There’s nothing like a well-executed TV binge, and with so much television to choose from today, it’s sometimes a necessity. Keeping up with shows on a weekly basis is hard enough, and it’s easy to miss the boat on a show altogether. Who knows when anything airs these days unless our DVR catches it or an app alerts us? Cue the summer, when there’s just a bit more breathing room to catch up on shows, especially since the networks have slowed down with all of their prestige TV now that the awards eligibility cutoff has passed.
And while this time is great for the typical summer programming — lightweight, fun, and not terribly deep — it’s also perfect to make time for those gems that fell under the radar: the critically acclaimed series you were waiting to hit Netflix or Hulu, that eye-opening Ken Burns documentary or the buzzworthy show that was on that one streaming platform you weren’t ready to subscribe to quite yet. Well, now’s the time to partake in it all.
What makes for a good binge? Undoubtedly, great shows like “The Wire” and “The Sopranos” are must-watches for anyone, but that’s more of a marathon investment than a quick shot. IndieWire has created a rough guide for easily digestible binges that can be accomplished during a weekend or over the course of a few weeks. This month’s recommendations would work particularly well for the July 4th holiday.
Some criteria for IndieWire’s curated list of the best TV shows to binge:
- Commitment: Fewer seasons and an easy entry point. First or second seasons are great for this. Comedies with shorter runtimes also work, but if a whole series has just finished, that might be a good time to start also.
- Tone: Lightweight often works best – we’ve binged “Black Mirror,” and our state of mind afterward was not pretty – but sometimes brisk, engrossing storytelling can offset heavier material.
- Availability: It needs to be readily watchable somewhere.
With all this in mind, IndieWire has compiled the list, which can be accessed in the gallery above or simply click here.