TheSmartLocal – Singapore’s Leading Travel and Lifestyle Portal

Skip to content
Netflix Singapore 2020

Must-Watch Netflix Shows In Singapore 2020 Ranked For Your Next Binge Marathon

Shows to watch on Netflix Singapore 2020

We’ve all been there – scrolling endlessly on Netflix trying to decide which new show would be worthy of your time. Finally you select one and by the time you’re an hour in-deep, you realise that it isn’t your cup of tea.

Instead of wasting precious binge-time, here are the best series on Netflix to stream now in Singapore. 

P.S. There’s some teeny spoilers ahead so ideally, you should have at least caught the previous season for running shows.

#1. The Queen’s Gambit

netflix singapore Image credit: Charlie Gray/Netflix

What’s to love: If you told us in January that a 37-year-old novel about chess would be adapted into one of this year’s biggest shows, we’d never have believed you. But The Queen’s Gambit managed to make the strategy game actually fun to watch even for total newbies who have never moved a pawn.

Beth Harmon is the chess prodigy that you’re rooting for throughout the show despite her quirks and an unhealthy addiction to tranquilisers. Her rise from a girl beating the orphanage’s janitor to making Russian grandmasters surrender their kings is frankly inspiring and for a brief moment, we honestly thought that real events inspired this show.

Binge-worthy level: 9/10, the seven episodes are so easy to finish over a weekend or a weeknight if you’re feeling adventurous. And the compelling storyline and cliff-hanging moments will have you pressing on the “Watch next episode” button over and over.

IMDb rating: 8.7/10

2. Emily In Paris

netflix singapore emily in paris
Image credit: Stephanie Branchu/Netflix

What’s to love: In a year where travelling to the Eiffel Tower was almost impossible, Emily in Paris was a much-needed escape into Paris through the eyes of an outsider. Think of it as the lovechild between Gossip Girl and Sex and the City.

While some parts might be cliched and stereotypical of French culture (seriously, Paris is not as romantic as the show portrays), Emily’s adventures in Paris were still highly relatable. Taking selfies by the Seine and having a fresh pain au chocolat while wearing a tacky beret – what we’d give to experience it all again in the City of Lights.

Guilty-pleasure level: 8.5/10, each of the 10 episodes is just roughly 30 minutes long, and before you know it you’re bidding au revoir to Emily. It’s the ultimate pick-me-up for when you miss arriving at a new airport.

IMDb rating: 7.1/10

3. The King – Eternal Monarch

the king eternal monarchImage credit: Netflix

What’s to love: Korean dramas are all about their star power and The King – Eternal Monarch has two of the K-scene’s biggest names: Lee Min Ho (Boys Over Flowers) and Kim Kim Go-eun (Goblin). Add in the writing from Kim Eun-Sook (Descendants of the Sun), and you’re in for a fantastical trip into the mythical Kingdom of Corea.

Min Ho plays the kingdom’s King Lee Gon who meets and romances Detective Jeong Tae-Eul (played by Go-eun) when he travels through a portal to the Republic of Korea. 

While it might seem like yet another play on the “rich boy, poor girl” trope, those who find time to commit will know that it’s anything but. We stan a stereotype-defying K-drama where the ladies are the ones leading the charge instead.

Binge-worthy level: 8/10, The King is the most-watched K-drama on Netflix by Singaporeans in 2020 for a reason.

IMDb rating: 8.3/10

4. Tiger King

Tiger KingImage credit: Netflix

What’s to love: Where were you when Carole Baskins killed her husband? We kid, but binge-watching the documentary and discussing its craziness was one of the last pre-CB memories of this year that marked a time of normalcy. From Joe Exotic’s gay-for-pay husbands to an FBI investigation into a murder-for-hire, there’s never a dull moment in Tiger King.

Trashiness level: 10/10, there’s a lot to take in here beyond the tigers, and the entire documentary is a train wreck you can’t take your eyes off. 

IMDb rating: 7.6/10

5. Love Is Blind

Netflix Singapore Love is BlindImage credit: Netflix

What’s to love: Blind dating is taken to the next level on Love is Blind. Contestants date each other in “pods” so they can only talk to each other, but they can’t see who’s on the other side of the wall. And the only way they can get a face reveal is to fall in love. No, a crush or simply liking someone wouldn’t do.

We love that it’s a social experiment that materialises and delves into the simple idea of whether or not love can truly be blind. Couple that with a novel twist on the traditional reality dating show, and you’d realise that Love is Blind’s trashiness is all sorts of addictive.

