Skip to main content

Netflix Australia’s best TV shows: 90+ must-watch series to stream in 2021

Credit: TechRadar

UPDATE: Netflix continues to deliver the good in 2021 with the arrival of Night Stalker: The Hunt for a Serial Killer and a new take on Lupin – find out more about each below!

Since its arrival on Australian shores, we've enjoyed unfettered access to all of Netflix's critically-lauded original shows. Not only that, users also have access to a wealth of other licensed material.

If you're like us, you spend a good deal of your time Netflixing. Sure, Netflix also streams movies, but its television output is perhaps the reason most people have signed up for an account. There's nothing quite like firing up Netflix and binge-watching a series at your own pace. Getting instant access to entire seasons of Stranger Things from day one is half the appeal. 

This is why we've created the TechRadar guide to the best shows on Netflix Australia right now (in no particular order). We'll keep this best TV show list constantly updated with the latest television shows that you should be watching on Netflix in Australia and also tell you why.

The best new TV series on Netflix Australia

We’ve selected more than 80 great series worth watching over the following pages, but if you've watched 'em all already you can also find out what's new on Netflix this month right here, or cut to the chase with our quick picks for the top trending shows on Netflix right now.

The following list charts the best shows that are currently trending right now on Netflix Australia. For our complete list of shows, which has been separated into genre, continue on to the next page or select your preferred genre from the drop-down list above!

1. Night Stalker: The Hunt for a Serial Killer

In the mid-1980s, a serial killer stalked the city of Los Angeles, routinely breaking into people's homes to rape, kill or abduct them in the middle of the night. Victims appeared to be chosen at random, and the nature of each crime varied with each incident. Before long, the media dubbed this monster the Night Stalker, and it would take a team of dedicated detectives to bring him down. In this four-part documentary series, we hear directly from the people involved in the case, along with some of the victims who survived. True crime junkies will lap this series up, even if it is a little too slickly produced for a show about a horrific spree of murders.

Details: 1 season, 4 episodes per season, 48 minutes per episode

2. Lupin

In this fantastic new take on the adventures of gentleman-thief Arsène Lupin by French author Maurice Leblanc, Omar Sy (The Intouchables, X-Men Days of Future Past) plays Assane Diop, a man whose father is framed for the theft of a priceless diamond necklace by a wealthy business man. Soon after, Assane's father hangs himself in his cell, which sets him off on a quest for revenge inspired by the Arsène Lupin novel his father gave him as a child. Already the most popular French Netflix series of all-time, Lupin is a wonderful show that's surprisingly family-friendly given its subject matter.

Details: 1 season, 5 episodes per season, 42-52 minutes per episode

3. Cobra Kai

Once a YouTube original, Cobra Kai is now back for its first Netflix-produced season. Set 34 years after Johnny Lawrence (William Zabka) was defeated by Danny LaRusso (Ralph Macchio), the former reopens the Cobra Kai dojo once more to teach a new generation of kids how to fight. This not only sparks Johnny and Danny's old rivalry, but also a new one between the young students at their respective dojos. If you love the original films, this show is a lot of fun, and both its leads are in surprisingly great condition considering they're each performing fight stunts in their fifties. Now back for its third season, Cobra Kai is diving deeper into The Karate Kid's history with a number of surprise cameos. 

Details: 3 seasons, 10 episodes per season, 23-37 minutes per episode

4. The Queen's Gambit

This seven-episode miniseries is the latest great Netflix show – and while the subject of chess might not sound exciting, The Queen's Gambit manages to weave it together with a tale of self-actualization, romance and drug abuse. Anya Taylor-Joy (The VVitch, Split) stars as Beth Harmon, an orphan trained to play chess by a talented janitor, before she challenges the very male-dominated chess scene with her skills. Essentially, her talents land her a slightly better life, but not without a price. Exciting even if you don't know chess from checkers, The Queen's Gambit is an instant Netflix classic. 

