25 Netflix shows you could binge over the holiday weekend

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14. Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell

This series fills both the period piece and fantasy series niches, so even your resident Poldark or Downton Abbey enthusiast might want to sit down and watch a bit of an episode with you even if they usually turn his or her nose up at magic.

Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell takes place in 1806 (hence the period piece), but magic is real (hence the fantasy). However, that doesn’t mean the Napoleonic Wars don’t still happen. This time around, though, magicians might be rather helpful in the execution of the war…if magicians still exist, for very few practitioners actually do. The titular Mr. Norrell (Eddie Marsan) helps bring the practice back into the public eye, and that brings out the young man Jonathan Strange (Bertie Carvel).

As Netflix states, the series is “chilling” and “scary,” but it also sports visual effects that won a BAFTA. (Aren’t the visual effects always a concern with TV? Even Game of Thrones doesn’t do everything perfectly, after all.) Additionally, there was another win for production design, and an additional two nominations.

Since it’s a British series, it’s unsurprisingly quite short, at just seven episodes. However, those episodes each clock in at about an hour each. Two episodes a night will ensure that you get through the series, though you’ll need to just watch one on the very last night. Afterwards, try picking up the source novel from Susanna Clarke.