40 Best Shows on Netflix Canada Right Now

Notable TV shows on Netflix Canada are not limited to stuff that's produced by Netflix itself. Luther, Happy Valley and People Just Do Nothing are great examples of this. They're originally from the BBC, but are available to stream in Canada. Same with Flowers, the incredible yet little-known TV show with Olivia Colman, Outlander, and many other picks from this list of the very best little-binged TV shows on Canadian Netflix.

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.

(Bilal Zouheir)
Genre: Comedy, Mystery
Actor: Brendan Sexton III, Brooke Timber, Charlie Barnett, Chloe Sevigny, Dascha Polanco, Elizabeth Ashley, George Aloi, Greta Lee, Jeremy Bobb, Jes Davis, Natasha Lyonne, Rebecca Henderson, Whitney Devlin, Yul Vazquez
Rating: TV-MA
Go to Netflix Canada
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.

(Bilal Zouheir)
Genre: Comedy
Actor: Augustus Prew, Jessica Hecht, Julie Cude-Eaton, Kat Rogers, Marla Mindelle, Patrick Fabian, Punam Patel, Ryan O'Connell, Ryan O'Connell, Samantha Lee
Rating: TV-MA
Go to Netflix Canada
Street Food

When I learned about Street Food the first time, I was reluctant to sit through yet another Netflix cooking show. They’ve made so many that when I want to bring up an episode with a friend I forget if I saw it in Ugly Delicious, Chef’s Table, Salt Fat Acid Heat or others. I can’t say that Street Food is a different format. It uses the same slow-motion takes of food, the same close-ups on chefs and the same style of interviews. Here is the thing though. Street Food might be similar to other Netflix cooking shows, but it’s also better than them in almost every way. Much better. It’s only 30 minutes long per episode, so it doesn’t indulge in egos or stray into unrelated stories. It doesn’t showcase kitchens where only the rich eat, like Chef’s Table often does, but stalls that are accessible to everyone. And in the best way, it connects the story of the food makers to the food. The show is mostly about middle-aged to senior women, and people who do not make that much money. It’s not about glamorous young chefs. It’s about food stripped away from any marketing or showbiz. Real cooking, real chefs, real diners. In its unpretentious nature, Street Food feels euphoric.

(Bilal Zouheir)
Genre: Documentary
Actor: Daniel Lee Gray, Philip Hersh
Rating: TV-G
Go to Netflix Canada
3%
37.

From the Oscar-nominated cinematographer of City of God, this is a Brazilian Netflix TV show that I can only describe as a smarter Hunger Games. In a dystopian society, the majority of the planet’s population lives in extreme poverty while a select 3% (hence the title) live in a heaven-like world called “The Offshore”. Every year, the 20-year-olds of the planet get a chance to join the 3% in a selection process that for the first time might harbor moles. With an intriguing first episode that shares just enough to keep you informed but engaged, it’s easy to want to binge-watch the whole first season of 3% in one sitting.

(Bilal Zouheir)
Genre: Drama
Actor: Bianca Comparato, Celso Frateschi, Cynthia Senek, João Miguel, Mel Fronckowiak, Michel Gomes, Rafael Lozano, Rodolfo Valente, Sergio Mamberti, Vaneza Oliveira, Viviane Porto, Zeze Motta
Rating: TV-MA
College Behind Bars

This documentary from Ken Burns is a selection of stories from prisoners enrolled in a competitive college program. Many of the prisoners are in maximum-security facilities, some for serious crimes.

Seeing their difficult imprisonment conditions, the struggles they come from, and yet their incredible determination to excel in their education - it’s all such a humbling and emotional affair.

(Bilal Zouheir)
Genre: Documentary
Rating: TV-14
Go to Netflix Canada
Immigration Nation

For three years, the makers of this docuseries gained in-depth access to ICE and other government agencies to document the current state of the U.S. immigration system.

Immigration Nation looks at how ICE functions from within, but it also focuses on the human toll of its methods. When a migrant freezes to death, an officer calls his distraught father to notify him. It quickly becomes apparent that the officer is using the same call to try to establish if the father is in the U.S. legally or if he should be deported.

The show also makes an important point of noting that the harshness of the U.S. immigration system didn’t start with the current administration. “Prevention through deterrence” Clinton-era policies, for example, forced migrants towards desert routes, killing around 10,000 people from dehydration.

