Hey guys, Merry (late) Christmas! I hope your holidays have been going well, mine have been rather hectic with finishing my Fall semester of college. One thing that every student knows is that Winter Break is for sleeping late, ignoring any academic responsibilities you have return to school, and overindulging in Netflix. Personally, I’ve become so committed to the binge-watching lifestyle that I have both a Netfli and Hulu+ account that I pay for myself. That being said, I thought that I’d give my top ten best shows to binge-watch this Winter Break.
LOST has been my absolute favorite TV show since the first time I watched it. The show tells the story of a group of survivors from a plane crash who are now stranded on a deserted island. Flashbacks are used to give background on the different characters, who we watch as survive and uncover the secrets of the island. The show gets confusing, yes, but it poses interesting philosophical questions to the viewers. This is definitely a show you either love or hate, and you really just have to stick with it until the end to get a clear understanding (and even then you might have to google some stuff). It’s six seasons, with episodes typically about an hour long, and you can find all six seasons conveniently on Netflix.
Episode I’d Recommend: Pilot Part 1 and 2 – start at the beginning of the series, it really sets up the show and it’s insanely well made.
Firefly is a show that I actually just finished watching a few days ago and it’s become one of my favorites. Firefly tells the story of the crew of Serenity, led by Captain Malcolm Reynolds. While the characters engage in less then legal activities, they are generally good people who tend to do the right thing (sometimes). Honestly, the best way I can describe this is a western in space. It’s such a good show and the characters are well developed and interesting. Unfortunately there’s only one season of the show, located on Netflix of course, but there is a movie. I’d have to warn that if you want to watch the movie, prepare to have your heart ripped out and stomped on the dirt. I’d recommend Firefly to anyone who enjoys sci-fi shows, or really anything by the creator Joss Whedon.
Episode I’d Recommend: The Train Job – the pilot is important for setting up the plot and characters (obviously) but this episode is great for showing the morality of crew and the important decisions they face in their line of work.
Broadchurch is one of the best murder mysteries I’ve seen on TV. The show centers on the mysterious death of a young boy in a small seaside village in the U.K. David Tennant plays a detective new to the village who becomes the lead investigator on the case and Olivia Coleman plays the local investigator who knows all the individuals involved with the crime. This British drama keeps you on the edge of your seat throughout the series, and the plot is consistent as well. The series is actually being made in the US under the name Gracepoint, still staring David Tennant, and the series was green lighted for second season discussing how the community rebuilds after this crime. The first season is on Netflix and each episode is about 45 minutes long. I’d intensely recommend this.
Episode I’d Recommend: Episode 1 – the first episode not only sets up the plot for the entire season, but it also looks amazing cinematically.
Another British show, this comedy focuses on a group of young adults forced to complete community service due to the various crimes they committed. On their first day there happens to be a freak storm which gives them superpowers. This isn’t your typical superhero show; the main characters aren’t interested in being heroes and they’re pretty awful people that you can’t help but root for. This ensemble cast brings both humor and edge to the show, often making you legitimately laugh out loud. There’s six seasons of hour long episodes and can be found on Hulu.
Episode I’d Recommend: Season 2 Episode 1 – After the cliffhanger ending the first season, the second season starts off with a bang. The gang deals with a shape shifter and the shenanigans that ensue.
5. The IT Crowd
Another British comedy, The IT Crowd centers around a IT Department in a fictional business, Reynholm Industries. Richard Ayoade and Chris O’Dowd play Moss and Roy, the only two members of the IT Department located in a dingy, unkept basement. Jen, played by Katherine Parkinson, joins the department as the “relationship manager” after getting the job by lying about her non-existent computer skill. The show follows the shenanigans that come out of the department, and the geek humor is strong in this show. The comedy is smart and funny; unlike The Big Bang Theory the show celebrates geek culture rather then humiliating it. There’s four seasons on Netflix and final episode that came out in 2013 that can be found online (I may have watched it on youtube but I can’t remember).
