20 TV shows on Netflix and Stan to binge this summer

It's Christmas. You’ve got some spare time on your hands and you want to catch up on some of the shows all your buddies have been talking about.

But which shows should you watch? And where can you find them?

These questions and more are answered below in our handy binge TV guide.

So grab the popcorn, kick back and start watching.

STAN

The Good Place

Legal eagles: Christine Baranski and Cush Jumbo as Diane Lockhart and Luca Quinn in The Good Fight.

Legal eagles: Christine Baranski and Cush Jumbo as Diane Lockhart and Luca Quinn in The Good Fight.

Spinning off from popular legal drama The Good Wife, The Good Fight follows Diane Lockhart (Christine Baranski) as she looks towards retirement. But a ponzi scheme jeopardises her life savings and she must go back to work – this time at an all-black firm. The social commentary is dialled up to 11 for this witty procedural, which also co-stars Cush Jumbo, Rose Leslie, Delroy Lindo, Sarah Steele and Justin Bartha. 

Episode length: 45 minutes

Seasons: 2 (one on Stan)

Veronica Mars

Teen detective: Kristen Bell as student sleuth Veronica Mars.

Teen detective: Kristen Bell as student sleuth Veronica Mars.

If you weren’t lucky enough to catch Veronica Mars during its original television run, there’s never been a better time to catch up. The seminal teen detective show follows the titular sleuth as she firstly investigates the murder of her cheerleader best friend, then branches out into other mysteries. The series was followed by a movie (funded by fans) and two books, and is getting an eight-episode revival in 2019.

Episode length: 40 minutes

Seasons: 3 (and a movie)

All American

True story: All-American is based on the real-life story of professional football Spencer Paysinger.

True story: All-American is based on the real-life story of professional football Spencer Paysinger.

It's no Friday Night Lights, but All American does its best to revive the sports-based high school drama genre. The show is loosely based on the true story of NFL star Spencer Paysinger, who grew up in a rough neighbourhood in south Los Angeles but played football on a Beverly Hills high school team. It nails class commentary and the struggle for fair treatment, it has plenty of drama and a good-looking cast but there are doubts whether the show will be renewed for a second season.

Episode length: 40 minutes

Seasons: 1

Bloom

Australian drama: Ryan Corr is frightening in Bloom.

Australian drama: Ryan Corr is frightening in Bloom.

Get pumped for the Stan original series Bloom, which features a stunning all-star Australian cast. The mystery has received much hype ahead of its release on January 1. The story takes place in a town that’s recovering from a devastating flood which claimed five lives. But the flood waters also caused the growth of a plant which restores youth. Some of the top-notch cast members include Ryan Corr, Phoebe Tonkin, Jacki Weaver, Bryan Brown and Sam Reid.

Episode length: TBA

Seasons: 1

Younger

Defying expectations: Sutton Foster and Nico Tortorella in Younger.

Defying expectations: Sutton Foster and Nico Tortorella in Younger.

Younger follows 41-year-old Liza who is pretending to be 26 years old to secure a job in the highly-competitive publishing industry. The funny series is from Sex and the City creator Darren Starr and features just as much wit and romantic entanglements as his earlier series. Starring Broadway actress Sutton Foster in the lead, Younger also features Hilary Duff, Nico Tortorella, Peter Hermann and Debi Mazar.

Episode length: 20 minutes

Seasons: 5 

Escape at Dannemora

New path: Benicio Del Toro and Paul Dano in Ben Stiller's crime drama Escape at Dannemora.

New path: Benicio Del Toro and Paul Dano in Ben Stiller's crime drama Escape at Dannemora.

Ben Stiller is typically known for his comedies – both outrageous and indie – but his latest work, Escape at Dannemora, is anything but. The series, directed by Stiller, tells the story of a real-life prison break (which occurred in 2015) where a prison employee helped two inmates escape. The worker (played by Patricia Arquette, who has been nominated for a Golden Globe and Screen Actors Guild award for her performance) is romantically entangled with both prisoners, played by Oscar-winner Benicio Del Toro and the ever-brilliant Paul Dano.

Episode length: varies

Seasons: 1

UnREAL

Behind the scenes: Constance Zimmer is one of the leads in Bachelor-like satire UnREAL.

Behind the scenes: Constance Zimmer is one of the leads in Bachelor-like satire UnREAL.

With the proliferation of shows like The Bachelor on modern TV, it was only a matter of time before someone made a satire. UnREAL is a look at the behind-the-scenes filming and production of a dating show. If real life is anything like the schemes that go on in the series, it’s amazing these shows are still on the air. Stars Constance Zimmer and Shiri Appleby in the lead roles.

Episode length: 40 minutes

Seasons: 4

iZombie

Zom-com: New Zealand actress Rose McIver stars as Liv Moore in iZombie.

Zom-com: New Zealand actress Rose McIver stars as Liv Moore in iZombie.

