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18 Best Netflix Shows, According to Someone with a Short Attention Span

Confession: I have commitment issues when it comes to starting new TV shows. As much as I enjoy getting sucked into compelling storylines, I feel overwhelmed when beginning a multi-season series—especially if it tackles a host of complicated themes. Thankfully, though, Netflix’s library boasts several great options for those with short attention spans.

Whether you’re craving an easy-to-watch miniseries or short 20-minute episodes you can stream during your lunch break, you’ll be glad to know that these Netflix shows don’t feel like a chore. Plus, they span across multiple genres, from comedies and reality TV to survival dramas.

Keep reading for the 18 best shows on Netflix for anyone with a short attention span.

The Top 10 Shows on Netflix Right This Second


1. Never Have I Ever

  • Cast: Maitreyi Ramakrishnan, Poorna Jagannathan, Richa Moorjani
  • Episode length: 23-30 minutes

Leave it to Mindy Kaling to deliver a teen comedy that’s thoughtful, funny and emotional. The show follows Devi, an Indian American girl who tries to grapple with the sudden loss of her father while working to boost her social status at school. Devi’s bold one-liners and endearing group of friends are sure to keep you invested throughout each episode.

2. Happy Endings

  • Cast: Eliza Coupe, Elisha Cuthbert, Zachary Knighton
  • Episode length: 22 minutes

When Alex leaves her partner, Dave, at the altar on their wedding day, it has quite an effect on their mutual friends. It’s an underrated gem that speaks to how drastically a group’s dynamic can change over time—especially when romance is involved.

3. Schitt’s Creek

  • Cast: Eugene Levy, Catherine O'Hara, Daniel Levy
  • Episode length: 22 minutes

In the span of about 20 minutes, you can expect fabulous outfits, iconic one-liners (“Ewwww David!”) and plenty of LGBTQ representation. The Emmy-winning series follows a wealthy family who’s forced to move to a small town after losing their massive fortune.

4. Love, Death & Robots

  • Cast: Michael B. Jordan, Elodie Yung, Joe Dempsie
  • Episode length: 11-18 minutes

If you're looking to explore the world of alternate universes and conspiracy theories, then Love, Death & Robots is for you. Inspired by the 1981 sci-fi film Heavy Metal, the anthology series tackles several different subjects, from post-apocalyptic life to super-intelligent yogurt.

5. Big Mouth

  • Cast: Nick Kroll, John Mulaney, Jessi Klein
  • Episode length: 25-27 minutes

It’s a clever and refreshing take on adolescence, and it delivers quite a few powerful messages through humor. Follow Nick Birch and the gang as they try to navigate puberty in the seventh grade.

6.

  • Cast: Aidy Bryant, Randall Park, Nick Kroll
  • Episode length: 26-28 minutes

Big Mouth‘s spin-off series, which is set in the same universe, shifts the focus to the workplace of the Hormone Monsters, and it's just as brilliant. Kelsey Paine, PureWow's Senior Editor of Branded Content, said, “It's short, silly, raunchy and sometimes sweet. It always makes me both cringe and [laugh] in equal measure.”

7. New Girl

  • Cast: Zooey Deschanel, Jake Johnson, Max Greenfield
  • Episode length: 21-24 minutes

From Schmidt’s iconic quotes to Nick and Jess’s will-they-or-won't-they story line, this quirky series about Jessica Day and her BFFs is sure to keep your attention. (Yes, it’s seven seasons long, but given that each episode is short and sweet with plenty of laughs in between, you’ll speed through them in no time.)

8. Workin’ Moms

  • Cast: Catherine Reitman, Jessalyn Wanlim, Dani Kind, Enuka Okuma
  • Episode length: 23 minutes

The Canadian sitcom revolves around a group of friends, who try to balance their careers with motherhood. It's bold, raw and witty, but best of all, each episode will leave you wanting more.

