To use an old expression for a modern inconvenience, finding the best new shows on Netflix is a bit like finding a needle in a haystack. With so many options to choose from — and so many more added each month — the act of sorting through the growing pile of offerings can be overwhelming. And no one’s looking to be overwhelmed when they want to watch TV. They just want to relax.
So what can you do? Well, IndieWire is here to help. Whether it’s surfacing upcoming original series you didn’t know about or reminding you about a newly added show that you forgot to add to your list last time, here’s an easy way to sort through each month’s hay delivery. The best new shows of the month will be listed at the very top, ranked in order of importance, while past months’ lists will be archived underneath.
And don’t worry: If your taste skews toward reality TV or obscure acquisitions, well, we might have those in our top section of best picks, but we’ll definitely have them in the full list of new titles underneath. Either way, you’ll know what’s available on Netflix each and every month.
Knowing what you’re paying for is more important than ever: With the streaming wars upon us, titles you’re used to seeing on Netflix may move to another service. Which service has the show I want to watch? Which service has the most shows I want to watch? Which has the best shows I know I need to watch? With Disney+ and Apple+ joining the already crowded streaming market filled by Amazon, HBO, and Hulu, Netflix is changing — but it’s still offering the most new content, it’s still relied upon by 165 million subscribers, and it’s still the dominant streaming option in the U.S.
So let us help you make the most of it. Check out the list below, watch what you like, then bookmark this page so you can come back next month and update your Netflix queue (or the “My List” section, as it’s now titled). Now then, onto the full list:
1. “The Crown” Season 3 (available November 17)
Why Should I Watch? Peter Morgan’s award-winning historical drama has gone through a major change for its third season, jumping forward in time just a year but enlisting a brand new cast to play the Royal family. Performances have always been the main reason to watch “The Crown,” and one in particular remains the most enticing reason to return: Olivia Colman is the new Queen of England. Fresh off her Oscar-winning turn in Yorgos Lanthimos’ divine black comedy “The Favourite,” Colman is trading Queen Anne’s crown for Queen Elizabeth II’s. Never doubt Colman’s innate ability to entertain, as the beloved “Broadchurch” and “Fleabag” star has proven time and time again she can surpass even the highest expectations. Tune in to see her do it again.
Bonus Reason: OK, OK, but there were great actors in the original cast besides Emmy-winner Claire Foy, so who’s going to fill those lofty heels? Well, Helena Bonham Carter is taking over for Vanessa Kirby as Princess Margaret, in such an inspired bit of casting it feels too good to be true. Tobias Menzies is your new Duke of Edinburgh, replacing Matt Smith as the queen’s husband, Philip. Josh O’Connor will star as the maturing Prince Charles, Erin Doherty as Princess Anne, Ben Daniels as Lord Snowdon, Jason Watkins as Prime Minister Harold Wilson, and Charles Dance as Lord Mountbatten. Just in time for Thanksgiving, you’ve got a whole new family to meet.
2. “Green Eggs and Ham” Season 1 (available November 8)
Why Should I Watch? Long in the works at Netflix, this adaptation of Dr. Seuss’ beloved book expands the 65-page illustrated children’s story into a six-and-a-half hour season of television. Part of the four-year wait stems from creator and executive producer Jared Stern’s (“Dr. Ken”) insistence on using hand-drawn animation to honor the look and feel of the original artwork. Early footage certainly feels like it’s pulled from decades prior, but with the vibrant colors and sharp designs of today. Throw in a cast including Adam Devine, Jillian Bell, Daveed Diggs, Michael Douglas, Tracy Morgan, John Turturro, and Ilana Glazer, and “Green Eggs and Ham” might sound better today than it did in our heads all these years prior — and that’s the real test of these televised updates: Can they live up to not only Dr. Seuss’ imaginative standards, but our own?
Bonus Reason: “Green Eggs and Ham” hits Netflix exactly four days before Disney+ launches, and that doesn’t feel like a coincidence. Just as streaming subscribers are thinking it’s time to trade in a service better known for its adult fare than its children’s favorites, in comes a series built for kids that also plays on parents’ nostalgia. Everyone knows Dr. Seuss, just like everyone knows Mickey Mouse — maybe there’s more of a library for the latter, but Netflix has old favorites, too. Even if it has to start from scratch.
