TV & Movies

Get Your Binge On With 18 Of The Best New Shows On Netflix NZ Right Now

By Morgan Reardon
23rd Oct 2020

a young man and woman play chess.

With most of us staying indoors for the foreseeable future, the hunt for the next Netflix binge never ends. To make that isolation life a little easier, we've rounded up a slew of the best shows to watch on Netflix right now.

Grab the snacks and get comfy, here are 18 of the best shows on Netflix.

The Queen’s Gambit

Based on the novel by Walter Tevis, this Netflix limited-series drama is a coming-of-age story that explores the true cost of genius—and yes, it’s an absolute must watch. Abandoned and entrusted to a Kentucky orphanage in the late 1950s, a young Beth Harmon (Anya Taylor-Joy)  discovers an astonishing talent for chess while developing an addiction to tranquilizers provided by the state as a sedative for the children. Haunted by her personal demons and fueled by a cocktail of narcotics and obsession, Beth transforms into an impressively skilled and glamorous outcast while determined to conquer the traditional boundaries established in the male-dominated world of competitive chess. 

My Next Guest Needs No Introduction with David Letterman

Everyone’s favourite (former) late night show host returns with the latest season of My Next Guest Needs No Introduction with David Letterman. Combining humor, curiosity and in-depth conversations with extraordinary people, this four-episode third season of the Netflix talk show series has an impressive guest list. We’re talking the likes of Kim Kardashian West, Robert Downey Jr., Dave Chappelle and Lizzo. While you might think you know all there is to know about your fave celebs, Letterman digs deeper with his signature interview style delivering quotes of gold. 

Social Distance

Set in the initial months of the COVID-19 pandemic, Social Distance is an eight-part anthology series that showcases the power of the human spirit in the face of uncertainty and isolation. Each standalone episode is told through a virtual lens and captures the unique emotional experience of being forced apart by circumstance and having no choice but to communicate remotely and rely on technology to maintain any sense of connection. Through these varied and deeply human stories, Social Distance aims to provide some much-needed catharsis during a tumultuous time while also capturing a snapshot of this singular moment in history. 

Dream Home Makeover

Ok we’ll admit it, we’re obsessed with anything home reno-related so it’s a no brainer that this new show from Netflix ended up on this list. It’s hosted by Syd and Shea McGee who started documenting their signature interior design style and home renovations on Instagram back in 2010. They’ve since grown their social media presence into a thriving business employing a team of 70 and have clients around the world. Dream Home Makeover melds together the personal side of the McGee’s, what it’s like to raise their two daughters and build their own dream home, along with the day to day of running a successful business. Each episode features one home design project that ranges from budget-friendly living room upgrades to full home renovations where money isn’t an object.

The Haunting Of Bly Manor

From The Haunting of Hill House creator Mike Flanagan comes the next highly anticipated chapter of The Haunting anthology series, set in 1980s England. The Haunting of Bly Manor goes like this: After an au pair’s tragic death, Henry Wingrave hires a young American nanny (Victoria Pedretti) to care for his orphaned niece and nephew who reside at Bly Manor with the estate’s chef Owen, groundskeeper Jamie and housekeeper, Mrs. Grose. But all is not as it seems at the manor, and centuries of dark secrets of love and loss are waiting to be unearthed in this chilling gothic romance. At Bly Manor, dead doesn’t mean gone.

Emily In Paris

From the creator of Sex and The City, come this totally binge-worthy new romance series set in stunning Paris. The plot goes like this: Emily (Lily Collins), an ambitious twenty-something marketing executive from Chicago, unexpectedly lands her dream job in Paris when her company acquires a French luxury marketing company—and she is tasked with revamping their social media strategy. Emily's new life in Paris is filled with intoxicating adventures and surprising challenges as she juggles winning over her work colleagues, making friends, and navigating new romances with gorgeous young Frenchmen. Yep, we're obsessed.
 

Deaf U

If you want to feel all warm and fuzzy inside, then tune into Deaf U stat. This totally addictive, coming-of-age docu-series follows a tight-knit group of deaf students at Gallaudet University, a renowned private college for the deaf and hard of hearing, in Washington, D.C. As the group of friends navigate the high, lows, and hookups of college life together, their stories offer an unprecedented, unfiltered, and often unexpected look inside the Deaf community. We’re calling it—this is absolutely one of the best new shows on Netflix right now.

Ratched

From Ryan Murphy (American Horror Story) comes this epic thriller that tells the origin story of asylum nurse Mildred Ratched. In 1947, Mildred (Sarah Paulson) arrived in Northern California seeking employment at a leading psychiatric hospital where new and unsettling experiments have begun on the human mind. On a clandestine mission, Mildred presents herself as the perfect image of what a dedicated nurse should be, but the wheels are always turning and as she begins to infiltrate the mental health care system and those within it, Mildred’s stylish exterior belies a growing darkness that has long been smoldering within, revealing that true monsters are made, not born.

Sneakerheads

Devin (Allen Maldonado), a former sneakerhead turned stay-at-home dad, gets back in the game only to quickly find himself five G’s in the hole after falling for one of old friend Bobby’s (Andrew Bachelor) get-rich-quick schemes. Desperate to get his money back before his wife finds out he’s fallen off the wagon, Devin enlists the help of a ragtag group of fellow shoe lovers on his global hunt for the elusive “Zeroes,” the holy grail of hard-to-find kicks. Catch Sneakerheads here.
 

