The best TV shows on Netflix: 2021 edition

Looking for the best TV shows on Netflix? With 2021 on the doorstep, it's time to start making those early 2021 lists. So what better way to kick 2021 than the best TV shows available to binge-watch on Netflix?

The list includes newly added shows like Alice on Borderland (what did you expect for a website called Borderpolar?) and Home for Christmas Season 2 for a refreshing touch. We all need something new to watch after all, especially during the holiday season.

You'll also find plenty of other classics in our best Netflix shows choices, too: Starting with The Queen's Gambit – yes, it has become a classic already. The Office, Mindhunter, The Witcher, Broadchurch, and Breaking Bad are just some of the series we all love. Check out our list of the best Netflix TV shows in the US below. More lists of the best shows to watch will be up soon.

Table Of Contents

Credit: What's on Netflix

Alice in Borderland

Alice in Borderland is based on the homonymous Japanese suspense manga series, written and illustrated by Haro Aso. Three delinquent Japanese gamers end up in a parallel Tokyo Universe from a public restroom, where they have to compete in a survival game.  A full of violence for the holiday and a manga-adaptation for a holiday?

“Once you pass the borderline, there is no going back.”

The 8-episode first season will get you hooked.

Seasons in Netflix: 1

Anya Taylor-Joy as Beth Harmon in The Queen's Gambit. Cr. Charlie Gray/Netflix © 2020

The Queen's Gambit

Beth Harmon; or Anya Taylor-Joy (The Witch, Peaky Blinders). You either fell in love with her or want to be like her. Whether you like chess or not, you will enjoy The Queen's Gambit because it makes even chess look attractive on the screen. Not to bash at chess, but it's quite a boring game to the average person. Beth is a child prodigy who learns chess from a janitor at an orphanage. And then goes on to challenge a male-dominated chess scene. She becomes obsessed with chess, and her life ends up in a constant cycle between chess and addiction.

Anya Taylor-Joy does an amazing job bringing to life a character that seems to suffer from something that looks very similar to a borderline personality disorder. You won't get bored following Beth Harmon's struggles and triumphs in what is one of the best TV shows of 2020 and a personal favorite for me.

In this seven-episode miniseries, which you might devour in a single day, you will also witness moments of outstanding cinematography in one of the best shows to watch in 2021. A Netflix Original at its best!

Seasons on Netflix: 1

Hugh Dancy and Mads Mikkelsen as Will Graham and Hannibal Lecter. Credit: Decider


Netflix US has added all three seasons of Hannibal to stream, and what you should expect is a masterpiece of artistic crime brilliance. While Hannibal was canceled after season 3, that doesn't actually matter: this is the best adaptation of Thomas Harris' books about cannibal Hannibal Lecter, and you will get a complete story. FBI profiler Will Graham (Hugh Dancy) works closely with psychiatrist Hannibal Lecter (Mads Mikkelsen) to solve serial killer cases. At the same time, Lecter commits murders of the highest artistic form behind the scenes.

However, what starts as an artistic sequence of stand-alone becomes a more complex, serialized show in season 2. In season 3, which adapts the Red Dragon story, Hannibal becomes extraordinarily avant-garde, essentially crafting a grotesque and gory affair between Graham and Lecter. Hannibal is filmography at its absolute best; there is no better way to put it.

Seasons on Netflix: 3

Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman as Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson. Credit: Netflix


Sherlock has reached a point where it is borderline acceptable as the best TV series to watch on Netflix. Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman's sole existence, though, as 21st century Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson are enough of a reason to watch it. Not that the show does not hold its own merit. It's a Sherlock Holmes adaptation, after all.

Sherlock consists of four three-episode seasons where each episode is more of a feature film. Season 1 will make you think that you are on to something brilliant. By the end of Season 2, you will be wondering whether this is one of the best shows you have ever watched. In season 3, there is a visible decline, and in Season 4, you will start wondering about the direction of the show.

And yet there is so much excellent TV in Sherlock that I think it's still very deserving of a spot in this list.

Seasons on Netflix: 4

Olivia Colman and David Tennant as Helen Miller and Alec Hardy in Broadchurch. Credit: Visit Dorset


Another British crime show on the list, Broadchurch, is a personal favorite and delivers straight-out excellence. The show follows Alec Hardy (David Tennant) as he tries to solve the murder of a young boy in a small coastal town in the UK. From there, a story of mistrust and the struggles of the local community and protagonists will unravel. David Tennant delivers another breathtaking performance, accompanied by Olivia Colman.

