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13 Netflix shows that will make your time in second lockdown productive

Want to be productive while stuck at home? Check out these Netflix shows that broaden your mind

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Emmy Griffiths
TV & Film Editor
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Welcome to the second lockdown. If round one was all about baking sourdough bread and taking part in Joe Wicks' PE lessons, surely the winter-version should all be about drinking hot chocolate and binge-watching Netflix, right? And who says that needs to be unproductive? 

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Fortunately, there are plenty of Netflix series that can help you make the most of your time in front of the telly - and have all the more knowledge as a result. Check out our top picks of Netflix shows that will make your time productive... 

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Vox's series focuses on a different topic for every episode which are very short in themselves - around 15 to 20 minutes long - giving you bite-sized portions of plenty of interesting topics. Season one looks at fad diets, K-pop and the gender pay gap, while season two focuses on diamonds, the meat industry and coding. 

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Find out about a range of topics with Explained

Tidy Up with Marie Kondo 

With all of this time on our hands, we need Marie Kondo more than ever to help us sort out of clutter at home! The renowned tidying expert goes to plenty of different homes to help them become more organised and arrange their space, while giving viewers plenty of tips along the way. 

marie kondo

Sort your home out with Marie Kondo

Our Planet 

Learn more about the beauty of nature, the world and exotic animals with this fantastic eight-part documentary, as well as how climate change is impacting all living creatures. Of course, the one and only David Attenborough also narrates the stunning series as each episode tackles a different habitat, including jungles, high sears and forests. 

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our planet

David Attenborough narrates this unique documentary


Fancy learn more about the miracles that are babies? This docuseries takes a close look about how tiny tots develop over the first year of their lives while using groundbreaking science. In the show, 36 scientists follow the actions of 15 babies, while looking at the bond between parents and their children. 

WATCH: Netflix's Babies documentary is worth a watch

The Universe

This exciting show will give you an insight into space exploration, planets in the solar system and astronomical objects in the universe - with expert commentary from plenty of extremely smart people. Fancy learning more about astronomy? Now is the time! 

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Want to learn more about space?


Are you curious about the darker side of the food industry? The show's two seasons takes a look at one food product per episode - including avocado, water and chocolate - and focuses on the process of supplying the item, along with interviews with manufacturers, distributors, and others involved in the process.

Netflixs Rotten

Take a look at the food industry with Rotten

100 Humans: Life's Questions Answered 

In this social experiment, 100 people are put through a series of different tasks while being monitored, and therefore exploring the effects various emotions have on us. It also looks at how humans react to attractiveness, what age is the most successful at life and whether people work harder to achieve rewards or avoid punishment. It is fascinating! 

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100 humans

Fancy a look into the human mind?

Unnatural Selection 

This documentary looks into the ever growing popularity of genetic engineering, and how it could change the world. It particularly pays attention to new DNA-editing tech, looking at the practice from the point of view of scientists and corporations. 

unnatural selection

Learn more about genetic engineering


If you want to understand more about the nature of how a virus can spread, told in a factual, interesting way, we would suggest giving Pandemic a try. Due to the coronavirus outbreak, it has been one of Netflix's most popular shows over the last few weeks, and looks at the research into a universal vaccine, anti-vaxxers and the Ebola outbreak. 

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How does a pandemic begin?


Cowspiracy: The Sustainability Secret is a one-off film which looks at how animal farming impacts the environment, having effects on global warming, deforestation and ocean dead zones - and how animal agriculture is the main source behind the environment being destroyed. Heads up, this one might persuade meat-eaters to go vegetarian. 

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Learn more about the secrets of the meat industry

Abstract: The Art of Design 

Are you a keen artist? If so, this Emmy-nominated documentary is definitely for you. Each episode highlights an expert in the field of design, whether that means shoe design or illustrations, and is a beautiful, fascinating look into the world of art. There are two seasons of the show so far, so you have plenty to catch up on! 

MORE: 7 trending Netflix shows that everyone is obsessed with right now 

art of design

Fancy learning more about the world of art?

Salt Fat Acid Heat 

Want to learn more about cooking and world culture? This docuseries, based on the fascinating cookbook of the same name, follows Samin Nosrat as she looks at the four key elements to make incredible flavours, and travels the world to show how different places uses these elements in their cuisine. 

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Create amazing dishes with this cooking show


Featuring Willem Dafoe, this beautiful documentary is perfect for any budding climbers or geography buffs! The show features incredible imagery as it looks at the summits of the world's most spectacular mountains. 


Willem Dafoe narrates this documentary film

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