Binge-watching shows on Netflix is one of the most satisfying ways to spend a weekend (or week) and one of the most dangerous forms of procrastination. We’re all guilty of it. You lie there in bed, maybe a bit hungover, definitely in your pjs, and watch episode after episode until six hours have passed, you’ve eaten everything within arm’s reach, and your essay is still at zero words. Oops. Here are the most binge-worthy shows on both the UK and US Netflix in no particular order.
- Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1997-2003)
Buffy the Vampire Slayer follows the life of Buffy Summers, “the Slayer”, one in a long line of women chosen to fight evil. The show is full of some really awesome fight scenes and climactic situations, but that isn’t what sucks you in. What makes Buffy so addicting is its focus on normal life. You watch Buffy and her friends combat the forces of darkness, but you also see them grow. Buffy has gained respect due to its graceful dealings of themes such as grief, mental illness, and sexuality. With seven seasons and 144 episodes, you have loads of time to fall in love with the show, and believe me, you will.
- Orange is the New Black (2013 – )
One of the most discussed and popular shows at the moment, Orange is the New Black focuses on the lives of women prisoners. While the first season mainly follows (the somewhat infuriating) Piper Chapman, who was arrested for her involvement in her ex-girlfriend’s drug trafficking, as the show progresses it focuses more on the lives of the other women. This, in my opinion, is what makes the show so good. Even if you aren’t a fan of Piper you’ll fall in love with the other characters of the show. OitNB uses a mix of dark humor and drama to humanize female prisoners and explore issues of race, sexuality, and gender. Three seasons later you will, like the rest of us, be desperate for more.
- Doctor Who (1963-89) (2005 – )
Doctor Who is the cult classic show. Having celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2013, the show boasts 815 episodes including both the old and new series. Always fanciful, oftentimes heartrending, and sometimes ridiculous, Doctor Who centers on the travels of the Doctor and his companions through time and space in his TARDIS. Because the Doctor regenerates every few seasons, there have been twelve Doctors, each of whom brings something different to the show. While the Doctor is entertaining and everyone has their own opinion about who is the best one, in my opinion, it’s the human companions that make the show what it is.
- House of Cards (2013 – )
Boasting 23 Emmy nominations over three seasons, House of Cards showcases the dark, grittier side of American politics. The show follows politician Frank Underwood and his wife Claire on their quest for power. Frank is willing to do whatever it takes to get to where he wants to be, including theft, infidelity, and murder. Kevin Spacey and Robin Wright are fantastic in their roles and you can’t help but love and hate them both. The show is very dense but addicting and features some really incredible cinematography and music. Not for the faint of heart, House of Cards is for someone who wants an engrossing, complicated show.
5. The X-Files (1993-2002)
A cult classic and pop culture touchstone, The X-Files follows FBI agents Fox Mulder and Dana Scully as they seek to solve cases that have paranormal elements. The show can be silly at times and the special effects are often laughable (it was the 90s though, to be fair) but it is entertaining and addicting. The X-Files popularized mistrust of the government and the public’s fascination with conspiracy theories through its plot-lines surrounding government secrets. Also, the skeptic vs. believer trope was made popular by the relationship of Scully and Mulder. The show is set to return in early 2016 with six new episodes. With 202 episodes, anyone is able to get sucked into the show and be desperate for 2016.
All pictures sourced from Pinterest.