If you liked Veronica Mars, you’ll love iZombie, which is also from creator Rob Thomas (nope, not the guy from Matchbox-20 – though if you watch the show, you’ll hear from him too). The hilarious zombie crime procedural follows almost-doctor Liv Moore after she becomes undead and starts a new career in the morgue. But eating the brains of the dead gives her memories of their lives and turns out to be a really great crime-solving technique. The characters are awesome, the writing is hilarious and the acting is pretty decent.

Episode length: 40 minutes

Seasons: 4

Supernatural

Still going: Jared Padalecki and Jensen Ackles have racked up 14 seasons as Sam and Dean Winchester in Supernatural.

Still going: Jared Padalecki and Jensen Ackles have racked up 14 seasons as Sam and Dean Winchester in Supernatural.

If you’ve got a lot of spare time on your hands and a high tolerance for questionable acting skills and rehashed storylines, then you should jump on the Supernatural train. Fans of Supernatural are among the most loyal and dedicated in the world, and the first five seasons are genuinely worth it. Thereafter, the exploits of broody bothers Sam and Dean Winchester – who drive all over the United States battling ghosts, werewolves, demons, vampires, djinn, shapeshifters, witches, angels and even faeries – feel more like chores than voluntary enjoyment. *This is written by someone who has watched every single episode of Supernatural and actually loves the show.

Episode length: 40 minutes

Seasons: 14 (12 available on Stan)

Netflix

The Good Place

Dead zone: Kristen Bell, William Jackson Harper and Ted Danson star as Eleanor, Chidi and Michael in The Good Place.

Dead zone: Kristen Bell, William Jackson Harper and Ted Danson star as Eleanor, Chidi and Michael in The Good Place.

If you’re looking for some clever, irreverent laughs on your Christmas break, you can’t go past The Good Place. The basic concept sees all people go to either The Good Place or The Bad Place when they die, based on precise calculations of all the things they did in life. Kristen Bell’s Eleanor Shellstrop finds herself in The Good Place despite her terrible life her Earth. She must try and fit in before everything falls apart. Truly, truly hilarious and one of the best shows of the past few years. Also stars Ted Danson.

Episode length: 20 minutes

Seasons: 3

Stranger Things

Iconic: Millie Bobby Brown is a scene-stealer as Stranger Things' Eleven.

Iconic: Millie Bobby Brown is a scene-stealer as Stranger Things' Eleven.

Eighties nostalgia is all the rage these days, and much of that can be attributed to brilliant horror/sci-fi show Stranger Things. The Netflix original features some seriously talented child actors and equally compelling adult leads. Set in the eerie small town of Hawkins, Indiana in the wake of young boy Will’s disappearance, Stranger Things follows a group of school kids determined to figure out what the hell is going on in their town. Season three is coming in 2019, so now’s the time to catch up on all you’ve missed.

Episode length: 50 minutes

Seasons: 2

Jane the Virgin

Telenovela: Justin Baldoni and Gina Rodriguez provide one of Jane the Virgin's romantic pairings as Raphael Solano and Jane Villanueva.

Telenovela: Justin Baldoni and Gina Rodriguez provide one of Jane the Virgin's romantic pairings as Raphael Solano and Jane Villanueva.

Sassy leads, ridiculously over-the-top storylines, an omnipotent Latin narrator and every single soap opera/telenovela trope you can think of? There’s only one show that ticks all of these boxes and that’s the brilliant Jane the Virgin. If the title doesn’t have you intrigued, the plot will – 22-year-old virgin Jane Gloriana Villanueva becomes unexpectedly pregnant after a medical mishap and the father is her boss, the millionaire Raphael Solano. This is especially complicated given her cop boyfriend Michael is investigating Raphael’s wife for ties to a possible criminal enterprise. Buckle up for the wild – and really quite clever – ride that is Jane the Virgin.

Episode length: 40 minutes

Seasons: 4 

Riverdale

Gloriously over-the-top: Cole Sprouse and KJ Apa star as Jughead Jones and Archie Andrews in the monumentally successful teen mystery Riverdale.

Gloriously over-the-top: Cole Sprouse and KJ Apa star as Jughead Jones and Archie Andrews in the monumentally successful teen mystery Riverdale.

Who would have thought a neon-coloured, outrageous TV show based on the cheesy Archie Comics series could be so damn addictive? Somehow, the TV gods struck gold with Riverdale, the high school mystery series that follows a troop of impossibly good looking ‘teenagers’ as they defy all logic and decide to investigate grisly crimes themselves. Not to mention the bikie gangs, musical careers, cheerleading dramas and everything else. Once you realise the show is in on the joke and knows have ridiculous it is, you’re all set to have the best time.

Episode length: 40 minutes

Seasons: 3

Bodyguard

Intense: Game of Thrones' Richard Madden is troubled lead PPO David Budd in Bodyguard.

Intense: Game of Thrones' Richard Madden is troubled lead PPO David Budd in Bodyguard.

Are you all strapped in? Good, you’ll need to be to get through all six intense episodes of Bodyguard. The highly-regarding new British series fellows Afghanistan veteran and political protection officer David Budd (Game of Thrones’ Richard Madden) as he works as a bodyguard for British Home Secretary Julia Montague. The opening scene alone is enough to get you hooked, and the less said about the actual plot the better – you’ll enjoy it much more not having any idea what’s going to happen. Suffice to say, this isn’t one you should miss.

