17 Binge-Worthy Netflix Series for Date Night (2018)
Downing seasons in one sitting, cuddled up with your lovey-dovey!
Sometimes staying in to watch some Netflix is the best kind of date night. Hey, it saves some money and you can lounge around in pajamas while stuffing your face with junk food.
Spending the whole afternoon binge-watching Netflix series with your lovey dovey doesn’t sound too bad, right? But… which show do you choose? There’s so many!
I can’t possibly cover them all.
Nicole and I have odd work schedules so we don’t get to binge like we used to. But, I’ll try my best with this list from those we’ve seen. Feel free to leave your suggestions in the comments!
These aren’t ranked in any order, by the way. Also, these are shows we’ve personally watched.
1. Stranger Things
Stranger Things is a blend of sci-fi and horror, and the perfect show if you loved old coming-of-age 80’s movies like Stand By Me. Or, horror/thrillers like IT and Lost Boys. The show is oozing with amazing retro callbacks matched to a bumping synthwave soundtrack.
Mike, Dustin, Lucas, and Will soon discover Eleven, one of the lab’s experiments giving humans psychokinetic abilities. The gang soon begins to unravel secret testings linking our world to “The Upside Down” — a hellish alternate dimension — and the town’s/government’s cover up. Now thinking about it — the plot isn’t too far out there — but I think because they execute it so well. And, the acting is so spot on with how kids would have talked and behaved then.
Why it’s great: If you’ve got 80’s nostalgia or love 80’s pop culture references mixed into a thriller then this is definitely one of those shows you need to catch. It’s kind of like the Goonies but sci-fi.
2. The Office
I’ve got a soft spot for the UK version of the Office but I don’t care, the US-version is better (don’t @ me). You get 9 seasons filled with awkward situations, winding love stories, gut-hitting story arcs, and meme-able moments. It’s a show you’re not sure you’ll get into but one you’ll get hooked after the first few episodes.
The Office is about a paper company in Scranton, Penn., and its mundane day-to-day operations. It frequently breaks the 4th wall through interviews and call-outs adding perfectly hilarious reactions and sometimes tense confrontations. Each character is unique, you’ll fall in (and out of) love with many throughout the series. Plus, Steve Carell is an absolutely blast throughout.
Why it’s great: It’s one of those shows you can have on in the background and relax. But, also a show you really, really get involved. The love arc between Jim & Pam starts cheesy but becomes something more. You see everyone’s lives progress on camera. Plus, you’ve got some of the best comedy writers and comedians in their prime cracking great jokes. The Office is the perfect show if you love dead-pan humor.
3. Halt and Catch Fire
Halt and Catch Fire is a series about a group of techies and business-types during the early years of computers. You follow along through different time periods as they attempt, fail, and sometimes successfully build cutting-edge tech companies.
Halt and Catch Fire is a slow burn but absolutely enthralling. It’s a show that went completely under-the-radar, I think. If you love tech and want to get a (fictional) glimpse into the startup life in the early days of computing then this is it. It’s not all tech, though, as the relationships between characters are quite heavy with deep subjects and tones throughout.
Why it’s great: I personally loved HACF because I’m a nerd but because it gets you fired up. You’ll watch an episode where they’re taking on a big company and you, too, feel like you can start something. It’s a show perfect for those with an entrepreneurial side. And a love for old technology. Or hell, watch it for the drama between the characters because at times it’s rough!
4. Orange is the New Black
Orange is the New Black… what can we say because I don’t think we know anyone that hasn’t watched this with their significant other. OitNB has its slow points but it’s always a solid show. We’re gripped in its story of day-to-day prison life of these unique, sometimes strange, women.
Orange is the New Black centers around Piper but you start getting involved with everyone else as the series progress. We won’t spoil it but there are some truly rough moments in this series. There are also jump-on-the-bed-cheering-for-the-gals moments, too.
Why it’s great: Take a novelty concept (going to jail) and tell it from the other perspective (female), mix in drama and dark comedy, and you’ve got OitNB. Some episodes get muddy from bouncing around too much but it’s a show you’ve got to watch when it drops.
5. Freaks and Geeks
Linda Cardellini, Seth Rogan, James Franco, Jason Segel, and a bunch of other up-and-coming comedians are so-damn-good in this quirky show. It’s about what the title says: a bunch of freaks and geeks. This isn’t a revolutionary topic for today’s TV shows but remember it came out quite a while back — and it holds up really, really well.
It only had a short run so you’ll get mad knowing it ends so abruptly. But, those episodes you get are jam-packed with goodness. It’ll take you back to high school days where cliques form, sexual tension runs high, and everyone is trying to figure out who they are.
