8 Nerdy Shows to Binge on Netflix This Weekend
I'm not what you would call a casual nerd. Not even close. No, I'm the obsessive type who will absolutely consume a piece of media at an unholy speed. It took me a month to get through seven seasons of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. I finished the entirety of Angel (five seasons) in a week, and when I got to the finale I almost threw things at my television because IT CAN'T END THERE. (It doesn't, but I don't read a lot of graphic novels.)
So obviously, I am no stranger to binge-watching. When I have the time, I will build a nest on the couch or in my bed and I will absolutely devour whatever show has caught my fancy. At this point, some of them I've binged on several times.
But I'm always looking for new recommendations of shows to watch, and I am sure plenty of you are looking for new shows, too! So here's my first list of absolutely binge-worthy shows on Netflix right now. Grab some snacks, load up on the caffeine, (please take a shower) and get ready to ride the feels.
(P.S., I'm skipping the obvious ones such as Queer Eye, Nailed It!, Supernatural and Sherlock. Come see what rabbit holes I've fallen down recently instead!)
1. Fantastically Funny: Disenchantment
Disenchantment is the latest show by Matt Groening, the creator of Futurama (and The Simpsons). Disenchantment is the story of Tiabeanie (aka Bean), a princess who doesn't quite have a handle on...well anything except her mug of ale. She makes up for it by cavorting around, drinking, stirring up trouble, and generally trying to live life on her terms while being egged on by her own personal demon.
This show is a lot more plot-driven than Futurama, and less parodying the fantasy genre as I'd hoped (and come on, there's no shortage of parody material -- even if you ignore the obvious ones like Game of Thrones). The first season is good, but I really hope it can grow to be as good as Futurama was, with a perfect mix of humor and story. And maybe a lot more parody.
- Seasons on Netflix: 1
- Episodes: 10
- New Episodes Coming: Yep!
2. Space Cats and Magic Aliens: Voltron: Legendary Defender
I vaguely remember Voltron as a kid. And by vaguely I mean I know it existed and I definitely watched an episode or two at some point. Did I love it? Obviously given my lack of recall, no. But the new series, a Netflix original, is REALLY good. I was casually watching it as background noise, then got to the end of season two, thought, "HOLY SHIT," and immediately went back and rewatched the first two seasons. The premise is pretty simple: 5 people from Earth suddenly find themselves as the pilots of five magical space lions who combine to form a mystical warrior who must defend the universe against the evil Galra empire, with the guidance of an alien princess.
Voltron is absolutely character-driven, so you're going to have to forgive the plot holes and the silly filler episodes. What I love about about the show is the way the characters do grow and mature and learn over time. Their relationships with each other evolve, too. The show isn't about any one character with everyone else being in a supporting role. Even Coran gets his moments to shine, and each paladin has their own story arcs that help you discover who they are.
All of that said, Voltron's showrunners have come under fire with accusations of queerbaiting in season 7, specifically use of the "Bury Your Gays" trope. The showrunners have acknowledged that it was a problem and apologized, but it's up to you whether you want to sit through that arc.
- Seasons on Netflix: 7
- Episodes: 65
- New Episodes Coming: Yes (but only 1)
3. Feel-Good Fluff: Miraculous: Tales of Ladybug & Cat Noir
Sometimes I need pure, simple fluff. Like, toe-curling, squee-inducing, diabeetus-giving sugar. And that's exactly what this show is all about. We've got high school super heroes, secret crushes, bratty classmate rivals, a cheesy big bad and a moralistic villain of the week. But despite all of that, Miraculous Ladybug has heart. It is sweet and thoughtful and uplifting. You will genuinely feel for these characters, especially Adrien/Cat Noir. But Marinette (Ladybug), Alya, Nino, and the rest of the cast all have their moments to shine.
The first season of Miraculous Ladybug doesn't have a lot of plot or character advancement, because it's very focused on the villain of the week. But the hints are greatness are there, so tantalizingly close! And I am happy to say that season 2 delivers on a more satisfying, multi-episode plot with some major reveals. Season 3 is due to drop some time in 2018, and I'm already screaming about it because what I thought was going to be perpetual fluff is building toward something really, really great.
