30 Best Netflix Shows and TV Series To Watch In May 2021
Which new Netflix shows are you looking forward to watching the most in May 2021? The streaming network has several new series to offer, so we’ve narrowed down your options to the top five.
Picking a new series to watch on Netflix can be time-consuming. Not that we’re complaining, but the streaming network simply has so much to offer! With so many streaming services today, when it comes to variety, Netflix continues to be unmatched.
There are many amazing new movies coming to Netflix. In fact, this year Netflix has stepped up their movie game with a new movie coming every week. However, I continue to love Netflix shows over movies.
There’s just something about becoming obsessed with a new series. Two very highly anticipated returning shows this year are You season 3 and Lucifer season 5, part 2, the latter premieres this month, so you know it’s on our list below!
1. Master of None Season 3
By the time Season 3 premieres, it will have been more than four years since “Master of None” last dropped new episodes. Obviously, a lot has changed — as has the new season, which moves Lena Waithe’s supporting character from Seasons 1 and 2 into the spotlight. Season 3, subtitled “Moments in Love,” follows Denise and her partner Alicia (played by Naomi Ackie) as they work through long-term relationship highs and lows, including fertility challenges and divergent personal growth.
Co-creator and executive producer Aziz Ansari will still appear in the series, but his main duties have shifted to writing and directing; he helms all five episodes and co-writes the scripts, as well. Can Season 3 capture the old spark that saw “Master of None” honored with three Emmy Awards and 12 nominations?
Ansari’s investment in romance is far from a fleeting endeavor. The former “Parks and Recreation” goofball is much more serious about his studies in real-life, having published a research book titled “Modern Love” with American sociologist and New York University professor Eric Klinenberg shortly before “Master of None” Season 1 came out. His inquisitive nature could be seen in how he created identifiable and distinct storylines for the first two seasons.
Yes, Ansari faced a sexual misconduct allegation in early 2018, but the stand-up comedian took time out of the spotlight before returning for a well-received 2019 special that included an apology. Ansari has never framed himself as an authority on romantic relationships so much as a man who wants to better understand them. It seems like he’s been doing just that, making his latest findings via “Master of None” Season 3 all the more intriguing.
Well, here we are again. Another Ryan Murphy series is on the horizon. It features a star-studded cast led by a bonafide A-list talent. The limited series tracks a real-life figure through a distinct period of American history. Oh, and it may be the most style-forward show Murphy has ever steered, which is really saying something. “Halston” follows the legendary fashion designer (played by Ewan McGregor) as he builds a fashion empire in ’70s and ’80s Manhattan. As usual, every element of this sounds to die for, but by now, everyone should know better than to blindly trust the project’s bonafides. After all, we’ve said, “How could this go wrong?” about “Hollywood,” “Ratched,” “The Politician,” and “The Prom” — there’s simply no telling if “Halston” will be worth watching until the critics chime in.
Still, if you want to be teased, look no further than the cast list: Rory Culkin plays Joel Schumacher, Krysta Rodriguez is Liza Minnelli, Rebecca Dayan portrays Elsa Peretti, Gian Franco Rodriguez stars as Victor Hugo, Bill Pullman pops in as David Mahoney, Vera Farmiga is Adele, and, oh yeah, Ewan McGregor is Halston.
3. Jupiter’s Legacy
Um, did you see Josh Duhamel’s beard? What about his intricately patterned ensemble? Don’t you want to know what all those rings and stars and… flowers stand for? In “Jupiter’s Legacy,” the “Transformers” star oft-confused with Timothy Olyphant plays Sheldon Sampson by day, The Utopian by night (so to speak), the leader of a superhero team known as The Union who represent the world’s first generation of superheroes. Now, as the group gets older, their children are asked to continue their legacy, and if you thought trusting your kid to take over the family plumbing business could cause friction, imagine trusting them to save the world for you. Tensions are tested, the public chimes in, and all must be solved if the world is to be saved in this decades-spanning drama based on the graphic novels by Mark Millar and Frank Quitely.
