by NICK BUCHANAN, JESSICA HOLLAN, and BRANDON UTLEY
Editor, assistant editor, and staff writer
This list was absolutely terrifying to make because I am obsessed with T.V., so to make it a little easier on myself, I chose to include only shows that are available in their entirety to stream.
1. Gossip Girl – Okay, this show is perfect for anyone who enjoys petty drama. I was very hesitant to start this one at first because it did not fit my usual preference, but once I started, I was HOOKED. Something about a bunch of spoiled, rich teenagers who have more drama than you could ever imagine just draws you in. Maybe I like this show because of the drama, or maybe I’m just jealous I didn’t grow up in the Upper East Side of Manhattan. Either way, give this one a shot; you will not regret it.
2. Dexter – As a forensic science major, this show is glorious. The show is literally about a serial killer, but not the bad kind that goes around killing people for fun. He kills only other serial killers, so it’s perfectly fine… The complex life that Dexter Morgan leads, trying to hide the fact that he kills people in his spare time, is enticing from the first episode. I love this show so much that I have refused to watch the last two seasons because I just do not want it to end.
3. Shameless – Even though this show is still airing new episodes on television, it is absolutely too good not to include. This show is a recent addition to my list of obsessions, but it is one of my favorites nonetheless and is the only show to have me obsessed before the first episode ended. This show had me hooked from the first five minutes of episode one, and I could not stop watching after that. The story of the extremely messed-up Gallagher family is endearing. The way they do not let any obstacle come in between them is the true heart of this masterpiece. The actions of each member and how they mature throughout the series will keep you coming back for more.
4. Malcolm in the Middle – I have been obsessed with this show since I was a child. Every time this show was on, little six-year-old me was glued to the television. There are countless sitcoms about dysfunctional families, but this one may just be one of the best. The story of a child genius who is desperately trying to fit in is one you do not want to miss. Plus, little Frankie Muniz is an A+ actor, and he deserves more credit than he got.
5. Glee – As a former show choir member myself, I can relate to a lot of what this show has to offer. This high school may just be one of the most dysfunctional schools in television history: the relationships, the bullying, the family feuds, and best of all, THE MUSIC. This show pumped out some of the best covers I have ever heard, and the originals were not too shabby, either. The soundtracks ended up in the top of the iTunes charts so often; I am shocked they are so underrated. Also, the Christmas specials are not to be missed. I catch myself watching reruns of this show more often than anything else, and I never watch a show more than once.
Because I am a great friend I will only include shows that are completely on Netflix. So that you, my friend, will not have to deal with the dreaded cliffhangers. You’re welcome.
1. That '70s Show – That '70s Show is a comedy show made in the '90s about the '70s. If you’re snooping around to get your fix of disco, bell bottoms, and Farrah Fawcett hair, then search no longer! I’ve been obsessed with That '70s Show since BEFORE Netflix even existed (like who even remembers those dark ages?) but now that Netflix allows me an opportunity to binge, I watch on repeat.
2. How I Met Your Mother – Another day, another sitcom. I just really enjoy watching a comedic group of friends get into unbelievable hijinks. Speaking of which…
3. Friends – You already know. If you don’t, you should. (I mean geez, Aunt Betty*, get with it already.)
4. Glee – I love two things: shows set in high school and shows where people randomly start singing. And a combination of both? An art form, truly. No wonder I was so obsessed with High School Musical back in the day. Remember the HSM backpacks? And pencil bags? And pencils? Yeah, I had it all. (Friendly reminder HSM and HSM2 are also on Netflix.) But Glee is incredible. It’ll get you caught in your feels real quick though. So watch out.
5. Gossip Girl – Binging this show is the only reason I survived freshman year. Two words: Blake Lively. I mean, I can learn to love anything that shows me a lot of Blake Lively. Even the Green Lantern movie. (Not really, but you get what I mean.) This show has drama, sass, romance, revenge – all dressed in designer clothing. Welcome to everything you will dream of obtaining for the rest of your life, Upper East Siders. XOXO.
