"Channel Zero: No-End House" and "Channel Zero: Butcher's Block"
“The End of the F***ing World”
“The Good Place”
"The Long Road Home"
“Shades of Blue”
“The Vietnam War”
Where to Watch: Netflix What It Is: Margaret Atwood’s fictionalized take on the real-life murder case of Thomas Kinnear and his housekeeper in 1843 Canada. Grace Marks (Sarah Gadon) is the Irish immigrant convicted of the crime, and a doctor investigates to see if there’s something deeper at stake with her story. What Makes This a Good Binge: The miniseries is a tight six episodes that is fully self-contained since it’s based on Atwood’s novel (none of these “13 Reasons Why” or “Big Little Lies” extension games). Sarah Polley crafts a gorgeous adaptation that is a Southern Ontario Gothic tone poem, and Gadon’s performance is mesmerizing as Grace, who keeps the audience guessing about her possible guilt.
Where to Watch: Hulu What It Is: This Freeform comedy set in the world of lifestyle magazine Scarlet is a hilarious and heartfelt depiction of what life, work, and love is like for a trio of three Millennial women. What Makes This a Good Binge: This well-reviewed series was a stealth delight when it premiered last summer. The entire 10-episode first season is available along with the current second season with new episodes on Hulu the next day. Catch up now!
Where to Watch:Syfy.com (with cable subscription) What It Is: This anthology series is having fun with and innovating horror tropes. In “No-End House,” friends argot (Amy Forsyth) and Jules (Aisha Dee) get sucked into the twisted mental nightmare of the escalating terrors in each of the attraction’s six room. In “Butcher’s Block,” two sisters try to outrun their past in a new town where strange things are afoot that involve staircases, Rutger Hauer, and meat. What Makes This a Good Binge: Each season is only six episodes and keeps the bloody fun coming, even as it examines psychological trauma.
Where to Watch: YouTube Premium (try the three-month free trial) What It Is: Set 30-odd years after the events of “The Karate Kid,” this series imagines what life is like for the bully Johnny (William Zabka) who lost to Daniel (Ralph Macchio) at the All-Valley Karate Tournament in the ‘80s and how opening up the Cobra Kai dojo to a new crop of young students may redeem him. What Makes This a Good Binge: Karate! It’s a self-aware and often silly series that has plenty of action and that good guy/bad guy narrative that we all crave. Plus, you can check out Doug Liman’s “Impulse” while you’re at it, which is the best series on YouTube Premium right now.
Where to Watch: Netflix What It Is: It’s hard to describe, but it’s part mystery, part small-town intrigue, part science fiction. But it’s all bonkers. And oh yeah, it’s German. Need more? A kid named Mikkel goes missing, and it’s really not what you expect at all. What Makes This a Good Binge: Did we mention it’s bonkers? Seriously, the once you get past the initial phase when you’re trying to distinguish one German from another, it’s downright fascinating what this show decides to do within the space of 10 episodes. It’s beautifully made and rewards viewers who are paying close attention to how everything connects together. Plus, Season 2 is being made as you read this, so it’s a good investment to watch now.
Where to Watch: Netflix What It Is: This British series (starring the kid from that “Black Mirror” episode) about two teenagers who go on a Bonnie-and-Clyde-like spree is darkly funny and angsty, but becomes a compelling journey of self-discovery and adolescent confusion once it hits the halfway point. What Makes It a Good Binge: Each of the eight episodes hovers around the 20-minute mark. Basically, it’s so short that it’s like watching a long movie.
Where to Watch: Season 1 – Netflix, Season 2 – NBC.com What It Is: In this NBC comedy, morally bankrupt slacker Eleanor (Kristen Bell) dies but ends up in The Good Place by mistake. What follows, however, is a series of unexpected twists, irreverent puns, and sneaky-fun philosophical conundrums (trust us). What Makes It a Good Binge: Once the show hits its stride, the ongoing mystery of how Eleanor’s problem can be resolved and how everything works is engrossing, and each season ends on killer cliffhangers. Fortunately, a third season is on the way.
Where to Watch: On Demand, BBCAmerica.com or BBCA app (with cable subscription), and later in 2018, it’ll hit Hulu. What It Is: It’s an international crime caper with Sandra Oh as the titular Eve, who is tracking down chameleon-like assassin Villanelle (Jodie Comer), who has a flamboyant style to her killings. What Makes It a Good Binge: The series moves at a breakneck pace, and watching each episode is a gift of over-the-top action, whip-smart dialogue, and irreverent jokes. Everyone’s been talking about this show, and with only eight episodes in its first season, you can’t not afford to watch.
