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17 best Netflix shows to watch and 8 to skip

17 best Netflix shows to watch and 8 to skip image
Netflix shows - Shadow and Bone season 2 - The Darkling


Best Netflix shows to watch and to skip

Month after month, we’re met with an overwhelming amount of Netflix original series, new releases and even more recommendations on what to watch. But which Netflix shows should you definitely add to your watch list and which could you live to skip? We have your back. Every month we pick shows to watch on Netflix and shows to skip right here.

Naturally, we’re inclined to feel obligated to binge-watch all of the Netflix shows everyone’s talking about, but those shows you have been hearing about up and down your social timeline aren’t quite your cup of tea. What’s more, they might not even be worth your time.

On the other hand, some of those Netflix shows could be a risk you’re willing to take. Not normally interested in romantic period dramas? Bridgerton has the charms to change your mind. Usually steer clear of twisty limited series? The Queen’s Gambit and Behind Her Eyes live up to the hype.

Conversely, some of the most talked-about Netflix shows, like Emily in Paris and Ginny & Georgia, probably won’t scratch your television itch if feel-good dramedies aren’t your gig. The decision to watch or skip is in the eye of the binge-watcher, but we’ll help guide you in the right direction.

Updated: May 13, 2021

Is Shadow and Bone a good show?

Seasons: 1 

Created by: Eric Heisserer 

Starring: Jessie Mei Li, Archie Renaux, Freddy Carter, Amita Suman, Kit Young, Ben Barnes, and Zoë Wanamaker

Shadow and Bone premiered on Netflix at the end of April 2021, and it’s easily one of the most popular Netflix shows of the year. Popular doesn’t always mean good, though. So, should you watch Shadow and Bone? 

Unless you’re new to Netflix Life, you know the answer is “YES!” Shadow and Bone is the best fantasy series since The Witcher, and it’s a must-watch on Netflix. It’s really, really good, and you need to watch if you haven’t yet.

The series is based on the book series by Leigh Bardugo. It tells the story of Alina Starkov, played by Jessie Mei Li, who discovers she has a great power that will help save her country. She’s swept into a world that she doesn’t know or understand to harness her power. Little does she know that there’s a plot to kidnap her in the works. Everything isn’t as it seems.

While we’re still waiting for the official word, Shadow and Bone season 2 is definitely happening at Netflix. There’s so much to love about this show, and I can’t wait to see what’s next.

Verdict: Watch 

FanSided Staff contributed to this article. Flip the page for more good Netflix shows to watch and shows to skip.

Next: More Netflix shows to watch and skip

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Is Jupiter’s Legacy good?

Seasons: 1 

Created by: Steven S. DeKnight 

Starring: Josh Duhamel, Leslie Bibb, Ben Daniels, Andrew Horton, Elena Kampouris, Mike Wade, and Matt Lanter

Jupiter’s Legacy is one of the newest Netflix shows. The series was added to the streaming service on May 7, 2021, and it received mixed reviews from fans and critics.

The Netflix original series is based on the comic of the same name from Mark Millar and Frank Quitley. It tells the story of a group of the first superheroes, explores how they got their powers, and catches up with them in the present when their super kids are trying to learn the ropes and everything that comes along with the job. It’s a very interesting take on superhero stories.

Overall, the consensus is that Jupiter’s Legacy is a moderate success for Netflix. It’s popular right now, but The Rotten Tomatoes scores are pretty polarizing. Less than 40 percent of critics liked the show, while about three-quarters of the general audience liked the show.

So, we’re going to call Jupiter’s Legacy a skip if you are not a fan of the action genre or are not into superhero stories. Most Netflix subscribers and our readers probably wouldn’t be interested in this show.

With that said, if you are a fan of superheroes or incredible action sequences, you should definitely check it out on Netflix.

Verdict: Skip

Next: Emily in Paris

Is Emily in Paris good?

Seasons: 1 (renewed for season 2)

Created By: Darren Star

Starring: Lily Collins, Phillippine Leroy-Beaulieu, Ashley Park, Lucas Bravo, Samuel Arnold, Bruno Gouery, Camille Razat

Whether you have taken a trip to Paris with Emily not, you have definitely heard one thing or another about Netflix’s new hit original romantic comedy series Emily in Paris. It’s the kind of quintessential comfort viewing that you can burn through in one sitting without having to be too challenged. But don’t feel like you have to rush to watch the series.

Emily in Paris stars Lily Collins as the titular Emily Cooper, a young American social media expert who lands a dream job at a marketing firm in Paris. But as she rises in popularity through her adventures on her own social media, Emily finds assimilating into the new culture at work and in Paris at large a difficult task — even as she falls for her handsome neighbor Gabriel (Lucas Bravo).

