The Best Sci-Fi TV Shows on Netflix in 2020… Plus a Few Fantasy & Comic Book TV Shows, Too…
After I finished my last blog post about the Best Sci-fi Movies on Netflix, I realized that there was still a lot of great content… in the form of TV shows! Here’s my list of the Best Sci-fi (Plus Fantasy and Comic Book) TV Shows on Netflix in 2020:
Best Sci-fi TV Shows – Honorable Mentions
I only have two honorable mentions. There are plenty of sci-fi and fantasy TV shows I could mention… but honestly, I was never able to get into them. For example, I’ve seen some of all the CW shows (e.g., Gotham, The Flash, and Arrow), but I haven’t been able to watch more than 2-3 episodes before I’m done… Others have told me that Lost in Space and The Dark Crystal are amazing. To me, they were good, but they didn’t hold my attention. What are my two honorable mentions?
- The Defenders
- Luke Cage
Why? Well, they’re well-done, and I appreciated some of the other Marvel shows (as you’ll see in my Top 10). Are they worthy of the Top 10? In my mind, not quite, but they’re close.
Best Sci-Fi TV Shows on Netflix #10: Altered Carbon
An adult, noir show about consciousness and social class, Altered Carbon has all the elements that make up solid sci-fi. The only reason it stays at #10 is that it was also a bit slow at parts, and sometimes difficult to follow. I haven’t seen Season 2 yet, but plan to watch it in the future!
Best Sci-Fi TV Shows on Netflix #9: Travelers
Travelers was a good show. Serious enough, but not too serious. A great premise, interesting actors, and a good through-line. If you like time travel–and I say this as someone who has published a time travel novel–I think you’ll dig this show. Plus, it’s less “adult” than some of the other shows in this list, which means less cringeworthy moments if family members walk into the room at the wrong time. If you already finished Travelers, check out my time travel novel:
Best Sci-Fi TV Shows on Netflix #8: The Witcher
Definitely high fantasy and definitely not sci-fi, but it still makes my list since I like both. Is The Witcher good? Sort of. But, after Game of Thrones ended, fantasy fans desperately needed a replacement, and The Witcher is close enough. If you get confused with the multiple timelines, just Google it. You’ll enjoy the series better that way.
Like The Witcher TV series? I hear the books are even better:
Best Sci-Fi TV Shows on Netflix #7: Jessica Jones
Prior to the TV show, I had very little exposure to Jessica Jones as a character. And though the show goes through some ups-and-downs, it’s a very strong comic book property. Like most of the Netflix Marvel shows, it sorta fits into the Marvel Cinematic Universe thematically, but it’s definitely a more adult tone and feel.
Best Sci-Fi TV Shows on Netflix #6: The Punisher
Of all the Marvel shows on Netflix, The Punisher is by far the most violent. I doubt many humans (maybe zero humans) can endure the punishment that these characters receive. It’s also not a show I agree with in regards to the worldview of the character. However, it’s well-done and action-oriented. If you like Daredevil, I think you might wanna try The Punisher as well. If you’ve already seen and loved The Punisher, check out some of the comics:
Best Sci-Fi TV Shows on Netflix #5: The IT Crowd
Yeah, yeah, this show isn’t sci-fi, fantasy, or comic book-related. But, this show is literally about geeks who like those things! And it’s way better than Big Bang Theory. It also has one of the funniest episodes of television I’ve ever seen. Do yourself a favor and go watch The IT Crowd!
Best Sci-Fi TV Shows on Netflix #4: The Umbrella Academy
The Umbrella Academy is based off a comic I never read. So, when it hit Netflix I chose to watch it on a whim. And I was floored with how creative, quirky, and good it was. It’s definitely Top 5 as far as sci-fi/fantasy/comic book shows go.
Best Sci-Fi TV Shows on Netflix #3: Penny Dreadful
One of the most underrated shows of all time: Penny Dreadful. Look, I’m not a horror guy (in fact, some will argue The Haunting of Hill House should be on my list, and it isn’t because I’m scared of it), but Penny Dreadful supersedes its own genre. It’s part macabre, part adventure, and all parts entertaining. It is adult (it originally aired on Showtime), so maybe not great for the kiddos, but it’s very compelling. There are some oddities (not just in the theming) in the production and release relative to it getting cancelled, but if you ignore a couple unfinished plot lines, the ending of the show is quite powerful.
Best Sci-Fi TV Shows on Netflix #1 (TIE): Daredevil and Stranger Things
I couldn’t choose between them. If Stranger Things had stopped at Season 2, then I would have picked Daredevil as the clear #1. But, Season 3 of Stranger Things was outstanding. So fun, so good, and so compelling. Daredevil finished its extraordinary run, but Stranger Things still has more to offer down the road. In fact, you should go watch the trailer for Season 4 right now! But both shows are some of the best things Netflix has to offer. And they’re even worth watching multiple times!
Final Thoughts: Best Sci-fi TV Shows on Netflix
I would love to hear YOUR favorite sci-fi and fantasy shows on Netflix! Does the OA make your list? Or maybe there’s an awesome anime show you’re into. Let me know in the comments!
And, just because: It’s worth noting that Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul, though not sci-fi, fantasy, or comic book-related… they’re amazing. Well worth your time. They’re so good I’m mentioning them even though they don’t fit the genre!
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