22 Outstanding Netflix Shows to Watch Before the Year Is Over

Lee Jung-jae in Netflix's Squid Game.
Lee Jung-jae in Netflix's Squid Game. / Noh Juhan, Netflix

What a year it’s been for new Netflix shows. As 2021 winds down, it’s time to take a look back and watch some of the great ones you may have missed. Netflix has its most impressive lineup of shows ever coming in 2022. We’re getting new seasons of Stranger Things, Ozark, The Crown, Bridgerton, Virgin River, Manifest, Cobra Kai, and so many more next year. You’re going to be busy watching all those new shows on Netflix in the new year, so you'll want to catch up on the ones we've shared below.

1. The Witcher

The Witcher is officially the biggest show on Netflix in December. Season 2 premiered on December 17, and fans around the world are tuning in to see what’s up with Geralt, Ciri, and Yennefer. The Witcher season 3 is also in the works.

2. Outer Banks

Outer Banks is a thrilling teen drama that's filled with adventure and mystery. It's set, as its name suggests, in North Carolina's Outer Banks.

3. Emily in Paris

Emily came back for season 2 on December 22, 2021. If you haven’t seen Emily in Paris, it’s probably the show for you to end the year with.

4. Cobra Kai

Daniel LaRusso and Johnny Lawrence are back in the new Netflix original series, but it’s 30 years after their epic battle at All Valley in The Karate Kid movies. Now is as good a time as ever to jump on the Cobra Kai bandwagon. Season 3 premiered on New Year’s Day 2021, and we’re ending the year on New Year’s Eve with season 4. A fifth season has already wrapped production.

5. Money Heist

Money Heist is another Netflix series that came to an end in December. There are five seasons available to watch. If you still haven’t seen the series about the ragtag group of robbers at the Royal Mint of Spain, it’s time to check it out before the end of the year.

6. Squid Game

In Squid Game, 456 people with lots of debt(s) are picked to play a series of Korean games for a bunch of money. But, there’s a very gruesome twist. Squid Game is the most popular Netflix show of all time. If you still haven’t seen the awesome Korean drama, it’s time to check it out. Squid Game season 2 is already in the works.

7. Manifest

Manifest has a valid claim for “show of the year.” The show was canceled on NBC and saved by Netflix within a few months. Now, the first three seasons are streaming on the platform, and season 4 is coming in late 2022.

8. Sex Education

Sex Education's third season premiered on Netflix in September, and it’s coming back for season 4, likely in 2022. The series follows the students of Moordale through the ups and downs of their various relationships—romantic and not.

9. Lupin

Lupin is one of the must-see international series on Netflix. The heist show's third season is coming to the streaming service soon.

10. Locke and Key

Locke and Key season 3 is coming to Netflix in 2022, and it’s already wrapped production. Season 2 premiered on Netflix in October 2021.

11. You

You season 3 raised the stakes to much higher heights. There are few words that accurately describe the mayhem and destruction of this series. Victoria Pedretti, Penn Badgley, and Dylan Arnold look excellent in the new season.

12. Lucifer

Lucifer came to an end in September after six seasons. It was tough to say goodbye to Lucifer Morningstar and the whole crew, but fans are happy they got to see this story come to an end the right way after FOX canceled the series so long ago.

13. Midnight Mass

Midnight Mass premiered on Netflix in September. It’s the new horror series from The Haunting of Hill House creator Mike Flanagan. It follows the residents of a small island after a new priest arrives and weird things start to happen.

14. Lost in Space

Lost in Space just came to an end after three seasons on Netflix in December. If you like space adventures, this is absolutely the show for you.

15. Selling Sunset

If you like real estate and heavy drama, Selling Sunset is the show for you. The reality series follows the agents selling multi-million dollar homes in California. There are four seasons available to stream.

16. Selling Tampa

Ditto, but Florida.

17. Maid

Maid is one of the top limited series of the year. It tells the story of a single mom trying to make a living after leaving an abusive relationship. Margaret Qualley stars in the Netflix original series.

18. Shadow and Bone

Fantasy—and non-fantasy!—fans will love this series. It’s based Leigh Bardugo’s Grishaverse. If you’re a fan of the books, you’re in for a treat. Production for Shadow and Bone season 2 starts soon.

19. Virgin River

Virgin River is one of the most underrated Netflix shows right now. It’s so good, especially if you love a good romantic drama. You can thank Virgin River for all the new romance shows on the way to Netflix in the coming years.

20. Hellbound

From Train to Busan director Yeon Sang-ho, Hellbound focuses on the humans who try to survive monsters who appear and drag them to Hell. It sounds like season 2 is in the works on Netflix.

21. Aggretsuko

Aggretsuko season 4 just premiered in December 2021.

22. Bridgerton

Technically, this list is for 2021 releases, but most people watched Bridgerton in 2021 even though it was released in 2020. So, it gets the last spot on the list. Season 2 is coming to Netflix in 2022.