- Seasons on Netflix: 2
- Episodes: 51 (Plus 1 Christmas Special)
- New Episodes Coming: YES!
4. Amazing Adventures: Trollhunters
Trollhunters is one of those shows that popped up in my Netflix recommendations and I shrugged it off. "Maybe later," I thought. Fortunately, my roommate's boyfriend was all too happy to introduce me to the show, and it didn't take much to get me hooked. It might sound a little bit odd to hear that this children's show is the creation of Guillermo Del Toro, but at its heart this show is all about a human discovering a world of monsters, which definitely sounds like a Del Toro kind of thing. Trollhunters is one of those lovely shows where plot and characters are equally well done. The world-building is beautiful and the writers play with some of the common teen-superhero/vigilante tropes in interesting ways. And while the show has its dark moments, it's very hopeful and uplifting and even fluffy at moments. I was absolutely dismayed to find out that the third season was the finale for Trollhunters, but we'll be revisiting the world in two spin-off series, 3 Below and Wizards. I'm going to guess we'll see some crossover between the three, but since the main hero, Jim Lake, won't be the protagonist of all three, I'm still going to whine hopelessly and pitifully that my fave isn't center stage.
- Seasons on Netflix: 3
- Episodes: 52
- New Episodes Coming: 2 spin-offs incoming
5. Beautiful Badassery: Black Lightning
After the CW opted to pull all its shows from Hulu in favor of its own free, ad-supported streaming at, the network also cut a deal with Netflix to stream the full seasons a week after the finale. Which means it's REALLY easy to get caught up on any of the CW shows. But rather than put yourself through 6 seasons of Arrow, skip over to Black Lightning, which is easily the best show the CW has ever done.
It's not JUST that Black Lightning is all about a black superhero. It's not even that it's a show with a predominantly black cast. Both of these are hella awesome things. But Black Lightning doesn't pull its punches when talking about racial and social issues, either. I'm talking everything from gang violence and police brutality and to the very real threat that black activists face when they protest. And to see that, for the first time, was incredible -- and heartbreaking at the same time. And mixed in with all these complicated topics we've got an amazing story and an amazing cast of characters.
At some point we're probably going to see Black Lightning cross over with the Arrowverse, and I for one am looking forward to Jefferson Pierce tearing Oliver Queen a new one. But for now, the CW and the showrunners are happy to let Black Lightning stand independent of the reason of the Arrowverse.
- Seasons on Netflix: 1
- Episodes: 13
- New Episodes Coming: Yes
6. Outrageous Antics : Grace & Frankie
I don't really like sitcoms. Secondhand embarrassment makes me cringe and want to leave the room or hide behind a couch. But I made an exception for Grace & Frankie, because well, it was different. (And maybe because I still love The Golden Girls, which was one of the formative shows of my youth.) The premise is pretty simple: Two women in their 70s find their perfectly-planned lives falling apart when their husbands leave them for each other. It sounds interesting, but the reality turns out to be so much better -- because it's not just about these two women and their ex-husbands.
It's about the entire blended family, with all their quirks and complicated relationships. Grace and Frankie's slow, grudging friendship makes me feel a bit warm and fuzzy inside. But I also love these glimpses into the lives of Bud, Coyote, Mallory and Brianna, who exist as more than just the children who occasionally make an appearance at their parents' homes and react to the news. Grace & Frankie is hilarious at times -- the situations that the titular characters find themselves in are a source of endless laughter. But the show also has just the right amount of heart, too.
- Seasons: 4
- Episodes: 52
- New Episodes Coming: Yes
7. Magic & Music: Galavant
Fantasy television is hard to do -- and for me, almost impossible to take seriously even when I like it. Fortunately, Galavant doesn't even try. Instead, it's a low-budget musical fantasy adventure meant to keep people tuned in to ABC during the winter break. And oh what a magnificent spectacle it is. Alan Menken (who did the scores for The Little Mermaid, Aladdin, and Beauty and the Beast, among many other works) handles the music, so clearly the showrunners had their priorities in order as far as budget goes.
