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.

40. Rita

8.1

Country

Denmark

Actors

Alexandre Willaume, Carsten Bjørnlund, Carsten Bjornlund, Carsten Norgaard

You might not have heard of it, but this show was huge in Denmark. I mean, one million people watching in a 5-million-people country huge. Far from being the tasteful Nordic Noir international audiences are used to, Rita revolves around a mid-40s, single mum of three older kids, leather jacket-clad private high school teacher with a big mouth and a heart to go with it. Mille Dinesen plays the titular female lead, who smokes in the school bathrooms and, well, bangs the school principal. But in addition to the rule-bending rebel facing off overprotective parents, know-it-all students, and her growing kids, Rita also deals with serious topics like balancing work and family, being a role model, and abortion, albeit in a hilarious and, well, delightfully Danish way.

39. Schitt’s Creek

8.1

Country

Canada, United States of America

Actors

Annie Murphy, Catherine O'Hara, Catherine O'Hara, Chris Elliott

Moods

Easy, Funny, No-brainer

Unlike Lovesick, which rightfully changed its name from Scrotal Recall, Schitt’s Creek is still called Schitt’s Creek many seasons in. After flying under the radar for a while, the sitcom about a wealthy, Arrested-Development-style family coping with the sudden loss of their fortune is starting to get the attention it deserves. Warm and witty writing, very gif-able catchprases, and a great main cast have turned this slightly slim-sounding premise into a long-running cult classic. The great Catherine O’Hara plays Moira Rose, the cynical matriarch, while many of you 00s kids will immediately recognize the male lead, Eugene Levy, as “Jim’s dad” from American Pie aka them most embarrassing dad ever to grace a screen. In all its simplicity, the steadily fleshed out riches-to-rags plot is hilarious, undemanding, and witty, exactly what you want a sitcom to be.

38. The Letdown

8.1

Country

Australia

Actors

Alison Bell, Celeste Barber, Duncan Fellows, John Leary

Moods

Funny, Instructive, Thought-provoking

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.

37. Man Like Mobeen

8.2

Country

UK, United Kingdom

Actors

Dúaa Karim, Guz Khan, Tez Ilyas, Tolu Ogunmefun

Moods

Funny

At first glance, those who enjoyed Hulu’s Ramy might be tempted to view this as the UK version of it. However, Man like Mobeen is a bit more street than Ramy and a lot more British. It’s also not so much about being a good Muslim. Mobeen (Guz Khan), Eight (Tez Ilyas), and Nate (Tolu Ogunmefun) are three mates from Birmingham. Two of them happen to be Muslim but it’s not a big deal. Except it is because of the way Western society sees them. Mobeen, the head of the group, takes care of his sister, Aks (Dúaa Karim), in the absence of his parents, trying to be a good guy, while also trying to escape his past as a drug dealer. In the first episode, a transaction to buy a laptop results in three SWAT teams closing in on them for no reason. (When Nate runs off, the police officer asks the others why he ran, and Mobeen says: “If I had to guess, I’d say it’s because he’s black.”) Much of Man like Mobeen is laugh-out-loud comedy, but there’s a healthy dose of wokeness to be found here, too. Teenage knife crime (in the second season), the rise of right-wing sentiment, and the police’s history of violence towards immigrants are effortlessly woven into gags. Very funny!

36. Rilakkuma and Kaoru

8.2

Country

Japan, United States of America

Actors

Abby Trott, Ayano Kinashi, Barbara Goodson, Hitoshi Honma

Moods

Easy, Slice-of-Life

Meet Rilakkuma, a relaxed teddy bear (which is indeed what his name translates to in Japanese), and Kaoru, a Japanese office worker in her mid-thirties, who lives with said bear as well as a smaller white bear named Korilakkuma and a yellow chick by the name of Kiiroitori. As whimsical as all this may sound, the show offers up endearing and humane life lessons to go with all the heart-warming cuteness as Kaoru navigates being single, her apartment building being demolished, and her job stressing her out. It combines charming stop-motion characters with great writing, adorable animation, and a beautifully quiet tone. You might be surprised at the profundity of a show that, at the surface, is about a Japanese girl with cuddly toy roommates. It’s hard to compare it to anything else!

