Over the years, we’ve seen many shows depicting different friendships that have made us laugh, cry and even angry. Whether it’s Joey and Chandler being the best roommates in Friends or, more recently, Devi trying to navigate high school with Eleanor and Fabiola in Never Have I Ever, we’ve sat through their shenanigans for hours and enjoyed them. And we can’t get enough. So, here’s a list of series on Netflix that celebrate friendship and, sometimes, show the not so fun side of this bond too. Binge on.

FRIENDS   

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Image Credit: Netflix

This classic is an ode to everyday friendships and was first aired in 1994 and continued for 10 seasons till 2004. The American sitcom Friends on Netflix follows the lives of six friends who often come together to discuss their lives in Central Perk, a coffee shop nearby. The male leads are Joey Tribbiani (Matt LeBlanc), a struggling Italian-American actor popular with the ladies and a foodie, Chandler Bing (Matthew Perry), an awkward data processor who uses sarcasm as a coping mechanism, and Ross Geller (David Schwimmer), an intelligent palaeontologist who is also a hopeless romantic. The female squad includes Rachel Green (Jennifer Aniston), a waitress who finds her calling in fashion, competitive yet nurturing Monica Geller (Courtney Cox), an aspiring chef and an OCD organizer, and lastly, Phoebe Buffay (Lisa Kudrow) — a spiritual street-smart masseuse and a self-taught musician who is known for performing her hilarious numbers at Central Perk.   

Seasons available: 10   

Watch it here.

Stranger Things   

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Image Credit: IMDb

The Netflix sci-fi, Stranger Things is set in the small town of Hawkins, Indiana, in the 1980s. Life here seems monotonous on the surface with a gang of four nerdy kids — Mike (Finn Wolfhard), Dustin (Gaten Matarazzo), Lucas (Caleb McLaughlin) and Will (Noah Schnapp) — tackling school and playing their routine Dungeons & Dragons until one of them suddenly disappears one night. As this incident begins to tear at the fabric of an otherwise peaceful community, the squad is determined to not give up on their missing friend. In their quest to find their friend, they meet Eleven (Millie Bobby Brown) who has some mysterious capabilities and helps them in their search. They also tumble across dark secrets of powerful government agencies and seemingly malevolent creatures that lurk around the town. The first season of this nostalgic thriller created by Duffer Brothers dropped in 2016. 

Seasons available: 3   

Watch it here.   

Never Have I Ever    

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Image Credit: Netflix

Aching for a culturally diverse teen angst drama? Look no more. Just like the drinking game, Never Have I Ever is all about unravelling the innocence and experiences of a first-generation Indian American teen’s curiosity and naive desire for more. Devi Vishwakumar (Maitreyi Ramakrishnan), who no matter how sassy, spunky and spirited, is just another miserable high school kid grappling to find her identity. Even though the plot mainly explores Devi’s ambitions, her trapped essence in desi roots, her tragic loss and short fuse shenanigans that land her into difficult situations, it also highlights her relationship with equal parts sweet and ridiculous friends Eleanor (Ramona Young) and Fabiola (Lee Rodriguez) who are by her side as she tries to figure out life.  

The brainchild of Mindy Kaling and Lang Fisher is a funny and unapologetic coming-of-age series and narrated by tennis legend John McEnroe. 

Seasons available: 1   

Watch it here.     

Sex Education    

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An explicit Netflix series where teens surprisingly act their age with authentic, relatable characters that are handled with astute respect. Sex Education is a British dramedy that explores woes of puberty, sexuality and complications of being a young adult. The plot develops around an unusually cool mother who is also a divorced sex therapist — Jean (Gillian Anderson) and her sexually inexperienced son — Otis (Asa Butterfield), a shy and awkward high school student. Due to his mother’s profession, sex is not a topic of taboo, hesitation or embarrassment in his household.  

One day, Otis realises that he might know a thing or two about sex though he’s never had it. Fun unwinds as he ends up setting a secret sex therapy clinic at his school after being convinced by his classmate crush Maeve Wiley (Emma Mackey) and gay BFF Eric (Ncuti Gatwa). 

