Have Time? Watch These 10 Binge Worthy Shows
Feature Image: The Golden Girl Blog
For those of you looking for a new show to sink your teeth into, there are so many options to choose from that it may seem like an overwhelming feat. Whether you’re interested in drama, comedy, reality television, thrillers, or historical shows, there is something out there for everyone. To get you started, read through this list of the Top 10 Binge Worthy Shows you can access on Netflix, HBO, or Hulu.
1. Game of Thrones (available on HBO Go/HBO Now)
This show has been a staple on primetime television since it premiered in 2011. While some of you may be sick of hearing about Game of Thrones, it’s worth the investment of time if you’re looking for an exciting show to start over the summer. The show will wrap up its eighth and final season in a few weeks, which means you’ll have plenty of episodes to cover if you’re looking for something you can watch on an ongoing basis. Recruit friends to watch the show with you or settle in for a bingeathon with your partner.
Game of Thrones takes place in the fictional lands of Westeros and Essos where several different houses battle to hold the title of King or Queen of the Iron Throne. Each house has its own issues (and its own lovable characters), and your alliances may change as you watch the story unfold. Be aware, there is an abundance of nudity, and gore, so watch with discretion if you’re uncomfortable with either subject. This show is engaging, emotional, humorous, and addictive. The characters have stories of personal growth and redemption, which makes Game of Thrones even more enjoyable to watch. Plus, female empowerment is one of the underlying themes throughout the series.
2. Brooklyn Nine-Nine (available on Hulu)
If you’re looking for a new comedy to enjoy, Brooklyn Nine-Nine is one of the best in this genre. Currently, there are six seasons and around 127 episodes, but each episode is only thirty minutes long which makes for easy viewing. Brooklyn Nine-Nine is centered around a lovable, rag-tag team of detectives in Brooklyn’s 99th precinct, and watching their hijinks unfold each episode is truly amazing. And while this show focuses primarily on comedic performances, there are emotional undertones and important messages to take away from the more personal episodes.
Brooklyn Nine-Nine has a special place in my heart for the diversity and inclusivity of the characters on the show. Captain Raymond Holt is an African-American man who is happily married to his husband, Kevin, and Detective Rosa Diaz openly discusses her bisexuality. The show does a great job of confronting racial profiling and doesn’t shy away from the negative image cops receive because of this ongoing issue.
3. The Great British Bake Off (available on Netflix)
The Great British Bake Off, commonly referred to as GBBO, is my go-to show when I’m in need of some upbeat relaxation. The show has aired nine separate series (the U.K. shoots a series in lieu of a traditional American season) and over 80 episodes. You don’t have to be a fan of baking to enjoy GBBO—this show is full of lighthearted humor, human mishaps, and an impressive level of bonding. With the start of a new series, 12 new bakers are brought into the famous GBBO tent where they are put through several weeks of intense baking challenges. Every GBBO episode features three separate challenges for the bakers to face, and one baker is eliminated at the end of each episode.
I love this show because it is full of sunlight, soft music, quaint drawings, and hearty laughter. You will fall in love with the bakers each season, so be prepared to shed a tear or two when your favorite is sent home. I’d highly recommend GBBO for those of you who like to grab a snack and settle in for a comforting evening at home.
4. How to Get Away with Murder (available on Netflix)
This legal drama has been a favorite of mine since the first season premiered in 2014. The cast is led by the incredibly talented Viola Davis who plays Professor Analise Keating. Professor Keating conducts classes at Middleton University in Philadelphia. She recruits five of her students to assist her and her colleagues at her law practice and the drama unfolds from there. In the first season, viewers are working to unravel the disappearance of Middleton student Lila Stangard. With each new episode, more information is revealed, and new twists are introduced to the plot. HTGAWM is full of thrilling developments, emotional breakdowns, intense relationships, and a growing web of mysteries.
There are currently five seasons of HTGAWM with around 75 episodes, though the show is still running on ABC. Every season faces a different dilemma (and a different murder) and it definitely requires some detective work to determine what is going on with the clues you’re provided.
5. The Crown (available on Netflix)
While The Crown only encompasses two seasons and 20 episodes, each episode is an hour long and feels heavier than some of the other shows on this list. The show follows the coronation and subsequent reign of Queen Elizabeth II. Claire Foy plays the Queen and she delivers a truly stunning performance, as does the brilliant Vanessa Kirby who plays Princess Margaret. The Crown is, in a word, dramatic. While you may be familiar with the Royal Family, you learn a much more inclusive history of this family as the episodes unfold.
