I bloody love Netflix. It's basically my favourite way to chill out - I love nothing more than coming home after a stressful day at work and just monging out in front of the TV, watching my favourite Netflix shows. I very rarely watch actual telly anymore, aside from Bake Off and The Apprentice (obvs), because there is just so much on Netflix that I am totally spoilt for choice. And the best thing? I can watch it whenever I want!
If you're currently struggling to find anything new to watch on Netflix or are wondering which shows might be worth getting started with, I've done a round-up of my faves, and why you NEED to get them on your TV screens NOW.
Orange is the New Black
Set in a women's prison, Orange is the New Black focuses on Piper, a high-flying New Yorker who is brought promptly back down to earth when her past catches up with her and she ends up in prison. Pretty much every episode takes place in Litchfield Penitentiary, and focuses on a different character, showing you their backstory and how they came to be in prison. With orange jumpsuits aplenty, OITNB is a seriously dark dramedy that can make for both hilarious and intense viewing. I adore it, and can't recommend watching it enough.
GothamA fairly new one on my radar, Gotham is all about Batman's back story. Based in, you guessed it, Gotham, back before Batman came to be, it follows rookie cop Jim Gordon as he attempts to beat the city's bad guys. Even though I'm not really interested in the Marvel world in the slightest, I found this seriously gripping and funny to watch. It's really interesting to see Bruce Wayne (aka Batman)'s backstory and watch him grow, as well as seeing the various characters (Cat Woman, The Penguin etc.) and how they came to be who they are. Ben McKenzie (Ryan from the OC!) plays Jim Gordon amazingly well and totally makes the show for me. Jada Pinkett Smith is also INCREDIBLE as Fish Mooney, and it's worth watching for her performance alone.
How to Get Away with Murder
I stumbled across this a while ago when desperately searching for something new to watch, and really didn't have very high hopes. However, just a couple of episodes in and I was completely hooked. It's all about criminal defence attorney Annalise Keatin, who teaches a class in law school called 'How to Get Away with Murder'. It follows a group of students who are offered the opportunity to assist with a case at her law firm - and things quickly take a dark turn - in which the group really do have to find out how to get away with murder. It's definitely the perfect show to binge-watch - I think I finished the first season in about a week. Fun fact - it also stars Alfred Enoch who played Dean Thomas in the Harry Potter films!
Sarah Manning is a rough around the edges British girl who has made plenty of bad decisions throughout her lifetime. When she sees a woman who looks just like her commit suicide, she assumes her life in order to attempt to try and build a better life for her family, including her daughter Kira. Things soon take a weird turn however, when Sarah realises that the girl who's life she's assumed is actually her clone. There isn't just the one clone, however, and things start to get very complicated very quickly. I absolutely LOVE this series, mainly because Tatiana Maslany is an incredible actress who plays each and every clone phenomenally well. She totally makes the series its own and it's worth watching just to see her incredible performances.
Pretty Little Liars
If you've not started watching PLL yet, where have you been?! I binged-watched the first four seasons after finally seeing what all the fuss was about, and now we're at season seven (the last season, sob!) I'm still totally hooked. PLL is basically all about a group of teen girls, lead by the beautiful Alison. One night she goes missing, and the remaining girls begin getting cryptic texts from someone who calls themselves 'A'. It all spirals from there as the girls try to figure out what happened to Alison, all the while telling a lot of lies and getting themselves into a wealth of trouble. It can be a little bit daft in places, but if you're willing to see past that it's definitely worth a watch.
I have no idea why it took me so long to start watching Luther, but after finding it on Netflix one day, I was instantly hooked. Luther is a detective played by the rather dashing Idris Elba, who has to attempt to solve a series of murders, all the while battling with his own demons. This is definitely an edge-of-your-seat watch - I don't think I've ever watched a series that made me feel so tense/want to know what was going to happen next so much. I love it and hope another season is in the pipeline!