Episode I’d Recommend: Season 4 Episode 4 “Italian for Beginners” – This episode is so incredibly funny. With Roy obsessed with finding out how his new girlfriend was orphaned and Jen pretending to speak Italian to one up a co-worker, everything about this episode makes me crack up.
6. Friday Night Dinner
Confession time: when I started compiling this list and I thought of Friday Night Dinner, I stopped typing and watched an entire season. This British comedy revolves around the Friday night dinner of the Goodman family and their quirks. Simon Bird, known for his role on The Inbetweeners, plays the eldest brother Adam, with Tom Rosenthal playing the younger brother Johnny. Everything about this show is funny, from the same jokes the dad makes to the pranks the brothers play on each other. The show is successful in portraying a realistic family, with the different eccentricities that appear in every family. There’s three seasons of the show, I’ve only seen seasons 1-2, including the Christmas special though I’m halfway through the third season. It’s not on Netflix or Hulu, but it appears online if you search for it (just don’t do anything illegal ;p).
Episode I’d Recommend: Season 2 Episode 2 “Mr. Morris” – This was the first episode of the show I had ever seen and it had me hooked from the beginning. Grandma is bringing over her new boyfriend and the entire family is in an uproar. When Mr. Morris comes over, he’s not what they expected.
7. Gossip Girl
Ok I’ll admit, this show is incredibly stupid. But when binge-watching series over small periods of time, it’s nice to relax with a show that you don’t really have to think about – and that’s where Gossip Girl succeeds. This is a show about six teens living on the Upper East Side (and Brooklyn in the case of Dan and Jenny). The show covers fashion, makeup, and the exploits of the rich and successful in New York City. I’ve been watching this show on and off for the past few years and I have to say I really love it. It’s funny and stupid and entertaining. All six seasons are on Netflix and the episodes are an hour long.
Episode I’d Recommend: Season 5 Episode 13 “G.G.” – Honestly I’m on season 5 right now and this season is the only one I actually remember. But this episode actually sums up what Gossip Girl is all about – marrying princes, dresses, unwelcome confessions of love, and insanity.
8. Teen Wolf
Teen Wolf is another show that sounds especially dumb, but I promise you its not as bad as you would think. The show follows Scott McCall, played by Tyler Posey, a teen who gets bit by an alpha werewolf one night before the first day of school. The show is on MTV so the first season is kinda dumb in a really funny way, but as the show goes on it gets way better, edgier and gritty. The acting on the show is phenomenal despite the horrible special effects. There are four seasons which are about an hour long. The episodes for the latest season are on MTV’s website, and the rest can be found online in various places.
9. Bob’s Burgers
Bob’s Burgers is probably my go to happy show. The animated series follows Bob, the patriarch of the family who owns and operates a burger joint. This show is incredibly witty and funny, and manages to be laugh out loud funny without being vulgar. I wouldn’t say the show is for kids, but it’s a heartwarming in how close the family is with one another and the characters are astonishingly well written and relatable.
Episode I’d Recommend: Season 1 Episode 2 “Crawl Space” – This episode made me laugh out loud and fall in love with the show. Bob is trapped in the crawl space and decides to stay put until after Linda’s parents leave.
10. Parks and Recreation
This show is amazing without a doubt. Parks and Rec follows said department in the city of Pawnee, Indiana. This show makes me incredibly happy down to my very core. Everything about this show is sunshine and rainbows. It’s perfection at its finest. April’s my favorite character and the one I relate to the most, and to this day “Treat Yo Self” still gets me to buy unnecessary goods to make me happy. Watch it and smile. There’s six seasons on Netflix and the last season is premiering soon.
Episode I’d Recommend: Season 3 Episode 5 “Media Blitz” – This is probably my favorite episode of the series. In this season Ben Wyatt is one of the new characters introduced and he stole the spot as my favorite. In this episode Ben joins Leslie while touring the local media to get promotion for the upcoming Harvest Festival. However, Ben gets nervous around the media and turns into a Human Disaster.
So that’s my list of shows I’d recommend to watch over the next few weeks. What are some shows you’d recommend me? I’ve got a five hour bus trip coming up on Monday so let me know in the comments below!