35 Best TV-MA TV Shows on Netflix Right Now

agoodmovietowatch is a portal for highly-rated yet little-known movies and shows. Below are our best recommendations rated TV-MA on Netflix.

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Lovesick

A British comedy series that was originally called Scrotal Recall before it was bought by Netflix and rebranded. It’s about Dylan and his friends, he is a desperate romantic in his 20s who suddenly discovers he has chlamydia, and therefore must contact all his (numerous) past sexual adventures and relationships. Every episode has the name of one of the girls he has to contact, and the story that goes with it. Dylan’s best friends are Luke, a hilarious seemingly confident but actually insecure, shallow business-school-type; and Eve, Dylan’s best friend who may have undisclosed feelings for him, she is a sarcastic, smart girl who is very well portrayed by Misfits star Antonia Thomas. Lovesick is a charming little series, that portrays failed relationships but ends up being beautifully romantic. Something you can easily find yourself watching many episodes in one take.

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Marco Polo

This colossal-budget show ($90 million for the first season alone) never caught a break. Somehow it didn’t make it to the big audience it deserved. It tells the grand story of Marco Polo the explorer, and the years he spent with the Mongols, going back forth in their ranks between prisoner and leader. It was during this crucial time for the empire that Kublai Khan had extended the reach of his empire even further than his more famous grandfather Genghis Khan. As you’d expect with a show featuring this many characters and such a new world, the first season is not as entertaining as could be, but the show becomes its full-self as a true epic in season 2.

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Bates Motel

Bates Motel is a prequel to the 1960 Hitchcock cult classic Psycho. Need I say more? Set in modern-day Oregon, It portraits the unusual relationship between protagonists Norman (Freddie Highmore) and his mother Norma (Vera Farmiga) as they go about their lives inside the Bates Motel. While it is a great show in every way, nothing beats the premise, it’s wildly interesting to discover what Psycho’s Norman Bates’ teenage years would have looked like. You guessed it: Lots of murder, intrigue, and a healthy dose of psychopathic disorders.

This psychological horror drama’s clever writing and splendid performances do a great job of building tension and making the viewer feel uncomfortable, not to mention keeping you on the edge of your seat throughout its 5 seasons.

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GLOW
32.

In an age where every show gets called “original” the minute after it comes out, this amazing series from the creators of Orange is the New Black will actually make you go “no, that show is different!”. Starring an almost all-women cast (except for the coach, played masterfully by podcast icon Marc Maron), it’s the story of how a crazy wrestling show was put together in the 1980s called Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling. Alison Brie (Community) plays the girl at the center of the effort to make this show happen, having had a terribly failed career thus far. Perfectly acted and featuring funny as well as absurd moments, GLOW is a great show that you can binge on Netflix without noticing the episodes fly by.

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Atypical

Keir Gilchrist who you may know from the movie It’s Kind of a Funny Story plays Sam, an 18-year-old on the autistic spectrum trying to navigate the “typical” aspects of a teenager’s life: dating, independence, friendships, etc. Perhaps people dealing with autism can better attest to this, but the show feels genuine and realistic. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a comedy, but it’s a really heartfelt approach to the funny sitcom format. In a lot of ways, Atypical is the perfect 2017 Netflix-age coming-of-age sitcom: it’s funny and smart, but also keen to be realistic. And Atypical is about Sam’s family almost as much as it is about him, and how they adjust to his new quest for self-discovery. Look out for newcomer Brigette Lundy-Paine, who does an amazing job playing Sam’s siter Casey!

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Love
30.

About love as much as it is about loneliness, romance as much as realism and the longing for a genuine connection as much as being tired of that longing – this is a smart and well nuanced series on building relationships. It follows Gus and Mickey, two damaged people trying to recover from bad breakups. They’re respectively played by writer/creater Paul Rust and Gillian Jacobs (Britta from Community). Love portrays their love story as an example of relationships by default, chemistry that stems more from the need to be in a relationship than any physical or intellectual attraction. And it features many hilarious sequences, some are cleverly composed jokes but most of them are the painfully-real type.