Where to Watch: Hulu What It Is: This is another of NatGeo’s forays into scripted TV after “Genius,” and is a miniseries based on Martha Raddatz’s book of the same name about how U.S. troops went to Iraq for “a babysitting mission,” but instead found themselves in a bloodbath. The series stars a huge ensemble cast including Jason Ritter, Kate Bosworth, Sarah Wayne Callies, and Jeremy Sisto. What Makes It a Good Binge: This is a one-and-done miniseries that isn’t so much political as honoring the sacrifices in war overseas as well as at the homefront.
Where to Watch: Netflix What It Is: This comedy with the most preposterous premise – Dylan (Johnny Flynn) gets and STD and must contact every woman he’s had sex with – leads to an innovative way of exploring how people grow in relationships as it shuttles back and forth through time. It’s a light-hearted show that has stealth emotional weight. What Makes It a Good Binge: The series just ended with three entertaining seasons, and with Netflix delivering some strong rom-com content, this shouldn’t be overlooked. This is a show that actually works better with mini binges because its timeline shenanigans create a more cohesive picture taken in chunks. With every episode, a chunk of Dylan’s love life is revealed, and thus exposes how he’s become the person he is in the present. Similar revelations are made with his friends, the womanizer Luke (Daniel Ings) and buddy Evie (Antonia Thomas, now on “The Good Doctor”).
Where to Watch: Hulu What It Is: Set in 1943, this is a fictionalized period drama set in the town of Los Alamos, New Mexico, where the scientists who work and live there with their families are behind The Manhattan Project, the research and development undertaking that developed nuclear weapons. The series stars John Benjamin Hickey, Olivia Williams, Harry Lloyd and Rachel Brosnahan before she became “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel.” What Makes It a Good Binge: It’s a genre hybrid that we haven’t seen on TV in a while – war story, domestic melodrama, spy thriller – and provides a sneak peek at what series creator Sam Shaw can do before his new series, the highly anticipated “Castle Rock, premieres on Hulu in late July.
Where to Watch: Showtime and Showtime.com (with subscription) What It Is: Based on the novels by Edward St. Aubyn, this five-part limited series stars Benedict Cumberbatch as the titular addict who must overcome his demons that are rooted in his childhood. Jennifer Jason Leigh and Hugo Weaving also star as Patrick’s parents. What Makes It a Good Binge: Although it’s heavy, it’s short, and you almost have to watch half of it just to understand what the story is really about. You may as well complete the binge.
Where to Watch: Amazon What It Is: In this darkly funny series, intelligence officer John Tavner (Michael Dorman) is a N.O.C. – non-official cover – agent who poses as a materials engineer at a Milwaukee industrial piping firm. Although he really works for the government, he’d rather get high and play guitar. What Makes It a Good Binge: Hey it’s patriotic in a weird way that is good for that time of year when we celebrate our rapidly diminishing independence. Also, Season 2 has to come soon, right? Might as well prime yourself (heh) for its return.
Where to Watch: Hulu What It Is: Jennifer Lopez plays Harlee Santos, an NYPD detective who is forced to work for the FBI’s anti-corruption task force while dealing with her own financial and family problems. Ray Liotta plays Lt. Matt Wozniak on the show. What Makes It a Good Binge: It’s in its final season, and all episodes are available on Hulu (the first two seasons + what’s airing now).
Where to Watch:Facebook Watch What It Is: Jemima Kirke, Jemaine Clement, and Shiri Appleby guest star on this series about a woman named Isobel (Zoe Chao) who is discovering her bisexuality via a rotating cast of Airbnb guests. What Makes It a Good Binge: Each episode never tops more than 20 minutes, and all seven episodes of Season 1 are available now. The series just started its second season on June 26, and is releasing episodes weekly.
Where to Watch: HBO Now, Amazon Prime Video What It Is: Created by “The Wire” duo David Simon and Eric Overseer, this series brings a post-Katrina New Orleans to life through its citizens, its music, and its food. What Makes It a Good Binge: Although “Parts Unknown” is available on Netflix, this is an alternate Anthony Bourdain series to soak in after his recent tragic death. He was a consultant on the series in his capacity as a chef and injected his particular storytelling voice for a few episodes as a writer. At four seasons, it’s not a quick binge, but it’s well worth your time.
Where to Watch: Netflix What It Is: Ken Burns and Lynn Novick created the ultimate examination of the war that divided nations, including the United States after involvement became much more political than prudent. Using more than 80 interviews, never-before-seen footage, photos, and audio, this must-watch documentary creates a narrative about Vietnam that is as balanced as it is harrowing. Songs from the era and a score by Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross, with supplemental music from Yo-Yo Ma and The Silk Road Ensemble bring the past alive in a tangible and affecting way. What Makes It a Good Binge: This 10-episode series gives such a comprehensive look at all sides – soldiers, the homefront, deserters, North and South Vietnamese – that everyone, especially those who hold America dear, should watch. The 18 hours of relentless conflict and sobering reflection may not be an easy binge, but it’s a rewarding one.