The Netflix Shows Our Editors Are Obsessed With
As the pandemic continues to put many of us in lockdown, and with international travel still off the cards, watching Netflix shows have been a source of comfort and escape from reality for many of us. Shows like Bridgerton, Lupin, Bling Empire and The Queen's Gambit have become massive hits, breaking record after record—a testament to the number of people tuning in for entertainment from the streaming giant.
If you've already exhausted your to-watch list and unsure what to see next or simply buzzed with the plethora of choices you have, we asked the Tatler editors which TV shows they can't get enough of and the ones they highly recommend.
The Haunting of Hill House is so much more than a horror series, the storytelling is brilliant. Chef’s Table is always something I come back to for its super interesting subjects and beautiful cinematography.
On a lighter note, I love some of the Netflix stand-ups. A few of my favourites are Tom Papa – You’re Doing Great, Michael Che – Matters and Hasan Minhaj – Homecoming King.
—Coco Marett, Lifestyle Editor
An oldie but forever a goodie—New Girl. As a die-hard Friends fanatic, I never thought I could love another show as much, but the creators of New Girl hit it out of the park. If you haven’t seen it, it’s an ensemble comedy show that revolves around a quirky teacher who lives in a loft with three guys named Nick, Schmidt and Winston. Schmidt is quite possible the funniest TV character there is. “Are you cooking frittatas in a saucepan? What is this, prison?” Start the show now, you won’t regret it. 29!
—Tara Sobti, Society Editor
I know, I know, Emily in Paris is highly controversial with its French and Asian stereotyping, but I confess I was mesmerised by the breathtaking cityscape and Emily’s wardrobe—which got me into wearing my little mustard yellow Agnès B beret now.
When I’m in the mood for something more serious, I love checking out Netflix’s documentaries. Joan Didion: The Center Will Not Hold (2017), which features her family’s and colleagues’ commentary, offers a comprehensive insight into the literary icon’s personal life and becoming. The film deepened my understanding of her work that I read during my days as a student. I find Didion a huge inspiration for my journalistic work (and an eerie resemblance—though in a good, motivational way—when my idol also squeezed time for creative writing at night).
—Zabrina Lo, Associate Features Editor
I spend far too much time on Netflix than I’d like to admit. Recently, I’ve started watching Crime Scene, the docuseries on the disappearance of Elisa Lam. It’s dark, eery and I wouldn’t dare watch it alone with the lights off. To lighten up the mood after, I’ve been rewatching How I Met Your Mother—it’s a classic.
—Doris Lam, Digital Writer
I'm a true K-drama fan through thick and thin. Recently, I've been really loving The Uncanny Counter which follows a group of evil-spirit-fighting misfits who also moonlight as noodle restaurant workers by day. It's fun, exciting, charming, enjoyable action scenes and great character arcs—minus all the cheesy romance (that's enjoyable too but sometimes you just need something refreshing). With a second season already announced, I can't wait to see more of the adventures of this ragtag crew.
Speaking of romance, something a lot less cheesy yet still keeps the fluff and butterflies is Run On which highlights the unsung work of translators (thanks to them, I can watch K-dramas with subtitles!) while managing to avoid the pitfalls of other cliched romance K-dramas plus a female lead that's no cinderella. She also inspires me to work on my slow-progressing Korean. The absence of a love triangle is just a joy to watch because I always root for the second lead!
—Jianne Soriano, Digital Writer
For me, the most underrated—and most moving—drama of 2020 was the live-action Giri/Haji, co-produced by Netflix and BBC. It's a tale that spans Tokyo and London and follows a world-weary policeman as he tracks down his estranged yakuza brother accused of murder. The acting, action scenes, deep explorations of cross-cultural themes, cinematography and music score are all second to none—with a few animated cutaways and contemporary dance scenes thrown in to elevate the series to something close to art.
—Gavin Yeung, Editor, Tatler Dining
I have been enjoying some Netflix docuseries of late, particularly where their subjects have not held obvious appeal to me. I’ve never been big into hip hop, but loved The Defiant Ones. It charts the simultaneous rise of rapper Dr Dre and music exec Jimmy Lovine through to the development of their unlikely yet hugely influential relationship, which resulted in Beats headphones. It’s a fascinating and engagingly told journey through music history with a stellar cast of talking heads.
The Last Dance was similarly engrossing, and although I have no great love of shooting hoops, I found the grace of the basketball players in the archival footage mesmerizing, and the sheer drive and determination of Michael Jordan rousing.
I’ve recently been recommended Drive to Survive, which is about Formula 1, and despite never having any yearning to watch cars scream round and round a racetrack, given what these other docuseries have delivered, it’s top of my watchlist.
—Rachel Duffell, Regional Content Director, Asia, Tatler Dining
Night Walker: The Hunt For A Serial Killer is by far the most disturbing and most terrifying docuseries I have ever watched. If you’re a sucker for true crime, the four-part show follows one of the most heinous serial killers in American history. Watch as detectives try to hone in on Richard Ramirez before he claims another victim.
—Kristy Or, Associate Editor
I'm a fan of fast-paced, true crime shows and there's plenty to choose from on Netflix. I recently binge-watched Killer Inside: The Mind of Aaron Hernandez, which examines a New England Patriots tight end’s downfall from football star to a convicted murderer.
I was also blown away by Don’t F**k With Cats: Hunting an Internet Killer, which follows a group of online sleuths who take it upon themselves to uncover the identity of a mysterious man who films himself torturing animals, and maybe more.
—Annie Darling, Watches & Jewellery Director
Never one to turn down a slick heist drama, I savoured every minute of the French mystery series Lupin—this high-octane thriller is a delicious mix of quick wit, satisfying cat-and-mouse meanderings, and exceptionally evocative cinematography and music. Actor Omar Sy works wonders as the protagonist of this contemporary retelling of the fictional master of disguise, Arsene Lupin, whose sleight of hand always puts him several steps ahead of his foes; season two could not come sooner.
In the non-fiction realm, the sardonic, prickly humour of legendary columnist Fran Lebowitz is offered in short, snackable episodes of Pretend It’s A City—this short series directed by Martin Scorsese has me in stitches most of the time, nodding in agreement to everything this grumpy yet loveable New Yorker has taken the time to complain about, from Evita the musical to Times Square (“the worst neighbourhood in the world”).
—Charmaine Mok, Editorial Director, Tatler Dining
If you’ve never watched The End of the F***ing World, now's the time. And if you have watched it, now’s the time to watch it again. This show is an artfully composed narrative packed with peculiar dark humour and explicit emotions, telling a twisted love story between teenagers Alyssa and James, with the latter being a burgeoning sociopath. There are moments of mayhem, murder and self-reflection, where the characters just feel so real that it’s hard not to identify with them. I also highly recommend Lupin and Black Mirror if you’re looking for some gripping stuff.
—Helen Yu, Assistant Editor
Like many of the team, I'm always a fan of a good true crime documentary. Recents on my watch list have been Night Walker: The Hunt For A Serial Killer, The Ripper, and most recently, Crime Scene: The Vanishing at the Cecil Hotel, with each detailing its own grizzly crimes, murders and mysteries.
For slightly lighter watching, I've also been enjoying several of Netflix's own original movies. The Dig is a beautifully shot film depicting the true story of the 1939 excavation of Sutton Hoo, with stellar acting from Carey Mulligan and Ralph Fiennes. On the other end of the spectrum, The White Tiger, an adaptation of Aravind Adiga's 2008 novel of the same name, is also definitely worth a watch.
—Annie Simpson, Digital Content Director