This might be an incredibly lame thing to admit, but one of my favorite things to do when I’m home for the holidays is binge-watch TV with my family. It’s not a cool, sexy, or Instagrammable activity, but it’s something we love to do together. Cuddled up in our family den, we get to reconnect, relax, and share in what might just be the greatest guilty pleasure of our digital age.
With that in mind, I thought I’d round up some truly excellent TV shows for you to inhale with your fam this holiday season. My picks are kind of all over the place, but they share three main qualities: they’re compelling, episode-packed, and highly addictive.
Check ‘em out below and sound off in the comments if I’ve forgotten your favorite!
If you’re after a gorgeously crafted sci-fi series, look no further than Battlestar Galactica, which centers on the human survivors of the Twelve Colonies of Kobol after a nuclear android attack devastates their population. While the setting is certainly futuristic (with the ragtag group zooming across time and space to escape the androids and find the fabled colony of Earth), the show never loses its humanity, and is rooted in superb acting and heart-wrenching emotional commitment. Load up its four seasons and get ready for the ride of your life!
Available on: Amazon Prime, YouTube, iTunes, and Google Play
One Day at a Time may look and feel like a sitcom, but it’s anything but your run-of-the-mill short form comedy. The show, which revolves around Army Veteran Penelope Alvarez and her colorful Cuban-American family, is one of the most progressive (and consistently hilarious) programs streaming online. It not only tackles typical family dynamics, but speaks deftly to a wide range of topical issues, from soldier PTSD, to immigrant rights, gender fluidity, race, feminism, social inequity, and ageism. TL;DR ODT is designed to hit you right in the feels and keep you watching all night long.
Available on: Netflix
Widely regarded as one of the greatest television series of all time, Six Feet Under is about the dysfunctional Fisher family and the funeral home they run in Los Angeles. Though it’s definitely a drama, the show is packed with plenty of sardonic wit, which helps highlight the charming idiosyncrasies of its characters. If you like strong writing, fantastic acting, and thought-provoking moral quandaries, this is definitely the bingeable show for you!
Available on: Amazon Prime, HBO Now, YouTube, iTunes, and Google Play
In my opinion, Broadchurch is one of the best mysteries available online. Set in the fictional town of Broadchurch, the show follows a pair of detectives (masterfully played by Olivia Coleman and David Tennant) as they investigate the murder of an 11-year-old boy. The investigation quickly sucks in the entire community, transforming the idyllic beachside hamlet into a den of intrigue and betrayal. Gripping, dark, and surprisingly funny, this is a fantastic show for folks who love a good gasp!
Available on: Netflix, YouTube, Amazon Prime, iTunes, and Google Play
Laugh your face off with this brilliant gem from Friends alum Lisa Kudrow, which follows delusional has-been actress Valerie Cherish as she attempts to mount a career comeback via a reality TV show about her comeback. Um … what … ? Yeah, the premise is a little confusing, but just think of it as a show within a show. It only takes one episode to get into the groove and, once you do, you’ll be totally hooked on its cringey, dark, and gut-bustingly funny vibe. Plus, Kudrow as Val is utter perfection. *Chef’s kiss*
Available on: HBO Now, Amazon Prime, YouTube, iTunes, and Google Play
I love the Great British Baking Show. When I’m sad, I watch it. When I’m happy, I watch it. When I no longer believe in humanity, I watch it. It’s gentle, sweet, tender, and committed to celebrating the extraordinary talents of its otherwise totally ordinary cast of characters. It’s a marvel, and has won over every single person I’ve ever recommended it to. So, if you want to dig into a competition show that’s less about the competition and more about watching nice people be really good at something cool, I think this could be the show for you. Also would love to hear your thoughts on the mid-series host swap!
Available on: Netflix, YouTube, iTunes, Amazon Prime, and Google Play
Well folks, that’s all she wrote! For more bingeable tips, check out our round-up of the best travel and adventure documentaries streaming on Netflix right now.
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