21 Addictive Netflix Dramas That’ll Keep You Guessing

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Sometimes the best form of recuperation is escapism; and what better way to feel better about the unknowns in your own life than to guess about the unknowns in someone else’s life (even if it’s fictional?)

We’ve pulled together several shows from Netflix that are not only engaging,  but have plenty of hidden twists and turns. Odds are that no matter how good you are at guessing plot-twists, you’re bound to be surprised by some of the storylines in these series.

1. Ozark (2017-2022)

Photo Credit: Zero Gravity Management.

According to Netflix’s online synopsis, Ozark follows Marty Byrde, played by Jason Bateman, a financial advisor wrapped up in a money laundering scheme who is forced to relocate his family after the scheme goes wrong. He must then work to make amends to a Mexican drug cartel by laundering $500 million over five years. Drama and danger to himself and his family dog his steps, and they’re forced to use their wits to get out of dangerous situations and keep their family together. Over the years, Ozark has received a total of 45 Emmy nominations, including 3 for Outstanding Drama Series.

2. House of Cards (2013-2018)

Photo Credit: Media Rights Capital.

House of Cards follows Frank and Claire Underwood, a Congressman and his wife, as they work tirelessly and ruthlessly for their own ends. Manipulation, betrayal and sabotage come from every direction, and the Underwoods will stop at nothing to enact revenge on the politicians who betrayed them. This thriller series will have you on the edge of your seat! From 2013 to 2016, the series was nominated for Outstanding Drama Series at the Emmys for four consecutive years.

3. The Night Agent (2023)

Photo Credit: Exhibit A.

In The Night Agent, young FBI agent Peter Sutherland is assigned to monitor the seldom used phone line available to a branch called the “Night Agents.” Sutherland answers a phone call that plunges him into a world of conspiracy and espionage, and suddenly the trustworthiness of people and programs he’s become involved with in his career are called into question. As of March 2024, the first season of The Night Agent received 98,200,000 views.

4. Bridgerton (2020-Present)

Photo Credit: Shondaland.

Bridgerton follows the Bridgerton family in the early 1800s as they manage their nobility and societal positions with their love lives. The mysterious writer, Lady Whistledown, circulates letters that guess at scandal and spare no one from suspicious and scrutiny. Each of the Bridgerton siblings and their friends must navigate high society in search of financial security and love with only their tenuous reputations to pave the way. According to Netflix, Season 1 of Bridgerton has been viewed for a total of 929,300,000 hours, while Season 2 of the hit show has been streamed for almost 797,200,000 hours.

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5. Narcos (2015-2017)

Photo Credit: Netflix.

Following the true life story of infamous drug lord Pablo Escobar, Narcos chronicles the rise of the Colombian drug trade in the 1980s. The story is told from the perspective of American agent Steve Murphy, and although it takes creative liberties, it begins with Escobar’s early entry into making and distributing substances. With time, Escobar becomes so powerful that Columbian soldiers are too afraid to arrest him. This story is a wild ride, and we’re willing to bet you won’t see all those twists coming. The show had an average audience score of 95% on Rotten Tomatoes throughout the course of its three seasons.

6. You (2018-Present)

Photo Credit: Berlanti Productions.

You centers on sociopath Joe Goldberg as he stalks women he is captivated by, trying to trick them into falling in love with him. Over time, Goldberg attempts to re-start his life; moving, falling in love, and attempting to subvert his dark side again and again. But his success begins to shift when other characters enter with agendas of their own. You’ll be as surprised and confused as Goldberg is when people begin to work against him. Season 4 of You recently debuted with over 92 million views and has been renewed for a fifth and final season.

7. Black Mirror (2011-Present)

Photo Credit: Zeppotron.

Each episode of Black Mirror is a stand-alone storyline, often portraying themes critiquing modern society and its issues. Many of the episodes are speculative and fictional, playing out a current cultural phenomenon into a dystopian extreme for the sake of exploration and dark satire. Both technology and human nature come under the microscope; you may feel as uncomfortable as you are excited with this show! After its sixth season premiere, Black Mirror topped Nielson’s streaming chart, with 1.36 billion minutes viewed in the first week of its release.

