50 Best Shows on Netflix Canada Right Now

Updated July 4, 2024 • Staff

Notable TV shows on Netflix Canada are not limited to stuff that's produced by Netflix itself. Luther, Happy Valley and People Just Do Nothing are great examples of this. They're originally from the BBC, but are available to stream in Canada. Same with Flowers, the incredible yet little-known TV show with Olivia Colman, Outlander, and many other picks from this list of the very best little-binged TV shows on Canadian Netflix.

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50.

Kaala Paani

There’s a lot happening in Netflix’s first Hindi survival thriller series Kaala Paani. The main plot follows the discovery of a new disease with inky rashes that confounds scientists and policymakers, which would remind viewers of the botched response towards COVID-19, but there are multiple subplots including a love story with a traumatized former nurse, a family drama between separated parents and children, and the ecological commentary on the indigenous population that survived the disease once before. But Kaala Paani is able to balance these plots, tweaking the series’ disease to visually carry the show’s science in order to dedicate more weight to each subplot. It allows showrunner Sameer Saxena to play with more philosophical themes, and allows his compelling cast to play with more complex and dynamic roles.

Our staff rating: 8.3/10
Genre: Drama
Actor: Amey Wagh, Arushi Sharma, Ashutosh Gowariker, Mona Singh, Sukant Goel
Director: Amit Golani, Sameer Saxena
Rating: TV-MA
Go to Netflix Canada
49.

The Good Bad Mother

Life never goes the way we expect, especially for those who don’t have plenty of options. Because of this, parents strive to create a path for their kids to the best possible future they can manage, even if it causes some resentment. The Good Bad Mother portrays this, with some melodramatic flair, but the way the series tells its story is complex, layered, but totally compelling – as Jin Young-soon tries to reconnect with her son while also seeking justice for her husband, and Choi Kang-ho looks for family in any way he can. And it’s balanced with lighthearted humor and slice-of-life sequences that celebrate the lives of the ordinary people.

Our staff rating: 8.3/10
Genre: Comedy, Drama
Actor: Ahn Eun-jin, Choi Moo-sung, Lee Do-hyun, Ra Mi-ran, Yoo In-soo
Rating: TV-MA
Go to Netflix Canada
48.

Explained

Produced by Ezra Klein's Vox Media, an explanatory news site with liberal leanings, this may well be Netflix's first successful attempt at a traditional weekly television show. And a news show at that. But as the title suggests, Explained doesn't aim at updating you on current events, but takes short but in-depth looks at topics that tend to get overlooked in news cycles such as the racial wealth gap, monogamy, and the rise of cryptocurrencies. The idea is not unique. The only thing YouTube might have more of than make-up advice videos are explanatory monologues by self-declared Illuminati. However, those familiar with Vox Media's previous outings on YouTube know to expect high production value, serious research, and digestible visual journalism at its best. Don't watch it with your special uncle, though because he will start yelling at the television.

Our staff rating: 8.4/10
Genre: Documentary
Go to Netflix Canada
47.

Rectify

Some of the best novels of all time will probably take a few pages to introduce their premise, backstory, and key characters, and might demand some patience until the plot fully unfolds. This might be a hard sell in today's world of short attention-spans, but some stories just need the time. Rectify is one of those stories. We meet Daniel Holden, played by Aden Young, after he is released from death-row prison after 19 years. While smart and thoughtful, Holden is obviously a damaged man, slightly out of synch with the world outside. His release affects his family very differently – some, like his sister, Agatha, had been fighting for his release since the day he was arrested. Others, like his brother-in-law, suspect he's guilty of the crime he was accused of. Still others, like the fictional town's sheriff, are bent on finding new evidence to lock him away again. So, in addition to awe-striking Southern landscapes, thought-provoking themes, subtle writing, you get a deep and detailed character-driven plot played by amazing actors. It might be too slow for some. This is not a who-dunnit or true-crime voyeurism. But you will be hard-pressed to find someone who isn't enveloped by torrent of emotion when Daniel meets his mother and sister outside of a prison cell for the first time in nearly twenty years in the very first episode. And it really gets better and better with every season.

Our staff rating: 8.4/10
Genre: Drama
Actor: Abigail Spencer, Adelaide Clemens, Aden Young, Bruce McKinnon, Clayne Crawford, J. Smith-Cameron, J.D. Evermore, Jake Austin Walker, Jayson Warner Smith, Johnny Ray Gill, Luke Kirby, Michael O'Neill, Michael Vartan, Sean Bridgers, Sharon Conley
Rating: 15, TV-14
Go to Netflix Canada
46.

Losers

While this perspective on competitive sports is obviously unconventional, it makes perfect sense. Winners are boring. If you win, you win. The losers, however, have defeat to deal with. As the proverb goes, you learn little from victory, but a great deal from defeat. Director and creator of the show's amazing animation, Mickey Duzyj, was inspired by a personal experience during a tennis tournament as a teenager. Each episode of this 2019 Netflix show tells a different story from a different sport. For starters, episode one looks at Michael Bentt, a world champion boxer who was forced into the sport by his abusive father. So, things do get dark, as could be expected, the storytelling is complex, but the message of Losers is as simple as it is wholesome. Like the characters and life stories it portrays, this show will pick you up when you are down!