For those who enjoy period dramas, The Crown is right up your alley, as you’ll love the historical details and beautiful costumes. The Crown is slated to produce a third and fourth season which will cover the Queen’s middle years, the adulthood of Prince Charles, and the introduction of Princess Diana to the Royal fold.
6. Handmaid’s Tale (available on Hulu)
Handmaid’s Tale is based on the novel by Margaret Atwood, though the story varies slightly from the original text. Currently, Handmaid’s Tale has two seasons and 23 episodes available for instant streaming on Hulu, and the third season is slated to premiere in June. This show is emotional and features themes of abuse, sexual assault, and trauma. If you are triggered by any of these topics, it’s best to avoid the show entirely as some scenes are disturbing to witness.
While the show is graphic at times, the message portrayed in each episode is critically important for viewers to grasp and understand. Handmaid’s Tale takes place in North America during a dystopian timeline where the government was overthrown by religious fanatics. These fanatics were motivated by decreasing fertility rates, as they believed that women were less likely to conceive because of the moral decline of the United States as a country. The women who are still capable of giving birth are rounded up to serve as surrogates, or Handmaids, to ensure the population returns to what it once was. Elisabeth Moss plays the main character, Offred, who equally enrages me and inspires me depending on the episode.
7. Queer Eye (available on Netflix)
If you were a fan of the original Queer Eye for the Straight Guy series that premiered in the early 2000s, you’ll love the new reboot on Netflix! Queer Eye features a brand new Fab Five, and each member is adorable, endearing, and compassionate. Jonathan Van Ness handles the grooming in this series, Antoni Porowski is the culinary genius (and my favorite), Bobby Berk handles the home interiors, Tan France oversees the fashion, and Karamo Brown is the cultural guru/pep-talk extraordinaire.
Currently, Queer Eye has launched three seasons and 25 episodes on Netflix, with new seasons slated to film and premiere at a later date. This time around, the Fab Five provides makeovers to men and women alike, and the journeys orchestrated in these makeovers are rewarding to witness. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, and you’ll find yourself wanting to become best friends with these five incredible men who just want to help people feel better about themselves.
8. Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries (available on Netflix)
Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries is an Australian television show that takes place in Melbourne in the 1920s. Phryne Fisher, the titular character, is a charismatic, vibrant, fearless female detective who helps solve crimes around the Melbourne area. She is joined by her trusted sidekicks Dot, Bert, Cec, and Mr. Butler. Miss Fisher strikes up a rapport with Detective Inspector Jack Robinson, and sparks fly between the pair as they work together to solve the mysteries.
There are three series and 34 episodes of this addictive drama, and each series follows the adventures of Miss Fisher and Detective Robinson, as well as the budding romance between Dot and Constable Hugh Collins. The show is witty and exciting, and you will fall in love with Miss Fisher’s glamorous ability to take down murderers without smearing her lipstick. Once you finish, you can look forward to the new Miss Fisher movie, The Crypt of Tears, that will be released by the end of this year.
9. Castle Rock (available on Hulu)
If you’re looking for a show that’s a bit spooky, I highly recommend binge-watching Castle Rock. The show is based on characters from some of Stephen King’s most well-known novels and boasts an incredible cast featuring Sissy Spacek and Bill Skarsgård. Castle Rock centers around the mysterious emergence of a character who has secretly been held captive in a small-town prison in Maine. As each episode unfolds, you learn more about this stranger and how he found himself locked in a cage by the warden of the prison.
Castle Rock is alternatively creepy and sad, so be sure to keep a few tissues handy as you work your way through the last few episodes. Castle Rock streamed one season and 10 episodes on Hulu, but the show is slated to return for a much anticipated second season. Castle Rock left me on the edge of my seat and after I finished the finale, I had to take some time to process what I just witnessed. If you enjoy thrillers, Castle Rock does not disappoint.
10. Sherlock (available on Netflix)
Sherlock Holmes movies have been around for several decades, and this modern reboot starring Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman is my favorite adaptation. Benedict Cumberbatch brings a vivacity to the role of Sherlock that makes the show a delight to watch. Martin Freeman’s shy depiction of Watson is everything you would expect, and the connection between these two men is palpable to the viewers. Sherlock aired for a grand total of four series with 13 episodes, with a few specials throughout its popular run.
Sherlock is a joy to watch because you experience emotions of elation, frustration, and confusion. I deeply enjoyed solving mysteries alongside Sherlock and Watson, and I was genuinely surprised by some of the developments that took place before the series finale. Each episode is an hour long, so you can immerse yourself in the world of Baker Street all afternoon without interruption.
Which show are you watching first?