Look, here’s the thing: Emily in Paris isn’t nearly as bad as your Twitter timeline would leave you to believe. The Golden Globe-nominated series is the television equivalent of a delicious cake. It’s comforting and fun, but you might feel a little guilty about it later. If you love these kinds of shows, you’ll have no regrets about Emily in Paris. But if you don’t, you shouldn’t feel bad about skipping this one.

Verdict: Skip

Next: Elite

Netflix shows Elite season 4 Netflix crime shows

Elite — Courtesy of Netflix

Is Elite good?

Seasons: 3 (renewed for season 4 and 5)

Created By: Carlos Montero and Darío Madrona

Starring: María Pedraza, Itzan Escamilla, Miguel Bernardeau, Ester Expósito, Danna Paola, Miguel Herrán, Jaime Lorente, Álvaro Rico, Arón Piper, Mina El Hammani, Omar Ayuso, Jorge López, Claudia Salas, Georgina Amorós, Sergio Momo, Leïti Sène, Manu Ríos, Carla Díaz, Pol Granch, Martina Cariddi, Valentina Zenere, André Lamoglia

As more and more Netflix shows achieve viral popularity, it can become increasingly daunting to figure out which ones are worth watching for you and which ones can ride the bench until an undesignated time in the future. Additionally, the renaissance of coming-of-age stories puts a number of new shows in the mix. Well, if you love a teen drama with a thriller edge, Elite should definitely snag a space on your watch list.

The Spanish series takes place at an elite secondary school called Las Encinas, where working class students rub elbows with wealthy, privileged classmates. Elite tracks the intriguing romance and mysteries that emerge from the school with a captivating ensemble cast. After releasing three seasons, Elite has already scored a fourth and fifth season renewal from Netflix. A gritty Gossip Girl-esque series shouldn’t be skipped for those craving a bit of scandalous television.

Verdict: Watch

Next: Virgin River

Netflix shows Virgin River season 2 Virgin River season 3

VIRGIN RIVER – Annette O’Toole as Hope McCrea; Alexandra Breckenridge as Melinda Monroe of VIRGIN RIVER – NETFLIX (c) 2020

Should I watch Virgin River?

Seasons: 2 (renewed for season 3)

Developed By: Sue Tenney

Starring: Alexandra Breckenridge, Martin Henderson, Colin Lawrence, Jenny Cooper, Lauren Hammersley, Annette O’Toole, Tim Matheson, Benjamin Hollingsworth, Grayson Gurnsey, Sarah Dugdale

What more can be said about the enchanting charms of Virgin River? It’s the kind of show you pop on at night or a lazy Sunday afternoon and curl up with like a good book. By no means is it must-watch, zeitgeist essential viewing television that will change the face of pop culture. That’s a tall order for any series, but it happens. Still, Virgin River will feel just the same for fans of feel-good, guilty pleasure programming with romance and drama to spare.

Based on the series of novels by Robyn Carr, Virgin River centers on a nurse practitioner and midwife who leaves her traumatic past behind for a new life in a remote Northern California town. Once in Virgin River, she finds community but not without struggle. The series has attained cult favorite status leading into its highly anticipated third season and has the kind of staying power to last for seasons to come. Like any Netflix original, Virgin River won’t be for everyone, but if you have been sleeping on it, here’s your wake-up call.

Verdict: Watch

Next: Lucifer

Lucifer season 5 - Lucifer season 6

Lucifer – Credit: John P. Fleenor/Netflix

Should I watch Lucifer?

Seasons: 5 (renewed for season 6)

Developed By: Tom Kapinos

Starring: Tom Ellis, Lauren German, Kevin Alejandro, D. B. Woodside, Lesley-Ann Brandt, Scarlett Estevez, Rachael Harris, Kevin Rankin, Tricia, Helfer, Aimee Garcia, Tom Welling, Inbar Lavi

It’s safe to say that anyone with wifi and a Netflix subscription has heard of or already devoured all fourth-and-a-half current seasons of Lucifer. A show doesn’t get revived from the dead by the power of passionate fandom and not make enough waves to tack on new fans along the way. After getting the axe by Fox three seasons into its run, Netflix swooped in and saved the fan-favorite series from cancellation. Since then, Lucifer has been thriving on the streaming giant for three additional seasons you surely should not skip.

Based on the DC Comics character, Lucifer stars Tom Ellis as Lucifer Morningstar, the Lord of Hell who relocates to Los Angeles as a consultant for the local police department and a nightclub owner. The series has since delivered new thrills and chills with each new season, becoming one of the top shows on the platform. If you’re one of the few left who hasn’t fallen for Lucifer’s charms, it’s time to stop skipping the hit series and finally add it to your watch list.

