The best drama shows on Netflix right now

When you need intensity.

Sometimes you just need immersive drama, and thank goodness Netflix delivers. From current-day TV classics like Breaking Bad to pinnacle TV gems (Hap and Leonard, Mindhunter), Netflix has some of the most well-made, compelling TV shows of our time.

This list will continue to grow, but for now, check out our list of the best shows on Netflix below, and let us know some of your other favorites in the comments.

Editor's Note: This article was updated in January 2023 to include Dear White People.

Dear White People (2017-2021)

Creator: Justin Simeon | Seasons: 4 | Episodes: 40

Average Running Time: 30 minutes

Cast: Logan Browning, Brandon P. Bell, DeRon Horton, Antoinette Robertson

From a deeply emotional, character-driven story From hilarious pop culture parody, Dear White People may have initially sparked controversy due to its title, but it represents an intelligent and unique voice in television that goes far beyond the conversations it inspires about race. But these conversations are welcome, valid, and nuanced in how they approach the topic on a personal level, unlike occasional strays into alternate realities or other The genre-bending shenanigans are sometimes heartfelt and sometimes hilarious. - Liz Shannon Miller

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Grey's Anatomy (2005-Present)

Creator: Shonda Rhimes | Seasons: 19 | Episodes: 406

Average Runtime: 44 minutes

Cast: Ellen Pompeo, Chandra Wilson, James Pickens Jr., Kate Walsh

I Admit : I was a huge fan of Grey's Anatomy at the time. I remember watching new episodes every week, and I absolutely remember watching the epic two-person opening after the Super Bowl when the surgeon at Seattle Grace had to deal with a bomb in a body cavity in training. (An episode of Christina Ricci and Kyle Chandler? Honestly, who could forget.) But even though I've been behind on recent season updates, the enduring medical drama has been a solid one. Comfort drama - waiting for me to jump back in whenever I need it. It's a series whose theme song has never been more fitting, as the ABC drama shows no signs of slowing down after nearly 20 seasons, and no one knows where they'll end up! Netflix has been through all the heartbreak and hardship and honesty before then Crazy medical cases for you to revisit over and over again. - Carly Lane

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In From the Cold (2022)

Creator: Adam Glass | Season: 1 | Episodes: 8

Average Runtime: 50 minutes

Cast: Margarita Levieva, Cillian O'Sullivan, Lydia Fleming

For whatever reason , 2022 has seen the premieres of many spy shows, quite a few of them on Netflix. But this Netflix original is easily one of the best, even if it's underrated. In From the Cold, newly divorced American mom Jenny Franklin (Margarita Levieva) accompanies her daughter's figure skating team to compete in Spain. There, she was kidnapped by CIA agents and exposed as a former KGB spy and assassin. Desperate, she agrees to help her captors solve a series of seemingly unrelated cases. But even though that secret may have been uncovered, it turns out Jenny has more secrets, including experimental techniques that make her the perfect infiltrator. As the episodes progress, Jenny unravels a complex conspiracy involving right-wing terrorists and the ghosts of her past, all of which form a The orgasm threatened the life of her beloved daughter. From the Cold never ceases to surprise viewers, not even until the very last second, when the show's end makes you reconsider everything you thought you knew about this shadowy world. - Remus Noronha

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Altered Carbon (2018-2020)

Creator: Laeta Kalogridis | Seasons: 2 | Episodes: 18

Average Runtime: 56 minutes

Cast: Joel Kinnaman, Chris Conner, Dichen Lachman, Renée Elise Goldsberry, Anthony Mackie

In On the infinite time axis, everything is pushed to the extreme. In such a world, what is one to do when confronted with the darkest corners of humanity? That's the question at the heart of the hard sci-fi series Altered Carbon. Based on the novel by Richard K. Morgan, the show takes place in the distant future where science has figured out how to store, transmit and retrieve human consciousness like data on a disk. Behind the scenes, this gave creators the opportunity to cast multiple actors in the same role, starring Joel Kinnaman in season one and Anthony Mackie in season two. Effectively immortalized, finding new lows in debauchery and colonizing entire worlds to feed their industrial machines. The story follows Takeshi Kovacs, an imprisoned former rebel fighter who is brought out of stasis to solve the murder of a 300-year-old oligarch. The agreement was that if he could solve the murder, he would be pardoned for his crimes and he would be a free man. The first season follows Takeshi's investigation and shows how it's intrinsically linked to the ghosts of his past. Season 2 takes things a step further with a new case as Takeshi's dead lover and rebel leader Quellcrist Falconer (Renée Elise Goldsberry) mysteriously reappears. Even though the show was canceled after only two seasons, it has an intricate, well-crafted world with plenty of noir drama and intrigue. The franchise also has a spin-off animated film on Netflix called Altered Carbon: Resleeved, and the show's ending leaves the door open for more stories in the future -- provided someone finds the time to revive the series. - Remus Noronha

