50 Best Shows on Netflix Canada Right Now

50 Best Shows on Netflix Canada Right Now

March 30, 2024

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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.

11. Sex Education

best

8.9

Country

UK, United Kingdom

Actors

Aimee Lou Wood, Alistair Petrie, Anne-Marie Duff, Asa Butterfield

Moods

Funny, Slice-of-Life

Pressured by the feeling that everyone is having sex except him, Otis (Asa Butterfield), like most teenagers, is very uncomfortable with sex, masturbation, and intimacy in general. In addition to the standard-issue teenage awkwardness, to make things worse, he grows up in a sex-positive household under the watchful eyes of his mother Jean, played by Gillian Anderson, who is a sex therapist. Obviously, the subject is omnipresent as are erotic art, oversized dildos, and coitus-craving couples all over the house. The twist comes when he transforms his tribulations into a business model by teaming up with bad girl Maeve Wiley (Emma Mackey) to counsel his teenage peers on sexual issues of all kinds. As you can imagine, uninitiated teenagers have a lot to offer in that department. Apart from its raunchy premise and explicit images, this is a hilarious, diverse, and warm teen comedy thanks, in particular, to the writing of playwright Laurie Nunn. Lauded by critics for its honesty, this future comedy classic will surely teach you a thing or two about sexuality yourself.

12. Caliphate

best

8.9

Country

Sweden

Actors

Ala Riani, Albin Grenholm, Aliette Opheim, Amanda Sohrabi

Moods

Binge-Worthy

A Swedish production that went global on Netflix, Caliphate is an addictive thriller about two groups of young people in the Scandinavian country: one already radicalized and fighting in Syria, and the other still in high-school and on the path to radicalization. An anti-terrorism officer with a questionable past is put in contact with a woman who traveled to Syria and wants to return to Sweden. In exchange, this woman offers information about an impending attack in Europe. Caliphate is a fascinating watch! Thrilling, well-acted, and nuanced, it looks past cheap stereotypes to offer genuine insight into the psychology and seduction used for turning young people into terrorists.

13. Casual

8.8

Country

United States of America

Actors

Britt Robertson, Michaela Watkins, Tara Lynne Barr, Tommy Dewey

Moods

Funny, No-brainer, Slice-of-Life

Michaela Watkins is truly the star of the show, delivering a major performance almost every time she appears on screen. The former SNL cast member plays a recently divorced psychologist, who moves in with her brother Alex (Tommy Dewey) and her sexually confident teenage daughter Laura (Tara Lynne Barr). Casual is not only the name of her sibling’s successful online dating site, but also the name of the game of every character’s sexual relationships.

Directed by Jason Reitman, the amazing director who gave us Thank You for Smoking, Juno, and Up in the Air, Casual features sharp dialogue and great performances, the writing being as profane as it is profound. Above all, you will have no choice than to take a good look at yourself, while rolling over the floor laughing at the show’s sexual shenanigans. That’s how smart it is!

14. Unbelievable

8.8

Country

United States of America

Actors

Austin Hebert, Dale Dickey, Danielle Macdonald, Elizabeth Marvel

Moods

Binge-Worthy, Mini-series

Based on the 2015 Pulitzer-Prize-winning article “An Unbelievable Story of Rape”, here is one of the best Netflix productions in a while and definitely the best detective-centric show since the first season of True Detective. The eight-part drama examines the case of a 16-year-old from Washington, who claims she has been raped in her bedroom before rescinding her statement after fierce questioning of the police. Later, her initial story is substantiated by a similar incident surfacing elsewhere.

Two detectives, played masterfully by Toni Collette and Merritt Wever, refuse to assume the young girl’s guilt and embark on a relentless journey to catch the perpetrator. In addition to being a thrilling watch and insanely bingeable, Unbelievable was highly praised for shifting the attention from the abusers to the victims and making their stories heard in a true crime format. Everybody should listen closely!

15. The Makanai: Cooking for the Maiko House

best

8.8

Country

Japan

Actors

Ai Hashimoto, Aju Makita, Arata Iura, Jyo Kairi

Moods

Easy, Emotional, Heart-warming

On the surface, The Makanai is a simple, slice-of-life show about food and friendship. While it is that, to be sure, it’s also a substantial drama that tackles questions about art vs. love, and love vs. companionship, and career vs. purpose. Under the gentle guidance of showrunner Hirokazu Kore-eda (Still Walking, Shoplifters, Broker), who generously allows up-and-coming directors to take the helm on certain episodes, The Makanai feels at once light and hefty, comforting and challenging. We’re seeing mundane events unfold before us as if we were bystanders, but we also understand that there is so much more happening than what meets the eye. A prolonged gaze, a lovingly prepped meal, an especially sharp wing-eye, all of these have much to say about the state of mind of these girls. 

