The 20 best drama series on Netflix to watch now

Your next binge-watch is waiting below.

<p>Netflix (3)</p>

Netflix (3)

Drama is an umbrella genre; it can include everything from true crime capers to family sagas to historical epics that show us what life was like decades (or even centuries) ago. What the best drama series all have in common, though, is an air of intrigue and enticing conflicts that elicit emotion — and there’s no shortage of great options streaming on Netflix. Whether you’re looking to catch up on the latest hits everyone is talking about (Bridgerton, Ripley) or are seeking some hidden gems (Stateless, Shadow and Bone), these shows are sure to please.

Here are the 20 best drama series on Netflix right now.

Beef (2023)

Andrew Cooper/Netflix
Andrew Cooper/Netflix

This Emmy winner could be categorized in multiple ways — drama, comedy, miniseries — but we would classify it as one the best Netflix shows yet. After working-class contractor Danny (Steven Yeun) nearly plows his vehicle into affluent business owner Amy’s (Ali Wong) SUV, their road rage incident soon escalates into a full-on feud. Their antics include sabotage, catfishing, and even kidnapping, all while viewers slowly see how this animosity stems from unresolved issues in the characters’ lives. As EW’s critic writes, “Beef is not afraid to plumb some very disagreeable depths to tell the story of two damaged people fighting their way back to the light.” A second season is reportedly in the works, following different characters who we can only hope have a beef as delicious as the first. —Kevin Jacobsen

Where to watch Beef: Netflix

EW grade: B (read the review)

Cast: Steven Yeun, Ali Wong, Joseph Lee, Young Mazino, David Choe, Patti Yasutake

Related content: Road rage, revenge piss, and vandalism: Steven Yeun and Ali Wong on the fury at the center of Beef

Bridgerton (2020–present)


This ravishing historical drama became a sensation upon its release in 2020. Based on the beloved book series by Julia Quinn, Bridgerton takes the refined elegance of Regency-era London and combines it with a contemporary flair for sex and passion (or what’s known to romance novel lovers as “bodice rippers”). The series, narrated by the legendary Julie Andrews, revolves around the noble Bridgerton family, focusing primarily on a new sibling each season as they experience the highs and lows of love within the strict rules of their society. EW’s critic calls the series “a wonderful diversion for those who love Pride & Prejudice but wish it had more stairway sex.” —K.J.

Where to watch Bridgerton: Netflix

EW grade: B+ (read the review)

Cast: Phoebe Dynevor, Jonathan Bailey, Luke Thompson, Luke Newton, Claudia Jessie, Florence Hunt, Will Tilston, Ruth Gemmell, Regé-Jean Page, Nicola Coughlan, Julie Andrews

Related content: A guide to the Bridgerton cast, from seasons 1 to 3

The Crown (2016–2023)

Des Willie/Netflix
Des Willie/Netflix

What screams drama more than the British royal family? Going back to the beginning of her reign, The Crown tells the story of Queen Elizabeth II from her wedding to Prince Philip in 1947 until the events of the early 21st century, changing casts every two seasons as the characters age. But the show doesn’t just cover Queen Elizabeth II — it also follows Princess Diana, Prince Charles, and more monarchs. The real royal family has taken umbrage with some of the portrayals in the show, and the writers certainly had creative liberties, but that’s what makes it the drama it is. —Sarah Perchikoff

Where to watch The Crown: Netflix

Cast: Claire Foy, Matt Smith, Vanessa Kirby, John Lithgow, Olivia Colman, Tobias Menzies, Helena Bonham Carter, Josh O’Connor, Emma Corrin, Gillian Anderson

Related content: See The Crown's royal family next to their real-life inspirations

Gilmore Girls (2000–2007)

Everett Collection
Everett Collection

Winter, spring, summer, or fall, the Gilmore Girls are always there when you need them. Created by the sharp-witted Amy Sherman-Palladino, Gilmore Girls is a cozy comedy-drama that centers on the close-knit relationship between fast-talking single mother Lorelai (Lauren Graham) and her gifted daughter Rory (Alexis Bledel). Both deal with tumultuous love lives, aspire to bigger and better things in their professional lives, and make plenty of mistakes along the way. It’s all set within an idyllic small town in Connecticut we desperately wish we could visit, if only to experience some of its quirky traditions and even quirkier residents. —K.J.

