40 Best Shows on Netflix Canada Right Now

40 Best Shows on Netflix Canada Right Now

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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.

30. Lost Ollie

best

8.4

Country

United States of America

Actors

Gina Rodriguez, Jake Johnson, Jonathan Groff, Kesler Talbot

Moods

Dramatic, Emotional, Lovely

The Netflix four-part miniseries Lost Ollie is a bit like if Toy Story was adapted into a live-action dramedy. You’ll recognize the premise immediately: lost toy comes to life and loyally sets out on a journey to find its kid. But stuffed in between those points are poignant moments and reflections about life, family, and being.

The film isn’t also afraid to touch on darker themes, so if you’ve always wished for a slightly more mature but still kid-friendly version of this narrative—and if you’re a fan of the likes of Paddington the Velveteen Rabbit—then you’ll enjoy Lost Ollie.

29. Losers

8.4

Country

United States of America

Actors

Mauro Prosperi, Michael Bentt, Surya Bonaly

Moods

Docu-series, Instructive, Thought-provoking

While this perspective on competitive sports is obviously unconventional, it makes perfect sense. Winners are boring. If you win, you win. The losers, however, have defeat to deal with. As the proverb goes, you learn little from victory, but a great deal from defeat. Director and creator of the show’s amazing animation, Mickey Duzyj, was inspired by a personal experience during a tennis tournament as a teenager. Each episode of this 2019 Netflix show tells a different story from a different sport. For starters, episode one looks at Michael Bentt, a world champion boxer who was forced into the sport by his abusive father. So, things do get dark, as could be expected, the storytelling is complex, but the message of Losers is as simple as it is wholesome. Like the characters and life stories it portrays, this show will pick you up when you are down!

28. Rectify

8.4

Country

United States of America

Actors

Abigail Spencer, Adelaide Clemens, Aden Young, Bruce McKinnon

Moods

Thrilling

Some of the best novels of all time will probably take a few pages to introduce their premise, backstory, and key characters, and might demand some patience until the plot fully unfolds. This might be a hard sell in today’s world of short attention-spans, but some stories just need the time. Rectify is one of those stories. We meet Daniel Holden, played by Aden Young, after he is released from death-row prison after 19 years. While smart and thoughtful, Holden is obviously a damaged man, slightly out of synch with the world outside. His release affects his family very differently – some, like his sister, Agatha, had been fighting for his release since the day he was arrested. Others, like his brother-in-law, suspect he’s guilty of the crime he was accused of. Still others, like the fictional town’s sheriff, are bent on finding new evidence to lock him away again. So, in addition to awe-striking Southern landscapes, thought-provoking themes, subtle writing, you get a deep and detailed character-driven plot played by amazing actors. It might be too slow for some. This is not a who-dunnit or true-crime voyeurism. But you will be hard-pressed to find someone who isn’t enveloped by torrent of emotion when Daniel meets his mother and sister outside of a prison cell for the first time in nearly twenty years in the very first episode. And it really gets better and better with every season.

27. Explained

8.4

Country

d, United States of America

Moods

Docu-series, Instructive

Produced by Ezra Klein’s Vox Media, an explanatory news site with liberal leanings, this may well be Netflix’s first successful attempt at a traditional weekly television show. And a news show at that. But as the title suggests, Explained doesn’t aim at updating you on current events, but takes short but in-depth looks at topics that tend to get overlooked in news cycles such as the racial wealth gap, monogamy, and the rise of cryptocurrencies. The idea is not unique. The only thing YouTube might have more of than make-up advice videos are explanatory monologues by self-declared Illuminati. However, those familiar with Vox Media’s previous outings on YouTube know to expect high production value, serious research, and digestible visual journalism at its best. Don’t watch it with your special uncle, though because he will start yelling at the television.