Details: 1 season, 7 episodes per season, 46-67 minutes per episode

5. The Ripper

In the late '70s and early '80s, Northern England was held in a vice or fear by a new serial killer whose methods brought back memories of the famous Jack the Ripper killings of the late 1880s. Dubbed the Yorkshire Ripper, this killer targeted vulnerable women in the working class city of Leeds, with occasional trips to nearby Manchester. Disturbingly, the killer went uncaught for several years due to a severe mishandling of the case by authorities who put all their chips on a fake voice recording, along with a misguided belief that only prostitutes were being targeted. Despite being strongly upsetting, this four-part series is an excellently crafted piece of true crime filmmaking that explores how systemic sexism helped prolong a killer's murder spree.

Details: 1 season, 4 episodes per season, 60 minutes per episode

6. Unsolved Mysteries

A reboot of the classic 80s/90s series of the same name, Netflix's version of Unsolved Mysteries has received a modern day makeover to bring it stylistically in line with the likes of Making a Murderer. For those not familiar with the show, Unsolved Mysteries presents a series of real-life cold cases which have left authorities baffled in the hopes that someone watching may have information that will help bring the truth to light. Now back for its second volume, the Netflix's series has presented six more cases which are not only heartbreaking, but truly unusual. Bizarre and unnerving, the new Unsolved Mysteries may become a new obsession for true crime-junkies. Oh, and the classic theme music has returned, also, which should delight fans of the old series.

Details: 2 seasons, 6 episodes per season, 37-52 minutes per episode

7. The Haunting of Bly Manor

The follow-up to The Haunting of Hill House – and listed separately on Netflix – The Haunting of Bly Manor is the latest horror series worth adding to your watch list. 'The Haunting' series is now an anthology, with many members of the same cast popping up again in this new '80s-set season, including Victoria Pedretti, Oliver Jackson-Cohen and Henry Thomas. This goes down more of a romantic route – an au pair (Pedretti), looking after two orphaned children, begins to uncover ghostly happenings in Bly Manor that reveal the location's history. The first season is well worth checking out, too, if you missed it in 2018.

Details: 1 season, 9 episodes per season, 45-66 minutes per episode

8. Schitt's Creek

Canadian sitcom Schitt's Creek has caused an upset at the 2020 Emmy Awards by beating the likes of The Good Place and The Marvelous Mrs Maisel to the Outstanding Comedy Series award. And why not? Eugene and Dan Levy's sitcom about a rich family forced to move to a town they once purchased as a joke is both hilarious and heartwarming – and has slowly gained a big following through its presence on Netflix. Netflix has now added the sixth and final season of the series, and it really is one of the best Netflix shows.

Details: 6 seasons, 10 episodes per season, 21 minutes per episode

9. The Last Dance

Missing sports at the moment? Well, Netflix's new sports documentary series The Last Dance should offer some respite from the monotony of a sports-free world. In this candid 10-part weekly series, you'll get to witness never-before-seen footage chronicling Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls during the most pivotal season in its history, namely the 1997-98 NBA season which saw the greatest team lineup in basketball history come to an end. You'll also get an inside-look at the tensions within the dynasty that caused the team's management to clash with its players and head coach, eventually leading to the end of an era. Not just for basketball fans, The Last Dance is a must-watch for anyone who's ever been invested in a sports team.

Details: 1 season, 10 episodes per season, 50 minutes per episode

10. Chilling Adventures of Sabrina

Forget the '90s TV series Sabrina the Teenage Witch, because aside from sharing character names, Chilling Adventures of Sabrina is an entirely different beast. Darker and scarier than that family-friendly take, Netflix's version of the classic Archie Comics character owes a lot more to creator Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa's recent comic series of the same name. Dealing head on with Satanism, demons and other dark subject matter, Chilling Adventures of Sabrina makes for a perfect companion to Riverdale (also from Aguirre-Sacasa), which tends to dabble in death and mystery, too. Of course, the show is quite fun, too, with a terrific performances from Kiernan Shipka (Mad Men) as Sabrina, Lucy Davis (Wonder Woman) as Aunt Hilda and Australia's own Miranda Otto (Return of the King) as Aunt Zelda. Spooky and clever, Chilling Adventures of Sabrina positively ghoulish fun. Back for its fourth and final season, Chilling Adventures of Sabrina promises to close out the series with a bang.

Details: 4 seasons, 10 episodes per season (plus one holiday special), 60 minutes per episode

Want to know more about Netflix's take on binging? Watch our very own Jon Porter live on the couch discussing his time at Netflix HQ!