Watching television can be fun; binge-watching it can be even better. There’s something really fantastic about being sucked completely into a show — its plot, its characters, its actors. It’s like being consumed by a really great book, where suddenly whatever is entertaining you transports you to an entirely different world.
If you're an avid reader of our blog, you probably already know we’re enthusiastic television watchers. So over the next few weeks, we’ll be presenting you with our favorite shows in sci-fi/fantasy, comedy, and drama to binge-watch. You're welcome!
Why Tim Loves It: For a lot of shows, the pilot episode doesn't completely pull you in. It usually takes a few more episodes before you are fully committed. "Lost" was not one of those shows. After the first ten minutes of the pilot episode, you are completely hooked. I did not start watching "Lost" until after the second season had been released to DVD, but once I started watching, it was the only thing on my television for weeks. I can't tell you how many times I said to myself, "just one more episode." Of course, that always turned into four episodes.
By the time "Lost" ended, there was a lot criticism about how it ended and questions that were left unanswered (why was Walt so important??), but it didn't take away from the adventure that was the show. Each time it ended, there were new questions and mysteries that you couldn't wait another minute to be answered.
Ultimately, "Lost" is character-driven show; you will love some of them, you will hate some of them, but they all bring something special to the show (except Nikki and Paulo). If you have not watched Lost before, it's definitely something you should add to your queue.
Where to Watch it: Netflix
Why Mike Loves It: When I watched "Fringe" the first time around, I liked it a lot. However, I gained a new appreciation for it when I started watching it again on Netflix a couple weeks ago. I like it because it keeps you glued to your seat right from the start, wondering what's going to happen next. I think any show that can pull you in right away is a good one.
Along with that, binge-watching is also the best way to view a show like this one. The series is so densely packed with events that, if you only watch it week to week, you can really start to lose track of things. In that respect, "Fringe" is much like "Lost." Both series feature a storyline that is not strictly linear, and while "Lost" really only touched on this concept later in the series, the series-long arc of "Fringe" incorporated this non-linear aspect from the beginning. At the same time, the week-to-week progression is linear (more or less), so things are coming at the viewer from all over the place that leaves you trying to piece it all together. Therefore, watching everything in quick succession is a good way to keep up.
Fringe is the kind of series to watch if you like a little police investigation and a lot of sci-fi. "X-Files" fans will find much here that is familiar. In fact, a number of episodes have strong connections to that series, leaving some fans to wonder if they occur in the same universe.
Where to Watch it: Netflix
Game of Thrones
Why Crystal Loves It: Although I was hesitant to give "Game of Thrones" a shot, after I saw the first episode, I watched the entire first season... that same day. Set in the imaginary Westeros and Essos, "Game of Thrones" follows several stories: a war for the coveted "Iron Throne"; the threat of winter, which brings dangerous, mythical creatures; and everything in between. There's so much going on that binge-watching is the best way to experience it so you can really catch everything.
The popularity of "Game of Thrones" and "A Song of Ice and Fire," the unfinished book series it's based on, has gotten so immense that the author behind the phenomenon just signed a contract promising he won't die before he finishes the books. While I know popular doesn't always mean better, I'm all for a show that has been referenced several times on "Parks and Recreation." Perhaps "Parks and Rec" character Ben Wyatt summed it up best: "[Game of Thrones] is a cross-over hit. It's not just for fantasy enthusiasts; they're telling human stories in a fantasy world."
"Game of Thrones" is the perfect show for anyone who enjoys: high fantasy; blood and gore; catch phrases ("Winter is Coming!"); and having their heart metaphorically and savagely ripped from their chest — but in a good way, you know?
Where to Watch it: HBO Go
Which show(s) do you think are worth a binge-watch?
TV Shows to Binge-Watch: Sci-Fi/Fantasy
Photo credit: Brian Cantoni on Flickr.