Verdict: Watch

Next: Country Comfort

Should I watch Country Comfort?

Seasons: 1

Created By: Caryn Lucas

Starring: Katharine McPhee, Eddie Cibrian, Ricardo Hurtado, Jamie Martin Mann, Pyper Braun, Shiloh Verrico, Griffin McIntyr

Sometimes before certain Netflix shows even premiere, you can already it will be the kind you’ll sit out. Whether it’s a drama series that didn’t pull you in with its trailer or a comedy that seems a little basic, seasoned Netflix binge-watchers tend to have a good eye. Before the streamer even debuted its new sitcom Country Comfort, we can tell it’s not essential viewing.

American Idol alum and Broadway star Katharine McPhee stars in Country Comfort as hopeful country singer Bailey, whose trajectory toward superstardom takes an unexpected turn. After taking personal and professional hits, Bailey becomes the nanny for single father and cowboy Beau (Eddie Cibrian) and his five children. As she becomes closer with Beau and his kids, Bailey finds a renewed sense of self as both a person and a musician.

It’s an unwritten rule to tread lightly with multi-cam sitcoms, especially on Netflix. They don’t always have the best track record with either quality or longevity. Country Comfort, the latest multi-cam offering from Netflix, doesn’t look to offer much innovation, looking like a watered-down mixture of The Nanny by way of The Sound of Music. But if you’re down with 10 episodes of low-stakes, feel-good entertainment, feel free to go all in on Country Comfort.

Verdict: Skip

Next: The Witcher

The Witcher season 2

The Witcher season 2. Image courtesy Jay Maidment, Netflix

Is The Witcher good?

Seasons: 1 (renewed for season 2)

Created By: Lauren Schmidt Hissrich

Starring: Henry Cavill, Freya Allan, Eamon Farren, Anya Chalotra, Joey Batey, MyAnna Buring, Royce Pierreson, Mimi Ndiweni, Wilson Radjou-Pujalte, Anna Shaffer, Mahesh Jadu

In the past few years, a couple of the most popular fantasy series have come to an end, and it’s entirely likely that you’re still trying to scratch that itch. Perhaps you’ve fallen short with some of the series you have tested, or maybe you haven’t seemed to find that perfect fit to commit to for multiple seasons. But we have a feeling that Netflix’s original series The Witcher could be the one.

Based on Andrzej Sapkowski’s series of books of the same name, The Witcher stars the erstwhile Superman and Sherlock Holmes (among other famous roles) Henry Cavill as Geralt of Rivia, a monster hunter with a touch of magic who’s linked by destiny to Crown Princess Ciri (Freya Allan). The series follows formative events of the two, as well as sorceress Yennefer of Vengerberg (Anya Chalotra), before each of the three collide with the invaders of Nilfgaard.

The Witcher achieved a viewership of 76 million households during its first month of streaming on Netflix, clearly displaying a demand for a new fantasy series to take over pop culture. While not yet as ubiquitous as certain others, The Witcher will soon return for and additional eight episodes with its second season in 2021. Of course, the fantasy series isn’t a one-size-fits-all binge, but if this sounds up your alley, don’t be afraid to add it to your watch list.

Verdict: Watch

Next: Lupin

Lupin season 2 - Lupin on Netflix - Best Netflix shows

Lupin – Netflix

Is Lupin worth watching?

Seasons: 1

Created By: George Kay and François Uzan

Starring: Omar Sy, Ludivine Sagnier, Clotilde Hesme, Vincent Londez

Here’s the best-kept secret on Netflix: Lupin.

Not everything you watch on the streaming service has to be the hot show of the moment that the whole world is talking about. It’s tough because, at the end of the day, we want to keep up with what’s taking off. But that also leads to us missing out on some seriously good television that’s slipping through the cracks, not unlike Lupin.

Based on the character Arsène Lupin by Maurice Leblanc, Lupin stars Omar Sy as Assane Diop, a professional thief who finds himself inspired by the titular gentleman thief with a thirst for revenge. Twenty-five years prior, Assane’s father was framed for the theft of a necklace by the wealthy Pellegrino family, which later led to his death in prison. Using the skills he’s picked up along the way, Assane works the tricks of his trade to expose the Pellegrinos’ crimes.

Lupin, a French co-production with Netflix, debuted the first five episodes of the 10-episode first season in January 2021 to critical acclaim. Within its first month of release, Lupin had acquired an estimated viewership of 70 million households, indicating that its clearly a hit in the making. Before the second part of season 1 premieres later in 2021, it’s time to catch up on a new show worth watching.

Verdict: Watch

Next: Grand Army

Grand Army


Is Grand Army good?

