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The 30 best TV shows on Netflix you need to watch now

As Netflix has shifted its focus from disc-by-mail to the ease of instant streaming, its roster of TV shows allows small screen fans to devour entire series across very short periods. We're all guilty of binge-watching ("Nnggh, 12.37am… maybe I could just see if Walt goes to Gus's house…") and it's easier than ever to keep up-to-date with the best TV shows on Netflix. However, with the streaming giant frequently adding it's own exclusive new shows into the mix – like 70s disco drama The Get Down – it can be a nightmare knowing where to start with the sheer quantity of titles on offer.

Luckily, we've hand-picked a guide to some of the best TV shows on Netflix that are currently available. From the hard-hitting dramas, superhero outings, to quirky comedies, there's a little something in here for everyone. 

The show: Loosely based on the real-life experiences of Piper Kerman, this comedy-drama from Weeds creator Jenji Kohan is like nothing else on the streaming platform. That's probably because it's a Netflix original - and by 'eck, original it certainly is. The first season follows Kerman's memoir closely, following Taylor Schilling's Piper Chapman as she enters prison after being convicted of aiding a drug trafficker - her ex, played by Laura Prepon. Yeah, she, err, also happens to be locked up in there too...

Why it's awesome: Once the show diverts from the true story, it becomes an absolute hoot. Piper's still in the mix, but we get such a rich mixture of fully-fleshed characters who we learn lots of secretive tidbits about through flashbacks. Get watching now, season four starts in less than a month.

The show: Alan Cubitt's cat-n-mouse serial killer thriller based in Northern Ireland is a haunting miniseries that pulls viewers between its chief law enforcer Stella Gibson, determined to find her suspect, and murderer Paul Spector.

Why it's awesome: Jamie Dornan's heartthrob credentials went through the roof on Fifty Shades Of Grey, but it's damn near impossible to imagine him as anything other than a relentless psychopath after watching this.

The show: Imagine Goodfellas on bikes crossed with the histrionic machinations of a soap opera and you're somewhere in the vicinity of Sons Of Anarchy. Set in the dusty California town of Charming, the show follows Jax Teller, a vice president in a notorious biker gang, as he makes his way through the ranks. All the while he and his boys face off against rival gangs and the cold arm of the law.

Why it's awesome: Like Game Of Thrones, there's no-one safe in this show. Characters are brutally offed, and then their killers are murdered as vengeance. Lather, rinse, repeat.

The show: From the creator of The Simpsons, Matt Groening, Futurama is an irreverent and clever animated comedy about pizza delivery boy Fry who winds up living in the year 3000. Along with the delivery crew of Planet Express he explores the universe and the whole gang pass comment on the state of society with deft wry humour.

Why it's awesome: Fry's robot best friend Bender is the perfect amalgam of American Dad's Roger and The Simpsons' Homer. Drunk, sharp-tongued with a raspy laugh.

The show: Hugh Laurie turns off the charm and into curmudgeonly doctor, Gregory House who specialises in diagnostic medicine. Across the years, House investigated many weighty topics as the doc and his assembly of eager students attempt to solve the mysteries of the human body.

Why it's awesome: Lauries performance is the epitome of a loveable antihero. He's brusque, selfish and inconsiderate. You still cant take your eyes off him.

The show: The winner of last year's most hummable theme song! A new comedy from 30 Rock creators Tina Fey and Robert Carlock zeroes in on New York newbie Kimmy Schmidt, who had spent the previous fifteen years in a doomsday cult.

Why it's awesome: Its as if 30 Rock never ended. But with added Carol Kane, who absolutely slays it as Kimmy's wise landlady.

The show: David Duchovny's L.A. novelist Hank Moody meanders through a drug-and-booze addled daze, lapping up the West Coast sunshine and dealing with the consequences of his hedonistic actions. When he's not succumbing to the wily charms of women, who throw themselves at him constantly, he's tapping away at the keys and attempting to reconcile with the love of his life, Karen.

Why it's awesome: Imagine if Kerouac had been born fifty years later: Hank Moody is the epitome of free-love, artistic integrity and debauchery.

The show: Covering a topic that's made headlines for decades, Narcos charts the rise and fall of one of Colombia's most notorious criminals. It takes a two-handed approach to the Medellin cartel, a drug racket headed up by kingpin Pablo Escobar. Both his perspective and that of the DEA agent cultivating a case against him combine to tell this dramatic retelling of his life.

Why it's awesome: Told in a style similar to Goodfellas - there's a stonkin' voiceover - the grime of gangster life has never been more fascinating, thanks to two strong performances from Wagner Moura (Escobar) and Boyd Holbrook (DEA Agent Steve Murphy).

The show: Imagine the animated antithesis of Austin Powers. A secret spy whose suave allure is only matched by his humorous put-downs. That's Sterling Archer, an agent for ISIS (yeah, they later changed the name) whose missions are often thwarted by his own agenda to win back his girlfriend Lara - a fellow spy.

Why it's awesome: The sheer irreverence of Archer is the show's strongest asset. He'll rally against his mother - which he does, frequently - if it means getting a leg up. Or over.

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