With Storm Nemo in our midst, the activities on the eastern side of the country are quite limited these days. So for those of you east-coasters with lots of extra indoors time on your hands (or west-coasters, too, for that matter), we’ve compiled a list of the top 11 TV shows to catch up on in lieu of the upcoming Spring season.
Whether it’s a show you’ve been meaning to start watching, or a show you miss and want to re-watch, take a look at our list and indulge in the lack of eating, sleeping, or doing anything else kind of binge that is beginning a new TV series. If it’s one of the shows in our list, you’ll be glad you did!
1. Arrested Development. A tongue-in-cheek comedy that tried to gather its footing in mainstream TV. Based around the hilarity that is the dysfunctional Bluth family, the three-season long show had all the right material, but all the wrong publicity. After tepid ratings, the show got cancelled by FOX in 2006, much to the fans’ despair. However, after 6 years of silence, the cast (Jason Bateman and Michael Cera in their breakout roles) and creators reunited to announce the production of a fourth season to be released exclusively on Netflix in May, 2013. After watching the first three seasons, you’ll be itching for the fourth. And with all 52 episodes on Netflix, it only makes sense to start the show from the beginning in preparation for one of the most highly anticipated revivals of the season.
Commitment: 3 Seasons, 52 episodes, 22 Minutes each — Approximately 19 hours
2. Downton Abbey. This British show serves as the highest rated show to ever air on PBS, creating buzz all over the American TV world. With an explosive cast including Harry Potter‘s Maggie Smith, and awards being thrown at the show left and right, it’s been called “one of the best shows Britain has ever created.” The best and worst part about British shows is that they have short seasons. All three seasons are available to buy on itunes, which includes episodes that haven’t aired yet, here in America, giving us the entire British soap opera series at our fingertips — including this season’s striking finale.
Commitment: 3 Seasons, 25 episodes, 45-66 Minutes each – Approximately 20 hours.
3. Breaking Bad – It’s almost impossible to have a conversation these days about TV without mentioning AMC’s Breaking Bad. This show has been raved about from the day it first premiered back in 2008, catapulting its stars, Aaron Paul and Bryan Cranston, into super-stardom. The show’s fifth season is returning in March, so now is the perfect time to catch up with TV’s hottest meth makers, fresh off of a successful Emmy season.
Commitment: 5 Seasons, 54 episodes, 47 minutes each – Approximately 42 hours
4. House of Cards. This is the first original series to be produced and aired exclusively on Netflix, meaning that it could be a hit or miss of a show. Critics and viewers agree that the show is a hit, and is fit to be aired on a more public platform. The all star cast, including Kevin Spacey, and the curiosity alone will make you want to watch. There is really no reason to not watch this show. The entire first season of 13 episodes is available on Netflix, and so far, the first season can’t be watched fast or often enough. There’s as much quality as there is quantity.
Commitment: 1 Season, 13 episodes, 45-60 minutes each – Approximately 13 Hours
5. Mad Men. When Mad Men premiered in 2007, it quickly became the frontrunner of a series of AMC hits. Set in the fascinating venue of 1960′s New York, this drama will get it’s hooks in you from the very beginning. With the first 4 seasons all available on Netflix, it’s easily accessible to get ready for the shows highly anticipated 5th season premiering in April. And if nothing else, the lead is played by Jon Hamm, who is either shirtless, or dressed to the nines in every episode. Enough said.
Commitment: 4 Seasons, 65 episodes, 46 minutes each – Approximately 50 hours
6. The Walking Dead. Everything about this show is unprecedented. AMC took a risk making a show with very short seasons revolving around a zombie apocalyptic world, but if the rave reviews and amazing ratings are any indication, it more than paid off. With all this talk of zombies these days, it’s exciting to get a well-written show giving all the worrying people out there a real take on the eternal question of “What if Zombies actually did take over the world?” Practically speaking, the show has only 2 short, but action-packed seasons all available on Netflix. Also, with Season 3 returning on Sunday, AMC is marathoning Season 2 and the already aired episodes of Season 3 on Saturday and Sunday — set your DVR! So, what are you waiting for?
Commitment: 2 Seasons and 8 Season 3 episodes, 27 episodes, 45-60 minutes each – Approximately 24 hours
7. The Wire. Set in the world of the underground drug trade in Baltimore, this gritty drama is still being raved about years after it went off the air. With a successful five-season run, adorned with awards and great reviews the whole way through, The Wire marked one of the first of many hits from the house of HBO. There isn’t a revival or a premiere coming up for this show. In fact, it came and went, airing the series finale in 2008. It’s just a powerful, unique show that everyone should watch. And if we’re still talking about it despite it being off the air for almost 6 years, that’s got to mean something, right?
Commitment: 5 Seasons – 60 episodes – 50-60 minutes each – Approximately 58 hours
8. Deadwood – Westerns are never out of style. And in the world of cowboys and bar brawls, it doesn’t get any better than Deadwood, South Dakota. This HBO series only got to entertain us for three seasons, but each episode packs enough punch (literally) that you won’t feel the least bit disappointed. Go back to your roots with American’s oldest of successful genres. Deadwood’s an American gem and it’s all accessible through HBOGo for subscribers and iTunes.
Commitment: 3 Seasons, 36 episodes, 55 minutes each – approximately 33 hours
9. Homeland. As one of Showtime‘s most successful dramas, Homeland is sure to be present in conversation, awards announcements, and on TV for years to come. Having just competed Season 2 and Season 3 returning in the fall, the plot will thicken just enough for you start counting the days until September. This political thriller just got Claire Danes her second Golden Globe of the season. It’s a product of our times and sometimes it hits too close to home. It’s on iTunes and, of course, the Showtime Anytime app.
Commitment: 2 seasons, 24 episodes, 50-60 minutes each – Approximately 22 hours
10. Game of Thrones. – This HBO series based on George R.R. Martin’s fantasy novel series, A Song of Fire and Ice, single-handely put fantasy shows back on the map. Since it’s premiere in 2011, the fictional kingdoms of Westeros and Essos that the show takes place in keep getting more and more intense. Think of it as Lord of the Rings meets The Young and the Restless. Garnering more and more fans every episode, this isn’t a show you want to fall behind in. Who doesn’t like a good (like, really really good) escape into fantasy from time to time? With the aired episodes all available on HBOGo and iTunes, there is plenty of time to catch up before Season 3 continues in March. Now, you have no excuse to not be in the loop!
Commitment: 2 Seasons, 20 episodes, 50-60 minutes each – approximately 19 hours
11. 30 Rock. The comedy series, created by Tina Fey, just came to a heartfelt close after a successful seven season run. The premise of a fictional TV show set inside 30 Rockefeller Plaza in New York City won six golden globes, and multiple primetime Emmy Awards because of its impeccable cast and writing. Comedy television at it’s finest. Plus thanks to our Eat Like Liz Lemon map, you can indulge in one in all the edible delights of one of TV’s most comedic characters. If you didn’t just watch the series finale, this is a good way to see what all the fuss was about for the last six years. Lucky for you, Seasons 1-6 are available on Netflix. And by the time you’ve completed those, Season 7 might just be available. If not, there’s always iTunes! Season pass, anyone?
Commitment: 7 Seasons, 138 episodes, 22 minutes each – approximately 50 hours
Which TV marathon are you starting first? What are your suggestions for other TV fans stuck inside for Storm Nemo?
Dio Anthony contributed to this article.
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