Seasons: 1

Created By: Katie Cappiello

Starring: Odessa A’zion, Odley jean, Amir Bageria, Maliq Johnson, Amalia Yoo, Alphonso Romero Jones II, Thelonius Serrell-Freed, Anthony Ippolito, Brian Altemus

Something we can all probably agree on is how much many good teen dramas have changed the game in the past few years. And thanks to a number of Netflix series and HBO’s Emmy-winning coming-of-age drama Euphoria, they’re getting darker and grittier — sometimes for the better. In 2020, Netflix dabble in the grit of adolescence with Grand Army.

Based on Slut: The Play by creator Katie Capiello, Grand Army takes place at the Grand Army public high school in Brooklyn, New York, and tells the stories of a diverse group of students grappling with various issues in their lives. The series tackles topics such as rape, racism, sexuality, violence and more as they pertain to the everyday teenage experience.

Grand Army holds a 71% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, denoting mostly positive reviews from critics, but the teen drama didn’t seem to make its mark on Netflix upon its debut in October 2020. By all accounts, Grand Army is an emotional and affecting series that follows in the footsteps in issues-based high school shows before it. But it’s not a series to rush onto your watch list right away, especially with its fate remaining up in the air.

Verdict: Skip

Next: Love Alarm

Do Jojo and Sun-Oh end up together?

Love Alarm

Should I watch Love Alarm?

Seasons: 2

Developed By: Jiyoung Park

Starring: Kim So-hyun, Jung Ga-ram, Song Kang

On the flip side of a teen series more likely to be skipped than watch, the latest series to find success on Netflix is the South Korean romantic series Love Alarm. We’ve seen technology becoming something of a character or driving force in teen shows (hello, Gossip Girl), and Love Alarm takes tech up a notch for a modern spin on coming-of-age love stories.

Based on the Korean webseries of the same name by Chon Kye-young, Love Alarm centers on a high school student named Kim Jo-jo (Kim So-hyun), who works hard in school in spite of a painful history with her family. She and the society around her rely heavily on a mobile app that notifies its user if someone in their vicinity harbors romantic feelings for them. Naturally, Kim Jo-jo utilizes the app and finds herself in the midst of a new kind of dating world.

Love Alarm first debuted on Netflix in August 2019 and earned positive reception from critics for its storytelling and social commentary. After receiving a renewal for season 2 in 2020, Love Alarm debuted its second season in March 2021 and seems to have connected with a worldwide audience. Don’t plan on skipping a series that’s as impossible to stop watching as it is romantic. We’re hoping for season 3!

Verdict: Watch

Next: Selena: The Series

what's new on Netflix - Selena: The Series season 2


Is Selena on Netflix good?

Seasons: 1

Created By: Moisés Zamora

Starring: Christian Serratos, Gabriel Chavarria, Ricardo Chavira, Noemi Gonzalez, Seidy Lopez

Sometimes it’s a tricky thing to launch a biographical series. Unless it’s an obvious star vehicle aiming for awards season dominance, the specific subject can be alienating. Thankfully, the subject of Selena: The Series, Tejano music superstar Selena Quintanilla, is one that millions can agree on. But that doesn’t mean that the two-part bio-drama should be on everyone’s watch list.

Christian Serratos stars in Selena: The Series as music icon Selena Quintanilla, whose rise to fame as a Tejano superstar was met with difficult and heartbreaking moves in both her personal and professional. The series follows Selena from her childhood to her breakout success as a singer, which later includes her tragic death at 23 years old after a shooting by a former friend and manager. More than anything, it’s a celebration of Selena’s life and impact.

Upon release, Selena: The Series earned mostly negative reviews from critics and holds a 33% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. That figure’s probably far too harsh, considering the biographical drama was a hit with its target audience of Selena fans. But Selena: The Series’ narrow audience might be its downfall, as those unfamiliar with the titular music legend won’t be drawn in. It’s a non-essential yet worthy watch, but don’t feel bad if it’s not on your radar.

Verdict: Skip

Next: Dash & Lily

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Is Dash and Lily good?

Seasons: 1

Created By: Joe Tracz

Starring: Austin Abrams, Midori Francis, Dante Brown, Troy Iwata

Look, we understand that the average binge-watch prefers to settle in for a show with a decent amount of episodes at the ready. It’s even better if you start a new show with the promise of new episodes coming soon. But we can’t promise that for Dash & Lily. The eight-episode romantic comedy will fly by in the blink of an eye, but its sugary-sweet story will charm your socks off and put you in the holiday spirit at any time of the year.

Based on the young adult book series Dash & Lily’s Book of Dares by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan, Dash & Lily stars Austin Abrams and Midori Francis as the titular Dash and Lily, New York City teenagers who meet during the holiday season thanks to a notebook left behind at the Strand Bookstore. The pair swap dares and secrets in the notebook in an adventure around the city before even meeting, and falling in love, in person.