How many superhero shows can TV handle? Just in the past year, we’ve seen new series like “WandaVision,” “The Falcon and the Winter Soldier,” Amazon’s “Invincible,” as well as new seasons of “The Boys,” “The Umbrella Academy,” and everything on The CW. I’m sure I’m missing some, which just speaks to the rampant proliferation of the genre, and now Netflix is adding a whole new batch of heroes set within their whole new universe on a whole new show — is it too much? Can the multitude of comic book heroes translate to mass audiences on TV? And that, really, is the question: If more of these shows were low-budget offshoots aimed to court niche subscribers, perhaps the high volume of small-screen caped crusaders would feel more sustainable, but “Jupiter’s Legacy” is another big-budget entry that will need a wide viewership base to succeed — aka, to make more than one season. Considering Netflix, in particular, isn’t known for keeping its series around for more than three or four years, the streamer will likely play a part in either expanding the bubble or breaking it.
4. The Upshaws
Though she’s earned recent Emmy nominations for guest star roles in hit series like “Black-ish” and “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel,” Wanda Sykes hasn’t been a full-fledged, onscreen series regular since “The New Adventures of Old Christine” went off the air in 2010. Frankly, that’s too long to be without a weekly (or bingeable) dose of Sykes’ biting comic style. In “The Upshaws,” she’s joined by Mike Epps and Kim Fields as part of a working class Indianapolis family who are trying to keep the family together — and on the upswing. It’s a classic multicam sitcom set-up, and with Sykes providing the supporting bits of humor, that may be all you need to kick back and laugh along with the Upshaws.
I gotta go with Wanda Sykes again! She’s the best! Sorry to double down, but she deserves it. The woman has 14 Emmy nominations, including three just last year — and she’s won one! Give it up!
5. Special Season 2
The first season of Ryan O’Connell’s Netflix series was a charming almost-short-form comedy, with episodes clocking in around 15 minutes each that were all the better for it. O’Connell serves as creator, writer, and star, adapting his own memoir (titled “I’m Special: And Other Lies We Tell Ourselves”) with wit and insight while playing Ryan Kayes, a gay man with cerebral palsy who kicks his personal ambition into overdrive when he’s hit by a car and worries about how little he’s accomplished after 30-ish years on Earth. More streaming comedies could benefit from taking such an efficient route to their debut seasons, as “Special” found its voice without slowing down to fill time it didn’t need. Now, in Season 2, episodes have expanded to the standard half-hour format. Everyone should be excited to see how it turns out.
This cast is strong! O’Connell is a talented physical comedian with sharp line deliveries, Jessica Hecht (who plays Ryan’s mother) built her long-repressed character with savvy looks and gestures, while the supporting cast around them more than carried their own. “Special” has all the makings of a delightful sitcom, and Season 2 should give you even more of what you already love.
6. The Kominsky Method Season 3
It’s the end! After three seasons, six Emmy nominations, and one lead’s departure from the show, “The Kominsky Method” is coming to a close. When Season 3 begins, Michael Douglas’ acting teacher Sandy is forced to reassess his life without his best friend and agent, Norman Newlander (played by Alan Arkin, who’s doing fine but no longer part of the series). Further complicating matters is the arrival of his ex-wife Roz (played by Kathleen Turner) and her impact on their daughter Mindy (Sarah Baker), who’s still dating an older partner, Martin (Paul Reiser). Chuck Lorre’s prestige TV offering will wrap up with more frank discussions about typically taboo topics like death and money, so hearing what these elder statesmen have to say about a life well-lived could be worth hearing. At the very least, these actors are worth watching.
