Whether you are a fan of the whodunit, love period dramas, or have a taste from British imports, Netflix has some of the best TV dramas in the world (and a whole lot of other genres). In this article, we give you a selection of the very best. Whatever your tastes on TV dramas, I am sure you will find something you like on our list!
I believe that 99 percent of successful TV shows change an immense amount from the pilot to the tenth or twelfth episode. – Bill Lawrence
Lincoln Burrows (played by Dominic Purcell) goes to jail accused of murdering the brother of the Vice President of the United States. His own brother, Michael Scofield (played by Wentworth Miller), who is an structural engineer with an enviable brain, then commits armed robbery in a attempt to be caught and be sent to prison himself. His real objective is to prove his brother’s innocence. He also has a smart plan to help his brother escape for prison.
Set in Chicago’s Fox River State Penitentiary, Prison Break has 81 thrilling episodes split over 4 seasons.
Many people might remember when this show was on Fox. Prison Break’s four seasons originally aired on the network between 2005 and 2009.
Prison Break is being revived as a limited series (or miniseries, if you prefer). Nine brand new episodes are set to air on Fox in early 2017. With 81 episodes to catch up on before the new series begins, now is the time to catch up on Prison Break’s original run of episodes. Do not miss out!
The Walking Dead
Based on the popular comic book series of the same title, The Walking Dead debuted on basic cable channel AMC back in 2010. They continue to produce new seasons and the show has even spawn a companion spin off series known as Fear of the Walking Dead, which premiered in the summer of 2015.
Both critically acclaimed and popular with fans, The Walking Dead is about a surviving group of people who strive to stay alive in Georgia after the zombie apocalypse.
There have been six seasons so far, out of which you will find the first five available on Netflix. The first couple of season had a different amount of episodes until the show settled on 16 from season 3. Here is the full list:
- Season 1: six episodes.
Season 2: 13 episodes.
Season 3: 16 episodes.
Season 4: 16 episodes.
Season 5: 16 episodes.
Season 6: 16 episodes.
Season 7 is due to begin late 2016, probably somewhere between October to early December, so you have all summer to binge watch the early seasons before it comes back.
Our next TV drama suggestion comes from England and is, as you would expect, a period piece. But, before you say Masterpiece Theatre, stop because you could not be more wrong.
Peaky Blinders is the name of a gang based in Birmingham during the interwar period. So, think The Sopranos instead of Downton Abbey. The Peaky Blinders gang are led by Tommy Shelby (played by Irish actor Cillian Murphy). The gang allegedly gets its name from using stitched razor blades in their fault caps as weapons.
Preceded by commercial success and critical acclaim in the United Kingdom, the BBC series Peaky Blinders comes to Netflix with its first two seasons (or series as the Brits say). The great news is that the most recent season (or series) will be added on May 31, 2016. All together, there will be 15 one hour episodes.
White Collar is one of those series you can catch up on in its entirety on Netflix. All 6 seasons (81 episodes) are available to stream right now.
This procedural series follows the unlikely partnership between FBI agent Peter Burke (played by Tim DeKay) and con artist Neal Caffrey (played by Matt Bomer). The show originally aired on basic cable channel USA Network between 2009 and 2014.
British star Hugh Laurie plays the brilliant but irascible surgeon Gregory House, head of the Department of Diagnostic Medicine at the Princeton-Plainsboro Teaching Hospital in New Jersey. This complicated character is, in many ways, a modern day Sherlock Holmes. Gregory House may not be a detective but he uses his brilliant mind to diagnose patients suffering from all kinds of rare deceases on every episode of the series.
All 8 seasons, and that is 177 hour long episodes, of House M.D. are available on Netflix. You will not find a most engrossing show to binge on! House M.D. also has episodic elements like most traditional TV shows so you can watch most episodes pretty much in any other you choose.
