Best TV shows on Netflix: Our favorites
Netflix originals "Orange Is the New Black" and "House of Cards" may the obvious choices for must-binge shows, but the streaming service has plenty of others to satiate any TV appetite, whether you're craving comedy, drama or soap-opera-style fluff. Here are our picks for the ones to watch now.
Wet Hot American Summer: First Day of Camp(Credit: Netflix / Saeed Adyani)
A prequel to the cult film, Wet Hot American Summer: First Day of Camp debut July 31, 2015. With a ridiculous amount of stars -- Amy Poehler and Bradley Cooper, pictured, plus David Hyde Pierce, Elizabeth Banks, Janeane Garofalo and many more -- the series actually improves on the movie. It's funnier, crazier and has a slightly broader appeal.
ARRESTED DEVELOPMENT(Credit: Fox)
A mid-'00s classic comedy from Mitchell Hurwitz, "Arrested Development" was as funny, original and odd as anything most viewers had ever seen on a major TV network. Its influence remains wide and deep, and, in fact, the series has been born again on Netflix.
FRIENDS(Credit: AP / Danny Feld)
The Internet collectively lost its mind when the complete adventures of Joey, Phoebe, Monica, Chandler, Ross and Rachel became available on Netflix on Jan. 1, and with good reason. How better to ring in 2015 than by bingeing on one of the best sitcoms of all time?
SENSE8(Credit: TNS / Netflix)
Netflix scores with "Sense8," the first TV series from famed Wachowski siblings Andy and Lana, of the "Matrix" trilogy and "Cloud Atlas." Max Riemelt and Tuppence Middleton appear, as does Daryl Hannah, who plays a dead woman whose death mysteriously binds eight people from around the world.
THE FOLLOWING(Credit: Fox)
Kevin Bacon is a former FBI agent returning to duty to track down a serial killer who has earned a dangerous cult following. If you're not yet hooked on this suspenseful crime drama, start now by watching the first two seasons on Netflix before season 3 premieres March 2 on Fox.
In "Bloodline," Danny Rayburn (Ben Mendelsohn) wants to come home, to the Rayburn family compound in the Florida Keys, tut the rest of the family isn't so sure about that idea. Danny, the eldest of four, has had a life full of troubles, and he'll surely bring those with him.
LAW & ORDER: SPECIAL VICTIMS UNIT(Credit: NBC / Virginia Sherwood)
An edgy drama following police investigating the most twisted of crimes. Even Seth Rogen can't turn it off, confessing on Twitter recently, "There is no limit to the amount of Law and Order: SVU I can watch in a single sitting." Same, Seth, same.
ROSEANNE(Credit: ABC / Edie Baskin)
The perfect casting, the witty writing, the depictions of blue-collar life that so many Americans can relate to -- there's just so much to love about "Roseanne." Fans will likely have one gripe: Netflix is currently featuring a "collection" of episodes, rather than full seasons. But a sampling of the Conner clan is better than nothing!
CALIFORNICATION(Credit: AP / Scott Gries)
"Californication": Follow David Duchovy who plays Hank, the dissolute sybarite Princeton educated former egghead who went to Hollywood, had great success and a couple of personal issues of his own along the way. The dramedy is available now on Netflix.
THE BLACKLIST(Credit: NBC)
"The Blacklist": The hit drama stars James Spader as a terrorist helping the U.S. nab other baddies for reasons unknown. Newcomers can catch up with the entire first season on Netflix.
GILMORE GIRLS(Credit: The WB / Jeffrey Thumher)
"Gilmore Girls": Those who adore mother-daughter duo Lorelai and Rory Gilmore can relive the show's famous quick banter, pop-culture references and kooky moments.
COPPER(Credit: BBC America)
"Copper": The BBC America show follows an Irish immigrant detective (Tom Weston-Jones) patrolling the treacherous Five Points section of Manhattan and his good friend, a black doctor (Ato Essandoh). The Tom Fontana (the series' creator) stagecraft is in abundance, notably in dialogue that seems about as effortless as breathing, and a fully realized Five Points that is so squalid, so detailed in its destitution that the only touch missing is the rats skittering away into the darkness. First two seasons available.
A&E's western detective series "Longmire" arrived in 2012 as silently as a dust devil kicked up by a high wind on the Wyoming plains.
