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There are plenty of fun, cheap things to do in the winter, but my favorite frugal winter activity is staying in and watching Netflix.  When it’s below zero out, it’s so nice to curl up under the covers with some hot cocoa and my cuddly pug.

My husband and I are both introverts, so we both prefer to stay in a lot of the time, and we’ve watched a lot of shows on Netflix.  I love having Netflix because it’s so much cheaper than cable and there are tons of options for TV shows.  Here are my 40 favorite binge-worthy Netflix shows.

Note: These ratings are my own – they are based on my completely subjective opinion.


How to Get Away With Murder (5 stars) – A professor of criminal law and her team of student assistants find themselves entangled in a web of deceit, lies, and murder.

Scandal (5 stars) – Olivia Pope and her team are professional “fixers” who make problems go away for wealthy, powerful people including the President.  It’s as scandalous at it sounds.

Revenge (4 stars) – A young woman moves to The Hamptons to seek revenge for her father’s death.  The plot is beyond ridiculous, but it’s a fun guilty pleasure.

The Girlfriends’ Guide to Divorce (5 stars) – Lisa Edelstein (who played Dr. Cuddy on House) stars as a successful author who has branded herself as a marriage and parenting expert but has a big secret – she’s getting divorced.  Funny and refreshingly honest.  This show is not afraid to go there – it tackles many difficult issues and taboo topics.

United States of Tara (4 stars) – A woman with Dissociative Identity Disorder struggles to keep her life (and family) together as her “alters” (alternate personalities) constantly cause trouble. Disturbing yet fascinating.

The Fosters (4 stars)- A police officer and her wife raise a blended family of biological, adopted, and foster children.  The show is an eye-opening look into the best and worst parts of the foster system.

House of Cards (3.5 stars) – A politician and his wife are ruthless in their pursuit of power.  This show has been nominated for several awards.  As much as I enjoyed the first couple of seasons, I found it difficult to keep watching after that because I dislike ALL of the characters so much.

Medical Shows

House (5 stars) – A grumpy, brilliant doctor solves complex cases and offends everyone he talks to.  Fascinating and humorous.

Grey’s Anatomy (5 stars) – The doctors at Seattle Grace hospital spend as much time talking about their relationships as they do talking about medicine.  It’s a dramatic and emotional journey.

Private Practice (3.5 stars) – The spin-off of Grey’s Anatomy is nowhere near as good as Grey’s (it’s a little more soap-y), but it’s still worth watching.  Addison leaves Seattle to work for a private practice in LA.

Emily Owens, M.D. (3.5 stars) – This show has all of the medical intrigue of House and all of the relationship drama of Grey’s Anatomy.  It also has several familiar faces – including actors from Grey’s Anatomy, How to Get Away With Murder, Blacklist, and Girlfriends’ Guide to Divorce.

Nurse Jackie (3 stars) – Jackie is an ER nurse with a bad back and an addiction to painkillers.  An honest depiction of what life looks like for a high-functioning addict.

Hart of Dixie (3.5 stars) – New doctor Zoe moves from NYC to a small town in Alabama, where she doesn’t exactly fit in.  Simply charming.

Prison/Crime Shows

Orange is the New Black (5 stars) – Piper is a happily engaged, upper middle class woman, whose life changes when she is sent to prison for a drug-related crime she committed 10 years ago with her former lover.  It’s a fascinating look into life at a low-security women’s prison.

Breaking Bad (4 stars) – Walter is diagnosed with lung cancer and turns to dealing meth to secure his family’s financial future.  In 2013, BB was named as the most critically acclaimed TV show of all time.

Weeds (5 stars) – After her husband’s death, a suburban mother turns to dealing pot to maintain her privileged lifestyle.  Entertaining and addicting.

Prison Break (4 stars) – Structural engineer Michael commits a crime and turns himself in to a maximum security prison so that he can break out his brother Lincoln, who is on death row for a murder he didn’t commit.

Science Fiction

Fringe (3.5 stars) – The fictional Fringe division of the FBI investigates cases related to “fringe science” and unexplainable occurrences.  The show eventually delves into parallel universes and alternate timelines.

Jessica Jones (4 stars) – A former superhero with PTSD opens her own detective agency.

Heroes (4 stars) – Ordinary people discover that they have superhuman abilities, and they work together to prevent catastrophic events.