Apart from Hugh Laurie as Doctor Gregory House, House M.D. also stars Lisa Edelstein as Dr. Lisa Cuddy, an endocrinologist and Dean of Medicine; Robert Sean Leonard, as Dr. James Wilson, the Head of the Department of Oncology; Omar Epps, as Dr. Eric Foreman, neurologist, diagnostic medicine and Dean of Medicine; Australia’s Jesse Spencer who plays Dr. Robert Chase, surgeon, intesivist, cardiologist, and Head of the Department of Diagnostic Medicine; and Jennifer Morrison as Dr. Allison Cameron, immunologist and diagnostic medicine.
House M.D. combines the best of a detective show with the best of a hospital drama, all with compelling and unforgettable characters.
This show was created by one of the main writers from The X-Files, Vince Gillian. Between 2008 and 2013 during five intense seasons and 62 episodes, Breaking Bad became one of the most critically acclaimed TV dramas of recent years.
All five seasons, every single episode of Breaking Bad is available on Netflix right now. It is no exaggeration to say that Breaking Bad is the show responsible for putting basic cable channel AMC on the map. Breaking Bad was one of the first basic cable TV dramas to rival HBO in terms of quality or acclaim. But, Breaking Bad was also very popular.
This hugely watchable series charts the descent into chaos of the life of a middle aged high school chemistry teacher called Walter White (played by Bryan Cranston). The show begins when Mr. White finds out that he is suffering from cancer. Hiding this from his family he then begins an unlikely meth-making partnership with high school dropout and former student of his, Jesse Pinkman (played by Aaron Paul). Gradually, Walter White gets more involved with the criminal underworld in New Mexico.
Apart from Cranston and Paul, the show also stars Anna Gunn, as Walter’s wife Skyler; Dean Norris who plays DEA agent and Walter’s brother-in-law Hank Schrader; Betsy Brandt as Skyler’s sister and Hank’s wife, Marie Schrader; RJ Mitte, as Walter White Jr., son of Walter and Skyler, who suffers from cerebral palsy; and Bob Odenkirk as crooked lawyer Saul Goodman.
Better Call Saul
Better Call Saul is both a spin-off and a prequel of Breaking Bad. Staring Bob Odenkirk as Saul Goodman, the show’s first season consisting of 10 episodes is available for streaming on Netflix.
Better Call Saul intends to portray the six years in the life of Saul Goodman before the character made his appearance on Breaking Bad. It is, therefore, set in the recent past, which is a lot of fun particularly if you are a stickler for detail.
Season 2 aired recently on AMC which means it will probably be added to Netflix soon. Better Call Saul takes a lot of its beats from its predecessor, Breaking Bad, but it is its own show. You will not need to have seen Breaking Bad to enjoy it (or follow it) but if you loved Break Bad you will liked Better Call Saul.
Mad Men is set against the backdrop of the advertising world of the 1960s. Don Draper (played by Jon Hamm) is a seductive advertising agent who is also a womanizer and a serial cheater on his wife. Peggy Olson (played by Elisabeth Moss) starts off as Don’s secretary but quickly goes up in a male dominated work to become a great copywriter.
During its seven seasons and 92 episodes, all of which are available to stream on Netflix, Mad Men showed the personal lives of people working in the powerful US advertising industry in the whole 1960s decade. Season 1 begins in 1960 and by the time we season 7 comes around the characters have reached the year 1970. The storylines are engrossing, the characters compelling, and the period details worth losing yourself into.
Apart from Hamm and Moss, the main cast is completed by Vincent Kartheiser as Pete Campbell; January Jones as Betty Francis / Betty Draper; Christina Hendricks as Joan Harris; and John Slattery as Roger Sterling.
This TV drama is a lot more conventional and family-friendly than Mad Men. Although it sometimes struggled in the ratings, Parenthood managed to last six seasons and had a total of 103 episodes, all of which are available on Netflix.
The Braverman family from Berkley, California comprises many different generations all with their own problems. Zeek Braverman (Craig T. Nelson) and his wife Camille (Bonnie Bedelia) have four adult children: Adam (Peter Krause), Sarah (Lauren Graham), Crosby (Dax Shepard), and Julia (Erika Christensen). All the Braverman siblings have their own kids and often struggle with raising them.
Parenthood is a moving, sometimes funny, and always endearing TV drama series. If you missed it on NBC, it is now your chance to catch up on it on Netflix.