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8. The Umbrella Academy (2019-2024)

Photo Credit: Borderline Entertainment.

The Umbrella Academy follows a group of superhero siblings who reunite to solve their father’s murder. There’s only one hitch: the five of them have very different lives, and they don’t get along. But with a mystery waiting to be solved and an imminent apocalypse, their only option for survival may be working together. This unique blend of protagonists and antagonists being in some cases the same characters will keep you riveted! During the first five days of its release, Season 3 of the show was viewed for approximately 124.5 hours.

9. Mindhunter (2017-2019)

Photo Credit: Denver and Delilah Productions.

Mindhunter, which has two seasons, follows FBI agents Holden Ford and Bill Tench as they attempt to learn about and learn from incarcerated serial killers and try to understand the way they think … if any will be willing to work with them. Their hope is to use this information to catch notorious serial killers by getting into their minds and psyches, but these cases are full of twists and turns, and the perpetrators are nearly impossible to pin down. It was a popular show, and many felt it was canceled prematurely. The show has an average critic score of 97% on Rotten Tomatoes and an average audience score of 95%.

10. The Crown (2016-2023)

Photo Credit: Netflix.

A fictional retelling of the U.K.’s royal family, The Crown tells the story of Queen Elizabeth II and the events leading up to her reign. While it’s not wholly true-to-life, the series unveils the world of careful strategy. The weight and solemnity of royalty are disproportionate to the actual influence that the Queen and other members of the royal household carry, which will leave you feeling everything from empathy and compassion to complete frustration with the Royal Family.  The series has 69 Emmy nominations, 21 wins, and an average audience score of 92% on Rotten Tomatoes.

11. The Witcher (2019-Present)

Photo Credit: Netflix.

Per Netflix, The Witcher follows a monster hunter for hire as he struggles to find his place in the world. This series is full of twists and sudden adventures. There is magical blood to be protected from manipulation, scarred hearts and minds to soften, and an unwelcome guardianship. Covenants and promises made with magic may have any number of unexpected consequences. According to Digital Spy, the first season of The Witcher is listed as #10 on the “Most Watched English Language Netflix Series of All Time,” with 663,600,000 total hours viewed (Turner, 2024).

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12. The Queen’s Gambit (2020)

Photo Credit: Netflix.

Released as a limited series, The Queen’s Gambit follows chess prodigy Beth Harmon as she fights to become the best chess player in the world while dealing with several personal issues. Beth was orphaned traumatically quite young, and taken to an orphanage. She was introduced to illicit substances as a child and wrestles against addictions as an adult. Her brilliant ability for strategy in chess sets her up for fame and recognition, but the foundation of substance abuse and trauma creates a shaky foundation from which to compete. The series has an average critics score of 96% on Rotten Tomatoes and an average audience score of 94%. Since its release, The Queen’s Gambit has received 112,800,000 views and 746,400,000 hours streamed (Turner, 2024).

13. Wednesday (2022-Present)

Photo Credit: Netflix.

A retelling of The Addams Family, Wednesday focuses on Wednesday Addams’s life as she attempts to adjust to Nevermore Academy. Wednesday is expelled from her school after she takes a vicious retaliation against a boys water polo team that teased her brother. At Nevermore Academy, where her parents also attended high school, Wednesday struggles to fit in, and finds herself making more enemies than friends. But she discovers a secret weapon: Wednesday is psychic. Wednesday recently became Netflix’s most-watched series of all time, with over 1,718,800,000 hours viewed and an overall total of 252,100,000 views. The series is currently ranked #1 on Netflix’s list of most popular shows.

14. Peaky Blinders (2013-2022)

Photo Credit: BBC.

Starring Cillian Murphy, Peaky Blinders follows the life of crime boss Thomas Shelby as he leads a notorious gang in 1900’s England. Although the show is largely fictional, it’s based on a true gang with the same name. As the show progresses, extra police reinforcements are sent to Birmingham to fight back against the gang and the rising crime rate. Law enforcement do battle against the slippery members of the gang as each fights for supremacy in the city. The show averages 93% on Rotten Tomatoes between critics and audience scores alike.

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15. Squid Game (2021)

Photo Credit: Siren Pictures.

