It’s almost a teacher’s favorite time of the year… besides summer vacation that is! It’s Netflix binge-watching season! 📺 There are so many great new seasons of shows that have come out over the past couple of months that I need to catch up on. I have gotten some recommendations from friends on shows I need to watch. 🤫 I’m secretly counting down the days until Virgin River Season 5 launches. 😉 (Not to mention watching Bridgerton for the third time… while waiting, waiting, waiting for the story of Colin and Penelope. LOL)
If you’ve exhausted your personal library of shows and are looking for others to watch while you stay up a little later over the summer, this list of 30 Must-See Netflix Shows for Teachers will not disappoint. #14 is the first one I’m watching when vacation starts.
Before we jump into these titles, what kind of binge-watcher are you? Do you like the lights off, snuggled under a warm blanket, with your drink of choice and popcorn or snacks nearby?
Are you like me and get mind-numbing tasks done, such as cutting out my laminated centers, or scrolling through my Premium Membership, and saving printables to my library to use during the first few weeks of school? Whichever type of watcher you are, these shows have been recommended by teachers for teachers. 🤩
Must-See Netflix Show #1 – Queen of the South
While living in the barrio of Jalisco, Mexico, poor Teresa Mendoza falls in love with a member of a successful drug cartel, hoping the love will help her rise above the hopelessness she feels in her life. When it doesn’t happen, she is forced to flee the country after her boyfriend is murdered.
She seeks refuge in America, where she teams up with an unlikely person from her past to take down the leader of the drug ring that is after her. Teresa ends up starting her own drug empire, becoming one of the world’s wealthiest women in the process. With her success, she discovers that money doesn’t fix all of her problems. She can only depend on herself if she wants to stay one step ahead of others and stay alive.
#2 – The Vampire Diaries
The Vampire Diaries follows the life of Elena Gilbert, who falls in love with a centuries-old vampire named Stefan Salvatore and his brother Damon Salvatore, also a vampire. This draws Elena and her friends into the supernatural world of Mystic Falls. If you really get into this series, there are two spin-offs you can watch later on during the summer. After watching The Vampire Diaries, take a look at The Originals and Legacies.
#3 – How to Get Away with Murder
Annalise Keating a brilliant, charismatic, and seductive professor of defense law, teaches a class called How to Get Away With Murder. Annalise, also a criminal defense attorney, selects a group of students — the best and the brightest — to assist with cases at her firm. Mysteries arise that test everyone’s limits and reveal dark truths.
Must-See Netflix Show #4 – The Last Kingdom
As a child, Uhtred witnessed his father being killed and his Saxon army defeated by invading troops aboard Danish ships. That day, Danish warlord Earl Ragnar captured him and raised him in a Danish camp alongside fellow captive Brida, a sharp-tongued girl. Years later, Uhtred is a valiant warrior who is dealt another tragic blow when his home is deliberately set on fire, killing his surrogate family, including his fatherlike figure Ragnar. Now exiled — alone except for Brida by his side — he vows to avenge Ragnar’s death and reclaim his homeland.
#5 – Ozark
Marty Byrde is a financial planner who relocates his family from Chicago to a summer resort community in the Ozarks. With wife Wendy and their two kids in tow, Marty is on the move after a money-laundering scheme goes wrong. This forces him to pay off a substantial debt to a Mexican drug lord in order to keep his family safe. While the Byrdes’ fate hangs in the balance, the dire circumstances force the fractured family to reconnect.
#6 – Ginny and Georgia
Free-spirited Georgia and her two kids, Ginny and Austin, move north in search of a fresh start but find that the road to new beginnings can be bumpy. But Ginny Miller, an angsty fifteen-year-old, often feels more mature than her thirty-year-old mother.
Must-See Netflix Show #7 – Breaking Bad
Mild-mannered high school chemistry teacher Walter White thinks his life can’t get much worse. His salary barely makes ends meet, a situation not likely to improve once his pregnant wife gives birth, and their teenage son is battling cerebral palsy. But Walter is dumbstruck when he learns he has terminal cancer. Realizing that his illness probably will ruin his family financially, Walter makes a desperate bid to earn as much money as he can in the time he has left. He turns an old RV into a meth lab on wheels. If you want more from this series, take a look at Better Call Saul.