Dash & Lily debuted on Netflix in November 2020 to unanimously positive reviews. The underrated series holds a perfect score on Rotten Tomatoes, a figure that’s directly juxtaposed by its lack of buzz and fanfare. The charming rom-com had all the potential of replicating the success of the To All the Boys series or any of Netflix’s other teen romantic comedies, but Dash & Lily landed at an awkward time. That doesn’t make any less of a show you show definitely watch.

Verdict: Watch

Next: The Crown

The Crown season 4

Picture shows: Priness Diana (EMMA CORRIN) and Prince Charles (JOSH O CONNOR). Image courtesy Ollie UptonNetflix

Should I watch The Crown?

Seasons: 4 (renewed for season 5 and 6)

Created By: Peter Morgan

Starring: Claire Foy, Matt Smith, Vanessa Kirby, Eileen Atkins, Jeremy Northam, Victoria Hamilton, Ben Miles, Greg Wise, Jared Harris, John Lithgow, Alex Jennings, Lia Williams, Anton Lesser, Matthew Goode, Olivia Colman, Tobias Menzies, Helena Bonham Carter, Ben Daniels, Jason Watkins, Marion Bailey, Erin Doherty, Jane Lapotaire, Charles Dance, Josh O’Connor, Geraldine Chaplin, Michael Maloney, Emerald Fennell, Andrew Buchan, Gillian Anderson, Emma Corrin, Stephen Boxer

There’s probably no better time than right now to get into The Crown. It’s not exactly a secret. The Emmy-winning historical drama has been one of the top Netflix shows since its debut in 2016 and has only increased in relevancy in the wake of the Royal Family’s continued twists and turmoil playing out in a very public way. Even Oprah watches The Crown, and that’s honestly as good of an endorsement as a series could even need.

The Crown tells the story of Queen Elizabeth II’s reign, beginning with her marriage to Prince Philip in 1947 and through all of the ups and downs into the 21st century. The series leaves no stone unturned in its exploration of the British Monarchy and its rich history of scandal, tragedy and notoriety. Since its premiere, The Crown has won a number of awards, most recently taking home Golden Globes for Emma Corrin and Gillian Anderson’s performances as Princess Diana and Margaret Thatcher. Ahead of the final two seasons, this one’s a definite must-watch.

The Crown season 5 is coming next year.

Verdict: Watch

Next: Julie and the Phantoms

Netflix shows - Teen movies


Should I watch Julie and the Phantoms?

Seasons: 1

Created By: Dan Cross and David Hoge

Starring: Madison Reyes, Charlie Gillespie, Owen Patrick Joyner, Jeremy Shada, Jadah Marie, Sacha Carlson, Savannah May

As we know, there are plenty of underrated Netflix shows that don’t get the love that they deserve. But that doesn’t mean we should stop watching them or stop singing their praises. Julie and the Phantoms has been underrated since its premiere last fall. It’s a wonder the teen musical dramedy couldn’t find a bigger audience, but there’s still time to bring this endearing show back from the dead (pun intended).

Based on the Brazilian series of the same name, Julie and the Phantoms centers on Julie Molina (Madison Reyes), an aspiring teenaged musician grieving the loss of her mother. Following her mother’s death, Julie’s passion for music fell flat, but when she’s visited by the ghosts of three handsome musicians, she begins to rediscover her love for performing music.

Julie and the Phantoms garnered positive reviews from critics and holds a stellar 93% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Although the show can get a little silly, it’s a fun and super catchy ride for kids and adults alike. As of this writing, Julie and the Phantoms hasn’t earned a renewal from Netflix, making the prospects of another season increasingly unlikely. But that shouldn’t deter you from giving this truly lovable little show a watch.

Verdict: Watch

Next: Cobra Kai

What to watch - Cobra Kai season 3 - Netflix


Should I watch Cobra Kai?

Seasons: 3 (renewed for season 4)

Created By: Josh Heald, Jon Hurwitz and Hayden Schlossberg

Starring: Ralph Macchio, William Zabka, Courtney Henggeler, Xolo Maridueña, Tanner Buchanan, Mary Mouser, Jacob Bertrand, Gianni DeCenzo, Martin Kove, Vanessa Rubio, Peyton List

Although Cobra Kai aired its first and second seasons on YouTube Premium before making the leap to Netflix, the Karate Kid reboot series has since found critical acclaim and viewership success. Perhaps one of the dark horses of the summer 2020 quarantine binge-watch era, Cobra Kai picked up tons of steam leading up to the premiere of its third season, its first as a full-fledged Netflix original series. Your mileage may vary, but this is one trend you should totally hop on.

