We all know that feeling of watching a show and binge-watching episode after episode. Here, I compiled a list of five binge-worthy Netflix originals streaming on the platform. All the way from teen dramas to mysteries to reality shows, I have you covered. While shows like Never Have I Ever and Emily in Paris warmed my heart, others like the French mystery Lupin made questions stir in my mind. However, at the end, all of these shows left me wanting more.
Many of these shows touch upon real-life issues, like mental illness, racism, grief, and the attempt to fit in. Ultimately, the relatable characters stood out to me the most. While I may not be going through the same issues as the characters in the listed dramas or comedies, they do feel like real people. Along with compelling storylines, and satisfying humor, each and every one of these shows captivated me.
Ginny & Georgia
I admit, the reason I gave this show a chance was because I read a review stating specifically that the story was not another Gilmore Girls. That only made me wonder: what made the show like Gilmore Girls in the first place? While I will forever love Gilmore Girls and the heart-warming town of Stars Hollow, I decided to give Ginny & Georgia a shot. If another reviewer compared the story to one of my favorite shows, surely I would enjoy this series too?
Ultimately, I enjoyed binge-watching Ginny & Georgia. Like Gilmore Girls, it takes place in a small town, focuses on a mother-daughter duo, and the mother had been a teen mother just like Lorelei Gilmore. Also, the mother in Ginny & Georgia also has an alienated relationship with her parents, except this relationship looks like it won’t be getting mended any time soon. However, the similarities stray there. Ginny & Georgia holds a much darker tone than the light-hearted Gilmore Girls would have ever dreamed of.
Ginny & Georgia is a drama, focusing on Georgia (Brianne Howey) moving to a New England town with her fifteen-year-old mixed-race daughter, Ginny (Antonia Gentry), and her eleven-year-old son, Austin (Diesel La Torraca). Though, the series mostly dives into the relationship of Ginny and George, hence the title. Georgia had Ginny when she was only fifteen, which we see in flashbacks, as well as her getting by through illegal means. Georgia’s illegal habits follow her into adulthood, as seen in the show.
In the present day, Ginny deals with her irrational mother who’s low on money, fitting in at her new school (which she does pretty easily, getting into the popular crowd), and finding herself stuck in a love triangle. Ginny & Georgia certainly captivated me during all of its ten episodes. If you give Ginny & Georgia a try, the plot may suck you in before you even realize it.
The show offered a chance to get to know the characters, and throughout the series I tried to wrap my head around the big mystery revolving around Georgia’s past and her ex-husband’s death. I couldn’t help but wonder: is everything what it seems?
The other reviewer was right—the story may not be like Gilmore Girls due to its darker undertones and a questionable murder incident, but the show creates its own appeal with its twisted secrets.
Good stopping points: 1×03: “Next Level Rich People Shit”; 1×06: “I’m Triggered”
Length of show: 1 season, 10 episodes, 9 hours and 51 minutes long total. Average episode length: 59 minutes.
Number of days it takes to watch: 4
Never Have I Ever
If you like teen comedy-dramas, you will enjoy this show—I certainly did. Never Have I Ever centers on the 15-year-old Indian-American Tamil girl named Devi (Maitreyi Ramakrishnan) who, after her father’s death and her own paralyzation for three months, wants to start fresh sophomore year and change her social status in order to be cool. Her solution? Get a boyfriend.
The thing is, Devi struggles a lot in the beginning. She’s awkward, grieving, and most of all, she makes a lot of mistakes. The show also focuses on Devi’s Indian heritage. Her mom’s extremely strict, and Devi feels like an Americanized Indian. Devi’s not even allowed to talk to boys, which makes it near-impossible when she finds herself stuck in a love triangle.
Never Have I Ever contains a bunch of hilarious moments. From Devi’s idiotic decisions and her quirky statements, she’s certainly interesting to watch. When I binge-watched Never Have I Ever, I didn’t want to stop. With most of the episodes less than a half an hour, I found it easy to watch one episode after another.
