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The Very Best Television Shows On Netflix Instant Watch

Updated on August 12, 2015

Oh Netflix...

This is a list of the best television shows on Netflix Instant Watch. Netflix must certainly be the most dominant force in the video streaming business. With thousands of movies and TV shows in its archives, Netflix provides a plethora of films and above average service for a paltry monthly fee. Yes, they have flip-flopped a lot, raising the fees, lowering, raising, etc. And people are not too enthused by this activity, and I include myself in this consumer deluge.

But Netflix is still king, love 'em or hate 'em. The service offers many, many, many movies, and a few TV shows. This list narrows when we look at their Instant Watch availability: movies and shows available for instant streaming from one's Roku or video game device, without the need to wait for a DVD in the mail. While the list is smaller of movies and shows to watch instantly, there are still quite a few well worth watching. In this Hub, I will be focusing on the best TV shows that Netflix offers through Instant Watch. I'll give you a small synopsis of each of my favorites, ordered first-to-last based on their importance. Now let's go!

Halt and Catch Fire

It's the early 1980's in suburban Texas, and the world of computing technology is expanding at an exponential rate. Industry stalwarts like IBM compete against up-and-comers like Apple. There are murmurs about a guy named Bill Gates.

In this time and place, a small tech company makes the dramatic shift into computers, hoping to score big. The charge is led by visionary salesman Joe MacMillan (Lee Pace), a former IBM-man whose ability to drive others to be excellent is only matched by his own self-destructive behavior.

With him for the ride, working on the creation of a computer while struggling with their own personal lives are family man Gordon Clark (Scoot McNairy) and rebellious programming wunderkind Cameron Howe (Mackenzie Davis). The trio leads a team of engineers through all kinds of struggles in efforts of bringing their exciting tech to the mainstream.

This show has a similar glossy appeal to Mad Men, but the characters here are obviously somewhat more modern and so in that way more relatable. The writing of the show is great, and tension is in-built without ever being exaggerated. An excellent pick that's easy to binge-watch.

Arrested Development

A show about Michael (Jason Bateman), the son of a jailed real estate developer (Jeffrey Tambor), who must now run his father's company and keep his crazy family in line. Sounds straight forward enough, but the comedic sequences and incredible pacing of each episode make it feel like a treat given to us by some loving betters. It's as smart as silly gets.

The show stars many of today's best comedic actors and bona fide comedians: Jeffrey Tambor, Will Arnett (30 Rock), David Cross (Mr. Show), Michael Cera (Juno), Portia de Rossi, and the list goes on. Probably the most refreshing show I've seen in a while. It's honest and raw. If you have even a remote sense of humor, this will make you laugh. Hard.


Here's as much of a show synopsis as I can give: a commercial jet crashes on a small tropical island somewhere out in the Pacific. Amazingly, a few dozen of the occupants survive and they must work together to survive, with the hope of being rescued. But they soon realize this is no ordinary island.

The show has a lot of twists and turns, and a whole heap of mysterious happenings. Lost, televised only a few years ago, became at the time nothing short of a decently-sized cultural phenomenon. The main characters -- Jack, Sawyer, Kate, John, Hurley, Sayid, Sun -- are unique and likable, and engrained in the memories of all past fans of the show.

One of the show's creators was JJ Abrams, and he lent his trademark production value to the affair. The show feels more like a big-budget movie than a ho-hum ABC serial. This is a very entertaining show that will have you calling out of work to catch more episodes.

Mad Men

The biggest cultural phenomenon to come out of TV since The Sopranos. And this may be for a very logical reason. Both shows come from the mind of one man, Matthew Weiner. Because of this, Mad Men, though a show about the seemingly banal topic of ad men in post-war New York, has the same sum-greater-than-its-parts feel as the pivotal mob series.

Add to that a wonderful cast, incredible design value, and a pricey soundtrack, and it's a recipe for much success. The story here revolves around Don Draper, a suave, hard-working ad executive with a dark past, who is employed by one of the city's most powerful agencies to make clients believe in the magic of marketing. He's exceptionally good at his job, but his life suffers as a consequence. There's a reason why this show's so popular, so it's at least worth a look.


In FX sitcom loosely based on the life of its namesake creator and writer, Louie stars comedian Louis C.K. as a divorced father of two struggling to hold his life together in the face of neuroses, money issues, and a case of borderline misanthropy. It's a stunning show, having made its way on to numerous top 10 lists and raking in nearly every kind of television and comedy award.

One of the unique things about this show is the amount of creative control C.K. has in making it. His deal with FX is legendary in Hollywood, and seemingly impossible to land: the network sends him a check for the costs of each episode, and then they leave him alone. No intrusion, no nothing until the product is finished. This comes through in the show, as we can see the pure unadulterated vision of the comedian in all of its hilarity and absurdity. Another unique piece of the show is how it's structured. Each episode is usually split into two separate, sprawling vignettes. This allows for the free form and lush time frame to be able to go many places. And many places this show does go.

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    • mattdigiulio profile image

      mattdigiulio 2 years ago

      Thanks maggs, I fixed the funky formatting. I hope it is easier to read!

    • maggs224 profile image

      maggs224 2 years ago from Sunny Spain

      Feel free to delete my comment when you have read it. I am just trying to help you with your layout.

      If your layouts helps the reader locate what they are looking for on your hub it saves them time and makes them happy.

      I found this difficult to read because of the large bits of text with no sub headings.

      It would help if you had a sub heading for each show that you talk about.

      I came to read what shows were available and could not locate the ones you included easily.