3. “The End of the Fucking World” Season 2 (available November 5)
Courtesy of Netflix
Why Should I Watch? Welp, it’s here. Whether you were begging for a sequel to Charlie Covell’s 2017 adaptation or pleading them to end it where they did (which is where comic book author Charles Forman concluded his original story), the sheer popularity of “The End of the Fucking World” forced a second season into existence. Why should you watch? If you were one of the beggars, you’re already onboard — you can’t let it end on such a devastating cliffhanger, so here’s what happens next. But if you were one of the pleaders, wishing to honor the original ending, well, you have a tough choice to make: revisit one of your favorite characters and see what comes of her morbid romantic foray through teendom, or you can stop and live with the presumptions you’ve already established. We can’t say one is better without watching, but you probably already know what you’re going to do.
Bonus Reason: I’m sorry, are you unfamiliar with “The End of the Fucking World?” The first season follows James (Alex Lawther), a 17-year-old kid who believes he’s a psychopath because he likes killing animals. When he gets sick of murdering squirrels, James decides he must want to kill more challenging prey, so he moves on to a 17-year-old classmate named Alyssa (Jessica Barden). She’s a bit more rebellious and challenging than James anticipated, which leads to a prolonged fascination, which in turns leads to an ill-fated road trip. That’s where Season 1 leaves off, and Season 2 (thankfully) focuses more on Alyssa, as well as a new character named Bonnie (Naomi Ackie). Whether you could stomach the twisted drama or not, the two leads were quite impressive, and seeing what Barden does with Alyssa post-Season 1 should prove compelling on its own.
4. “Dolly Parton’s Heartstrings” (available November 22)
Tina Rowden / Netflix
Why Should I Watch? Overwhelming curiosity, perhaps? After finding success via TV specials in the past, the award-winning country singer is taking her stories to Netflix via an anthology series showcasing the core themes that led to her most cherished music. Each episode is scored by new and classic tunes by Parton, while each hour-plus entry will tell a new story with a fresh. Holly Taylor (“The Americans”), Melissa Leo (“The Fighter”), and Ray McKinnon (“Rectify”) all co-star in this sure-to-be-fascinating twist on musical storytelling.
Bonus Reason: If you don’t already love Dolly, here’s your chance. And if you don’t want to, then look elsewhere — “Heartstrings” may feature an expansive ensemble, but it’s still a one-woman show.
5. “Atypical” Season 3 (available now)
Why Should I Watch? “Atypical” is very good! For whatever reason, the well-reviewed half-hour comedy hasn’t been able to build much awards buzz (though the Peabody Award is a good start) over two strong seasons. No matter. Keir Gilchrist is delivering a stellar performance as Sam, a 19-year-old on the autism spectrum who’s about to start his first year of college in Season 3. Sweet, funny, and smart about its stories, “Atypical” will make for a great binge if you haven’t yet tried it out.
Bonus Reason: Sarah Gilbert and Eric McCormack join the cast in Season 3 as Sam’s new ethics and art professors, respectively. With the “Will & Grace” revival bidding adieu and his Netflix sci-fi series “Travelers” axed, it’s good to know you can still get your recommended dose of McCormack via an even better show — bring some of those “Will & Grace” numbers with ya, big guy! — and Gilbert definitely deserves a few extra good supporting roles after carrying “The Conners” to safe ground.
6. “The Great British Baking Show: Holidays” Season 2 (available November 8)
Why Should I Watch? “The Great British Baking Show” just ended its 10th season, and the void in your life must be filled. Was this year’s competition more manipulative, dramatic, and infuriating than years’ past? Absolutely. Does such a tonal shift bode poorly for the future of the inspiring series? You bet. But the “Holidays” special is much lower stakes, and even the most devilish producers shouldn’t be able to amp up fake anxieties or dwell too long on failures when eight former fan-favorite bakers return to the tent for two hourlong specials. Assuming Season 2 follows the same format as Season 1, each episode will name a new Christmas Star Baker, as bakers from past seasons compete once more. Those contestants have yet to be named, but series regulars Paul Hollywood, Prue Leith, Noel Fielding, and Sandi Toksvig are all expected to return.