*If you’re not familiar with Aunt Betty’s work, be sure to catch up on her arrival on the scene last Thanksgiving here. And don’t forget to read about her continuing shenanigans from last Christmas here.
1. Kathleen Madigan: Bothering Jesus – As a fan of stand-up comedy, I highly appreciate the influx of specials Netflix has commissioned in the past year. One of my favorite comedic discoveries through Netflix has been Kathleen Madigan, a blue-collar, Irish-American comedienne with a half-dozen recorded specials under her belt. Her first Netflix exclusive program, Bothering Jesus, includes a hilarious new set about hillbillies who hunt catfish with their hands, her undying fascination with missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, and her parents’ newest antics in a Floridian retirement village.
2. Gilmore Girls – So listen, I am a latecomer to the Gilmore Girls fandom. After my friend had dogged on me for years to watch it and Netflix persistently told me that I would like it based on my viewing history, I finally cave. I binged watched the first four seasons of the show throughout the first half of this semester, but I had to give it a break once I reached season five. Rory is just such a frustrating character, and I reached a point where I couldn’t even look at her face without being disgusted. Even my favorite (yet still problematic) character Lorelai was getting under my skin. But I recently resumed so I could see what all the hype was about with Netflix’s newly released revival of the series, Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life, and my urge to punch Rory in the face has subsided. In fact, I rediscovered all of the quirky little things that make the show so great. (P.S. – I hate Jess. I hate Logan and Dean, too. Rory's taste in men is atrotrious. Don’t even try to come for me.)
3. Bates Motel – If you haven’t seen Bates Motel, you best drop what you are doing and sign into Netflix now. The series acts a prequel to the events of Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho, starring a very compatible Vera Farmiga and Freddie Highmore as Norma and Norman Bates, respective. Norman’s disassociate identity disorder slowly unravels as the series progresses, Norma’s constant denial reveals a truly troubled character who was destined for doom all along, and a few twists to the story are thrown in for good measure. The fourth season hasn’t hit Netflix yet, but it’s the best yet of its portrayal of Norman’s psychological disorder, blurring the lines between him and the alter ego of his mother. By the time you binge watch the first three seasons, the fourth will hit Netflix’s catalog – and believe me, you’ll be begging for it. (Plus, Rihanna has been cast for the fifth and final season to play Marion Crane, Norman’s iconic shower murder victim. If that isn’t an incentive, I don’t know what is.)
4. Bob’s Burgers – On its surface, Bob’s Burgers looks like a knock-off of The Simpsons with a stranger animation style and realistic skin tones. However, a glimpse into the show’s world reveals a witty animated sitcom. Truth be told, it’s rarely outwardly funny. Instead, I've learned that most of its magic comes from the exploitation of each character’s idiosyncrasies, like Linda’s eccentricity, Tina’s tween-to-teen hormonal angst, and Louise’s exaggerated maturity. Immersion into the cult fandom of the show is key to understanding its appeal – all you have to do is jump in.
5. Grace and Frankie – Orange is the New Black is probably the one Netflix original you have already watched; it's univerisally known that those who haven't jumped on the Orange train are already the laggards of society. So here's the next original content from the streaming service that you need to check out: Grace and Frankie. Our two female leads here find themselves in an unlikely friendship when their husbands fall in love… with each other. In this subdued comedy, we follow the characters’ coping and forgiveness as Robert and Sol go public with the gay relationship that had been happening for decades behind closed doors as they worked as lawyers, leaving Grace and Frankie hurt but forced to accept their now ex-husbands. Grace, a vain, retired cosmetology company CEO, and Frankie, a pot-smoking art teacher, are the perfect foils; Frankie cools Grace's fire, and Grace picks Frankie up when she gets stuck in valleys during her coping process.
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