Once the holidays are over, most people living in northern hemisphere countries are faced with a period of cold, dark days. Luckily, television provides welcome escapes from reality. In fact, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that many people watch television during autumn and winter, averaging about three hours a day in those months.1
Many people search for shows or films that will uplift or offer a strong narrative arc during these slower months. Below, we have created a list of shows that we think you will enjoy. As the cold weather does its thing during the winter months outside, be sure to stay warm and get cozy with the following binge-watching jewels.
Perhaps one of the most beloved and well-known shows of the 21st century, The Office is always a great show to begin watching, especially if you are new to the show. Set against the backdrop of a fictional-turned-actual paper company, Dunder Mifflin, the show is made what it is by a stellar cast and witty dialogue. Short, 30-minute episodes of The Office can be a great choice for when you want to put on something to lift your mood. With nine seasons in total, watching this series will keep you laughing a long time.
Parks and Recreation
Similar to The Office, this half-hour comedy series follows a loveable group of individuals situated in the fictional town of Pawnee Indiana. With the majority of the storylines revolving around the characters’ involvement in local government, the opportunities for hilarious situations are endless. Headed up by the ever-optimistic Leslie Knope, the cast truly gives each scene their all, making this show an instant classic for younger and older viewers alike.
Game of Thrones
Sometimes only true fantasy will do when you’re interested in binge-watching a television show, and Game of Thrones delivers. This show is everything you could want from the fantasy genre. Following the stories of three prominent families in the land of Westeros, Game of Thrones utilizes dragons, secret alliances, and shocking turns to create an epic television experience as wars are waged, all in pursuit of the Iron Throne. While the last season is yet to air, there are seven full seasons available to binge-watch. In fact, if you spend your winter getting acquainted with the families and situations in this show, you’ll be all caught up by the time the series finale airs in April 2019.
Breaking Bad has been hailed by many as one of the greatest television shows of all time. Starring Bryan Cranston and Aaron Paul, this drama series digs into themes that are deeper than those that the show initially presents. With five seasons, there are plenty of thrilling episodes for you to enjoy on chilly days spent indoors. You might have missed it when it initially aired, but you can catch the entire saga from start to finish on a variety of streaming services.
During the winter is often the best time to start cooking stews, casseroles and other warm comfort goods. Watching a show like Good Eats with renounced cook Alton Brown can help you to be a better cook while learning something about the foods you’re cooking. Alton presents his ingredients and recipes in a light, educated manner and what you learn on the show can have real-world implications when using some of his recipes. By the time winter is over, you might have picked up a few new cooking skills.
The Twilight Zone
If you like sci-fi dramas, it’s hard to beat the original Rod Serling series The Twilight Zone. In 30 minute episodes, you can be taken to a different planet or dealing with the visions of a pool shark. There’s always a twist in a Twilight Zone episode, and it’s fun to guess at what the twist may be. Because the series is older, most of the episodes are suitable for children, if you’re searching for a more serious show to enjoy as a family.
If you’ve already had your fill of The Twilight Zone and enjoyed it, give Black Mirror a try. Black Mirror is a newer show, and each episode runs about 40 to 90 minutes. Focusing on the horror found in the world around us, in a fictional past, or a speculated future, Black Mirror creates alternate realities and devastating outcomes for its characters. Imbued with the same twists and unusual scenarios as The Twilight Zone, Black Mirror can sometimes be appropriate for teenagers, but you may want to exercise discretion with children.
The Good Place
This fun and original sitcom are one of the most entertaining shows on television today. With two seasons already on various streaming services and a third currently airing, this is the perfect show to start if you are looking for something light-hearted and exciting. At times irreverent and at times warm-hearted, The Good Place follows a woman who, upon her death, winds up in heaven, much to her surprise. However, it doesn’t take long for her to realize that, because of a mix-up in the afterlife, she has been placed there by mistake. This show is always sunny and fun, two things you’re probably looking for as winter settles in.
With these binge-watching recommendations, your winter is sure to be exciting and memorable. If the prospect of watching alone bums you out, let your friends or relatives know you’ll be starting a new show; you may be able to gain a little company.
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