Our staff rating: 8.4/10
Genre: Documentary
Actor: Mauro Prosperi, Michael Bentt, Surya Bonaly
Director: Lissette Feliciano
Rating: N/A
Go to Netflix Canada
45.

Lost Ollie

The Netflix four-part miniseries Lost Ollie is a bit like if Toy Story was adapted into a live-action dramedy. You’ll recognize the premise immediately: lost toy comes to life and loyally sets out on a journey to find its kid. But stuffed in between those points are poignant moments and reflections about life, family, and being.

The film isn’t also afraid to touch on darker themes, so if you’ve always wished for a slightly more mature but still kid-friendly version of this narrative—and if you’re a fan of the likes of Paddington the Velveteen Rabbit—then you’ll enjoy Lost Ollie.

Our staff rating: 8.4/10
Genre: Animation, Drama, Family
Actor: Gina Rodriguez, Jake Johnson, Jonathan Groff, Kesler Talbot, Mary J. Blige, Tim Blake Nelson
Rating: TV-PG
Go to Netflix Canada
44.

The Diplomat

It’s amazing how shows fueled only by fast talk can feel as gripping as any thriller out there. The Diplomat is cerebral and heavy on geopolitical jargon, but somehow, it manages to feel genuinely exciting, each new episode impossible to not play next. Thanks is due in large part to Keri Russell who, fresh out of her incredible stint in The Americans, returns here as messy and intense and endearing as ever. 

On the one hand, The Diplomat is about the delicacy of diplomacy, about how every decision made at this level has ripples of consequences throughout the globe. But it’s also, amusingly, a marriage story. Russell plays a woman who has long been defined by her more renowned if a bit egotistical husband, played perfectly by Rufus Sewell. They have a complex relationship that is as much of a career partnership as it is a romantic one, and part of the show’s charm is blending this story arc with the main one. 

Fans of West Wing, Veep, and Homeland will find much to like in this series, not least of all are the informative takes and worthwhile performances. 

Our staff rating: 8.4/10
Genre: Drama
Actor: Ali Ahn, Ato Essandoh, David Gyasi, Keri Russell, Rory Kinnear, Rufus Sewell
Rating: TV-MA
Go to Netflix Canada
43.

This World Can’t Tear Me Down

This World Can’t Tear Me Down is a timely release on friendship, punk, and anti-fascism. From the Italian cartoonist Zerocalcare, his second Netflix show shifts his musings over mental health to his experiences with regard to the country's rising neo-Nazism. As xenophobia tears his friend group, it's easy to feel the fear and self-doubt Zero's cartoon counterpart feels. It's easy as well to empathize with Sarah and Cesare, characters failed by the system around them. In many ways, they themselves feel like they haven't met their potential. But the show suggests that perhaps status and achievement aren’t what being successful is all about– it's about holding onto principles. Through punk soundtracks and shifts between stop motion and 90s cartoon style, This World Can't Tear Me Down captures the millennial generation's bewilderment, as well as their hope.

Our staff rating: 8.4/10
Genre: Animation, Comedy, Drama
Actor: Valerio Mastandrea, Zerocalcare
Rating: 16
Go to Netflix Canada
42.

Carol & the End of the World

The end of the world isn’t the most optimistic thing to think about, but the scenario leads you to thinking about unrealized dreams, pleasures, and aspirations: the way you want your life to be, if things have gone the way they planned. Dan Guterman, from Community and Rick and Morty, reimagines this idea in Carol and the End of the World. Carol is that mundane, downright boring character that we wouldn’t take notice of in real life, only because she actively chooses the ordinary life, but this show is extraordinary, shifting perspectives and even genres between episodes, taking unexpected turns, and celebrating the day-to-day monotony of life.

Our staff rating: 8.4/10
Genre: Animation, Comedy
Actor: Beth Grant, Kimberly Hebert Gregory, Lawrence Pressman, Martha Kelly, Mel Rodriguez
Rating: TV-MA
Go to Netflix Canada
41.

Evil Genius

There is footage and coverage to prove that the pizza bomber story actually happened but watching Evil Genius: The True Story of America's Most Diabolical Bank Heist everything is so intriguing it is almost impossible to believe. A pizza-delivery guy shows up to rob a bank with what he says is a bomb secured around his neck, something that he claims is part of a treasure hunt. By robbing the bank, he will unlock the next set of clues that will allow him to defuse the bomb. Bank tellers comply but on the way out he is suddenly arrested by the police, who doubt his claims, handcuff him and keep him at a distance. The device he has around his neck then starts beeping. What follows is one of the most unusual investigations ever led by security forces, brilliantly framed by executive producers Duplass brothers. A perfect follow-up to their other amazing True-crime Netflix collaboration, Wild Wild Country, it’s a tight 4-episodes that is equally terrifying and intriguing.

Our staff rating: 8.5/10
Genre: Documentary
Director: Barbara Schroeder, Trey Borzillieri
Rating: Not Rated
Go to Netflix Canada

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