Breaking BadI couldn't do a Netflix roundup and not include the cream of the crop, Breaking Bad. Walter White is your typical friendly science teacher - until one day he finds out he has terminal cancer. In a bid to make money in order to secure his family's future, he teams up with ex-pupil Jesse Pinkman to start up a business - manufacturing crystal meth. Trust me when I say, you just HAVE to watch this. It might take you a few episodes to get into, but once you're there, you won't ever want to leave. Breaking Bad is definitely one of the best shows ever made - it's funny, dramatic, cinematic, heart-wrenching and hilarious, and constantly keeps you hooked.
Better Call Saul
I had to throw this one in there as it's basically part of the parcel when it comes to Breaking Bad - once you've watched that, if you're after more Albuquerque-based madness, give Better Call Saul a watch. It's set a fair few years before we meet Walter White, but tells the story of his hilarious criminal lawyer Jimmy McGill, before he becomes Saul Goodman, and how he came to be the man he is. Die-hard Breaking Bad fans will notice a fair few characters from the series crop up in this one!
iZombieOkay, so once you get past the truly ridiculous title sequence and theme song, give iZombie a go. The lead protagonist is Liv Moore, a successful medical resident with a doting fiance and an exciting life to look forward to - that is, until she attends a boat party and gets turned into a flesh-eating Zombie. Fear not, though - in iZombie, zombies don't become braindead, lifeless beings who slowly stumble about droning on about 'braaaains' - if they get their human brain fix, they act just like normal humans - aside from not actually being alive and having a veeeeery pale complexion. iZombie follows Liv as she's forced to leave her fiance and become a medical examiner at the morgue in order to get her brain fix. Once a zombie eats a brain, however, they acquire the memories of whoever's brain they've eaten, and so Liv teams up with detective Clive Babineaux to help him solve crimes. This is a really funny show that can also be a bit of a tear-jerker at times, and it's perfect for fans of The Vampire Diaries or Teen Wolf.
Once Upon a Time
Like fairytales? You'll love this. In the little town of Storybrooke, each and every resident there is a fairytale character - they just don't remember they are. After the Evil Queen cursed them, each resident took on an entirely new, ordinary persona, and are completely unaware of who they are. That is, until Emma Swann (aka the Saviour) arrives and things soon start coming back to people. If you like fantasy or are just obsessed with fairytales then you'll definitely want to give this a watch.
American Horror Story
Definitely not for the faint-hearted, American Horror Story makes for very intense, sometimes very scary and unsettling, watching. But it is pure brilliance. Each season takes on a completely different story - for example, the first season (and arguably the best one) is called Murder House, and is a very good twist on the traditional haunted house scenario. The second season, Asylum, is set in a mental asylum, whilst the third season, Coven, is all about witches. The fourth season, Freak Show, is probably my least favourite of the bunch, but still makes good viewing. I know there are a couple of newer seasons too which aren't yet on Netflix, but I hear they're just as good as the rest. Jessica Lange steals the show throughout the first few seasons, and I challenge you not to fall in love with Evan Peters when watching Murder House. Some phenomenal acting goes on in these shows, and the fact the characters change roles each season only highlights this.
Stranger ThingsI couldn't do this round-up without mentioning the most recent Netflix phenomenon, Stranger Things. Everyone who is anyone has been talking about this recently and I can totally understand why. I'm not going to go into too much detail with this one as I don't want to spoil things, but it's set in the eighties and all kicks off with a young boy going missing. It follows his friends, mother and the chief of police as they all try to work out what happened to him - and things get very strange, very quickly. It will have you on the edge of your seat, asking questions constantly and also becoming rather attached to the group of young boys and their mysterious new-found friend, Eleven. It's a must-watch if you like sci-fis, horror, crime dramas or anything remotely mysterious. I didn't find it particularly scary but I think some people might so if you're not a fan of horror it's probably not for you. I definitely recommend it though!
Phew - that was longer than I thought it would be! But there you have it - my pick of the best shows on Netflix. Are any of your favourites in there? Let me know if you have any recommendations of your own!