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The Get Down

Watch out for Ezekiel in this show, he will steal your heart. And also please sit through the first episode. Yes, it’s long, but if you get The Get Down, it is one of the best shows on Netflix. Created by Baz Luhrmann and Pulitzer Prize winning playwright Stephen Adly Guirgis, it narrates the rise of hip-hop in a broken 1970’s New York. The impressive credentials don’t stop there, as the series is narrated by Nas, features work by four-time Academy Award winner Catherine Martin as well as hip-hop historian Nelson George. It is perhaps for this reason that the word “narration” takes its full meaning here. Every episode, every scene, every character are made with extreme care, resulting in sometimes longer than necessary sequences. A sacrifice that will make some viewers very happy, but which many might have a hard time adjusting to.

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The Keepers

This is an amazing mini-series of 7 episodes marketed as being the same as the Netflix hit show Making a Murderer. While the two share some of the defining tones, The Keepers is a much more interesting show. It trades cliffhangers for substance, without compromising at all on the mystery of the murder addressed. It gives the bigger picture on what was going on in Baltimore at the time of the murder, and then heavily focuses on the victims from after the murder. It’s a riveting tale of injustice, sexual abuse, and corruption. If you so much as like true crime shows (or movies like Spotlight), you’re going to not only love The Keepers, but you will find it inspiring in how it addresses the uncovering of secrets.

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Mindhunter

Two seasons are available now of this exquisite crime show made under the supervision of David Fincher. Mindhunter’s pacing, incredible stories, and great acting make it so easy yet so enjoyable to consume. The show is about FBI agent Holden Ford, who becomes involved with the freshly founded Behavioral Science Unit headed by agent Bill Tench (marvelously played by Holt McCallany). Together they go around the country interviewing serial killers and trying to solve open murder cases. It’s a retro account of the start of serial murders and law enforcement’s early attempts to understand them. Netflix’s most binge-worthy show so far, Mindhunter is a very interesting, almost scientific thriller.

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Dark
26.

If you liked Netflix’ Stranger Things gloomy suspense, sit tight because there is a lot more of where that came from in Dark. Here is what they have in common: the aesthetic, great music, and they’re both about the disappearance of a child. Other than that, it is very difficult to compare Dark to anything else I’ve seen before.

This German show is about a town with a long and dark history, which is brought to the forefront of the collective conscious when a child goes missing. The plot twists and turns through decades of history – and that’s as much as I will share without ruining the show for you. 

Dark uses beautiful aesthetic, both visually and musically, to be compelling and painfully tension-ridden. 

Season two has more bouncing between timelines and more dark and inexplicable events, as now six people are missing. 

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Wentworth

Dark and almost too realistic, Wentworth is the women’s prison drama that I’ve been waiting for.

This Australian show might have the same set-up as Orange is the New Black — following a recently incarcerated woman as she discovers a new world — but the two series couldn’t be more different. Wentworth is more Breaking Bad than Orange is the New Black.

The difference: It doesn’t follow people who are wronged by the system or who are misunderstood, but women that have actually done violent things, and continue being violent in prison.

It appeals to everyone’s dark side: It seems impossible for any character to achieve redemption. The show’s biggest selling-point is that it never goes the violence for the sake of violence route. Its immaculate character development guarantees reason and authenticity behind every act.

This a true hidden gem.

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Flint Town

A captivating documentary series on the struggling state of the police department in Flint, Michigan; and by extension a large proportion of American cities. The town that had made the news for its water crisis is home to another crisis that dates back further: an exponential rise in crime.  The police department, however, keeps losing funding year over year, so much so that they can only have less than 9 one-officer cars patrolling the (large) city at any one time.  A sobering and impressive account that follows officers facing not only harrowing situations in a failing city, but also the constant fear of being laid-off.

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Godless

Violent, very Western, and in a breath of fresh air: female. Godless is a show about strong bad-ass women that govern their own town in the late 1800s. Roy Goode is their visitor, an outlaw chased by another, much worse outlaw, Frank Griffin. It’s an honest and powerful show with some amazing performances, and even more amazing aesthetics. If you love Westerns but find them too predictable, this show was made for you.

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Wild Wild Country

A Netflix documentary mini-series that follows the relocation of a cult from India to a small town in Oregon and the ensuing events. It’s a completely true story, but the events it portrays are so bizarre and unexpected that they have to be seen to be believed. The cult, led by a controversial Indian guru, drew worldwide attention to its beginnings in India and then to its conflict with the locals once it relocated to the United States. If you were a contemporary, you must know that the town is Antelope and the guru is Bhagwan or Osho, but if you were not, it is very unlikely you’ve even heard of it. What was a very significant moment in American media and history has been long forgotten, and is retold here in a captivating way. An extremely well-executed and a powerful account of a very unlikely story.