Joining the final season as guest stars are Morgan Freeman and Barry Levinson, playing fictional versions of themselves (this is still a showbiz tale, after all), as well as returning actors Lisa Edelstein, Emily Osment, Graham Rogers, and Haley Joel Osment. If those names aren’t enough, consider this: It seems like a safe bet “The Kominsky Method” will once again be nominated for Best Comedy Series at this year’s Emmys, and if you’re going to complain about other shows being shut out (and who doesn’t?), then you’ll need ammunition for why actual nominees weren’t as deserving.
7. Love, Death & Robots Volume 2
Speaking of death, executive producers David Fincher and Tim Miller’s series of animated shorts is set to return with eight new episodes this month. “Love, Death + Robots” featured a dizzying array of artistic style in its initial, 18-episode launch two years ago, with each episodic story themed around the eponymous topics, while typically toying with the science fiction genre and incorporating plenty of adult material, be it violence, nudity, or existential dread. Season 2 is shorter in both episode count and length, with entries spanning from four to 15 minutes, but it will still highlight a different storytelling team for each entry, as well as vibrant, varying animation techniques.
Tim Miller of “Deadpool” fame is directing one episode himself, and the rest of this season’s helmers include: Jennifer Yuh Nelson, Alex Beaty, Robert Valley, Simon Otto, the Meat Dept. (aka Kevin Dan Ver Meiren, David Nicolas, and Laurent Nicolas), Elliot Dear, and the four-person team of Leon Berelle, Dominque Boidin, Remi Kozyra, and Maxime Luere. The voice cast is still being announced, but we do know Michael B. Jordan will lend his vocal talents to Beaty’s Episode 2, according to Indiewire.
8. Formula 1: Drive to Survive
The wild world of Formula 1 racing may often take place at hours that makes it inaccessible to those in America, and that's where the Drive to Survive show comes in. One of the best Netflix shows out there, this gripping documentary series brings you up close and personal with the best drivers in the world, including its biggest star, Lewis Hamilton. The third, and most recent, series showed how Covid-19 flipped F1 racing on its head, as Hamilton ascended to the top of the board.
9. Ginny and Georgia
Ginny and Georgia are two women who you would never peg as having the same Myers Briggs personality type, but after moving to small-town Wellsbury, Mass., they find out that they're more alike than they originally imagined. Their double lives are filled with sex scandals, petty social cliques, and murder. In short, it's the perfect mix of Gilmore Girls wholesomeness sprinkled with a dark, criminal undertone.
10. The Baker and the Beauty
This Top 10 Netflix show has all the fixings for a good rom-com: conflicting lifestyles (famous/royal person falls in love with normal/commoner), prying family members, and of course, jealous exes. The 9 drama-filled episodes follow Daniel, a commitment-shy baker, who fosters an unlikely and secret romance with a famous supermodel.
11. Shadow and Bone
If you're missing Game of Thrones, Netflix's newest fantasy show is right up your alley. Shadow and Bone takes place in a country split by a wall of darkness called the Shadow Void. When orphan mapmaker Alina Starkov discovers that she possesses the power to create light, she realizes she could be the key to setting her country free from the Fold.
12. The Irregulars
Between the rugged Victorian backdrop, the hints of the paranormal, and the rather ominous Dr. Watson (yes, that Watson, with a new take on Sherlock Holmes in tow), there's a lot happening in this brand-new Netflix show, but the focus is on Bea and her makeshift family, who are just trying to make it through the day—even as Jessie slowly develops her own mysterious powers. Blending some of the teen drama of Outer Banks, the mystery and danger of any Sherlock Holmes story, and a historical setting reminiscent of Bridgerton (if a bit darker), this series is practically guaranteed to be a hit (and it's a great binge-watch, either way), Realsimple reported.
