With the winter months right around the corner, it’ll be time to pull out the fleece blanket, put on some hot chocolate, and curl up with your best friend: Netflix. The chilly months ahead are perfect for binge-watching great shows, and with the colder weather setting in, it’ll be harder to work up the courage to leave the warmth of your home anyway. To help you decide what you should devote your precious time to, here’s a list of shows that are worth your weekend (or life). With a mix of titles you have (and maybe haven’t) heard of, and spanning about 450 hours, it should be enough to get you through to the thaw of spring. Happy bingeing.
9. Dexter (2006 – 2013)
No. of Seasons: 8; No. of Episodes: 96
Originally airing on the Showtime Network in 2006, “Dexter” follows the life of Dexter Morgan, a Miami Police blood splatter analyst by day, and a serial killer by night. When Dexter is adopted at a young age by Harry Morgan, Dexter and his adopted father realize there is something different about Dexter. Dexter loves to kill, but only does so by a code set by his adoptive father. Targeting only the worst of criminals that escape the justice system, Dexter must keep his ‘hobby’ from his sister, and the rest of the Miami Police Department.
I won’t lie, this one takes an episode or two to get going, but when it does, it really takes off. Watching Dexter juggle work, his ‘hobby,’ and a girlfriend makes for an interesting hour of television. Warning: the show is very graphic, and very full of blood. I mean, there is a lot of blood. If you’re squeamish, move onto the next show on the list. With the main story spanning entire seasons, you’ll be wanting to move onto the next episode when the credits roll. Starring Michael Hall, Jennifer Carpenter and more, it’s a show that’s hard to pull away from.
8. House M.D. (2004 – 2012)
No. of Seasons: 8; No. of Episodes: 177
First aired on Fox in 2004, ‘House M.D.’ is medical drama that follows Dr. Gregory House, a Vicodin-addicted, puzzle-solving medical genius who isn’t afraid to break the rules. Working with his team at Princeton-Plainsboro Hospital, House takes on cases that other doctors can’t solve. With the help of Dr. Foreman, Dr. Chase, Dr. Cameron, and Dr. Wilson, they push the bounds of traditional medicine to save their patients’ lives before time runs out. Dr. House often clashes with Dean of Medicine, Dr. Lisa Cuddy, who desperately tries to keep House in check, and the hospital out of trouble.
“House” is one of the greatest medical dramas out there, “Grey’s Anatomy” doesn’t even come close. Every episode has you sucked in from the beginning and on the edge of your seat, and when you think you know what will happen next, you get hit with a curveball. With the most episodes on the list, make sure you chuck out a few weeks to get through this one. Starring Hugh Laurie, Omar Epps, Lisa Edelstein, Robert Leonard, Jennifer Morrison, and many more, “House” is an amazing show for all the drama lovers out there.
7. Community (2009 – )
No. of Seasons: 1-5 (NBC), 6 (Yahoo!); No. of Episodes: 110
Premiering in 2009 on NBC, “Community” follows a group of outcasts at a fictitious community college known as Greendale. Jeff Winger, a disgraced lawyer who faked his bachelor’s degree, goes back to community college to graduate in order to reclaim his former life. Wanting to get through it as quickly and as easily as possible, Jeff forms a study group. Complete with a know-it-all psychology major, a former high school football player, a single mom, a girl formerly addicted to Adderall, a man trapped in a world of alternate reality, and a baby boomer trying to finish finally finish school, the group makes for an interesting show.
‘Community’ is a great show. It’s full of comedy and so many references to so many different things in pop culture. It’s hard not to fall in love with this gang of misfits. I recommend only watching seasons 1-5 from NBC, as season 6 by Yahoo! doesn’t really live up to the standards set by creator Dan Harmon. Starring Joel McHale, Alison Brie, Donald Glover and more, it’s the show that makes you wonder why your college years weren’t this awesome.
6. The IT Crowd (2006 – 2013)
No. of Seasons: 4; No. of Episodes: 24 (+1 Special)
Originally airing in 2006 in the UK, ‘The IT Crowd’ follows two computer geeks and their technically illiterate Manager of the IT Department at Reynholm Industries. Led by their manager Jen Barber, who lied her way into the position, Roy Trenneman and Maurice Moss solve the company’s computer crises in a lethargic manner. The show also focuses on the father and son who run the company. Finding themselves in typical British problems, the three awkwardly stumble through work and life.
‘The IT Crowd’ is a British workplace comedy that is funny from beginning to end. From the lazy Roy Trenneman to the socially-awkward Maurice Moss, this show will have you busting a gut minutes into every episode. Last time I checked, the special was only available on Hulu, but it’s available for free. Starring Chris O’Dowd, Richard Ayoade, and Katherine Parkinson, this show is a treasure trove for the comedy-seeker.
