Here Are Netflix's Best 2018 Shows, Definitively Ranked
It has never been more clear than this year that Netflix is the place to go to discover a new TV obsession. In 2018, the streaming service gave us more new shows than ever to dive into — in fact, there are so many new series on Netflix this year that a lot of subscribers may have missed some of the best offerings. As we step into 2019, let's look back at Netflix's best 2018 shows so that you can plan out your next binge session.
Of course, Netflix also continued a ton of its hit shows from previous years with new seasons in 2018. This list will only include brand new Netflix series that premiered in 2018.
10 (tied). She-Ra and the Princesses of Power and The Dragon Prince
Netflix has become the go-to place for fans of animation to get their fix, and two of the best new cartoons added to the streaming service this year were She-Ra and the Princesses of Power and The Dragon Prince. Netflix's She-Ra is a reboot of the '80s cartoon of the same name, but you do not have to have seen that to enjoy the new show. The series weaves an unexpectedly dark and complex storyline about two warring factions, each possessing mystical powers. At the center is Adora, a warrior who comes to learn that she can transform into the legendary She-Ra.
Netflix also released The Dragon Prince this year, a fantasy adventure series from the creative team behind beloved anime Avatar: The Last Airbender. Although the computer-animation style of the show initially threw some viewers off, The Dragon Prince was quick to captivate fans with its mythological lore and the epic quest at its center, accompanied by the dash of humor that also characterized Avatar.
9. Dancing Queen
Probably the biggest new genre to explode on Netflix in 2018 is reality TV, and Dancing Queen proves why the genre works on the streaming service so perfectly. With equal parts Drag Race and Dance Moms, the docu-series gives fans an inside look at the life of the famed drag queen and dance instructor Justin Johnson, also known as RuPaul's Drag Race superstar Alyssa Edwards. While Alyssa does appear to perform once an episode, the series mostly chronicles Justin's highly competitive dance company as they try to win various competitions.
8. Chilling Adventures Of Sabrina
This isn't the Sabrina Spellman that you grew up with. Following the success of the CW's dark teen drama Riverdale (which was bolstered by its distribution on Netflix), an even darker spinoff series feels like a no-brainer. Enter Chilling Adventures Of Sabrina, a witchy new series that turns the dark themes of Riverdale up to a satanic new level. Unlike the '90s ABC sitcom Sabrina The Teenage Witch, the new show sees Sabrina Spellman trying to find a balance between the service to the Dark Lord that her witch half demands of her and the freedom and friends of her mortal half.
7. The End of the F***ing World
Probably the most shockingly dark series to come from Netflix this year was the British dramedy The End of the F***ing World. The series follows two teenagers at odds with societal mores: James has a passion for killing animals and believes he is a psychopath, and Alyssa is brash, rebellious, and often crude. The two run away from home in an unlikely pairing, and quickly find themselves embroiled in a series of bloody mishaps.
6. Nailed It!
While bingeing an edge-of-your-seat drama on Netflix can definitely be addicting, the streaming service also has some of the best ways to unwind and relax. In 2018, the most effortlessly enjoyable new offering was Nailed It!, a baking competition series without any actual professional bakers. Half the fun of the show is watching regular people struggle to create wildly challenging confections, often failing hilariously, and the rest of the joy comes from host Nicole Byer, who always has the perfect joke at the ready.
5. The Haunting of Hill House
For horror fans, there is no contest when deciding on Netflix's best new show of 2018. The Haunting of Hill House was not only a positively terrifying ghost story, but also a captivating family drama about a group of siblings who had grown apart in adulthood. The series artfully jumps back and forth in time, weaving together the Crain family's individual traumas with the ghost-filled haunted house that they once lived in. Yes, there are more than a few jump-scares and shocking images, but the real draw of the series is how quickly you come to care about the lives of the Crain children.
OK, yeah — Nanette is not actually a full series like everything else on this list, but the stand-up special still deserves to be included as one of the best Netflix releases of the year for the sheer cultural impact that it had. In the special, comedian Hannah Gadsby delivers a stand-up set utterly unlike any stand-up comedy set ever seen before, both dismantling and reinventing the form. In the wake of Gadsby's raw, meta, and disarming power in the special, every other comedian is now forced to up their game.
The mind-bending new series Maniac took Netflix viewers for a wild ride when it premiered in September. Not only does the show boast the superstar talents of Emma Stone and Jonah Hill (re-teaming up since starring in Superbad together), but it also proved itself to be a true sci-fi marvel. As Annie and Owen jumped from one reality to another during their hallucinogenic drug trial, viewers begin to learn more about their pasts and what's really drawing them together.
2. Queer Eye
As hard as it may be to believe, yes, Queer Eye really was released in 2018. The rebooted makeover series has become such a cultural phenomenon that it feels like we have known Jonathan Van Ness, Tan France, Antoni Porowski, Karamo Brown, and Bobby Berk for more than just a year, but the show actually premiered just this past February. It's no wonder the whole world already feels so close to the new Fab Five so quickly, though — Queer Eye is easily the most comforting and positive new show Netflix has introduced this year. It is impossible to just watch one episode!
1. Everything Sucks!
An energetic, young cast brimming with charm, a precise eye for '90s nostalgia, and one of the most deeply affecting love stories of the year — Everything Sucks! proved to be the exact opposite of its name. The original series felt the spiritual successor to Freaks and Geeks, as the dorky A/V club kids found themselves getting to know the popular drama club kids in a '90s high school. And like Freaks and Geeks, the show produced some of the most authentic-feeling high school moments ever, including a particularly heartfelt coming out story.
Sadly, though, one of the most promising new shows of 2018 received got a disappointing ending, as Netflix announced that it would not pick up a second season. But, you can still enjoy the first and only season of Everything Sucks! on Netflix now.