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Peaky Blinders (2013-2022)

Creator: Steven Knight | Seasons: 6 | Episodes: 36

Average Runtime: 60 minutes

Cast: Cillian Murphy, Helen McCrory, Paul Anderson, Sophie Rundle, Joe Cole ^Historical fiction is not an easy genre to digest, but if you're looking for a truly successful series, look no further. Peaky Blinders is a BBC series that uses fiction to tell the story of the real-life gang that bears its name. Featuring a star-studded cast, including recurring actors such as Tom Hardy and Anya Taylor-Joy, the show is for those who love crime series that are also shaped and inspired by true historical events. Set shortly after World War I, the show follows the rise of Tommy Shelby (played by the incomparable Cillian Murphy) and his family as they lie, cheat and kill to climb to the top. But Peaky Blinders isn't just about the criminal element, either. It masterfully portrays complex human beings in all their tenderness and pain. Come for the great cast and dramatic storyline, stay for the relationships and emotional weight. Either way, this series is a must-see. - Remus Noronha

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Creators: Neil Gaiman, David S. Goyer & Allan Heinberg | Season: 1 | Episodes: 10

The Sandman (2022-Present)

Average Running Time: 45 minutes

Cast: Tom Sturridge, Gwendoline Christie, Vivienne Acheampong, Boyd Holbrook, Charles Dance

Few works of literature are as unique and epic as Neil Gaiman's graphic novel series The Sandman. The story revolves around the titular Sandman, Dream, and his siblings, the immortal supergods known as the Endless. There have been attempts to adapt the series since the early '90s, but this is the first time the story has ever been brought to the screen. While the show has some departures from the original, it remains largely faithful to the graphic novel and is one of the few examples of a book adaptation that does it right. Netflix's The Sandman features a well-crafted story and an intricate world that's sure to delight longtime fans of the universe as much as those who are seeing the Everlasting Dream for the first time. - Remus Noronha

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Creator: Adam Price | Seasons: 4 | Episodes: 38

Borgen (2010-Present)

Average Runtime: 57 minutes

Cast: Sidse Babett Knudsen, Birgitte Hjort Sørensen, Pilou Asbæk, Søren Malling

If You Want For a great political drama, check out the Danish series Borgen. show tells the story of Birgitte Nyborg Christensen (Sidse Babett Knudsen), a junior politician who climbs the ladder to become Denmark's first female Prime Minister. As with any political series, intrigue and betrayal abound. Viewers can follow the ups and downs of Birgitte's career and learn how her idealism was shattered by realpolitik. - Remus Noronha

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Creator: Alice Oseman | Seasons: 1 | Episodes: 8

Heartstopper (2022-present)

Average Running Time: 30 minutes

Cast: Kit Connor, Joe Locke, William Gao, Yasmin Finney and Olivia Colman.

Based on the graphic novel of the same name, Heartstopper is the long-awaited queer coming-of-age story many have been waiting for. Charlie Spring (Joe Locke) is a gay schoolboy who falls in love with Nick Nelson (Kit Connor), the man sitting next to him in a new form. A beautiful love story and exploration of sexuality, Heartstopper fully understands how difficult it is to be queer and so young, exploring friendship, sex and gender in a way few shows do. With incredible chemistry between its two leads, Heartstopper makes you fall in love with Nick and Charlie, bringing Together is a supporting story that makes you want to find the same love they had. - Arianne Binette

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Creator: Chris Van Dusen | Seasons: 2 | Episodes: 16

Bridgerton (2020-present)

Average Runtime: 64 minutes

Cast: Phoebe Dynevor, Régé-Jean Page, Nicola Coughlan, Jonathan Bailey, Luke Thompson

From Shondaland, Bridgerton for Regency romance lovers. About the Brigderton family, each season follows one of the kids as he finds true love. It's the romance series we haven't seen in a long time, full of chemistry, drama, and juicy scenes. Bridgerton's drama-filled series, set against the backdrop of gossip writers torturing aristocratic society, plays up Shonda Rhimes' TV style. If you like drama, romance and hot scenes, this show will give you all that and more. - Arianne Binette

