If you’re familiar with millennial slang on even the most basic of levels then you know that the term “Netflix and chill” really has nothing to do with relaxing and watching some TV. Gotta love colloquialized dirty talk, right? For the times when you really do just want to kick back and spend your night engrossed in some cinematic excellence, here’s a list of the eight most binge-worthy series on Netflix right now. Crime shows, docu-series, bellyaching laughter—no matter what you’re into there’ll be something to satiate your entertainment cravings.
Wild Wild Country
If docu-series and getting a glance into the politics and psyches behind cultish organizations pique your interest, Wild Wild Country will undoubtedly become your new obsession. It details the true story of how a controversial Indian guru named Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh and his followers attempted to build a utopian city in Wasco County, Oregon, much to the chagrin of local residents. Illegal wiretapping, the first bioterror attack on United States soil, attempted murder, a free love mentality—the series is chock-full of cinematic vices that will suck you in to every episode.
The show on the tip of everyone’s tongue for its terrifyingly feasible depictions of how technology could soon affect our daily realities, Black Mirror is hands down one of the best offerings on Netflix. Now in its fourth season, the science fiction anthology unfolds in 19 stand-alone episodes, all of which are currently available to watch via the streaming service. While the undertone of the show as a whole is decidedly dark—one episode details how drones might be used to anonymously terrorize sexual predators—a few episodes with lighter and more optimistic themes are peppered in to make the series wholly bingeable.
Perhaps one of the most bingeable Netflix shows thanks to its approximately 15-minute episodes, Explained offers easily digestible deep dives into various topics that are currently driving the cultural zeitgeist. K-pop, monogamy, cryptocurrency, and the racial wealth gap serve as the themes for currently available episodes, with a new one being released each week. They’re pithy, fascinating, and will leave you feeling like your nightly TV marathon sharpened your mind rather than numbed it.
One of Netflix’s newer scripted series, Mindhunter debuted just last year in October of 2017 but is first season was so stellar that a follow-up one has already been confirmed. An American crime drama set in 1977, the show centers on two FBI agents and a psychologist who work together to form the FBI's Behavioral Science Unit within the Training Division at the FBI Academy in Quantico, Virginia. The trio interviews imprisoned serial killers in hopes of gaining insight into their psyches which they can then use to help them solve current cases. If true crime fascinates you you’ll find this show particularly engrossing.
Master of None
A veritable masterpiece created by Aziz Ansari and Alan Wang, Master of None is a comedy-drama series set in New York City that follows the lives of aspiring actor Dev Shah (Ansari) and his awesomely motley crew group of friends. The show deals with complex contemporary social themes including loneliness, racism, identity, sexism, the path to happiness and more, but in nuanced ways that don’t feel overly forced or tired. It’s funny yet poignant, with likeable yet flawed characters that each have a dynamic storyline of their own.
The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story
The name Kardashian will undoubtedly make you think first and foremost of Kim, Kourtney, Khloe, Kendall, Kylie and Kris. And maybe even Caitlin Jenner, too. But The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story brings the O.G. Kardashian, attorney and businessman Robert Kardashian, back into the spotlight. The scripted show, which premiered in 2016, centers on the O.J. Simpson murder case, for which Kardashian was a lawyer, and is the first season of the FX anthology television series American Crime Story. It’ll allow you to relive one of the most divisive and publicized murders in history and will have you once more asking yourself, “Did he do it?”
Based on the harrowing true story of one of the most infamous drug lords in history, Narcos recounts Pablo Escobar’s rise to kingpin status via the production and international distribution of cocaine. The show focuses on the dichotomy of Escobar’s loving personal and cutthroat business lives and details his run-ins with the Drug Enforcement Administration and fellow drug lords. Although it’s certainly not the most robust or truthful depiction of Escobar’s reign and the way it affected and was received by Colombia (we’d recommend checking out the 2010 documentary The Two Escobars if you’re interested in learning more), it’s explosively addictive nonetheless.
The most bingeable crime mini series since Making a Murderer, The Staircase follows the trial of Michael Peterson, an American novelist who was convicted of murdering his wife, Kathleen Peterson, in 2003. Michael claims to have found Kathleen dead at the bottom of the staircase in their North Carolina home but because of evidence found at the scene, he is tried for her murder. Baffling evidence, heart wrenching family allegiances and fascinating expert analyses render the show intellectually thrilling—each episode will have you on the edge of your seat.
Honorable mentions: Breaking Bad & Mad Men
Unless you’ve been living under a Wifi-less rock for the past six years you already know how absolutely exceptional these two series are. Both can be watched in full on Netflix now—tell your friends you’ll see them in a month.
Puffer coats, plaid shirts, wool socks, and crackling fires are all great ways to combat the season’s dropping temperatures, but when it comes to warmth that’s both effective and indulgent, a holiday cocktail is where it’s at.