For many of you, it’s the university holidays, so we all know what that means. Netflix and chill. Probably with your cat. If you have big plans for revising for your finals, throw them out the window because I’ve got fifteen of the best TV shows to binge watch here for you today. Some are new, some are old, but all make for essential watching.
House of Cards
House of Cards was Netflix’s first, and probably most successful, original series. The first 13 episodes were released on Netflix back in 2013 and now here we are four seasons later with a fifth on the way. TV’s hottest power couple is undoubtedly Frank and Claire Underwood and they’re the current big bad wolves on screen. With only 13 episodes per season, it’s not too late to catch up.
… for those who have not yet watched House of Cards
The only reason I started The 100 back in 2014 is because I read the YA book by Kass Morgan and thought it was pretty good. Season 1 was alright but nothing to shout about really, but fast forward to season 2 and suddenly The 100 is the show that everyone is talking about. Season 3 has already aired too so there’s plenty to get stuck into.
Review of The 100 Season 2 coming soon.
Game of Thrones
Does Game of Thrones really need any explanation? George R.R. Martin’s show picked up a huge following when it debuted on HBO in 2011. This man is notorious for killing his main characters off so don’t get too attached to anyone. After the shocking finale to season 5, fans are desperately awaiting season 6, which is due to air on April 24th 2016. People are asking whether Game of Thrones will have the same legacy that Tolkein’s Lord of the Rings left behind so this is certainly not one to miss.
When I hear someone hasn’t watched Game of Thrones yet:
Orange is the New Black
Another of Netflix’s original series and original it certainly is! Orange is the New Black follows the lives of female inmates at Litchfield prison. The series got off to a great start, had a bit of a shaky middle but I still have high hopes for the subsequent series. There’s such a wide array of characters in this series and sometimes the randomest of plot lines, but this really is very good. Expect lesbian scenes and humour.
BBC adaptions are usually rather excellent but Sherlock is exceptionally so. Never have I seen a more exhilarating, confusing and mind-bogglingly brilliant show. Starring Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman, two amazingly talented actors, this show has only gone from strength to strength and will no doubt continue to do so. Each episode is around an hour and a half so it’s almost like watching a film series that never ends (almost). This is not the sort of show you can dip in and out of on a Sunday afternoon, it requires concentration and attention to detail or you’ll never keep up.
p.s. Who remembers Martin Freeman in the Ali G movie? Not many people do but give it another watch and he’s Ali G’s right hand man! (Check out his IMDB credentials if you don’t believe me..)
Oh you’ve never watched Sherlock?
Doctor Who has been running for a very long time and it has had its up and downs. The modern revival of this family show has been very successful so far with David Tenant and Matt Smith’s series being particularly spectacular, in my opinion. Now we’ve moved onto Peter Capaldi, which I was a little nervous about, but the series is still moving from strength to strength and he fits the role of an eccentric Doctor perfectly. Each week you’re treated to a new monster, some of which are really, very scary. Weeping Angels for example. This episode aired almost ten years ago and I still have nightmares. This is one for all the family so get the kids down and start watching.
I’ve got to be honest here, the only reason I started watching Suits was because of the eye candy. Harvey Spectre is one of the sexiest characters on television right now but you kinda have to watch Suits to find out why. This show follows the story of Mike, a young guy that accidentally lands a job with one of the biggest law firms in NYC. Without a background in law, this is 100% illegal so you get two plots running side by side: firstly, Mike trying not to get caught; secondly, Mike and Harvey being kick-ass lawyers. This show is intelligent and funny so don’t be put off by the law aspect.
When people tell me they don’t know who Harvey Spectre is:
Ok by recently I mean a good few years but lots of people are still picking up these shows and giving them a watch. Most importantly, all three of them can be found in their entirety on Netflix so you’ve really got no excuses.
I’m still only on Season 3 on Mad Men but I can already see why this show won so many awards. You both love and hate protagonist Don Draper for being so darn good great at his job but also being the biggest dick. This period drama follows the employees, mostly Don, of an advertising agency in New York in the 60s. It is widely regarded as one of the best television dramas of all time (seriously, check it out on Wikipedia) so if you’re going to watch any of these shows, make it Mad Men.
To be honest I didn’t really get the hype surrounding Breaking Bad. It never appealed to me that much but after some persuasion from my friends, I decided I’d give it a go. I gave myself a challenge: I could only watch it in the uni gym. Let’s just say I went to the gym a lot in second year. Whilst the first few season are good, they’re not that special, but by the time you get to season 4 and 5, you’re more addicted to Breaking Bad than Jesse’s favourite prostitute is addicted to crystal meth. (If you didn’t get the reference then you clearly haven’t seen Breaking Bad and you need to re-evaluate your life decisions)
Not sure Breaking Bad is your thing?
How I Met Your Mother
This show has always been said to be a copy of the infamous Friends but really I think How I met Your Mother has a place of its own at the table of American sit-coms. This show follows the lives of Barney, Ted, Lily, Marshall and Robin, five unforgettable characters who all come together to make one of the funniest shows out there. At twenty minutes an episode, this is the sort of thing you can play in the background whilst you’re doing something else and still keep up.
Oldies but goodies
When I was in secondary school Gossip Girl and 90210 were the two big shows at the time. I watched both religiously but only one of them is still remembered. Years later people are still watching Gossip Girl and teenage girls idolise Serena van der Woodsen and Blair Waldorf. The slogan WWBD (What Would Blair Do) is still widely used which just goes to show how iconic some Gossip Girl characters are. Set in NYC, this show follows Manhattan’s elite. A mysterious ‘Gossip Girl’ sends out regular updates about the elite’s lives so there’s no such thing as a secret in NYC. Don’t be fooled by their perfect and preened exteriors, these are some of the most intelligent and conniving teenagers you’ll ever meet.
One Tree Hill
One Tree Hill was my all-time favourite American drama back in the day. It sounds like your typical American high school drama (and to be honest, it is), except it’s really quite gripping and the acting isn’t atrocious. This series ran for a whole nine seasons so we watched the Scott brothers and their friends grow from gangly teenagers to real adults. Full of heartbreak and continual plot twists, I’d highly recommend One Tree Hill.
As you guys will know, I’m a massive booknerd. And who is the ultimate bookworm of the all? Rory Gilmore (perhaps with the exception of Hermione Granger). Gilmore Girls may not be that well known anymore but it’s still regularly aired on TV and has a very loyal fanbase. This show follows *drum roll* the Gilmore girls Lorelai and Rory, mother and daughter, and you watch them both grow up over the course of the seven seasons. Lorelei is a single mother and a bit of a disaster (but still lovable) and Rory is incredibly intelligent, almost too much so. There are rumors of Gilmore Girls reunion so evidently producers haven’t forget this and neither should you. A very funny and heartwarming drama for the ladies.
The OC is a bit old even for me but for some reason I got really into it when I was a teenager. There are four main characters: Seth, Ryan, Summer and Marissa and I’m not sure I need to explain any more really. Set in California, The OC is about these high school teenagers as they navigate school (then uni), first love, family drama – the works.
What NOT to binge watch
Pretty Little Liars
If watching TV on a tiny screen doesn’t really appeal, pick up a HDMI cable for around £1 on Amazon and then you can connect your laptop to your television.
What series would you recommend binge-watching? I’m sure there are many other fantastic shows that I’ve missed off my list so if you’ve got a recommendation, I want to hear it!
*This is a sponsored post but all opinions are my own. Anyone that knows me can vouch I’m a true binge watcher.