The plot is pretty straightforward: it's the story of epic hero Galavant, who after being jilted by the love of his life gets suckered into a quest to help a princess reclaim her kingdom from the evil king who stole his love. Galavant plays with the standard fantasy and adventure tropes beautifully. So you might know where the plot is going, but you'll enjoy getting there. Plus, the show breaks the fourth wall pretty regularly with snarky commentary. The "fantasy" in season 1 is pretty low-key, but it becomes much more obvious in season 2.
The thing I love most about Galavant is that the whole crew clearly knew what they were doing. Take the costuming: There's plenty of period accurate costuming (with repeated mentions to the time period), and so when characters deviate it's obvious that it's intentional rather than a group of designers going "ooh but this looks cool!" without knowing a single thing about medieval fashion. And yeah, there's plotholes for miles and things that clearly don't make sense, but you get the feeling that it's all intentionally glossed over rather than the writers not knowing what they're doing. I mean, to be able to properly parody something you have to intimately understand it to begin with, right?
And then there's the music. The songs in Galavant are clearly riffs on all sorts of musicals, including Les Mis, Grease, and West Side Story, to name a few. The songs are just as cheeky as the rest of the show, and incredibly catchy. Plus, with Weird Al and Kylie Minogue making appearances, the songs are delightfully varied.
I'm really sad that Galavant didn't get more than 2 seasons, but overall they're pretty satisfying and always good for a laugh.
- Seasons: 2
- Episodes: 18
- New Episodes Coming: Alas, no. =/
8. Superb Storytelling: The Dragon Prince
I absolutely LOVED Avatar: The Last Airbender and its sequel, The Legend of Korra. So when the writers from the show team up for a new series on Netflix, you can sign me right up! I was a little bit skeptical of the hype insisting that The Dragon Prince could be the next Avatar. That's giving this new show an awful lot to live up to, and if you go in expecting to see something that's immediately as wonderful and delightful, you might be a bit disappointed. But if you push all of that hype out of your mind and focus on the show itself, it's really easy to start to love it.
The premise isn't exactly unique. A long time ago, humans and magical races (read: dragons and elves) lived together peacefully and learned how to use magic. Then the foolish humans learned how to use dark magic. The other races, fearing this new evil, drove all the humans out of their lands. Fast forward a couple hundred years and humans are still using magic (including dark magic) and waging war on the elves and dragons. The humans kill the king of the dragons and destroy his egg. In retaliation, a band of elves set out to kill the king and his son and heir. Things don't go as planned, and one of the assassins teams up with the king's two children to try to make peace between all the peoples. Meanwhile, there's a war going on and political scheming -- and what seems like something potentially much darker.
Despite the somewhat unoriginal story, I absolutely love the characters. Rayla, Callum, and Ezran are all incredible in their own right. They all have their strengths and weaknesses and flaws and insecurities, and it works. You might not think that Ezran, the youngest character, could avoid the plot-trap of being the burdensome child who needs protection. But somehow, he does. He's absolutely the heart of the trio and I am 100% here for that. And the themes these characters deal with -- justice, loyalty, sacrifice. While Avatar started off lighthearted and got darker as the show progressed, The Dragon Prince has higher stakes from the get-go.
And the best bit? The Dragon Prince isn't mucking about with representation. From the get-go we have people of color in the show -- and in positions of power and importance. I'm still waiting to see if we'll get black elves (my fingers are crossed!), but just from the little bit of the world we've seen, I don't think we'll have to worry about "token" diversity. There's even a character who's mute and communicates with sign language. And it's just just...accepted, no tragic backstory needed, no exposition, nothing.
While The Dragon Prince is relying somewhat on some conventional fantasy tropes, I'm really, REALLY excited about it. The worldbuilding and storytelling are absolutely stunning. It's easy to see that there is so much potential there.
- Seasons: 1
- Episodes: 9
- New Episodes Coming: There'd better be! But no official word yet.
What are your favorite binge-worthy shows on Netflix? Have you watched any of these? Leave me a comment and let me know what you think!