Binge-watching TV shows is one of life’s guilty pleasures. I’m definitely a start it, finish it kinda girl when it comes to committing to shows with multiple seasons, and I know I’m not the only one, so it’s super important to pick the right series. With so many great options on Sky, Netlfix and the like, I’ve taken it upon myself to offer a little guidance on the best binge-worthy TV shows.
These are my top 10 picks for shows you can watch in bulk; you can turn them on and not move for the day, evening or weekend – there’s no judgement here!
1. Grey’s Anatomy
I’ve been obsessed with Greys for as long as I can remember. A medical drama set in Seattle following a group of surgical interns in a busy hospital. Sometimes it’s wonderfully sarcastic and at others it’s heart-wrenchingly sad and makes you cry so hard you’ll wonder if you’ll ever stop. You’ll laugh and cry with them characters and be more invested than you expected possible. With 12 seasons to watch (so far) you’ll be as knowledgeable as any doctor by the end too.
2. Gilmore Girls
I grew up with Gilmore Girls so I’m a little biased, but this really is my go-to cheerful, excellently quick witted show for when I’m in need of perking up, or just want an injection of warm fuzziness. The writing is fast paced, fabulously intelligent and contains more pop culture references than you’ll ever be able to understand. The show follows Lorelai and Rory Gilmore, a mother and daughter in a small Connecticut town; you see Rory grow up go off to college (no spoilers as to which one!) and how her relationship with her mother and grandparents evolves over the years.
Created and written by Shonda Rimes, this could not get further away from the feel of Greys Anatomy but still be equally awesome. A political drama following ‘fixer’ and fashion extraordinaire Olivia Pope, Scandal follows a group of self-appointed gladiators as they solve problems and political scandals in Washington. The show is dark, twisty and executed to perfection. Kerry Washington is at her best playing Olivia, a spunky no-nonsense woman who knows what she wants until it comes to her man situation – I’ll leave that for you to unravel in your own time. If Olivia Pope doesn’t become your woman crush, there’s something wrong – she has a Prada tote for every day of the year and never gets white dirty.
I lose all dignity when the Suits theme song comes on, and I surely can’t be the only one? Set in New York, Suits is a legal drama following Harvey Spector and Mike Ross. Gone are the days of the cheesy law shows from the 90’s and early 00’s, Suits is in a class of it’s own. Harvey Spector is the guy most men will envy and women will love (how does he wear waistcoats so well?); he’s cocky, knows his stuff and settles for nothing less than what he wants. Mike has a photographic memory and is pulled along for a ride that could blow up at any second – drama guaranteed.
5. The League
If you’re looking for a complex storyline or a serious drama, this isn’t for you. However, if you’re looking for a light-hearted, hilarious and down to earth show following a group of competitive friends, then stop – The League will become your new obsession. The friendship group religiously play fantasy football, but don’t worry if you can’t tell the different between a QB and a wide receiver – you don’t need to know a thing about the sport to enjoy the show. Banter, male ego, and enough laughs to keep you coming back time and time again, The League is well worth a view, or ten.
6. Mad Men
An oldie but a goodie. Mad Men started in 2007 and recently came to an end after a hugely successful run. With a cast including Jon Hamm, Christina Hendricks, January Jones and John Slattery, there was no way Mad Men was ever going to fail – the characters are rich, yet stereotypical of the era and you can’t help feel levels of anger you didn’t know you were capable of at times (yes, Mr Draper, I’m looking at you!). Set in the 1960s, Mad Men is a drama about a prestigious advertising agency in New York and follows not only the professional lives of the cast but their colourful personal lives too. If you’re into set and costume design, this is a wonderfully rich show to watch.
It never hurts to have a new kid on the block in a list like this and in my honest opinion, Billions is as deserving of a place in the top 10 as some of the ‘classics’. The basic premise of the show is a battle between two ridiculously powerful, and wealthy, New York figures, one is a US attorney and the other an enigmatic hedge fund manager. I adore that Billions isn’t afraid of strong, powerful female characters; the writing is excellent and you end up questioning not only whose side your on but whose side you’re supposed to be on – trust me, it alternates.
8. Sex and The City
Fashion, friendships and fun in New York. One of the biggest selling points with SATC is you know what you’re going to get; an insight into a life in New York as a young woman, and the trials and tribulations that go along with that. All four leading ladies are fabulous and I don’t know any woman who hasn’t seen at least an episode of this show. You can watch this in order or it’s a great option for dipping in and out of – thank the Lord for 30 minute episodes. Stylist, Patricia Field, deserves every award available for her work on the show; the fashion pushes boundaries and is a nostalgic reminder of why we should be grateful the nineties are over. You can’t beat SATC – it’s a classic for a reason.
9. House of Cards
House of Cards feeds my inner political geek, and it’s only fiction! The remake of the original nineties mini-series has revolutionised the success of Netflix original series’, and rightly so. Kevin Spacey is a triumph as Frank Underwood, the ambitious ladder-climbing politician, and Robin Wright is the queen of manipulation as Frank’s wife. You can expect an ever growing list of personal vendettas, crass negotiations and gripping table-tapping rants. If you’ve not watched HoC yet, it really is worth the hype.
10. Game of Thrones
I was late to the GOT party but I’m just glad I caved eventually and gave it a go. I was always convinced it wouldn’t be my cup of tea, until I sat down, uninterrupted, and watched the first episode – it was something else! You do need to pay attention when watching GOT; there are lots of storylines going on at the same time and the cast is pretty massive so it can get a tad confusing at times. It’s fast paced, beautifully shot and amazingly imaginative so once you’re hooked, you can’t turn back. Just a word of warning though, don’t get too attached to any characters, some don’t last too long – I’ll leave that there to avoid spoilers!
I also really struggled not to extend this list to a ‘Top 13’ but the title didn’t have quite the same ring to it. In a slight attempt to cheat, here are three additional options that you shouldn’t forget about:
- Friday Night Lights
- How To Get Away With Murder
Let me know what you make of the choices in the comments. Enjoy your hours ahead in front of Netflix and don’t forget snacks…
Sincerely, Sarah xx