Today I am taking a break from my usual Wednesday Complete-The-Story format to focus on something that is near and dear to my heart—binge-watching. I have been a binge watcher all my life. When I was a kid and there was a Leave it to Beaver marathon, my Grandma would always be sure to record it for me since I didn’t have cable. When reruns of my shows (Full House, Wonder Years, Family Matters etc.) came on while I was at school my mom would record them for me to watch when I got home.
My binge-watching life changed for the better in the late 00’s when thanks to Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Video, I discovered streaming. I enjoy all sorts of shows, and today I want to start with some oft overlooked shows that can be binge watched in a weekend. While it is not recommended you watch the entirety of the show in one weekend, if you are like my husband and can’t stop watching once you have started, these I can guarantee will be sure to satisfy.
Time to Watch: ~16 hours
Official Summary: “A 200-year-old man works in the New York City Morgue trying to find a key to unlock the curse of his immortality.” -IMDB
Thoughts: Forever was a show that I was super excited about when it was first advertised. I absolutely loved the premise and the characters but was devastated when I heard it would be cancelled after one season. Even so do not sleep on this show! Although short lived, the story wraps up nicely and you will be better for having watched it. If it leaves you craving more, I recommend checking out Harrow (Hulu) which also stars Ioan Graffudd whose character also works in a morgue, except in Australia. It is grittier but has a good balance between the drama of the main character’s home and work life.
2) Good Omens
Time to Watch: ~5.5 hours
Where: Amazon Prime Video
Official Summary: “A tale of the bungling of Armageddon features an angel, a demon, an eleven-year-old Antichrist, and a doom-saying witch.” -IMDB
Thoughts: If Supernatural (Netflix) and Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy (2005 film) had a baby it would be Good Omens. Based on the book by Terry Pratchett this short series is a whirlwind. David Tennant (forever my favorite Doctor) will always be one of my favorite actors and his character’s bromance with Michael Sheen’s is *chef’s kiss*. The second season has been announced but even with 6 more episodes, this show will still be one weekend bingeable.
3) Black Books
Time to Watch: ~7.5 hours
Official Summary: “Bernard Black runs a book shop, though his customer service skills leave something to be desired. He hires Manny as an employee. Fran runs the shop next door. Between the three of them many adventures ensue.” -IMDB
Thoughts: I have watched this show in entirety six times at least. The actors/characters work so well together. The jokes are sometimes so quick you miss them which makes for great rewatching. If absurd, surreal, British comedy sounds fun to you this one will be right up your alley. If you need more absurd British comedy, I recommend Taskmaster (YouTube). It is British game show with an all-comedian cast, so hilarious.
4) Mystic Pop-Up Bar
Time to Watch: ~14 hours
Official Summary: “A young man with a unique ability begins working for a centuries-old bar owner who resolves her customers’ emotional troubles by entering their dreams.”
Thoughts: This one took me by surprise. I really liked the premise and was captivated by the trailer that played over and over on my Netflix main screen, but I was initially hesitant to watch because of the subtitles. Thankfully, I got over my fear because this show is amazing and quickly became a favorite of both mine and my husband. This show may get another season but no news yet. Need more? There is a plethora of K dramas on Netflix, but this show admittedly actually became my gateway drug into anime, to the satisfaction of my husband. Try something new, watch this show!
5) Pushing Daisies
Time to Watch: ~15.5 hours
Official Summary: “A pastry chef with the power to bring dead people back to life solves murder mysteries with his resurrected childhood sweetheart, a cynical private investigator, and a lovesick waitress.” -IMDB
Thoughts: This was one of the first shows I binge streamed. I have seen it a few times now and I still love it. I love the fantasy of this world. The sets are amazing, this show could spawn its own theme park. Sadly, it was cancelled before all the loose ends were tied but honestly that is not reason enough to skip it. If you need more, this show was originally supposed to be a spin-off of the also short-lived Dead Like Me (CWSeed). Darker and less whimsical, this one will take more than a weekend and if you watch the follow up movie, be sure to skip the reaper storyline—you will thank me later.
