When I was a kid, I stayed up way too late reading books, and I have a few memories of my mom busting into my room at 3 AM and yelling at me to go to sleep. Only, the thing is, I couldn’t. I was, and always have been, completely and utterly addicted to that feeling you get when you get lost in a story. And I totally need to get lost in a story, and for a long period of time. That’s why my first love is books. But recently, I’ve gotten into some pretty good TV shows, thanks to the modern convenience of binge watching.
As an adult, you can still find me staying up pretty late on occasion as I try to power through a good book. But I don’t have to limit my good stories to just books anymore. Since the so-called golden age of television, there are tons of great shows out there that you can really get lost in.
That’s what this post is all about. I’ve created a list of the best TV shows to get lost in.
(Note: Pretty much all of these are available on Netflix. What can I say? I’m one of those terrible Millennials the handwringing old people warned you about, and I haven’t had cable since 2007.)
TV Shows You Can Binge Right Now
I was raised on gangster movies. My dad spent a large portion of my childhood quoting The Godfather to me and my brother, so much so that the first time I saw the movie at the age of 12, I was concerned that perhaps someone had stolen my dad’s sayings and turned them into a movie.
Because of this, I love a good story about a man who takes full advantage of the capitalist system by working a little outside the law — or in the case of this show, by keeping law enforcement in his back pocket. The storylines are amazing, the acting is fantastic, and the costumes are awesome. Do I have a crush on 1920s gangsters from Birmingham? Maybe a little.
Star Trek (Any Variation)
Okay. Hear me out. I know that Star Trek isn’t new or some well-kept secret show. But let me ask you this: How many of the various reincarnations have you seen? Not all of them? Then start watching now.
Sure, some of the storylines are pretty cringe-inducing, especially on the older shows. But there are a ton of episodes available, which means that once you get into this show, you don’t have to come up for air unless you want to. It’s nice to know that you have a whole world available to you that you can explore without the fear of running low on episodes. I’ve recently started watching Star Trek: The Next Generation myself, and I’m having a blast.
I was really excited for this show to come out, and when it did last summer, Chris and I binged it over the course of a weekend. It’s pretty much everything I wanted in a show based on a comic book — a female protagonist, a really grim storyline, and a complete lack of skimpy costumes.
Fair warning: This show is really dark. So if you’re the type who is looking for a superhero show full of cheesy one-liners and a hero that fights a really campy villain, this show may not be for you. And I will admit that after you spend a lot of time absorbed in this show, you’ll want to take some time to be absorbed in something a bit lighter.
Chris and I were really excited for this show to come out. The previews made it look a lot like the shows we loved as kids, only made for adults. Everything about this show from the storyline to the characters to the music is completely and utterly perfect. And I’ve already had nightmares about aspects of the show!
I especially recommend this show to early Gen Y/late Gen X people, just because it has that vibe that a lot of our childhood programming had. But be forewarned that this is a show with only 8 episodes. So, your dive into this world won’t last long. But that’s totally okay. Chris and I both agreed while watching it that we don’t want a second a season of this, because it’s not the sort of story that can easily transition into a season 2. (Or maybe it is. I’m not finished yet, I just know that I hate when shows prolong an ending and sacrifice story for money.) It will, however, probably get a second season since people like Stephen King and Guillermo del Toro are hyping it up on social media.
So, if you’ve watched Jessica Jones, then you’re familiar with Luke Cage. He’s a big, handsome bartender in Hell’s Kitchen. He’s also bullet proof and insanely strong.
In this new show, Luke finds himself trying to rebuild his life in Harlem after his bar was destroyed, but things go awry (as they are oft wont to do) and he finds himself stuck in a battle for the city. I’m not sure what’s going to happen in this story, but it doesn’t really matter. Knowing what little I know about Luke Cage and Jessica Jones in the comic books, I’m excited to see what the future has in store for Luke Cage.
My life has been pretty empty without a good costume drama. Ever since I stopped watching Downton, I’ve been without a very dramatic, yet restrained British show. Luckily, The Crown will premiere on Netflix soon. (I’m not saying that these shows are anywhere near similar. I’m getting the vibe that The Crown will not be full of the sappy soap opera nonsense that plagued Downton.)
This show follows the entire life of Queen Elizabeth II, and is written by the man who brought you the movie The Queen, and the play The Audience. It’s definitely a new show to invest your time in, because there’s no way that it’s going away any time soon. There has been a lot buzz around The Crown, and it’s expected to be among the top shows extended for a second season.
A Series of Unfortunate Events
While I didn’t care much about the book series when it first came out, I’m really excited for the opportunity to get A Series of Unfortunate Events. I totally plan on picking up the books before the show premieres. And I think this is something I could totally make Chris watch, and maybe even read with me.
As a person who really refuses to grow up, I’m really looking forward to getting absorbed in this show. I love that it’s set in sort of a timeless world that looks like the 1800s and 1930s, though there are some references to computers and fiber-optics as well. It’s definitely going to be a fun world to fall into.
What about you? What stories are you currently getting lost in?
I’m so glad I have another Peaky Blinders fan to talk to and I’m glad you recommended Stranger Things. I’ve found myself taking it slow with that one, not drinking it all in one gulp.
The Crown looks promising. I like a good costume drama…plus ROYALS! 🙂
I’m looking forward to Homeland. Love that show! I’ve dropped my tv watching significantly in the last two years, so I only watch a few shows now.
Outlander doesn’t pique your interest?
I’ve heard good things about Homeland, and i totally want to get into it. I just need my day job to stop taking up so much of my time!
And I totally loved the first season of Outlander. But I didn’t want to watch the next season until I’d read the book. I may binge the second season anyway, just because I don’t foresee much time to get lost in reading that series any time soon.
The Crown looks very promising. I went into a little Downton withdrawl when it ended but Adam complained that it felt soap opera-ish so he was ready to see it go. This show may be perfect for us.
Both seasons of Fargo blew. our. minds. Hands down, one of the best shows on TV since Breaking Bad.
P.S. Capt. Picard is the sexist bald starship captain ever.
I’m definitely going to have to check out Fargo. I keep hearing really good things about it!
And I may have an impure thought or two about Picard…
I’m SO excited about A Series of Unfortunate Events! Peaky Blinders went onto my list a few weeks ago, so I’m looking forward to watching it.
I adored Jessica Jones. I’m not a huge fan of super hero things (a blight on my geek card), but it was perfect. (I also enjoyed my cognitive dissonance about being both attracted to and horrified by David Tennant as Kilgrave.)
I’m really looking forward to watch Penny Dreadful now that the first two seasons are on Netflix (and since it ended, I’m hoping the third comes soon). My roommate and I are in the middle of the first season of Revenge, and it’s kind of awesome, in a pulpy, soap opera-y kind of way. I thought I’d hate it, but I don’t. It’s kind of like Gossip Girl, in that it looks incredibly stupid and vapid on the outside, but on the inside you have to actually be relatively smart to catch some of the jokes.
I know exactly what you mean about being attracted to and repulsed by Tennant as Kilgrave. The whole time I was like “BUT IS THIS THE MAN WHO WOULD DO ANYTHING FOR ROSE TYLER?!”
I’ll have to check out Revenge. I’ve heard good things, and I need another show to watch now. And enjoy Penny Dreadful. The imagery in that show is insane, and there is definitely some nightmare-inducing storylines.