The invention of Netflix has brought unimaginable joy to self-professed TV binge watchers such as myself, and everyone knows that the best way to pass the time is to surf the homepage of Netflix and pick out a few shows to catch up on. Now that the holiday season is upon us, it’s a great time to start putting that list together so you can sit back, relax and find out what has been happening with your favorite TV characters.
Now, if you are anything like me, you will have a handful of shows to catch up on that range from sitcoms to dramas and extend to horror. Below is a list (in no particular order) of suggested TV shows that you can spend your time catching up on this holiday season.
Sam and Dean Winchester’s witty banter is now 10 seasons in, but don’t fear, this show is entertaining enough that you won’t even realize how many seasons you have actually watched until you rise up off your couch for that dreadful break you've been avoiding. This show focuses on Supernatural brothers who travel the country fighting everything from ghosts, shape shifters, wolves and skin-walkers, all while trying to find out who burned Sam’s fiancee alive and where their good ol’ dad has disappeared to.
14 American Horror Story
13 Reno 911
A really funny cast that includes the likes of Niecy Nash, Cedric Yarbrough and Kerri Kenney; this show that plays out like 30 minute sketches of hilarity, is centered around cops of the Reno police department. These cops who use their badge to the fullest advantage admittedly suck at their jobs. This show ran for 6 seasons and spawned one successful film. With hijinks that include a questionable pregnancy, terrorist training gone wrong and a not so friendly rivalry with the local fire department, this show is a guaranteed laugh.
12 Les Revenants (The Returned)
Yes, this show has subtitles but we cannot cast out a show because it is not in the English language. Les Revenants or in English, The Returned, is an eerie show that will keep you coming back for much more. Recently picked up for a second season, the series focuses on a group of people who have come back from the dead; some are trying to reclaim their lives, others are in hiding and a few are just trying to fit back in. Please do no mistake this show with ABC’s Resurrection; although it is the same idea, Les Revenants is based off of a 2004 French film titled, They Came Back. An American version of this is currently in the works, staring Mark Pellegrino, Mary Elizabeth Winstead and Jeremy Sisto.
11 It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia
Four friends run a Philadelphia bar and manage to piss off just about everybody they encounter. Completely oblivious to their narcissistic behavior, twins Dee and Dennis and their friends Charlie and Mac, go about their daily lives by ruining others. They have turned a priest into a bum, an army recruit into a joke and last but not least, themselves into a laughing stock. Once you start, you won't be able to stop watching this hilarious half hour comedy; but, don't fear, you have 9 entertaining seasons to keep you busy and even more on the way.
Scandal has its fair share of Presidential affairs, backstabbing and one psycho daddy, and all of this is surrounding the White House. Main character Olivia Pope and her self-proclaimed gladiators that include a former CIA agent turned master hacker, an investigator and a clever litigator run a crisis management firm that focuses on cases, both inside and outside of the White House. Oh yes, and did I mention she is having a not so secret affair with POTUS.
9 The Walking Dead
Zombies, blood, guts and a lot of beheading is the best way to describe AMC’s hit, The Walking Dead. Police Officer Rick Grimes wakes up in a desolate hospital with no recollection as to why he’s there or where his wife and kid are. Rick goes on a hunt that leads him to zombies, zombies and more zombies. On the way, he gradually hooks up with cool characters and takes them along for the ride. Based on a comic book series, this highly successful show is now in its fifth season. If you think you’re not into horror and zombies, think again, this is more than just blood and gore; it’s about survival of the fittest, literally.
8 Orphan Black
Imagine watching yourself jump to your death in front of a train. For main character Sarah Manning, this was the precise incident that changed her life. This show is great to binge watch, simply because the concept is so exciting and not over done. A girl with several clones, all living completely different lifestyles; a crazy one, a home maker, a brain, and too many more to name. They all band together to find out what they really are and how to stop those who made them.
Starring the iconic Glenn Close, as a neurotic, control freak; Damages centers around a newly graduated law student who gets the chance of a lifetime to work at one of the most prestigious firms in New York. Main character Ellen Parsons, soon finds out that all that glitters isn't necessarily gold. For five seasons we are taken down a psychotic winding road and all signs lead to nothing but crazy. What makes this show even more interesting is that every season focuses on a case ripped from actual real life headlines.
6 Top of the Lake
If you are dying to see actress Elisabeth Moss play someone else besides Peggy Olsen in Mad Men, I highly recommend Top of the Lake. This miniseries follows a destructive police investigator who goes on the hunt for a missing twelve-year old girl, only to find herself entangled in a web of lies, deceit and illicit criminal activity. There are two bonuses to watching this miniseries; 1. You get to see Moss in her native New Zealand accent and all; and 2. They plan on making an American version of this show. So if you watch this one, you can brag to your friends about knowing it way back when.
This Judd Apatow sitcom only lasted one season, however, it quickly became a brilliant cult hit. Starring young versions of some of our favorite actors, writers and directors today; Seth Rogen, Amy Pohler, Charlie Hunnam, Jay Baruchel, Kevin Hart, Busy Phillips, Jason Segel, Jenna Fischer… and the list goes on and on. Focusing on freshman year in college, this show takes you on the interesting journey of 6 roommates, and what it’s really like to navigate the halls as a freshman.
4 Shameless (US and UK)
Shameless is one of the few shows to come from across the pond and land itself a hit. Centered on a ridiculously low class family, where everyone has to do what they can to make a penny, including stealing money from UNICEF, a 9 year old running a babysitting service, and faking a terrible illness like cancer. They are a predominantly white family, who for some reason, have a black baby brother; the lack of parental supervision (alcoholic daddy, runaway mommy) keeps these kids in more trouble than your normal rebellious teen.
O.K. O.K. So yes, this is a western, and truth be told, many people are not really into westerns but on recommendation, I picked up a used copy of season one, and I didn't leave my room till I finished all twelve episodes (which got me hyped for the next 24 episodes). Full disclosure, season three leaves a lot unresolved because the show was unfortunately cancelled. However, what you do get to see takes you on a wild ride in the west, and one man’s intense struggle to gain control of an overly corrupt town.
2 Sons of Anarchy
Jax Teller is heir to a rough motorcycle gang, growing up in a life of drugs, guns, one crazy mama and a vengeful stepfather; Sons of Anarchy focuses on Jax’s attempts to bring morals to a gang corrupted by his greedy stepfather. However, he is left grappling with what is right for the gang and what he can realistically accomplish for them and everyone around him, which he often struggles to do. Currently in its seventh and last season, everything will come to a head for SAMCRO and its band of misfits.
We had to have at least one cartoon on this list, and Archer was the one. Archer is clever, funny and voiced by great talents like Jessica Walter, Judy Greer and Aisha Tyler. Centered on a secret intelligence agency and its “master spy” Sterling Archer; the team seems to constantly find themselves in deadly scenarios. Actually, Archer seems to find himself in those scenarios and has to be bailed out by his boss, AKA his mom and his co-worker AKA his ex-girlfriend, who just so happens to loathe him.