Why it’s great: Maybe it’s a twinge of HS nostalgia or maybe it’s just good writing. Think of it like a mix between Breakfast Club and Dazed and Confused. Freaks and Geeks is a short and sweet series that explores some pretty heavy subjects although it’s mainly a comedy.
Believe me… give it a shot. You two will love it.
6. Altered Carbon
You’ll need to love sci-fi and cyberpunk to do this one but I think you should watch it regardless because it’s done so well. Altered Carbon follows Takeshi Kovacs and his investigation as to why someone murdered an ultra-rich, sentient-like client. Kovac’s story is interwoven through flashbacks of the resistance (to these god-like rich people) and his current investigation.
The show is visual eye-candy with its cyberpunk and Film noir style. Some people choose not to use neural implants effectively giving them immortality. When one of these hyper-religious followers end up dead — Kovac begins tracing what’s really going on behind the have’s and the have not’s. It’s a wild journey, for sure.
Why it’s great: Well… if you loved Blade Runner than you’ll love Altered Carbon. It’s got this smooth detective theme set to a gritty reality. Think a cyber enhanced, run-and-gun mercenary turned P.I. Kovacs may be working for people he hates but he’s also figuring who’s hands are attached to the social strings controlling his world.
7. The IT Crowd
The IT Crowd is a British comedy classic and we’re lucky to have it on Netflix! This show revolves around an otherwise dead-end IT department featuring Roy, Moss, and Jen. Jen gets promoted to head of IT (surprise, she knows nothing about it) surprising the guys as now it’s causing too much attention to their (lack of) work.
IT Crowd is great for its witty banter — a true style to the British comedy style. If you liked the UK version of The Office, Black Books, Spaced, or British stand-up then you’ll like this. It’s got 5 seasons but they’re only a few episodes each. You can down this series in two sittings.
Why it’s great: It’s probably the fact we’ve all done some IT work whether it’s for our parents during holidays or at work. The normal employees are dumbfounded by technology — Roy, Moss, and Jen has had it with them. Mix in an insane boss, incredibly awkward situations, and subtle nods at other comedies and pop-culture and you’ve got a great show to binge.
8. Master of None
Master of None is like a slow-burn romantic comedy that hits all-too-close. You’ve got Dev, played by Aziz Ansari, and his constant flops with relationships (personal and romantic). The show can have its slight indie/hipster-ish moments but that’s the charm.
I liked it because it’s just about some guy trying to find the right one. He’s focused on his comedic gigs but also wants to commit — though life just keeps hitting back. The conversations feel real, kind of like your favorite diner scenes in movies (except it’s usually bars in MoN).
Why it’s great: Master of None is kind of an anti-romantic comedy. It’s raw at times because it shows how relationships can really go — filled with bouts of fighting, troubles from parents/friends, and commitments to careers. MoN has hard hitting episodes and others you can’t stop laughing. I like to think of this as a grown-up version of Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist.
9. Breaking Bad
It’s been a few years since we’ve seen Breaking Bad (back when it aired) but the show still holds visceral grit. You’ve got Walter cooking meth to provide enough money for his family when he expects to die — though it soon turns sideways when his health is looking up.
Add in Jesse and a cast of characters you’ll either love or hate. Sprinkle in some cartel action. Add a mix of gut-wrenching moments. And you’ve got one of the best shows to ever grace TV.
Why it’s great: Breaking Bad brought on a new era of TV storytelling. This show didn’t drag itself out and it didn’t hold any punches. It was raw. It influenced countless shows afterward from its cinematic direction and deep storytelling. The two of you will get instantly hooked — expect some seriously sob-worthy moments throughout!
10. Black Mirror
Black Mirror is probably one of my most favorite shows. Then Netflix picked it up and made even more of it. Holy crap! Charlie Brooker, its writer, has done several awesome series from How TV Ruined Your Life to his yearly ‘Wipes’ — his sarcastic and raw wit transfers into Black Mirror.
Black Mirror is an anthology series of truly troubling, thought-provoking, and depressing stuff. You’re probably thinking, “Uhhh, why would I watch this for date night?”. Well, each episode takes so much to digest — pause after each episode and you could spend a solid hour discussing the themes and topics.
Why it’s great: It’s unlike any other show — plus it has one of my favorite formats, anthology. The dark themes are all-too-real which is why the episodes hit so hard. Some say it’s not a show to binge because you’ll feel down — but nahhh, absorb it all because it’ll sit with you two for weeks afterward.
