50 Best TV Shows on Netflix UK Right Now

50 Best TV Shows on Netflix UK Right Now

June 11, 2024

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What Netflix UK can add to your regular TV rotation is an eclectic slate of slick, entertaining series that includes selections from all around the world and from revered cinematic auteurs. It’s a good complement to British television’s typically more grounded and smaller-scale (though no less compelling) storytelling. And thanks to Netflix’s massive global reach, getting invested in their shows also means gaining access to the passionate fanbases rallying behind almost every Netflix series. Whether it’s for a mega-hit known in every language or a smaller, niche show that was cancelled too early, you’re bound to find a community here.

31. 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.

32. 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. 

33. Sweet Tooth

best

8.5

Country

United States of America

Actors

Adeel Akhtar, Aliza Vellani, Christian Convery, Dania Ramirez

Moods

Binge-Worthy, Character-driven, Emotional

Sweet Tooth is set in a post-apocalyptic America, where the population has been ravaged by a mysterious virus and the new generation of humans has evolved into animal hybrids. The circumstances are bleak and the things people do to survive even more so. Driven by fear and grief, they both isolate and attack in moves that are eerily reminiscent of the early days of our own pandemic. Sweet Tooth is a robust adventure story then, gritty and reflective and tragic, but it’s also incredibly sweet.

We’re introduced to a myriad of characters, each of them with their own arc, but we mostly follow Gus (Christian Convery), a nine-year-old human-deer hybrid who has yet to be disillusioned by the human race. Gus grounds the story’s many flights of fancy, and along with the other main characters, he gives us timely reminders of the importance of kindness and humaneness without ever being too corny. And to the show’s serious credit, no one plot line overpowers the other; instead, all feel just as vital to the larger story of survival that’s being told. 

The blend of these tales is lovely, the world-building is imaginative, and the technical aspects of it—the color, the costuming, and the cinematography—are all beautiful. Ultimately, Sweet Tooth is a packed a show wrapped in gorgeous layers, sure to delight even the most casual of viewers. 

34. Hospital Playlist

best

8.5

Country

South Korea

Actors

Ahn Eun-jin, Bae Hyeon-seong, Cho Jung-seok, Cho Seung-yeon

Moods

Challenging, Character-driven, Feel-Good

Hospital Playlist is a heartwarming and engaging South Korean series that follows the lives and friendships of five doctors who work at the same hospital. With its perfect blend of drama, humor, and genuine moments, the show offers an intimate and realistic portrayal of the challenges and joys faced by medical professionals. The characters are beautifully developed, and their personal stories are both relatable and deeply moving. The series strikes a balance between medical cases and the characters’ personal lives, creating a captivating narrative that keeps you invested from beginning to end. A must-watch for its heartfelt storytelling and compelling ensemble cast.

35. Signal

best

8.5

Country

South Korea

Actors

Cho Jin-woong, Choi Woo-ri, Hae-Kyun Jung, Hye-su Kim

Moods

Dark, Depressing, Intense

From the mastermind behind Netflix’s Kingdom, Kim Eun-Hee’s Signal is an exhilarating series that seamlessly weaves together gripping crime thriller elements with an intriguing touch of supernatural. With its unique premise of a mysterious walkie-talkie that connects the past and the present, the show follows a team of detectives from different eras as they collaborate to solve cold cases and unravel the secrets behind unsolved crimes. The superb writing and exceptional performances by the cast, including Lee Je-hoon, Kim Hye-soo, and Cho Jin-Woong, have made Signal a major hit among K-Drama fans. 

36. Cigarette Girl

best

8.5

Country

Indonesia

Actors

Ario Bayu, Arya Saloka, Dian Sastrowardoyo, Putri Marino

Moods

Character-driven, Dramatic, Emotional

Netflix is no stranger to adapting novels, nor to period dramas – Cigarette Girl is one of many, but it’s one from Indonesia that stands out due to its unique premise and excellent execution. Based on the novel by Ratih Kumala, the show is a slow-burn, smoldering period romance set amidst Indonesia’s kretek cigarette industry, booming in the 1960s, but it’s framed within the 2000s, where the man’s family uncovers his lost love before he dies. The alternating timelines keep the mystery fresh, as each new revelation uncovers what really happened between the two, as well as what would happen with the fate of their families. This intriguing structure, along with excellent writing, and stunning sets and costumes, make Cigarette Girl a compelling show to watch.

37. Trial by Fire

best

8.5

Country

India

Actors

Abhay Deol, Ashish Vidhyarthi, Rajesh Tailang, Rajshri Deshpande

Moods

Character-driven, Discussion-sparking, Intense

Tragedy can strike at any time, but some instances are preventable, and rare is the instance where people do seek justice for it. After all, after losing so much, it would be awful to fight and lose again. But these instances do still exist, and one such incident is the Uphaar cinema fire. Trial by Fire depicts this tragedy, but rather than focusing on the fire itself, it focuses on the fight the victims’ families took in order to seek justice. The show doesn’t play out as a courtroom drama, it takes an intimate look into their day-to-day actions, faithfully portrayed by the excellent Rajshri Deshpande and Abhay Deol. And while the industrial giants depicted tried to file an injunction against this show’s screening, thankfully, Trial by Fire is still able to make its stand. It’s solemn and grim, but it’s a potent reminder of the power we hold as a collective.

38. Baby Reindeer

best

8.5

Country

United Kingdom

Actors

Alexandria Riley, Amanda Root, Danny Kirrane, Hugh Coles

Moods

Challenging, Character-driven, Dark

Baby Reindeer is a tough watch, starting out with out of kilter comedy that eventually and unrelentingly reveals its darker and darker sides. But not only was this a hard show to watch, this story is genuinely difficult to tell, because of how entangled all the threads of Donny’s trauma gets– it’s not a straightforward story about going through one traumatic incident and then immediately moving to logical forms of healing. It’s about one traumatic incident keeping him stuck and leaving him and his loved ones vulnerable to even more abuse. It’s a terrifying situation. And it’s terribly, terribly honest.

39. Steven Universe

best

8.5

Country

United States of America

Actors

Deedee Magno, Estelle, Michaela Dietz, Rebecca Sugar

Moods

Funny, Heart-warming, Lovely

Steven’s earnestness in his attempts to be one of the Gems, as well as his search for his mother, are some of the most compelling story arcs you can get from this show. The nature of story arcs, however, means that the show isn’t balls to the wall crazy or fast-paced, but its emotional foundation has certainly been cared for. Everything about this show points in a starry-eyed direction. Episode to episode, Steven Universe is about self discovery and protecting your friends, but anyone who makes it through a major story or season will be forever bonded with this series.

40. Julie and the Phantoms

best

8.5

Country

United States of America

Actors

Charlie Gillespie, Jadah Marie, Jeremy Shada, Madison Reyes

Moods

Emotional, Feel-Good, Funny

In certain aspects, it’s a premise straight out of Disney, but the acting feels a bit more charming. It also has some legitimately funny material in the writing, refusing to rest on the laurels of a tight premise and moving the show away from one trick pony territory. The ghost rules aren’t necessarily inconsistent, but it does take a while to establish the patterns, so they feel like they’re often broken. But as a show generally following the tropes of music-centered teen shows, it excels in just about every department, from the original songs, to its themes of grief and the healing power of music.

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