22 outstanding Netflix shows to watch before the year is over

Sex Education season 3
Sex Education season 3 /
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What a year it’s been for new Netflix shows in 2021. Even with the rough start to the year, there have been so many good Netflix shows released this year.

As the year winds down, it’s time to take a look back and watch some of the great Netflix shows you missed throughout the year. Netflix has — and I’m not exaggerating — its most impressive lineup of shows EVER coming in 2022. We’re getting new seasons of Stranger Things, Ozark, The Crown, Bridgerton, Virgin River, Manifest, Cobra Kai, and so many more next year.

You’re going to be busy, busy, busy watching all those new shows on Netflix, so you better watch the ones we shared below before the end of the year.

Enough chitty-chatty, let’s get into the list of the best Netflix original shows you need to watch before the end of the year.

Best Netflix shows

We shared the Netflix show, an image, and a little write-up on why you should watch each show before the end of 2021.

Let’s get the list started with The Witcher. 

best Netflix shows - The Witcher season 2, The Witcher books, The Witcher books reading order
The Witcher season 2. Image courtesy Jay Maidment, Netflix /

The Witcher

The Witcher is officially the biggest show on Netflix in December. The Witcher season 2 premiered on Netflix on Dec. 17, and fans around the world are tuning in to see what’s up with Geralt, Ciri, and Yennefer.

The Witcher season 3 is also in the works on Netflix.

Outer Banks season 3, Best Netflix,
OUTER BANKS (L to R) MADELYN CLINE as SARAH CAMERON, RUDY PANKOW as JJ, JONATHAN DAVISS as POPE, CHASE STOKES as JOHN B and MADISON BAILEY as KIARA in episode 210 of OUTER BANKS Cr. JACKSON LEE DAVIS/NETFLIX © 2021 /

Outer Banks

Outer Banks is my pick for the best Netflix show of 2021. I don’t need to say more; just watch it.

Best Netflix shows
Emily in Paris. (L to R) Lily Collins as Emily, Lucien Laviscount as Alfie in episode 205 of Emily in Paris. Cr. Stéphanie Branchu/Netflix © 2021 /

Emily in Paris

Emily is back for season 2 on Dec. 22, 2021. And, we have to see what she’s been up to in Paris. If you haven’t seen Emily in Paris, it’s probably the show for you to end the year with.

Best Netflix shows - Cobra Kai season 4, Cobra Kai season 4 cast, Cobra Kai
COBRA KAI (L to R) RALPH MACCHIO as DANIEL LARUSSO and WILLIAM ZABKA as JOHNNY LAWRENCE of COBRA KAI Cr. CURTIS BONDS BAKER/NETFLIX © 2020 /

Cobra Kai

Daniel LaRusso and Johnny Lawrence are back in the new Netflix original series, but it’s 30 years after their epic battle at All Valley in The Karate Kid movies. It’s officially time to jump on the Cobra Kai bandwagon.

Cobra Kai season 3 premiered on New Year’s Day 2021, and we’re ending the year on New Year’s Eve with Cobra Kai season 4. Cobra Kai season 5 has already wrapped production.

New Netflix shows - Money Heist season 5 release time
LA CASA DE PAPEL (L to R) HOVIK KEUCHKERIAN as BOGOTÁ, ÚRSULA CORBERÓ as TOKIO, RODRIGO DE LA SERNA as PALERMO, ITZIAR ITUÑO as LISBOA, MIGUEL HERRÁN as RÍO, JAIME LORENTE as DENVER in episode 02 of LA CASA DE PAPEL. Cr. TAMARA ARRANZ/NETFLIX © 2020 /

Money Heist

Money Heist is another Netflix series that came to an end in December. There are five seasons on Netflix. If you still haven’t seen the series about the ragtag group of robbers at the Royal Mint of Spain, it’s time to check it out before the end of the year.

Squid Game season 2 - Netflix shows
Squid Game – Courtesy of Netflix/Youngkyu Park /

Squid Game

In Squid Game, 456 people with lots of debt(s) are picked to play a series of Korean games for a bunch of money. But, there’s a very gruesome twist.

Squid Game is the most popular Netflix show of all time. If you still haven’t seen the awesome Korean drama, it’s time to check it out. Rumor has it Squid Game season 2 is already in the works.

Netflix shows - Why was Manifest canceled? - Josh Dallas
MANIFEST — “Precious Cargo” Episode 307 — Pictured: Josh Dallas as Ben Stone — (Photo by: Peter Kramer/NBC) /

Manifest

Manifest has a valid claim for “show of the year.” The show was canceled on NBC and saved by Netflix within a few months. Now, the first three seasons of Manifest are streaming on Netflix, and Manifest season 4 is coming in late 2022.

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Sex Education Season 3. Connor Swindells as Adam Groff, Ncuti Gatwa as Eric Effiong, Asa Butterfield as Otis Milburn in Episode 6 of Sex Education Season 3. Cr. Sam Taylor/NETFLIX © 2020 /

Sex Education

Sex Education is another show that is in the running for “best Netflix show of 2021.” The third season premiered on Netflix in September, and it’s coming back for season 4, likely in 2022. The series follows the students of Moordale through the ups and downs of their various relationships, romantic and not.

Lupin season 3 - Netflix shows
Lupin – Credit: Emmanuel Guimier /

Lupin

Lupin is clearly one of the best international series on Netflix. It holds a special place in my heart because I love a good heist show, and I don’t think we saw a better one on Netflix in 2021. Lupin season 3 is coming to Netflix soon.

Locke and Key season 3 - Netflix shows
LOCKE and KEY – Credit: Christos Kalohoridis/Netflix /

Locke and Key

Locke and Key season 3 is coming to Netflix in 2022, and it’s already wrapped production. Season 2 premiered on Netflix in October 2021. I can’t wait to see what’s next for the Locke kids and friends in the new season.