Where to watch Gilmore Girls: Netflix

Cast: Lauren Graham, Alexis Bledel, Melissa McCarthy, Keiko Agena, Scott Patterson, Yanic Truesdale, Kelly Bishop, Edward Herrmann

Related content: Every Gilmore Girls season, ranked

GLOW (2017–2019)

Beth Dubber/Netflix
Beth Dubber/Netflix

We still haven’t forgiven Netflix for canceling this dramedy too soon, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t enjoy the three seasons of excellence left in its wake. Based loosely on the Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling TV series from the ‘80s, GLOW centers on a group of young women assembled for the wrestling promotion as they form their colorful personas and find a sense of purpose. At the heart of the show is the tumultuous relationship between frenemies Ruth (Alison Brie) and Debbie (Betty Gilpin), as they try (and sometimes fail) to set aside their differences for the benefit of the show. “Part sports drama, part showbiz satire, part birth-of-the-modern-woman allegory,” EW’s critic calls GLOW “all heartbreaking glitter-blasted humanity.” —K.J.

Where to watch GLOW: Netflix

EW grade: A (read the review)

Cast: Alison Brie, Betty Gilpin, Sydelle Noel, Britney Young, Marc Maron, Britt Baron, Kate Nash, Gayle Rankin, Kia Stevens, Jackie Tohn, Chris Lowell

Related content: Alison Brie describes people's shocked reaction to her wrestler role on GLOW

How to Get Away With Murder (2014–2020)

Richard Cartwright/ABC
Richard Cartwright/ABC

How to Get Away With Murder follows lawyer and law professor Annalise Keating and a group of her students who are involved with a murder inside her house. From there, they cover up that homicide, try cases in court, do anything they deem necessary to win, and avoid committing any more crimes. (Spoiler: They are not successful at the latter.) Each season focuses on a different murder and is carried by THE Viola Davis as the cold, calculated, and ultimately human Keating. When it comes to acting, she can do no wrong, and even when the show’s storylines get outrageous, she gives the whole affair an air of credibility. —S.P.

Where to watch How to Get Away With Murder: Netflix

Cast: Viola Davis, Billy Brown, Alfred Enoch, Jack Falahee, Aja Naomi King, Matt McGorry, Karla Souza, Charlie Weber, Liza Weil

Related content: How to Get Away With Murder cast and creator reflect on the show's legacy

Killing Eve (2018–2022)

Gareth Gatrell/BBCAmerica
Gareth Gatrell/BBCAmerica

This BBC America spy thriller was practically designed for the Netflix binge model. Sandra Oh plays Eve Polastri, an MI6 investigator whose attempt to track down an international assassin known as Villanelle (Jodie Comer) becomes an obsession. Villanelle develops her own fascination with Eve, leading to a unique cat-and-mouse game. The addictive fun of the first few seasons (plus the sizzling chemistry between Oh and Comer) was enough to make this must-see TV, even through the shakier final season. —K.J.

Where to watch Killing Eve: Netflix

EW grade: B+ (read the review)

Cast: Sandra Oh, Jodie Comer, Fiona Shaw, Kim Bodnia, Owen McDonnell, Sean Delaney

Related content: Killing Eve's Sandra Oh and Jodie Comer open up about TV's most mesmerizing, twisted relationship

The Lincoln Lawyer (2022–present)

Lara Solanki/Netflix
Lara Solanki/Netflix

This legal drama, based on the book series of the same name by Michael Connelly, centers on Mickey Haller (Manuel Garcia-Rulfo), a criminal defense lawyer who takes cases while working from the back of his Lincoln Navigator in Los Angeles. In the first season, he finds himself representing the billionaire video game developer Trevor Elliott (Christopher Gorham), who is charged with double murder. Haller works on Elliott’s case with his second ex-wife, Lorna Crane, and her fiance, Cisco, while also maintaining a friendly relationship with his first wife, Maggie McPherson (Neve Campbell). To say his life is complicated would be an understatement; he gets into danger pretty quickly, and his new client might be the reason why... —S.P.

