Are these the best Netflix original shows of 2019?
From Queer Eye and Workin’ Moms to Sacred Games, we did our best to look back and capture what was truly great on Netflix in 2019, both new and returning series.
Ever since Netflix started rolling out its own original series, it's continued to push the envelope when it comes to originality, diversity, and incredible storytelling. Whether your thing is dark comedies, supernatural thrillers, or tear-jerking dramas, Netflix has hundreds of original shows for viewers to stream and love – but naturally, some stand out among the rest. While some series have amassed millions of fans and some still fly under the radar, a handful of Netflix series are true works of art, and if you haven't watched them yet, you're totally missing out. Here are just some of the best shows that Netflix had to offer in 2019.
Sex Education, Season 1
Honestly, Sex Education should be required viewing for every living human because (a) it’s hilarious and (b) it will teach you about all the things you really should have learned as a high school student and probably still want to know about now. In Sex Education – starring Gillian Anderson and Asa Butterfield – an inexperienced high school student, who ironically has plenty of sexual knowledge thanks to his sex therapist mother, decides to team up with a bad girl – Maeve Wiley played by Emma Mackey – and open an underground sex therapy clinic at school. It's hilariously implausible, it’s insanely raunchy, and, it's brilliant. The best part: Season two is in the works.
Queer Eye, Season 4
The fourth season of Queer Eye is essentially a ray of sunshine just beaming out through your screen; somehow, this show gets better every season. In every episode, the Fab Five – which is composed of Tan France, Antoni Porowski, Bobby Berk, Jonathan Van Ness, and Karamo Brown – help new participants turn around their lives, helping them improve their knowledge of fashion, food and wine, interior design, grooming, and culture. And the result isn't just a chic new wardrobe and haircut. The difference that Queer Eye has made in the lives of these participants is very real.
Dating Around, Season 1
You better believe that when Netflix turns out a dating show, it’s going to be good. Dating Around shows men and women going on blind dates in New York City, and it is equal parts thought-provoking and entertaining. Each episode's participant goes on five dates, one each with five potential partners, and sees where things take them. It's a different kind of a dating show that embraces the diversity and messiness that is 21st century romance. You’re going to love it.
BoJack Horseman, Season 6
This adult animated comedy follows the titular BoJack, a humanoid horse who was once the star of a '90s sitcom, but is now a boozed-up, washed-up D-lister hoping to make a Hollywood comeback. With a cast of voice actors that includes Will Arnett, Amy Sedaris, Alison Brie, Paul F. Tompkins, and Aaron Paul, this series – which was the first adult animation series from Netflix – is incredibly funny and an incredibly smart look at addiction, self-destructive behaviour, and the human experience.
Sacred Games, Season 2
The second season of Sacred Games offered plenty of twists, turns, and drama. The India-based crime drama has been adapted from Vikram Chandra's award-winning 2006 novel of the same name, and revolves around a prickly cop named Sartaj Singh (Saif Ali Khan) working in Mumbai. When he's tipped off about the location of notorious crime lord Ganesh Gaitonde (Nawazuddin Siddiqui), their lives begin to collide in unexpected – and violent – ways. The story explores the emotionally-charged worlds of organized crime and politics in contemporary India, all of which hinge around major corruption.
Russian Doll, Season 1
Orange Is the New Black actress Natasha Lyonne stars in this dark comedy series about a woman, named Nadia. She is stuck in a loop, where she keeps dying and waking up the next day unharmed at the exact same moment of her own birthday party. It’s so dark; but so funny. Lyonne also serves as an executive producer for the show alongside Amy Poehler and Leslye Headland, so if you have any doubt about how funny it is, you shouldn't. Netflix already announced a second season, so if you haven't watched this one yet, now is the time to catch up.
The Crown, Season 3
New era, new cast, new geopolitical and romantic conflicts all freshen up the story of Queen Elizabeth II, but the juicy core of The Crown remains the same. Anyone who lives for royal family drama should tune into this epic series, as it follows the reign of Queen Elizabeth II and all the landmark events that took place during the second half of the 20th century. In the recently-released third season, we get to see where the love story of Prince Charles and Camilla first began, while also having our hearts stomped on by the story of a mining accident in Britain that killed 116 children.
Mindhunter, Season 2
In this 1970s-set serial killer drama, US intelligence service, the FBI's serial crime unit takes on some of the most prolific murderers of all time, studying their psyches and using new technology to crack cases. Cases include that of serial killer and necrophile Edmund Kemper – who murdered 10 people, including his mother and a grandparent – and the horrific Atlanta Child Murders, which involved the kidnapping and murdering of at least 29 black children between 1979 and 1981. This one isn't easy to watch, but it's fascinating all the same.
Dark, Season 2
In this French-language Belgian crime drama, a police detective named Yoann Peeters moves back to his hometown after suffering through a horrible loss, only to find himself drawn into a dark new case. While everyone believes the victim to have committed suicide, Peeters believes that only he can see the death for what it really is: murder. The German sci-fi thriller, with its myriad twists and turns – how can someone's daughter also be their mother? – is a mind-bending specialist. It takes the traditional beginning, middle and end story structure and tears it apart, limb from limb, to build something brilliant and entirely unpredictable, a law unto itself.
Workin’ Moms, Season 3
If you haven't yet discovered Workin' Moms on Netflix, then you are missing out on one of the most accurate, albeit hilarious, portrayals of motherhood that you'll ever find in pop culture. This Canadian show follows four friends – an ambitious PR executive, a no-nonsense psychiatrist, an IT tech with an identity crisis, and an optimistic real estate agent – who share a bond as mothers attempting to balance careers and family. From postpartum depression to the agonies of breastfeeding, this series is never afraid to show the less glamorous side of being a new mom. The episodes are super short (and hilarious), making it highly bingeable.
Grace and Frankie, Season 5
Grace & Frankie revolves around two nemeses-turned-BFFs who both flee to their shared beach house property after their husbands leave them (for each other), and they must learn to live together, despite their very different personalities. Who knew that your soulmate might not turn out to be your husband, but your husband's lover's ex-wife instead? In the latest season of this Emmy Award-winning comedy, Grace (played by Jane Fonda) and Frankie (played by Lily Tomlin) fight to get their old lives back after the end of the last season, when their scheming children sold the duo's beloved beach house and got them to agree to life in an assisted living home.
Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner, Season 1
US restaurateur David Chang travels, and, of course, eats, with his celebrity pals in Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner. The first season is comprised of four episodes, with each highlighting a different celebrity and cuisine: Hollywood actor, comedian, and director Seth Rogen takes Chang on a tour of his hometown of Vancouver, model Chrissy Teigen roams the winding streets of Marrakech, US actress Lena Waithe shares her favourite Los Angeles spots, and Saturday Night Live star Kate McKinnon explores Phnom Penh in Cambodia.