While fanny packs, the Spice Girls, and bowl cuts all made their mark in the ’90s, they weren’t the only things that helped define the decade. The TV shows of the era also left behind a legacy, and — lucky for those of us who want to temporarily reverse time for a respite from today — a handful of them are available for streaming right now.
Netflix is the place to be if you want to hop back more than 20 years and journey into space, solve a mystery, or visit San Fransisco. Whether you’re looking to rediscover an old favorite or figure out what classic to try for the first time, we’ve got you covered.
It’s time for a ’90s Netflix binge.
1. Charmed (1998-2006)
The Halliwell sisters — Prue, Piper, and Phoebe — are just normal girls who live in San Francisco, except for one little thing: They’re secretly witches.
Their goal is to use their magic to protect the city from the evil that runs free. However, doing so while balancing relationships and keeping the police off their track is a challenge.
Though you could check out the CW reboot of Charmed, it’s hard to beat the original series. After all, the show’s themes of magic and sisterhood had a huge influence on the shows that came after it. It’s also become a pop-culture staple, scoring references in shows like True Blood and American Horror Story and films including 2019’s Fighting with My Family. Did we mention that the leads are strong and spunky?
Where to watch: Charmed is now streaming on Netflix.
2. Twin Peaks (1990-1991)
Itchin’ for a mystery? Twin Peaks will give you what you’re longing for.
The cult-followed drama series offers up two seasons of crime, excitement, and supernatural suspense soon after FBI agent Dale Cooper (Kyle MacLachlan) begins to investigate the murder of the homecoming queen in a small town in Washington.
There are many things that make Twin Peaks attractive, including its offbeat humor, cinematic shots, intriguing score, and campy characters. Put it all together, and you’ve got this memorable winner that was big enough to nab a third season on Showtime more than 25 years later. We will forever be obsessed.
Where to watch: Twin Peaks is now streaming on Netflix.
3. Star Trek: The Next Generation (1987-1994)
Eighteen years after the original Star Trek series (also available on Netflix) ended, The Next Generation took flight. While this TV show technically debuted in the late ’80s, its latter ’90s seasons continually turned out good storylines, so it’s impossible to skip over.
This sci-fi show has the crew of the USS Enterprise embarking on a journey through the Milky Way in the 24th century. Instead of being led by Captain Kirk, however, the adventurers are headed up by the fearless Captain Jean-Luc Picard (Patrick Stewart).
The Next Generation gets better as you move through its seven seasons. Its plots get thicker, its characters develop further, and its sense of wonder explodes. Sure, the series’ age shows at times, particularly in the first season. But if you can push through it, you’ll uncover an inspirational story at the series’ core.
Where to watch: Star Trek: The Next Generation is now streaming on Netflix.
4. The West Wing (1999-2006)
The West Wing of the White House is the location from which President Josiah Bartlet and his administration run the country. Though this political drama isn’t a perfectly accurate portrayal of the presidency, the series is fully engrossing and jam-packed with social commentary that reimagines many of the issues of its time from the viewpoint of an alternate administration.
All seven seasons have been praised for featuring sharp writing and convincing performances from notables including Martin Sheen, Rob Lowe, and Allison Janney. The high production value is an added bonus.
Where to watch: The West Wing is now streaming on Netflix.
5. Tales of the City (1993)
Based on the first Tales of the City novel by Armistead Maupin, this miniseries catches up with sheltered secretary Mary Ann in the summer of ’76, when she decides to move her comfortable life in Cleveland to free-spirited San Francisco.
Fans fell for the drama’s believable characters and risqué story, which rooted itself in the liberal revolution of the era. While Tales of the City was considered taboo at the time of its release for its frank depictions of sex and drugs, it intrigued viewers enough to receive a handful of sequels, including a Netflix revival in 2019. If you already checked out the newer retelling, why not go back to the original? With six around-50-minute episodes, the series is an easy watch with a soapy vibe.
Where to watch: Tales of the City is now streaming on Netflix.
6. Star Trek: Deep Space Nine (1993-1999)
Yes, Netflix has a lot of Star Trek content. So if you enjoy revisiting The Next Generation, you should also think about taking a trip to Deep Space Nine.
This series expands upon the plots of The Next Generation, most prominently the tension between the Cardassian and Bajoran alien races. It was the first Star Trek series to be primarily set at a space station as well as the first to feature a person of color (Avery Brooks) in the lead role.
Deep Space Nine is imaginative and engrossing thanks to its incredible world-building and engaging cast. Its exploration of political and social themes (capitalism, sexism, and more) against a sci-fi landscape is also fascinating.
Where to watch: Star Trek: Deep Space Nine is now streaming on Netflix.
7. Pokémon: Indigo League (1997-1999)
Before we were all running around with our phones trying to catch ’em all via Pokémon GO, we were tuning in to watch Ash and Pikachu collect Gym Badges across the Kanto region so that they could enter the giant Pokémon League competition.
Released shortly after the first video games, Indigo League contains the ’90s anime episodes that pulled fans even deeper into the Pokémon universe. It established Ash’s origin story and had him battling rivals and bonding with his Pokémon.
Netflix features 52 entertaining Indigo League episodes, all of which will send you right back to your childhood. Plus, it’s super cute and has a bomb theme song that you’ll want to sing along to every time it plays.
Where to watch: Pokémon: Indigo League is now streaming on Netflix.
8. That ’70s Show (1998-2006)
Disco, VCRs, and bell-bottom jeans? Yup, sounds like the ’70s. And That ’70s Show will make sure you remember all the fads and fun of this groovy era, even if it arrived a couple of decades after the period ended.
In this sitcom, six teenage friends come of age alongside one another in their shared Wisconsin town. You can expect laugh-out-loud scenarios, a charming cast, and a hundred little references to the decade. Growing up is never easy, but growing up in the ’70s is a special sort of challenge.
Where to watch: That ’70s Show is now streaming on Netflix.