It’s a new year and a new decade, but it’s also cold outside: Fortunately, these top Netflix shows will keep you happily entertained indoors until the weather starts to turn.

By Lauren Phillips
January 03, 2020

January is often viewed as the month of fresh starts—but it’s also an excellent time to catch up on the best shows on Netflix and new Netflix Originals. Hear us out: Sure, you want to jumpstart your resolutions and clean up your life during the first month of the year, but it’s also cold and dreary outside, and you’ll find yourself more comfortable if you just stay in. You may have spent December watching the best Christmas movies on Netflix, and by finding good shows to watch on Netflix between trips to the gym and cleaning sprees (or during either), you can let the good entertainment roll.

So now that you’ve decided to spend some of your January watching good shows on Netflix, it’s time to actually find a good TV show to watch. If you’re seeking a decent binge-watch session, your show will preferably be three seasons or more, offering up hours of entertainment. Netflix suggestions can take a while, so you’ll want to pick from the shows already available on Netflix—fortunately (or unfortunately for the indecisive), there are hundreds to pick from.

Of those hundreds, we’ve pulled out some of the best longish-running shows on Netflix for your binge-watching pleasure. Some of these top series are award-winning or critically acclaimed; others are simply hugely entertaining. Still more are ideal for having on in the background while you cook, clean, read, or workout. Whatever your viewing preference, we’ve got an option here. And if you’re Netflixed out, there’s always Disney+ shows to offer something new.

The best shows on Netflix in January

1. Outlander

Based on a beloved, thoroughly researched book series that blends romance and historical action with just a hint of supernatural intrigue, this beautifully crafted TV series is a recent addition to the Netflix library, and with the December arrival of season three, it’s officially binge-worthy. The premise is deceptively simple: A 20th-century Englishwoman is magically transported to 1700s Scotland. Her fight to survive her new, dangerous surroundings puts her in the path of a striking young Scot, and the series follows their adventurous life together.

2. One Day at a Time

A remake of a TV classic, this family-first series follows a newly single mother as she raises her children. Her traditional Latina mother (played by Rita Moreno) takes a starring role as the family faces puberty, young love, life milestones, and more together. With its own passionate following, this three-season series is the perfect settle-in-together-and-watch show.

3. Lucifer

For a bit of suave, dark humor in a dreary January, turn to Lucifer, which follows the fallen angel as he starts fresh in L.A. The devil himself becomes a consultant for the police, and the balance of good vs. evil morality concerns and procedural drama (plus a little romantic tension for good measure) will keep you hooked through all four seasons.

4. Shameless

For a different kind of family drama, turn to this long-running dark comedy, which follows the perennially down-on-their-luck Gallagher family. Independent of their alcoholic father and absent mother, the clan of equally dysfunctional siblings always seems to make it through whatever trouble they’re facing—sometimes it just takes a little law-breaking first.

5. The Crown

With the release of season three, The Crown—one of the top Netflix Original series—is officially binge-worthy. Follow three decades (so far) in the life of Great Britain’s Queen Elizabeth, with plenty of royal intrigue and familial conflict to keep you hooked and eagerly awaiting season four.

6. Grey’s Anatomy

A whopping 15 seasons makes this one of the best binge-watching shows on Netflix right now. Come for the medical drama, stay for the romantic tension and rotating cast of characters who grow and change a lot over the years of the show.

7. Designated Survivor

In this political drama, a devastating attack on Washington, D.C., kills many of the country’s leaders; Kiefer Sutherland (who you may recognize from 24) is the designated survivor, and as such becomes president of a shattered nation. The show follows him, his family, political aides, and the team working to solve the mystery of the attack over three suspenseful seasons.

8. New Girl

For a good show on Netflix that will put you in a good mood with every episode, turn to this playful, upbeat comedy, which follows the titular girl as she moves in with three quirky men. Their seven seasons of shenanigans will keep you entertained for hours—a close-to-perfect way to spend a rainy January weekend, if you ask us.

9. Supergirl

Following Superman’s well-meaning cousin, this show (with four seasons currently available on Netflix) is the story of how the beloved Supergirl becomes her own hero. Pop-ins from Superman, the Flash, and other DC heroes help tie the show into the CW’s comic book to TV universe; even if you don’t follow the other shows, this one is an upbeat pick the whole family (especially older kids) will enjoy.

10. The Office

Rumor has it that this beloved comedy series will be leaving Netflix in 2021: With that in mind, if you haven’t watched it yet, now’s the time to get started on the nine-season binge-watch. One of the most loved shows on Netflix right now, you’ll be glad to be in on the jokes at last.