5. An Idiot Abroad (2010 – 2012)
No. of Seasons: 3; No. of Episodes: 19
Follow British traveler Karl Pilkington as he travels the world. From India to China to Route 66, Karl is on a mission to find out what makes the world so great. Thinking it’s going to be an easy trip, Karl’s friends Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant make it their mission to make Karl as miserable as possible.
If you love to travel, or love travel shows, this program is right up your alley. Karl Pilkington is a moaning, hilarious host who will have you laughing as he stumbles his way through the world. This is the only travel show I have ever seen that had me laughing from start to finish. Starring Karl Pilkington, Ricky Gervais, and Stephen Merchant, this is one round the world adventure you don’t want to miss.
4. Raising Hope (2010 – 2014)
No. of Seasons: 4; No. of Episodes: 88
‘Raising Hope’ first aired on Fox back in 2010. The show sees James ‘Jimmy’ Chance, an underachieving high school dropout, try to raise his daughter, whose mother happens to be a serial killer. After a one-night stand with Lucy, the serial killer, Jimmy learns she is pregnant before her date with death row. Jimmy brings his daughter, Princess Beyonce, who is renamed Hope, home to his equally underachieving family. Along with her grandma, Virginia (Jimmy’s mom) and her husband Burt will help Jimmy raise the little girl, along with the help of his crush Sabrina.
When I first heard of this show I didn’t think I would get into it, but after the first episode I was hooked. “Raising Hope” is your typical sitcom: the Chances find themselves in stupid situations every week, and they have 22 minutes to right everything before the credits roll. Maybe it’s the ridiculous situations we find them in, maybe it’s how relatable they are to average families, or maybe it’s just the odd, but loveable cast. Whatever it may be, this show is one for the books. Starring Lucas Neff, Martha Plimpton, Garret Dillahunt, this show is a romping good time.
3. Parks and Recreation (2009 – 2015)
No. of Seasons: 7; No. of Episodes: 125
Premiering in 2009 on NBC, ‘Parks and Recreation’ follows Leslie Knope, Deputy Director of the Parks and Rec. department in the fictitious town of Pawnee, IN. The show is a mockumentary type show, much like ‘The Office.’ The show follows Leslie through her life in politics, friendship, and romance. She is a driven, hard-working government employee who will do anything to get the job done. Leslie isn’t alone; with the help of her Parks and Rec crew, Ron, April, Donna, Jerry, Andy, and her best friend Ann, nothing will stop her.
NBC comes out with a lot of hit or miss shows, but this one is a home run. “Parks and Recreation” is a clever, funny, and all-around fun show. This is show that I looked forward to every week. The writing is amazing, the cast is hilarious, and it has Chris Pratt in it. It’s a delightful show that you can easily fall in love with, and it’s one I highly recommend. Starring a whole slew of incredible people, including: Amy Poehler, Nick Offerman, Rashida Jones, and many more, “Parks and Recreation” will have you grinning from ear to ear from beginning to the end.
2. Archer (2009 – )
No. of Seasons: 6 and counting; No of Episodes: 75
‘Archer’ premiered in 2009 on FX. This spy spoof animated comedy centers around Sterling Archer, codename: Duchess. If you’re having trouble picturing Archer, just imagine James Bond, but 100x more awesome, drunk, and horny. Archer is an agent of ISIS (The agency name has since changed because terrorists have to ruin everything), whose boss just happens to be his mother, Malory Archer. Each week Archer humps and fights his way out of difficult situations with the help of Lana Kane and the bumbling buffoon, Cyril Figgis.
‘Archer’ is a great show for binge-watching, and with 10 to 13 episodes a season it is the perfect show for a one weekend binge-watch. The writing is amazing, the voice acting is spot on, and this show will have you rolling on the ground. If you love inappropriate comedy as much as I do, this show is for you. Featuring the voices of H. Jon Benjamin, Aisha Tyler, Chris Parnell, and more, this is one show you’ll be glad you watched.
1. Chuck (2007 – 2012)
No. of Seasons: 5 No. of Episodes: 91
‘Chuck’ is a show that premiered on NBC back in 2007. It’s an amazing spy comedy that centers around an underachieving ‘Nerd Herder,’ Chuck Bartowski. When Chuck is emailed secret information from a government project, known as the ‘Intersect’, he accidentally downloads all the information to his brain. Two agents, Sarah Walker from the CIA, and John Casey from the NSA, are sent to protect Chuck, who uses the Intersect to save the day.
This is a show I had heard of when it was running on NBC, but back then I didn’t make much time for television. I won’t lie, I consider this to be one of the best shows to ever grace television. ‘Chuck’ is an amazing show that packs comedy, action, romance, and drama into a tight 45 minutes. If you pick one show to watch this winter, make it this one, as it will not disappoint. Starring Zachary Levi, Yvonne Strahovski, and Adam Baldwin, this show is a can’t miss. Spoiler, make sure you have some tissues handy from the last episode, it’s a doozy.