Binge-watching often gets a bad rap. Far from the most intellectual of activities, culture vultures may look down their noses at this frivolous activity. However, no one can deny there are times when Netflix can be downright inspirational. Here are just five motivating Netflix shows you have to watch sooner rather than later.
Wearing a “too cool” vintage tee, brown leather boots, and distressed denim shorts, a 20-something pushes her gas-drained car up one of San Fran’s infamously steep roads. It’s an uphill struggle… literally. This is how we meet Girlboss’ feisty protagonist, a character loosely (really loosely!) based on entrepreneur Sophia Amoruso.
The story follows Sophia’s rise from a shoe store assistant to the founder of one of the biggest fashion brands in the world – Nasty Gal. As though that weren’t inspiring enough, she does it all with a little help from eBay. From battling with haters online to facing her dysfunctional relationship with her dad, this tale has it all.
Sadly, the show was canceled after the end of season one (I know! I couldn’t believe it either!) but you can still binge all 13 episodes online until your heart’s content.
Check out the trailer here.
Based on true events, GLOW – the Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling – follows some of the strongest female leads TV has ever seen as they try to “break” a male-dominated world.
In the 1980s, a group of professional female wrestlers took the world by storm when they unleashed their carefully choreographed routines on audiences across America. Surprisingly, the over-the-top, overdramatic take on the sport worked and soon enough, millions of people were tuning in to see the women do their thang.
The Netflix Original series takes a fictionalized look at the ladies behind the costumes. With husband-stealing drama and a kickass soundtrack, it’s hard not to fall in love with this one. Oh, and the second season of GLOW is coming out at the end of June, so it’s the perfect time to catch up!
Check out the trailer here.
3. QE (Queer Eye)
When Netflix revived this show under the new and improved name QE, I wasn’t sure what to expect. The idea of five gay men making over one straight guy seemed a little gimmicky and oh-so-early 2000s. Maybe that’s just where it belonged, I thought.
I couldn’t have been more wrong. After watching the first episode of the revival – in which an aging trucker gets a complete lifestyle revamp – I was blown away. The genius twist of this new take on the show is the transformations are never skin-deep. Each member of the QE team takes an aspect of the makeovee’s life, from culture to food, and gives it the care and attention it’s been lacking. Spoiler: these episodes can be real tear-jerkers.
4. Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt
She’s alive, dammit! Unlike the rest of the Netflix shows here, we’re already deep into Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. At the start of June, the streaming service released the fourth season of the show and it’s only gotten better with age.
For those of you who haven’t watched it, this one follows a so-called former “mole woman” who got that quirky title after being held captive for more than a decade by a deranged reverend of a fake church. It sounds far darker than it is depicted. The show handles the disturbing topic with light humor – as does the main character.
In fact, it’s Kimmy’s unwillingness to let her terrible past define her that makes this show so unapologetically inspiring. After moving to New York, she is determined to get her life back on track and make up for the time she’s lost. In the fourth season, the show gets even more daring, tackling topics such as the #MeToo campaign with grace and comedy.
5. Everything Sucks
Despite the defeatist name, Everything Sucks is not the show you think. It’s by no means a downer. This coming-of-age drama set in high school is one which aptly handles the trials and tribulations of being a teenager. Whether you’re a member of the AV club or drama club, the struggles are the same. Set in the 90s, we follow Luke and Kate – among others – as they try to figure out who on earth they are.
While the show pulls a few predictable punches — bullying, sexuality, and underage drinking — it does so in a fresh way. It’s realistically raw, so much so you feel the pain of each let-down and the high of each first kiss. There’s no sugar-coating the experiences of the characters or giving them a typically Hollywood spin. The 10-episode long season is made to binge… so go ahead and do it.
Main image: Netflix