This week’s Top Ten Tuesday focuses on binge-worthy TV shows or amazing movies. Not quite bookish, but every book lover appreciates a well done story, no matter what the format. I am no stranger to binge-watching, so here is a smattering of comedies and dramas that will consume your every waking moment if you aren’t careful.
Parks and Recreation
I have watched all seven seasons four times through. Though Parks and Rec takes a few seasons to really hit its stride, this show is home to some of the most lovable characters in TV history. With short episodes that will really get you pacing, Parks and Rec is easy to watch again and again. What makes this show so wholesome is that at its core it is a show about people who like things. In a TV-scape littered with sitcoms about people being nasty to each other, this show is absolutely refreshing.
A whacky comedy about a band of misfits, Community is a genre twisting masterpiece and not afraid to make fun of itself. It is a true show for nerds, never hesitating to make obscure references to classic TV shows and movies. The longer the show runs, the more meta it gets. The final few seasons are not nearly as good as the rest of the show, particularly after Donald Glover’s departure, but the first 3 seasons are pure television gold.
It doesn’t get more bizarre than Arrested Development. It also doesn’t get much better. Heralded as one of the best comedies of all time, Arrested Development pulls all the stops when building joke upon joke upon joke with such effortlessness that you won’t know what hit you by the time you finish the third season. EVERYTHING in this show matters and WILL return in a later episode, from seemingly one-off jokes to prop choices and clothing decisions. This is a show that rewards you for paying attention to the details and never fails to deliver. Netflix’s recent revival is missing some of the original ensemble brilliance–mainly due to scheduling conflicts–but is still worth a watch.
No list would be complete without Joss Whedon’s Firefly. At only one season long, Firefly was cancelled by Fox in 2003 after airing the episodes out of order and failing to bring much of an audience. And no one is over it. Definitely not me. And definitely not Nathan Fillion. Lucky, in 2005, fans rallied and Firefly was able to get a movie to at least give some sort of send off to the show.
I have not met a single other person who has seen this show, let alone heard of it. But it is one of my favorites. I found it to be engrossing and one of the best written dramas I have come across. With the sexiness of James Bond and the tension of Cold War era espionage, this show will leave you on the edge of your seat.
Band of Brothers
Drama/World War II
Considered one of the best seriescreated about World War II, Band of Brothers is very difficult to watch. But nothing has every conveyed the horror and brotherhood of World War II in the way this does.
The West Wing
I cannot begin to convey how much I love this show. Where political series like House of Cards focus on the corruption in politics, The West Wing is idealist at its core. A moving drama of what we all wish American politics was, I couldn’t help falling in love with its characters and their desire to improve the world we live in.
Doctor Who is timeless. Literally. The Doctor is witty, funny, quirky, and will steal your heart in an instant. His adventures are bizarre. But beyond that, there is a heart to seasons 1-4 of the modern series and characters who see tremendous growth. I have never cried over any tv series as hard or as heartily as I have over Doctor Who.
North and South
I am a sucker for period dramas. And Richard Armitage took BBC by storm when he first appeared in this drama in 2006. Based on Elizabeth Gaskell’s novel, North and South examines the prejudices between the gentler life of the south and the working factories of the north. Plus, the romance between Mr. Thornton and Margaret is as tension ridden as they come.
This show is definitely a guilty pleasure, but at the same time very witty. The drama is sometimes as ridiculous as a telenovela, but you can’t help but become engrossed by Veronica’s world and the mystery that surrounds it.