Where to watch The Lincoln Lawyer: Netflix

Cast: Manuel Garcia-Rulfo, Neve Campbell, Becki Newton, Jazz Raycole, Angus Sampson, Christopher Gorham

Related content: Mickey Haller and his backseat law office are driven to win in the first trailer for The Lincoln Lawyer

Midnight Mass (2021)


Riley Flynn (Zach Gilford) returns to his highly religious hometown on Crockett Island just as a new charismatic priest, Father Paul Hill (Hamish Linklater), has taken over the church. Since they both arrived, strange things are happening on the island and the new priest is anything but what he seems. Midnight Mass comes from a master of the horror genre, Mike Flanagan, and it’s one of his best. But Flanagan is also great at providing drama along with his jump scares. What starts as the ominous return of Riley — who went to prison for killing a woman while drunk driving — turns into a supernatural nightmare that even the biggest horror buff couldn’t have seen coming. —S.P.

Where to watch Midnight Mass: Netflix

EW grade: A– (read the review)

Cast: Kate Siegel, Hamish Linklater, Zach Gilford, Kristin Lehman, Samantha Sloyan, Igby Rigney, Rahul Kohli, Annabeth Gish, Alex Essoe, Michael Trucco, Henry Thomas

Related content: Mike Flanagan opens up about the personal journey that shaped his buzzed-about Midnight Mass

Mindhunter (2017–2019)

Merrick Morton/Netflix
Merrick Morton/Netflix

Mindhunter revolves around FBI agents Holden Ford (Jonathan Groff) and Bill Tench (Holt McCallany) as they spearhead the Behavioral Science Unit in Quantico circa 1977. Together, they begin the taboo task of interviewing serial killers to understand their psychology better so they can catch criminals who are still at large. Mindhunter is one of David Fincher’s absolute masterpieces, a pinnacle of true crime television aided by excellent performances all around. The actors playing America’s famous murderers, in particular, are almost too good (see: Cameron Britton as Ed Kemper). —S.P.

Where to watch Mindhunter: Netflix

EW grade: N/A (read the review)

Cast: Jonathan Groff, Holt McCallany, Anna Torv, Hannah Gross, Cotter Smith, Stacey Roca, Cameron Britton, Michael Cerveris

Related content: See how Mindhunter actor compares to the real Charles Manson in creepy side-by-side video

One Day (2024)



“Imagine one selected day struck out of your life,” says Emma (Ambika Mod), quoting Charles Dickens in this romantic limited series, “and think how different its course would have been.” One Day charts 20 years in the lives of two people, working-class Emma and privileged Dexter (Leo Woodall), whom we see on the same day every year. As they age into adulthood, their unique relationship changes as they take different career paths while finding themselves inexorably drawn back to each other. The bittersweet series captures life’s complications and love over time, with charming lead performances that bring the characters from David Nicholls’ 2009 novel (and the lackluster 2011 movie) to life. —K.J.

Where to watch One Day: Netflix

Cast: Ambika Mod, Leo Woodall

Related content: Inside the making of Netflix's poignant, beautiful One Day adaptation

Peaky Blinders (2013–2022)

Robert Viglasky/Netflix
Robert Viglasky/Netflix

Tommy Shelby (Cillian Murphy) leads the Peaky Blinders, a street gang based in Birmingham, England, that he runs with the help of his brothers Arthur (Paul Anderson) and Johnny (Joe Cole) and his aunt Polly (Helen McCrory). While struggling with PTSD from his time in World War I, Tommy must keep the group together and satisfy his ever-growing ambition. Peaky Blinders is one of the most well-written historical dramas streaming on Netflix (or anywhere, for that matter), bringing to mind classic mob movies like The Godfather and Goodfellas. —S.P.