FYI: The show was filmed late in 2018 over the course of around six weeks if you were wondering if this show was born out of the need to socially-distance.

Binge-worthy level: 10/10, It’s so easy to get hooked and invested in the love lives of these strangers. Netflix also has a knack for making binge-able reality TV shows – we’re looking at you Queer Eye and Marie Kondo.

IMDb rating: 6.0/10

6. It’s Okay To Not Be Okay

it's okay to not be okayImage credit: Netflix

What’s to love: It’s a breath of fresh air for a Korean drama to openly discuss mental health issues. From the get go, we’re privy to Gang-tae and Moon-young’s past traumas. But despite the heavier themes of the show, the main driver of the story is the healing journey they go through together.

There are also so many things to love about it beyond the compelling narrative and the eye-candy on screen like Moon-young’s fashions and her chemistry with Gang-tae.

Binge-worthy level: 9.5/10, the show quickly rose to the top of many must-watch lists, even outside of South Korea. Its 16 episodes will pass quickly, and binge-watching the series should scratch your itch better than when we had to wait weekly for each episode.

IMDb rating: 8.8/10

7. Money Heist | Part 4

money heist
Image credit: Tamara Arranz Ramos/Netflix

What’s to love: If you’ve ever played Grand Theft Auto, Money Heist is basically a heist on steroids. But for those who don’t play video games, here’s a quick summary of the show: eight people embark on an ambitious mission to steal billions of dollars from the Royal Mint of Spain and the Bank of Spain.

Parts one and two were focused on robbing the mint, while three and four are about infiltrating the bank. The highly-intense storyline is packed with many twists. Despite all the action, we still get many opportunities to learn about the characters as they grow along the four parts.

Binge-worthy level: 8.5/10, if you’ve not watched the first three parts, we’d highly suggest starting there before pressing play on part four. Part five is also going to be the final one of the entire series.

IMDb rating: 8.4/10

8. Umbrella Academy | Season 2

the umbrella academyImage credit: Christos Kalohoridis/Netflix

What’s to love: Superhero TV shows are always one-upping each other on who has the most dysfunctional and diverse ensemble of characters. So far, The Umbrella Academy is up at the top. Season two of the series has the Hargreeves family split up across various timelines in Texas, and together they have to find a way to stop another apocalypse. 

Unlike the first season which felt rushed, this time the characters have a chance to breathe and flesh out their backstories. They also aren’t pigeonholed into whatever makes them diverse – which is always a win in our books. Expect witty zingers from Diego, Allison, and Kraus while Five stays being a savage teenager.

Binge-worthy level: 7.5/10, you might find it slightly campy with all the monkey butlers and the other idiosyncratic characters, but otherwise, it’s a good departure away from the all-too-dominant Marvel universe.

IMDb rating: 8.0/10

9. The Crown | Season 4

the crownImage credit: Des Willie/Netflix

What’s to love: There’s something fascinating yet obscure about the British monarchy, and The Crown gives us a glorious peek into the lives of Queen Elizabeth II and her family. The latest season introduces Prince William and Lady Diana following her wedding to Prince Charles, and it takes place during Margaret Thatcher’s time as the prime minister. 

While some historical aspects might be glamourised for the sake of drama, let’s be real: most of us watch the show because of its stellar production and the superb acting from the cast.

Binge-worthy level: 7/10, it might be a little too draggy and posh for some, but those who love history will appreciate it.

IMDb rating: 7.6/10

10. The Haunting Of Bly Manor

haunting of bly manorNobody in their right minds would agree to work in this manor
Image credit: Netflix

What’s to love: Netflix homes are really haunted. The Haunting of Bly Manor is the followup to 2018’s Haunting of Hill House. But unlike traditional horror shows that only know jump scares, Bly Manor’s strengths lie in the suspenseful narrative woven around the Wingrave family, their au pair Dani Clayton, and the otherworldly inhabitants of the land.

The miniseries is interesting because without giving too much away, it’s really a love story disguised as a horror story. 

Binge-worthy level: 8.5/10, each episode runs from around 45-60 minutes which is slightly longer than typical TV runtimes. But at only nine episodes in the series, it’s easily watchable over a weekend curled up in bed with a blanket ready.

