The 19 Most Entertaining Things On Netflix To Have On In The Background

There are so many shows on Netflix that require your full attention. They demand popcorn, dimmed lights, and a comfy place to sit as you watch, riveted, for the duration. And then, there are the shows that are nice to play in the background, as you go about your daily life.

It doesn't mean you find these shows boring in any way, or that they aren't great. It's just that their familiarity provides a sense of comfort; a sort of soundtrack for your life. Maybe you've watched them a dozen times, and can recite every line. Or maybe they simply don't require your full attention, but are still entertaining.

These shows can come in handy in a variety of settings, including when you have guests over and need some background noise, ASAP. Sure, nobody's giving the show their full attention. But you know they're secretly grateful it's on, not only to provide ambiance, but for conversation starters, too.

Certain shows can also provide great company when you're hanging out at home, or cleaning your apartment. With one eye on the TV, you can speed through your chores — and make the process a little less painful.

With all these benefits in mind, read on for a selection of the 20 most entertaining things on Netflix, that you can easily leave on in the background — and go about your day.


'The World's Most Extraordinary Homes'

This British TV series follows actor and "property enthusiast" Caroline Quentin and award-winning architect Piers Taylor as they travel around the world to snoop through other people's homes.

They stay in a house bolted to a stormy island in Norway, a beautifully modern home in India, and everything in between. It's fun to have on in the ground for the quick peeks into the homes, as well as for the hosts' charming enthusiasm.



The Tournament of Champions version of Jeopardy! is currently on Netflix, for your viewing pleasure. As per usual, host Alex Trebek gives players answers, and they have to provide the question — only this time it features past winners, so the pace is much faster.

It's the perfect show to have on in the background whenever you're hanging out at home and feel like testing your trivia knowledge.


'Baby Mama'

If you're like most people, you've seen Baby Mama 55 million times. And it's probably definitely a favorite. But just in case you need a refresher, the story follows Tina Fey's character as she searches for a surrogate to carry her baby. Amy Poehler's messy, immature character steps in to do the job. And hilarity ensues.

Leave it on while your friends mill around, to bring back those mid-aughts vibes.


'To All The Boys I've Loved Before'

After writing love letters to each of her crushes — which she never intended to actually send — high school student Lara Jean discovers that the letters have, in fact, found their way into the mail. This drama/romance movie is about the mortifying aftermath. And yet it's light enough that you don't have to fully commit.


'New Girl'

New Girl is a sweet yet hilarious sitcom about a group of quirky roommates, and all the messes they find themselves in. Now that you know all about the Jess/Nick romance, you can officially leave it on in the background.


'Chewing Gum'

Chewing Gum is an excellent British comedy series that follows the life of Tracey, the goings on of her neighborhood, and all of her boyfriend drama. Have it on in the background to feel like you're hanging out with friends, even when you aren't.


'Arrested Development'

If all you want is some upbeat music and a few jokes wafting through your apartment, turn Arrested Development on, and you'll be all set.

It focuses on Michael Bluth, a man who is forced to take over his family's real estate business after they fall on tough times, all while dealing their zany antics.


'Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt'

In Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, Kimmy (a former mole woman), is trying to make it in New York City. Her sunny personality gets her into a ton of trouble, and then right back out of it again.

Even though you've seen it, leave it on for the hilarious quotes from her friend and roommate, Titus Andromedon.


'Parks And Recreation'

Another classic, Parks and Recreation is a go-to show when you want something to watch, but can't think of anything to watch.

This comedy series follows the mishaps of public officials in Indiana, as they attempt, in various ways, to make their small town a better place.


'The Ballad Of Buster Scruggs'

This new addition to Netflix deserves a real watch. But it's a good one to have on in the background a few more times after that, all thanks to its structure.

It's a movie made up of six short stories featuring the Old West, including that of a gun slinger, bank robber, traveling impresario, a prosecutor, wagon train, and a pair of bounty hunters. Whenever you happen to walk by the TV, you'll be met with a new plot.


'The Office'

Ah, The Office. It's one of those shows you don't even need to watch, and yet somehow know exactly what's happening.

With its familiar plot — a mockumentary about a group of office workers — the series can provide great background entertainment, as you go about your usual activities.


'Chilling Adventures Of Sabrina'

This series, based on the Archie comic, follows Sabrina as she chooses between the witchy world of her family, and the human world of her friends.

Leave it on when your friends come over so everyone can reminisce about all things Sabrina.


'Blue Planet II'

Blue Planet II will add some stunning visuals, and soothing sounds, to your average day. You don't need to watch every seal dive into the ocean, or every jelly fish swim by. But this nature series will still liven up your day.


'Gilmore Girls'

Even though you know all about Rory and Lorelai Gilmore —the mother and daughter duo who are living out their lives in the close-knit town of Stars Hollow — doesn't mean you can't watch it again. In fact, that might be the reason to choose this show.


'The Breakfast Club'

This classic movie follows five high school students as they sit through a Saturday morning detention. Even though they're so different — one's a jock, one's popular, one's a weirdo, etc. — they find that they actually have a lot in common. Leave it on for the rad 80s music.


'The Great British Baking Show'

Unlike the tense American cook-off shows, The Great British Baking Show is as soothing and charming as could be — with that twist of wit only the Brits can provide.

Each series follows a group of amateur bakers as they go for the title of best British baker. They make tarts and cakes and pies and pastries. And even help each other along the way.

This show is exactly what your Sunday afternoon needs.


'Mystery Science Theater 3000: The Gauntlet'

This is a great series to throw on when you don't want to commit to a movie, but want some funny background noise anyway.

Host Jonah, and his robot friends, watch weird old movies together and make comments all the way through. It's kind of like what you and your friends will be doing, if you leave this on in the background.



If you leave this on for the dogs alone, you'll have already won the day. But if you happen to catch any of the touching stories about the deep emotional bond they have with us, you just may have to sit down and give it a proper watch.


'The Crown'

This series has won many a Golden Globe, so there's a good chance you've already seen it in its entirety. But it's also one those shows you can leave on with the goal of enjoying short snippets of as you walk through the room.

From the excellent acting, to the beautiful costumes, to the juicy story — all about the political rivalries and romances of Queen Elizabeth — it'll definitely be entertaining.

When all you want to do is leave a show on in the background, go for ones that are comforting, predictable, and yet still entertaining. These shows hit all the marks, and may be just what you need for your next day at home.