With the COVID-19 pandemic spreading rapidly, businesses are having people work from home and several are practicing social distancing on their own. However, being stuck inside your house for days at a time can get pretty boring after a while. This is why we’re here to bring you our list of binge-worthy tv shows for you to check out. So grab your favorite snack, get comfy on the couch with a blanket, and dive in!
Tyler: Fans of The Expanse claim that it’s one of the best shows on TV right now. But really: it is. Every season has gotten a certified “Fresh” rating on Rotten Tomatoes, with Seasons 3 and 4 going so far as to get a nearly unattainable perfect “100%” rating (giving the series overall a 93%). The Expanse is set centuries in the future, in a fully colonized solar system.
The superpowers of Earth and Mars seek an advantage over the other in their cold war. Both exploit “The Belt” of the Asteroid Belt and the Outer Planets beyond. Amidst this backdrop, a “Belter” detective on Ceres searches for a missing “Earther” heiress. Her disappearance coincides with the destruction of a freighter known as the Canterbury. Solving these two mysteries will have consequences for the fragile peace, and will change the destiny of humanity forever.
Now, we won’t give away too much, since the story and its mysteries are truly that compelling. Championing a complex narrative and rich characters, The Expanse is a solidly-crafted sci-fi at its core. The Expanse’s marketing often characterizes the show as “Game of Thrones in space,” but in many areas, The Expanse rockets far beyond the achievements of Game of Thrones. The Expanse also has storylines dealing with politics and alliances, but it also mirrors contemporary trends in global politics.
In addition, The Expanse features a wonderfully diverse cast, ranging from Caucasian to African to Asian to Middle Eastern to Pacific Islander to Native American. We also get to see numerous women in positions of power and authority, such as Chrisjen Avasarala (Shohreh Aghdashloo) and Camina Drummer (Cara Gee). Watch the show, and you’ll quickly understand why The Expanse was worth saving.
All four seasons of The Expanse are available to stream on Amazon Prime.
The Good Place
Mels: Amid all these stories about people hoarding toilet paper and hand sanitizer, I need a reminder that there is good in the world. There are people out there just trying their best. That’s why The Good Place is my recommendation for those stuck at home during these trying times. A TV philoso-comedy about the afterlife might seem like an odd-choice when our current reality is a constant reminder of our mortality. However, it’s comforting to think that everything’s going to be fine. Plus the show’s just forking hilarious. Heartwarming and forking hilarious.
Melody: Fast-paced, witty dialogue that puts Aaron Sorkin properties to shame. The setting is in a small town in Canada rife with hicks, jocks and skids. You’ll be transported back to your own hometown. In addition, there’s plenty of quotable one-liners and lovable characters to go around. Everything is larger-than-life, and it’s evident the creators were influenced by theater. If Shakespeare were alive today, he’d be watching Letterkenny.
Letterkenny is available to watch now on Hulu!
Fallon: I love Twin Peaks so much. I’ve consumed a lot of television in my time. When I finally got around to watching Twin Peaks in high school, I can easily say it changed the way I watch TV forever. First of all, it hit on a ton of social trends that I love that are just old enough to be considered vintage. The music/grunge scene in Seattle, the conspiracy theories and shows strictly centered on that, plus the true crime aspect.
Now, serial killers were still fairly common back then too. The growing interest in this topic birthed a plethora of true crime docs, fictionalized police procedurals and movies. So Twin Peaks, in my opinion, has quite literally something for everyone. Especially mystery fans. It’s slightly confusing and random plotlines, apart from Laura Palmer’s murder, actually contributed to the mystery of the show in a way. Of course, this was in an era where binge-watching TV series wasn’t popular yet.
Twin Peaks is available to watch on Netflix and Hulu now!
Melody: Quite simply: it’s a feel-good sitcom. Every character is like family. There are one-liners aplenty and lots of slapstick comedy reminiscent of “I Love Lucy.” Heartfelt moments that revive your faith in humanity.
Brooklyn Nine-Nine is available to watch on Hulu and Amazon Prime Video.
Julia: If you haven’t realized by now, I am in love with The Witcher. Netflix has proven again that they know how to create a strong fantasy story. Based on the novels by Andrzej Sapkowski, they follow the story of Geralt (Henry Cavill), Yennefer (Anya Chalotra) and Ciri (Freya Allan) as their lives cross based on destiny. The production qualities rival even Game Of Thrones and the immersive story draws you in one episode at a time. If you’re worried that you won’t be able to understand the storyline, there are several sites that can help you stay on track! With just eight episodes, it’s definitely a must have on your list of binge-worthy tv shows.
The Witcher is available to watch now on Netflix.
Julia: Netflix has proved time and time again that their original series are top-notch. A perfect example of this is Castlevania. The adult animated adventure based on the highly popular games of the same name currently has three seasons for fans to binge. Each thirty-minute episode is packed with a mix of an immersive storyline, epic fight scenes, and some of the best humor I’ve heard in a while. It’s definitely worth the binge whenever you can.
Castlevania is available to binge now on Netflix!
Talyna: Farscape is the perfect show for when you want to be anywhere but where you are. Astronaut John Crichton (Ben Browder) leaves Earth with the intention of test-piloting his own spacecraft design. However, he stumbles into a wormhole and finds himself stranded as a prisoner far across the universe. While surviving aboard Moya, a living, sentient ship, John makes friends with his fellow inmates and adventures abound. There are four seasons and a mini-series (Farscape: The Peacekeeper Wars) full of smart humor, Jim Henson puppetry, and interspecies camaraderie.
Farscape is available to watch on Amazon Prime Video!
Rise of Empires: Ottoman
The latest entry in Netflix’s selection of “docudramas,” Rise of Empires: Ottoman is a Turkish-produced, English-language series that tells the story of the Fall of Constantinople from the Ottoman perspective. The series format shows the scenes of 15th century Asia Minor and Southeast Europe reenacted by actors. Then, it cuts to a historian from a panel of various experts on the Fall of Constantinople from Turkey, Greece, the United Kingdom, the United States, and more.
The series is narrated by Charles Dance (of Game of Thrones fame). It’s clear the show is trying to go for the same level of violence and entertainment, but on a much smaller budget. While cheesy and hyperbolic at times, it’s a genuinely educational show. The historians tend to fill in the blanks where character development would normally take place, but the real star of Rise of Empires: Ottoman isn’t its characters.
The star is Constantinople herself, and in particular, the battle being waged for control of her. As Sultan Mehmed II (Cem Yiğit Üzümoğlu) declares in the first episode: “Constantinople…either I conquer you…or you conquer me!” Compare the show to other docudramas like Roman Empire, and the production values for Rise of Empires: Ottoman look lavish by comparison.
The Ottoman cannons are a signature of the siege, and one of the show’s best shots is the firing of Basilica: an eight-meter-long cannon. You might find it interesting learning about a story many in Western civilization don’t know. And even if you’re not terribly interested in history, Rise of Empires: Ottoman is never a dull moment.
Rise of Empires: Ottoman is available to stream on Netflix and a must add to your list of binge-worthy tv shows!
I hope you have found some binge-worthy tv shows to add to your list! What shows will you be binge watching over your social distancing time? Let us know in the comments and on Twitter!
Originally published 3/15/20
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