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

Credit: TechRadar

UPDATE: With the arrival of its fifth season, Rick and Morty is once again at the top of our list of trending shows on Netflix Australia – find out more about it 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!

Rick and Morty

Now back for its fifth season, Rick and Morty continues to stun with its insanely clever and endlessly hilarious takes on science fiction concepts. Playing like a hilariously twisted version of Back to the Future, Rick and Morty follows a whiny high schooler and his alcoholic scientist grandfather as they set out on crazy adventures across the Universe. From Dan Harmon, creator of Community, and Justin Roiland, who voices both the titular characters, Rick and Morty never ceases to come up with mind-blowing stories to tell. This isn't just the best animated sci-fi comedy since Futurama – it's even better. So, grab your Plumbus and strap in, because all-new episodes from the show's fifth season are now in the process of teleporting onto Netflix Australia! 

Be warned: despite its appearance, Rick and Morty is not a show for children! In fact, season 5 has considerably upped the ante when it comes to uncensored f-bombs and other adults only material.

Details: 5 seasons, 10 episodes per season, 22 minutes per episode

Sweet Tooth

Netflix's latest comic book adaptation couldn't have less to do with superheroes. This post-apocalyptic fantasy series is about a half-human, half-deer boy who travels across the ruined world with a hardened protector – searching for a new life amid the ruins of America. 

If you're in the mood for something that just about counts as warm family viewing but has an edge, don't miss Sweet Tooth. If you enjoy it, check out Jeff Lemire's wonderful comics that the show is based on afterwards.

Details: 1 season, 8 episodes per season, 40-54 minutes per episode

Love, Death & Robots

From the twisted minds of David Fincher (Se7en, Fight Club) and Tim Miller (Deadpool) comes Love, Death & Robots – a violence and sex-filled animated anthology series that's strictly for adults. For years, the two visionaries attempted to bring a new adaptation of the classic Heavy Metal comics to screens, only to eventually leave the project behind due to lack of interest from all the major studios. 

Now, the project has been resuscitated in a new form thanks to Netflix, allowing the filmmakers to produce a series of self-contained short films, many of which are adapted from classic sci-fi and fantasy stories from authors such as Peter F. Hamilton, Alastair Reynolds, John Scalzi and more. If you're into genre fiction involving robots, monsters and heady sci-fi themes, you're going to adore Love, Death & Robots.

Details: 2 volumes, 26 episodes in total, 6-18 minutes per episode

Halston

Ewan McGregor stars in the latest big show from Netflix mega-producer Ryan Murphy. This biographical miniseries focuses on women's fashion designer Halston, documenting his various ups and downs over the years – starting with his breakthrough in designing hats worn by Jackie Kennedy in the '60s, to his '70s explosion in popularity as a fashion pioneer, to his later troubles to stay in business.

McGregor has a lot of fun as the titular figure, giving us a great cross-section of his life as an artist and businessman, of his personal issues and professional triumphs. Even though it's otherwise pretty familiar-feeling as biographical projects go, it's very well-produced, and is something you'll likely enjoy if you're a fan of expensive period shows like Mad Men – and it lands on the classier side of Murphy's recent work. 

Details: 1 season, 5 episodes per season, 44-53 minutes per episode

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

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

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

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.

Now back for its second season, Netflix's Lupin has proven itself a loving and inspired take on the beloved Arsène Lupin stories.

Details: 2 season, 5 episodes per season, 42-52 minutes per episode

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

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

Stephen Lambrechts

Stephen is a Senior Editor who primarily covers phones and entertainment for TechRadar in Australia, and has written professionally across the categories of tech, film, television and gaming for over a decade. He's obsessed with smartphones, televisions, and consuming all forms of media at the highest quality possible. He's also likely to talk a person’s ear off at the mere mention of Android, cats, sneakers or Italian horror cinema.