Best Netflix shows starring people over 50—because we want to bingewatch relatable TV too

With Netflix set to attract more older viewers, we revisit some of the platform's best shows for people over 50

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Netflix has treated its viewers to an endless supply of top-notch content ever since its 2007 launch—and it looks like it won't be slowing the momentum down any time soon. 

The streaming service has enjoyed massive success over the last fourteen years, reaching a whopping 207m subscribers at the start of 2021. However, while this membership represents people from all generations, the numbers are clearly dominated by younger folks. 

Netflix's main customer base currently consists of millennials and Gen Z, with 80% of people between the ages of 18 and 34 in the UK holding passwords to the platform. The US entertainment giant is now expected to target the over 55s category with an expected shift in its content, in the hope of further increasing the Boomer interest it experienced during the COVID-19 pandemic. The strategy reportedly entails more investment in crime and documentary programs, which are typically favored by older people over action, fantasy, and horror. 

In the meantime, we've rounded up our top picks to keep you occupied. From glitzy period dramas to gritty crime docuseries, there's something for everyone in this lineup. 

1. Grace and Frankie 

Saeed Adyani/Netflix

(Image credit: Saeed Adyani/Netflix)

Starring Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin, this heartwarming comedy series follows the ups and downs of two retired women as they come to terms with their respective husbands falling in love with each other. Reeling from their marriage breakdowns, Grace and Frankie end up moving in together and embarking on an unconventional friendship—full of much-needed laughter, screaming, and tears. 

The best part? There are six seasons, meaning you'll have plenty to keep you entertained into the winter months. 

2. Schitt's Creek 

Schitt's Creek

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If you're in the mood for some side-splitting laughter, Schitt's Creek is sure to tickle the spot. The Canadian sitcom follows the newly-broke Rose family move into the rundown motel they once purchased for a gaff—only to quickly realize the joke's entirely on them. With comedic heavyweights Eugene Levy and Catherine O'Hara playing the show's eccentric parents, you can expect lots of giggles from this six-season series. 

3. The Crown 

The Crown (TV series), season 4: Olivia Colman as Queen Elizabeth II

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Easily the most famous royal series to grace Netflix, The Crown follows the fascinating reign of Queen Elizabeth II from the 1940s until the present day. 

From Her Majesty's iconic wedding to Prince Philip to her tense relationship with Princess Diana, the show offers viewers an up-close-and-personal shot of the elusive monarch's inner world. Its impact has been so powerful that fans were left questioning just how accurate is The Crown, with many unsure of the drama's line between fact and fabrication. The confusion even led to calls from some worried MPs for a fictional disclaimer to be added to the show—a demand which was promptly dismissed by Netflix. 

4. Call the Midwife 

Heidi Thomas, Helen George, Jennifer Kirby and Leonie Elliott attend the "Call The Midwife" photocall during the BFI & Radio Times Television Festival 2019 at BFI Southbank on April 14, 2019 in London, England.

(Image credit: Jeff Spicer / Stringer Getty)

Originally a BBC production, Call the Midwife landed on Netflix in 2012 and has since earned the reputation as one of its most popular period dramas. The poignant series, which stars Miranda Hart and Jessica Raine in its earlier seasons, follows a group of nurse midwives working in a disadvantaged area of East London in the 1950s and 60s. Expect stellar performances, dramatic twists, and lots of empty tissue boxes. 

5. Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown

MIAMI BEACH, FL - FEBRUARY 28: Anthony Bourdain attends the 2010 South Beach Wine and Food Festival Grand Tasting Village on February 28, 2010 in Miami Beach, Florida. (Photo by Alexander Tamargo/Getty Images)

(Image credit: MIAMI BEACH, FL - FEBRUARY 28: Anthony Bourdain attends the 2010 South Beach Wine and Food Festival Grand Tasting Village on February 28, 2010 in Miami Beach, Florida. (Photo by Alexander Tamargo/Getty Images))

If you're looking for something to whet your appetite, look no further. An absolute must-watch for any culinary fanatics, Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown sends the late celebrity chef on a world tour to sample different foods and highlight the globe's lesser known cuisines. With stops in countries like Libya, Denmark, and Japan, this 12-season series is bound to inspire you to ditch the takeaway app and whip on the apron. 

6. The Serpent

The serpent

(Image credit: BBC)

Fans of the 70s, listen up—this one's for you. The Serpent tells the real-life chilling tale of  Charles Sobhraj, a serial killer convicted of murdering 12 Western tourists in South-East Asia. The French native, whose charisma and good looks became a prominent talking point following his 1976 capture, is currently serving a life sentence in Nepal. Not for the faint-hearted, this eight-episode series is best watched with the lights on. 

Emma Dooney
Lifestyle News Writer

Hailing from the lovely city of Dublin, Emma mainly covers the Royal Family and the entertainment world, as well as the occasional health and wellness feature. Always up for a good conversation, she has a passion for interviewing everyone from A-list celebrities to the local GP - or just about anyone who will chat to her, really.

Emma holds an MA in International Journalism from City, University of London, and a BA in English Literature from Trinity College Dublin.