It’s a supremely gentle and culturally rich show with a tender heart; a truly great watch on all accounts.

16. Light the Night

best

8.8

Country

Taiwan

Actors

Cammy Chiang, Cheryl Yang, Chiung-Hsuan Hsieh, Derek Chang

Moods

Binge-Worthy, Character-driven, Intense

Set in the 1980s, this captivating series uncovers the dark side of a Japanese-style nightclub called “Light” in Taipei’s red-light district, challenging the façade of its joy and glamour. Beginning with the shocking discovery of a dead body uncovered by a typhoon, the show delves into the lives of its complex characters, revealing the personal dramas of the mamasans, Rose and Sue, and every “Light” hostess. While some may find its pace across 3 seasons tedious, Light the Night is a must-watch for fans of slow-burning suspense with strong performances, impactful dialogue, and a story with the intricate layers of a well-crafted mystery.

17. Haikyu!!

best

8.8

Country

d, Japan

Actors

Ayumu Murase, Daisuke Namikawa, Hiroshi Kamiya, Hiroyuki Yoshino

Moods

Action-packed, Binge-Worthy, Character-driven

Fun, wholesome, and relatable, Haikyu!! celebrates the highs and lows of high school volleyball. The show starts off focused on two freshmen volleyball players from opposing middle school teams, who have to learn teamwork in order to be accepted into their high school club. While the team might initially come across as self-conscious, over-the-top, highly dramatic characters, it’s clear that they’re coming from a shared love for the competitive sport (and that they also just happen to be going through puberty). However, the show’s strategic storytelling makes us care about the team: explanations about volleyball tactics are taught just at the right moment in order to heighten the stakes of every player’s move. Simultaneously, every player moves into each new plot point as a natural consequence of their backstory and their perception of each event. Haikyu!!’s agile approach makes the show a compelling watch, and a great place to start if you’re new to anime.

18. Occupied

best

8.7

Country

France, Norway, Sweden

Actors

Ane Dahl Torp, Eldar Skar, Henrik Mestad, Ingeborga Dapkunaite

Moods

Binge-Worthy

Like Charlie Brooker’s Black Mirror, the premise of the extremely bingeable and thrilling Norwegian TV show is a bit too close for comfort. Amidst a global fuel crisis, Europe has become dependent on energy from oil-rich Norway. Despite this fact, the Norwegian electorate votes the charismatic Green Party prime minister Jesper Berg (Henrik Mestad) into office, who halts the country’s oil production in an effort to combat climate change. With the European energy emergency escalating, Russia proceeds to occupy Norway with the EU’s support.

When best-selling crime author Jo Nesbø pitched this show in the early 2010s, this seemed like an unlikely, dystopian premise. However, since the annexation of Crimea and similar incidents in the mid-2010s, this is not quite as counterfactual as one would hope. Russian diplomats were not amused. But don’t be mistaken, this is not an academic experiment or a political provocation but a veritable, big-budget thrill ride, featuring amazing shots of the Norwegian wilderness, great writing, and stirring suspense.

19. The Last Kingdom

best

8.6

Country

UK, United Kingdom

Actors

Adrian Bower, Adrian Schiller, Alexander Dreymon, Alexandre Willaume

Moods

Binge-Worthy, Instructive, Thrilling

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.

20. Trapped

best

8.6

Actors

Ilmur Kristjánsdóttir, Ingvar Sigurdsson, Ólafur Darri Ólafsson

Moods

Suspenseful, Thrilling

The Guardian’s lead critic said of Trapped: Seductive, involving, gripping…I am already, thoroughly, trapped. I’m quoting a publication to give some grounding to my overly excited claim: Trapped (or Ófærð) is one of the best TV shows ever made. I am obsessed with it. The plot is simple: a cop tries to solve a murder before a storm arrives, but the way it gets stretched is exceptional, and can only be compared to Scandinavian classics like The Hunt, The Guilty or Headhunters. And the fact that Trapped is from Iceland (not Norway or Denmark) adds a more chilling twist to the Scandinavian thriller genre. I don’t want to say more and ruin the show for you, but this is an amazing binge.

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