Where to watch Peaky Blinders: Netflix

Cast: Cillian Murphy, Sam Neill, Helen McCrory, Paul Anderson, Annabelle Wallis, Iddo Goldberg, Sophie Rundle, Joe Cole, Ned Dennehy, Benjamin Zephaniah

Related content: Peaky Blinders star Cillian Murphy on a decade of playing Thomas Shelby and why he had to fight for the role

The Queen's Gambit (2020)


Beth Harmon (Anya Taylor-Joy) starts life down on her luck, having lost her mother and been sent to an orphanage where they drug her daily. However, her circumstances begin to change, when she learns how to play chess and quickly becomes a prodigy. But she soon realizes that success does not equal happiness, even as her skill takes her to high places. Based on the book by Walter Tevis, The Queen’s Gambit is one of the most riveting dramas Netflix has ever produced with 11 Emmy wins to prove it, including Outstanding Limited or Anthology Series. —S.P.

Where to watch The Queen’s Gambit: Netflix

EW grade: B (read the review)

Cast: Anya Taylor-Joy, Bill Camp, Moses Ingram, Isla Johnston, Christiane Seidel, Rebecca Root, Chloe Pirrie, Akemnji Ndifornyen, Marielle Heller, Harry Melling

Related content: The Queen's Gambit creator on 'bringing sexy back to chess' and the series' long journey to TV

Ripley (2024)

<p>Netflix</p> Andrew Scott as Tom Ripley in 'Ripley'


Andrew Scott as Tom Ripley in 'Ripley'

Ever since Patricia Highsmith invented him with her 1955 novel, Tom Ripley has been a character of great fascination. Twenty-five years after the release of 1999’s The Talented Mr. Ripley starring Matt Damon, Netflix produced this miniseries about the con artist/serial killer with Andrew Scott in the title role. Ripley, shot in striking black-and-white, follows the plot of the original novel, in which Tom is hired to track down a rich man’s playboy son, Dickie (Johnny Flynn), in Italy, though his task soon morphs into a dangerous obsession. —K.J.

Where to watch Ripley: Netflix

Cast: Andrew Scott, Dakota Fanning, Johnny Flynn, Eliot Sumner, Margherita Buy, Maurizio Lombardi

Related content: Talented Mr. Ripley star Jude Law got emotional watching Netflix's Ripley show: It 'kicked up so many memories'

Shadow and Bone (2021–2023)


Alina Starkov (Jessie Mei Li) is a mapmaker in the Ravkan army. When her best friend Mal (Archie Renaux) is sent on a ship heading into the Fold, she refuses to let him go without her. During their voyage, Alina realizes she’s a magical Grisha and gets her world turned upside down by General Kirigan (Ben Barnes), a.k.a. the Darkling. Based on the books by Leigh Bardugo, Shadow and Bone marries Alina’s storyline with characters Kaz Brekker, Inej Ghafa, and Jesper Fahey, who make up the Crows gang in Kerch. What follows is a riveting fantasy drama that inspires escapism and suspense in equal measure. —S.P.

Where to watch Shadow and Bone: Netflix

Cast: Jessie Mei Li, Archie Renaux, Freddy Carter, Amita Suman, Kit Young, Ben Barnes, Zoë Wanamaker

Related content: Into the Grishaverse: A beginner's guide to Netflix's Shadow and Bone

The Sinner (2017–2021)

Peter Kramer/USA Network
Peter Kramer/USA Network

This gripping anthology drama follows police detective Harry Ambrose (Bill Pullman) as he investigates criminal incidents. Each season centers on a new case: a disturbed woman who kills a man on the beach out of the blue; a 13-year-old boy who poisons a couple; a car crash that proves to be no accident; and a young woman who mysteriously walks off a cliff’s edge. The series goes beyond the traditional whodunit nature of crime mysteries to explore the motivation beyond the acts, with Pullman’s weary detective serving as a strong anchor through the show’s many twists and turns. —K.J.

