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15 popular Netflix shows that you really shouldn’t miss out on

Black Mirror, Bojack Horseman, Ozark, and Dark.
Black Mirror, Bojack Horseman, Ozark, and Dark. Pic credit: Netflix

With all the popular programs Netflix has to offer, sometimes narrowing down a choice can be overwhelming.

This fact is further complicated because of the massive content drop by the streaming service at the start of each month.

Luckily, we have made that task easier by giving our choices of where to start on a night of Netflix binging.

Whether you want to laugh with your family, cry with your friends, or solve a mystery by yourself, this list has something worth watching.

There is something for everyone on Netflix.

The list has everything from animated television to mind-bending sci-fi to give a diverse selection for how to spend a Netflix and chill.

Here are 15 popular Netflix shows to watch on the streaming service as of January 2022.

Squid Game

Squid Game on Netflix
Squid Game on Netflix. Pic credit: Netflix

The latest hit Netflix drama arrived in September with Squid Game.

The Korean drama was the biggest ever opening for Netflix and was viewed by 111 million viewers since its debut. This beat out Bridgerton’s 82 million households.

The show is a contest where 456 players in deep financial debt put their lives at risk to play a series of children’s games for the chance to win a $45 billion prize.

The series follows one specific man who wants to raise money for his ill mother, but he soon learns there is more behind the game than he expected.

Arcane

Arcane League of Legends
Arcane League of Legends. Pic credit: Netflix

Arcane: League of Legends shows the origins of two iconic League champions, set in the utopian Piltover and the oppressed underground of Zaun.

This show, based on the game, ended up as one of the best shows for Netflix in all of 2021.

One of Arcane’s biggest plusses is that it satisfied both fans of League of Legends while offering great storytelling and character development simultaneously. This made it fun for people who have never played the game. 

Lucifer

The best fantasy shows on Netflix
Tom Ellis as Lucifer. Pic credit: Netflix

Fox canceled the fantasy series Lucifer after it produced three seasons, but Netflix moved in to save the series.

The streaming service renewed the series for a fourth and later fifth season. The first half of the fifth season hit in 2020, and fans have a sixth and final season to look forward to.

Lucifer was based on the comic book series Sandman by Neil Gaiman, but it has turned into a comic of its own. The series follows Lucifer as he leaves Hell and opens a piano bar in Los Angeles where he helps a local police officer solve criminal cases.

Schitt’s Creek

Schitt's Creek
The cast of Schitt’s Creek. Pic credit: Pop TV

There are now six seasons of Schitt’s Creek on Netflix and for those who have never watched, now might be the time to catch up.

The first season was a bit uneven, but after that, the show really picked up its pace and now the entire world is hearing about it.

This is because the final season of Schitt’s Creek won all seven major comedy awards at the Primetime Emmys, the first time this refer happened.

The show followed the previously wealthy Rose family when they lost their money and ended up moving to a town they purchased once as a joke called Schitt’s Creek. They now live in a motel there and try to get used to living poor.

Eugene Levy and Catherine O’Hara headline the cast.

Shameless

The cast of Shameless
The cast of Shameless. Pic credit: Showtime

Debuting in 2011 on Showtime, William H. Macy starred in Shameless as Frank Gallagher, the father of six kids.

However, while Frank is the father, he is not the person who is able to care properly for his children – a deadbeat alcoholic who relies on his older children to care for the younger ones while he plays the welfare system.

There are 11 seasons of Shameless. 10 of them are on Netflix and the 11th will arrive in October 2021.

Lupin

Lupin Season 2 release date and cast latest
Omar Sy in Lupin. Pic credit: Netflix

Lupin is a French series based on the beloved French character Arsène Lupin, created by writer Maurice Leblanc in 1905.

French actor Omar Sy stars as Assane Diop, a con man with a heart of gold able to turn his outsized presence into an uncatchable master of deception. He is a huge fan of Arsène Lupin.

His father Babakar (Fargass Assandé), an immigrant from Senegal was framed for stealing the necklace. His dad died by suicide while in prison, leaving an orphaned Assane with a copy of the classic Lupin stories and a desire for vengeance.

Assane starts off trying to steal Marie Antoinette’s necklace, lost for 25 years, from the Louvre. There are only five episodes in Season 1 at 43 minutes each.

Outlander

The best fantasy shows on Netflix
The hit fantasy series Outlander. Pic credit: Starz

Outlander is one of the most beloved current fantasy shows on television and is the highest-rated Starz original based on viewers.

The show, based on the novel series by Diana Gabaldon, is about a woman from 1945 who travels back in time to 1743. It is here that Claire joins a rebellion of Highlanders and falls in love with Jamie Fraser.

The series is still running, and there have been five seasons with 67 episodes, as the story goes through the two timelines, and there is a sixth season in the works.

Netflix only has the first three seasons of the show available to stream.

Ozark

Jason Bateman in Ozark.
Jason Bateman in Ozark. Pic credit: Jackson Davis/Netflix

When one thinks about the career of Jason Bateman before the past few years, they would never think of the terms “dark” or “violent.” But with Ozark, that’s where his character is forced to go.

