We live in an age where the concept of “less is more” is considered out-of-date — these days, more is more, and nothing demonstrates this ideal quite like the notion of “binge watching.” With streaming services like Netflix, Hulu Plus and HBO Go on the rise, it’s becoming easier and easier to get through years of TV in little more than a weekend.
So what to watch? Don’t worry, friends, we’ve got you covered. From comedy to horror, half hour to hour and a half, we’ve rounded up the best shows to watch back to back to back to back.
And if you’re in the mood for a little binge watching listening pleasure, check out Coma Cast Episode 16, where we discuss the ins and outs of one of our most treasured pastimes.
BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER (1997)
Buffy has a strong vampire-fighting presence on a lot of our top lists, but we’re especially excited to include it on the shows to binge watch. Pun-ny to the core, this kick-ass dramedy helmed by the fantastic Joss Whedon is seven seasons of must-watch-now excitement… not to mention, seeing David Boreanaz as the deliciously brooding vampire boyfriend with a soul is most definitely an added bonus.
ARRESTED DEVELOPMENT (2003)
This hilarious series follows the trials (many, many trials) and tribulations of the Bluth family, led by patriarch Michael (Jason Bateman), who takes over the family business after his father is imprisoned by the SEC. Much to his dismay (and our enjoyment!), Michael’s self indulgent and dysfunctional family is there to make his job hell every step of the way. With a who’s who ensemble cast of pure comedic gold, this Mitchell Hurwitz-helmed series is a masterfully crafted must see.
HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER (2005)
Just try to stay away from this hilarious group of misfit 20-somethings (think an updated Friends with an Irish pub instead of a coffee shop). With episode titles like ‘The Slutty Pumpkin’ and series long jokes that include slap bets and a Canadian teen pop star, this show will have pressing play on the next episode quicker than you can say “Who IS the freaking mother, already?!”
Sure, Jared Padalecki and Jensen Ackles are some good looking fellas, but it takes more than a couple of pretty faces to keep a series on the air for nearly a decade. There’s a reason this CW hit is entering into its ninth season — it’s one of those shows that’s embraced its campiness, approaching its sometimes pretty serious story lines (the end of the world as we know it) with irreverent humor. The leads have great chemistry both on and off the screen, making the hours pass by in no time. Before you know it, you’ll be thinking of Sam and Dean as something of goofy big brothers who just happen to also be demon-killing badasses.
This contemporary re-telling of the beloved classic by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle sees THE Benedict Cumberbatch (Star Trek Into Darkness) in the titular role, with Martin Freeman (The Hobbit) as his trusty war veteran medical associate, Watson. Set in modern day London, the duo takes on the most interesting of cases in order to appease Sherlock’s deep-seated desire to solve the worlds greatest mysteries, not to be outwitted by any living soul. Penned by Steven Moffat (Doctor Who), Sherlock will have you guess every step of the way.
THE WALKING DEAD (2010)
Zombies. Enough said, right? Undead enthusiasts and non-zombie fans alike will be enthralled by this captivating story line and misfit group of characters — seriously, we dare you to watch just one. Just don’t get too attached to anyone in particular. Edge-of-your-seat plot twists often come at a price, and that means even main characters aren’t safe from the mysterious affliction that’s eating away at the population.
BREAKING BAD (2008)
What do you get when you mix genius, cancer and methamphetamine? One of the greatest shows to ever hit the small screen. Breaking Bad was one of AMC’s first runaway hits and proved to audiences that good TV didn’t have to be relegated to paid channels. Love him or love to hate him, Bryan Cranston’s Walter White is superbly played, a protagonist who devolves into an incredibly evil antagonist over the course of only a few years (his “I am the one who knocks” speech is beyond chilling). What does the future hold for Heisenberg and his partner-in-crime, Jesse Pinkman (Aaron Paul)? The end is nearly upon us (and them).
SONS OF ANARCHY (2008)
You might not think that a TV show about a Northern California outlaw biker gang could draw in an incredibly diverse viewership, but ‘Sons of Anarchy’ has done just that. Its gritty storytelling style (courtesy of creator and ‘The Shield’ alum Kurt Sutter), talented cast, and ability to make a traditionally antagonistic character type one that audiences sympathize with and root for have made the series one of the stars of FX, as well as our Netflix queue.
This quintessential cliff-hanger is a perfectly exciting (and totally acceptable) way to lose an entire weekend of free time. Long story short, it’s nearly impossible to watch just one episode. A sordid series of tales, Lost follows the survivors of Oceanic Flight 815 after they’ve crash landed on a mysterious island, but as is always the case when a group of strangers is thrust into an outlandish situation, not everything is as it appears.
BATTLESTAR GALACTICA (2004)
You’d better fracking believe this series took our top spot! Hailed as one of the greatest sci-fi shows of all time, Battlestar Galactica was smart, sexy, and incredibly well-written. For four seasons, audiences followed the veteran battleship as she protected the last of humanity in the war against the Cylons, a cybernetic race of our own creation. And while it may have been a “reimagining” of the 1978 classic series, this version became something so much greater — it not only managed to tell an exciting story, but it gave incredible insight into our own sometimes compassionate, sometimes frightening nature.