#8 – Schitt’s Creek
A wealthy couple suddenly finds themselves completely broke. They only have one remaining asset, a small town called Schitt’s Creek. The Roses bought the town years earlier as a joke. This once-wealthy couple must give up life as they know it. With their two spoiled children in tow and their pampered lives behind them, the Rose family is forced to face their newfound poverty head-on and come together as a family to survive.
#9 – Kingdom
Alvery Kulina is the owner of a mixed martial arts gym. With his girlfriend, Lisa, he helps train a new generation of fighters, including his sons Jay and Nate. Struggling to keep the gym afloat, the pressure is on for Alvery’s boys to come through.
Must-See Netflix Show #10 – Sweet Magnolias
Lifelong friends Maddie, Helen, and Dana Sue lift each other up as they juggle relationships, family, and careers in the small, Southern town of Serenity. A series about the joy and power of friendships to guide us through difficult times!
#11 – Dead to Me
Jen’s husband recently died in a hit-and-run, and the sardonic widow is determined to solve the crime. Optimistic free spirit Judy has recently suffered a tragic loss of her own. The ladies meet at a support group and, despite their polar-opposite personalities, become unlikely friends. As the women bond over bottles of wine and a shared affinity for “The Facts of Life,” Judy tries to shield Jen from a shocking secret that could destroy her life as she knows it.
Must-See Netflix Show #12 – Sons of Anarchy
Single father Jax Teller finds his loyalty to his outlaw motorcycle club tested by his growing unease concerning the group’s lawlessness. While the club protects and patrols the town of Charming, Calif., keeping drug dealers away, its activities also include a thriving — and lucrative — illegal arms business.
Must-See Netflix Show #13 – The Handmaid’s Tale
The series is set in Gilead, a totalitarian society in what used to be part of the United States. Gilead is ruled by a fundamentalist regime that treats women as property of the state. Gilead is faced with environmental disasters and a plummeting birth rate. In a desperate attempt to repopulate a devastated world, the few remaining fertile women are forced into sexual servitude. One of these women, Offred, is determined to survive the terrifying world she lives in, and find the daughter that was taken from her.
#14 – Orange Is the New Black
Piper Chapman is a public relations executive with a career and a fiance when her past suddenly catches up to her. In her mid-30s she is sentenced to spend time in a minimum-security women’s prison in Connecticut for her association with a drug runner 10 years earlier. Forced to trade power suits for prison orange, Chapman makes her way through the corrections system and adjusts to life behind bars. She makes friends with the many eccentric, unusual, and unexpected people she meets.
#15 – Who Killed Sara?
After 18 years in prison, Álex takes his revenge on the Lazcano family. They framed him for the murder of his sister Sara to save their reputation. Álex sets out to unearth much more than the crime’s real culprit. This Mexican mystery thriller keeps you clicking the “Next Episode” button again and again. With only 3 seasons, it is one you can binge-watch over a few days.
Must-See Netflix Show #16 – Stranger Things
In 1980s Indiana, a group of young friends witness supernatural forces and secret government exploits. As they search for answers, the children unravel a series of extraordinary mysteries. This series starts when a young boy vanishes. After his disappearance, the town meets a young girl with supernatural powers. As they investigate these strange happenings, they uncover mysteries involving secret experiments.
#17 – Grey’s Anatomy
This series needs no introduction. We’ve all watched it more than once. 😉 But I have to admit, once McDreamy and Christina were gone, it definitely was not the same. Follow Meredith Grey and her friends through the ins and outs of internships, residencies, and fellowships in the medical field. Not to mention love triangles and drama, drama, drama. But at the end of the day, we all just want that best friend to “dance it out with”. ❤️
#18 – The Crown
Who is in the mood for a little bit of history? The series begins with an inside look at the early reign of the queen. Queen Elizabeth ascended the throne at age 25 after the death of her father, King George VI. As the decades pass, personal intrigues, romances, and political rivalries are revealed that played a big role in events that shaped the later years of the 20th century. If you haven’t seen the latest season, the character of Princess Diana makes her royal debut.
Must-See Netflix Show #19 – Lincoln Lawyer
Sidelined after an accident, hotshot Los Angeles lawyer Mickey Haller restarts his career. Known by his trademark Lincoln, he takes on a murder case that is about to change everything. Get sucked into this new series, but don’t be upset when you have to wait a while for Season 2.
#20 – Dear White People
Follow a group of Black students attending a prestigious predominantly white university. The students are faced with a landscape of cultural bias, social injustice, misguided activism, and slippery politics. Through an absurdist lens, the series uses irony, self-deprecation, brutal honesty, and humor to highlight issues that still plague today’s”post-racial” society.
