House of Cards
From the first 30 seconds of this show I was hopelessly addicted. I finished the entire series in about a day and a half. Kevin Spacey is always good, but damn, homeboy BRINGS it to this series about a senator trying to gain (even more) power in Washington.
Law And Order: SVU
SVU is the foundation upon which binge watching has been built. All day marathons of Stabler and Benson on USA and Lifetime have primed us for other shows. But we can’t forget a classic. I recommend watching all 15 seasons from start to finish and rediscovering Olivia fighting her secret inner pain at being the product of a rape and Stabler’s irish catholic roots trying to reign in his inner badassery. Bonus: there’s lots of celebrity cameos from people who weren’t famous back in the day.
American Horror Story Season 1: Murder House
American Horror Story season 3 (Coven) is probably the best season to date (season 2 was kind of a let down) but Murder House had Connie Britton! And the Black Dahlia! It was earnestly scary and had a lot of really interesting subplots, like the aforementioned Black Dahlia murder, a kidnapping, and a sex fail. All the layers of the story intertwine as you move from episode to episode and figure out who is a ghost and why.
Orange is the New Black
I resisted watching Orange is the New Black for so long because it was getting so much buzz. It’s just annoying when people bug you to watch a show for so long, that I wanted to finally watch it and say “I don’t get what the big deal is.” But, it was super entertaining. I’ve actually always been afraid of doing something dumb (via YOLO) and ending up in jail, so it was really interested to see exactly that happen to a girl I could relate to. For instance, she googled what she was supposed to bring to jail with her, prompting her cell mate to ask, “you STUDIED for jail?”
The West Wing
This is a “smart person” show. Or at least a show for people like me that are smart enough to wish they were as smart as Martin Sheen, Rob Lowe, Bradley Whitford and Allison Janney are in this show. It’s like a secret glimpse into the lives of geniuses who run the political show in the U.S.. Like any political show there’s more than enough fodder for cliff hangers at the end of each episode, which makes binge-watching especially ideal.
The truth is out there. God. The X-Files is just The Best. There’s government conspiracies, sexy Agent Mulder, folklore, cover-ups, and Dana Scully, who I idolized as a kid. Re-watching the entire series from the beginning is a must. It’s SO good. Just watch the intro (above) and TRY not to get sucked in. Bonus points if you’re able to watch without locking all your doors.
Breaking Bad is culturally synonymous with addiction for a reason. It’s a must (binge) watch.
This is such a great drama. I started watching with episode 1 when it aired and I’ve re-watched the entire series a number of times. I love shows about people with interesting/difficult careers so even though a lot of it is fake tv stuff, it’s fun to watch the characters grow into adulthood and learn how to be great at surgery. Pro tip: the season six finale (there’s a shooter in the hospital) can be viewed on it’s own as a movie. It’s probably the best TV episode of all time.
Alias was my first foray into binge-watching. I had all the DVDs from a friend and my roommate and I were so addicted to them that we would bring her lap top into the college gym with us in the middle of the night (we were night owls) and only allow ourselves to watch Alias if we watched it while working out. (This is a great trick, highly recommend.) Every episode of Alias is a huge cliff-hanger, I feel sorry for people who had to wait weeks or months between each episode!
The Walking Dead
I struggled through the first three episodes of this series (people die! it’s sad!) but I have been addicted ever since. There’s now three seasons streaming on Netflix and a fourth airing on AMC. There’s so many components to a zombie takeover–staying alive, finding community, your changing relationships, not turning cold-hearted in your struggle to stay alive–basically end endlessly interesting plot.
Bonus: Darryl (Norman Reedus) is the best zombie apocalypse crush ever.