Bonus Reason: T’is the season for miracles, so perhaps the special will offer episode introductions that are actually funny, hosts’ outfits that don’t deserve to be baked in the oven, and the death of Paul Hollywood’s gross handshake prize. Come on, Santa Claus — deliver us from evil.
7. “The Irishman” (available November 27)
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Why Should I Watch? No, Martin Scorsese’s epic “old man movie for the ages” isn’t a TV show. And, no, I’m not trying to reignite the great “movie or TV show” debate brought on by “Twin Peaks: The Return.” That was a TV show, this is a movie, and everyone is going to agree on both those facts. (OK, they won’t, but the last time ol’ Marty took a stab at TV, everyone did agree he better stick with movies.) By listing “The Irishman” at the bottom of this list, all I’m trying to say is the investment of your time is about the same as taking on a TV show, and I’d be lying to you if I said you’d be better off spending three-and-a-half hours with other Netflix offerings like “Chip and Potato” Season 2 or “Dirty John.” “The Irishman” is almost as long as heralded miniseries like “Olive Kitteridge” and “Hatfields & McCoys,” and it’s actually longer than “Empire Falls”; it’s just over an hour longer than a full season of “The Good Place,” and you could watch both “El Camino” and “American Son” — two TV movies — in the time it takes to get through Scorsese’s decades-spanning Oscar frontrunner. Should you? No. Watch “The Irishman.” That’s all I’m sayin’ here.
Bonus Reason: Setting aside the three leads, who should be reason enough to watch the movie, the supporting cast is stacked with TV favorites, including “True Blood’s” Anna Paquin, “Parenthood’s” Ray Romano, “Friday Night Lights'” Jesse Plemons, and even “Vinyl’s” Bobby Cannavale. Maybe you wish you could see it on the big screen, but these small screen stars will make you feel right at home (in your own home).
The Rest of Incoming TV
“Hache” Season 1 (available now)
“Hello Ninja” Season 1 (available now)
“Queer Eye: We’re in Japan!” (available now)
“We Are the Wave” Season 1 (available now)
“Barbie Dreamhouse Adventures: Go Team Roberts” Season 1 (available now)
“Mars” Season 2 (available now)
“Mobile Suit Gundam: Iron-Blooded Orphans” Seasons 1-2 (available now)
“The Devil Next Door” (available November 4)
“She-Ra and the Princesses of Power” Season 4 (available November 4)
“SCAMS” Season 1 (available November 6)
“Busted!” Season 2 (available November 8)
“Greatest Events of WWII in HD Colour” (available November 8)
“Wild District” Season 2 (available November 8)
“Little Things” Season 3 (available November 9)
“Patriot Act with Hasan Minhaj” Volume 5 (available November 10)
“Chief of Staff” Season 2 (available November 11)
“Harvey Girls Forever!” Season 3 (available November 12)
“The Stranded” Season 1 (available November 14)
“Avlu” Part 2 (available November 15)
“The Club” (available November 15)
“I’m With the Band: Nasty Cherry” (available November 15)
“Llama Llama” Season 2 (available November 15)
“The Toys That Made Us” Season 3 (available November 15)
“Mortel” Season 1 (available November 21)
“The Dragon Prince” Season 3 (available November 22)
“High Seas” Season 2 (available November 22)
“Meet the Adebanjos” Seasons 1-3 (available November 22)
“Nailed It! Holiday!” Season 2 (available November 22)
“Nobody’s Looking” Season 1 (available November 22)
“Trolls: The Beat Goes On!” Season 8 (available November 22)
“Dirty John” Season 1 (available November 25)
“Merry Happy Whatever” Season 1 (available November 28)
“Mytho” Season 1 (available November 28)
“Levius” Season 1 (available November 28)
“Chip and Potato” Season 2 (available November 29)
“La Reina del Sur” Season 2 (available November 29)
“The Movies That Made Us” (available November 29)
“Sugar Rush Christmas” Season 1 ((available November 29)