A few short years ago, “binge watching” is a term that would have had no meaning. Now it’s an active verb and Netflix takes full advantage of it.
Whenever I turn on Netflix through our Roku, it always has a updated “Recommended for You” list. Or a “Because You Watched” list. And almost everything on that list is animated.
That’s NOT because I’m such a huge fan of animated shows. It’s because I have a 7 year old that has gone from Kipper to Scooby Doo to Beyblades to Pokemon to Johnny Test and beyond. It feels like the television is only capable of showing animation.
In the evening, I can usually find something for us to watch as a family but it’s typically going to be for the 10 and under set. By the time I finally get Evan to bed (he’s a late night kid like his mom), I’m too exhausted to turn on the TV and as a result, I miss out on some pretty great shows.
But I have a secret.
Now that school is back in session and I’m working from home, I try to take an official “lunch break” during the day. Instead of working at my desk and dropping crumbs on my keyboard, I sit down for an hour or so and get to watch TV all by myself. It’s binge watching in short bursts!
I finally get a chance to explore those shows that people have been talking about for years. Some I’ve started and others are still on my list but I’d consider these the top 10 shows made for binge watching on Netflix streaming.
1. House of Cards
A ruthless politician will stop at nothing to conquer Washington D.C. in this Emmy and Golden Globe winning political drama.
I cannot say enough good things about this show. It’s dark, edgy, cunning – everything I imagine Washington politics to be. And somehow, the more ruthless it gets the more drawn I am to politics. I like to think that things like morals and ethics would ever keep me from succeeding in politics though.
2. Orange is the New Black
A privileged New Yorker ends up in a women’s prison when a past crime catches up with her in this Emmy-winning series from the creator of “Weeds.”
This show had so much hype and when I saw two naked women in the first 30 seconds of the show, I was pretty sure this wasn’t going to be for me. Oh, how wrong I was. If you’re look for a realistic view of life in a women’s prison, just move along. But if you’re looking for creative entertainment, you won’t be disappointed with Piper and the gang.
3. Breaking Bad
A high school chemistry teacher dying of cancer teams with a former student to secure his family’s future by manufacturing and selling crystal meth.
I’ve only watched one episode of this show. Just one. Just the first. Admittedly, I watched because of the hype and people actually telling me this is the best show ever created. I thought I’d be the judge of that. The first episode was good but I might need convincing that I have to watch this show.
By day, mild-mannered Dexter is a blood-splatter analyst for the Miami police. But at night, he is a serial killer who only targets other murderers.
I like to imagine the room where this show was pitched, “See there’s this serial killer but he only kills people who deserve it, so…” I’ve watch only two episodes of this show and while it was good, it was disturbing. But I know plenty of people that are diehard fans. I might need convincing on this one too.
A powerful team of Washington, D.C. lawyers makes scandals disappear while handling government crises and coping with problems of their own.
If you’re anywhere near Twitter when Scandal is on, you’ll get the sense that this show is like a grown up soap opera.
No, she did not just do that to him!
Oh girl, do NOT believe what he just told you.
I haven’t tried Scandal yet because I’ve been worried that it will be a watered down House of Cards but I’ll admit that I love shows that keep you on the edge of your seat.
6. Sons of Anarchy
After seizing control of its town, gun-running motorcycle club the Sons of Anarchy soon butts heads with rival biker gangs, racist groups and the law.
I had never even heard of this show until I happened to see Katey Sagal giving a street interview in NYC. When I tweeted out the picture, people told me how much they love her in this show. And I wasn’t really interested until a co-worker who’s previously worked with biker gangs told me THIS is the real deal.
7. The Killing
Seattle homicide detectives Sarah Linden and Stephen Holder are deeply affected by the murders they investigate in this dark, acclaimed crime series.
Like Dexter, I worry that this show might be a little disturbing but then again I love crime drama. And what draws me in to shows like this more than anything is seeing some of my friends on Facebook talk about it. If they like it, then surely I must!
8. The Walking Dead
In the wake of a zombie apocalypse, survivors hold on to the hope of humanity by banding together to wage a fight for their own survival.
Yes, it’s a zombie apocalypse. I don’t get freaked out at the idea of zombies (although I might after this show) but I’m not sure if I’m keen on looking at their faces for an entire show. However, my sister loves this show and she’s not one I would consider a zombie fan. She just says it’s a really good show.
( finally watched The Walking Dead. Here’s what you need to know.)
After their plane crashes on a deserted island, a diverse group of people must adapt to their new home and contend with the island’s enigmatic forces.
Did you know this show started in 2004? That was three years before my son was born, which would explain why I’ve never made it to the series finale in 2010. I have no clue what the smoke monster was or what the island was really about. But don’t tell me. I do plan to catch up on this show again and figure out all the secrets. And now that my son is 7, he might even be able to binge watch with me.
10. Once Upon a Time
In this fantasy series, a young woman is drawn to a small Maine town and discovers that it’s filled with elements of the fairy tale world.
It wasn’t until I was at my sister’s one night that I caught a glimpse of this show. A mermaid named Ariel? A princess named Snow White? I had no clue this was a Disney-based show. It’s like fairy tales for grown-ups, with a devious twist. We starting watching with Evan and then decided parts of it were a little too dark for him (he got scared). I’ll eventually pick this back up again if not just for Ginnifer Goodwin’s super cute haircut.
So which of these top ten have you watched or binge watched before? I’m always looking for opinions on the best shows out there and I know you have them. Tell me what you think!
Need even more shows for your binge watching addiction? Here’s a recent article with over 30 of the best Netflix shows for binge watching!
I’m part of the Netflix Stream Team which means that I write about them monthly but all opinions are my own.
I’ve been watching OUAT since the start. 2 seasons ago was kinda blah but then it picked up again. I hate gore but I LOVE Walking Dead (and am going to a Walker Stalker Con in Atlanta in October, ha! Got media passes), and I just recently started Scandal and LOVE it. I want to watch House of Cards so I can’t compare them for you, and it is rather like a soap opera, but the writing is smart. I’m almost done with season 3 and season 4 starts in September.
I also watched OITNB on Netflix and loved it.
See, there it is again. The whole zombie thing. I don’t know if I can handle it but I’m willing to give it a try. And I think you’ve convinced me to start Scandal but ONLY when I’m finished HOC.
Haha, yep. What’s funny is that I am the opposite, I am going to start HOC after finishing Scandal.
Dexter is pretty good although like you said a little disturbing. I watched 3 episodes and they were good. I guess sometimes our dark side wants to believe the bad people will be punished one way or the other even though our justice system doesn’t do its justice…
Isn’t it interesting how many of these shows have a dark and gory side? What does that say about us?? I’ll probably give it another shot.
Binge watching is one of those bad habits of mine! I really got into Sons (mostly because Charlie Hunnam is smokin) but lost interest around season 3 or 4 and don’t watch it at all anymore. If you like fantasy, you should check out Hemlock Grove. It’s a warewolf/vampire related theme. I think I’ll check out Once Upon A Time, thanks for the suggestions Fadra!
Honestly, I don’t have the attention span to binge watch. I think the most I’ve ever done of anything was 3 episodes in a row. Then I need a break. I’ll add Hemlock Grove to my list. I think I recently read about that one!