13. Sky Rojo
Sky Rojo (AKA Red Sky in English) is the latest project from the creators of the hugely popular Netflix show Money Heist. This series follows three sex workers (Verónica Sanchez, Lali Espósito, and Yany Prado) on the run from their pimp (Asier Etxeandia) and his henchmen (Miguel Ángel Silvestre and Enric Aucquer). Season 1 consists of eight 25-minute episodes, with a second season in the same format already confirmed. There are car chases, sequins, and gunfights in equal measure, making this a must-watch for anyone who loved the creators' other series.
A French-language thriller that was the talk of the internet following its release, Lupin is based on the adventures of classic character, thief Arsene Lupin, who wants to avenge the death of his father. The show is absolutely captivating thanks to its style, daring heists, and Omar Sy, the show's charismatic lead anyone would rob a bank for. There are few Netflix shows as well constructed and bingable.
There's a tiny, itty-bitty chance you missed the launch of this long-anticipated TV series (and Netflix Original) from Shonda Rhimes's production company on Christmas Day. If you've managed to wait to watch the show (and not bought into the hype online), resist no further: Bridgerton is a must-watch. The series follows London's elite in the early 19th century as they seek love and marriage (not always together), political alliances, and gossip during the glittering social season. Think of it as an indulgent, escapist blend of Gossip Girl and Pride & Prejudice with something to appeal to everyone—and a delightful reimagining of how people of color operate in the era. With only eight episodes and plenty of cliff-hangers and drama to keep you hooked, you'll tear through the show in a matter of days. And with the April 2 announcement that Regé-Jean Page—the charming Duke of Hastings—will not appear in the coming second season, there's yet another reason to devour season one.
16. The Eddy
This Eddy delivered on the promise of its international calibre. Written by screenwriting supremo Jack Thorne and with episodes directed by Damien Chazelle, Houda Benyamina, Laïla Marrakchi and Alan Poul, This is a gritty yet vibrant bop around the Paris jazz scene.
André Holland plays Elliot, the struggling manager of a Parisian nightclub. However, his business partner owes some people some money, and things quickly become even more difficult. And then Elliot's estranged daughter, Julie, shows up. It's one thing after another, but this music-enthused series grooves at its own tempo, slowing things down for reflection and, of course, a few jam sessions.
17. Big Mouth
Netflix has a raft of great animated shows, and one of the best is Big Mouth – the cartoon sitcom about the horrors and wonders of puberty. Based on comedian Nick Kroll’s own adolescence in suburban New York, the series follows a group of seventh-graders who are accompanied by hormone monsters that take the form of not-so-helpful shoulder angels. Yes it's a cringe-worthy and bonkers as that all sounds. More importantly, though, it's absolutely hilarious.
Alongside Kroll, it features the voices of a host of big-name comedians including John Mulaney, Maya Rudolph, Jason Mantzoukas, and Jordan Peele. If those names aren't enough to get you excited then, well, turn back now, you're not worthy of this excellent Netflix comedy.
18. The Queen's Gambit
There's a reason The Queen's Gambit became Netflix most-watched limited series when it was released. The show, about an aspiring chess champion played by Anya Taylor-Joy, may have a slightly bland premise (who wants to watch hour-long episodes about chess?) yet the series is riveting. Not only that, but with such an anchoring central performance and charming supporting cast, this series about one of the slowest board games ever created is one of the best Netflix shows you can watch, Gamesradar noted.
19. Better Call Saul
There was a lot of trepidation when it was announced that Breaking Bad was getting a prequel, and even more so that it was to be a comedy. It turns out, though, that when Peter Gould and Vince Gilligan started writing the show, it turned into something entirely different. Shot at a glacial pace (especially when compared to Bad), Saul is a superb comedy drama that has the DNA of its meth-infused sibling but is its own thing entirely. The entire cast is top notch, but Bob Odenkirk and Rhea Seehorn are mesmerising as the legal eagles who go about things in very different ways.