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Man, don’t watch this show hungry. Chef David Chang has both the genius and humility to make whatever food he touches both fascinating and insanely appealing. Each episode follows a particular dish in the places where it’s made best, but also in the places that’s it’s known for. So for example the first episode about pizza goes to Japan to investigate a new pizza in a Michelin-star restaurant, but also goes to Domino’s. Chang has almost a f*ck it attitude towards the food industry that’s not only refreshing to watch on him, but also disarms his guests and sparks interesting conversation. One of the best food shows you can watch today.

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Seven Seconds

The first episode is directed by the maker of Warrior, Gavin O’Connor, and shares its emotional, yet suspenseful and action-packed flow.

A white police officer and his squad are involved in an attempt to cover up the hit-and-run murder of a black teenager. You’ll see the officers weigh guilt and remorse against their fears of exposure and a backlash. You’ll also meet the teenager’s heartbroken family and a disorganized prosecutor.

Its tales of race and institutional bias are compelling, but its greatest strength is the script. Add strong acting, especially by Regina King and Russell Hornsby, and you get one of the best police dramas Netflix has ever had.

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Penny Dreadful

Set in Victorian London, it’s about a guy who sets out on a mission to find his missing family. He is helped by a mysterious medium played by the ever-amazing Eva Green. If you make it to the second season, I genuinely think it’s the better watch. The first season is good, so it won’t be that hard to get there. (Side note: This super cool show pays tribute to some familiar fictional characters like Dr. Frankenstein, Dracula and, Dorian Gray. )

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The Last Kingdom

This historical fantasy show is based on the best-selling novel The Saxon Stories, a story set during the Viking / Dane invasion of Britain.

Uhtred was a small boy when he was kidnapped and then raised by the Danes. When he unexpectedly gets caught up in the conflict, his half-Saxon half-Dane mix makes at the same time valuable and untrustworthy for both sides.

There has never been a better alternative to Game of Thrones. The great writing and great performances from a cast of newcomers inevitably induce the same sense of addiction.

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Derry Girls

If you’re looking for a funny yet original sitcom, look no further than Derry Girls. 

It takes place in 1990s Northern Ireland where civil unrest reigns. News of bombings is regular. This is a cause for concern for a lot of people, but for one group of teenage girls life continues as usual. Making fun of the first boy at their all girls school and being embarrassed by crushes are unshakable priorities. 

Derry Girls might have been a good show with just the 90s nostalgia and the political undertone, but the sharp and hilarious writing elevate it to greatness. It is truly one of the best sitcoms ever made. If you liked The End of the F***ing World, you will enjoy Derry Girls. They differ in plot but they both carry similar elements of dark and dry humour. 

Watch out for Sister Michael, she is hilarious. 

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Sex Education

Sex Education is an original mix of what its title would indicate, but also of heartfelt and funny stories. Otis, a British teenager whose mom is a sex and relationship therapist, starts harnessing her knowledge to help the sex woes of the kids in his high-school. Hilarity regularly ensues as you’d expect from anything involving sex and uninitiated teenagers. But for all its worth, Sex Education is never cringe-worthy. Its realistic writing of teenage misadventures can teach any adult a thing or two. If you liked Lovesick, another Netflix British comedy about sex trouble, you will like Sex Education.

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Russian Doll

Nadia is a game developer and proud aging hipster living in New York. Her story starts at her thirty-sixth birthday party looking at herself in the bathroom mirror. On her way out, she finds a friend who hands her a joint laced with cocaine, “that’s how the Israelis do it” her friend says.

Nadia hooks up with a guy and they stop at a bodega on the way back to her place. So far everything seems normal (in a New York-hipster kind of way). But on her way out of the bodega, she is hit by a car and dies. The story restarts, at the same birthday party, staring at herself in the mirror.

Russian Doll can be summarized in what Nadia screams later that night: “the universe is trying to f*ck with me, and I refuse to engage”. Her strong personality and the events that happen to her allow the show to explore themes of vulnerability, trauma, and even life and death. Russian Doll repeats almost every episode, but its originality and plot twists make it more refreshing with every repeat.

