is now streaming on Netflix. Playing like a cross between Stephen King and Steven Spielberg, Stranger Things is a nostalgic and somewhat scary throwback to the classic Amblin films of the ’80s. In the small town of Hawkins, Indiana, young boy Will (Noah Schnapp) disappears in the middle of the night without a trace. The very next day, a young girl in a hospital gown appears in town, scared and unable to speak. In true Goonies/Stand By Me-fashion, the girl joins up with Will’s buddies in an attempt to track down their missing friend. Also embroiled in the mystery is the young boy’s mother, Joyce (Winona Ryder) – a woman who must confront terrifying forces if she has any hope of seeing her son again. Without spoiling the first season for newcomers, Stranger Things 2 picks up a year later and not only introduces some new characters, but also an even bigger and more terrifying threat that must be stopped at all costs!
From David Fincher, director of such serial killer classics as Se7en and Zodiac, comes Mindhunter – a Netflix Original series that details how the FBI’s profiling practices came into fruition. Academic and detail-oriented, the series sees its agents stare deep into the heart of darkness in order to better understand this new breed of demented killer that they’ve been tasked with chasing. Based on autobiographical accounts by FBI Agent John Douglas, who inspired the fictional character of Jack Crawford in Thomas Harris’ seminal Hannibal books, Mindhunter is a gripping series that applies an analytical approach to a well-worn subject.
It may take an episode or so to truly get off the ground, but the newest Star Trek TV series delivers all the intergalactic adventuring we could possibly hope for. There’s no shortage of action or spectacular visuals here, though the show’s creators have balanced it with the series’ trademark smarts to provide a truly compelling new entry in the Star Trek canon. The cast, which is led by Sonequa Martin-Green and features the likes of Michelle Yeoh and Jason Isaacs, is extraordinary. We can’t wait to see where Star Trek: Discovery takes us in the future.
A note-perfect spoof of the ‘true crime docu-series’ model that’s become all the rage following the success of Making a Murderer and Serial, American Vandal follows the investigation of a fictional crime in which an underachieving high school student is accused of spray painting dicks on every car in his high school’s faculty car park. Like any good true crime investigation, American Vandal is filled with conflicting testimonies, unreliable witnesses, compelling evidence, huge revelations and, of course, moody cinematography. Hilarious and constantly surprising, American Vandal is a must-see for any true crime aficionado.
The best way to approach BoJack Horseman is to let it slowly grow on you. Chances are you won’t be blown away by it from the first episode, but once you get hip to its rhythm, you’ll likely find it to be one of the best animated comedy shows since Bob’s Burgers (only with a lot more depth). Will Arnett voices BoJack, a washed-up ’90s sitcom star who spends his days being bitter about his failures alongside perpetual houseguest, Todd (Breaking Bad’s Aaron Paul). Things get complicated when his cat girlfriend and agent Princess Carolyn (Amy Sedaris) hires ghost writer Diane (Alison Brie) to pen BoJack’s memoir. Filled with hilarious characters that could only exist in drawing-form, BoJack Horseman is a real winner. Now back for its fourth season, BoJack finds himself in a weird position as his 18-year-old lovechild enters the picture. Things aren’t going so smooth for Mr. Peanutbutter and Diane either, with the former’s political aspirations putting a strain on the couple’s marriage.
While the first two seasons of Narcos recounted the true story of the world’s most infamous drug lord, Pablo Escobar (Wagner Moura), and the DEA agents (Boyd Holbrook and Pedro Pascal) tasked that brought him down, the third season shows us what happened after the end of Escobar’s reign. This time, the focus in on the Cali Cartel, a drug empire so powerful, that its wealth rivalled that of Fortune 500 companies. This riveting crime drama plays like a cross between City of God and Goodfellas, employing a voiceover-based narrative that gives you an unprecedented look at the ins and outs of Colombia’s drug trade. Violent, sexy, well-written and immaculately acted, Narcos is truly one of the best shows on Netflix, and we’re glad to see it continue even though Pablo’s story is over. We expect things to get even hairier from this point on.
Everything has been leading to this – Marvel’s insanely popular Netflix shows, each set in the greater Marvel Cinematic Universe, are finally colliding in The Defenders. Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage and Iron Fist, all the lead heroes of their own respective shows, must now come together to stop a threat that aims to watch New York City fall. Think of them like the television equivalent of The Avengers, only more street-level. Will they be able to put aside their differences to fight as a team? Or will The Hand, the shadowy, ancient criminal organisation that featured in both Daredevil and Iron Fist, take one more step towards global domination? You’ll have to binge-through this 8-episode special event to find out!