Where to watch The Sinner: Netflix

EW grade: N/A (read the review)

Cast: Bill Pullman, Jessica Biel, Christopher Abbott, Dohn Norwood, Abby Miller

Related content: Jessica Biel commits an unthinkable act in The Sinner trailer

Six Feet Under (2001–2005)

Everett Collection
Everett Collection

A show about a family of morticians could’ve been unrelentingly depressing. Instead, this HBO drama celebrates life in all its messiness and examines how death isn’t something to fear. Following the untimely demise of their patriarch, the dysfunctional Fisher family tries to keep their lives together while running their Los Angeles funeral home. Whether via impulsive eldest son Nate (Peter Krause), anxious middle son David (Michael C. Hall), artsy little sister Claire (Lauren Ambrose), or their repressed mother Ruth (Frances Conroy), the struggles the Fishers face are almost painfully relatable. And it all builds up to one of the best series finales in television history. —K.J.

Where to watch Six Feet Under: Netflix

Cast: Peter Krause, Michael C. Hall, Frances Conroy, Lauren Ambrose, Freddy Rodriguez, Mathew St. Patrick, Jeremy Sisto, Rachel Griffiths

Related content: Six Feet Under at 20: A look back at HBO's groundbreaking drama

Stateless (2020)


This six-part limited series centers on an Australian immigration detention center, where runaway flight attendant Sofie (Yvonne Strahovski) is unlawfully being kept. Based on a stranger-than-fiction true story, Stateless follows the experiences of Sofie as well as Afghan refugee Ameer (Fayssal Bazzi), conflicted security guard Cam (Jai Courtney), and bureaucrat Clare (Asher Keddie) as they try to make their way through a flawed system. The emotionally stirring drama centers on an unusual case but also finds room to critique the system at large, especially in its depiction of Ameer’s struggles. To quote EW’s critic: “Stateless is a bit of a tough sit, for sure, but you’ll find it even tougher to turn away.” —K.J.

Where to watch Stateless: Netflix

EW grade: A– (read the review)

Cast: Yvonne Strahovski, Jai Courtney, Fayssal Bazzi, Asher Keddie, Cate Blanchett, Dominic West, Saajeda Samaa

Related content: Watch the tense trailer for Netflix's refugee drama Stateless

Suits (2011–2019)

Robert Ascroft/USA Network/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty
Robert Ascroft/USA Network/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty

Suits may have ended in 2019, but it’s arguably more popular now than ever after hitting Netflix last year. The legal drama’s massive success on the streamer was one of the most pleasant surprises of 2023, with viewers hooked on the dynamic between corporate attorney Harvey Specter (Gabriel Macht) and Mike Ross (Patrick J. Adams), a brilliant man with a photographic memory who persuaded Harvey to hire him at his firm despite not having a law degree. It’s easy to understand why the show took off on Netflix, even with only the first eight of nine total seasons available: In an era of lore-heavy dramas, here’s a show with the right formula of light procedural entertainment with a killer cast. —K.J.

Where to watch Suits: Netflix

EW grade: N/A (read the review)

Cast: Gabriel Macht, Patrick J. Adams, Rick Hoffman, Meghan Markle, Sarah Rafferty, Gina Torres

Related content: A new Suits show is in development amid the original's streaming success

This Is Us (2016–2022)



This earnestly emotional drama has rightfully earned a reputation for making viewers cry. The series centers on the Pearson siblings — twins Kevin and Kate (really, surviving triplets) with their adopted brother Randall — and their parents, Jack and Rebecca. Flashing back and forth between the past and present, we learn how the Pearsons were shaped by their childhood, including the traumatic loss of their father, as they face personal and professional struggles in adulthood. Packed with beautiful performances by the likes of Sterling K. Brown, Mandy Moore, Chrissy Metz, and Justin Hartley, This Is Us is a cathartic watch and, according to EW’s critic, “a refreshing respite from the relational violence and pessimism that marks the other buzz soaps that have bubbled forth from a culture of divisiveness.” —K.J.

Where to watch This Is Us: Netflix

EW grade: B (read the review)

Cast: Milo Ventimiglia, Mandy Moore, Sterling K. Brown, Chrissy Metz, Justin Hartley, Susan Kelechi Watson, Chris Sullivan

Related content: This Is Us stars on the lines they can't stop thinking about

Read the original article on Entertainment Weekly.