Tag Archives: TV

Binge-viewing bonanza! Or, what I am doing over my holiday vacation

I am about to experience two blissful weeks of Living Lightly. No holiday travel, four days off work (plus two weekends), barely any holiday parties, and a lovely low-stress boyfriend who does a lot of the cooking. When it dawned on me that this would be the case, I naturally thought: BINGE VIEWING.

I’ve got the time, I’ve got the couch, I’ve got the excuse (super cold and snowy outside). Just one catch. I have run out of ideas. I set up a binge-viewieng wish list a while back, and I’ve gone through most of it. What’s left is either outdated or, well, at the bottom of the list.

So I decided to crowd-source:

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I was not quite prepared for the response. I received roughly 70 comments and 98 recommendations in all. And boy are they an eclectic mix.

I was so overwhelmed by the choices — and my friends’ enthusiasm — that I felt I should share. I think it’s a list that will help humankind. Consider it my holiday gift to you, my way of preventing you from wasting your time on untested BBC series, or questionable Showtime productions, or B-list HBO programming.

But first — a few observations.

The number-one most frequently recommended binge-viewing series: House of Cards (12 recommendations). Almost no one specified original BBC version versus Netflix, but given how recently it was promoted on Netflix I’m gonna guess the Kevin Spacey version was the impetus.

This was followed by:

  • Orange is the New Black (7 recommendations)
  • Downtown Abbey (6)
  • Homeland (6)
  • Game of Thrones (5)
  • Scandal (4)

And then it drops off.

My personal favorites were the surprises — lesser-known British series (thanks, Jeff, for tipping me off about Mapp & Lucia), or old gems (Twin Peaks!) or newer options I had overlooked (Portlandia and American Horror Story look pretty great). On the other hand, I am kind of shocked at some oversights (Rome! True Blood! Battlestar Galactica! People, come on!). And of course, there is a natural filter in that these come from my Facebook friends, and therefore from people inclined to have tastes, cultural references, and quirks similar to mine, for better or worse.

So here’s the list. I am breaking it into two parts: TV shows and movies. I am starting with TV shows, and am bold-facing ones that I have seen and can recommend. They are in alphabetical order with the number of recommendations listed in parentheses (if more than  one). Check back in the next day or two for the movies. Now, the only thing I need to do is pick what I’ll binge on tomorrow. Yikes.

24
Arrested Development (2)
Better Off Ted (2)
The Blacklist
Boardwalk Empire
Bones
Breaking Bad (3)
Burn Notice
Dexter
Doctor Who (2)
Call the Midwife
Chuck
Coven
Deadwood (2)
Downton Abbey (6)
The Following
Elementary
Eureka
Firefly
Fresh Meat
Friday Night Lights (2)
Fringe
Game of Thrones (5)
The Hollow Crown
House
Homeland (6)
House of Cards (12) (I saw the BBC version)
The IT Crowd
Justified
The Killing (2)
Life
Life on Mars (the original British version) and its spinoff Ashes to Ashes
Lillyhammer
Longmire
Lost
Luther
Mad Men
Mapp & Lucia
Merlin
Monarch of the Glen
Monk
NCIS
Nurse Jackie (2)
Once Upon a Time
Orange is the New Black (7)
Orphan Black (2)
Parenthood
Portlandia
Realtree’s Monster Bucks XVII
Rev
Scandal (4)
Sex in the City
Shameless
Sherlock
Six Feet Under (2)
Slings and Arrows
Sons of Anarchy
Spy
The Top of the Lake
Treme (2)
Tudors (3)
Twin Peaks
The Wallender series
The White Queen
West Wing
The Wire

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