6) Samantha Who?
Time to Watch: ~14.5 hours
Official Summary: “A woman suffers from amnesia and is forced to find out who she really is.” -IMDB
Thoughts: I originally came across this show while trying to find a place to stream Doctor Who. It was nothing like what I was looking for but my goal that night was to fix my sleep schedule, so I went with it. I am glad I did. I watched the entire series in one night. Unfortunately, this show was cut short in part by falling victim to the infamous writers strike of 2007 but I think it told the story it came to tell and did it well. Christina Applegate and Melissa McCarthy and the rest of the cast are great which makes it so frustrating that this show is as underappreciated as it is. Do the right thing and watch it.
7) Little Fires Everywhere
Time to Watch: ~8 hours
Official Summary: “Based on Celeste Ng’s 2017 bestseller, “Little Fires Everywhere” follows the intertwined fates of the picture-perfect Richardson family and the enigmatic mother and daughter who upend their lives.” -IMDB
Thoughts: I knew of the book, but when I saw it was coming out as a show, I read the book. There are very few movies and shows that do the book justice and this is one of them. This show takes all the subtleties of the book, the details that are left up to imagination, and makes them screamingly obvious—but in the best way. Powerful and timely messages come through loud and clear in this series. If you need more, I recommend trying at Anne with an E (Netflix) a bit long to make it on this list, but one of my absolute favorites. An edgier retelling/reimagining of Anne of Green Gables, this coming of age show also tackles tough but important topics.
Time to Watch: ~15.5 hours
Official Summary: “A part-improvised comedy about a couple bringing up their three young children.” -IMDB
Thoughts: Admittedly, I have not seen this one in a good minute because it was not available to the US online for a while. Finding it recently though, I cannot wait to watch it again! It is another British comedy recommendation, but family centered this time. The kids in this show are such awesome actors, especially Ramona Marquez who plays Karen—my favorite. The 5 series take place over 9 real years, so you see the kids grow up which I think is cool. Not enough? Try watching Parenthood (Hulu), a bit more of a dramedy but also really good.
9) Marvel’s Agent Carter
Time to Watch: ~13 hours
Official Summary: “In 1946, Peggy Carter is relegated to secretarial duties in the Strategic Scientific Reserve (SSR). When Howard Stark is accused of treason, he secretly recruits Peggy to clear his name with the help of his butler, Edwin Jarvis.” -IMDB
Thoughts: Before Loki, before WandaVision, there was Agent Carter. Supposedly this show is no longer part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe canon, but who cares—it’s great. I am a sucker for a good period piece and Agent Carter delivers. Peggy is great and her banter with Jarvis is so much fun. If you have already binged WandaVision and The Falcon and the Winter Soldier and need something to hold you over until the next episode of Loki, go back and watch this one.
Time to Watch: ~5 hours
Where: Amazon Prime Video
Official Summary: “A man is able to choose his own afterlife after his untimely death by having his consciousness uploaded into a virtual world. As he gets used to his new life and befriends his angel (real world handler) questions about his death arise.” -IMDB
Thoughts: This was another one I was super excited to see when I first heard about it. The premise is unique and interesting, and the first season did not disappoint. I was a big fan of the 2006-2015 era of Syfy shows and Upload gives me those vibes except a bit more sinister and grown up. I am excited to see where this show goes. If you need something to hold you over until the second season, I recommend checking out Eureka (Amazon Prime Video). It is a bit more family friendly but with similar futuristic whimsy.
Honorary mentions: Sherlock (purchase only), SyFy’s Alice (purchase only), The LXD (purchase only), Dollhouse & Firefly (Obligatory short-lived Joss Whedon shows, Hulu), Locke & Key (Netflix), Ravenswood (exclusively for Pretty Little Liars fans, CWSeed).
Thanks to https://tiii.me/ for help with calculating total watch times.
Which of these shows have you seen? Which ones would you add and recommend? Let me know!