As we’re in the second month of quarantine, some of you might already be fed up with the COVID-19 situation and staying indoors for more weeks to come, while some of you introverts are enjoying your me-time at home. If you look at the bright side, this quarantine period is the perfect time to catch up on the latest TV series, so instead of slowly losing your mind from boredom, why not get snug on your couch and binge-watch TV shows you haven’t seen.
Don’t know what to watch? No worries, we’ve prepared a list of some of the best gems to binge-watch on Netflix. From a Spanish heist crime drama, an American family crime drama, a dysfunctional superhero family show, a South Korean zombie thriller and a historical drama about the reign of Queen Elizabeth II, we’ve got you covered for at least a month’s worth of binge-watching.
Taking a slight detour from our usual movie list, here is our list of best TV shows on Netflix:
Money Heist (2017 – Present)
Money Heist is a Spanish heist crime drama television series created by Álex Pina. Money Heist is set in Madrid and follows the story of a mysterious man simply known as “The Professor” (Morte) as he enlists a group of eight individuals, all strangers, to carry out grand heists. The eight recruits, code-named after cities, include runaway robber, Tokyo (Corberó); terminally ill jewel thief and second-in-command, Berlin (Alonso); father and son duo, Moscow (Tous) and Denver (Lorente); forgery expert, Nairobi (Flores); hacker expert, Rio (Herrán); and veteran Serbian soldiers and cousins, Helsinki (Perić) and Oslo.
The first season involves breaking into the Royal Mint of Spain and escaping with €2.4 billion. The team takes 67 hostages, where they plan to lock themselves inside the Mint for 11 days straight in order to print the money with the help of the hostages all the while dealing with the elite police forces led by Inspector Raquel Murillo (Ituño).
In the second season, the team are scattered around the world after the success of the first heist but are soon forced out of hiding when a member of the team is caught by the authorities. The team rendezvous back with the Professor as they prepare themselves for their second heist, this time involving the Bank of Spain, and yet again, deal with hostages and police forces led by the pregnant inspector, Alicia Sierra (Nimri).
Money Heist received universal acclaim for both seasons, with praise towards its sophisticated plot, interpersonal dramas, direction, tense flashpoints as well as its engaging and diverse characters. It is one of the most-watched series on Netflix and has received many awards, including Best Drama Series at the 46th International Emmy Awards.
Starring: Úrsula Corberó, Álvaro Morte, Itziar Ituño, Pedro Alonso, Paco Tous, Alba Flores, Miguel Herrán, Jaime Lorente, Esther Acebo, Enrique Arce, María Pedraza, Darko Perić, Kiti Mánver, Hovik Keuchkerian, Rodrigo de la Serna, Najwa Nimri, Luka Peroš, Belén Cuesta and Fernando Cayo.
Created by: Álex Pina
Genre: Crime Drama – Heist – Thriller
Release date: May 2, 2017
No. of Seasons: 2 (4 parts)
Ozark (2017 – Present)
Ozark is a crime drama television series created by Bill Dubuque and Mark Williams. Ozark follows the story of Marty Byrde (Bateman), and his wife Wendy (Linney), daughter Charlotte (Hublitz) and son Jonah (Gaertner), a seemingly ordinary family living normal lives. Marty is a Chicago financial advisor, whom along with his business partner, is also the top money launderer for the second-biggest drug cartel in Mexico. After a money-laundering scheme goes awry, Marty must relocate his family to the summer resort community of Osage Beach, Missouri, and set up a bigger laundering operation in the Lake of the Ozarks to make amends and pay off his substantial debt. The Byrdes soon become involved with local criminals, including the Langmores, the Snells as well as the Kansas City Mafia.
Well-crafted and smart, all three seasons of Ozark, particularly the third season, have received positive critical reviews with praise towards its complex storyline and exceptional performances from its leads. Many liken this show to another acclaimed crime series, Breaking Bad, both shows having seemingly normal protagonists who are suddenly involved in the world of crime. Ozark has received 14 Primetime Emmy Award nominations as well as Golden Globe Award nominations.
Starring: Jason Bateman, Laura Linney, Sofia Hublitz, Skylar Gaertner, Julia Garner, Jordana Spiro, Jason Butler Harner, Esai Morales, Peter Mullan, Lisa Emery, Charlie Tahan, Janet McTeer, Tom Pelphrey and Jessica Frances Dukes.
Created by: Bill Dubuque and Mark Williams
Genre: Crime Drama – Thriller
Release date: July 21, 2017
No. of Seasons: 3
The Crown (2016 – Present)
The Crown is a historical drama series created and written by Peter Morgan that tells the story about the reign of Queen Elizabeth II. The series follows Elizabeth’s life from her ascension to the throne until her reign in the 21st century, with different actors playing the characters every two seasons. Claire Foy and Matt Smith play Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, in the first two seasons, while Olivia Coleman and Tobias Menzies take over the role in the third and fourth season. Imelda Staunton will portray the Queen in its fifth and final season.
The first season covers the period from Queen Elizabeth’s ascension to the throne, her marriage to Philip, Duke of Edinburgh in 1947 to the breakup of Princess Margaret’s engagement to Group Captain Peter Townsend in 1955. The second season recounts the period from the Suez Crisis in 1956, the retirement of Prime Minister Harold Macmillan in 1963 and the birth of Prince Edward in 1964. The third season covers the Queen’s reign between 1964 and 1977, which includes Harold Wilson’s two periods as prime minister as well as the introduction of Camilla Shand.
