- By Jenna Maxwell
Binge Watching: A Modern Summertime Phenomenon
Gone are the days of ho-hum summer re-runs. Summer television viewing has morphed into something that is forever fresh, always new and very much alive and well. To find something you haven't seen before, you certainly do not have to wait for a network's new fall lineup. Nowadays, you can stream on demand almost any show you want, whenever you want it. Binge television watching has become the new television trend of the ages. If you are looking for a guilty pleasure, or just need to catch up on what everyone else is talking about, instant streaming gratification is just a few button clicks away! Here is a list (in no particular order) of our favorite television shows that are perfect for summer binge watching, proving once again that all summer fun does not have to happen in the sun.
- "Game of Thrones" - If it seems like the entire world is watching this show, there's a very good reason for that. Game of Thrones is a fantasy adventure like nothing you've ever experienced before. If you are weary of not knowing what all the hoopla is all about, there's no time like the present to catch up on one of the most epic television experiences available. I personally enjoy watching the episodes dressed as my favorite character, Daenerys Targaryen, but that's just me. As of this writing, Game of Thrones just finished its fifth season on HBO. Past episodes are available for viewing via the HBOgo app.
- "Mad Men" - Set in the 1960's at a Madison Avenue ad agency; you just will not believe what's really going on behind the scenes. (AMC, iTunes, Amazon, Netflix)
- "Vikings" - A History Channel series based on the legends and stories of the Viking culture. The story features the rise of Ragnar Lothbrook as he ascends from ordinary peasant to warrior to King of the Vikings. Grab your shield and sword and get ready! (History, Hulu, Amazon)
- "Better Call Saul" - Calling all Breaking Bad fans that may be suffering from a little bit of withdrawal! This Breaking Bad sequel will not disappoint hungry fans. Available on iTunes or Amazon Prime.
- "Wolf Hall" - Set in the early sixteenth century, this PBS drama could be called House of Cards, Renaissance edition. Of course, we can't stop admiring the period costumes! (PBS)
- "Veep" - Julia Louis-Dreyfus reigns supreme in HBO's political comedy set in the office of Selina Meyer, a fictional Vice President. (HBO)
- "Silicon Valley" - The comedy highlights the struggles faced as tech nerds reach their ultimate success. (HBO)
- "The Americans" - KGB operatives are posing as an American married couple during the early 1980's cold war era. (Hulu)
- "Orange is the New Black" - One of Netflix's most popular original series, Orange is the New Black's third season was just released on June 12th. Netflix is a huge fan of summer binge watching.
- "Homeland" - This one is going to be hard to understand if you don't watch it from the get-go, but that just makes it all the more perfect for your summer boredom. This Showtime political dramatic thriller is not to be missed! (Showtime, Amazon)
- "Justified" - Raylan Givens, a rugged US Marshall, must put his own style of justice to work in his hometown of Harlan, Kentucky. (FX Networks, Hulu)
- "House of Cards" - Kevin Spacey stars in Netflix's original political drama that spotlights the ruthless power struggle and upward rise of Democratic House majority whip, Francis Underwood. (Netflix)
- "The Honourable Woman" - Political spy thriller starring Maggie Gyllenhaal. (Netflix)
- "Orphan Black" - Science fiction series that tells the story of several people who are completely identical and are literal clones. (BBC, Amazon Prime)
- "The Walking Dead" - There's no time like the present to get caught up on cable's most popular zombie-fest. Season 6 of the AMC favorite will be released sometime this October, but earlier seasons are available on Netflix.
- "Bates Motel" - Norman Bates is back and has opened a hotel in his hometown in Oregon. Get ready for a truly spine-tingling thriller! (Netflix)
- "Outlander" - A television drama featuring historical time travel. Based on the Outlander book series written by Diana Gabaldon. (Starz)
- "Downton Abbey" - The challenges and struggles of the uber-wealthy Crawley family and their (mostly) loyal servants, all set in pre-WWI England. (PBS, Amazon)
- "Hannibal" - Yes, we're talking about THAT Hannibal. Hannibal the series tells the story before the story told in the legendary film The Silence of the Lambs. For as macabre and hideous as this show can be, it also manages to pull off something truly artistically compelling. (Amazon Prime)
- "True Detective" - Outstanding crime drama on HBO. Find season one featuring Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson on Amazon Prime and the HBOgo App. New season premieres on HBO on June 21 at 9 pm.
- "Marvel's Agent Carter" - Starring Captain America's Hayley Atwell, this story follows Peggy Atwell in post-war 1946 as she attempts to balance going on secret missions, the life of a single woman and losing the love of her life, Steve Rogers, aka Captain America. (Hulu)
- "Gotham" - What could be better than a Batman prequel? Holy binge watching, Batman! (Hulu)
Tried and True Comic Relief
- "The Office" - A hilarious mockumentary that features the shenanigans that go on behind the scenes of a paper supply company in Scranton, Pennsylvania. (Netflix)
- "Arrested Development" - When his father goes to prison, responsible son Michael Bluth (Jason Bateman) must take over and care for his dysfunctional family. (Amazon Prime)
- "Entourage" - Movie Star Vincent Chase learns to cope with his big LA life with the help of his agent and group of close friends. (Amazon Prime)
- "Cheers" - A Boston bar "Cheers" is the local watering hole for a mixed variety of characters to come to work, drink and share their lives.
- "The Simpsons" - The misadventures of working class Homer Simpson and his mildly dysfunctional cartoon family. (Amazon)
Oldies but (really) Goodies!
- "Sons of Anarchy" - Tells the story of a tightly knit motorcycle club that lives slightly outside of the law. (Netflix)
- "The Sopranos" - A crime drama that revolves around the family and life of the mobster, Tony Soprano, while living in modern day New Jersey. (Amazon Prime)
- "Breaking Bad" - One of the most-watched cable shows of all time, Breaking Bad tells the tale of a high school chemistry teacher, Walter White of Albuquerque, New Mexico. Walter has been diagnosed with terminal lung cancer and to secure his family's future before he dies; Walter turns to a life of crime, secretly making and distributing methamphetamine. (Amazon Prime)
- "Dexter" - Dexter Morgan is a blood-spatter analyst that works for the Miami Metro Police Department by day. At night, however, Dexter lives the secret life of a compelled serial killer who preys on the worst of criminals that have somehow slipped through the cracks of the judicial system. (Showtime, Amazon)
- "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" - You could argue that this show paved the way for many other vampire-themed shows that would eventually follow. For that reason alone, it is a must-see! (Hulu)
There you have it - you can now plan your summer accordingly! However, remember to mix plenty of sun with your binge watching, some say it may not be the best for your health. (They have obviously never seen our list!)