Get Organized With The Home Edit

If you loved Marie Kondo’s Netflix series then you’ll love Get Organized. In each ep, expert home organisers (yes its a real job) Clea and Joanna help celebrities and everyday clients edit, categorise and contain their clutter to create stunning spaces. Famous faces include Reese Witherspoon who needs help sorting her closet, stylist to the stars Rachel Zoe needs a hand turning her garage into a shoe meca, while Neil Patrick Harris and Khloe Kardashian are also sending out a clean up SOS. 
 

Criminal: United Kingdom

This eerie crime series has spawned spin-off versions all around the world (Spain, Germany and France) but our fave has to be the UK edition. Season two has just dropped and we’re pleased to report it’s just as binge-worthy as the first. Spanning four eps, once again the entire show takes place within an interrogation room, with the fearless investigators coming face to face with some of the most calculated criminals in the UK. There’s a routine interview with a convicted killer’s wife that takes a provocative turn, an arrogant businessman (played by Game Of Thrones Kit Harrington)  accused of rape and an online group that unmasks sexual predators.
 

The Duchess 

We’ve LOL’d hard at Katherine Ryan’s stand up special on Netflix and now she’s back as the executive producer, writer and star of her debut scripted series The Duchess. In it, Ryan stars as an uber-fashionable, slightly crazy, single mum living in London with her daughter Olive. Upon deciding she wants to have a second child she considers the men in her life as potential options: there’s current boyfriend Evan (Aussie Steen Raskopoulos), Olive’s dad and former boy band star (Rory Keenan), or a sperm donor. The result is a seriously funny, authentic series that feels like a mash of Flea Bag meets Sex And The City. Yep, it’s absolutely one of the best shows on Netflix right now. 

Away

This new Netflix series is getting a lot of attention, for good reason—it’s a thrilling, emotional drama on an epic scale that celebrates the incredible advancements humans can achieve and the personal sacrifices they must make along the way. The plot goes like this: as American astronaut Emma Green (Hilary Swank) prepares to lead an international crew on the first mission to Mars, she must reconcile her decision to leave behind her husband and teenage daughter when they need her the most. As the crew's journey into space intensifies, their personal dynamics and the effects of being away from their loved ones back on Earth become increasingly complex.

Julie And The Phantoms 

High schooler Julie (Madison Reyes) lost her passion for music after her mom died last year. But when the ghosts of three dreamy musicians (Charlie Gillespie, Owen Patrick Joyner, Jeremy Shada) from 1995 suddenly appear in her mom’s old music studio, Julie feels her own inner spirit beginning to reawaken, and she's inspired to start singing and writing songs again. As their friendship with Julie grows, the boys convince her to create a new band together: Julie and the Phantoms. This Netflix newbie is the perfect feel-good show to devour this weekend.  

Trinkets 

Based on the novel from screenwriter Kirsten "Kiwi" Smith (Legally Blonde, 10 Things I Hate About You, She’s the Man) this epic show has just dropped a second season and you’re going to want to devour it. For those who aren’t familiar with Trinkets, the plot goes like this: When three teenage girls find themselves in the same mandated Shoplifters Anonymous meeting, an unlikely friendship forms between grieving misfit Elodie (Brianna Hildebrand), mysterious outsider Moe (Kiana Madeira), and Tabitha (Quintessa Swindell), an imperfect picture of perfection. They soon find strength in each other as they negotiate the complicated dilemma of trying to fit in while longing to break out.

Hannibal

Based on the characters from Thomas Harris' novels this truly terrifying series is probably better binged with company (or at the very least in the daytime). The show follows FBI criminal profiler Will Graham (Hugh Dancy) who is recruited by the FBI to help investigate a serial killer in Minnesota. Disturbed by the case, the FBI suggests Graham get checked out by forensic psychiatrist Dr. Hannibal Lecter—yes that Hannibal Lecter—who is secretly a cannibalistic serial killer. Fascinated by Graham and his ability to connect with psychopathic murderers, Lector (played brilliantly by Mads Mikkelsen) forms a calculated and deadly bond with Graham that will push him to the edge. The show also boasts a stacked cast including Laurence Fishburne and Gillian Anderson.

Million Dollar Beach House

Say hello to your new guilty please. This Netflix newbie offers a bird’s eye view into the day-to-day life of the Hampton’s youngest and most exclusive group of real estate agents, documenting their private lives and sleek coastline listings. With 2,500 realtors working the Hamptons market, earning a listing is fierce competition. Nest Seekers reps to-die-for, multi-million-dollar properties and not without personal drama between agents. Throughout the series, five brokers hustle from Memorial Day to Labor Day to buy and sell properties for their clients. From appeasing sellers who are unhappy with home staging to cutthroat open houses where agents are going after each other’s clients, Million Dollar Beach House has all the views, all the schmooze, and brokers with a lot to lose.

High Score

This docu-series is all about the golden age of video games, when legends—from Pac-Man to Doom—were brought to life. Through ingenuity and sheer force of will, computer pioneers and visionary artists from around the globe spawned the iconic worlds of Space Invaders, Final Fantasy, Street Fighter II, Mortal Kombat, Sonic the Hedgehog, John Madden Football, and beyond. Without rules or roadmaps, players and innovators alike pushed the limits of money to be made, rivals to be crushed, and hearts to be won. This is the story of the brains behind the pixels and how their unmatched innovation built a multi-billion dollar industry—almost by accident.

 
And here are all the best movies to watch on Netflix right now.

Image credit: Netflix

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