35. Formula 1: Drive to Survive

8.2

Country

UK, United States of America

Actors

Charles Leclerc

Moods

Docu-series, Gripping, Mini-series

There are only 20 seats in Formula 1 each year, meaning that drivers are not only racing to win but to be kept on the roster. With the big stars, Ferrari and Mercedes, habitually shrouded in secrecy, Formula 1: Drive to Survive focuses more on the back of the grid. Lewis Hamilton, the five-time world champion, is rarely seen, for example, giving more room for other stories to unfold, including that of Günther Steiner, the Italian team principal of the Haas Formula One Team. That is not to say there are no big reveals. Even if you think Formula 1 is a decadent, testosterone-driven sports for rich Europeans, Drive to Survive might be welcome crash course into what makes this sport so appealing for many and might also have the potential to change your mind. If not, it is still a very well-made, slick, and engaging docuseries that will have enthusiasts and newcomers thoroughly entertained.

34. The Staircase

8.2

Country

France

Actors

Jean-Xavier de Lestrade

Moods

Gripping, Mini-series, True-crime

The latest addition to the murder mini-series genre is the incredible thriller “The Staircase.” It originally aired in 2004, but the producers took the same director and allowed him to add new episodes in 2018 to complete the story. 

The plot: A famous American novelist’s wife is found dead, and he is accused of killing her. His life comes under scrutiny as everyone asks whether she died in an accident or was murdered. If you liked their other hit, “Making a Murderer,” you will love this. You should also definitely check out “The Keepers” or Netflix’s binge-worthy crime documentary, “Evil Genius.”

33. Flint Town

8.2

Country

United States of America

Actors

James Tolbert, Karen Weaver, Wayne Suttles

Moods

Docu-series, Mini-series, Thrilling

Since the 1960s, Flint, Michigan, has experienced a series of shocks. When General Motors downsized their workforce by several 10.000, the town’s population nearly halved. Unsurprisingly, it later became known for being one of the most dangerous cities in the US and for off-the-charts crime statistics. Since 2014, Flint again rose to tragic fame for a public health emergency due to contamination of its local water supply. Flint Town homes in on this perpetual state of crisis through the eyes of the local police department, who had to grapple with this dire scenario, while losing more funding year over year due to the city’s deteriorating financial situation. The few officers that are left for policing are at breaking point. The result is a gripping and rich docuseries with a host of strong characters. But it is also a brutal and sobering account of the extent to which an American city is being allowed to fail.

32. Flowers

best

8.3

Country

Australia, United Kingdom

Actors

Adam Hedditch, Angus Wright, Anna Chancellor, Caroline McQuade

Moods

Binge-Worthy, Dark, Funny

It starts off with a man failing at hanging himself from a fruit tree in a bleak-looking garden. Something this grotesque isn’t usually the stuff of sitcoms. This is unsurprising because Will Sharpe’s Flowers, produced for the British Channel 4, is not your usual sitcom. With a unique visual style, an extraordinary cast, and a dark, satirical script, it carves out a genre of its own. The always amazing Olivia Colman plays Deborah Flowers, the eccentric family’s matriarch, and a music teacher. The man trying to hang himself is her depressed and unfaithful husband Maurice (Julian Barratt), who is a children’s book author. They live in a ramshackle house with a Japanese butler, who barely speaks English, and their dysfunctional adult twins. Amidst all this glorious mess, Flowers is ultimately about mental illness and depression and is apt in pairing this disturbing reality with hilarity. Obviously, it is very dark. A bit too dark for comedy, and too mad for drama: truly original stuff.

31. The End of the F***ing World

8.3

Country

UK, United Kingdom

Actors

Alex Lawther, Christine Bottomley, Eileen Davies, Gemma Whelan

Moods

Binge-Worthy, Dramatic, Emotional

An amazing binge-worthy show that is a mix between a coming-of-age story, a romance, and a crime thriller. It tells the story of James, a 17-year-old who believes he is a psychopath (for some very convincing reasons). James decides he wants the victim of his first murder to be a new schoolmate, Alyssa.  He befriends her and keeps waiting for the perfect moment to kill Alyssa until he finds himself on a journey with her to escape her home. Somewhere near the middle of the show, and without you fully realizing it, it transforms from an original coming-of-age story or odd-boy-meets-odd-girl story to an intriguing view on adolescent insecurities and the role of parents into shaping them. It transforms from a mysterious, almost charming story to an interesting character study.  This is when the show will blow your mind.  It’s a fresh, smart, funny yet disturbing emotional thrill ride.

 

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