9. Special

  • Cast: Ryan O'Connell, Jessica Hecht, Punam Patel
  • Episode length: 12–34 minutes

Based on O'Connell's memoir, I'm Special: And Other Lies We Tell Ourselves, this dramedy follows Ryan Hayes, a young gay man with cerebral palsy. O’Connell’s performance is stellar, and the comedy writing is nothing short of brilliant.

10. History Of Swear Words

  • Cast: Nicolas Cage
  • Episode length: 20 minutes

Curious to know where derogatory terms come from? Lucky for you, Nicolas Cage has answers. Each episode of the six-part series explores the history of a swear word, and as a bonus, it features multiple guest stars, including Nick Offerman, Sarah Silverman and Joel Kim Booster.

11. Easy

  • Cast: Sophia Bush, Lydia House, John Gallagher Jr., Melanie Lynskey
  • Episode length: 27-31 minutes

This gripping anthology series follows a diverse group of people in Chicago as they navigate relationships, sex and modern technology. FYI, each season includes standalone episodes you can enjoy as one-offs, so you won’t feel guilty if you can't commit to the entire series.

12. Squid Game

  • Cast: Lee Jung-jae, Park Hae-soo, Wi Ha-joon, HoYeon Jung
  • Episode length: 19-22 minutes

This twisted survival drama follows hundreds of people who agree to participate in a series of deadly games to get out of debt. In her review of the series, Abby Hepworth wrote, “It was the premiere episode’s abrupt end and the twists of episode two (and beyond) that really pulled me in and led a gore-averse pacifist like myself to devour all nine episodes.”

13. Too Hot To Handle

  • Cast: Desiree Burch
  • Episode length: 36–43 minutes

This guilty pleasure show peaked at number two on the Netflix charts. The series follows ten single contestants who travel to a tropical island in the hopes of winning a cash prize. The catch? They must keep their hands to themselves.

14. Love Is Blind

  • Cast: Nick Lachey, Vanessa Lachey
  • Episode length: 40-76 minutes

Love Is Blind follows a group of single men and women who, after a series of blind "speed dates," enter the next phase of their relationships: marriage. Though the episodes are on the lengthier side, they don’t require undivided attention, so they’ll keep you entertained as you multitask. Stephanie Sengwe, PureWow’s Associate SEO Editor, said, “You can play it in the background and still know what's going on when you come back.”

15. Behind Her Eyes

  • Cast: Simona Brown, Eve Hewson, Tom Bateman
  • Episode length: 47-50 minutes

The limited series is just six episodes long, and it’s nearly impossible to stop at just one. Senior Editor Dana Dickey wrote, "It's a marital discord story that completely sucks you into its bananas narrative that builds and builds until you're eyes-peeled reveling in not one, but two gut-punch twist endings. It's not art, but this six-episode series is totally worth staying up late on a school night for."

16. Persona

  • Cast: Lee Ji-eun, Bae Doona, Park Hae-soo
  • Episode length: 19-27 minutes

This South Korean anthology includes four short films, where actress and pop star Lee Ji-Eun appears as four different characters. They range from an intense tennis match to a quiet evening stroll, but they all tackle similar themes, like love and conflicting emotions.

17. The Good Place

  • Cast: Kristen Bell, Ted Danson, William Jackson Harper
  • Episode length: 22 minutes

The Good Place is the ultimate feel-good show, complete with vibrant characters and smart humor. The fantasy comedy follows Eleanor, a selfish woman who passes away and discovers that she was mistakenly sent to the “Good Place,” a heavenly utopia designed for the most moral people.

18. Derry Girls

  • Cast: Saoirse-Monica Jackson, Nicola Coughlan, Louisa Harland
  • Episode length: 23 minutes

In this cross between Moone Boy and The Inbetweeners, five teenagers navigate life at a Catholic school called Our Lady Immaculate College in mid-1990s Derry. Phil Mutz (PureWow’s VP of News & Entertainment) wrote, “I dove headfirst into season one, episode one. And before I knew it, I'd flown through all six episodes… And by the end of it all, I knew one thing to be true: Derry Girls is the funniest show on TV or streaming right now. Hands down.” ‘Nuff said.