Looking for a distraction? Have some extra time on your hands after the kids go to bed? Are you lucky enough to be bored as you #StayAtHome? If the answer to any of those is ‘yes’…this is a great opportunity to embrace your inner couch potato. SO…grab a comfy blanket, pop some popcorn and catch up on the most binge-worthy TV that we’re watching, too.
Best Binge-Worthy Shows On Netflix, Hulu, HBO & Amazon Prime (According To Us)
Below are a few shows our contributors and Philly team are currently loving while on lockdown…What are you watching right now?
Laura’s Binge-Worthy TV Picks
The Great Interior Design Challenge (Netflix) & Stay Here (Netflix)
I’m obviously into home shows right now because omg I need light stuff. These are both super-fun, but I’m obsessed with The Great Interior Design Challenge because they’ve added an architectural history element to the program. It’s kinda like Design Star (if you used to watch that), but with amazing British accents and gorgeous vistas. The host goes into the history of the buildings all over the UK that have been turned into homes, and the participants redesign various rooms in a competition to get to the next round. The taste level of the competitors is all over the map, which keeps it really entertaining…and cringe-worthy. Haha.
Stay Here is based in the US and helps Airbnb owners take their places to the next level. If you love Genevieve Gorder’s style like I do, you’ll love this.
Scotti’s Binge-Worthy TV Picks
The Last Kingdom (Netflix) & Schitt’s Creek (Netflix)
These two shows are pretty much polar opposites — but they’re both AMAZING. The Last Kingdom is a historical fiction tv show based on The Saxon Stories novels…”As Alfred the Great defends his kingdom from Norse invaders, Uhtred — born a Saxon but raised by Vikings — seeks to claim his ancestral birthright.” If it sounds boring, it’s not. I actually watched the first season twice. The story is great and sucks you in immediately. The historical setting is super-intriguing, and I did a whole lot of Googling to learn more about the time period it portrays (always a plus when a show makes you want to learn more, IMO). Also, Uhtred is hot. Not that that’s a make or break thing, but it doesn’t hurt, right? (Swoon.)
And at the other end of the spectrum, we have Schitt’s Creek, a sitcom about a wealthy family who suddenly finds themselves completely broke and have to give up their pampered lifestyle for a life of poverty. At least they have each other (sounds familiar right about now)! It’s hilarious and the actors are SO good at playing their characters. You can’t not laugh at this one.
Shana’s Binge-Worthy TV Picks
pen15 (Hulu) & The Plot Against America (HBO)
Guys, I had four picks. But Scotti stole Schitt’s Creek (highly recommend) and Syd stole The Witcher (which Mike has been, like, panting to watch)— so here we are.
Pen15 is a genius of a show. It is so horrifyingly middle-school awkward and embarrassing that half the time I watch with a pillow over my face. It KILLS ME DEAD. The two leads are also the writers (31-years-old in real life), yet they both play middle schoolers…although the rest of the cast is made up of teenagers. I always strongly suspected that there is nothing more weird and complicated than a middle school girl and YES. This show is so raw, funny and real. So much so that it’s — almost — hard to watch. And just as hard to stop watching.
The Plot Against America is another Mike pick. The season premiere just aired on Monday, so we haven’t yet had a chance to tune in. But the premise is rather frightening: it’s an alternate history of the US, one that chronicles Charles Lindbergh’s political rise to became president, and the resulting wave of fascism. I suspect this one will hit a liiiiittle too close to home right now…but once we start watching, Mike knows I’ll get sucked in. Dammit. (I never go to bed after watching shows like this. I always have to end a binge with something light and funny. Schitt’s Creek or even The League (omg yes!) are good for that.
Abby’s Binge-Worthy TV Picks
Grey’s Anatomy (Netflix) & The Office (Netflix)
I mean…These are obvious picks for a Gen Z-er like myself, I’m pretty positive that almost everyone my age has seen at least one of the two. They’re nothing new and that’s what I love about them. I love catching the little throwbacks of the 2005 masterpieces (I’m using that word lightly) and the fact that there are enough episodes of both to last me, well, a really long time. (Which is coming in handy right about now during self-isolation.) I also love the fact that I’m pretty sure my mom has seen every episode in each series that I have, which makes them… do I say…timeless? Maybe not, but let’s go with it. I know they’re dramatic and silly shows, but that’s what I look for most of the time. Mindless shows that don’t require too much thought are right up my alley (although sometimes I do enjoy a murder mystery or thriller of sorts). If you’re looking for some easy (sometimes predictable) drama or simple comedy, these two shows have got you covered.
