We’re living in a strange time. The world is under lockdown as the COVID-19 virus spreads from continent to continent and triggers government-regulated shutdowns of bars, restaurants and gyms. More and more employers are also allowing their employees to work from home or giving them time off altogether.
While that time can be used productively, sometimes you just need a new series to binge-watch to help take the edge off. But with so many options on Netflix, Hulu, Disney Plus and the internet, where do you even start? Your friend is telling you to watch Westerworld while your brother keeps talking about how good Game of Thrones is. We get it, it’s overwhelming. That’s why we did the super-hard work of watching a bunch of series to give you the scoop on what’s worth watching and what isn’t.
Without further ado, here's 4 series you should add to your to-do list.
I don’t think I’ve ever recommended a show as often as Breaking Bad. For those of you that don’t already know, Breaking Bad is a series that follows Walter White – a high school chemistry teacher – turned crystal meth dealer that tries to make the most of his last few months on Earth. Walter discovers that he has late-stage lung cancer and decides to get into the meth-making business to repay his medical debts and provide for his family. But his priorities start to change once he partners up with his old chemistry student, Jesse Pinkman.
This series is a whirlwind of emotions – you can’t help but cheer for Walter through it all. This one is definitely worth watching. I’ve heard from my friends that the first few episodes aren’t all too exciting and, while I can’t relate, I definitely recommend pushing to at least the middle of season 1. That’s when things start to pick up.
Length: 5 seasons; 62 episodes
This one is a personal favorite of mine. Although you don’t hear people talking about The Sopranos as often as shows like Game of Thrones and Breaking Bad, I personally think that this series is up there with the best of all time. The late James Gandolfini puts on a terrific performance as Tony Soprano, a New Jersey mob boss that tries to juggle his familial responsibilities with his criminal life. All the while, we get to see the inner workings of Tony’s mind as he confides in his psychiatrist, Jennifer Melfi.
This series is fantastic. It also has one of the most controversial endings of all time. 10/10 would recommend The Sopranos (especially if you’re looking for quotes to annoy your friends with). Oh, it also won a modest 21 Emmy awards since it began in 1999. No biggie though.
Length: 6 seasons; 86 episodes
Game of Thrones
Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve probably heard of Game of Thrones. After wrapping up it’s final season a few months ago, Game of Thrones boasted a whopping 32.8 million viewers in season 7. Compared to the 9.3 million viewers in season 1, Game of Thrones grew year after year to become one of the most talked-about series of all time.
Adapted from George R.R. Martin’s novels, Game of Thrones follows nine noble families as they wage war against each other to gain control over the mythical land of Westeros. All the while, a force rises after millenniums that can wipe out all of humankind.
This is a good show – definitely worth a binge-watch. I personally feel like the first 2 seasons are slow, but if you’re willing to invest the time, you’re in for a wild ride from season 3 and onwards. Incredible cinematography, great acting and a nice break from the real world. No social media, no technology - just swords, sex (lots of it) and fantastic storytelling.
Length: 7 seasons; 73 episodes
This one is a guilty pleasure of mine. Although it’s definitely not up there with Breaking Bad, The Sopranos and Game of Thrones, Netflix’s You is a good "quickie" series. I went through the entire season over the course of 3 days.
You follows Joe Goldberg, a seemingly normal bookstore clerk as he tries to find love. But Joe isn’t an ordinary guy. After a messed up childhood, Joe is obsessive about love. Once he finds a girl he likes, he develops an unhealthy fixation on them that takes him down some interesting paths. Using social media and the internet, he uses every tool at his disposal to become close to his love interests. Suffice to say, it often turns bloody, violent and down-right crazy.
This series is particularly eery because it’s very plausible. Joe finds out every little detail about his love interest’s life through social media – from where they live, where they frequent and who their friends are. We also get a glimpse into Joe’s mind and how he rationalizes his stalkerish tendencies.
Length: 2 seasons; 20 episodes
Needless to say, you can probably find all these series on the Internet with some digging. But you didn’t hear that from me.
Like I said before, we’re going through a weird period of time. The panic is going down and cabin fever is starting to set in. Staying home can get kind of boring sometimes, and aside from social interactions, work and family time, there’s not much to do. My personal recommendation? Once you take care of your responsibilities, get some sort of physical activity and fix your sleep schedule, dive into one of the series above.
Stay safe, stay comfy and stay awesome, wild heart.