With old man winter arriving, Netflix and Chill is simply 10 times more appealing than trekking to a cramped, flu-infested movie theatre—though I am slowly catching up on movies now playing in theaters, and especially because I was clueless as I watched the Golden Globes.
So if you find yourself vegging out like a major couch potato this weekend and looking for something to binge-watch, may I present my shortlist for your consideration of The Best Netflix Shows You Should be Binge-Watching.
Not all are new titles and fall under the “in case you missed it” category. And, you won't find “Stranger Things” on this list because I’m assuming you’ve seen it—great, right?—okay, on to the list:
Black Mirror, Seasons 1-3
In a not too distant future, human beings continue to let technology run their lives, often with disturbing, tragic, or inhuman consequences. Each episode has its own storyline, so you can start anywhere, or binge all three sickly-satisfying seasons.
If you’re like me and love historical dramas, then you'll love Versailles. Excellent pace, gorgeous set design and costumes, and strong acting from a cast of up-and-coming, English/French actors who have oddly striking resemblances to other, more famous American/English actors.
Case in point:
But where Versailles really proves its efficacy is when you find yourself obsessively fact-checking for historical accuracy (especially concerning the sexual liaisons between royalty and courtesans) on Wikipedia and beyond, only to learn more than you ever cared to know about le roi soleil Louis quatorze and the House of Bourbon.
The realest show on Netflix follows an Israeli military police unit on the hunt for a notorious Hamas leader. Suspenseful, action-packed, terrifying, and apparently based on the creator’s actual Israeli military covert ops experience, Fauda’s excellent storyline handles both sides of the conflict with sensitivity, also exposing the emotional tolls on the families of those in the conflict.
Top of the Lake
Elisabeth Moss (Peggy from Mad Men) plays a hard-nosed detective who returns to her small New Zealand hometown. There, she investigates the disappearance of a pregnant and devastatingly young girl, only to discover a deeper, darker web of the most heinous sort of crimes. If you liked “True Detective,” you’re sure to love this Jane Campion-directed ("The Piano") suspense and crime thriller. Season 2 comes later this year.
Bloodline (Season 1 only)
Think your family’s dysfunctional? It’s no match for the unspoken anguish and secrets that haunt the Rayburn family. And, even the most despicable person in your family isn't worse than Danny Rayburn, the eldest sibling and family fuck-up, played by stellar Australian actor Ben Mendelsohn—but is he all that bad, really? You'll have to see how the whole twisty plot-line unfolds by binge-ing until the end. Unfortunately the story outdid itself in Season 1 and puttered out by Season 2.
The Fall (Season 1 only)
Two reasons to watch this show: Gillian Anderson is at her best as a man-eating, hard-line investigator, on the trail of the world’s hottest serial killer-Dad, played by Jamie Dornan. Sexy, creepy, unnerving, and entirely believable. Surprising that there was a Season 2 at all, because Season 1 just ended tied up in a nice, neat bow.
The Honorable Woman
A rapturous one-seasoner that is so gripping, so powerful, you’ll want to binge it all as fast as you can. Maggie Gyllenhaal is wonderful as Nessa Stein, the tough daughter of an Israeli arms dealer who finds herself thrust into a contentious political and diplomatic fight in both Arab-Israeli tension and the dealings of her late father's company. She quickly realizes she can trust no one, from her closest companions to her family members.