We choose so you don't have to
Have you ever found yourself sitting in front of the Netflix screen, endlessly scrolling through shows, and wondering “what should I watch on Netflix tonight?” Hours later you find it’s time for bed, but you haven’t actually watched anything! Welcome to the world of “choice paralysis”.
A situation where you have so many seemingly good choices, that you end up making no choice at all. One effective way to get over this problem, is by limiting the number of choices in front of you.
That’s exactly what we are going to do for you right now, so you can spend more time watching Netflix and less time thinking about watching Netflix. To help sort out who would like which shows, we’re going to use the most scientifically valid personality theory of today – the five factor model.
That’s right! Each one of our recommendations from Netflix will be aligned along the five different personality dimensions this popular model says every person has inside of them.
It’s science! OK, maybe not the way we’re doing it, but it’s still a fun way to think about what to watch on Netflix.
For Those Open to New Experiences
Are you someone who is open to new ideas and new experiences? Do you like having your horizons expanded? Then you’ll love these shows that push the boundaries and really make you think.
What’s more filled with unknowns than human sexuality? Sex Education is a quirky program about a young man who takes what he’s learned from his sex therapist mother and starts doling out advice to his own confused adolescent school chums. With varying degrees of success. With equal parts laughter and cringe factor, Sex Education will also push at the boundaries of your own sexual knowledge. Yup, you need to be very open to appreciate this one.
There’s little doubt that you’ve heard of Netflix’s smash-hit Stranger Things, but if you haven’t seen it you may think this innovative horror show is just a nostalgic rehash of the 80s pop culture that inspired it. That couldn’t be further from the truth and you’ll find a razor-sharp, modern narrative when it comes to mind-bending ideas and twists you didn’t see coming. There’s a good reason this show just won’t die.
Unnatural Selection is a fantastic documentary that will expand your mind in ways that can be quite unexpected. If you want a crash-course in the cutting edge of scientific developments that could change the very nature of our humanity, well this is the show to watch. It explains and highlights what gene editing technology can already do today and what it will soon be possible to create, change or repair. It’s a heck of a trip!
For the Conscientious
Conscientious people are responsible, organized, hard-working and like to stick to rules. If that sounds like you, these Netflix shows will probably rub you the right way.
The first show on our list for you is the excellent Tidying Up with Marie Kondo. Ms. Kondo is world famous for her homemaking tips and this series showcases her amazing techniques to help you tidy and organize your home in a very Japanese-efficient way.
Grace and Frankie is filled with flawed characters trying to make the best of life’s curveballs, but the cast almost universally consists of people who are fundamentally moral and try to do the right thing. From their point of view at least. The eponymous Grace and Frankie end up becoming friends and business partners when their husbands leave them – for each other! It’s a great premise and it also really helps that this show has an absolutely all-star cast.
Our Planet is one of the most beautiful nature documentaries ever made. Narrated by none other than Sir David Attenborough, the series focuses on conservation issues and how we humans are impacting the natural world. It’s the perfect bit of insight the conscientious among us will appreciate.
For the Extroverted
An extrovert is someone who prefers the company of other people. They like to talk with others and don’t enjoy being alone most of the time. So these programs have been chosen based on the fact that they are best watched with a group of friends or otherwise appeal to that extroverted lifestyle.
Netflix new take on the age-old tale of Dracula shows us the ultimate extrovert in action, although he does have a small issue with socially acceptable behavior! This is one of those shows that you absolutely must not spoil for yourself, so we’ll avoid mentioning any of the twists and turns. Instead, rest assured that Claes Bang’s turn as the ultra-charming vampire is both terrifying and utterly irresistible. The show is also mercifully short, making it the perfect weekend binge!
Next in Fashion is a hot new reality show where talented fashion designers face off against each other to determine who will be the next big thing in fashion. This show is the epitome of extroversion, with models strutting their stuff and flamboyant people making their presence felt. It also happens to be a great show to watch with a group of friends, especially if you’re part of a hip crowd.
The Unbreakable Kimi Schmidt is the quirky story of a young woman who is kidnapped and kept in an underground bunker by a cult leader. Once rescued, she needs to get her life back on track and her eternal optimism and indomitable spirit are the only things that can get her through. A little surreal, and very funny, Kimi is the ultimate extrovert even when that’s the last thing the situation calls for.
