9 Netflix Shows & Movies You Need to Watch, According to an Entertainment Editor

I finally leave the office for the day (aka I close my laptop and move from the bedroom to the living room), I pour myself a glass of white wine from a box, I pull up Netflix on my TV and I start what I now lovingly call the “Scroll to Nowhere”. You know, where you scroll past every single piece of potential viewing content for five, ten, 15 minutes, before ultimately deciding “there’s nothing to watch” and settling for a rerun of The Office for the 10,000th time.

Oh, how I wish someone would just tell me what to watch. Well, that’s exactly what I’m here to do, my friends.

As an entertainment editor, I’ve had a liiiittle bit of an edge in getting show recommendations. That doesn’t mean I don’t still get caught in the Scroll to Nowhere on a regular basis. But to help cut through all the noise (and seemingly endless options), I can personally assure you these are nine Netflix shows and movies you need to watch.


1. ‘criminal: U.k.’

If you love gripping crime dramas, this one is definitely for you. Each episode features the same group of British investigators interviewing a single suspect about a potential crime. That’s it. The whole episode takes place in the interrogation room and in the adjoining room behind the iconic two-way mirror.

The acting in this is stellar, particularly because the show brings in incredible talent to play the suspects being questioned. We’re talking Kit Harington, Sophie Okonedo, David Tennant and more.

Prepare for a roller coaster ride in every installment, as the truth behind each case slowly comes to light. (Also expect a lot of twist endings.)

Recommended if you enjoyed Law & Order, Mindhunter or The Sinner.

2. ‘3%’

This intense, fascinating show takes place in a futuristic world where 20-year-olds are given the opportunity to undergo a series of rigorous tests and trials in order to earn their place living in an island paradise—a far cry from the slums where they have grown up. Naturally, only 3 percent of them make it through.

3% features action, intrigue and a vision of society that feels at once horrifying and not that far off from our current reality. It’s easy to become attached to these characters as they struggle to give themselves a better life—though most of them (97 percent to be exact) fail in the process.

I should mention that this is the first-ever Portuguese language original series on Netflix, so you’ll have to turn on the subtitles if you aren’t fluent.

Recommended if you enjoyed The Hunger Games, The Handmaid’s Tale or Black Mirror.

3. ‘the Standups’

Looking for a good laugh? You’ve come to the right place.

Each of these 30-minute stand-up sets introduces you to a different comedian, with a fresh set of jokes and stories. Many of the faces will appear brand new (though I assure you they’ve been working in the biz for quite some time), but others will look pretty familiar. You’ll probably recognize Nikki Glaser (FBoy Island), Fortune Feimster (RuPaul’s Drag Race) and Melissa Villaseñor (SNL) to name a few.

The jokes in this three-season series are genuinely funny, though definitely not for the faint of heart (check out Glaser’s episode if you don’t believe me). And the best part? If you aren’t a fan of a particular comedian, you can easily skip to the next stand-up and be chuckling in no time.

Recommended if you enjoyed Hacks, SNL or Schitt’s Creek.

4. ‘archive 81’

Y’all better strap on your big girl or big boy pants for this one: It is seriously spooky. Mamoudou Athie stars in this intense psychological thriller about a video archivist who travels to the middle of nowhere to help restore footage on a mysterious set of tapes. Naturally, what ensues is frightening and fun (and, spoiler, a demonic cult is involved).

This eight-episode series is really good—so good, in fact, that it quickly hit #1 on Netflix’s list of top ranked shows just days after it debuted on the streaming platform. I particularly loved how this show is reminiscent of scary throwbacks like The Blair Witch Project with its use of handheld, “amateur” footage to tell the story.

Recommended if you enjoyed Midnight Mass, The Haunting of Hill House or Memento.

5. ‘tick, Tick…boom!’

You probably won’t even recognize Andrew Garfield (former star of The Amazing Spider-Man) as this is a role quite different from that of Peter Parker.

In this film version of the Jonathan Larson musical, Garfield plays a theater composer trying to navigate the ins and outs of love, fame and friendship—all set to music from the guy who wrote Rent. The tunes are catchy, fun, moving and (fortunately) not as angsty as some of our Rent faves.

In a wait-is-that-Vanessa-Hudgens-in-that-random-tiny-role part, Miss Princess Switch herself also shows off her vocal talents, but is sadly dwarfed by Garfield’s beautiful voice and emotional performance. Oh, and did I mention Tick, Tick…Boom! was directed by Lin-Manuel Miranda?

Recommended if you enjoyed Rent, Hamilton or Encanto (though TTB is not for young kids).

6. ‘space Force’

Fans of The Office will likely enjoy this very different role from former-Michael Scott, Steve Carell. In an “inspired-by-the-headlines” comedy series, Carell plays the first-ever head of a new elite branch of the military: Space Force. Naturally, things constantly go awry with this bunch of bumbling leaders and their subordinates.

Season one features a number of big names including Lisa Kudrow, John Malkovich, Ben Schwartz, Jimmy O. Yang and Jane Lynch. And for those who fall in love with this show as quickly as I did, season two is set to debut later this month.

Recommended if you enjoyed Parks and Recreation, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt or Curb Your Enthusiasm.

7. ‘army Of Thieves’

This thrilling heist film is really hard not to enjoy. It just so happens to be a prequel to the Netflix zombie flick, Army of the Dead, but don’t let that scare you. While the lead character (Matthias Schweighofer) remains the same, the zombie apocalypse has yet to fully arrive, meaning there isn’t much (if any) horror to the film.

And as if one heist weren’t enough, Army of Thieves involves breaking into three separate safes, each providing its own set of fun and unique challenges. You may also recognize the other lead, Nathalie Emmanuel, from her performance as Missandei in Game of Thrones.

I have yet to watch the zombie-filled sequel, as it looks much scarier a la The Walking Dead. But rest assured, it’s on my “to watch” list too.

Recommended if you loved Ocean’s Eight, The Vault or Heist.

8. ‘clickbait’

When Nick Brewer, played by Adrian Grenier of Entourage fame, is kidnapped and forced to make a startling confession on camera, his abduction video goes viral. The only problem? The kidnappers have promised to kill Brewer when the video reaches a certain number of views.

This show is fun for its unexpected plot twists, but even more so for its ‘whodunnit’ storyline. No joke, Clickbait had me guessing who was behind everything right up until the final episode. And fair warning, this one is highly bingeable, so make sure to carve out plenty of time before tuning in to episode one.

Recommended if you loved Taken, Who Killed Sara or The Girl on the Train.

9. ‘toy Boy’

Toy Boy is all about male eye candy and drama. And if you ask me, that’s what we could all use a little more of in 2022 (OK, OK, the eye candy, not the drama).

This Spanish-language series follows a male stripper who temporarily gets released from jail when he earns himself a new murder trial. Oh, did I not mention he was initially found guilty of killing his lover’s husband? Or that he continues to proclaim his innocence and claims it was his lover who framed him in the first place?

There is plenty of action to go around in this must-watch show—and yes, I’m talking about all of the male exotic dancers. Come onnnnn…you deserve this.

Recommended if you enjoyed Magic Mike, Hustlers or Lucifer.

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