Given that binge watching has become increasingly popular and given that much of the United States, at least, is getting shut down once a week due to snow-calypse 2014, a lot of you may be looking for a few new TV series to binge watch. Allow me to help you, because living in the wilds of Massachusetts in winter has given me ever so much time to do some hands on research. You shouldn't binge watch too often, of course, because watching too much TV at a stretch will, at the very least, make your butt feel numb, but when you're snowed in, sick, or simply tired of the cold, you can absolutely indulge in a veg session. Just start with one or two of these TV series to binge watch – some old, some new, all awesome.
This Netflix original tops my list because it's one of my favorite TV series to binge watch. Honestly, all on its own it's worth a Netflix subscription. There's only one season, so you can knock it out in a weekend or two, but wow, what a season! The characters are already so well fleshed, and they're all awesome in their own way. Though Piper is adorable, my favorites include Taystee, Alex, Red, Nichols, the charming Crazy Eyes, and the drop dead gorgeous Sophia. Season 2 comes out in June, and I can't be the only one crying that we have to wait so long.
The strange, thrilling life of Dexter Morgan makes for a fantastic binge watch. The show is available from dozens of places – iTunes, Showtime, Netflix, the box sets themselves – and since the series is finished, you won't be left waiting for resolution. Well, not exactly. You'll have to decide if the series finale leaves you with any real closure.
This is another Netflix original, and the second season just came out, yay! I started watching this strictly because of Kevin Spacey, because he is everything. If you love him best when he's wry and dry and sarcastic, you'll love him as Congressman Underwood. His manner is akin to his delicious turn as Jim in Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, but his desire for revenge is not at all genteel. It is, however, just as delicious. The rest of the cast is just as awesome, with star turns from Robin Wright, Kate Mara, and Michael Kelly.
This show is everything good in the world. It's brilliant, brooding, brutal, and beautiful. Charlie Hunnam is absolute perfection as the smoldering, violent, poetic, tender, touching, and tortured Jax Teller, and the ensemble cast heightens his performance. Actually, they all play off each other. The show is coming up on its seventh and final season, so you'll have lots to watch before you get to the new episodes. Every season is better than the last, the plots are always solid, and the story lines never get cheesy, hokey, or predictable. From the dynamic of the Morrow-Teller clan, further comprised of Katey Sagal's Gemma and Ron Perlman's perfidious Clay, to the relationships within the club, the entire show is gorgeously layered and multifaceted. Pay special attention to Tig for comic relief, Opie for tenderness, and Chibs because Chibs is just awesome.
Period pieces never looked so good, and if you haven't been watching this, you need only look at your timelines on social media every week to see how it's taken over. It's an all-encompassing drama that's ideal for a binge watch, because you rarely want to wait a whole week (or season) to see what happens next. The scandals are appropriately scandalous, the romances fantastically romantic, and the intrigues are downright intriguing – you get the idea. Besides, Maggie Smith. Do you need to know anything else?
This show is only three seasons in but it's made a big impact. I just binge watched the first two seasons and the available episodes of season three, and I like it … kind of. Full disclosure, though: this is one of those shows I watch just because I hate almost everyone in it. Hannah drives me up a wall, with her only redemption coming from the fact that I recognize she's supposed to be a whiny, selfish, and self-absorbed millennial, so well done. The only characters I really like are the ones I think you're supposed to dislike: Jessa and Adam. Adam's come a long way, hasn't he?
Since Boardwalk Empire is coming up on its end, it's a great time to get caught up with what's going on in Atlantic City. This is another period drama, although this time it's all about Prohibition. If the 1920s costumes and lingo don't get you, the characters and the plots will. This show is marvelous, in no small part because Steve Buscemi's Nucky Thompson is an almost flawless character. He's ruthless and sweet, dynamic and charming, violent and tender by equal measures, and Buscemi plays so well against his fellow cast. It's not all entirely fictional, either; you'll see made-up accounts of real life bad boys like Lucky Luciano and Al Capone. Aside from Nucky, my favorite characters are Chalky White and the somehow dead sexy Arnold Rothstein, played by Michael Stuhlbarg.
So many seasons, so many Doctors, so many intricate storylines. If you want depth, versatility, and something new with every season, you have to binge on Dr. Who. You get eye candy every season, plus some of the most epic love stories you'll ever see in TV. Dr. Who is an institution, so if you haven't hopped aboard the TARDIS yet, isn't it time?
Lastly, I've got an oldie but a goodie. You can't talk about convoluted shows without discussing Lost. At the very least, watch it for Ian Somerhalder. Really, though, it's incredibly interesting, though unquestionably confusing. Even if you watched when it was on, binge watch it now, because that's one of the best ways to pick up on all the things you missed the first time around. In fact, you might have to watch some episodes twice, but this time you won't have to wait weeks or months before finding out what the hell is actually happening on that damnable island.
Binge watching has its place, especially when you just need to lose yourself for a while. Reading a book is always my top option, but I won't deny the urge to overindulge on some of my favorite shows. Other top choices include House, Queer as Folk, Six Feet Under, and Grey's Anatomy from its innocent beginnings. What show can you watch for hours on end?
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