The best TV shows available on Netflix

Written by david nield Google
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The best TV shows available on Netflix
Netflix is available on many different devices, including computers and smart TVs. (Arthur Simoes/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images)

Netflix's 36 million members get through more than one billion hours' worth of TV programmes and movies every month, so there's certainly plenty of content to pick from. While the "best" TV shows depend on your own personal tastes, as of June 2013 Netflix offers enough shows in each genre to entertain even the most discerning television watcher.

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British TV

Netflix includes many popular British television series, including BBC comedy The Thick Of It and ITV drama Downton Abbey. Older classics from the terrestrial stations include gentle crime drama Jonathan Creek, teen comedy The Inbetweeners and The Office, the mockumentary that made Ricky Gervais a household name. From well-known drama including Spooks and Foyle's War to comedy shows such as Peep Show and Black Books, there's plenty to choose from. The content spans most eras too, with Netflix featuring both 1970s comedy sitcom Fawlty Towers and time travelling cop drama Life On Mars from 2007-2007. The early seasons of Doctor Who are available too, covering 1975-1984.

Drama

Highly rated drama series from across the world can be found on Netflix, including hit US shows such as 24, Prison Break, Dexter and Breaking Bad, as well as French crime drama Spiral and Swedish detective series Wallander. US teen soaps Dawson's Creek and 90210 are available, as well as the reality-bending Lost and Joss Whedon's Firefly. The first series of Danish murder mystery The Killing is available, as are all three seasons of the US remake of the same title. Other well-known US series on Netflix include Heroes, Numb3rs, Weeds and Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

Comedy

Comedy fans can find much to enjoy in Netflix's selection, including the US remake of The Office starring Steve Carrell, a selection of episodes from Saturday Night Live and a limited number of South Park episodes. Returning to the UK, classics such as Red Dwarf and Blackadder sit alongside more recent series including Rev, Little Britain, The Mighty Boosh and The IT Crowd. It's Always Sunny In Philadephia, Extras, Portlandia, Outnumbered and Gavin and Stacey are some of the other shows you'll come across.

Documentary

Netflix has a strong documentary section, including a variety of interviews hosted by Louis Theroux, talks from the renowned TED conferences and landmark BBC programming including Planet Earth, The Blue Planet and Frozen Planet. Reality TV fans can get their fix by tuning into MTV's Jersey Shore, Big Fat Gypsy Weddings and One Born Every Minute. There's also a comprehensive cookery selection with shows hosted by Jamie Oliver and Heston Blumenthal among those on offer.

Original programming

Netflix has also moved into originally programming, commissioning a US version of classic British political drama House of Cards. The new show, starring Kevin Spacey and Rob Wright, received mostly positive reviews from the press and has a 4.6/5 star rating on Netflix itself. Other Netflix-commissioned shows include supernatural drama Hemlock Grove (averaging a 4 star rating) and a fourth series of cult US comedy series Arrested Development (averaging a 3.9 star rating).

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