In Squid Game, 456 participants compete in a deadly competition for $45.6 billion. Like the Hunger Games, nobody can win unless everyone else has lost, and lost their life. The players compete in a series of children’s games, but with the brutal caveat that losing means more than just a lost game or a chance at the prize. After its release, Squid Game received 14 Emmy nominations, including a nomination for Outstanding Drama Series. The second season will premiere later this year.

16. Dahmer – Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story (2022)

Photo Credit: Prospect Films.

Depicting the life of notorious serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer, Dahmer is a story told mainly from the perspective of Dahmer’s victims. The series details not only his crimes, but the times he was nearly captured and incarcerated, and what prevented it. Was it his own cunning that enabled him, or incompetency and apathy on the part of the police? This show is sure to be full of details you’d never have guessed, and a bold look at American policing. According to Digital Spy, Dahmer: Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story is #3 on the “Most Watched English Language Netflix Series of All Time”, with over 1 billion hours viewed (1,031,100,000).

17. Better Call Saul (2015-2022)

Photo Credit: Netflix.

A prequel to Breaking Bad, Better Call Saul depicts the life of criminal attorney Jimmy McGill, played by Bob Odenkirk, in the years before his dealings with Walter White and Jesse Pinkman. How did he get from recovering con artist and criminal lawyer to a partnership with Walter White? What happened to jade him, or erode his beliefs and morals? Did he have any to begin with? If you enjoyed Breaking Bad, you’ll enjoy this prequel and the surprising ways it expounds on the characters.  Overall, Better Call Saul has a critic score of 98% and an audience score of 96% on Rotten Tomatoes, and ran for six seasons.

18. Suits (2011-2019)

Photo Credit: Hypnotic.

Suits follows college dropout Mike Ross after he gets a job working for one of New York’s top attorneys, Harvey Specter. The problem? The firm Ross now works at employs only Harvard graduates. Specter and Ross must balance their successful case record with trying to hide the truth about Ross’s employment. The show initially ran from 2011-2019. However, thanks to its availability on Netflix, Suits racked up a total of 57.7 billion minutes of streaming during 2023. It quickly became the most-watched show of 2023.

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19. Breaking Bad (2008-2013)

Photo Credit: AMC.

Starring Bryan Cranston and Aaron Paul, Breaking Bad follows Walter White, a chemistry teacher who solicits help from a former student to make and sell meth. The deal begins when White is diagnosed with lung cancer, and he uses this as a way to provide for his family. But it’s not long before White is in deeper than he ever expected. This show will keep you guess, and watching the next episode! According to Rotten Tomatoes, the show scores 96% from critics and 97% from audiences. Throughout the show’s five seasons, Breaking Bad won 16 Primetime Emmy Awards, including two awards for Outstanding Drama Series.

20. Orange Is the New Black (2013-2019)

Photo Credit: Netflix.

Regarded as Netflix’s longest-running original series, Orange is the New Black follows a group of women in a minimum-security prison and depicts their lives on the inside. Piper Chapman once delivered a suitcase full of illegal money for her then-girlfriend; now ten years later, she’s arrested and brought to the same prison as her ex. As the show develops, it explores the different characters, why they’re there, and expounds on both the true and fictional drama of life in a prison. With seven seasons, Orange is the New Black has almost 90 hours of content to stream. During its seven-year run, the show received 150 nominations and 53 wins, including multiple Emmys, BAFTAs, GLAAD Awards, Golden Globes, NAACP Image Awards, Screen Actors Guild Awards, and Critics Choice Awards.

21. Stranger Things (2016-Present)

Photo Credit: Netflix

Set in the fictional Hawkins, Indiana, Stranger Things focuses on a group of adolescents as they become wrapped up in a life of supernatural forces and government conspiracies. Human experimentation at a local research facility has accidentally opened a portal between the (fictional) town of Hawkins and the “Upside Down.”  Now, the town is caught up with the strange disappearances, visitations, and even loss of life. The residents have to work together, using special abilities granted by the portal, to rescue their own. According to reports, Stranger Things is Netflix’s most-binged show; Season 3 was viewed for approximately 716,100,000 hours, while Season 4 has logged around 1,838,000,000 hours streamed.

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