Netflix is nothing if not diverse, with dramas, comedies and documentaries of all shapes and sizes
Whether you’ve got 30 minutes or 72 hours, the current UK catalogue has plenty in the way of timely watches.
So here’s our handy guide to Netflix’s best options, depending on how long you have to spare.
If you’ve got half an hour…
Trying to fit some quality viewing into 30 minutes isn’t the easiest thing in the world, but thankfully, Netflix’s current catalogue gives you some great comedy options.
First up, there’s Outnumbered, starring Mock the Week regular Hugh Dennis as neurotic father of three Pete, in a show which wryly pokes fun at the everyday stresses of family life.
For a slightly more cynical approach, there’s also ingenious political satire The Thick of It and classic sit-com Blackadder, which sees Rowan Atkinson navigate history as the ever-selfish, but eternally prosperous, schemer of the title.
And if you want something with a little poignancy in its veins, Ricky Gervais’ emotional nursing home series Derek should suit your needs perfectly.
If you’ve got an hour…
50 to 60 minute shows are in abundance now-a-days, but if you want to avoid slipping into an unintentional binge-watching session, there’s plenty of standalone excellence.
If you’ve only got an hour to spare, Louis Theroux’s Weird Weekends should provide you with a healthy mix of entertaining documentary, and occasionally disturbing insights.
Frozen Planet also pops up in the documentary department, offering plenty of breathtaking landscape beauty, while trivia panel show QI ( the 45 minute XL version of the show) is also a great shout.
Of course, if drama is your thing, then the periodic medical drama House, starring Hugh Laurie as a Sherlock Holmes/Florence Nightingale cross, is right there, with its ‘case of the week’ approach.
If you’ve got a couple of hours…
While its film catalogue may be taking a slight backseat to its TV offerings, Netflix nonetheless has plenty of classic and cult movies to sink your teeth into.
The Coen Brothers’ darkly comic crime thriller Fargo has a run time of just 98 minutes, giving you plenty of time left over to enjoy a cuppa.
If you want something even more tense and immersive, Sicario sees Emily Blunt plunged into the murky world of the war against the Mexican drug cartels, with Benicio Del Toro’s deadly enigma alongside her.
Good Will Hunting provides a more light-hearted but no less engaging option. Writers, stars and directors Matt Damon and Ben Affleck play an undiscovered genius and his loyal pal, respectively, as the late Robin Williams tries to steer the troubled Will along the right path.
For a unique mix of fantasy escapism and sobering reality there’s always Pan’s Labyrinth too: Guillermo del Toro breathtaking masterpiece revolving around a girl in post civil war Spain, who descends into a realm of bizarre creatures.
If you’ve got all weekend…
‘Bingeable’ shows are Netflix’s bread and butter these days. So much so that it’s difficult to know where to start.
But you would certainly do well to watch Stranger Things, a fantastic ode to ’80s movies which delivers a compelling blend of sci-fi spookiness and heart-warming coming of age drama. It’s effectively a tremendous 8-hour film.
Marvel’s dark detective flick Jessica Jones, meanwhile, starring Krysten Ritter as ex super-hero turned private eye, is a great alternative, if you’re looking for something less ‘mystery’ and more ‘punch em’ up’.
Crime dramas Better Call Saul and Narcos are both excellent choices if you want to plough through a top-quality show with high grade drama. Both scream ‘just one more episode’ like nothing else.