TWIN PEAKS(Credit: ABC / Craig Sjodin)
"Twin Peaks": Get ready for the Showtime version in 2016 with both seasons of the David Lynch series, definitely one of the scariest shows to ever air.
WEEDS(Credit: Getty Images / Jason Merritt)
"Weeds": Lucky fans of this Showtime hit that wrapped in 2012 can now watch reruns of all eight seasons. About a suburban mom (Mary-Louise Parker) with a pot-dealing side business, the show was Jenji Kohan's first success, before "Orange Is the New Black."
FRASIER(Credit: AP / Reed Saxon)
"Frasier": Binge-watch all 11 seasons of the "Cheers" spinoff and you'll remember why it's so beloved. The chemistry is just right between uptight brother psychiatrists Frasier and Niles Crane (Kelsey Grammer, right, and David Hyde Pierce) and their working class dad (John Mahoney).
"Revenge": Sexy, soapy and set in The Hamptons -- what more can we ask of a TV show? Emily VanCamp plays a young woman who plays her wealthy socialite neighbors like a deck of cards in order to exact her family's, yes, revenge.
GOSSIP GIRL(Credit: AP / The CW)
"Gossip Girl": Equal parts "Sex & the City" and "Dynasty," the teen nighttime soap, which ended in 2012, had more high fashion and back-stabbing than even most Upper East Siders could handle. All six seasons available.
"Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey": This romp through the great discoveries of modern science, hosted by smooth-voiced astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson, was unlike anything Fox had ever done before, noted our critic Verne Gay upon its network premiere in March 2014. He dubbed it "one of the finest series on television this year" when the season wrapped a few months later.
AMERICAN HORROR STORY(Credit: AP / FX)
"American Horror Story": The first two seasons, each complete unto themselves, are available. In the inaugural season, the Harmon family (Connie Britton, Dylan McDermott and Taissa Farmiga) moves into a house occupied by more than a few dead people. Jessica Lange plays the creepy next-door neighbor with Southern Gothic verve. Lange returns in season two as an evil nun working in a psychiatric home.
AMERICAN DAD(Credit: FOX)
"American Dad": Seth MacFarlane's animated series is generally a more clever send-up of American culture than "Family Guy," with the best zings often from Klaus, the former German Olympic skier now trapped in the body of a goldfish, and Roger the alien. Also stuffed into the sitcom house are patriarch Stan Smith, who works for the CIA, wife Francine and their two kids. First eight seasons available.
BATES MOTEL(Credit: AP, A&E / Joseph Lederer)
"Bates Motel": A&E's series that serves as a prequel to Alfred Hitchcock's 1960 horror classic, "Psycho," is suspenseful and layered, making it worthy of a marathon. Norma (Vera Farmiga) and Norman (Freddie Highmore) are dark, complex characters that never cease to surprise -- as they should. Netflix has the first of two seasons.
SUPERNATURAL(Credit: The CW / Michael Courtney)
"Supernatural": Eight seasons of Eric Kripke's ghosts-demons-and-monsters (oh my) smash have finally landed at Netflix, and hard to say where bingers should begin -- except at the beginning! (But if memory serves -- and it often doesn't -- the second season was even better.) That's the one where Sam and Dean Winchester (Jensen Ackles, Jared Padalecki) are grappling with their father's death. Quick series overview: Sam 'n Dean travel the country, hunting down demons, and exploring "urban legends ..." But of course it's vastly more complex than that.
FRINGE(Credit: FOX / Craig Blankenhorn)
"Fringe": The series ended in January of 2013 but not before creating one of the most beguiling and bewildering series in the history of modern TV. This treasure was putatively about the Fringe Division, which investigated peculiar events around the globe -- events, by the way, that often seemed to involve follically challenged characters known as Observers. Mostly, however, it was about brilliant and utterly mad scientist Walter Bishop (John Noble, in a singularly great role) and his journey, so to speak, to a parallel universe. "Fringe" is far too complicated to explain in a brief recap of course, but one of the best binge projects you will ever undertake. All five seasons available.
HEMLOCK GROVE(Credit: Netflix)
"Hemlock Grove": This Netflix original is the hangover to the site's "big, history-making party" that was "House of Cards," our critic said in his review of the first season, which premiered in April 2013. "It's a high-concept, low-budget genre-busting gothic horror soap that's full of non sequiturs, loose ends, dead ends and split ends" -- indigestible, but perfectly binge-worthy.