Kat’s Binge-Worthy TV Picks
Little Fires Everywhere (Hulu) & Good Girls (Netflix)
I am a total sucker for drama shows with strong female characters. I loved watching The Good Wife, Desperate Housewives and Scandal. And when Good Girls came out I was instantly hooked. The premise of the show is about three women who are desperate for money and become involved with the Cartel. The show is both hilarious and serious all in the same breath and will definitely keep you entertained. If you get through all of the seasons on Netflix, don’t fret because the most current season is being released weekly on Hulu.
Little Fires Everywhere is brand new, and let me tell you all it’s a HOT show! Hulu just released the first 4 episodes a few days ago, and within the first 10 minutes, I was hooked. The two main characters in the show are Kerry Washington and Reese Witherspoon — what more could you ask for from a show than two incredible actresses in the lead? The show is set in the ’90s, centered around two very different families and how their lives begin to intertwine. It’s full of family drama, mystery, and lots of Love Tension.
Em’s Binge-Worthy TV Picks
The Magicians (Netflix) & Entourage (HBO)
I don’t know what these picks say about me, but I am unabashedly obsessed with both. We followed Entourage almost religiously when it first aired, and when HBO released it to stream again in its entirety, I was literally almost on the verge of tears — SO. MUCH. JOY. It’s so shamelessly indulgent — easy to get into, super-entertaining characters that you hate to love/love to hate, and episodes are like 20-30 mins (which is terrible, because it’s SO BINGEABLE when the episodes are short).
And The Magicians! Imagine the wizarding world of Harry Potter meets Narnia meets the cheeky camp of Vampire Diaries, with some pretty adult humor thrown in (right up my alley). Admittedly, the first couple of episodes seem a little stilted while the actors get into character (and stuff gets pretty freaking weird as the series goes on), but as far as entertainment for the sake of entertainment goes, it’s pure gold.
Jess’ Binge-Worthy TV Picks
Ozark (Netflix) & The OA (Netflix)
So first off, both of my picks ended up being not-so-kid-friendly dramas. I love Ozark because of the storyline and the acting. I’ll watch anything with Jason Bateman in it (who also writes and directs a lot of the episodes) and Laura Linney is amazing in this. Without giving too much away, Ozark is basically about a husband and wife trying to pick up the pieces of their lives — they have to start over and keep their family together while evading the law at the same time. It will hook you by the first episode for sure.
I thought long and hard about what to say about The OA because it’s seriously one of my favorites ever, but at the same time, it’s definitely not for everyone because it is super intense. From the brilliant mind of Brit Marling, who co-wrote and stars in the series, the OA has all the elements of a series that you can get completely lost in; mystery, sci-fi, fantasy, supernatural and of course, love. If you want a show that you will completely absorb you and that will leave you thinking about it for days after, then I HIGHLY suggest The OA. And then, of course, message me after you’ve finished so we can swap theories!
Cam’s Binge-Worthy Picks
Peaky Blinders (Netflix) & Outlander (HBO)
My brother told me to watch Peaky Blinders a year or so ago, but I was very meh about it. It wasn’t until recently that I realized that I should have been watching this since it first came out. It’s so good! Matt and I got sucked right in and didn’t stop watching until we had consumed the entirety of it…and then we were depressed, because we legitimately missed the characters. Why should you watch it? Well, for one…the Brummie (Birmingham) accents. Holy. Second, the STYLE. The men’s looks were my favorite. I asked Matt if he would please dress that way, but he said probably not (booo). So, instead I promptly got my boys “the peaky cut” at the barber. Dead. I recommend you give it a go!
I started Outlander when it first came out…and pretty much was all-in from the start. I actually prefer the earlier seasons to the last two. So, this show is all about how Claire Randal, a married combat nurse from 1945, accidentally travels back in time to 1743 Scotland. She then meets a man that she falls in love with, so…ah! She wants to get back to her husband, but is also torn because, well…gorgeous, muscular Scot. Ya know? Tough choices in life have to be made sometimes. Of course, I love the Scottish accents…which made this one a winner to me!
Jeni’s Binge-Worthy TV Picks
Agatha Christie’s Ordeal By Innocence (Amazon Prime) & Arrested Development (Netflix)
Scandal, plot twists and mystery? Popcorn’s ready, count me in. I got put on the detective-murder-mystery agenda when I was a kid, watching binges of Poirot with my dad. Ordeal By Innocence is a 3-episode miniseries (each episode about an hour long) that satisfies all of my cravings for a dramatic slow burn. A family’s life is disrupted after a murder, but a year later a stranger confronts the rest of the family with an alibi for the son who had gone to jail. It’s clear they’re all involved somehow, you just don’t know how or why… this whodunnit did not disappoint.