For the Introverted
Introverted people enjoy their solitude and like subdued experiences. You could argue that Netflix as a whole is an introvert’s paradise, but these programs in particular should appeal to you if you prefer your own company.
Queer Eye is the spiritual successor to Queer Eye for the Straight Guy. This new show sees the “Fab Five” visit a different needy nominee every week and help them get their lives back together. While each person in an episode has different needs, anyone watching this will appreciate the tips when it comes to personal grooming, how to be social, how to decorate your home and all the other things some extroverted people seem to understand from birth. There’s nothing wrong with being an introvert, but it’s never a bad thing to see how the other half lives.
The Mortified Guide is going to be a pretty hard watch for just about everyone, but it’s also a great show to help you feel like you aren’t the only person in the world to have awkward, mortifying experiences. In each episode people take the stage to tell the stories of their most mortifying experiences. It’s funny and super cringey. Excellent entertainment indeed!
The IT Crowd is the show The Big Bang Theory wishes it was. The cult classic comedy about three people working the IT Department at a dysfunctional corporate hell hole. This is where “have you tried turning it off and on again?” comes from. It’s ace.
The Best Shows for Agreeable People
Agreeable people are great to be around. They are affectionate, understanding and tend to like doing nice things for other people. The positive stuff in life makes them happy and if you’re one of these bubbly do-gooders these Netflix shows are probably going to make your day.
Friends needs no introduction. It’s a sitcom chronicling the ups and downs of five young people living in 90s New York. Living apartments they could never afford in real life. Still holds up after all these years and plenty of feel-good comedy.
The Good Place throws our heroine into the afterlife, but secretly she knows she doesn’t deserve this paradise. Will her conscience get the best of her or will she fake it till she makes it?
Chill with Bob Ross is nothing more than watching one of the most chill dudes in the world paint some very pretty pictures. You can even paint them along with him if you want. Use your iPad. It’s all cool, man.
If You’re, er, Not So Agreeable
On the flipside, you might be a bit of cynic. When the kids come around for Halloween you’re more likely to hand out tricks rather than treats. If you’re someone who revels in a bit of darkness and anger, these attitude-filled Netflix shows will probably “warm” your heart.
Sabrina the Teenage Witch is back, but this isn’t the family-friendly world that Melissa Joan Hart took us to back in the 90s. Dark, satanic and delightfully evil. It ticks all the boxes of a (literally) bloody good time. Sadly, the cat no longer talks.
The Witcher is the biggest streaming show in the world right now and rightly so. This is the dark TV fantasy we’ve all been waiting for. Some swearing, lots of taciturn grunting and dark magical monster mayhem. Really everyone should watch this, but if you like it dark this is especially essential.
You is a “romantic” series if your idea of romance is being a psycho stalker. Yes, the protagonist is the bad guy and if you liked shows such as Dexter, then You is another title that should be on your list. Will the guy get the girl? For her sake we hope not.
If You’re a Bit Neurotic
People who feature a lot of neuroticism in their personalities tend to feel some anxiety, get a little depressed, doubt themselves and focus a bit too much on the negative things. So these programs are either a pretty good antidote to that or let you see the neurotic life from a different point of view. No, it’s not just a list of Woody Allen movies.
Living with Yourself is exactly what it says on the tin. Paul Rudd discovers that he’s been replaced by a clone of himself. Can he live with himself? Is killing your clone murder? It doesn’t help that the cloned version of him is a sunnier person either. The neurotic among us will really relate to this one.
Bojack Horseman just finished its final run and, frankly, it’s a masterpiece. An adult animated show about animal people and the more usual people living together in a fictional version of Hollywood, Bojack is both hilarious and completely unafraid of delving into the darkest corners of negative emotion. It lampoons everything, including itself. The titular Bojack is a washed-up 90s actor who has plenty of sins to atone for and even more healing to do. Taking the trip with him is worth every minute.
Big Mouth is another adult animated series taking a surreal but poignant look at the hardest time in our lives – puberty. The wacky cast of characters have to grow up and deal with the complex world of awkward human sexuality.
Are You Not Entertained?
That should cover just about every broad preference out there for what to watch on Netflix, but the important thing is to start watching something. Either you’ll like it enough to get to the end, or you won’t. But at least you’ll know which instead just staring at the menus for yet another day.