#21 – Workin’ Moms
Warm, loyal PR executive Kate and her longtime friend, no-nonsense psychiatrist Anne, attend a judgmental mommies group. Here they meet timid IT tech Jenny and blindly optimistic real estate agent Frankie. The four quickly form an unlikely friendship. Laugh with them as they share struggles of urban motherhood. Many of us can relate to lives filled with the chaos of toddlers, tantrums, careers, and identity crises.
Must-See Netflix Show #22 – Greenleaf
The Greenleaf family, which runs sprawling Memphis megachurch Calvary Fellowship World Ministries, appears to be a loving and caring clan. Beneath the surface, though, exists scandalous secrets and lies. Greed, adultery, and sibling rivalry are among the issues that threaten to test the family’s faith and tear the group apart.
#23 – Bridgerton
Did you really think that I wasn’t going to add this one to the list?! I have to know… what did you think of Season 2. Was the love story between Anthony and Kate as good as the Duke and Daphne’s? Which season was your favorite! Watch this series again and again as you follow Lady Whistledown and all of the gossip surrounding the social season. The only downside is that we will most likely have to wait until spring of 2023 for Season 3 where we finally get to see what comes of Penelope and Colin. 🐝
#24 – Jane the Virgin
The daughter of a teen mother, Jane Villanueva grew up determined not to repeat her mom’s mistakes. At 23, her life is on track. Jane is studying to be a teacher and engaged to a handsome detective who supports her decision to remain a virgin until marriage. Then a routine clinic visit flips her life upside down.
Must-See Netflix Show #25 – Outlander
After serving as a British Army nurse in World War II, Claire Randall is enjoying a second honeymoon in Scotland with her husband Frank, an MI6 officer looking forward to a new career as an Oxford historian. Suddenly, Claire is transported to 1743 and into a mysterious world where her freedom and life are threatened.
#26 – All American
Spencer James is a rising high school football player and A student at South Crenshaw High. But when coach Billy Baker recruits him to join his team in Beverly Hills, Spencer’s mother, Grace, and his best friend, Coop, convince him it’s an opportunity he has to seize. Billy’s son Jordan, who is also the starting quarterback, is less than thrilled to be sharing his father’s attention, or the team spotlight. Spencer struggles to find his footing. Along the way, he makes an unlikely friend in Jordan’s sister, who is struggling with her own demons.
#27 – The Umbrella Academy
On one day in 1989, 43 infants are born to random women who showed no signs of pregnancy the day before. Seven are adopted by billionaire Sir Reginald Hargreeves, who creates the Umbrella Academy and prepares his “children” to save the world. In their teenage years, though, the family fractures and the team disbands. Fast forward to the present time, when the six surviving members of the clan reunite upon the news of Hargreeves’ passing. They work together to solve a mystery surrounding their father’s death. Different personalities and abilities again pull the estranged family apart, and a global apocalypse is another imminent threat.
Must-See Netflix Show #28 – Virgin River
Who else is dying to know the father of Mel’s baby? It can’t just be me. As we all count down the days to Virgin River Season 4, make sure that you mark your calendars for July 20th. Let everyone in your family know you need 8-10 hours of “you” time. 😉
Those of you who haven’t watched this series yet, you have time to watch the first 3 seasons before the newest one comes out. Here is a bit of background to get you started. Seeking a fresh start, a nurse practitioner moves from Los Angeles to a remote Northern California town. While there, she is surprised by what — and who — she finds.
#29 – The Circle
It’s time to toss in a competition series. The best part of this is that you don’t have to wait each week to watch who is eliminated. The players must choose whether to be themselves or other people — all while chasing a cash prize. Watch this social media competition as the online players flirt, befriend, and catfish their way towards potentially winning $100,000.
#30 – The Woman in the House Across the Street
Watch Kristen Bell in a much different role than we are used to as Anna, a heartbroken woman who watches the world go by from her living room window. Anna sets her sights on a handsome new neighbor until she witnesses a gruesome murder. Stay in suspense while watching this short mini-series based on A Woman in the Window.
Put on your pajamas, grab some snacks and a drink, and check out these Must-See Netflix Shows for Teachers! You’ve worked hard and definitely deserve some “downtime”. There are some shows on this list I haven’t seen yet. If you have any recommendations for this list, please share them in the comments below. I can’t wait to dive into these shows!
Written by – Janessa Fletcher
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