Broadchurch is fantastic and very unsettling and real at the same time. British TV at its best.

Seasons on Netflix: 3

Brian Cranston as Walter White on Breaking Bad. Credit: AMC

Breaking Bad

If you are looking at this list, you have probably already watched Breaking Bad. If not, you now know where to start. A high school chemistry teacher diagnosed with inoperable lung cancer turns to manufacturing and selling methamphetamine to secure his family's future. Sounds dull, huh?

Breaking Bad is a slow show, but the acting and storytelling are spectacular. It is also filled with so many fascinating characters that lead Vince Gilligan to create another show on this list, Better Call Saul. Breaking Bad is a testament to excellent narration and how to navigate a very compelling plot. To be clear, Breaking Bad is not just one of the best TV shows on Netflix. It's one of the best TV shows of all time, plain and simple.

Seasons on Netflix: 5

Bob Odenkirk as Jimmy McGill or Saul Goodman on Better Call Saul. Credit: TheNationRoar

Better Call Saul

Better Call Saul brings to life the trials and struggles of criminal lawyer Jimmy McGill as he slowly turns to his alternate persona, Saul Goodman. Expect compelling storytelling in this show as more of the “bad guys” from Breaking Bad join the scene. You won't be disappointed with this one if you enjoyed its big brother.

Seasons on Netflix: 5

Jonathan Groff and Holt McCallany as FBI agents Holden Ford and Bill Tench of the FBI Behavioral Science Unit. Credit: Empire


David Fincher. Or, to be more precise, David Fincher at his best. Mindhunter is a psychological crime thriller TV show, following two FBI agents, Holden Ford (Jonathan Groff) and Bill Tench (Holt McCallany), as they establish the FBI's Elite Serial Crime Unit. The show focuses on behavioral science to perform social profiling of serial killers in the 70s, such as David Berkowitz, Ed Kemper, Dennis Rader, Jerry Brudos, and Charles Manson.

If your mental health and guts can handle it, Mindhunter will reward you with its very unsettling storytelling, so it's one of the best shows to watch on Netflix.

Seasons on Netflix: 2

The Last Dance

The Last Dance arrived with a bang in 2020, and unfortunately, it was a one-and-done document. Waiting for a new episode of TV shows is not a rare phenomenon. Waiting so eagerly for new episodes of a documentary is certainly not often the case. But “The Last Dance” is so addictive, so well made, so flawless, that there was no other choice. And with the Chicago Bulls, Michael Jordan, and Scottie Pippen at their best, we were doomed to get stuck before we even started.

The Last Dance is not perfect, but it's a chance to relive the GOAT's legacy, so it's a must-watch for every NBA fan. Definitely one of the best Netflix shows to watch in 2021 if you haven't already.

Seasons on Netflix: 1


When we talk about period romance, we usually think of Jane Austen and Emily Bronte. Bridgerton decided to give something different, throwing in the genre a little “Gossip Girl” under the voice of the unique Julie Andrews, clever and modern humor, and sexier situations. The series “left” our list as soon as it appeared.

Seasons on Netflix: 1


With so much material that Ryan Murphy released on Netflix this year, it would be extraordinary for him not to be on any of our lists. “Hollywood” stood out among its projects with the alternative story of a Hollywood, more tolerant that your dreams can really come true but just as “dirty.” Excellent overall performances from the cast, excellent direction and scenography … and justification for the past injustices.

Seasons on Netflix: 1

Master of None

Comedy following the personal and professional challenges that face a 30-year-old New York actor, whose trials range from the immigrant experience to what pasta he should eat for dinner. Aziz Ansari is brilliant, and it shows here too, in a show he co-created and stars on. Master of None is getting a Season 3 too, so it's a good time to watch and get ready for it!

Seasons on Netflix: 2

Antonia Thomas, Johnny Flynn, and Daniel Ings deliver excellent performances in “Lovesick.”


The show that once was called “Scrotal Recall.” Instead, I'd go with “Lovesick,” A comedy about a man who learns he has an STD and must tell his former sexual partners about his condition. Lovesick is a brilliant British comedy and one of my personal favorite comedies on Netflix. Highly enjoyable, and you will get a terrific laugh out of it. If you are feeling down, watch it asap. It is a very romantic little gem in the world of TV shows, and the performances from its lead actors are brilliant and very charming.

Seasons on Netflix: 2

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