20. Black Mirror
Black Mirror is from the fevered brain of Charlie Brooker and boy does it turn a harsh light on technology and the potential dystopian futures that might only be a few years awa. The first two series were three episodes long and contain some fantastic episodes - including The National Anthem. Season 3 and 4 were boosted to six episodes apiece and if you haven't seen San Junipero then grab the tissues and watch season 3's immaculately told love story. A Christmas special and Bandersnatch, an interactive episode, are also included as is the brand-new fifth season, which stars Miley Cyrus as a future pop star. Bizarre, brilliant and sometimes brutal, Black Mirror is as subversive a TV show there is right now.
21. Jessica Jones
And like that, the Marvel TV universe has ended with the release of Jessica Jones: Season 3. It's a fitting end to the story of Jessica Jones, but not the entire arc of what went before it. But, we don't care, the best thing of Marvel on the small screen has been Jessica Jones. Her dark past, the brilliance of David Tenant in the first series, her relationship with her sister in the second, everything about the show is great - and her ability to swig back the whisky and continue working is nothing but superhuman, so we have to also applaud her for that, Shortlist wrote.
22. The Haunting of Hill House/Bly Manor
The Haunting of Hill House was Netflix's first must-see horror. A retelling of Shirley Jackson’s terrifying novel, the series was helmed by Mike Flanagan, whose previous Netflix features Hush and Gerald’s Game, and follows the Crain family as they move into the remote Hill House. With the intention of renovating it and flipping it before they buy their real home, the Crains discover that the house has other plans. Fleeing in the middle of the night, the story picks up decades later as the scattered family is drawn together again by that darn house...
Hill House is absolutely terrifying – and its follow-up, The Haunting of Bly Manor, strikes a surprisingly different tone. First off, while the actors are the same, they all play completely different characters as the series adapts Henry James' The Turn of the Screw. There are still ghost aplenty in Bly Manor, another haunted house story, but there's a romance at the centre of this series that's quite surprising. Saying that, you'll still be scared of turning the lights off at night after finishing this one.
23. High Score
One that will no doubt be appealing to the gamers among you. Netflix's docuseries takes you back to the earliest days of videogames. From the local arcade to the first-ever game cartridge, creator France Costrel sheds light on the legacy of the engineers, inventors, and creators whose stories have yet to be told.
The six-part series includes interviews with the developers of Pac-Man, Space Invaders, Atari and more as it examines how at-home gaming became the norm it is today. Along with fun animated segments, High Score provides perfect nostalgia partnered with a 20th-century gaming education. Fun and educational – just like Brain Training!
24. Cobra Kai
There’s a good chance Cobra Kai, the sequel series to The Karate Kid, passed you by. Originally tucked away on the rarely-used YouTube Premium service, Cobra Kai is set over three decades after the events of the original movie and sees Daniel’s one-time bully/karate opponent Johnny Lawrence reform his ways and re-open the Cobra Kai dojo.
Now, it’s all on Netflix and is a sobering, bittersweet take on growing up, moving on from the past, and whether previous successes are truly the things that define you. There’s plenty of fan service for Karate Kid fans, including appearances from some of the original cast, but it’s a series that stands alone in its own right even if you aren’t familiar with the source material. So, what are you waiting for? Chop chop. It’s time to catch up on one of the most overlooked shows of the past half-decade.
This seven-episode limited series hails from Ocean's Eleven director Steven Soderbergh and Logan screenwriter Scott Frank. A gritty western set in a small mining town, Godless stars Jeff Daniels as notorious crook Frank Griffin, the leader of a bunch of outlaws desperate to locate defector Roy Goode, played by Jack O'Connell. The twist? Goode's holed up in a town populated entirely by women. Following a mine accident that killed most of its male residents, the women including Downton Abbey's Michelle Dockery who won't take any shit from Griffin, are doing just dandy on their own. For Netflix's first Western this is gritty stuff.
A town of women who go up against bloodthirsty gangs of marauding men – what’s not to love about this series? Crafted deliberately as a limited series (that’s a one season and done), Godless has a razor sharp focus: there’s not a moment to waste, and none of it is. By far the biggest reason to tune in are its two leads, Dockery and Meritt Wever, who scored her second Emmy for her performance.