If you’ve seen and are a fan of David Wain and Michael Showalter’s hilarious film Wet Hot American Summer (WHAS), then you’ve surely watched its Netflix Original prequel series, WHAS: First Day of Camp (also on our list of the best shows on Netflix Australia). Hilariously taking place during the same summer of 1981 (despite a cast that’s obviously aged by 15 years), the series hit every comedic note that made the film a cult favourite. Now, a sequel series has been made that sees our beloved characters return to Camp Firewood ten years after the events of the film and first series. Set in 1991, the show gets a lot of comedic mileage out of its new era, and sees most of its original cast return in some form or another (Bradley Cooper is unfortunately absent, though Adam Scott does a good job of filling his shoes). If you’ve ever wondered what these ridiculous characters might be like as adults, this is a series you must watch.
Though Netflix’s new crime drama Ozark has understandably been compared to Breaking Bad, the show approaches similar themes in an entirely different and uniquely intense way. Chicago businessman Marty Bryde (Jason Bateman, who also directs some of the episodes) seems like a standup guy, but has actually spent years laundering drug money for a Mexican cartel. When it’s revealed that his friend and business partner has been skimming money off the top, Marty finds himself in debt to a trigger-happy drug lord who has no qualms about murdering Marty’s entire family, including wife Wendy (Laura Linney) and their two young children. Now, Marty’s only chance at keeping his family alive is to move them to the Ozarks, a long coastline in Missouri that Marty believes is potential a goldmine, so that he can pay back the money that’s owed. Gripping and very adult, Ozark will surely appeal to fans of shows like Fargo and the aforementioned Breaking Bad.
Inspired by the beloved video game franchise of the same name and modelled after Japanese anime, the Netflix Original series Castlevania isn’t shy about packing its short four-episode season with as much blood and guts as possible. Produced by noted geek Adi Shankar (Dredd) with animation by the renowned Frederator Studios (Adventure Time), Castlevania sees Dracula (Graham McTavish) wage war on mankind after the senseless killing of the one human he loved. Now, it’s up to whip-cracking hero Trevor Belmont (Richard Armitage) to stop him. With comparisons to Game of Thrones, Castlevania is definitely a series made with adults in mind. If you like brutal medieval stories that are willing to explore some seriously dark territory, you’re going to love Castlevania.
Did you know that competitive body painting was a thing? Well, if you didn’t, Skin Wars is here to show you what you’ve been missing out on! Hosted by Rebecca Romijn and featuring RuPaul Charles, Skin Wars pits the world’s best body painters against each other for a chance to win a grand prize of $100,000. Contestants are given weekly tasks that involve painting naked models. Need more convincing? Well, the tasks will put their skills for painting and storytelling to the test, with a panel of judges handing out verdicts at the end of each episode. The person who presents the least skin-tillating artwork will be sent packing. Brutal, but hey, war is Hell.
From the makers of Orange is the New Black comes Netflix’s latest hit series, GLOW, a show based on a real-life all-women wrestling league that existed in the ’80s. Why’s it called GLOW? It stands for Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling, that’s why! The show stars Alison Brie (Community) as an aspiring actress who auditions for the wrestling gig after being fed up with the lack of meaty female roles in Hollywood. Here, she can be a fierce warrior, one who is in charge of her own destiny and gets to play opposite other strong women. Like Orange is the New Black, GLOW is a show that masterfully balances comedy and drama. We can only hope that it gets as many seasons as that award-winning show.
It may have never reached the heady heights of House Of Cards, but Orange Is The New Black is another show that proves Netflix is now up there with HBO when it comes to offering decent programming. Set in a woman’s prison, Orange doesn’t shirk the big issues of violence and rape but manages to mix these with a heady dose of black humour. Oh, and its first series was actually more popular than Cards, which is a surprise as Netflix’s advertising has always been very Spacey heavy. And, if you’ve already watched the first four seasons, you’ll be happy to know that season 5 has just made its way to the service. Get ready to binge!
Finished watching Netflix’s new Voltron reboot series and crave even more intergalactic action? Well, you’re in luck – Netflix has seen fit to drop a whole bunch of classic Voltron episodes from the original series on its service! Rather than just posting them in the order they were released, the episodes have been handpicked by members of the creative team behind the new series. Not only that, each episode is prefaced by a short introduction from the person who picked it detailing why it’s important to them. A must-watch for Voltron fans who want to take a stroll down memory lane.
Ever spent an evening with friends watching bad movies and cracking jokes at their expense? If that’s you, you’re going to love Mystery Science Theater 3000 (MST3K).
Make sure you’re getting the best out of your Netflix account with these television gems.