11. Peaky Blinders

A historical show set in 1920s England, this series follows a gang boss and his family as they fight (with outsiders and each other) across five seasons of dark, gritty drama. It’s on the violent side, so weak stomachs will want to skip it, but anyone who does watch will be rewarded with a new favorite show—or at least a highly entertaining binge-watch.

12. GLOW

The GLOW Netflix Original Series is a fictionalized retelling of how the hit Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling came to be in the ’80s. With three seasons, an eclectic cast of characters, and plenty of big hair, it’s got nostalgia and high quality in equal measure.

13. Stranger Things

One of the top shows on Netflix since its original launch, Stranger Things is now on its third season, with the fourth to come eventually (date TBA). It follows a crew of adorable, slightly nerdy pre-teens as they face unexpected supernatural activity in their unassuming hometown: With nostalgia, mystery, horror, and strong friendships, it’s got something for everyone.

14. Grace and Frankie

Two men of a certain age fall in love—with each other. Their respective wives, looking forward to the long years of retirement, find themselves thrown together unexpectedly: Their unlikely friendship and buddy comedy–esque shenanigans keep this adored show upbeat and fun to watch through all five seasons.

15. Gilmore Girls

All seven seasons of this sweet mother-daughter series are available on Netflix, and the Netflix-exclusive follow-up (Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life) lives exclusively on the streaming service. With that in mind, Netflix is the best spot to soak up the witty banter, quirky supporting characters, charming hometown setting, and genuine warmth of this long-running series, which follows the lives of mother Lorelai and daughter Rory.

16. Scandal

This seven-season show on Netflix follows Kerry Washington as a high-powered political consultant juggling individual clients, presidential campaigns, international crises, and more with the help of her team of multi-talented individuals. Add in some forbidden romance and espionage, and you’ve got an irresistible binge-watch for those dreary days of January.

17. Riverdale

Getting hooked on this dark take on the Archie comics is easy: The first season has enough surprises from its familiar high-school characters to pull you in, and the next few seasons will keep you watching as the show gets darker and darker. Even if the plot gets a little confusing, the good-looking cast and melodrama will keep any casual binge-watcher satisfied.

18. Parks and Recreation

Escape real-world political drama with a little political satire: This heart-warming comedy follows a well-meaning government employee striving to change the world, one public park at a time. Played by Amy Poehler, Leslie Knope is the lead character you’ll be rooting for from the start, though the entire cast is full of funny, quirky personalities to love and keep watching through all seven seasons.

19. Arrested Development

What’s a wealthy family to do when they lose everything? A popular question these days, in this mature comedy, they try to win it all back: The show follows the most capable sibling as he tries, again and again, to restore his family’s company, even as his incorrigible mother and dysfunctional siblings seem to thwart him at every turn, intentionally or not.

20. The Good Place

What happens after you die? In this show, you have two options: the Good Place or the Bad Place. The first season follows a group who has landed in the Good Place, but it’s not what it seems—and plenty of twists and turns keep the show engaging through the next couple seasons. Filled with humor, good intentions, an irresistible cast, and an unexpected series of philosophical lessons and questions, this thoughtful, sharp top show on Netflix is sweet (and even educational) from the first episode.

21. Portlandia

Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein star in various roles in this sketch comedy set in the crunchy city of Portland. Highly political and completely hilarious, the eight-season run of the show offers a guaranteed pick-me-up, especially if you’re in the mood for a little insanity.

22. Schitt’s Creek

Another riches-to-rags story, this heartfelt comedy follows the Rose family as they’re forced out of their lives of the rich and famous and into a middle-of-nowhere (and unfortunately named) town filled with unusual characters. They try to rebuild their old lives and find themselves building new ones instead, with mixed results.

23. Breaking Bad

This award-winning series is available in its entirety—all five seasons—for your viewing pleasure on Netflix. The basic plot follows a science teacher who becomes a drug producer and dealer: Predictably, things don’t go as planned.

24. Crazy Ex-Girlfriend

Filled with original songs, mistakes made in the name of love, and plenty of subtle (and not so subtle) cultural critiques, this funny series follows a lovestruck lawyer chasing after an ex-boyfriend. Her move across the country may seem like a nervous break, but in fact it’s a fresh start for her, and the show’s four seasons explore mental illness, true friendships, healthy relationships, and more with its own brand of humor.

25. Once Upon a Time

All the fairy tales are true in this long-running fantasy series, which combines fairytale flashbacks with modern-day iterations of beloved storybook characters. Moderately PG, it’s a good show for families to watch together, especially if the weather outside is keeping everyone cooped up indoors.

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