IMDb rating: 7.4/10

11. You | Season 2

You Netflix

What’s to love: You’ll be questioning your principles when you find yourself rooting for good ol’ Joe Goldberg when he justifies his psycho-stalker tendencies. Do we truly believe he’s turning over a new leaf or are we just allured by his boyish charm?

Nothing’s also more satisfying then, when Joe thinks he’s met the love of his life to only finally meet his match.

The hilarious memes that have popped up from the show’s antics don’t hurt either
Image credit: Trevor Norris

What’s not that great: Many fans have poked fun at how Joe managed to move his glass box prison all the way from New York to Los Angeles which is kind of unrealistic. But if you think about the number of murders on Joe’s tab, it’s not the most absurd thing to happen. 

Binge-worthy level: 5/5, the multiple cat-and-mouse games and slightly deranged characters makes for a spicy plot with an ending that’s leaving us in anticipation for Season 3 in 2021.

IMDb rating: 7.8/10

12. Peaky Blinders

Peaky Blinders Netflix
Image credit: Netflix

What’s to love: Everyone loves a bad-ass gangster drama and Peaky Blinder takes the cake with the crazy Shelby family. Even though you know they have some questionable methods, you’ll watch with glee as they bring down a never-ending string of enemies to have Birmingham in the palm of their hand. 

The goose-bump inducing soundtrack is also weaved perfectly into the show adding drama and thrill to many of the scenes. *Cue dramatic walk-in*

What’s not that great: Season 5 is a tad lacking in direction with characters going off to do their own thing and the show feels slightly dragged out which is different from the previous fast-paced seasons. Here’s to hoping Season 6 picks back up. 

Drama level: 10/5, bloody gangster fight scenes, family drama everyone can relate to, the insane attention to detail, this is a show that will keep you on your toes.

Fun fact: Even though there’s copious amounts of smoking in the show, the cast revealed that they actually smoke herbal cigarettes that don’t contain any nicotine! 

IMDb rating: 8.8/10

13. Sex Education | Season 2

Sex Education netflix
Image credit: IMDb

What’s to love: The best thing about the show is that it doesn’t shy away from topics like sexual identity and sexual harassment. In fact, uncomfortable or cringe-worthy moments are the focal points of the show and are what makes this show a relatable fan-favourite. 

The characters also have their own unique personalities and quirks and are reminiscent of real people – a refreshing change in a high school coming-of-age series.

What’s not that great: It’s kinda weird that the setting of the show has a strong 80s vibe when the characters use modern touch phones and laptops but it’s a small detail that’s easily overlooked considering the beautiful shots in the show.

Comedy level: 4/5, While this show has been praised for its entertainment factor, watching the characters form strong support systems make this a heartwarming, feel-good drama.

IMDb rating: 8.3/10

14. The Witcher

The Witcher Netflix
Image credit: Netflix

What’s to love: The main reason to stream The Witcher – Henry Cavill, a thirst-trapping monster-slayer with the ability to pull off silver flowing hair without looking like an 80-year-old grandma. 

The gory fight scenes and intense magic battles will also impress the biggest Game Of Thrones fanatic. For an excellent example of undying loyalty, look at Jaskier the bard; self-proclaimed BFF to Geralt of Rivia, he bounces right back no matter how much stone-cold Geralt pushes him away.  

What’s not that great: The timeline can get a bit confusing with no segues into flashbacks, which can leave you with a lot of questions and wasted time trying to figure out the placement of events. 

The numerous name-throwing of kingdoms and characters can also add to the confusion if you don’t follow the books or video games. 

Adventure level: 4/5, A good fantasy series but compared to Game of Thrones that introduces you to the storyline and characters slowly, The Witcher throws you into the midst of things and leaves you to figure it out.

IMDb rating: 8.4/10

15. Brooklyn Nine-Nine | Season 6

Brooklyn Nine-Nine netflix
Image credit: NBC

What’s to love: One of the best sitcoms to have graced our screens, the wacky characters, on-going gags and running events (Halloween Heist anyone?) makes you feel like you’ve known the characters for forever and is what makes the show so endearing.

B99 also weaves social issues like racism and sexual harassment into everyday situations and addresses them with just the right amount of humour without debasing the issue. 

What’s not that great: The only complaint is that 20 mins is arguably too short for the amount of craziness and hilarity that ensues in each episode.

Feel-good level: 5/5, hands down one of the funniest shows out there that will truly make you LOL and you can rewatch over and over again without it getting old. 