Dexter was awesome up until season 5 but those first 4 were crazy good. You’ve got Dexter, a blood splatter analyst for the Miami forensics team…. who’s also a psychopath. He goes around murdering people to satisfy his thirst — but only criminals. It’s an awesome anti-hero show.
Why did it fall off after season 5? If I remember correctly it had to do with a writer’s strike. It didn’t feel the same afterward with rushed episodes, convoluted plots, and and ending…yeesh. But, give it a watch because it’s still a series you’ll want to experience.
Why it’s great: Dexter gets you hooked immediately because it’s not your usual detective-type show. Ever episode you don’t know whether to root for Dexter or hope he gets caught. You identify with him but then you can’t. The relationships he makes are genuine… but not real for him. This conflicts with your brain all-the-while he’s doing these gnarly killings.
12. Dirty Money
Dirty Money only has a few episodes so this is one Netflix show you could binge-watch during a shorter date night. It’s kind of like Netflix’s version of American Greed on CNBC. This goes into the wrongdoings of different scumbags and how they exploited people (and the public).
Why it’s great: You can’t help but hate on these people but it’s a bit like Scarface. You know they’re doing really bad stuff but you kind of respect it, too? It’s like how we idolize old gangsters, in a way. You to punch these people but can’t take your eyes away.
Speaking of people doing bad stuff: Narcos.
Narcos had Nicole and I hooked from start to finish. It follows the life of Pablo Escobar in the early seasons with the later cartels in the others. The later season was okay. The Pablo era is gripping, you know he’s a terrible person but the show humanizes his struggles (odd as that sounds).
You got this cool narrative from the people going after him but also his side of the story.
Why it’s great: Well, it’s a all-around solid mob-type show. Think Godfather split into smaller chunks but it’s about Pablo. There’s tons of drama, a bit of comedy, suspense, and more.
14. Wild Wild Country
I remember the only way I could describe Wild Wild Country to my friends was that it was… wild.
This docuseries follows an American cult that took off out West. Its spiritual leader slowly shifted the following into its cult-like status. Though you get the story from those within the cult. It starts off where you’re thinking “oh these people are crazy” but ends with “ehhh, I could see how people would have joined”.
Why it’s great: You don’t see this stuff every day. It blows your mind seeing how big this cult got before the government stepped in — and how it died from the inside-out. The interviews with the people are chilling. It hooks you hard and keeps you binging through because you have to see where all this stuff is going.
15. Planet Earth
Words can’t really describe this series — let this clip help you decide (make sure it’s at 1080p):
Plant Earth is absolutely beautiful and still makes your jaw drop after all these years. If you love nature then this is the show to binge. You and your SO are in for one comfy afternoon. You should follow it with BBC’s Blue Planet which was equally awesome, btw.
Why it’s great: No show is as chill as Planet Earth. This is a perfect date night series if you just want to relax and cuddle up without having to overthink plot twists.
16. Parts Unknown
Anthony Bourdain (RIP) was one of my favorite persons. He inspired so much of my life from traveling and food to just being open to culture and new things. It gutted me when he passed (I’m actually tearing up while writing this).
Parts Unknown is a well deserved legacy we should all watch. Bourdain travels throughout the world, exploring culture, tasting incredible dishes, and sharing little insights of his world views. His locations and the people he meet are stunning and vibrant — it creates a whole sense of wanderlust.
Why it’s great: Take the best travel show you’ve seen and make it better. Add in a charasmatic and snarky presenter with experiences you’ve never seen/read. You’ve got Parts Unknown. This show will restore your faith in humanity.
Spartacus? That’s what you chose to watch tonight? Hell yeah! Spartacus is an amazing show and not just because it’s blood and guts. In between the fighting are some truly engaging, sometimes inspiring, and shocking moments.
This show follows the life of Spartacus as he rises up from gladiator to the leader of an uprising. It only has a few seasons but every episode is enthralling. Even if you turn away from the gore you can’t help but have your eyes glued to everything in-between.
Why it’s great: Remember that show Rome on HBO? Take that, make it more about one person, add more grit, and you’ve got Spartacus. It’s not your typical date-night-binge-type show, but it’s definitely something different. I think once you’re a few eps in you’ll both stay hooked.
But You Forgot about X!
Look: We watch a lot of shows just like you.
Some are good. Some are bad. We’re not about to list the ones we found meh just to make some longer list. This is about staying at-home and enjoying a nice afternoon/late night with some awesome shows and good grub.
And yeah, and that’s why this post is open to comments! Share which binge-worthy Netflix series you love for an at-home date night. Also, keep checking back because we’ll add more to this list as time goes — and new shows get added to the queue.