So, in case there is anyone out there is like me (an underemployed graduate student or recently single lady) and has a little too much time on her hands or is unwilling to venture out in the world and socialise with well-meaning friends, I have compiled a list of binge-worthy TV series. I am currently either watching these series or finished them during this summer break.
1. Peaky Blinders (gangster drama) – So, I confess to never having watched The Sopranos or any other gangster or mob related series because I am a loser or whatever. But Peaky Blinders kept popping up on my Netflix feed so I decided to give it a try…OH MY GOSH! AMAZING! If you like a period-drama (and who doesn’t?) and the darker side of society with a bit of romance, then this is perfect. Peaky Blinders presents crime from the point-of-view of the criminals, so that the viewer comes to identify with the violent members of the Shelby family and the decisions they are forced to make to protect themselves from a world that tramples on those at the bottom. Also, it doesn’t hurt that the good-looking cast all have British accents. There are three seasons, so completely doable with a week’s worth of binging.
2. The 100 – Like the previous, this CW series has three seasons. It has gotten good reviews from my friends and online sites but has kind of been buried under all the fantasy/dystopia/scifi series out in the last couple of years. When it first came out it didn’t hook me, but if you stick with it then you’ll start to get obsessed halfway through the first season. I just recently got to it and haven’t been able to drop it. I’m still on season three, but if you are into sci-fi and young adult dystopia then I highly suggest this one. What is good is that the romance doesn’t overload the plot and the characters are relatable in their struggles to survive in a world where it’s killed or be killed.
3. Fear the Walking Dead – If you haven’t caught on to The Walking Dead’s spin-off then please do! It is as good, and in some ways better, than the original. It shows us how the outbreak began and how people reacted to it through a diverse and talented cast. There are currently two seasons, so it’s easy to get up-to-date before the fall premiere. It is obviously a must for my fellow zombie-show lovers out there.
4. The Magicians – “Magic is a Drug”…if that tagline alone doesn’t get you hooked then this show is not for you. Most reviews have described Syfy’s new series as “Harry Potter for adults”, but I feel that doesn’t really do the show justice. It has elements of all of our favourite fantasy books: Harry Potter, The Chronicles of Narnia, and Lord of the Rings. It is based off Lev Grossman’s books (haven’t read but will sometime after my graduate exam this fall) and it is thrilling. Mostly, it has sex, alcohol, and some truly dark magic that not even HP delved into. Magic truly becomes like a drug to some characters, while others seek to save the world from an unknown evil. If nothing else, it is also quite humorous and even includes a musical episode. The show premiered this January so there is only one season available for binging and the next one isn’t slated to begin until 2017, but it is so very worth the binge and the wait!
5. The Shannara Chronicles – Terry Brooks’s famous novels finally make their way onto a screen after year of negotiations and deals that fell through. At first I was on the fence about this series because it was being shown on MTV and after one episode I was MINDBLOWN! The network spared no expense on this series, which I can’t say does the books justice (since I never read them but have definitely put them on my list since watching this show) but definitely competes with Lord of the Rings for amazing aerial shots of a beautiful fantasy country. This is another post-apocalyptic show, but with a twist: elves, gnomes, and magic are actually a thing that came out of hiding after the world went to shit. Three young heroes are charged with saving the world from an impending demon army. Finally, we have some strong female lead characters who can kick butt! Anywho, the story and cast are compelling and shock-full of surprises. And if John-Rhys Davies thought it was worth it, who are you to give it a pass without at least watching the first episode (disclaimer: it’s about two hours long because it combines episodes one and two in an amazing premiere). It also began this January, so there is only one season available, but it has been renewed for a second season starting in 2017.
6. Guilt – This show JUST premiered on Freeform and it demonstrates that ABC Family’s makeover is more than just skin-deep (as in it isn’t just a change of name). The series gets rid of the family-friendly programming the network was previously known for with a gritty murder-mystery that includes secret sex clubs where old and wealthy men sleep with young girls in a lavish place where even royals get there kinky sex fix. Of course, all of this is a secret and secrets like these have a way of getting people hurt…or do they? The twists in this plot are sharp and harrowing and you really have no idea who is guilty for the violent murder of Grace Atwood’s roommate, but even she doesn’t look so innocent. A combination of Pretty Little Liars with the Amanda Knox murder trial, I just finished watching this and I am utterly addicted. Other than the amazing Anthony Head (Buffy the Vampire Slayer) I have not seen any of the cast previously, yet find them very talented. Especially, the lead actress who plays Grace, Daisy Head (yes, she’s the daughter of Anthony so the talent shouldn’t be surprising). There are only two episodes out (like I said, just premiered) but if you don’t want to dedicate a week or more to binging and just want to jump into something and watch it on a weekly basis, then this is a great option.
That’s it for now, but I do have other suggestions. So if you have seen all of these and are looking for something to watch then just comment and, if you let me know your preferred TV genre, I’ll get back to you with some suggestions.