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Creators: Greg Berlanti & Sera Gamble | Seasons: 3 | Episodes: 30

You (2018-present)

Average Running Time: 50 minutes

Cast: Penn Badgley, Elizabeth Lail, Shay Mitchell, Victoria Pedretti, Jenna Ortega

Based on the book of the same name, You Close to It With meticulous hands. The show follows bookstore manager and serial killer Joe Goldberg (Penn Badgley), who quickly falls in love and develops an obsession with whoever catches his eye. What makes you so unique is the way this show treats the main character, never trying to make him seem like a good guy - digging into his psyche and understanding him, yes, but never trying to redeem him. While the first season was good, season two is where the show finds itself and its voice. Joe tells his obsession through his eyes and through his narration, offering insight into his psyche, but also failing to show every aspect of the story, which isn't revealed until later. It's a way of telling a story that keeps you engaged and on the edge of your seat until the very last second of the season. - Arianne Binette

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Directors: Joji Matsuoka, Nobuhiro Yamashita, Shotarou Kobayashi | Seasons: 5 | Episodes: 50

Midnight Diner (2009-2014)

Average Running Time: 25 minutes^ Cast: Kaoru Kobyashi, Mansaku Fuwa, Toshiki Ayata, Yutaka Matsushige, Ken Mitsuishi

A slice-of-life manga inspired a serene and thoughtful series, Midnight Diner (aka Shinya shokudō) is a Japanese anthology series about a quirky little restaurant that is only open late at night. Run by the mysterious and scarred chef, Only Master, the restaurant is filled with curious characters and regulars, and each episode features a specific Japanese dish. Incredibly introspective, Midnight Dinner is addictive as a series, despite its subdued nature. As with The Master and his other patrons, it's easy to get lost in this week's story very quickly. With delicious meals and people from all walks of life, Midnight Diner will make you laugh, make you think, and possibly make you hungry. The series currently has five seasons, three of which are titled Midnight Diner and two titled Midnight Diner: Tokyo Stories. — Therese Lacson

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Creators: Chun Sung-il, Lee JQ, Kim Nam-su | Season: 1 | Episodes: 12

Average Running Time: 62 minutes

All of Us Are Dead (2022-present)

Cast: Park Ji Hoo, Yoon Chan Young, Jo Yi Hyun, Dragon Gate , Liu Renxiu

Netflix recently invested heavily in Korean dramas, and it seems to have paid the price to leave. We're All Dead, Based on the Web Comic Now at Joo Dong-geun's Our School is a zombie horror series with a strong coming-of-age theme. Set in a zombie-infested high school, the show offers some clever stories, plenty of gore, and tense relationships. The story begins when a zombie virus is unleashed in a high school in South Korea. With no supplies and the government cut off from the outside world, high school students are forced to rely on whatever resources they can find to protect themselves from infection. It's a thrilling series that's been on Netflix's global top 10 list for weeks since its release on January 28, 2022. - Remus Noronha

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Creator: Hwang Dong-hyuk | Seasons: 1 | Episodes: 9

Average Running Time: 48 minutes

Squid Game (2021-present)

Cast: Lee Jung Jae, Park Hae Soo, Wei Ha Joon, HoYeon Jung, Oh Young Soo

Netflix 2021 One of the biggest hits, "The Squid Game" is an intense competition Korean survival drama. The show revolves around an underground tournament where people take part in deadly games every day for huge cash prizes. Squid Games is known for its stories, performances, and especially At the heart of the series is inequality and greed.

Sung Ki-hoon (Lee Jung-jae) is a divorced driver who lives with his elderly mother. He has a daughter that he is struggling to support financially, and the fact that he is a gambling addict doesn't help his situation either. So when he was invited to play a kid's game in exchange for a large sum of money, Sung Ki-hoon jumped at the chance. But once he accepts the invitation, he's taken to an unknown location where he has to hang out with 455 other people who are also deeply in debt. It quickly becomes clear that if they lose a game, they die, and the only way to survive is to outwit other players and the game's mysterious organizer.