Cobra Kai stars original Karate Kid stars Ralph Macchio and William Zabka reprising their roles as rivals Daniel LaRusso and Johnny Lawrence respectively. Over three decades after his big defeat at the karate tournament, Johnny struggles professionally and personally, but unexpectedly finds himself reunited with Daniel after reopening the Cobra Kai dojo.

You might not have expected Karate Kid to make a well-received comeback over 30 years later, but Cobra Kai has defied all of the odds. It was neck and neck with Bridgerton as one of the top binge-watches of the year, and looks to continue on its upward trajectory with its upcoming fourth season and beyond. Don’t look down on Cobra Kai just because it’s popular or a reboot. You just might be missing out on your new favorite show.

Cobra Kai season 4 is officially in the works!

Verdict: Watch

Next: Fate: The Winx Saga

Fate: The Winx Saga season 2 -Teen shows - Best Netflix shows -

Fate: The Winx Saga – Credit: Netflix

Is Fate: The Winx Saga bad?

Seasons: 1 (renewed for season 2)

Created By: Brian Young

Starring: Abigail Cowen, Hannah van der Westhuysen, Precious Mustapha, Eliot Salt, Elisha Applebaum, Danny Griffin, Sadie Soverall, Freddie Thorp, Eva Birthistle, Robert James-Collier, Eve Best, Lesley Sharp

The intersection of teen dramas and supernatural fantasy series might be one of the most well-tread genres on television. Even if a teen drama isn’t in the supernatural and/or fantasy realms, genre-leaning teen dramas are definitely the new 90210. Luckily, there are no shortage of teen dramas with extra oomph on Netflix, including the recent hit Fate: The Winx Saga.

Based on the Italian-American animated series Winx Club by Iginio Straffi that aired on Nickelodeon, Fate: The Winx Saga is a live-action reimagining. The series follows Bloom (Abigail Cowen), a 16-year-old fairy with fire powers, as she begins attending the magical Alfea College boarding school in the Otherworld, along with new pals Stella (Hannah van der Westhuysen), Aisha (Precious Mustapha), Terra (Eliot Salt) and Musa (Elisha Applebaum).

Fate: The Winx Saga debuted its six-episode first season on Netflix in January 2021 and was renewed for a second season less than one month later in spite of negative reviews from critics. Although the series wasn’t heavily reviewed, Fate holds a lackluster 33% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, which only seems to denote its a niche series for a very specific audience. If that’s you, join these fairies for some fun. If not, you might want to sit this one out.

Verdict: Skip

Next: Behind Her Eyes

Behind Her Eyes - Netflix shows

Behind Her Eyes – Production Stills

Should I watch Behind Her Eyes?

Seasons: 1

Created By: Steve Lightfoot

Starring: Eve Hewson, Tom Bateman, Simona Brown, Robert Aramayo

Hey, fans of limited series! This one, right here, is for you. If you spent 2020 watching shows like Little Fires Everywhere, I Know This Much Is True, The Undoing and any and all limited series that dabble in the psychological thriller/mystery genres, Netflix’s latest addictive hit Behind Her Eyes. That’s one way to really start 2021 on a high note… when it comes to TV, at least.

Based on the book of the same name by Sarah Pinborough, Behind Her Eyes centers on single mother Louise (Simona Brown) and the dangerous affair she begins with her married boss David (Tom Bateman). However, Louise continues to dig herself into a hole when she finds herself befriending David’s wife Adele (Eve Hewson), unlocking a dark and twisted love triangle.

There’s definitely more than meets the eye with Behind Her Eyes, just like with any limited series that keeps you guessing until the very last second. The series earned mixed reception from critics and holds a 61% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. While it’s unlikely to have the staying power to take it to awards season next year, Behind Her Eyes is six hours of mystery for your watch list.

Verdict: Watch

Next: Firefly Lane

Best Netflix shows of 2021


Is Firefly Lane good?

Seasons: 1

Created By: Maggie Friedman

Starring: Katherine Heigl, Sarah Chalke, Ben Lawson, Beau Garrett, Ali Skovbye, Roan Curtis, Yael Yurman

Welcome to the Heigl-ssance! This one’s simple: Katherine Heigl and Sarah Chalke playing time-jumping best friends? We’re already in without even knowing what exactly is going down between these besties. Heigl has long needed her triumphant return to TV, and after some fits and starts, she’s found a new second act on Netflix that will hopefully stick around… if the people are watching the truly lovable Firefly Lane.

Based on the book of the same name by Maggie Friedman, Firefly Lane stars Heigl and Chalke as Tully Hart and Kate Mularkey, who have been best friends since the 1970s through their formative adult years in the 2000s. Tully has found fame as the host of the daytime talk show The Girlfriend Hour, while Kate struggles to find her footing in the wake of a divorce. Together, they take on the good times and the bad times through thick and thin and for better and worse.