Episode length: 60 minutes

Seasons: 1

The Haunting of Hill House

Scary stuff: Carla Gugino stars as mother of the clan, Olivia Crain, in The Haunting of Hill House.

Scary stuff: Carla Gugino stars as mother of the clan, Olivia Crain, in The Haunting of Hill House.

When The Haunting of Hill House dropped earlier this year, viewers were quick to say it was one of the scariest shows they’d ever seen. Endorsed by horror maestro Stephen King himself, the 10-episode series (an adaptation of Shirley Jackson’s novel) chronicles the weird lives of the Crain family, who suffered greatly after moving into Hill House. Fast-forward 30-odd years and the horrors they endured then have far from disappeared. Filled with a sense of overarching dread and plenty of creepy ghosts lurking in corners, The Haunting of Hill House is not for the faint of heart.

Episode length: 50 minutes

Seasons: 1

Luther

No prisoners: Sexiest Man Alive Idris Elba leads the way as titular detective DCI John Luther in the crime series Luther.

No prisoners: Sexiest Man Alive Idris Elba leads the way as titular detective DCI John Luther in the crime series Luther.

The fact that it stars People’s reigning Sexiest Man Alive Idris Elba is just one of, but not the most important, reasons to watch the brilliant British series Luther. The gritty crime drama is very clever and features only the most curious and depraved of crimes. DCI John Luther is a one-of-a-kind detective who’s not super keen on playing by the rules. The seasons are only short (2-6 episodes each) and definitely worth checking out. Season five is due to hit Foxtel’s BBC One on New Year’s Day, but it’s not clear when the season will be featured on Netflix.

Episode length: 60 minutes

Seasons: 5 (four seasons currently on Netflix, no word when season five is dropping)

The Sinner

More to the story: Executive producer Jessica Biel stars with Christopher Abbott as the Tannettis in The Sinner.

More to the story: Executive producer Jessica Biel stars with Christopher Abbott as the Tannettis in The Sinner.

Do you love a good mystery? It’s hard to go past The Sinner, the brilliant series executive produced by season one star Jessica Biel. The first season follows Biel's young mum Cora Tannetti after she brutally kills a stranger on a busy beach – and she has no idea why. Piecing together what led to the violent outburst is addictive and intriguing. Season 2 is a very different story, and follows a young boy who killed two people in a hotel room. It’s completely different to the first season but we maintain the main detective, played by Bill Pullman. 

Episode length: 40 minutes

Seasons: 2

Ozark

Dark: Ubiquitous funnyman Jason Bateman trades laughs for tension as Marty Byrde in Ozark.

Dark: Ubiquitous funnyman Jason Bateman trades laughs for tension as Marty Byrde in Ozark.

Jason Bateman is typically known for his everyman comedy roles – Horrible Bosses, Game Night, Office Christmas Party, The Switch – but in Ozark he has found a very different role. The actor, who also directs the series, plays a financial advisor who relocates his family from Chicago to the Missouri Ozarks. In their new town, he must launder hundreds of millions of dollars to appease a crime boss. It’s very intense and dark.

Episode length: 60 minutes

Seasons: 2

Brooklyn Nine Nine

Cop comedy: The uber-hilarious Andy Samberg and Joe Lo Truglio star as best buds Jake Peralta and Charles Boyle in Brooklyn Nine Nine.

Cop comedy: The uber-hilarious Andy Samberg and Joe Lo Truglio star as best buds Jake Peralta and Charles Boyle in Brooklyn Nine Nine.

Cool cool cool cool cool, noice noice noice, toight. If none of that made any sense, you haven’t watched Brooklyn Nine Nine yet. What are you waiting for? The hilarious cop workplace comedy centres around a dysfunctional crew of detectives at the 99th police precinct in New York. The characters more than the plot is what makes this show so beloved: Jake, the Die Hard-obsesses man child, Amy, the Type A control freak, Rosa, the tough-as-guts motorcycle rider, Terry, the bulk dude with a soft interior, Charles, the oblivious foodie obsessed with his friendship with Jake, Gina, the uber-narcissistic assistant, and Holt, the very literal gay, black captain.

Episode length: 20 minutes

Seaons: 5 (season 6 on the way)

GLOW

Fierce female: Alison Brie heads back to the 80s as professional wrestler Ruth Wilder in GLOW.

Fierce female: Alison Brie heads back to the 80s as professional wrestler Ruth Wilder in GLOW.

The glitzy, colourful female wrestling series GLOW has been a hit with critics, scoring nominations at the Golden Globes, Emmys and Screen Actors Guild awards. Featuring an awesome all-star cast – Alison Brie, Betty Gilpin, Ellen Wong, Chris Lowell, etc – the show is set in the 1980s as women’s wrestling is gathering steam in Los Angeles.

Episode length: 35 minutes

Seasons: 2