This is a tense, violent and riveting story spanning nine episodes. If the first season left you craving more, season 2 of Squid Game is currently in the works. - Remus Noronha

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Creator: Álex Pina | Seasons: 3 | Episodes: 41

Average Runtime: 59 minutes

Money Heist (2017-2021)

Cast: Úrsula Corberó, Álvaro Morte, Itziar Ituño, Pedro Alonso, Alba Flores

Money Heist (Spanish: La Casa de Papel) is undoubtedly one of the most influential shows in the Netflix catalogue. In its three seasons on the streaming service, the heist series has managed to become a global phenomenon. Set in Madrid, Money Heist revolves around a group of eight brought together by a mysterious man known only as "The Professor" (Álvaro Morte). In the first season, the Professor and his men set out to rob the Royal Mint of Spain, using a complex plan decades in the making. Over the course of the story, we learn more about these men as the plan unfolds in full swing. In seasons 2 and 3, the group pulls off yet another heist, this time targeting the Royal Mint of Spain. This is a show about defiance and bravery in the face of insurmountable odds. And, perhaps more importantly, it's a story about a group of people and the relationships they build with one another, all while pulling off two of the most ingenious heists of all time. - Remus Noronha

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Creator: Scott Frank | Season: 1 | Episodes: 7

Average Runtime: 56 minutes^ Cast: Anya Taylor-Joy, Marielle Heller, Thomas Brodie-Sangster, Harry Melling, Bill Camp This hit Netflix original story takes place in Set in the 1950s and 60s, it tells the story of how a young orphan overcomes trauma and finds joy wherever she can find it, and the people she meets along the way. The journey led her to chess, and despite struggling at home, she became a world-renowned champion. Anya Taylor-Joy (the witch) is incredible in the lead role, and Scott Frank (writer and director of each episode) knocks this episode out of the park. Part sports story, part famous series, and part in-depth character study, The Queen's Gamble has it all. – Adam Chitwood

The Queen's Gambit (2020)

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Creators: Bill Dubuque & Mark Williams | Seasons: 4 | Episodes: 44

Average Running Time: 65 minutes

Cast: Jason Bateman, Laura Linney, Julia Garner, Peter Mullan and Janet McTeer could spark to the Netflix original Ozark. The show opens with Jason Bateman playing a financial manager whose life falls apart when he learns that his partner has been doing business with Mexican drug cartels. The only way to pay them back was to start laundering money himself, so he moved his family from Chicago to the Ozarks to start a new life as a criminal. Intrigue, danger and murder ensue as Bateman tries to get his mind (and that of his family) to surface. This one is especially good for quickly browsing stories. – Adam Chitwood

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Ozark (2017-2022)

Creator: Vince Gilligan | Seasons: 5 | Episodes: 62

Average Running Time: 50 minutes

Cast: Bryan Cranston, Anna Gunn, Aaron Paul Dean Norris, Betsy Brandt^ If for some reason you've never seen Breaking Bad, allow me to convince you: Over the course of five seasons, the The show's evolution from a suave chemistry teacher to a dangerous and fearsome drug dealer feels totally deserved. Bryan Cranston deserves all these Emmys for playing a man diagnosed with terminal cancer who decides to With nothing to lose, he started doing meth so he could leave some money for his family. It's been an absolutely thrilling ride, all the more special because the ending is actually kind of awesome. You won't regret overeating this one. – Adam Chitwood

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Creator: Joe Penhall | Seasons: 2 | Episodes: 19

Breaking Bad (2008-2013)

Average Running Time: 50 minutes

Cast: Jonathan Groff, Holt McCallany, Anna Torv, Hannah Gross & Cotter Smith David · David Fincher's terrifying but informative movie, Mindhunter, you must watch. Based on true events, this Netflix original chronicles the early work of the FBI's Criminal Profiling Unit in the late 1970s. Two FBI agents from the FBI's Behavioral Science Unit - Holden Ford (Jonathan Groff) and Bill Tench (Holt McCallany) - set out to interview the imprisoned serial killers, to see if they can understand why they do what they do, to help create a file for them for the FBI to catch these types of killers. Fincher directed a large number of episodes over the series' two seasons, and the episodes It does a good job of delivering some cat-and-mouse thrills while also providing a lot of chewing on human behaviour. – Adam Chitwood

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Creator: Patrick Somerville | Season: 1 | Episodes: 10

Average Runtime: 36 minutes

Mindhunter (2017-2019)

Cast: Emma Stone, Jonah Hill, Justin Theroux, Sally Field, Sonoya Mizuno Out of Crazy. Directed entirely by No Time to Die filmmaker Cary Fukunaga, this limited series takes place in a slightly more advanced version of Earth, in which two depressed individuals — played by Emma Stone and Jonah Hill — take part in A puzzling drug experiment aimed at curing their ailments. The trial found them mentally living various fantasies and scenarios, which gave Fukunaga the opportunity to present the show in a variety of genres, from dark comedy to fantasy. – Adam Chitwood

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Maniac (2018)

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