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The 7 Best Netflix Shows for Seniors

An older woman holds a remote and a cup of coffee.

We all remember how it used to be. You’d turn on the TV and choose from a handful of channels. Then, cable television gave us hundreds of options. Now, even that pales in comparison to the depth and variety of programming available through streaming services such as Netflix. Whether you’re into documentaries, comedies, dramas, or cooking shows, there’s always something good to watch — whenever and wherever you want to watch it. Here are seven of the best shows for seniors to get you started.



1. The Crown

Over the course of six seasons, “The Crown” offers a dramatization of Queen Elizabeth II’s reign, personalizing her in a way that’s never been done before. Although the series has officially ended, people are wondering if a seventh season might be in the works. Either way, this top-rated show takes viewers on a journey from 1947 to 1965, even those not interested in Buckingham Palace will find it compelling. Highlights include Prince Philip’s months-long adventure on the royal yacht, the queen’s interactions with a string of prime ministers, and Carole Middleton’s scheming to have her daughter catch the eye of William.

2. Chef’s Table

Each episode of “Chef’s Table” takes an in-depth look at a different chef in a different location around the world. What unites them all is a passion for perfection and close-ups of gorgeous food that’ll make you want to jump on a plane and take a bite for yourself. Season four, which spotlights pastry chefs, makes the show even sweeter. It doesn’t hurt that many of the episodes are shot in exotic locations like Slovenia, Argentina, Sweden, Thailand, and Australia.

3. Grace and Frankie

What happens when you put Lily Tomlin and Jane Fonda together on the screen? “The undeniably remarkable cast shines,” according to reviewer Roger Ebert, who also praises “Grace and Frankie” for its “moments of truth about aging” and “the unpredictability of life.” The series kicks off with Grace and Frankie’s husbands inviting them to dinner and then announcing they are leaving their wives to be with each other. This forces proper Grace and hippie Frankie into an unexpected friendship that deepens with each episode. While the cast alone makes this one of the best shows for seniors, the powerful plot will draw you in even more. 

4. Our Planet

The award-winning “Our Planet” is a multimillion-dollar series that took more than 600 crew members more than four years to film in 50 countries. Mesmerizing camera work will make you feel like you’re right there as seabirds carpet-bomb the ocean, gray whales dodge predators, and lions stalk wildebeests — all while raising awareness of the threats facing our natural world. The most-watched episode of the series is “Frozen Worlds,” which turns the spotlight on walruses, seals, and penguins in the Arctic.

5. The Great British Baking Show

First appearing on BBC in 2010, “The Great British Baking Show” pits amateur bakers against each other. That’s a common enough formula, but it’s not what makes the show so adored by so many. Rather, viewers appreciate the loveable contestants, soothing atmosphere, and lack of high-stakes drama inherent in so many American cooking shows. If possible, the holiday episodes — featuring yule logs, mince cakes, and magical ice cakes —  are even cheerier. 

6. One Day at a Time

Remakes of classic sitcoms are nothing new these days. But what is new is when one of those reboots is lauded as better than the original. Such is the case with “One Day at a Time” which takes a humorous look at how generations clash. Loved by both viewers and critics, the show was canceled and then brought back after a public outcry for more. Memories of the original stars, Bonnie Franklin and Valerie Bertinelli, mingle with outstanding performances by the new cast, making this one of the best Netflix shows for seniors.  

7. A Man Called Otto

Hardened by grief, the title character in “A Man Called Otto” is a recent retiree mourning the loss of his wife. Brilliantly played by Tom Hanks, Otto decides life isn’t worth living anymore. Then, he meets the young family who has just moved in next to him. In a landscape of entertainment often geared toward the young, this show explores how both grief and acts of kindness can transform a person. It’s a different kind of love story that, while dark at times, is also funny, heartwarming, and ultimately inspiring. All of this makes “A Man Called Otto” one of the best shows for seniors — or for anyone who appreciates a story about overcoming loss. 

Getting More out of Life at Crestwood Manor

At Crestwood Manor, we believe in enjoying the moment, whether that’s by settling in for the night with a good show and bowl of popcorn, learning a new hobby such as painting or woodworking, or meeting up with friends to enjoy a morning coffee and conversation. Our active senior living community, located in Whiting, New Jersey, offers all of the above, plus a full calendar of activities to inspire everyday life. Contact us to learn more about everything we have to offer. 

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