It’s that time of year again: school’s out, and you’re sitting there, wondering what to do with all your newfound free time. Don’t fret because there’s ALWAYS a TV show waiting for you to become obsessed with it. If you’re stuck on which TV shows to marathon no worries because I’ve compiled a list of my go-to shows.
All of these shows will rope you in so quickly that you’ll blink and be one episode from the series finale before you know it. Expect to lose track of time and accomplish nothing other than becoming deeply involved in the lives of fictional characters.
1. Dawson’s Creek (6 Seasons: 1998 — 2003)
This is my number one because it’s such an easy show to marathon. One day, you click play on that first episode and before you know it you’re 4 seasons deep and crying with the characters. I’m sure you’ve heard of Dawson’s Creek before but the low-down is a group of friends that all live across a creek from one another. They navigate high school, first loves, first heartbreaks, and a ton of love triangles together. You may be thrown off by the fact that this show isn’t recent in any manner but trust me, it’s all still relevant. I bet within a few episodes you’ll be drooling over Pacey Witter just like the rest of us.
2. Friday Night Lights (5 Seasons: 2006 – 2011)
What can I say about this show other than TIM RIGGINS?! No but in all seriousness, this is a must watch show if I’ve ever seen one. I started watching it last summer and powered through the first 4 seasons within two weeks. Even if you’re not a huge fan of football, you’ll find yourself wrapped up in all the emotions and drama that come with the Dillon Panthers. If I still haven’t convinced you, just google Tim Riggins. That should be a good enough selling point.
3. Freaks and Geeks (1 Season: 1999 — 2000)
Another oldie, but definitely one of my favorite TV shows out there. This one’s got a star-studded cast (BEFORE they were all famous!!), not to mention some of the best high school and coming-of-age stories. We’ve got James Franco, Seth Rogan, Linda Cardellini, John Francis Daley (who is widely known for his role as Sam Weir and his amazing side eye), Jason Segel and Busy Phillips. In my opinion, Freaks and Geeks should have had a much longer run on TV but sadly there’s only one season of 18 episodes. Nonetheless, that one season is TV gold and definitely worth a watch (or 7).
4. Buffy The Vampire Slayer (7 Seasons: 1997 – 2003)
Most of you have probably already watched some or all of Buffy but I felt like it was a necessary addition to this list. Even with its lengthy seven-season run, it’s one of those shows that you find yourself lost in and five seasons deep within a week or two. The thing that I enjoy most about Buffy is that all of the mythology is really well done. It’s more gory and horror filled than the likes of today’s vampire shows, which is very refreshing.
Note: If you’re into Buffy and haven’t already checked out Angel, I highly suggest you do so even if for no other reason than to watch the tall, dark, and handsome man brood.
5. Veronica Mars (3 Seasons: 2004 — 2007)
Veronica Mars may have a very dedicated fan base but is a highly underrated show in the bigger picture. Not enough people know of it’s greatness, which is why I’m sharing the secret with you. Throughout the three seasons Veronica works on the side as a private investigator under the wing of her detective father. Each episode she solves a case that somehow leads her closer to uncovering a bigger mystery. Season 1 & 2 each had their own large mystery arc whereas season 3’s episodes had a lot of little stand alone mysteries. If 3 seasons isn’t enough for you, a Veronica Mars movie was released and funded entirely by an online kickstarter earlier this year. That’s fan dedication if I’ve ever seen it!
6. Arrow (2 Seasons: 2012 — present)
Arrow has swept the CW by storm and consistently ripped the rug out from under its viewers feet each week. I have literally never watched a show as entertaining and mind-blowing as this. Plus, the special effects and fight sequences on this show are absolutely INCREDIBLE for a TV show. It greatly bums me out that shows on the CW aren’t usually recognized at award shows like the Emmys because Arrow really deserves all the awards in the world. The Green Arrow has never been portrayed like this before. I could go on for days about this but if my praises aren’t enough then just google Stephen Amell and you’ll be sold (the man has a minimum of one shirtless scene per episode).
7. Reign (1 Season: 2013 – present)
A lot of people underestimate this show A) because they’re not religiously following historic events and B) because it’s on the CW. Don’t be fooled though, because despite those things Reign is definitely worth the watch. The story follows Queen Mary of Scots as she relocates to France to marry Francis II of France. Upon her arrival at court, things quickly go awry and we get to see Mary deal with politics, love triangles, and a surprisingly amount of bloodshed. Not to mention that Toby Regbo has the best hair on television at the moment. Please google it immediately and be amazed.
8. It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia (9 Seasons: 2005 — present)
I truly believe that It’s Always Sunny is the funniest show on TV today. It’s also a mystery to me how they’re even allowed to air half of the stuff they do. The comedy on this show is top-notch and you won’t find anything else out there quite like it. Don’t get down on how many seasons there are, either; once you start, you can’t stop. I finished all nine seasons in just over a month. Within just a few episodes you’ll be hooked on Dennis, Mac, Charlie, and Dee’s friendship and each of their quirky (and often psychotic) personalities. There’s never a dull moment at Paddy’s Pub. Not even one. Never.
Tip: If you’re looking for a good intro episode into the show’s weird and very controversial sense of humor, I’d suggest starting with Season Four’s 12th episode, “The Gang Gets Extreme: Home Makeover Edition.” I can’t watch this episode without crying, even after 20+ views.
9. The Fosters (2 Seasons: 2013 — present)
I’ll be the first to say that ABC Family’s shows usually don’t impress me but from the second I first saw a commercial for The Fosters, I was hooked. It follows the life of Lena and Stef, a couple who have three children (Stef’s biological son and two adopted children). They also go on to take in Callie and Jude; the main focus of the show involves how Callie and Jude fit in with the family and the struggles that go along with being in the foster system. Callie also deals with feelings for Brandon (Stef’s son) and trying to move on from her troubled past. The show’s not only portraying a family dynamic that isn’t often dealt with on TV but it also does a fantastic job of doing so. Definitely a must watch.
10. Baby Daddy (3 Seasons: 2012 — present)
Baby Daddy is the only show out of ABC Family that’s worth watching other than The Fosters. It’s a comedy sitcom about a guy named Ben who finds out that he’s a father when his one-night stand leaves a baby at his door. He’s quickly forced to grow up and fall into a fatherly roll which is easier said than done for him. He has the help of his brother, Danny; his two friends, Riley and Tucker; and his mom. Baby Daddy is such a feel-good comedy that I watched all three seasons in about a week. (Plus, the men on this show are very good looking. Win-win.)