With glorious inventions out there like Netflix, Hulu Plus, and Amazon Prime Video, binge watching television shows has become the norm. People very often wait until an entire series is done so that they can watch episodes on their time, sometimes devouring entire seasons in just a mere few days. However, while it’s possible to binge watch almost any show out there now, current shows and ones from the past, there are some TV shows that are just better to binge watch. Here are 15 television shows perfect for binge watching and where to find them.
Lost (Complete series available via Netflix)
People will tell you that end of Lost is awful, and even though I don’t personally agree with them, it was never about the end of this show for me but about the characters’ and the journeys that they all went on. What makes Lost one these television shows perfect for binge watching is just how addictive it is. With each episode comes new questions about the island or a new character twist that you didn’t see coming. You’ll be happy that you didn’t have to wait months or even just a week in between episodes.
Game of Thrones (Four seasons available via HBO Go)
If you’re not already watching Game of Thrones, you have a best friend who is telling you how much you need to watch Game of Thrones. The awe-inspiring fantasy series is one of those television shows perfect for binge watching because of not only how engrossing and shocking the plot twists are, but because with each episode, you become more and more sucked into the world of Westeros and how eerily similar (and even sometimes worse) it is then the world we live in. Plus, each episode of Game of Thrones is only 10 episodes long. You could finish all four seasons over the course of two weekends if you’re dedicated.
Orange Is the New Black (Two seasons available via Netflix)
While some people are die hard fans of Netflix’s other major series, House of Cards, for me, Orange Is the New Black is easily the better of the two shows and the one that is most addictive to binge watch. Viewers will initially be drawn in by the story of Piper, a woman who is sent to prison for being involved in a drug ring operation almost 10 years earlier. However, while Piper may cause initial interest, it’ll be the amazing supporting cast that makes you stay, with each episode (at least for how far I’ve watched in the show) focusing on the compelling backstory of a new inmate.
Freaks and Geeks (Complete series available via Netflix)
Before James Franco and Seth Rogen became pretty darn insufferable in my opinion, they were co-stars, along with Jason Segal and other members of the Apatow club, on a cult classic Freaks and Geeks. What makes this one of these television shows perfect for binge watching is how relatable each episode is to that high school feeling of being young and awkward and feeling like you know everything and yet nothing, all at the same time. Plus, Freaks and Geeks is sadly only one season long, featuring only 18 episodes. That’s a breeze compared to most shows on this list.
24 (First eight seasons available via Amazon Prime)
I’m a big believer in that 24 was the show that really started binge watching. Throughout each season of its run, the series was essentially an action movie for 24 straight episodes, and, especially during the earlier (and better seasons), was the type of show that viewers wanted to experience all at once, instead of waiting week to week. Now, with 24: Live Another Day airing its finale tonight after a creatively-inspired 12 episode resurgence, there’s no better time to get into 24 if you haven’t already. It’s certainly one of 15 shows perfect for binge watching – it essentially created it.
True Detective (One season via HBO Go)
If you haven’t heard of HBO’s new anthology series True Detective, you must be living under a rock somewhere. The now Emmy-nominated series features two fantastic performances from both Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson as two detectives whose lives begin to unravel, even while the case they are working remains more complicated and complex. What made True Detective so effective and so perfect for binge watching is that it focuses on the characters first because for the case they’re investigating and tells one long, powerful, and incredibly compelling story over the course of its eight episodes. It’s some of the most novel-esque TV I’ve ever seen.
Arrested Development (Four seasons available via Netflix)
When Arrested Development originally aired on Fox back during 2003-2006, it was a little-watched TV sitcom with some of the most outrageous characters to ever be put on TV and with some of the most brilliant writing that went over the average TV watcher’s head. Now, however, in 2014, the series is an indisputable comedy classic, a series that had such a powerful fanbase that they helped bring it back for an entirely new fourth season last year, streaming exclusively on Netflix. All four seasons of the series create one the best TV comedies ever and easily one of 15 television shows perfect for binge watching.