Firefly Lane debuted in February 2021 to, let’s be honest, pretty lackluster reviews. But its middling Rotten Tomatoes score of 46% didn’t stop the series from topping Netflix’s top 10 ranking and pulling in an audience hungry for some feel-good entertainment. As of yet, Heigl and Chalke’s excellent chemistry hasn’t gotten the chemistry for a second round, but this one’s a must-watch for fans of the book, Heigl and modern period pieces.

Verdict: Watch

Next: The Crew

Kevin James in The Crew season 2


Is The Crew bad?

Seasons: 1

Created By: Jeff Lowell

Starring: Kevin James, Jillian Mueller, Freddie Stroma, Gary Anthony Williams, Dan Ahdoot, Sarah Stiles

The King of Queens is back, but at what cost? All kidding aside, Kevin James of Paul Blart and Kevin Can Wait fame returns to Netflix after turns in Adam Sandler comedies for a sitcom victory lap. His previous comeback effort, the aforementioned Kevin Can Wait, was an unqualified disaster of casting misfires. While The Crew might be more his speed, that doesn’t exactly make it a universal must-watch for every Netflix binge-watcher out there.

Kevin James stars in The Crew as Kevin Gibson, the crew chief of a NASCAR garage who finds himself locking horns with the new boss, Catherine Spencer (Jillian Mueller), the daughter of his former boss. Kevin struggles to adapt to new, tech-centered ways of doing his job as his seemingly younger staff welcomes modernity for the racing crew.

The Crew premiered its 10-episode first season in February 2021 and unsurprisingly wasn’t an off-to-the-races hit with critics. Sitcoms are often a tough sell, and conventional multi-cams like The Crew are an even tougher sell. Kevin James will either have a steady gig for no less than five seasons, or The Crew will race away without a second thought. But if you’re not an existing fan of James’s comedy, you should keep driving to the next exit.

Verdict: Skip

Next: The Queen's Gambit

Best Netflix shows of 2021 - The Queen's Gambit season 2 must-watch shows on Netflix


Is The Queen’s Gambit good?

Seasons: 1

Created By: Scott Frank and Allan Scott

Starring: Anya Taylor-Joy, Bill Camp, Moses Ingram, Isla Johnston, Christiane Seidel, Rebecca Root, Chloe Pirrie, Akemnji Ndifornyen, Marielle Heller, Harry Melling, Patrick Kennedy, Jacob Fortune-Lloyd, Thomas Brodie-Sangster, Marcin Dorociński

Hasn’t everyone in the world watched The Queen’s Gambit? It’s unfathomable that there’s anyone left who hasn’t binged-watched Netflix’s award-winning miniseries, but there’s for sure plenty of people holding out because of its ubiquitous popularity. Even months after its release and height of buzz, there’s no doubt that The Queen’s Gambit remains essential viewing.

Based on the novel of the same name by Walter Tevis, The Queen’s Gambit stars Anya Taylor-Joy as Beth Harmon, an orphaned chess prodigy who rises through the ranks of the competitive chess world while battling a dependent addiction to drugs and alcohol. The period drama, which takes place in the 1950s and 1960s, follows Beth’s quest to be the best at all costs.

The Queen’s Gambit debuted its nine-episode on Netflix in October 2020 and became a sleeper hit no one saw coming. The miniseries broke all kinds of viewership records for Netflix and earned universally stellar reviews from critics. As a pop culture conversation piece and winner of two Golden Globes, The Queen’s Gambit shouldn’t be a gamble on your watch list.

Unfortunately, it’s unlikely to return for season 2.

Verdict: Watch

Next: When They See Us

Should I watch When They See Us?

Seasons: 1

Created By: Ava DuVernay

Starring: Asante Blackk, Caleel Harris, Ethan Herisse, Jharrel Jerome, Marquis Rodriguez, Jovan Adepo, Chris Chalk, Justin Cunningham, Freddy Miyares, Marsha Stephanie Blake, Kylie Bunbury, Aunjanue Ellis, Vera Farmiga, Felicity Huffman, John Leguizamo, Niecy Nash, Michael K. Williams

From Academy Award-nominated creator and director Ava DuVernay, the Netflix original limited series When They See Us first premiered in May 2019 but will always have a pressing message in its story. Based on the Central Park jogger case of 1989, the series explores the five male suspects who were falsely accused of and prosecuted for the rape and assault of a woman in the New York City park. When They See Us delves into the intricate and urgent themes surrounding the case.

When They See Us landed a whopping and much-deserved 11 nominations at the Primetime Emmy Awards, including Outstanding Limited Series, but ultimately walked away with one win for Jharrel Jerome’s performance. The limited series received overwhelmingly positive reviews from critics, holding a 96% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Without a doubt, When They See Us remains one of Netflix’s best and most important series you should watch rather than skip.

