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

Credit: TechRadar

UPDATE: Shadow and Bone and The Irregulars have been added to our list of top trending shows on Netflix Australia – find out more about them 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. Shadow and Bone

Netflix has enjoyed plenty of success with its fantasy TV offerings in recent times. Shadow and Bone, then, had plenty to live up to in a genre that also contains The Witcher, but it more than holds its own with an adventurous and twisting plot, investable characters and lots of drama.

It can take a couple of episodes to get into Shadow and Bone, and there could have been a bit more in the way of action. Once you're invested in its story and characters, though, Shadow and Bone is a world you can easily get lost in – and one you'll want to. Fingers crossed Netflix makes a Shadow and Bone season 2.

Details: 1 season, 8 episodes per season, 45-54 minutes per episode

2. The Irregulars

If you're expecting a classic Sherlock Holmes retelling from this Netflix series: don't. For one, the iconic British detective (Henry Lloyd-Hughes) and his faithful companion Dr. Watson (Royce Pierreson) are supporting characters to the titular gang, and it's a lot more fantastical and occult-based than previous Sherlock movie or TV adaptations.

That said, it has an interesting premise. Set in Victorian London, The Irregulars follows a gang of street kids led by the matriarchal Bea (Thaddea Graham) who are hired by Watson at Holmes' supposed behest. Tasked with solving crimes with a supernatural twist on them, the group become embroiled in a plot that threatens the very existence of their world.

The cast are excellent and it's certainly intriguing to see a Sherlock TV show that dabbles in the mystical arts. If you're after a new fantasy series to binge, this should be your go-to choice.

Details: 1 season, 8 episodes per season, 49-58 minutes per episode

3. Bridgerton

Take Pride and Prejudice and add 50 Shades of Grey and you probably have a good idea of what to expect from Bridgerton, an alt-history period drama that's about as sexed up as the come. 

Based on the best-selling book series by Julia Quinn, this TV adaptation follows the powerful Bridgerton family as it explores power, wealth and lust in an aristocratic society. Best described as a guilty pleasure, Bridgerton is disarmingly compelling.

Details: 1 season, 8 episodes per season, 57-72 minutes per episode

4. Murder Among the Mormons

Netflix's wave of true crime content continues with Murder Among the Mormons, a three-part documentary series which offers a deep dive into a shocking crime that took place in the Mormon community during the 1980s. 

The series lifts the lid on a trio of bombings in 1985 which rocked Salt Lake City and resulted in multiple deaths. Things start to come together when a number of Mormon letters and diaries are found destroyed in the vehicle of the third victim, including portions of an infamous letter with the capacity to "shake the very foundations of Mormonism." 

Details: 1 season, 3 episodes per season, 45-58 minutes per episode

5. 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

6. 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

7. 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

8. 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

9. 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

10. Riverdale

Set aside any pre-conceived notions that you might have about a 'sexy Archie' series and get ready for one of the most addictive new shows of the moment with Riverdale. 

First things first — this ain't your grandpappy's Archie show. A modern day re-imagining of the beloved comics franchise that has spanned almost eight decades, this Twin Peaks-inspired version of Riverdale is fraught with murder, deception and small town scandal. 

Famous characters like Jughead, Veronica, Betty and even Josie and the Pussycats are all present and accounted for, only with a decidedly millennial twist. Now back for its fifth season, the show has taken a drastic leap forward in time, picking up seven years after the events of last season. That means the whole crew is now well into adulthood, so expect the unexpected.

Details: 5 seasons, 13-22 episodes per season, 42 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!