Finding a great show to stream on Netflix can sometimes be mind-boggling. But don’t worry – the On TV Tonight team have delved deep into the Netflix library to present the 10 best shows and series to binge right now. Binge on!
What we think: Talented Australian director and writer Tony Ayres is behind the creation of this intense thriller where Adrian Grenier steps right away from his Entourage personae. When family man, Nick Brewer, is abducted in a crime with a sinister online twist, those closest to him race to uncover who is behind it and why. There are a few twists and turns here and some are inexplicable, but it does open a window on the internet and cyberspace and how it can detrimentally affect a person’s life.
Director: BRAD ANDERSON, EMMA FREEMAN, CHERIE NOLAN, BEN YOUNG
Cast: ADRIAN GRENIER, ZOE KAZAN, BETTY GABRIEL, PHOENIX RAEI, CAMARON ENGELS, ELIZABETH ALEXANDER, JESSICA COLLINS
9. THE CHAIR
What we think: As she navigates her new role as the Chair of the English department at prestigious Pembroke University, Dr. Ji-Yoon is faced with a unique set of challenges as the first woman to chair the department, and as one of the few staff members of colour at the university. Ji-Yoon struggles to meet sometimes outrageous demands and high expectations of the failing department and the views of entrenched faculty and the university hierarchy. It’s an entertaining look at the culture of life on campus, coupled with the commitment to family and relationships. Sandra Oh gives an excellent performance as Dr. Ji-Yoon.
Director: DANIEL GRAY LONGINO
Cast: SANDRA OH, JAY DUPLASS, HOLLAND TAYLOR, DAVID MORSE, BOB BALABAN, NANA MENSAH, RANDY KOVITZ
What we think: You really don’t know who to trust in this espionage thriller. Everyone is spying on everyone else, and all have their own agenda. Emma Appleton heads an excellent ensemble cast as Feef Symonds, a young British woman training to become a spy overseas when WWII ends and her aspiration of living an exciting life full of purpose ends. She is then approached by her American lover, who is working for the American intelligence. He recruits her to work for the Americans as she becomes a civil servant secretary, in order to find Russian moles, which they believe infiltrated the British Government. This is compelling viewing and requires a bit of concentration to keep up with who is double-crossing who.
Director: DEARBHLA WALSH, ALEX WINCKLER
Cast: EMMA APPLETON, KEELEY HAWES, LUKE TREADAWAY, STANLEY TOWNSEND, STEPHEN CAMPBELL MOORE, PHOEBE NICHOLLS
7. GOOD GIRLS
What we think: Christina Hendricks shakes off her Madmen personae in this comedy crime caper as Beth Boland, one of three suburban Michigan mothers, two of whom are sisters, who are having a hard time trying to make ends meet. They are tired of having everything taken away from them, so they decide to pull off an unlikely heist by robbing a supermarket, only to discover that they’re in for more than they bargained. Their successful robbery attracts the attention of the store manager after he recognises one of the women, but for a different reason altogether than just the money. This is good viewing if you like your crime with a few laughs thrown in.
Director: MICHAEL WEAVER, ERIC TIGNINI, DAN PARISOT, ANDREW MCCARTHY
Cast: CHRISTINA HENDRICKS, RETTA, MAE WHITMAN, RENO WILSON, MANNY MONTANA, MATTHEW LILLARD, ZACH GILFORD, JAMES LESURE, LAUREN LAPKUS
6. OPEN YOUR EYES
What we think: This enthralling thriller is based on the novel by Polish writer Katarzyna Berenika Miszczuk. The story follows Julia, who finds herself at an amnesia treatment centre in the aftermath of a terrible accident that killed her family, as she begins to form bonds with other patients who have experienced oddly similar traumas. She meets Adam, a mysterious boy, who becomes her guide. When she starts to have strange dreams and visions that feel all too real, she begins to question if this place is really what it promises to be. Julia fights to escape from the institution in an effort to discover the truth: this world is not what it seems.
