Binge watching TV shows – watching multiple episodes in one sitting – has become the new favorite pastime for many of us. Thanks to the ease and selection of choices that Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, DVRs and on-demand offer us, it only makes sense this would become a popular way to view television series. These days, watching a couple half-hour or hour episodes of a series has taken the place of watching a regular 90-minute or two hour movie.
Over the last year I have watched quite a few series and thought I would put together a list of my favorites for you, perhaps to add to your summer watch list. We don’t all have the same taste in shows, of course, but most of these programs received high ratings from other viewers and critics alike, which is why I watched them in the first place. Some are dark, some are lighthearted and funny and one is downright scary, but all are engaging and, I think, worth your TV binging time!
Here are my favorite 10 Shows to Binge Watch This Summer
Winona Ryder is among the cast members in this sci-fi horror series set in 1980s suburban Indiana. The storyline is reminiscent of a Stephen King novel. A terrifying creature, disappearing young people, a little girl with telekinetic powers are all part of the central plot.
I enjoy and appreciate that the 1980s setting is done in a low-key way. No one is using words like “totally tubular” or wearing outrageous legwarmers and shoulder pads, but there is still plenty of 80s culture to see. A green Ford Pinto, boys playing a raucous game of Dungeons and Dragons, bikes with banana seats and monkey bars, just to name a few. If you grew up in the 80s like I did, you will love the selection of music too.
Warning: this show is scary. It’s not as violent as some of the other shows on this list but certainly the only one that qualities as a horror.
This crime drama has first-rate acting, an exotic and beautiful location in New Zealand, and a fascinating storyline but I would be remiss if I didn’t also tell you that it’s a little strange – downright weird even. But sometimes we like weird, right? A 12-year-old pregnant girl who tries to kill herself before going missing is the central storyline but there is much more to this compelling series like a women’s commune in the middle of nowhere, for example.
Holly Hunter and Elizabeth Moss star in this series and I read yesterday that season two is currently filming with Nicole Kidman as a new cast member.
If you haven’t watched Grace and Frankie, starring Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin, what are you waiting for? Loads of laughs, great fashion and terrific one-liners from these iconic actresses await you. I cannot wait until season three! This series is laugh-out-loud hilarious and so cleverly written.
The Paradise, a BBC costume drama set in England’s first department store in the 1870s with the same name is a love story, a coming-of-age story and even a mystery. The Paradise is entertaining, with just enough drama to keep things interesting. The lead actress, Joanna Vanderham, plays Denise Lovett who is a young, wide-eyed, ambitious woman who catches the eye of department store owner, John Moray, played by Emun Elliott, who you may recognize from Game of Thrones.
What I enjoyed most about this British crime drama, Happy Valley, is the intriguing and smart writing and its believable and talented cast. Sarah Lancashire, who plays Sergeant Catherine Cawood, is a phenomenal actress. There are some dark moments to be sure. As a side note, the thick West Yorkshire accents many of the characters had me turning on captioning.
This is the series I am currently watching. Set in both Madrid and Morocco during the mid-1930s, The Time in Between is a Spanish production. So unless you understand Spanish, you will need subtitles. Starring Adriana Ugarte, an absolutely stunning Spanish actress, as a dressmaker who finds herself in some precarious situations during a politically charged time in history.
This drama series has it all: beautiful setting, gorgeous clothing, interesting storyline and some history lessons.
The Fall is another chilling crime series. This BBC series stars Gillian Anderson, Emmy and Golden Globe winner, who is well known for her starring role on The X-Files and Jamie Dornan of Fifty Shades of Grey fame. Anderson plays a British detective with a mysterious past who is working on a serial killer case in Ireland. This psychological thriller will keep you on the edge of your seat and has plenty of creepy and frightening moments.
For someone who doesn’t like to bake and rarely eats baked treats (give me a nice sharp cheddar cheese over a cinnamon bun any day), I was amazed by how much I adore this baking competition.
Unlike many American competitive reality shows that are fraught with drama, jealousies, lies, and plots against one another, The Great British Bake Off is just a clean, fun, and captivating cooking competition where everyone is respectful and surprisingly supportive of one another.
I love seeing the finished creations each episode and am often fascinated by the amount of creativity and effort put into making the breads, cakes, cookies, tarts, pasteries and other baked goods.
Judges Paul Hollywood, an artisan baker and Mary Berry, who has 70 cookbooks to her name work along side hosts, Mel Giedroycare and Sue Perkins, who are hilarious and so fun to watch. I thoroughly enjoy this show and look forward to every new season.
As I am sure you can tell, I have a penchant for crime dramas, especially of the British variety. I had read so many great things about Broadchurch, I decided to stick with it even though the first two episodes didn’t grab me. Once I got into this series, focused on the murder of a young boy, I was hooked. Broadchurch will keep you guessing and suspecting everybody!
Currently airing on PBS, this nail-biter of a crime drama is set in both the U.K. and France. Adapted from the Danish-Swedish crime series The Bridge, The Tunnel is a dark and twisted murder mystery being investigated by a young French detective, Capitaine Elise Wassermann played by Clémence Poésy, and British Detective Chief Inspector Karl Roebuck, played by Stephen Dillane. Both detectives have their fair share of personal issues which add to the drama’s main storyline, finding and stopping the “Truth Terrorist” terrifying both the U.K. and France. Unlike all of the other shows listed here, The Tunnel is not on Netflix (yet) and is currently airing on PBS.
What are your favorite TV series?
Have you watched any of my favorite 10?
Reminder: How I Wear My is next week! The theme for August is Cropped Pants. Style your capri pants, culottes, cropped flares, clam diggers, gauchos or pedal pushers and send us a photo to be featured! The deadline for submission is August 8th, 2016 – that’s Monday!
Send your photo, along with a blurb about your outfit – which we will quote in our posts – to [email protected]. Jill and I can’t wait to see how you wear your cropped pants!
Make it a rich day!