Stuck in a Netflix rut? Find yourself scrolling endlessly through the thousands of choices on the Netflix menu but not finding anything that looks good? Stop wasting your precious kid-free hours searching for something to watch. If you’re asking What should I watch on Netflix? I’m here to help you out of your “show hole” with a few recommendations. Hopefully it inspires some new discoveries or at least gets you past the clicking of your Netflix queue and onto some good old fashioned binge-watching.
7 Shows to Help You Escape Your Netflix Rut
These are shows both my husband and I have enjoyed which might fly below your radar. If you’re a regular reader, you may recognize a few titles from my monthly “What I’m Into” posts but I thought it would be helpful to put them all in one place and I’ve added some new suggestions too. If you’re here to find trendsetting, just-released titles, I’m afraid I’m just not cool enough for that. But if you’re a family whose queue is mostly filled with Octonauts and Doc McStuffins then this is just for you!
One of the unending stream of new superhero shows from the Marvel universe, Luke Cage is new series from Netflix that’s worth checking out. Luke Cage is living in Harlem and working a couple of modest jobs but his powers quickly push him towards the unassuming hero role as he takes on the local crime boss’s powerful empire. The acting is well done and the cast includes some well-known names like Alfre Woodard, Mike Colter (Lemond Bishop from the Good Wife), and Mahershala Ali. Don’t be turned off by the Marvel name, this show is much less sci-fi or blockbuster action than many of the others. At times this show feels more like The Wire than anything from a comic book and both my husband and I are enjoying it. Heads up, it can be a little dark and violent but I’m pretty sensitive and I can handle this show.
Holy moly! I would never have tried Glitch based on the description but I’m so glad I did. Six people in a small rural town crawl out of their graves one night, including policeman James’ dead wife. It’s his job to figure out what is happening and also make sense of how he’s dealt with his own grief. I’m a total wuss about creepy or macabre things and I promise, this wasn’t like that. The story is so much more about the characters’ relationships and whether coming back to life is ultimately helpful or hurtful to those we leave behind. It’s an Australian show on Netflix and the first season is only six episodes so it’s a low commitment. Fair warning, their are cliff hangers galore and you’ll have to wait until late fall for Season 2’s release. For fans of Lost who like a good puzzle.
People Vs. OJ Simpson
The People Vs. OJ Simpson: American Crime Story recently came to Netflix after debuting in early 2016 on FX. I was skeptical when I first heard others raving about this but when my pop culture idols, Knox and Jamie, recommended this show, I knew we had to check it out. It is thought-provoking, especially viewed through 2017 lenses, and I was surprised at how much my thirteen year old self remembered/didn’t understand when this happened in the early ’90s. Even though you know the outcome, the show was riveting. The acting is superb and not something that I usually tune into, but I was blown away by several performances, minus the obnoxious crying of Cuba Gooding Junior, but he plays a fairly minor role after the first couple of episodes. A must see! If you are a fan of Making a Murderer or the podcast Serial this is for you.
Broadchurch is a few years old, but you might not have come across it yet if you aren’t a BBC fan. Scruffy and brusque, Alec Hardy is sent to help local detective Ellie Miller solve a horrific crime involving a young boy. This mini-series is heartbreakingly beautiful and will make you feel all the feels, but it’s also a fantastic mystery that has you questioning each character you meet. I was totally convinced that a different person was guilty in each episode. I think Season 1 is a bit stronger than Season 2 but both are worth watching. If you’re a Sherlock fan who needs a bit of a British fix, I’d start here. Season 3 just wrapped up on the BBC, so expect it on Netflix later this year.
Watching this show for the setting alone is worth it. Royal Pains takes place in the Hamptons as Hank and his brother Evan work to start a concierge doctor service for the rich and famous clients who live in this swanky summertime playground. A lovable cast of characters joins them and makes this a fun and lighthearted watch. There are some long term plot mysteries and relationship drama that nicely carry the individual episodes about different patients. Don’t worry, the medical aspect of this show is pretty minimal if that’s not your thing. It’s really about the funny writing and the comically endearing bond between characters. The first 7 seasons are binge-able on Netflix now. For fans of White Collar or Suits.
I’ll Have What Phil’s Having
Ok, this one is technically cheating because it’s not on Netflix but it’s totally worth it! Just imagine if your dad brought a camera crew around the world and tried the food, then you’d have this show. I’ll Have What Phil’s Having is a PBS produced short series (I think there’s 6 episodes). Phil Rosenthal is the creator of Everybody Loves Raymond and the show’s humor is evident as Phil explores the cuisine of places like Italy, Tokyo and Paris. He tells “dad jokes” and interacts with locals in a delightfully self-deprecating way but also honors and highlights the beauty of each culture. This show is family-friendly and easy to watch. Think a less crusty, nicer version of Anthony Bourdain. For fans of A Chef’s Life.
Hart of Dixie
You will not gain any brain cells watching Hart of Dixie but you will feel warm in your heart as you meet the people of Bluebell, Alabama. Zoe Hart is a New York doctor who accepts an offer from a stranger to come and take over his medical practice in this tiny town. Hijinks ensue and Zoe finds herself as the town doctor for a very proud and always quirky group of southerns. I loved this show for it’s lightheartedness and ability to entertain me without thinking. The snappy writing makes the characters even more fun and reminded me of shows like Jane the Virgin and Gilmore Girls. I was super sad when the show ended but all seasons are now on Netflix so you can binge away.
Don’t get stuck in your Netflix rut because you’re afraid to try something new. Use that holy “after the kids are in bed” time for binging instead of searching. All of these shows can be judged in just a few episodes and many of them have short seasons so you’re commitment is low to try them out. Pop some popcorn, cuddle up and get ready avoid the Netflix scroll as you eagerly click on the next episode of a new favorite show…..at least I hope 🙂
Please, please leave a comment with your favorite Netflix show too so we can all help each other out of the rut. I need your suggestions!