Director: ANNA JADOWSKA, ADRIAN PANEK
Cast: MARIA WAWRENIUK, MARTA NIERADKIEWICZ, IGNACY LISS, WOJCIECH DOLATOWSKI, MARCIN CZARNIK, KAROL BERNACKI
What we think: We’re off to Iceland for this crime thriller, a genre they’re very good at, together with their Nordic neighbours. When teenager Lara is found hanged at the local ballet school it is assumed that she committed suicide. But detective Gabríela – played by an actress with possibly the longest name in the business, Steinunn Ólína Þorsteinsdóttir – is sceptical and starts digging into the girl’s life. And she isn’t the only person; Lara’s parents have employed a lawyer to look into the case. It becomes apparent there are a lot of very unpleasant things going on; boys are posting videos of girls having sex onto the internet, a ballet teacher bullies his students and gives them drugs, an adoptive father clearly has something to hide and some young men are getting teenage girls hooked on drugs before forcing them into prostitution. There’s quite a bit of unravelling to do in this one, but it is suspenseful and dark and worth the patience.
Director: BALDVIN ZOPHONIASSON
Cast: STEINUNN OLINA PORSTEINSDOTTIR, MAGNUS JONSSON, ELIN HALL, JOHANNA VIGDIS ARNARDOTTIR, PORSTEINN BACHMANN, ARNA JONSSON
What we think: We’re off to Poland once again for another excellent crime thriller. There’s a lot going on here. It’s difficult at times to keep up with who’s doing what to whom, but it’s well worth viewing. When a young woman’s murder shows similarities to a decade-old case, a new police commander must break the silence permeating Owl Mountain town. The scenery is also a plus and an apt setting for this suspenseful drama.
Director: JAKUB MISZCZAK, MONIKA FILIPOWICZ, MARCIN ZIEBINSKI
Cast: ANDRZEJ KONOPKA, HELEN SUJECKA, JEN FISKUM, MICHAL CZERNECKI, ANDRZEJ MASTALERZ, PAULINA GALAZKA
3. EMILY IN PARIS
What we think: Comedy, fashion, travel and romance. This series has it all and with Paris as the backdrop you can’t go wrong here. There have been mumblings about the lead character, Emily (Lily Collins), being a little annoying in her attitude to France and the French, but she does temper this as the story progresses. Emily is a young American woman from the Midwest who is hired by a marketing firm in Paris to provide them with an American perspective on things. Of course, she comes up against all the usual office politics and the way business is conducted by her French colleagues. But the clothes are gorgeous, and the Paris streets and restaurants are charming, and the guy downstairs in her apartment building is gorgeous, which makes up for all the negative reactions Emily at first receives.
Director: ANDREW FLEMING, ZOE R. CASSAVETES, PETER LAUER, JENNIFER ARNOLD, KATINA MEDINA MORA
Cast: LILY COLLINS, PHILIPPINE LEROY-BEAULIEU, LUCAS BRAVO, CAMILLE RAZAT, ASHLEY PARK, SAMUEL ARNOLD, CHARLES MARTINS
What we think: If you love boys behaving badly, with an excellent ensemble British cast, this one is for you. Johnny Flynn sheds his stoic Captain Dobbin in Vanity Fair to star as Dylan, who lives very silly mates Luke (Daniel Ings), Angus (Joshua McGuire), and Evie (Antonia Thomas) who is the steadying hand to all three. However, after discovering he has an STD, Dylan must get in touch with everyone he’s had sex with. With the help of Luke, he tries to track down all of his former lovers. However, as they navigate through Dylan’s past, the two uncover heartbreak, both old and new. This is a highly amusing look at relationships, past and present.
Director: GORDON ANDERSON, ELLIOT HEGARTY, ANEIL KARIA
Cast: JOHNNY FLYNN, ANTONIA THOMAS, DANIEL INGS, JOSHUA MCGUIRE, HANNAH BRITLAND, YASMINE AKRAM, KLARIZA CLAYTON, PEARCE QUIGLEY, ANTONIA CLARKE
What we think: This is a German adaptation of Suskind’s novel Perfume. Ben Whishaw starred in a film version in 2006. Here the story shifts the action to the modern day and uses the book’s idea of manipulating people through scent as a springing-off point. A young profiler investigating a series of brutal murders traces events back to a small cadre of boys at a boarding school who experimented with manipulating people using human scents. This is a suspenseful tale, and can be a bit gory in places, but it is an excellent adaptation.
Director: PHILLIPP KADELBACH
Cast: FRIEDERIKE BECHT, AUGUST DIEHL, WOTAN WILKE MOHRING, NATALIA BELITSKI, KEN DUKEN, TRYSTAN PUTTER, CHRISTIAN FRIEDEL, JURGEN MAURER