IMDb rating: 8.4/10

16. Crash Landing on You

Crash Landing on You netflix
Image credit: Netflix

What’s to love: Finally a K-drama that doesn’t follow the usual rich, detached guy falling for the innocent, naive girl narrative. Follow a South Korean heiress as she literally crash-lands into North Korea, meeting a stoic army officer who decides to save her. 

What’s not that great: The female lead, Yoon Se Ri, is constantly getting herself into predicaments which warrant the male lead, Ri Jung Hyuk, to keep saving her. A little too many knight in shining armour moments if you ask me.

Romance level: 5/5, you’ll get your lovey-dovey moments but also enough comedy and action to prevent things from getting to soppy. 

IMDb rating: 9.1/10

17. Sex, Explained

Sex, Explained netflix
Image credit:

What’s to love: In each episode, the show gives an in-depth look into topics such as sexual fantasies, attraction, fertility, birth control, and childbirth which is more than what we’re taught back in health ed. 

The topics are also explained in simple layman terms and are coupled with playful illustrations and interviews, making the discussion easy to digest.

What’s not that great: The pilot episode on sex fantasies and kinks might seem a little in-your-face for people who aren’t usually exposed to those subjects. But stay with the show and the discussion gets more matter-of-factly and there’s less shock value.

Educational level: 4/5, the series won’t make you an expert on all things sex and reproduction but you’ll definitely finish it with more knowledge on the connection between your body and mind.

IMDb rating: 6.8/10

18. The Good Place | Season 4

The Good Place netflix
Image credit: NBC

What’s to love: A lighthearted show that will inspire you to do some self-reflection and question where you would end up in the afterlife. The characters all have flaws we can relate to: overthinking, indecisiveness, self-centeredness and more. 

The takeaway and silver lining of the show is that everyone is capable of change even if it’s going to be a long ride on a bumpy road.

What’s not that great: Season 3 gets rather boring with the episodes feeling like a side story with the main plot cast aside. Persist through it because towards the end of Season 4, the excitement picks back up with the gang trying to save all of humanity. Oof. 

Comedy level: 4/5, watching the synergy from the patchwork group of friends is as entertaining as it is heartwarming. Kristen Bell’s wit and sass is also on a whole ‘nother level on this show.

IMDb rating: 8.2/10

19. The Messiah

The Messiah netflix
Image credit: Netflix

What’s to love: Besides Mehdi Dehbi’s gorgeous cheekbones, his calm and detached demeanour playing Al-masih makes him seem like he could really be the real deal.

The way ideas are also fed to you will make you keep re-questioning whether he’s really a messenger of God or just a con artist with political motives. 

What’s not that great: While keeping an audience uncertain is great in ensuring views, the show seems to rely too heavily on that aspect and even the season ending seemed to fall flat considering that there were too many “Is he, is he not?” moments.

Thriller level: 3/5, if you can move past the fact that the show’s meant to be a thriller, the geopolitical aspect of it deems it worthy of a watch. 

IMDb rating: 7.8/10

20. The Circle

The Circle netflix
Image credit: Netflix

What’s to love: Before you cast this off as another trashy reality show, it’s actually pretty darn engrossing. Watching contestants communicate solely on a fake social media network and try to figure out who’s real and who’s a catfish is some new-age entertainment.

What’s not that great: While the concept of the show is interesting, it’s a remake of its British counterpart and is similar to the show Big Brother.

The way to win the game also seems quite Mean Girls-esque with contestants ranking each other to decide who to kick out of the competition and who’s the ultimate influencer. 

Scandalous level: 3/5, it’s not particularly juicy since the only drama consists of contestants reading messages off their TV screens alone in their apartments and never judging or accusing their competition IRL.

IMDb rating: 7.9/10 

Bonus mentions:

Studio Ghibli films: Fans of Castle in the Sky, Kiki’s Delivery Service and Spirited Away rejoice! While some Studio Ghibli titles are already available for streaming, more will be coming to Netflix in March and April 2020. 

Popular Netflix shows in Singapore

Studio Ghibli’s Spirited Away netflix
Studio Ghibli’s Spirited Away coming to Netflix on 1st March 2020
Image credit: Studio Ghibli

With 156 TV shows on Netflix alone, just trying to find a show can put you off watching one altogether. Waste no more time looking and put these shows on your must-watch list for your next binge sesh. 

Also check out:

Cover image adapted from: Netflix
Originally published on 14th February 2020. Last updated by Josiah Neo on 29th December 2020.