The 9 shows we want to see streaming right now
In a recent Reddit AMA, Jerry Seinfeld hinted at the fact that his titular show Seinfeld could finally be coming to Netflix. Overjoyed, one fan summed up the sentiment for all of us: “The day Seinfeld is on Netflix is the day that I never see anyone ever again.”
But Seinfeld isn’t the only show currently missing from the Netflix stable. From hugely popular sitcoms to political thrillers, there are plenty of shows out there still unavailable to streaming customers. Since playlists vary according to country, I've based this on the U.S. Netflix. Scroll through our gallery to see the nine series (sort of) no self-respecting streaming video service should be without.
In some ways, this pick has already been made for us. As the previous page demonstrated, for a show that’s apparently about nothing, people sure do want to see Seinfeld make an appearance on Netflix. Although it did dip in quality after co-creator Larry David left, at its apex no other comedy can come close to matching the triumph of Seinfeld. Hopefully Jerry is right, and this will find its way to Netflix ASAP. With classic moments in virtually every episode, this show is the stuff binge-watching was invented for.
Friends might not quite reach the heights of Seinfeld at its best, but it’s still certainly in contention when the conversation turns to greatest sitcoms of all time. While Friends is in heavy rotation on TV, it’s less widely available on streaming services like Netflix (unless you happen to live in Mexico where the first five seasons are inexplicably available, with Spanish subtitles).
Megahits like Friends are kept under tight contractual lock and key, which means they’d be a challenge for any streaming company to wangle. But when it comes to available shows we’d like to see on Netflix could there be a better choice?
Featuring great performances from stars Damian Lewis and Claire Danes, Homeland is one of the best series to hit U.S. screens in ages. Telling the story of a returning United States Marine Corps Scout Sniper war veteran who may or may not be a “turned” member of al-Qaeda, the show picks up the political thriller mantle of 24 and runs with it. If only it could run onto Netflix.
True, the latest season shows a decline in quality versus the top-notch first series, but it’s still gripping television. Couldn’t noted Homeland fan President Obama put in a call to Netflix or something?
The Big Bang Theory
I’ll admit it: I’m not the world’s biggest fan of The Big Bang Theory, but I’m perfectly willing to accept that I could be objectively wrong about this -- certainly based on reader’s reactions to a previous post I made on the subject. Word has just been released that shooting has temporarily ground to a halt since the stars are demanding more money. Provided producers acquiesce (and why wouldn’t they?) maybe Netflix execs could follow suit and whip out their checkbooks, too.
Monty Python's Flying Circus
With John Cleese, Michael Palin, Terry Gilliam, Eric Idle and Terry Jones currently in the middle of their London, England victory lap, interest in the surreal antics of the Monty Python crew is more alive than the parrots they claimed to sell in arguably their most famous sketch.
Featuring countless comic masterpieces jammed into 45 episodes over four series, the complete Monty Python’s Flying Circus would be a worthy boon for Netflix, helping create a whole new generation of Python devotees, while giving longtime fans the chance to revisit their favorite old sketches. As it is, Netflix features the superb Monty Python and the Holy Grail movie, but is it too much to ask that we get the complete works of Cleese et al.?
Serving as a more charmingly comedic but equally quirky Twin Peaks, Northern Exposure ran for 110 episodes between 1990 and 1995. Telling the story of a New York City physician, named Dr. Joel Fleischman, who is sent to work in the fictitious town of Cicely, Alaska, the show spends good time introducing us to Cicely’s cast of oddball residents. Northern Exposure might be the most obscure show on this list -- although it racked up a ton of awards and nominations durings its original run -- but it’s the kind of series that could definitely have a second life on Netflix.
Earlier this year it seemed like Netflix-subscribing Community fans had it made: after the popular cult sitcom was cancelled by NBC after five great seasons, fans took to social media demanding #SixSeasonsAndaMovie. Despite being inundated with requests, Netflix turned the Dan Harmon-produced show down, eventually letting it get snapped up instead by Yahoo Screen (who?).
“It’s season six of Community — you’ll be watching it the way you always watched it, only now, it’s legal!” Harmon quipped at this year’s Comic-Con. He may be right, but instead of having to subscribe to both Hulu and Yahoo Screen to get the whole show, wouldn’t it have been better had Netflix not bought the whole thing?
Batman: The Animated Series
Serious question for Batman fans: Has there ever been a better, truer-to-the-comics, sustained take on the Dark Knight than Paul Dini and Bruce Timm’s Batman: The Animated Series? Rewriting both the DC Universe and TV animation in a way that is still felt today, there is no series I would rather have on Netflix than this one. It’s currently available in Canada, but not yet the U.S. To cheat somewhat, I’m using B:TAS as a catch-all to also cover The New Batman Adventures, Batman Beyond, Justice League and anything else Dini and co. laid their hands on.
Pretty much the entire HBO back catalog
To be honest, I could’ve spent this whole gallery populating it with HBO shows like The Wire, The Sopranos and Deadwood. That I didn’t is actually less to do with the fact that these series show up on every “best of” television list around, and more to do with the fact that HBO recently signed an exclusive deal with Amazon Prime. Once that deal elapses, however, Netflix should do everything within its power to capture the HBO back catalog. It would be worth it for Game of Thrones alone.