Whether via Netflix, Hulu, iTunes, or physical releases on Blu-Ray and DVD, there are countless television shows out there more than worthy of your time. Classic and modern series equally vie for our viewership, and here are some picks for TV shows that you simply must binge watch.
Will & Grace
If you haven’t already followed along with the sidesplitting escapades of Grace Adler, Will Truman, Jack McFarland and, of course, Karen Walker, then it’s never been a better time to break out the snacks and settle in for hours of hilarity. This much-adored and colourful sitcom follows the everyday lives of a flaky New York City interior designer, her gay lawyer roommate, and their various raunchy yet hysterically endearing friends. It’s been broadcast in more than 60 countries, and maintains a steady cult following to this day, particularly amongst the LGBTQ community. The series’ initial run ended in 2006 much to the dismay of many a passionate fan, but the original cast is set to return and continue Will & Grace — complete with the catchy opening theme tune — with a brand new season airing in late 2017. Catching up and binge watching the original 8-season series of this brilliantly naughty sitcom is time well spent. Chest bumps are optional.
Orange Is the New Black
In anticipation of its 5th season being unleashed on June 9, you’ll do no wrong with settling down for a marathon of Orange Is the New Black. Vicious, dramatic, delightfully twisted and unquestionably addictive, this is Netflix’s most-watched original series, and for good reason. Following the antics and dilemmas of inmates and staff in a women’s minimum-security federal prison, the show is essentially an endless rollercoaster of vulgarity, darkness, shock value, drama and highly effective comedy that melds together into one sucker-punch of an experience. Expect everything from drug smuggling, tension, and murder to racial wars, blackmailing, insanity and even the presence of a mythical chicken.
If you haven’t taken the time to appreciate this masterwork of a series, you are sorely missing out. Letting Downton Abbey sink its hooks into you is like opening a portal back to the palatial majesty of the Edwardian Era and Roaring Twenties, bringing to life the days of ocean liner travel, estate living, hilarious upper crust snobbery, and delicious high-society drama. This series of six masterfully produced seasons follows the everyday lives of not just the wealthy aristocrats and their lavish lifestyles, but also the equally fascinating and dramatic stories of their staff. A beautifully widened window into the inner workings of such establishments of yesteryear, Downton Abbey is world-famous as a result of it being meticulously accurate, right down to the silver place settings at Lord Grantham’s candlelit dining room table. While the series has ended (the conclusion of an era in itself), it is a timeless creation that is sure to be beloved by many generations to come. Once you’re a few episodes in, it’s going to be nearly impossible to let go.
The IT Crowd
Long-concluded but never forgotten, The IT Crowd is the perfect example of slapstick British comedy in it’s prime, similar to that of Mr. Bean or Father Ted. Following the misadventures of a group of socially awkward IT “professionals” locked in the dank basement of an office tower full of technologically-inept employees, this short but highly addictive series creates a truly special and endearing atmosphere thanks to it’s cast and witty writing. Expect a roster of delightfully weird and hilarious characters thanks to a cast comprised of comedic geniuses Chris O’Dowd, Richard Ayoade, Katherine Parkinson, Matt Berry, Chris Morris, and the incredible Noel Fielding. Encompassing only 24 episodes, The IT Crowd is perfect for binge watchers everywhere keen on settling into something satisfying but not exhaustive. Expect genius and wonderfully over-the-top storylines, including everything from declaring a war on stress resulting in an office fire to befriending a German cannibal in an attempt to watch a pirated film. You won’t regret this one.
There are so many clever and highly entertaining shows on the market that it can be daunting to select your next binge-worthy addiction. However, these four shows are more than worth your time thanks to powerful writing, deeply gifted cast members, high-quality production, and incredible timeless appeal.