Seasons available: 2   

Watch it here.     

Good Girls  

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Image Credit: IMDb

Good Girls is a Netflix crime dramedy about three suburban mothers who are finding it difficult to make ends meet. As desperate circumstances call for desperate measures, these ladies toss aside their mundane Michigan mom lifestyles only to take on risky endeavours. Elizabeth ‘Beth’ Boland (Christina Hendricks) is a stay-at-home mum of four with a cheating husband and an unofficial leader who takes the phrase partner-in-crime way too seriously. Beth’s BFF, Ruby Hill (Retta) is a waitress dealing with her daughter’s piling medical bills. Beth’s younger sister, Annie Marks (Mae Whitman) is a single mother struggling since she had her son as a teen. All women on the verge of a mental breakdown are tired of luck never being in their favour and decide to take control of their lives through money laundering.  

Setting on an unlikely supermarket heist that’s supposed to alter their fate, the women discover that they are certainly in for more than what they bargained for and the only way out is by sticking together.   

Seasons available: 3   

Watch it here.    

Orange Is The New Black   

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Orange Is The New Black is a Netflix series that is loosely based on Piper Kerman’s 2010 autobiography describing her time spent in federal prison on money-laundering charges. The series revolves around a thirty-something Piper Chapman (Taylor Schilling) sentenced to fifteen months of jail-time at Litchfield Penitentiary, an all-women prison, for a drug-related crime. Leaving her supportive fiancé Larry (Jason Biggs) behind, she commences her term resulting in an intense journey with Litchfield’s interesting inmates. As Piper struggles to adapt to harsh prison dynamics, it comes to her further knowledge that Alex Vause (Laura Prepon), a former lover is also serving a sentence there.  

While the first season strictly highlights Piper’s problems and backstories of other characters here and there, the story soon transcends into an exemplary plotline for all. This is where Jenji Kohan’s Netflix version deviates from Kerman’s by looking towards the larger picture through a diverse group of strong women incarcerated with Chapman. These seasons also explore the many friendships that form within this group.  

Seasons available: 7   

Watch it here.  

GLOW   

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Image Credit: Netflix

In the mood for something unapologetic and compelling? Try GLOW on Netflix. Created by Liz Flahive and Carly Mensch, this show hits a sweet spot for both Gen X and Y. Set in 1980s California, this drama builds upon the trials and tribulations of professional female wrestlers collectively referred to as GLOW — Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling. Things take a firm turn when Ruth Wilder (Alison Brie), a struggling yet highly idealistic actress, joins Sam Sylvia’s (Marc Maron) GLOW league. Sylvia is a director looking for candidates to put an all-female wrestling show together. He goes on to hire Debbie Eagan (Betty Gilpin), a former soap star and the friend whose husband Ruth slept with. Twice. The former best friends have to play arch-rivals Zoya the Destroyer and Liberty Belle. 

The story progresses to show how the ex-friends cope with working together, dealing with issues between them and of their lives overall. The series is as authentic as it gets with multi-dimensional characters, witty writing and spot-on music. 

Seasons available: 3   

Watch it here.      

Grace and Frankie   

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Image Credit: Netflix

Created by Marta Kauffman and Howard J. Morris, this American Netflix comedy premiered on Netflix in 2015 and has quickly become a fan-favourite. Starring Jane Fonda as Grace and Lily Tomlin as Frankie, we get to see the bittersweet equation of these two characters in Grace and Frankie.  

The story follows Grace, a retired cosmetics mogul and Frankie, a hippie art teacher, whose husbands are both well-established lawyers in San Diego. Their lives are turned upside down when their husbands Robert (Martin Sheen) and Sol (Sam Waterston) finally step out of the closet and reveal their 20-year-old affair to their wives. Now, this far-fetched situation entangles the twisted fates of sharp-tongued Grace and quirky Frankie who highly disdain each other but are forced to live together after their divorces. Slowly, the bickering women do begin to support each other in navigating life as newly single women despite their stark differences.   

Seasons available: 6   

Watch it here.

Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt 

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Image Credit: Netflix

The Mean Girls alum Tina Fey never loses her spark to point common social flaws displayed through outrageous explorations in a heightened fictional world based on realistic emotions. Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt on Netflix is no exception.  

After being locked away for years in an underground bunker, Kimmy Schmidt ditches her remnant doom by escaping it one day. Determined to start afresh with no functional knowledge of the real world, the wide-eyed lead moves to New York City on a whim. Adjusting to each day like a new adventure with endless optimism, she has to make friends quickly in this fast-paced city. Starting with a gay roommate, his disgruntled actor persona contradicts hers instantly but they soon bond. The atypical pair uncover several life lessons together without ever really slipping into the gay BFF stereotype. She also befriends a bizarre landlady, an over-the-top neighbour and a weird boss with almost no boundaries. The rat-a-tat joke style and intrapersonal relationships amongst characters make this comedy a wholesome watch. 

Seasons available: 4   

Watch it here.   

The Big Bang Theory   

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Image Credit: IMDb

The Big Bang Theory is yet another American classic on Netflix created by Chuck Lorre, Bill Prady and Steven Molaro which premiered in 2007 and went on till 2019. The comedy puts a bunch of brilliant but socially awkward physicists on display in Pasadena, California. Caltech scientists, Leonard Hofstadter (Johnny Galecki) and Sheldon Cooper (Jim Parsons) barely know a thing or two about life outside their scientific laboratories until a free-spirited beauty Penny (Kaley Cuoco) moves in next door. Penny is currently a waitress but aspires to be a famous actress someday. Things take a wild turn as she begins to establish a bond with her intelligent neighbours and their friends. The other geeky minds who understand every functionality of the universe except women are the duo’s co-workers, aerospace engineer Howard Wolowitz (Simon Helberg) and astrophysicist Raj Koothrappali (Kunal Nayyar).  

Over time, the gang expands with neuroscientist Amy Farrah Fowler (Mayim Bialik) as Sheldon’s girlfriend and microbiologist Bernadette Rostenkowski (Melissa Rauch) as Howard’s partner. 

Seasons available: 12   

Watch it here. 

The Bold Type

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Image Credit: Netflix

If a more millennial Devil Wears Prada met The Office in Times Square with a Starbucks drink in hand, fashion in heart and wild ambitions in mind, this Netflix series would be it. Inspired by the life of Cosmopolitan editor Joanna Coles, the aspirational yet refreshingly realistic series The Bold Type portrays the life of three feisty ladies who work for Scarlet, a fictional global women’s magazine, spearheaded by its editor-in-chief Jacqueline Carlyle (Melora Hardin).

Set in the ‘concrete jungle where dreams are realised’ and ‘big lights will inspire you’, you’ll witness everything Alicia Keys sang about in the song Empire State of Mind. The trio of Jane Sloan (Katie Stevens), Kat Edison (Aisha Dee) and Sutton Brady (Meghann Fahy) navigate through life, juggling their careers, romance and friendships in the big city. The popular dramedy is confirmed by the cast to be renewed for season 5.

Seasons available: 4

Watch it here.

Firefly Lane

Netflix
Image Credit: Netflix

The latest addition to Netflix’s ode to female friendships is an on-screen adaptation of Kristin Hannah’s novel of the same name. Firefly Lane spans around three decades showing the lives of two BFFs; the bold and brazen Tully Hart (Katherine Heigl) and the much soft-spoken Kate Mularkey (Sarah Chalke). Created by Maggie Friedman, this American drama explores themes of heartbreak, romances, divorce, miscarriage, sexuality, drug addiction, alcoholism, sexual assault and ageism at the workplace along with professional and personal milestones.

Over the 10 episodes, it dives into different eras of the duo’s relationship from their early teens in the ’70s, college days in the ’80s and mid-life crises in the 2000s, which is the present day. Named after the street where they met and lived as teens, the plot focuses on the enduring bond between the two female protagonists and how they share the defining moments of triumph and failure in their lives with each other.

Seasons available: 1

Watch it here.

(Main and featured image courtesy of IMDb)