This crime drama series on Netflix centers on Marty Byrde and his family, forced to launder money for a drug cartel at the Lake of the Ozarks.

And no matter how grim or sadistic their world becomes, somehow Marty and his wife Wendy manage to smooth talk their way out of death at every turn.

There is a reason why this series is so popular. With the show coming to an end with Season 4, now is the time to catch up.

The Witcher

The best fantasy shows on Netflix
Henry Cavill on The Witcher. Pic credit: Netflix

Based on the Polish novels of the same name and the video game series that adapted the novels, The Witcher is one of the most successful new Netflix original fantasy series.

Henry Cavill (Man of Steel) stars in the series as Geralt of Rivia, a monster hunter with magical powers who is known as a witcher.

The story flips between three different time frames, with Geralt’s present, the past with a sorceress named Yennefer, and the future with a child princess named Ciri. The series connects the three stories.

The first season had eight episodes, and a second season, rumored to hit in 2021, is in the works.

Black Mirror

Mackenzie Davis in Black Mirror episode San Junipero.
Mackenzie Davis in Black Mirror episode San Junipero. Pic credit: David Dettmann/Netflix

In case the real world with all its technology isn’t terrifying enough, Netflix’s Black Mirror takes it to a whole new level.

The ideas presented in Black Mirror are simultaneously fascinating and horrifying. It is crazy to think about where technology could take society and what the consequences might be.

For viewers interested in a futuristic fantasy show on Netflix that’s just realistic enough it could actually happen (and weirdly has happened in some cases), Black Mirror is the perfect show to watch on Netflix.

The Babysitters Club

Alicia Silverstone from The Babysitters Club.
Alicia Silverstone from The Babysitters Club. Pic credit: Kailey Schwerman/Netflix

The Babysitter’s Club on Netflix is a giant dose of nostalgia for anyone who grew up loving the 80’s or who read the popular book series.

In a world gone mad, it is nice to have fun childhood memories come to life onscreen.

The show is a prime example of what it means to raise girls who will become empowered women. The coolest thing about The Babysitters Club on Netflix is how it speaks to social issues of the day.

From transgender rights to people of disability, and even breaking down the idea of stereotypical gender roles, the Babysitters Club takes on these important issues in refreshing and important ways.

The Babysitters Club is a breath of fresh air and is one of the top critics’ choices on Netflix.

Money Heist

Money Heist
Crime drama Money Heist. Pic credit: Netflix

Arguably the most popular foreign language series in Netflix history, Money Heist, is a crime drama from Spain.

Now with four parts released (two seasons) and 31 total episodes, Money Heist has eight people recruited by The Professor to steal €2.4 billion from the Royal Mint of Spain.

The first season deals with them taking 67 people hostage and then escaping with the money. The second season has a similar story, as the group targets the Bank of Spain.

Money Heist won the Best Drama Series award at the 2018 International Emmy Awards, where the first season was the most-watched foreign language series that year on Netflix.

New Girl

Zooey Deschanel, Jake Johnson, Raven Goodwin, and Max Greenfield from New GirlZooey Deschanel, Jake Johnson, Raven Goodwin, and Max Greenfield from New Girl
Zooey Deschanel, Jake Johnson, Raven Goodwin, and Max Greenfield from New Girl. Pic credit: Fox Broadcasting Company

Zooey Deschanel could make anyone smile, and as Jessica Day on New Girl, she nails it. Her zany, hilarious antics as she navigates break ups, love and friendship are laugh-out-loud funny.

From accidentally falling for the wrong guys, to realizing she is exactly who she wants to be even when she’s different, Jessica Day and her group of crazy best friends are everything viewers need to have a side-splitting good time.

It’s the perfect show to watch while having a quiet quarantine night.

Avatar: The Last Airbender

Ang from Avatar: The Last Airbender.
Ang from Avatar: The Last Airbender. Pic credit: Nickelodeon

To spice up the mixture, let’s add a show for kids as well as adults.

Avatar: The Last Airbender (Not to be confused with the terrible live-action film) is one of the best-animated series produced in the past two decades aimed at a younger audience.

The series involves a universe where characters can bend elements such as Earth, Air, Fire and, Water and is rich in mythology and world-building.

Furthermore, it’s enhanced by a three-part epic story that leads to an amazing final season. And the entire saga is for the taking on Netflix.

Dark

Louis Hofmann in Netflix's series Dark
Louis Hofmann in Netflix’s series Dark. Pic credit: Netflix

Who doesn’t love a good sci-fi mindbending series?

Some might have an aversion to series with subtitles but the German show Dark is worth branching out of one’s comfort zone to experience.

The show starts off similarly to Stranger Things, with the disappearance of a child, and then becomes increasingly complex as it pushes forward. And it even involves a twisty time travel narrative.

The show just concluded its final season, therefore Netflix viewers can sit down and watch this intelligent series from beginning to end.

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