Verdict: Watch

Next: Ginny & Georgia

Best Netflix shows of 2021 - Ginny and Georgia - Netflix shows and movies


Is Ginny and Georgia good?

Seasons: 1

Created By: Sarah Lampert

Starring: Brianne Howey, Antonia Gentry, Diesel La Torraca, Jennifer Robertson, Felix Mallard, Sara Waisglass, Scott Porter, Raymond Ablack

When a series resembles Gilmore Girls and receives frequent comparisons to the impossibly popular and beloved comedy-drama, it’s a tough cross to bear. How could a show live up to the legacy of Gilmore Girls or even build on it? Sure, Netflix’s highly talked about new series Ginny & Georgia forges a similar path as Lorelai and Rory, but is it worth following their lead?

Ginny & Georgia stars Brianne Howey as Georgia Miller, the 30-year-old single mother of 15-year-old Ginny (Antonia Gentry) and nine-year-old Austin (Diesel La Torraca). Ginny and Georgia have an interesting dynamic, as Ginny’s often much more mature than her relatively young mother. But the small family finally settles down in a small New England town for a hopefully normal life.

Since its debut in February 2021, Ginny & Georgia has grabbed its fair share of headlines. First of all, a scene using the phrase “oppression olympics” has caught criticism for stereotyping. Another controversy revolves around a lazy joke pointed at Taylor Swift, which the singer spoke out against on social media. Of course, these aren’t reasons to skip Ginny & Georgia, but it’s also not a shining endorsement to watch the series if it’s not already your kind of show.

Verdict: Skip

Next: Never Have I Ever


Is Never Have I Ever good?

Seasons: 1 (renewed for season 2)

Created By: Mindy Kaling and Lang Fisher

Starring: Maitreyi Ramakrishnan, Poorna Jagannathan, Richa Moorjani, Jaren Lewison, Darren Barnet, John McEnroe

Sometimes even the most successful shows can feel underrated. When the Netflix original comedy series Never Have I Ever premiered in April 2020, it was a bonafide hit. People were flocking to it for the laughs, catharsis and good, old-fashioned love triangle intrigue. But since the conversation has died down, we feel a responsibility to remind you not to forget about Never Have I Ever.

From creators Mindy Kaling and Lang Fisher, Never Have I Ever centers on 15-year-old Indian American high school student Devi Vishwakumar (Maitreyi Ramakrishnan). After enduring a difficult year, which included the death of her father and the unexpected manifestation of grief in her body, Devi looks to reinvent herself socially, beginning with her crush on school heartthrob Paxton Hall-Yoshida (Darren Barnet) and rivalry with Ben Gross (Jaren Lewison).

Never Have I Ever arrived as one of the most well-rounded comedies in recent memory, effectively hitting all the right beats with humor and heart. With both critical acclaim and impressive viewership, Netflix renewed Never Have I Ever for season 2, which will answer all of our burning questions about Ben vs. Paxton. It’s unclear why you would, but never should you ever skip Never Have I Ever.

Verdict: Watch

Next: Bridgerton

Netflix shows canceled - Bridgerton


Is Bridgerton good?

Seasons: 1 (renewed for season 2)

Created By: Chris Van Dusen

Starring: Adjoa Andoh, Lorraine Ashbourne, Jonathan Bailey, Ruby Barker, Sabrina Bartlett, Harriet Cains, Bessie Carter, Nicola Coughlan, Phoebe Dynevor, Ruth Gemmell, Florence Hunt, Claudia Jessie, Ben Miller, Luke Newton, Regé-Jean Page, Golda Rosheuvel, Luke Thompson, Will Tilston, Polly Walker, Julie Andrews

It’s safe to say Netflix finally found its new crown jewel, and that’s only kind of an intended pun. When Bridgerton premiered on Christmas Day in 2020, the Shonda Rhimes-produced series was an overnight success. Millions upon millions fell for the steamy and romantic period piece, making it the most-watched Netflix series of all time with a reported 82 million households watching in the first month. That many people can’t be wrong about a show, right?

Based on the novels of the same name by Julia Quinn, Bridgerton takes place in Regency era London within the competitive high society world of dukes and debutantes. The romantic series adds a touch of mystery in the form of Lady Whistledown (Julie Andrews), an anonymous newsletter columnist airing the Bridgerton family’s dirty laundry to everyone. But there’s lots to love about Bridgerton, including the fact that season 2 has already started filming. Now, you should start watching.

Which Netflix shows would you watch or skip? Share your picks in the comments!

Next: 30 best Netflix movies and shows coming in 2021
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