26. Kingdom

best

8.5

Country

Japan, South Korea

Actors

Bae Doona, Heo Joon-ho, Heo Jun-ho, Jeon Seok-ho

Moods

Binge-Worthy, Dark, Intense

16th century Korea—the small kingdom is governed by a royal family, but the sudden death of the king causes a power struggle among the elite, which in turn opens the window for either genuine change or further corrupt rule. At the heart of this is Crown Prince Lee Chang (Ju Ji-hoon), who conspires with the rebel scholars to bring his corrupt rivals down.

This all sounds familiar, if not a bit trite, but before you can start to pin it down, Kingdom quickly morphs into something more than just a period drama. The introduction of fantasy, terror, and neverending gore elevates Kingdom into a multi-genre feat—an impressive blend of political intrigue and pure zombie horror that never fails to keep you at the edge of your seat. 

25. Please Like Me

best

8.5

Country

Australia

Actors

Caitlin Stasey, David Roberts, Debra Lawrance, Emily Barclay

Moods

Binge-Worthy, Easy, Emotional

In Please Like Me, twenty-year-old Josh (Josh Thomas) navigates love and adulthood alongside his friends and immediate family. He’s far from perfect, and his loved ones are far from always right, but the ups and downs they go through—as small-stakes as they may seem—are always familiar and relatable. 

Please Like Me touches on modern issues and treats them both wryly and realistically so that the series never verges on either extreme. It’s charming and sensitive and bold, and the whiny arrogance that often curses millennial shows is balanced here thanks to smart self-deprecating jokes and tender characterizations. Despite its pleading title, Please Like Me is very easy to watch and, as such, very easy to love. 

24. Borgen: Power & Glory

best

8.5

Country

Denmark

Actors

Benedikte Hansen, Birgitte Hjort Sorensen, Emil Poulsen, Freja Riemann

Moods

Binge-Worthy, Challenging, Character-driven

Netflix’s resurrection of the hit Danish drama Borgen comes in the form of Borgen: Power & Glory, a miniseries that sees Birgitte Nyborg (played by powerhouse Sidse Babett Knudsen) step down as prime minister and take over the foreign minister position while wrangling over power, principle, and family. In this particular revival, Birgitte butts head with the new prime minister, who is all for drilling oil in the autonomous region of Greenland despite Birgitte’s firm stance against climate change. The event turns into a geopolitical crisis that tests Birgitte’s values.

The series is as whipsmart, relevant, and funny as ever, although if you haven’t seen previous seasons of the show yet, don’t fret. Borgen: Power & Glory efficiently catches you up on all you need to know in the first few minutes. It’s a standalone, engaging drama that’s a breeze to go through at just eight episodes.

23. Snabba Cash

best

8.5

Country

Sweden

Actors

Evin Ahmad, Olle Sarri

Leya is a businesswoman and single mother in her 20s who is trying to get her struggling startup off the ground while working at a restaurant.

When she finds an investor who’s willing to help her realize her dreams, he requests that she first pays off her outstanding debts to her previous investors. For this, she borrows from her brother-in-law who is in a violent drug gang.

It’s such a stylish and fast-paced thriller, based on Jens Lapidus’s famous Stockholm Noir Trilogy, except the gender of the lead role is reversed.

22. Unorthodox

best

8.5

Country

Germany

Actors

Aaron Altaras, Alex Reid, Amit Rahav, Aziz Dyab

Moods

Binge-Worthy, Mini-series

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.

21. Our Planet

8.5

Country

UK, United States of America

Actors

David Attenborough

Moods

Docu-series, Instructive

I can’t think of a good reason why this review shouldn’t just be two words: David Attenborough. With a voice that makes you wish every other voice in your life was the same, the star of Planet Earth teamed up with Netflix to make this new nature show. It took four years to film, and it bounces countless times between continents in every episode. It’s rich, vivid, and oh so beautiful. So they just made another Planet Earth? Not exactly. Our Planet has a much stronger environmental message. It’s not a line here and there about the negative impact we’ve had on the planet – it’s the theme behind the whole show. It’s frank, sad, but always, always, stunning.

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