(Bilal Zouheir)
Genre: Documentary
Rating: TV-MA
Go to Netflix Canada
The Keepers

With true crime hitting an all-time high, and Making a Murderer making millions, here comes Netflix's The Keepers. However, while the two shows share a common genre and general tone of voice, The Keepers is a much more interesting show. For one, it focuses on the victims and their stories, instead of the grisly perpetrators. Second, it trades cliffhangers for substance without compromising on breathtaking twists and revelations. Across seven taut episodes, it meticulously examines the unsolved murder of Catherine Cesnik, a Baltimore nun in 1969, who is suspected of being murdered to cover up sexual abuse at the Catholic high school she taught at. Adroitly edited, beautifully shot, and featuring great music by Blake Neely, The Keepers unfolds a horrific tale and emphatically captures the pain still lingering on five decades later.

(Bilal Zouheir)
Genre: Crime, Documentary, Mystery
Actor: Abbie Schaub, Gemma Hoskins, Jean Hargadon Wehner, Tom Nugent, Virginia Anzengruber
Director: Ryan White
Rating: TV-MA
Go to Netflix Canada
Dix pour cent

Think of Dix pour cent, or Call My Agent!, as it was so horribly translated, as a smart French version of Mark Wahlberg's Entourage or, as the director once quipped, Desperate Housewives with actors and their agents. Ten percent (dix pour cent) is the fee that said French agents receive as compensation from the actor's fee. It chronicles the life of an aspiring talent agent at a French casting agency. New to Paris, she lands her dream job, but now has to deal with a variety of very stressed-out, capricious characters on both sides of the bargain. It is one of those shows that finds hilarity in the fact that nobody actually talks to each other over sometimes simple issues. On the actor's side, many of the appearing A-listers star as themselves. The countless cameos include the likes of Jean Reno, Monica Belucci, and Charlotte Gainsbourg. It's basically a soap opera but so well-written and complex, you might refrain from binging it too hard just to make it last longer.

(Bilal Zouheir)
Genre: Comedy, Drama
Actor: Anne Marivin, Assaad Bouab, Camille Cottin, Fanny Sidney, Grégory Montel, Laure Calamy, Liliane Rovere, Nicolas Maury, Ophélia Kolb, Ophélia Kolb, Stefi Celma, Thibault de Montalembert
Rating: N/A, Not Rated
Go to Netflix Canada
Godless

Very violent, very Western, and, in a breath of fresh air: very female. Godless is a grim and visually stunning series about a small New Mexico town populated almost entirely by women, including Alice Fletcher, a reserved and self-reliant widow played by Michelle Dockery. Roy Goode (played by Jeff Daniels, who won an Emmy for it) is an outlaw chased by a much worse outlaw, Frank Griffin, who is taking in by the mysterious, gun-toting widows. Written and directed by Scott Frank and executive-produced by Steven Soderbergh, Godless is an honest and powerful show with amazing performances. So amazing, it's hard to single one of them out. If you love Westerns but sometimes find them too foreseeable, this show is for you.

(Bilal Zouheir)
Genre: Drama, Western
Actor: Jack O'Connell, Jeff Daniels, Jessica Sula, Joleen Baughman, Kim Coates, Luke Robertson, Merritt Wever, Michelle Dockery, Rio Alexander, Sam Waterston, Samuel Marty, Scoot McNairy, Tantoo Cardinal, Thomas Brodie-Sangster
Rating: TV-MA
Go to Netflix Canada
The Letdown

If you're like us, there's always room for good 20-minute comedy show in your life. But we also live in the “age of the cerebral”, so you're typically getting some really deep stuff to go with it. Written with a lot of heart by Alison Bell (who you might know from Laid), the female lead, and Sarah Scheller, The Letdown perfectly captures the transition from being a care-free thirty-something to becoming a mother, where everything feels too much and failing feels only a second away. It doesn't help that new mother Audrey Holloway seeks help at a parenting group with a rather unhelpful maternal health nurse (Noni Hazlehurst). Audrey's career-focused husband Jeremy (Duncan Fellows) also has a penchant for being unhelpful and so it's up to her to somehow make things right. Anybody who has had a child or knows somebody that does will be able to confirm the hilarious honesty of The Letdown's writing and performances. And from that honesty comes a lot of dramatic realness but also a very funny, well-paced show.

(Bilal Zouheir)
Genre: Comedy
Actor: Alison Bell, Celeste Barber, Duncan Fellows, John Leary, Leah Vandenberg, Leon Ford, Lucy Durack, Noni Hazlehurst, Patrick Brammall, Sacha Horler, Sarah Peirse, Xana Tang
Rating: N/A
Go to Netflix Canada

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A quick recap

Split by genre of this selection on agoodmovietowatch.com
Comedy
28
Drama
43
Documentary
42
Romance
2
Average score
82.6%
from our staff
Average score
87.3%
from our users
There are
34
more suggestions in this category.
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