Ward off chilly weather—and pandemic blues—with the best shows on Netflix this month.

By Lauren Phillips
February 02, 2021

February may be one of the duller, darker months of the year—and a pandemic February can be even tougher—but when it's too cold to head outdoors, the best shows on Netflix have you covered for all your entertainment needs. From comedies to dark dramas and everything in between, Netflix has it all, and we've rounded up the top shows to watch this month, before spring starts bringing the outdoors world back to life.

Whether you're looking for something funny or something thought-provoking, there's something for you on this list, and chances are good that that something will keep you entertained for hours, whether you binge-watch the show or spread it out over a few days or weeks. February is a good time to check out the best romantic movies on Netflix, of course, but it's also a good time for spooky shows that get your heart racing, or comedies that make you laugh. (In other words, whatever you want to watch in February is the right choice for you.)

You'll want to focus on some of these shows—like Bridgerton or Ozark—while others are great background shows to put on while you cook, make valentines, or do whatever it is you have planned for this month. However you plan to spend your February, these top shows on Netflix can be the perfect background noise or between-video-chat entertainment.

The best shows on Netflix in February

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 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. It's packed with roaring fires and warm cloaks, too, so you can even find some warm winter vibes in this show. Season four was just released on Netflix at the end of last month, too, so there's even more of this great show to enjoy.

2. 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 this January. (And if you already watched it, there are plenty of shows like Bridgerton to enjoy.) 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.

3. Anne with an E

Yet another take on the beloved Anne of Green Gables tales, this Netflix Original Series follows its spunky heroine as she makes a home for herself among a hard-working community. With three seasons and plenty of feel-good family moments to enjoy, this is the heartfelt pick your February needed.

4. Hart of Dixie

Starring Rachel Bilson as a displaced city doctor, this feel-good dramedy takes place in a sweet Southern town that has its own stories and challenges. Bilson—playing Zoe Hart, aka the titular Hart—arrives in town to run the local doctor's office and help the town's residents, but ends up being helped by them just as much. Watch for plenty of romance, drama, and even some medical intrigue.

5. Portlandia

Highly political and completely hilarious, the eight-season run of this sketch comedy features Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein in various roles in the crunchy city of Portland. It's great for a guaranteed pick-me-up any time of year.

6. 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.

7. Ozark

Season three of this top Netflix Original Series makes this show officially bingeable. It follows a financial adviser turned money-launderer who is forced to pack up his family and move to the Ozarks, where he has to clean a huge sum of money for a dangerous cartel leader. Dark, gritty, and full of surprisingly likable characters, it's a great distraction.

8. Black Mirror

Turn to this atypical Netflix Original Series for some serious psychological horror. It only has 22 episodes (plus the Bandersnatch interactive film), but each is essentially a standalone movie, with most episodes ranging from 45 minutes to more than an hour in length. Reality is frighteningly similar to the scenarios presented in this dark, twisted show right now, which makes this the perfect binge-watch if you want to lean into the psychological terror.

9. 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.

10. 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.

11. Stranger Things

One of the top shows on Netflix since its 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.

12. 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.

13. 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.

14. Jane the Virgin

Inspired by a telenovela, this melodramatic comedy follows a young woman as she is accidentally artificially inseminated, gets caught in a love triangle, builds a dream career, and more. This good series—and its more than 100 episodes—is totally feel-good and charming, with enough cliff-hangers and drama to keep you invested until the very end. It's plenty dramatic, but the sweeter moments and emphasis on family bonds has all the holiday spirit you could hope for.

15. 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.

16. 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.

17. Virgin River

With the small-town intrigue of Gilmore Girls, the medical mystery of Grey's Anatomy, and the romantic tension of all your favorite banter-filled rom-coms, this series is perfectly formulated to be binge-worthy. Even better, it takes place in a wintry northern California town—and season two is newly released, so there's even more to enjoy, especially if you're seeking an easy show to watch.

18. 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.

19. 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.

20. Imposters

Thrilling, dark, and subtly hilarious, this series starts with a young bride running off with her new husband's fortune—and then follows the con-woman's victims as they band together to track her down. Viewers get to see both sides of the story here, and before you know it, you won't be sure who to root for.

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 your January viewing.

22. A Series of Unfortunate Events

Fans of the beloved book series will get a kick—a fright?—out of this three-season Netflix Original Series, which follows the unlucky Baudelaire children through their misadventures with the greedy Count Olaf. Dark and spooky but not quite scary, this is a great show on Netflix for the whole family to watch in the fall, and book fans will appreciate how loyal the show is to the books.