From You to Wednesday, these are our picks for the best streaming titles to binge this week.
Netflix has something for everyone, but there are also plenty of duds. Our guide to the best TV shows on the platform is updated weekly to help you figure out what to watch. We include some less-than-obvious gems, so we’re confident you’ll find a must-watch series you don’t already know about.
You can also try our guides to the best movies on Netflix for more options. And if you’ve already completed Netflix and are in need of a new challenge, check out our picks for the best shows on Hulu and the best Disney+ shows.
Based on the novels of Caroline Kepnes, You is an often deeply disturbing tale of obsession. The first season follows Joe Goldberg (Penn Badgley), a bookstore manager in New York who falls in deranged love at first sight with aspiring author Guinevere Beck (Elizabeth Lail), while the second sees him relocate to Los Angeles, where heiress Love Quinn (Victoria Pedretti) becomes the focus of his attention. However, as their twisted relationship evolves, Love proves to have dark desires of her own. Often shocking, You is a gripping thriller that hits the same sinister sweet spot as early (read: good) seasons of Dexter.
Based on the books by Jonathan Stroud and developed by Attack the Block director Joe Cornish, Lockwood & Co. follows a group of teen ghost hunters in an alternate present-day Britain. Don’t expect a transatlantic take on the recent Ghostbusters reboot though—this is a world where children are the only people able to combat the malign spirits plaguing the living. When Lucy Carlisle (Ruby Stokes) relocates to London after a mission in her hometown goes horribly wrong, she joins the eponymous ghost-hunting agency, run by teen savant Anthony Lockwood (Cameron Chapman) and his ally George (Ali Hadji-Heshmati). Dodging the adult-run organizations that typically send kids out to tackle the “Visitors,” the trio aims to make a name for themselves—and maybe prove that the authorities don’t have undead matters under control at all. Satisfyingly spooky, with some top-tier action and a talented young cast that relishes Cornish’s trademark sharp dialogue, Lockwood & Co. is a great addition to Netflix’s wider canon of supernatural teen dramas—and one that boasts a killer post-punk soundtrack to boot.
Based on creator and lead actor Ryan O’Connell’s own life, Special follows aspiring writer Ryan Hayes as he navigates being both gay and disabled. After an article he writes about surviving a car crash goes viral, Ryan enjoys a surge of success—but also uses it to hide his cerebral palsy from new coworkers, blaming his limp on the accident. As the lies mount and the pressure builds, Ryan finds himself in increasingly awkward situations as he tries to maintain the illusion. Heartfelt, refreshingly authentic, and packed with brilliantly uncomfortable comedy throughout, Special is exactly that. With a tight two seasons—the first, originally planned as a web show, has roughly 15-minute episodes—it’s easily binged too.
“A heist 25 years in the making” is how Netflix hypes this ambitious crime drama, following master thief Leo Pap (the ever-watchable Giancarlo Esposito) and his crew’s effort to steal a staggering $7 billion haul. However, that doesn’t quite do Kaleidoscope justice. It’s not just the audacity of the crime that impresses, or how the show weaves in and out of its cast’s lives over the quarter century leading up to, and shortly after, the heist itself, but the fact that you can watch the eight-episode season in any order. Netflix has dabbled with interactivity in the past, with game-like special episodes or spinoffs of popular shows, but Kaleidoscope takes that idea to a new level, with an almost Choose Your Own Adventure approach that offers a unique experience for every viewer. The unusual format is admittedly part of the charm—as a linear crime drama, it might not have the same appeal—but Kaleidoscope truly feels like something new on the platform, and with a possible 40,320 viewing orders, it’s worth at least one.
With its willingness to kill off main characters at a moment’s notice, the first season of this gripping adaptation of Haro Aso’s manga kept viewers on tenterhooks throughout. As the long-awaited second season leans further into its twisted Alice in Wonderland imagery, expect more shocking developments in this taut thriller.
If the recent release of Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio has left you wanting more, this delectably dark anthology of macabre tales is the perfect follow-up. Taking cues from the likes of Alfred Hitchcock Presents or The Twilight Zone, del Toro himself introduces each episode, with stories including classic horror shorts, Lovecraftian adaptations, and original concepts. A rogue’s gallery of directorial talent—Vincenzo Natali, Ana Lily Amirpour, Catherine Hardwicke, and Keith Thomas among them—draws viewers into these strange worlds where monsters inevitably lurk, and while each grisly slice of horror allows directors to showcase their individual cinematic talents, the series is unified by del Toro’s signature approach to physical effects and prosthetics. Expect shambling masses of demonic tentacles, ravenous rats, and ancient sepulchres aplenty, all rendered magnificently in one of Netflix’s most visually mesmerizing—if frequently unsettling—new shows in years.
To those in the Northern Hemisphere, this Australian supernatural drama might be one of the best-kept secrets of the past decade. It’s centered on a small town in Victoria, where an entire community is shaken when seven people rise from their graves, seemingly in perfect health but with no memory of who they are or how they died. As police sergeant James Hayes and local doctor Elishia McKellar try to contain and examine “the Risen,” Hayes learns his own late wife is among them. Over the course of three seasons and 18 episodes, the reasons for the dead’s return are teased out, starting with simply “how” and “why” but building to something that questions the rules of reality. A fantastic ensemble cast and brilliant pacing make this a must-see.
After a minor indiscretion at her “normie” school—releasing flesh-eating piranhas into a pool of swim-team bullies—the dismal doyenne of the Addams Family is sent to the imposing monster boarding school of the Nevermore Academy. Initially desperate to escape the horror high school cliques—goths are vampires, jocks are werewolves, and stoners are gorgons—and her alarmingly peppy roommate, Wednesday is soon drawn into a prophecy dating back decades, and a murder mystery that incriminates her own family.
It’s easy to see the influences—Wednesday is equal parts Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, Riverdale, and Smallville (no surprise, given it’s created by the latter’s Alfred Gough and Miles Millar)—but it’s all elevated by Jenna Ortega’s brilliantly macabre and deliciously deadpan performance as Wednesday herself, not to mention the visual sensibilities of director Tim Burton. With a phenomenal supporting cast, including Catharine Zeta-Jones and Luis Guzmán as Morticia and Gomez Addams; Fred Armisen as deranged Uncle Fester; Gwendoline Christie as Nevermore’s Principal Weems; and the cinematic Wednesday Addams, Christina Ricci, as a botany teacher, this latter-day Addams Family spinoff is a post-Halloween treat.
Moon landings? Fake. Reptoids orchestrating world politics? Real. Welcome to Cognito, Inc—a shadow organization covering up every outlandish conspiracy you’ve ever heard of. This animated workplace comedy with a twist focuses on hyper-competent but socially awkward Reagan Ridley, reluctantly partnered with the all-American, people-pleasing goofball Brett Hand as she’s forced to run tech support when she should be running the place. After the first season saw Reagan’s alcoholic ex-agent father stage a coup to take control of Cognito, the new crop of episodes flips the script, with Reagan and her irresponsible coworkers—including a half-dolphin supersoldier and a sentient psychic mushroom from Hollow Earth—staging a counteroffensive and partnering with Cognito’s archrivals: the Illuminati. Expect more weird science, shadowy elites, and even swordfights in the rain with Keanu Reeves as Inside Job continues to make you nostalgic for when conspiracy theories were fun, rather than threatening the fabric of society.