Fringe (Complete series available via Netflix)
Fringe was one of those TV shows that took a little while to find its footing. While its first season is good, it comes off as more of an X-Files knockoff than its own original story. That all changes in season two of the series, however, which is why viewers who binge watch this show and stick with it will be rewarded much more quickly than those of us (like myself) who watched the show when it first aired. Overall, though, throughout its five seasons, Fringe is an epic sci-fi tale that makes its characters question issues of identity, family, and destiny, all while offering time travel, parallel universes, and one of my favorite TV characters of all-time, the wacky but lovable Walter Bishop.
Friday Night Lights (Complete series available via Netflix)
What a gem this show is. Seriously, there are very few television shows out there that I would recommend more than Friday Night Lights, and there are even fewer shows that I would recommend to binge watch. I binge watched Friday Night Lights myself a couple of years ago, when I got all five seasons on DVD between Christmas time and my birthday in may. Each time I would pick up a new season of the show, I’d been done it in only a matter of days. That’s just how gripping and moving this series is. The town of Dillon and its characters feel like people taken from real life, and you can’t help but become glued to the TV, watching the struggles and successes of their lives with a look of a sheer awe on your face.
Firefly (Complete series, plus follow-up movie, Serenity, available via Netflix)
Similar to Fringe, Firefly is another sci-fi epic that aired on FOX. Unlike Fringe, however, Firefly only got to air 14 episodes on the network instead of 100. But what a great 14 episodes they are. While it’s clear that Joss Whedon still had a lot of story to tell about his group of space outlaws (the show is literally a space Western, and if you don’t think that sounds cool then I feel sorry for you), but what he got to share with us was still pretty freaking great. Plus, there is some conclusion to Firefly thanks to its 2006 follow-up film, Serenity, which I would highly recommend to anyone who digs this cult classic show.
Community (Five seasons available via Hulu Plus)
Even though Community is somehow still going (six seasons and a movie! Thanks Yahoo!), there’s no better time then now to catch up on it before it heads into what could be, should be, and will most likely be its final season. Many consider this show the spiritual successor to Arrested Development for the way it challenged its viewers and reinvented typical sitcom plots, but Community is its own wacky, weird, and brilliant show. Most definitely worth binge watching this summer.
Chuck (Complete series available via Netflix)
In my opinion you’ll find no other show on this list with as much heart as Chuck (sorry, Friday Night Lights). The nerdy, action/romance series ran for five seasons on NBC, and even though there are some creative bumps in the road, most notably during the show’s third and fourth seasons, there’s still something to love in each episode of this series. It’s fun, funny, and amazingly romantic, something great to watch with friends or your girlfriend. Plus, season two of the show is one the top five best seasons of TV that I’ve ever seen. Period.
Parks and Recreation (Five seasons available via Netflix)
Like the other two sitcoms on this list, Parks and Recreation isn’t the most conventional of comedies but that’s what makes it so great. With a cast of fantastic actors, led by the always energized Amy Poehler and the comedy genius that is Nick Offerman, and some of the best writing I’ve seen from any show, comedy or drama, Parks and Rec can make you laugh or cry or just put a big goofy smile on your face. If you’re binge watching from season one, stick with the show through those first six episodes, even if it’s hard. Trust me, the quality leap between seasons one and two is astounding.
Breaking Bad (Complete series available via Netflix)
Of course I had to put Breaking Bad on this list. In recent years, this has probably become the most binge-watched show around, as viewers have did their best to catch up before the series finally went off the air. However, now that the show is completely finished, I’d say it’s even a better time to binge watch Breaking Bad. You can move quickly throughout the slower episodes of the series, and there’s no need to wait almost a year after the huge cliffhanger that occurs in the middle of season five. Once you start, you won’t be able to stop, because just like the meth its characters cook, Breaking Bad, especially from season three onward, is super addictive