Good stopping points: 1×04: “…felt super Indian”; 1×09: “…had to be on my best behavior”; 2×04: “…had an Indian frenemy”; 2×08: “…been Daisy Buchanan”
Length of show: 2 seasons, 20 episodes, 8 hours and 48 minutes long total. Average episode length: 26 minutes.
Number of days it takes to watch: 2
Now that I’m going away from teen dramas, let me introduce to you another binge-worthy show: Lupin. I first tried out this show for two reasons: a recommendation and for a French class assignment. I didn’t expect to love it so much.
This French mystery thriller certainly keeps you on the edge of your seat. The story centers on the gentleman thief Assane Diop (Omar Sy) who wants to avenge the Pellegrini family. Years ago, Assane’s father worked for Hubert Pellegrini, but after the Pellegrini family framed him for stealing the queen’s expensive necklace, he got thrown in a prison cell.
Assane studied the fictional gentleman thief, Lupin, to learn his tricks. He always carried the book that told the story about Lupin, and he used the story almost like an instructional manual to forge a new identity. Episode one starts out strong; we see Assane attempt to steal the queen’s necklace, secured in a glass case in the Louvre.
Time and time again, we see Assane take on disguises, steal items, all while making a smooth and satisfying escape with the same intense music playing in the background. Lupin is certainly binge-watching material—the building mysteries making you want more.
Good stopping point: 1×03: “Chapter 3”
Length of show: 2 seasons, 10 episodes, 7 hours 37 minutes long total. Average episode length: 46 minutes
Number of days it takes to watch: 4-5
Love is Blind
If you scrolled through Netflix a year ago, chances are, you probably heard about the dating show, Love is Blind. The premise? A social experiment to figure out if love can truly be blind. In other words—can you fall in love with someone without ever seeing their face?
The cast are separated into two gendered living spaces. Then, everyone goes into their individual pods, which has a thin wall that separates themselves from their current date.
The show starts with cast members going on dates in the pods, trying to figure out if they feel a “spark.” The speed-dating lasts ten days, and if the couples feel a connection, the man could go down on one knee to propose.
After the proposals, the show jumps from a couples retreat in Mexico to all the couples living in the same apartment complex to see if the partners will really be compatible in real life.
The show had me hooked from the beginning, constantly wondering which couples would last, and which ones would crumble. The episodes are about fifty minutes, but the show definitely is full of drama and intrigue.
Good stopping points: 1×03: “First Night Together”; 1×05: “Last Night in Paradise”; 1×07: “Meet The Parents”; 1×11: “The Reunion”
Length of show: 1 season, 11 episodes, 9 hours and 31 minutes long total. Average episode length: 52 minutes.
Number of days it takes to watch: 6
Emily in Paris
Lastly, I decided to include the American comedy-drama Emily in Paris on the list of binge-worthy shows on Netflix. Netflix released Emily in Paris in the height of the pandemic, and the story provided the right amount of escapism. A twenty-something year-old traveling to Paris? Just by that premise alone I got hooked, already sick of quarantine and stuck in my own home.
The story focuses on Emily (Lily Collins), who moves to Paris last-minute from Chicago to provide the American perspective on Savoir, a French marketing firm. She arrives in Paris to work as the social media strategist, but the issue? She doesn’t speak French. Her boss originally hired Emily’s boss back in Chicago who knew the French language, but her boss couldn’t make it and told Emily to work there instead.
While Emily in Paris may contain a lot of French stereotypes and is downright cheesy, watching Emily struggle in Paris by not knowing any French and having all the French people judge her certainly was entertaining. Emily in Paris also contained a cliché love story. After all, what would Emily in Paris be if Emily had no potential love interest in the most romantic city in the world? Aside from the clichés, which didn’t sway my opinion about the show, Emily in Paris has an addictive quality. While watching the show, you may easily imagine yourself by the Eiffel tower and eating croissants—and that escapism may be enough reason for you to want to watch the show.
Good stopping points: 1×03: “Sexy or Sexist”; 1×06: “Ringarde”; 1×09: “An American Auction in Paris”
Length of show: 1 season, 10 episodes, 4 hours and 38 minutes long total. Average episode length: 28 minutes.
Number of days it takes to watch: 2-3