This rhythm takes some quick getting used to, but the moment you do you will not be able to look away. Natasha Lyonne from Orange is the New Black is masterful at playing Nadia. She co-created the show with Amy Poehler and Sleeping With Other People director, Leslye Headland. She packs a lot of the originality and character that possibly makes Russian Doll the most fun and original show you will watch in 2019.

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I’m Sorry

In one scene, the main character’s husband looks at her with disdain after she makes an inappropriate joke –  “you are somebody’s mother!” She looks back with the same disdain – “I’m sorry, I forgot, moms aren’t supposed to be funny.”

Funny is a good word to use here, because this show is hilarious. Comedian Andrea Savage makes a TV show based on her life, or rather, that is her life (it’s a thin line). The show’s easy going tone is only interrupted by Andrea’s lack of consideration of what is appropriate.

Her jokes are heavy and offensive, and if you don’t mind either, so funny. They range from teaching her mom about unexpected sexual slang to trying a by-all-means approach to comfort her daughter’s fear of Nazis. 

Funny, natural and entertaining – I’m Sorry is a joy to watch.

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After Life

In After Life, Ricky Gervais plays a kind-hearted journalist who turns dark after his wife passes away. Her parting gift to him is a video manual on how to deal with life. But his pessimism and annoyance with people keep delaying him from watching it. Worst of all, a new recruit at the newspaper is assigned to work with him. Her determined personality not only further delays him from dealing with his sadness, but gives him the platform to be even darker and more pessimistic. After Life is a mix of dark humor, straightforward drama, and tragedy. It’s a difficult story packaged in the easiest and most digestible TV form. The episodes are quick, have clear arcs and plot; and yet, you won’t be able to shake the feeling that you’re watching something much deeper than a Ricky Gervais comedy.

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Special

Clocking just 15 minutes per episode, Special is like a candy bar. It’s quick to consume but sweet as sugar. This new Netflix Original is set around a gay man with cerebral palsy, a disability that affects his body coordination but not his brain. As Ryan puts it in the first episode, it’s a disability that doesn’t make him normal but also is not severe enough for him to be part of the “cool disabled crew”. Ryan decides to turn his life around by pretending his disability is due to a car accident. People around him, especially at the exploitative millennial magazine “eggwoke” where he is an intern, start treating him differently. The car accident story provides a more accessible framework for them to understand his condition. It’s hard to believe a TV show can come out today and still manage to be so different from the rest, but Special does it. In other words, and I’m sorry to be this cheeky; Special is special.

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I Think You Should Leave with Tim Robinson

Tim Robinson, who was briefly a Saturday Night Live actor, writes and stars in this series of hilarious and absurd comedy sketches. Every episode is 20 minutes or less and has about five or six skits. Robinson is supported by an array of talented actors like Andy Samberg, Cecily Strong, Will Forte, and Steven Yeun. The show starts off strong with possibly one of its best sketches – a job candidate who snaps when confronted with the small mishap of not knowing how to open a door. Then it moves to more absurd territory, like a horrific encounter caused by a “honk if you’re horny” sticker, a baby peageant that goes wrong, and so on. The brand of comedy is unique, and you will probably know if you like it or not from the first sketch alone (if you don’t, there is probably no reason to keep watching). Fans of The Eric Andre Show and Key and Peele will love this.

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Elite
10.

Three kids from a poor neighborhood win scholarships to the best high-school in Spain and later find themselves at the center of a murder. There is a lot that comes to the surface from the working-class kids clashing with the wealthy. Themes of money, power, religion, and even sexuality make this show so compelling that I never felt like I needed a murder to keep watching.

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Unbelievable

Unbelievable is one of the best Netflix productions in a while and definitely the best detective-centric show since the first season of True Detective.

After a rape victim is not believed by the detectives who are assigned to her case, details of a similar incident surface elsewhere.

Two detectives played masterfully by Toni Collette and Merritt Wever, embark on a relentless journey to catch the perpetrator in this thrilling and insanely bingeable true-crime show.

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Vis a Vis

TV nerds know that Orange is the New Black, as much as it’s hailed in the U.S. for being ‘crazy’, doesn’t deserve that title. It’s only a mellow take on the women prison genre that was perfected outside the States. The Australian show Wentworth is one example and Vis a Vis (or Locked Up) is another. The show starts with an inmate being boiled alive.