Alias (4 stars) – Sydney is a double agent for the CIA posing as an operative for SD-6, a worldwide criminal organization.

Person of Interest (3 stars) – A billionaire computer programmer creates a machine that is able to identify perpetrators and victims of future crimes.  The machine develops into a superintelligent artificial intelligence, which brings up ethical and moral questions.


Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt (4 stars) – After being released from the bunker where she has been held captive for several years by a cult leader, Kimmy adjusts to living a regular life.  Her awkwardness is humorous and endearing.

Big Bang Theory (5 stars) – A beautiful, ditzy actress moves across the hall from two genius geeks, and they form an unlikely friendship.  Jim Parsons is brilliant as Sheldon Cooper.

Drop Dead Diva (4 stars) – A beautiful, shallow model dies in a car accident and is reincarnated in the body of a smart, plus-sized lawyer.  It’s a little goofy, but the characters are likable enough to distract you from the silly plot.

Grace and Frankie (4 stars) – Two complete opposites (polished Grace and eccentric Frankie) bond when their husbands leave them for each other.

Portlandia (4 stars) – Portlandia is a sketch comedy show filmed in Portland.  Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein do an excellent job of playing a variety of different characters.

Young and Hungry (4 stars) – A broke young woman lands her dream job as a personal chef for a wealthy tech entrepreneur.

Crazy Ex-Girlfriend (3 stars) – A successful, unhappy lawyer abandons her job in NYC to move to West Covina, CA (which happens to be where her ex-boyfriend Josh lives).  I could do without the musical scenes, but the show is funny and certainly unique.

The IT Crowd (3 stars) – A British sitcom about two IT nerds and their “Relationship Manager” boss who knows nothing about IT.  A bit goofy but entertaining nonetheless.

30 Rock (3.5 stars) – A satirical comedy that follows the life of a writer (played by Tina Fey) for a fictional sketch comedy.

Master of None (3.5 stars) – Aziz Ansari plays a 30 year old actor living in NYC.  Master of None has been described as the “perfect mix of sarcasm and sincerity.”


These shows may be a bit old, but they’re still worth watching!

That ’70s Show (4 stars) – The story revolves around a group of teenagers who live in a fictional suburb of Wisconsin during the 1970’s.

Buffy the Vampire Slayer (4.5 stars) – A teenage girl is “chosen” to fight vampires, demons, and other bad guys in this drama.

Angel (4 stars) – In this spin-off of Buffy, her vampire-with-a-soul ex-boyfriend moves to LA to fight demons and atone for his past.

Gilmore Girls (5 stars) – a 32 year old single mother and her 16 year old daughter look (and act) more like sisters than mother and daughter.  And now we can catch up with them at ages 32 and 48 on Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life.

The O.C. (4.5 stars) – A troubled teenager is adopted by a wealthy family in Orange County, CA.  He and his foster brother, lovable geek Seth Cohen, navigate high school romances and plenty of drama.

Everwood (4 stars) – A successful neurosurgeon moves to a small town after the death of his wife.  Much of the story revolves around his strained relationship with his teenage son, Ephram.  Emily VanCamp (the lead actress in Revenge) stars as Ephram’s love interest.

One Tree Hill (3.5 stars) – Two half-brothers compete on the basketball court and in their drama-filled personal lives.

Friends (5 stars) – Six twenty-something friends deal with life, career problems, and relationship drama on one of the most popular shows of all time.

What are your favorite shows to binge watch on Netflix?


Other stuff you might like:

My Personal Finance “Aha” Moment
How We’re Preparing Financially for a Pug Puppy
Why I’m Grateful for My Student Loan Debt
The Appeal of Minimalism
9 Ways to Get Free Yoga Classes

Personal Finance Resources:

The Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey
YOLO: The Roadmap to Financial Wellness and a Purposeful Life by Jason Vitug
Smart Women Finish Rich by David Bach
It’s Only Money and It Does Grow on Trees by Cara MacMillan

Blogging Resources:

How to Blog for Profit Without Selling Your Soul by Ruth Soukup
365 Blog Topic Ideas for the Lifestyle Blogger Who Has Nothing to Write About by Dana Fox
ProBlogger: Secrets to Blogging Your Way to a Six Figure Income