Netflix in 2024: the 9 most unmissable shows so far and what’s coming next

 A promotional image for Netflix's Bridgerton season 3, Baby Reindeer and Eric.
Credit: Netflix

When you're the biggest streaming company in the world and make as many new Netflix movies and shows as it does, there's bound to be a few misfires – and this year has seen its fair share already, including J-Lo-in-space AI thriller Atlas, which has been inexplicably popular despite terrible reviews, and Zach Snyder's Rebel Moon Part 2, which was not the epic sci-fi sequel we were hoping for.

Suffice to say, there haven't been that many new entries in our best Netflix movies guide, but when it comes to TV shows, Netflix has been delivering winner after winner this year in pretty much every genre: we've had swooning rom-coms, terrifying tales of obsession, quirky fantasy and some brain-melting sci-fi too – all of which have earned a place on our best Netflix shows list.

As we hit the mid-point of 2024, the good news is that there's plenty more where that came from. Later this year, we'll see the final seasons of some of our very favorite shows as well as the debuts of some series we think are worth getting excited about. And we'll also see the return of the biggest show Netflix has ever produced – although as yet we don't know exactly when.

These are the shows we think have been among Netflix's biggest and best this year, and the shows we think you'll be talking about for the rest of the year.

Netflix in 2024: what have been this year's biggest shows?

Still from Bridgerton season 3
Still from Bridgerton season 3

If by "biggest" we mean "most talked about", then the biggest Netflix show of the year so far has been Baby Reindeer. It's a tale of a suffocating, life-wrecking obsession that begins by saying it's a true story – and that's turned out to be a problem, because Netflix is currently being sued for defamation to the tune of $170 million by Fiona Harvey, of whom the show's key character Martha appears to have been based.

For many viewers, the must-see shows this year have been romantic ones: season 3 of Bridgerton has been an absolute joy, while One Day very successfully turned David Nicholl's best-selling novel into 14 episodes of romantic comedy.

If you prefer darker shows, it doesn't get much darker than Ripley. The neo-noir crime thriller, which arrived in April, is a tale of a 1960s New Yorker pulled into a life of deceit and murder. It got some great reviews – The Guardian called it "spellbinding" – and was watched by millions, although its 2.5 million first-week views were low by Netflix standards.

The quirky, Benedict Cumberbatch-starring psychological thriller Eric did much better, rocketing to the top of Netflix's charts in its very first week.

Eric on Netflix
Eric on Netflix

It's been a good year for fantasy fans, too. Neil Gaiman's Dead Boy Detectives has been a lot of fun with its tale of ghostly investigations, and 3 Body Problem is a largely effective adaptation of the brain-melting sci-fi books by Liu Cixin.

But for many viewers the stand-out sci-fi show of the year so far is the animated Scavengers Reign, axed by Max and brought to Netflix last month. It's currently that rare thing, a show with a 100% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. 100% ratings might be rare, but Netflix has another one for Chicken Nugget, the truly bizarre show about a young woman who gets turned into – yes! – a chicken nugget.

Of course, it wouldn't be Netflix without a few loved shows getting canned. And so far this year one of the saddest cancelations is The Brothers Sun, featuring Michelle Yeoh in an action comedy. Despite great reviews Netflix pulled the plug after just one season, so that particular Sun isn't going to shine again this year.

Netflix in 2024: what new Netflix shows are coming next?

Viktor, Five, and Diego inspect their rundown home in The Umbrella Academy season 4
Viktor, Five, and Diego inspect their rundown home in The Umbrella Academy season 4

One of the most talked-about shows of the coming months is likely to be the fourth and final season of The Umbrella Academy, which will stream from August 8 – just after Cobra Kai season six, another hit show coming to an end this year. That'll be streaming from 18 July.

Emily In Paris is returning for a fourth season in August, but it will be split into two parts: the first five episodes will be available from August 15 but the second five won't be streaming until September 12. Another returning favorite is Heartstopper, the sensitive coming of age drama centering on teens Charlie and Nick. Heartstopper season three is due in October.

Dramas won't be the only source of drama in the months to come. The UK version of reality dating show Love Is Blind will hit streaming in August with its very distinctive take on dating: contestants are placed into pods to isolate them from the outside world and they get to know their potential soulmates without knowing what they look like.

If a match is made, the would-be couple have to get engaged before they actually get to meet in person and find out if love really is blind. The show will be presented by former Big Brother contestant Emma Willis and her husband Matt, formerly of the pop band Busted.

An animated character fires a gun
An animated character fires a gun

Netflix is continuing to invest in animation, and one of the most anticipated new shows is Terminator: The Animated Series. Based on the world of the Schwarzenegger movies but telling a whole new story, the anime will be streaming from August 29. And Zack Snyder's Twilight of the Gods, an animated series based on Norse mythology, will arrive the following month in September.

Some shows have yet to get a streaming date other than 2024 such as the Kiera Knightley-starring spy drama Black Doves, which could be as much fun as Apple TV Plus' Slow Horses. Knightley is joined by Happy Valley's Sarah Lancashire, Bond actor Ben Whishaw and Peaky Blinders' Andrew Koji in a tale of secrets, skullduggery and a vast global conspiracy. And that's all we know so far: there isn't even a trailer yet, just a blink-and-you'll-miss-it moment in Netflix's 2024 preview trailer.

And there's one more big show without a streaming date just yet: Squid Game 2. We're going to go out on a limb here and suggest that a few people might watch that one.

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