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Spring is here, the sun is shining, and you’re probably spending as much time as possible outdoors—but these top binge-worthy shows on Netflix will get you through any rainy days or final cold snaps.

By Lauren Phillips
April 02, 2021
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April usually feels like a month of transition (from winter to spring, from cold and clouds to sun), but this year feels especially full of change and shifts as more and more people across the U.S. are vaccinated against COVID-19, and regions begin or continue reopening and gradually returning to normal. If you've spent the last year or last few months inside, avoiding other people and the cold alike, you're likely more than ready to venture outdoors again—but for those days when you can't or don't want to head out, there are always shows on Netflix to keep you occupied.

Somehow, despite all the binge-watching you've likely done all pandemic long, there are still new-to-you shows on Netflix just waiting to be discovered and devoured. Plus, Netflix has continued to produce new shows even with the challenges the pandemic has posed, so there are constantly brand-new shows, series, and movies to enjoy (great news for anyone who really feels like they've seen all the good shows on Netflix).

For your viewing pleasure, we've rounded up some of the best shows to watch on Netflix this month, whether you're ready to head back out into the world or not. Between shows like Bridgerton, action series that will get your heart racing, and good shows that are just pure entertainment, there's bound to be something that catches your eye and holds your binge-watching attention for a few hours, at least.

Best Shows on Netflix in April 2021 - bridgerton still
Credit: netflix.com

The best shows on Netflix in April

1. The Irregulars

Between the rugged Victorian backdrop, the hints of the paranormal, and the rather ominous Dr. Watson (yes, that Watson, with a new take on Sherlock Holmes in tow), there's a lot happening in this brand-new Netflix show, but the focus is on Bea and her makeshift family, who are just trying to make it through the day—even as Jessie slowly develops her own mysterious powers. Blending some of the teen drama of Outer Banks, the mystery and danger of any Sherlock Holmes story, and a historical setting reminiscent of Bridgerton (if a bit darker),this series is practically guaranteed to be a hit (and it's a great binge-watch, either way).

2. Outer Banks

It may only be one season long (for now—fingers crossed season two arrives ASAP), but this fresh Netflix Original Series is supremely bingeable. It was in the top-10 ranking of the most popular movies and shows on Netflix (according to Netflix) for weeks after its release for good reason: The show follows a band of teenaged misfits treasure hunting, fishing, surfing, and occasionally dodging bullets in North Carolina's Outer Banks. If the action-packed drama and dynamic, charming characters don't get you, the beautiful coastal scenery and warm-weather vibes will.

3. Bridgerton

There's a tiny, itty-bitty chance you missed the launch of this long-anticipated TV series (and Netflix Original) from Shonda Rhimes's production company on Christmas Day. If you've managed to wait to watch the show (and not bought into the hype online), resist no further: Bridgerton is a must-watch. The series follows London's elite in the early 19th century as they seek love and marriage (not always together), political alliances, and gossip during the glittering social season. Think of it as an indulgent, escapist blend of Gossip Girl and Pride & Prejudice with something to appeal to everyone—and a delightful reimagining of how people of color operate in the era. With only eight episodes and plenty of cliff-hangers and drama to keep you hooked, you'll tear through the show in a matter of days. And with the April 2 announcement that Regé-Jean Page—the charming Duke of Hastings—will not appear in the coming second season, there's yet another reason to devour season one.

4. New Girl

For a good show on Netflix that will put you in a great 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 your time indoors, if you ask us.

5. How to Get Away with Murder

More cautionary tale than how-to guide, this addictive series (also from Shonda Rhimes, for Bridgerton fans) follows a powerful lawyer and law professor and a select group of her students as they become entangled with various murders and crimes. Sometimes they're committing the crimes and sometimes they're defending the criminals in court—all six seasons of this series currently on Netflix keep viewers hooked.

6. Good Girls

Come for the big-name stars—Christina Hendricks, Retta, and Mae Whitman as the titular good girls—and stay for the drama, action, and comedy, which seem to come in equal measure through all three seasons currently available on Netflix. You'll laugh, you'll feel the pain of being a middle-class mom with a pinched income, and you'll be shocked at the criminal antics these women get into.

7. The Great British Baking Show

The reality television show for people who don't like reality television, this charming, heartfelt, sweet-in-more-than-one-way series follows a group of amateur bakers eager to prove themselves. Each season—there are eight currently available, plus the spin-off series on Netflix—stars a new cast of chipper, enthusiastic bakers, gorgeous challenges, and funny hosts. Start one episode, and you'll be hooked (and ready to test your own baking chops) before the show-stopper round.

8. Girlfriends

This popular mid-2000s comedy follows four ambitious women as they seek love, success, and more in Los Angeles. All close friends, these leading ladies face common challenges and pitfalls in the funniest ways possible, always supporting each other through them all. With the delightful Tracee Ellis Ross as one of the four stars and eight great seasons to watch, this is the uplifting comedy your March needs.