The upcoming fourth season will cover Margaret Thatcher’s premiership and introduce Lady Diana Spencer, while the fifth and final season will cover the Queen’s reign into the 21st century.
All current three seasons of The Crown have received universal praise, each lauded for its superb acting, flawless writing, impeccable direction, stunning cinematography, and high production values. It is also praised for its relatively accurate historical account of the Queen’s reign. The series has won multiple accolades including the Golden Globe Awards, the BAFTA Television Awards, Primetime Emmy Awards, Screen Actors Guild Awards, and many more.
Starring: Claire Foy, Matt Smith, Vanessa Kirby, Eileen Atkins, Jeremy Northam, Victoria Hamilton, Ben Miles, Greg Wise, Jared Harris, John Lithgow, Alex Jennings, Lia Williams, Anton Lesser, Matthew Goode, Olivia Colman, Tobias Menzies, Helena Bonham Carter, Ben Daniels, Jason Watkins, Marion Bailey, Erin Doherty, Jane Lapotaire, Charles Dance, Josh O’Connor, Geraldine Chaplin, Michael Maloney, Emerald Fennell and Andrew Buchan.
Created by: Peter Morgan
Genre: Historical drama
Release date: November 4, 2016
No. of Seasons: 3
The Umbrella Academy (2019 – Present)
The Umbrella Academy is an American superhero television series created by Steve Blackman and developed by Jeremy Slate. Based on the comic book series of the same name created and written by My Chemical Romance lead singer, Gerard Way, and Gabriel Bá, the series tells the story of The Umbrella Academy, a dysfunctional family of superhero siblings who were adopted by the eccentric billionaire, Sir Reginald Hargreeves (Feore).
In 1989, a mysterious phenomenon occurred when 43 women around the world, none showing any signs of pregnancy, gave birth at the same time. Sir Reginald Hargreeves adopted seven of these children to build a superhero team called “The Umbrella Academy”. The children are given numbers instead of names, although their nanny robot-mother, Grace, later names them Luther, Diego, Allison, Klaus, Number Five, Ben and Vanya. Vanya is often left behind from her siblings’ crime-fighting activities as she seemingly displays no signs of superhuman abilities.
In the present day, the siblings are scattered and estranged. Luther lived on the moon for four years and is part-ape after his father injected him with a serum to save his life; Allison is a famous actress; Vanya is a violinist; Klaus is a drug addict; Ben is dead, occasionally appearing as a ghost only to Klaus; Diego is a troubled vigilante; Number Five has been missing for years. The siblings reunite when their adoptive father mysteriously dies, just as Number Five returns from the future to warn his siblings of the threat of an impending apocalypse.
The first season of The Umbrella Academy received positive reviews, with many praising its compelling ensemble, imaginative storyline and astonishing visuals.
Starring: Ellen Page, Tom Hopper, David Castañeda, Emmy Raver-Lampman, Robert Sheehan, Aidan Gallagher, Mary J. Blige, Cameron Britton, John Magaro, Adam Godley, Colm Feore and Justin H. Min.
Created by: Steve Blackman
Based on: The Umbrella Academy by Gerard Way and Gabriel Bá
Developed by: Jeremy Slate
Genre: Black Comedy – Drama – Science Fiction – Superhero – Fantasy
Release date: February 15, 2019
No. of Seasons: 1
Kingdom (2019 – Present)
Kingdom is a South Korean political period horror thriller television series written by Kim Eun-hee and directed by Kim Seong-hun. Adapted from the webcomic series entitled The Kingdom of the Gods, Kingdom is set during Korea’s Joseon period a couple of years following the Japanese invasions of Korea.
The first season follows the story of Crown Prince Lee Chang (Ju Ji-hoon) as he investigates a mysterious plague ravaging the lands and discovers a life-threatening political conspiracy. When the Chief State Councilor (Ryu Seung-ryong) and the Queen Consort (Kim Hye-jun) forbids him from seeing his ill father, the King of Joseon, the Crown Prince secretly begins an investigation to find out the truth about his father’s illness and discovers a shocking revelation.
As the Crown Prince and his loyal bodyguard, Mu-Yeong (Kim Sang-ho), travels to the Southern province od Gyeongsang in search for answers, they encounter physician Seo-Bi (Bae Doo-na) and the ambiguous Yeong-shin (Kim Sung-kyu), who have experienced first-hand the effects of the plague that seemingly brings back the dead to life as blood-thirsty monsters. They all must work together to stop the spread of the plague as well as stop a conspiracy against the royal dynasty.
The first two seasons of Kingdom received universal acclaim, with praise for its compelling storyline, gripping action, excellent performances, solid narrative and the exciting combination of horror, thriller and political intrigue that utilises the zombie concept in a refreshing new take.
Starring: Ju Ji-hoon, Ryu Seung-ryong, Bae Doo-na, Kim Sang-ho, Kim Sung-kyuandKim Hye-jun.
Written by: Kim Eun-hee
Directed by; Kim Seong-hun
Based on: The Kingdom of the Gods by Kim Eun-hee and Yang Kyung-il
Genre: Historical period – Political Drama – Horror – Thriller
Release date: January 25, 2019
No. of Seasons: 2