Macarena Ferreiro is set up by her boss/lover and ends up in prison for tax crimes. First naive and used to luxury, she has to adapt to harsh prison conditions, and harsher inmates. On the outside, her parents try to secure a large sum to pay her bail.

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The Pharmacist

It’s difficult to describe this miniseries as just one thing: it has elements of true crime, but it’s more than just a “Netflix true-crime show.” It’s also about an immensely empathetic and likable family man who joins the fight against the opioid epidemic.

Dan Schneider, a small-town pharmacist, lost his teenage son to drug-related violence in New Orleans’ notorious Lower 9th Ward neighborhood. With corruption rampant in the city’s police department, he takes matters into his own hands and starts investigating his son’s murder.

Beyond this murder, Dan notices a rise in opioid prescriptions from one doctor. Fueled by a relentless determination to protect other children from addiction, he quits his job and begins to gather evidence against this doctor and, by extension, the company responsible for the sale of Oxycodone: Purdue Pharma.

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Feel Good

Lisa Kudrow and many other recognizable faces star in this sweet British comedy that feels like a Fleabag take on LGBTQ+ love.

Mae (played by Canadian comedian Mae Martin) is a stand-up comic in London who starts dating a fan, George (Charlotte Ritchie). Up to that point, George had only dated men.

Martin also co-wrote and co-created the show, with Skins’ Joe Hampson, making Feel Good a semi-autobiographical show.

Mae the character is self-destructive, but also funny and sharp. George is lost and unpredictable. Following them as they navigate their new relationship is sometimes funny, more times heartbreaking, but always charming.

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Unorthodox

This excellent new miniseries is a drama that takes place in an ultra-Orthodox Jewish family. Esty, a nineteen-year-old girl who is unhappy in her arranged marriage, escapes this community and travels from New York to Berlin in hopes of starting a new life.

Like all good realistic dramas, there are no truly bad people in Unorthodox. Everyone is trying to do what they think is right, which still makes for very complicated situations. Esty is played by Israeli actor Shira Haas and I know this word is overused but she really is a revelation.

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Sunderland ‘Til I die

An endearing show about a working-class town and their team who had just been demoted out of the English Premier League. Nothing is going well in the town of Sunderland, and to put it in the words of a fan, if the team doesn’t do well (it doesn’t) “that’s just the last nail in the coffin”.

This story of a failing team struggling not to let down its town makes you an instant fan and puts you through the disappointment and triumphs that life-long supporters have to live with every week.

With everything from game footage to interviews and behind the scenes politics, it’s also the perfect fix for anyone who misses sporting events.

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Alias Grace

This miniseries is based on a Margret Atwood novel and was also produced by her. The script was written by Canadian filmmaker extraordinaire Sarah Polley (Stories We Tell).

Grace is a poor but bright Irish immigrant in Upper Canada who is accused and convicted of a double murder. 15 years into her life sentence, a young American doctor is sent to try to get her out.

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Man Like Mobeen

Mobeen, Nate, and Eight are three friends from Birmingham. Mobeen, the head of the group, takes care of his sister in the absence of his parents and tries to be a good Muslim and citizen while escaping his past as a drug dealer. In the first episode, a transaction to buy a laptop results in three SWAT teams being called on Mobeen and his friends.

A lot of Man like Mobeen is silly, laugh-out-loud comedy. But as its creator wanted, it also gets serious very quickly. Themes of teenage knife crime (in the second season), the rise of right-wing sentiment, and a problematic relationship with the police are constantly being brought up without ever feeling forced.

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Get Shorty

Ray Romano and Chris O’Dowd (Bridesmaids) star in this dark comedy-thriller about a gangster who attempts a career as a Hollywood producer. It’s based on the novel that the 1995 John Travolta and Danny DeVito movie by the same name was also based on *catches breath*.

There is something undeniably funny about people in crime who try to reform themselves in Hollywood, the same thing that Bill Hader perfected in Barry. The switch from real to fake and back is equally as well-executed in Get Shorty.

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A quick recap

Split by genre of this selection on agoodmovietowatch.com
Comedy
Drama
Documentary
Romance
Average score
80.7%
from our staff
Average score
82.3%
from our users