On the other hand…you know exactly whoddunnit in Arrested Development, and it’s up to Michael Bluth to try and put his family and company back together after they run into some legal problems (may or may not involve treason). A “healthy” mix of corruption and incompetency, there’s no telling what Michael’s going to have to do to cover up for his siblings and parents. This one is much more of a laugh than Ordeal By Innocence — and much more chaotic. While I might be cringing through a pillow during some scenes, this show is just littered with iconic moments. When they all dance around like chickens? coo-coo-ka-cha? I DIE.
Danielle’s Binge-Worthy TV Picks
Love Island (Hulu) & Next In Fashion (Netflix)
For YEARS I was obsessed with Project Runway. Next in Fashion is like the new and improved version of that. The challenges are super-fun, but more importantly, the contestants are some of my favorite people I’ve ever watched in a challenge-type show. They’re all a bunch of characters! At this point, I’m protective of some of them and get ridiculously mad at the judges when they hate on them. I find myself yelling at the TV prettty often. That’s my sister you’re talking about!
Love Island is my most recent (very guilty) pleasure. When I first tried watching I was like, OH GOD NO. Now, I’ve managed to binge watch 26 episodes in a week (shamefully), and I’m still not sick of it. A glass of wine, 1 (or 10) episodes of this at night — I’m at my peak happiness. The British accents are definitely a bonus, but the dramatics are truly the best part. This is another show I find myself yelling at because some of these boys really have a nerve! Hence, the much-needed glass of wine.
Syd’s Binge-Worthy TV Picks
Letterkenny (Hulu) & The Witcher (Netflix)
With my picks you can see the duality of my taste in shows. You’ll find my Netflix and Hulu queues full of historical dramas, fantasy settings, and dark humor. Letterkenny is definitely one of the stranger shows I’ve fallen in love with. It’s set in a small town in Canada and covers the everyday problems of the people living there. Think: good music, bare fist brawls, and lots of Canadian accents. This show never fails to make me laugh.
As for The Witcher….well what can I say? Henry Cavill plays an amazing Geralt of Rivia (he’s a huge nerd and proves it in the behind the scenes videos of this show), and OMG THE SWORDPLAY. The absolute mastery that is the costuming and combat of this show blows my mind. If you burn through the first season, don’t worry. There’s plenty of games AND books to continue your adventure through the world of The Witcher.
We can’t wait to hear your faves!
Your Resident Dungeon Master,
Orphan Black – Amazon Prime & Fargo – Hulu. Both are full of complex characters with amazing acting and definitely some dark humor!
I am currently watching Schitt’s Creek and while I love them all, I’m slightly obsessed with Moira. Her wigs and accessories are amazing and she’s so perfectly nutty! I kind of want to be her when I grow up! ? Cam, all I can say is Tommy Shelby. He’s so dreamy. While I can’t quite get the males in my house to dress like the Shelbys, one of my boys has the hair cut and and I can get them all to wear the hats around St. Patrick’s day! ? Love this list. I’m definitely going to start Good Girls and probably Outlander. And maybe The Witcher because…Henry Cavill.
His Dark Materials – HBO. Everybody in our family loves it.
Letter for the King- Netflix. Kind of a Game of Thrones for the whole family.
Happy Valley- Netflix. British police detective with good kind of twisted humor.
Shetland- Netflix. Another British detective series with beautiful scenery.
Hi. Can we be friends? These picks sound AWESOME. Are His Dark Materials related to the books?
The OA!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (And Happy Endings if you need a comedy)
The OA is one of my favorite all time shows. And I agree with the first comment, Orphan Black is amazing. Both shows sucked me in in the first 5 minutes and took me on the craziest ride.
The Man in the High Castle on Amazon sounds similar in setup to The Plot Against America, would recommend it.
Travelers-Netflix. Another great show. Time travelers from the future come to the present to try and fix things.
Anyone watching Hunters on Amazon? So good…
I am normally not a reality TV person, but “Next in Fashion” was such a light and fun distraction and everyone on that show seemed like such a lovely human being- from the hosts to the contestants. I also agree with OA- what an original and riveting show!!
Another one for Travelers on Netflix. Totally binge worthy and so good!
The Outlander Book Series amazing if you haven’t read it.
Series on Amazon Prime – Modern Love, Catastrophe, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, and Friday Night Lights (oldie but a goodie, and I don’t care about football AT ALL).
YAY! Other OA fans!!
Sad news though, I’ve been hearing they cancelled Part III!! Although there may be hope still – some super fans supposedly posted a billboard asking Netflix not to cancel it. so fingers crossed, we’ll see!
p.s. Laura, just started Hunters tonight!