7 Great Binge-Worthy Shows for this Summer
December 18, 2019
When the weather outside is dreadfully hot, use up your time indoors with these binge-worthy shows that are ready to stream on Amazon, Netflix, or Hulu.
Of course, you want to have an awesomely productive summer full of learning, hard work, life-changing experiences, and perfect high fives. But that doesn't mean you shouldn't be able to work in a little binge watching while you finally have some downtime.
As a matter of fact, you can even watch these outside; it'll make you feel slightly more productive.
Here are some great under-the-radar binge watching options for the summer months (you don't really need me to tell you to watch "Orange is the New Black" and "Game of Thrones," do you?) and where you can find them.
Note: Pretty much all of these recommendations are for the PG-13 and over crowd, so binge accordingly.
# # 1. “30 for 30: Soccer Stories" (2014)
What’s the Deal? The World Cup is on! You fulfilled your patriotic duties as an American and start caring about soccer. Why not know a little more about the sport with ESPN's compulsively watchable, always high-quality documentary series "30 for 30"? The series includes eight Brazil and soccer-centric documentaries to get you into the "goooaalll"-screaming, vuvuzela-blowing spirit.
# # 2. “Enlightened" (2011-2013)
Where? Amazon Prime
What's the Deal? "Enlightened" was one of those little gems that was much-loved by critics but never got a proper shake from audiences. The show, which only lasted two seasons on HBO, features a knockout performance from Laura Dern, who you maybe haven't seen since she was dodging T-Rex attacks in "Jurassic Park." Dern kills it as a self-destructive woman dead set on self-improvement.
# # 3. “Family Tree" (2013)
Where? Amazon Prime
What’s the Deal? HBO's one-season affair "Family Tree" featured every face you've ever seen while watching Christopher Guest's classic string of late '90s, early '00s mock docs ("Waiting for Guffman," "Best in Show," "A Mighty Wind"). Chris O'Dowd, who’s currently performing in the the Broadway show “Of Mice and Men" with James Franco, stars as an Irishman who travels to the U.S. to learn more about his family's past after his life falls apart. The show is an easy, light watch that'll help you balance out all the "Game of Thrones" bludgeonings from the last few months, and features the same eccentric mockumentary style that Guest helped pioneer.
# # 4. “Spaced" (1999-2001)
What's the Deal? For anyone who has ever seen and then fallen in love with any of the silly entertaining Cornetto Trilogy movies ("Shaun of the Dead," "Hot Fuzz," and "The World's End"), the BBC comedy series "Spaced" is must-binge television. Director Edgar Wright and actors Nick Frost and Simon Pegg got their start working on this supremely quick-witted show about a group of mid 20-somethings kind of, sort of trying to get their lives together. And hey, because this is a BBC series, everything is short and to the point: two seasons, and fourteen episodes total.
# # 5. “Terriers" (2010)
What's the Deal? This comedy/drama slipped past audiences without much notice when it aired on FX back in 2010. (In fact, it had absurdly bad ratings.) It’s pretty much all about two street-smart private investigators whose private lives intertwine with their investigations. And not at all about small dogs, the distinctive spin on a classic set-up was heaped with critical love upon its original release, and has gone on to find an audience since arriving on Netflix and DVD. You can now be part of that audience, by briefly admonishing all of your responsibilities and watching all 13 episodes on Netflix.
# # 6. “Top of the Lake" (2013)
Where? Amazon Prime and Netflix
What's the Deal? There's a good chance you missed this atmospheric seven-part Jane Campion ("The Piano," "Bright Star") miniseries, since it originally aired on the hidden-from-view Sundance Channel when it debuted in 2013. Luckily, we live in the Internet age, where everything lives forever. The dark drama (good for folks who enjoyed AMC's "The Killing") is centered around a detective (Elizabeth Moss of "Mad Men") who unravels a mystery upon returning to her hauntingly pretty New Zealand hometown.
# # 7. “Undeclared" (2001-2002)
What's the Deal? Before he was the guy who produced every bankable comedy movie, and just after he had produced the all-time cult classic "Freaks and Geeks," Judd Apatow came out with the totally under-loved college show "Undeclared," featuring a young Charlie Hunnam ("Sons of Anarchy") and Seth Rogan (everything). The show, which tackles college much more realistically than the other melodramas and hijinks-heavy comedies out there, only got one season from the powers that be, making for a total of seventeen episodes. Still, all the more easy to watch in one terribly over-extended sitting.