The Netflix original series GLOW has one of the more original premises in recent TV history: It chronicles the life of a fledgling professional wrestling promotion called the Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling, as various aspiring actresses and generally women down on their luck audition and agree to take a stab at a wholly new field. Marc Maron plays the schlock B-movie director tasked with turning GLOW into a show, Alison Brie plays a theater nerd and aspiring actress taking it all way too seriously, and Betty Gilpin plays Brie’s former friend and soap opera star who becomes the centerpiece of the wrestling event. Season 1 is delightful, but Season 2 is one of the best seasons of a Netflix TV show ever made. It’s purely joyous, focused, character-rich, and wildly entertaining, and did I mention the bangin’ 80s soundtrack?
27. Julie and the Phantoms
You can always count on Kenny Ortega for a dose of feel-good fun. The filmmaker and choreographer behind beloved kids classics like Newsies, Hocus Pocus, and High School Musical flexes his always entertaining musical muscles once again with Julie and the Phantoms. Inspired by the Brazilian hit series Julie e os Fantasmas, the new Netflix Family original stars Madison Reyes as Julie and Charlie Gillespie, Owen Patrick Joyner, and Jeremy Shada as her titular trio of phantoms. Members of an up-and-coming band that had their dreams dashed when they died after eating some bad hot dogs (which should give you a sense of how the show treads lightly while dealing in the dark matters of death), the ghosts appear to Julie in her garage 25 years later, and through their shared love of music, they team up for a new and improved, if mostly ghostly band. Every episode features legit bangin' earworm songs and pop performances, tender coming-of-age drama, and that signature Ortega touch. The feel-good ghost musical is a must-watch for anyone looking for an instant mood-boost, as long as you're ok with having the songs stuck in your head, Collider cited.
28. Twin Peaks
Who killed Laura Palmer? This mystery lies at the heart of Twin Peaks, a small-town drama from visionary filmmaker David Lynch. Kyle MacLachlan plays FBI investigator Dale Cooper, who's brought in to investigate. One of the best Netflix shows you can watch, Twin Peaks is clever and eerie, and features Lynch's humor and surrealism.
Now the longest-running American fantasy series of all time, Supernaturalis the story of Sam and Dean Winchester. This pair of brothers fights the paranormal, and battles both heaven and hell for a living. There's an argument to be made that their '67 Chevy Impala is the true star of the show, according to Tomsguide.
The Netflix original series Ozark is frequently one of the streaming service’s most popular shows, and for good reason. Almost like a backwoods version of Breaking Bad, the series opens with Jason Bateman’s life falling apart. He and his family are forced to move from Chicago to the Ozarks to start a money laundering business after he discovers his longtime business partner has been dealing with Mexican drug cartels, and they owe an inordinate amount of money. Bateman’s life is spared when he promises to recoup by opening a vacation destination in the Ozarks, but as he and his family enmesh themselves deeper and deeper into the criminal underworld, the line between good and bad becomes further blurred. It’s pretty thrilling, packed with twists, and the performances are solid. It’s not as tight or as emotionally satisfying as Breaking Bad, but then again what is? As far as substitutes go, Ozark is solid.
| Top 10 Most Watched Netflix Shows |
What everyone’s watching until now, according to Netflix, the most popular streaming media nowadays.
| TV Shows and Movies to Watch on Netflix, Hulu, Disney+, HBO Max, this Week (May 3-9) |
In the article below, we have already prepared a list of New TV Shows and Films to Watch This Week (May 3 - 9) in ...
| 12 Big TV Shows on Netflix, Amazon, CBS Cancelled or Ending in 2021 |
A new year brings a new batch of shows and we have to bid farewell to dozens of broadcast, cable, and streaming favorites this year. ...