Laura Tormos ’18 / Emertainment Monthly Staff Writer
The holidays are finally upon us, which, for many of us, means winter break. Some would argue that this is a time to spend with family and friends sitting around a fireplace trading stories, drinking hot cocoa, going to Christmas and New Year’s parties—but, really, who has time for all that with all the TV shows there are to watch?
Winter break also applies to the usual batch of TV shows now that they’re in winter hiatus, and you should instead take this time to catch up (or re-watch) all the series that are worth watching before the new year approaches. So go grab a cozy blanket and blow off those pesky family obligations, because there are a lot of them.
10. Parks and Recreation
For the comedy fans out there, Parks and Recreation’s final season will premiere on Tuesday, January 13th on NBC. Before we say goodbye to the residents of Pawnee, Indiana for good (however sad that may be), make sure you’re up to speed on the last season’s last-minute twist before tuning in to season seven.
And if you’re starting from the very beginning, stick it out: season two is where it really starts to pick up.
9. Gilmore Girls
There are many of us who remember watching Gilmore Girls when we were younger and it was still on TV, and now that it’s on Netflix, we can finally live vicariously once again (and again) through the fast-talking, beautifully witty and endearing mother-daughter duo, Lorelai and Rory Gilmore. But whether or not you’ve already seen the series or not, it should be on your list. (It isn’t just a TV Show, after all. It’s a lifestyle. It’s a religion.)
8. Bob’s Burgers
Much of television’s history of comedy can be traced through it’s families, and the Belchers of Bob’s Burgers have steadily made their way into the list of those iconic clans. Three seasons full of this eccentric and deadpan show (who’s comedy lies in just a group of oddballs being themselves—no recycled, vulgar, or cheap gags necessary) are currently on Netflix, and you are bound to get through them in no time.
7. Twin Peaks
Showtime is bringing back this beloved 1990 series for a limited series run in 2016, which will hopefully be as strange and wonderful as its original run. With only two seasons to catch up on, make sure to grab a slice of cherry pie and a cup of some damn fine coffee before settling down to see who killed Laura Palmer.
6. Freaks and Geeks
For some more TV Nostalgia, Freaks and Geeks is perfect for binge-watching: especially since it’s so short. It captured the awkwardness of high school in only one short season from 1999 to 2000, and it undoubtedly remains a very relevant and endearing show, and you’ll feel heartache when it’s over.
And if that isn’t enough, Freaks and Geeks has stars Seth Rogan, James Franco, and Jason Segel getting their start in front of the camera.
5. Orphan Black
If you have not yet experienced the sheer beauty and brilliance that is Tatiana Maslany playing more than 10 characters (all amazingly), then you should seriously consider spending this holiday season catching up with this highly addictive BBC drama before its third season premieres on April 18th. The Clone Club will be waiting for you with (possibly multiple) open arms.
If you haven’t stepped foot into the majestic, addictive, and slightly terrifying “Shondaland,” you needn’t look further than Scandal for the perfect starting point. Currently on its fourth season, is it at perfect binge-watching length. Season one starts small with seven episodes of pure madness, and by the time you’re done, you’ll plow right through seasons two, three, and what we have of four sooner than you can eat all of Olivia Pope’s popcorn.
3. Breaking Bad
Assuming, of course, you have already watched it, because you probably have, go experience the insanity again before its spin-off series Better Call Saul premieres on Sunday, February 8th. If you’re one of the few who has not yet witnessed this meth-filled wonderland of crazy (or, you know, one of the most critically acclaimed series of all-time), go watch it immediately. If not for anything else, at least, watching it will mean you will finally stop getting made fun of for not having done so already.
2. How I Met Your Mother
With its ninth and final season finally up on Netflix, you can finally watch this highly-praised, fan-favorite (albeit a little too long) comedy in its entirety, despite the only really good reason to watch the final season is for the sole fact that it is the final season. There are many, many issues with the series finale, which you may have heard of in some form or the other, but maybe it’s better if you decide for yourself: dive in, binge hard, and get through both the good and the ugly of the last year (and the ones before).
Just remember, if the series finale totally ruined the entire series for you, there is an alternate ending that might be a little more to your liking.
1. The Legend of Korra
On December 17th, the world said goodbye to another critically acclaimed piece of art—The Legend of Korra. Though following its more acclaimed predecessor, Avatar: The Last Airbender, which ended in 2008, it is by no means inferior. There are many, many reasons to binge-watch this series, but the most important by far is its willingness to push boundaries and tackle subjects that go beyond the screen—Nickelodeon even went so far as to take it off the air and screen the final two seasons online only because of its more mature content. The series finale was a great example of how far the envelope was pushed, and did something no children’s show—and certainly no Nickelodeon cartoon—has ever done before.