You season 3 - Netflix shows
YOU (L to R) VICTORIA PEDRETTI as LOVE QUINN and PENN BADGLEY as JOE GOLDBERG in episode 305 of YOU Cr. JOHN P. FLEENOR/NETFLIX © 2021 /

You

You season 3 is one of the best Netflix shows of 2021. The third season raised the stakes to much higher heights. There are few words that accurately describe the mayhem and destruction of this series. Victoria Pedretti, Penn Badgley, and Dylan Arnold are, oh, so good in the new season.

Netflix shows - Lucifer season 6 - Tom Ellis and Lauren German dating, Lucifer, Netflix,
LUCIFER (L to R) LAUREN GERMAN as CHLOE DECKER and TOM ELLIS as LUCIFER MORNINGSTAR in episode 603 of LUCIFER Cr. JOHN P. FLEENOR/NETFLIX © 2021 /

Lucifer

Lucifer came to an end in September after six seasons. It was tough to say goodbye to Lucifer Morningstar and the whole crew, but I’m very happy we got to see this story come to an end the right way after FOX canceled the series so long ago.

Best Halloween shows - Best shows on Netflix - Midnight Mass ending explained
MIDNIGHT MASS (L to R) HAMISH LINKLATER as FATHER PAUL in episode 101 of MIDNIGHT MASS Cr. EIKE SCHROTER/NETFLIX © 2021 /

Midnight Mass

Midnight Mass premiered on Netflix in September. It’s the new horror series from The Haunting of Hill House creator Mike Flanagan, and it’s incredible. It follows the residents of a small island after a new priest arrives and weird things start to happen. It’s WILD.

Lost in Space season 3 - Best Netflix shows
Lost In Space. (L to R) Brian Steele as Robot, Maxwell Jenkins as Will Robinson in episode 304 of Lost In Space. Cr. Diyah Pera/Netflix © 2021 /

Lost in Space

Lost in Space just came to an end after three seasons on Netflix in December. This is the best sci-fi series on Netflix. If you like space adventures, this is absolutely the show for you.

Selling Sunset season 5 - Netflix shows
Selling Sunset (L to R) Christian Richard, Christine Quinn, Maya Vander, Amanza Smith, Davina Potratz in season 4 of Selling Sunset Cr. Adam Rose/Netflix © 2021 /

Selling Sunset

If you like real estate and heavy drama, Selling Sunset is the show for you. The reality series follows the agents selling multi-million dollar homes in California. There are four seasons available to stream on Netflix, along with Selling Tampa, which was just added to Netflix.

Selling Tampa
Selling Tampa – Key Art Cr. Courtesy of Netflix © 2021 /

Selling Tampa

Ditto, but Florida.

Maid season 2 - Best Netflix shows 2021
MAID (L to R) MARGARET QUALLEY as ALEX and RYLEA NEVAEH WHITTET as MADDY in episode 110 of MAID Cr. RICARDO HUBBS/NETFLIX © 2021 /

Maid

Maid is one of the top limited series of the year. It tells the story of a single mom trying to make a living after leaving an abusive relationship. Margaret Qualley stars in the Netflix original series and is incredible! It’s one of the best performances of the year, no doubt.

Shadow and Bone - Best Netflix shows of 2021
SHADOW AND BONE (L to R) JESSIE MEI LI as ALINA STARKOV and BEN BARNES as THE DARKLING / GENERAL KIRIGAN in episode 105 of SHADOW AND BONE Cr. DAVID APPLEBY/NETFLIX © 2021 /

Shadow and Bone

Shadow and Bone is one of my favorite shows of the year. Fantasy — and non-fantasy fans!— will love this series. It’s based Leigh Bardugo’s Grishaverse. If you’re a fan of the books, you’re going to love this series. Production Shadow and Bone season 2 starts soon!

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VIRGIN RIVER (L to R) ALEXANDRA BRECKENRIDGE as MEL MONROE and MARTIN HENDERSON as JACK SHERIDAN in episode 303 of VIRGIN RIVER Cr. COURTESY OF NETFLIX © 2021 /

Virgin River

Virgin River is one of the most underrated Netflix shows right now. It’s so good, especially if you love a good romantic drama. You can thank Virgin River for all the new romance shows on the way to Netflix in the coming years.

Best Netflix shows - Hellbound season 2 release date
Hellbound – Courtesy of Netflix /

Hellbound

From Train to Busan director Yeon Sang-ho, Hellbound focuses on the humans who try to survive monsters who appear and drag them to Hellbound. Oh, and it sounds like Hellbound season 2 is in the works on Netflix.

Best anime on Netflix - Netflix shows
Aggretsuko – Photo Credits: Netflix /

Aggretsuko

Aggertsuko is the anime pick on this list! Aggretsuko season 4 just premiered in December 2021. I’m not a huge fan of anime, but I do like Aggretsuko, and you will, too!

Best Netflix shows
BRIDGERTON (L to R) REGƒ-JEAN PAGE as SIMON BASSET and PHOEBE DYNEVOR as DAPHNE BRIDGERTON in episode 108 of BRIDGERTON Cr. LIAM DANIEL/NETFLIX © 2020 /

Bridgerton

Technically, this list is for 2021 releases, but most people watched Bridgerton in 2021 even though it was released in 2020. So, it get the last spot on the list. Bridgerton season 2 is coming to Netflix in 2022, and it might be pretty soon after hearing what Shonda Rhimes had to say!

What are you watching on Netflix before the year ends?

Next. Best Netflix shows coming in 2022. dark