9. Jeopardy

What is the longest-running game show on TV? Few people don't already know and love this knowledge game show, but its relatively recent arrival to Netflix makes Jeopardy bingeable for the first time. Turn it into a family-friendly game by playing along with the contestants; everyone will learn a little and be entertained a lot.

10. Quantico

Priyanka Chopra stars in this chronology-twisting series, which follows a group of FBI trainees at the titular Quantico. Between their training exploits (and romantic rendezvous), there's plenty of action and drama to keep you hooked—and when the series flash forwards to a few months in the future, when one of the star trainees is framed, you'll be even more invested.

11. Sherlock

With a dedicated fanbase and plenty of acclaim, this modern adaptation of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's beloved Sherlock Holmes stories is teeming with mystery, clues, and dry humor. The British series, set in modern London, has wit and dark intrigue in equal measure, with 13 long episodes—an hour and a half each, on average—to keep you entertained for days.

12. Community

This beloved 2010s comedy about a group of students at a community college is one of the best TV shows to binge-watch. With six hilarious seasons (and the first few being the best, of course), smart gags, witty humor, and more, it'll keep you entertained for days. It may even inspire a few indoor, at-home activities: blanket fort, anyone?

13. 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 supremely binge-worthy (particularly if you can't get enough of Bridgerton). 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 across centuries and countries.

14. 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. Now that the newest season, season 4, is now available on Netflix, too, you can get all caught up on this must-watch series as season 5 gets rolling. The first episode of the new season aired in January, so if you plan to catch up, now's the time.

15. Lucifer

For a bit of suave, dark humor, 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 every episode. The first half of season five was released at the end of August, so there's even more of this good show on Netflix to enjoy—and time to prepare for the arrival of the rest of season five sometime this year.

16. Shameless

For a different kind of family drama, turn to this long-running dark comedy, which follows the perennially down-on-their-luck Gallaghers. 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. With season 10 now available on Netflix, there's new Shameless to watch for everyone, even those who have seen every episode available to stream.

17. The Vampire Diaries

Picture your typical high school drama series, then add vampires, werewolves, witches, and more, and you have The Vampire Diaries, which offers teen romance and supernatural horror in equal measure.

18. The Queen's Gambit

Though it's lamentably not based on a true story, this tale of a chess prodigy is enthralling and stunning all at once. Starring Anya Taylor-Joy—if you saw Emma, you'll recognize her—as a Kentucky girl with a rare talent, the seven-episode series follows her journey through the world of competitive chess as she faces heartbreak, loss, and her own struggle with addiction. Fair warning: You'll be itching to pull out the chess board by the time you finish.

19. Dear White People

Set at a progressive, supposedly post-racial Ivy League–esque college, this show—part comedy, part drama—follows a group of students of color as they navigate the everyday slights and microaggressions on a campus filled with white students who claim not to be racist. From a blackface party to campus security aggression, the series examines many different situations and how they affect Black people—a great watch for anyone seeking to better understand their own unconscious biases and any harmful stereotypes they hold.

20. The Crown

Since the release of seasons three and four, The Crown—one of the best Netflix Original Series, and the winner of many awards over the years—is officially binge-worthy for those who think the best shows on Netflix are the long-running ones. Follow four decades (so far) in the life of Great Britain's Queen Elizabeth, with plenty of royal intrigue and familial conflict to keep you hooked. With the much-anticipated season four (featuring Princess Di!) released in November, there's plenty for fans new and old to watch.

21. Dawson's Creek

Packed with top names of the early 2000s and now—think James Van Der Beek, Katie Holmes, Michelle Williams, and Busy Philipps, to name a few—this soapy drama follows a group of teens exploring love, sex, adolescence, and more in a small town. While its subject matter may have been scandalous for 1998 (when the show premiered), fans of Gossip Girl or Riverdale might find it a little tame—but still supremely fun to watch and bingeable. Brand new to Netflix for the first time in the U.S. last November, this six-season series is a great distracting pick for this month's viewing.

22. The Walking Dead

Like its titular zombies, this dark series may never die. Nine seasons are currently on Netflix, serving up horror, tears, laughs, and more with each episode following a group of survivors fighting their way through the treacherous, zombie-infested remains of what was once the United States.

23. The Good Place

What happens after you die? In this show, there are 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. Now that the fourth and final season is on Netflix, you can really get the full Good Place experience.

24. Schitt's Creek

A heartfelt (and now Emmy-winning) riches-to-rags story, this 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. Schitt's Creek made history in 2020 by sweeping comedy categories at the Emmys, and the final season (season 6) launched on Netflix last year. If you haven't watched this wonderfully funny show yet, now is the time.