The Netflix documentaries you need to be watching.

It’s cold outside. So cancel all your plans, stay in your trackies, curl up on the couch and get your Netflix remote ready.


While you could spend your couch hours watching re-runs of Gilmore Girls or powering through the latest season of Orange Is The New Black (we can personally recommend both of those options) you could also – GASP – learn something in the process.

Yep, we’re obsessed with soaking up ALL THE KNOWLEDGE from our TV screens, thanks to the endless amounts of documentaries on Netflix.

The Binge is our TV podcast. And the girls are currently obsessed with watching docos (among other things):

If you’re new to this whole “using Netflix to become a smarter person” thing, we’ve got you covered.

Here are seven documentaries you should add to your Watch List ASAP to get you started:

1. The Hunting Ground

If Brock Turner's sentencing made you angry, then you need to watch this documentary. It's an exposè on the horrifying culture of sexual assault on US college campuses, and the cover-ups instituted by the colleges themselves. It makes for haunting viewing, and is a must-watch for all women.

2. Blackfish

Video via Netflix

This film, about the controversial capture and display of killer whales, focuses on a whale named Tilicum, an orca held by SeaWorld. The documentary sparked a huge public backlash against the marine park, prompting them to end its orca breeding programs and phase out live performance using the whales.

3. Cowspiracy

Don't really consider yourself an environmentalist? That doesn't matter. I was hounded for weeks by everyone I knew that had watched Cowspiracy, telling me that it would "change the way I viewed my food". I found myself completely drawn into the story of one man's journey to discover the true path to sustainability. Not to be paired with cheese.

4. The True Cost

Video via Netflix

Addicted to 'fast fashion', and frequently haunt the aisle of Zara and H&M? This one is for you. As the title would suggest, the documentary looks at the real price our desire for the cheapest and most on-trend clothing has on the environment, and those who are forced to endure horrifying working conditions to make them.

5. The Internet's Own Boy

If you prefer a more biographical take on your documentaries, then this story of Reddit founder Aaron Schwartz will have you hooked. Described as a "programming prodigy", Schwartz was a well-known "information activist", and sadly took his own life at the age of 26.


6. Hot Girls Wanted

Video via Netflix

A look at the world of amateur porn, Hot Girls Wanted follows a group of 18- and 19-year old girls who turn to the world of adult films to seek fame. Yes, it's as heartbreaking as it sounds, but it's also an important watch.

7. Making a Murderer

Video via Netflix

If you need more than one or two hours of knowledge-based fun to keep you going, then we have the perfect solution. Making A Murdereer is a ten-part series focusing on the true crime story of Steven Avery: a man who was wrongly imprisoned for 18 years for the sexual assault of a woman, and is then accused of murdering Teresa Halbach, a local photographer. You're guaranteed to be googling conspiracy theories for WEEKS after watching this one.

For more TV news, and recommendations, subscribe to The Binge in itunes or the Mamamia Podcast app.