Many television shows exist that can be watched at the normal one-episode-per-week pace; however, in the ever growing library of must-see-TV, there are some that require a heftier appetite than the norm. These shows will suck you in in such a way that 43 minutes of TV pleasure per week, nay per DAY, is nowhere near enough. Whittling the list down to five was a feat in and of itself. To accompany each selection, you will find a list of supplies we recommend to help sustain you during your binge.
We’re starting out nice and easy for those of you that have to, I don’t know, continue going to work every day and maybe feed those little people that you call your children. Grey’s Anatomy follows the journey of Meredith Grey (Ellen Pompeo) as she goes into her first year of residency at Seattle Grace Hospital. This is a show that is fairly easy to binge-watch simply because you can take it in 2 or 3 episode doses and still function. The group of friends Meredith finds herself with all experience love and heartache as well as death and the process that follows it. This is a show that you will learn to love, and at times, love to hate. When it comes to the show’s title character, you will go from loving her to hating her, and you still won’t be able to get enough.
Supplies: A bag of popcorn, maybe a can or two of the soft drink of your choice. Weekend watching may require pizza delivery. And don’t forget your stethoscope; once you’re about three seasons in, you’ll be convinced you can do any and everything done on this show.
The Vampire Diaries
The Vampire Diaries is everything that the Twilight series could have been. We still have a dark-haired high school beauty who falls in love with a vampire, but in this story, the girl is more than capable of taking care of herself and the vampires do more than just sparkle. Elena Gilbert (Nina Dobrev) is the dark-haired beauty, but the difference here is, she is actually capable of showing a range of emotions beyond irritated constipation. Elena serves as the love interest and focal point of a love triangle between brothers Stefan and Damon Salvatore (Paul Wesley and Ian Somerhalder, repectively). In a town where no one questions the rate of teenage alcoholism; vampires, werewolves, hybrids, and witches all exist.
Supplies: The Salvatore brothers prefer bourbon to stave off their thirst for blood. You may want to go ahead and make sure you dose yours with vervain so you can’t be compelled although, let’s face it, judging by the looks of the vampires on this show, I’d give my left nut to be compelled by one of them… and I don’t even HAVE nuts!
Brothers Sam and Dean Winchester (Jared Padelecki and Jensen Ackles) were raised to be hunters by their father, John (played by Jeffrey Dean Morgan), after their mother was taken from them by a yellow-eyed demon and their father pledged his life to tracking that demon down. The brothers’ interaction is just the icing on this devil’s food cake of a show. You have book smart Sam and street smart Dean pairing together in some of the funniest, and spookiest, situations. Add to that older brother Dean’s never-ending supply of one-liners and you are set for seven+ seasons of supernatural entertainment.
Supplies – Cheap and greasy diner food is a must. You’ll also want some salt and holy water to protect you from what is out there. And, please, don’t forget the pie.
4, 8, 15, 16, 23, 42. If those numbers don’t mean anything to you, you have not lived; or, rather, you have not committed yourself to 83 straight hours of “what-in-the-entire-fuck-is-going-on-here” television pleasure. LOST opens up with the wreckage of Flight 815 on a remote island where keeping an adequate level of food and water is the least of the worries that the survivors will have. A smoke monster, the Dharma Initiative, the Others… oh my! Dorothy ain’t got shit on what’s going on here.
Supplies – You’re going hardcore here. It’s recommended that you have a proper level of caffeinated beverages available. Stock up on easy to cook meals and taking a day or two off of work would be recommended. Also, you will need an entire box of tissue once you reach the end of this journey.
If you’re on this level of binge-watching, you have the commitment of an Olympic athlete. Not only are you committing to multiple seasons of time travel, you’re changing your entire perspective of the universe itself. Doctor Who (please, don’t abbreviate Doctor… it makes us twitchy) is a Time Lord from Gallifrey who is hell-bent on protecting the Earth from all the threats that the universe has to offer. From Sontarans (HA!) to Weeping Angels (don’t blink) to Raxacoricofallapatorians (yeah, I said it) the universe is full of threats to our little blue ball. If it weren’t for The Doctor and his TARDIS, we would all have died a thousand times over. Many have become hooked on the show by watching the re-boot which began in 2006; however, the show originally ran from 1963 to the late 80’s so, there is plenty of Doctor Who out there.
Supplies – Imagine you’re going on a week-long camping trip… You will need all of those things, and then some. Don’t forget the 3-D glasses, a banana, a fez, and a bow tie. Trust us… Bow Ties. Are.Cool.
And those, friends, are the five TV shows you should start binge watching right now. Although, if you need to wait until the first of the year so your vacation days replenish, we’ll understand.