By The Stony Brook Independent Staff
Ever had one of those days when all you wanted to do was stay planted on your couch, or in your bed, eyes fixated on a screen? Maybe you weren’t motivated. Maybe you needed some time for yourself. Maybe you were simply procrastinating! Many of us have been there, and will be there again. So here is a list of shows you can binge watch once you return to this state of just wanting to vegetate.
1. Breaking Bad
There’s something about fast money and crime that keeps people’s pupils glued to whatever type of screen they’re using. It could be a television, an iPad or a laptop — either way, watching “Breaking Bad” will send your adrenaline rush through the roof. If it’s not Jesse’s bad habit of being a total mess up at almost everything he does in life, it’s Walter’s cunning ways of plucking off each and every one of his enemies without any of them ever seeing it coming. Even an audience member couldn’t anticipate what was going to happen next, which made it all the more fascinating.
2. Sons of Anarchy
If you love action, romance, violence and drama, “Sons of Anarchy” is sure to have you addicted after the first episode. The show centers around the life of Jax Teller and the Sons of Anarchy motorcycle gang. Throughout the show, Jax struggles with his desire to become a better man for his family, while leading the life of a criminal in a motorcycle club. This show will have you riding an emotional roller coaster with so many highs and lows, twists and turns, you’ll never know where this well-crafted story ends. The deeply developed characters and story line will leave you begging for more, episode after episode.
The hit television show “Fringe” plays on the mechanics of everything in a world just like ours. But a world with fringe science is a world with endless possibilities, where science and imagination can thrive as one in the same. In this Sci-Fi thriller, Olivia Dunham, an accomplished FBI agent, gets introduced to a world held secret to the rest after meeting psych-patient Dr. Walter Bishop, a modern day Dr. Frankenstein. Together with Dr. Bishop’s son Peter and the secretive FBI, Dunham and her team are introduced to once believed impossible concepts such as dream reading, reanimation of dead tissue, biochemical neurotoxins, parallel universes and much, much more. Fringe is a must watch program for audience members inclined to think outside the box and out of this reality.
4. Mad Men
Tired of your boss? Is he always making harsh demands, obsessing over profits and really just a corporate snake? Well, “Mad Men” might not give you the same level of escapism as Wizard of Oz. Set in 1960s New York City, “Mad Men” tells the story of Don Draper (Jon Hamm), who is at the helm of Creative Department at a mid-level ad agency on Madison Ave. Men want to be him, and women want to be with him, only to find out he is nothing but a heartbreaker. Draper is at his center, an antihero — he does what he does best, using his suavity to strike business and social arrangements with less than morally sound methods and objectives. But stick with it long enough, and the show reveals a very complex character with a rich history who just might charm you too. In closing, with AMC’s astounding recreation of 60s New York, complete with vintage cars, wardrobe, hair and silly billboards saying cigarettes might be healthy for you, Mad Men is a well-rounded package that will bury you in your seat.
5. Parks and Recreation
“Parks and Recreation” is a hidden gem of comedy. The jokes are never crude or awkward, and it is sometimes hard to tell what’s funnier — the dialogue or the delivery. Even on mute, the show will make you laugh with subtle gestures, camera glances and hilarious facial expressions. It’s a refreshing take on government done in a mockumentary style similar to “The Office.” But this is definitely NOT “The Office.” The first season isn’t great, but from season two on, you’ll fly through episodes. The cast of characters are charming and pleasant, and they all offer a different type of laugh: slapstick, sarcasm, witty word-crafts… It is a heart-warming type of humor that lets you bond with the characters even while laughing at them.
Olivia Pope, played by Kerry Washington and based on Judy Smith, is a crisis manager. It doesn’t take long to find out that everyone in “Scandal,” both the people doing the fixing and the people in need of it, has their own secrets. No matter which of the complicated characters you grow attached to, the suspense and drama will keep you questioning everyone and everything. It’s nearly impossible to watch just one of these episodes, which makes it perfect for binge watching on Netflix! Watching the first season in one night is not unusual. Every episode leaves you with more questions than answers and for some strange reason, will have you rooting for the mistress!
7. Orange is the New Black
“Orange is the New Black” has an addicting storyline because of the contrast between the relatable life that Piper lost in the outside world and the outrageous behavior inside prison. The chemistry between the characters is hilarious and you become invested in all of them because of their revealing and heartbreaking backstories. Every episode ends in a cliff-hanger that leaves you quickly clicking on the next episode.
8. Grey’s Anatomy
This show is perfect for that rainy day when you have nothing to do (or everything to do) and you just want to grab a bowl of ice cream and binge watch on Netflix. It has drama, medical jargon, extremely hot actors and actresses and just about every episode has an underlying life lesson. After a few episodes, you are bound to relate to at least one character and soon enough you will begin to think that you, too, are a world renowned surgeon. Just be careful not to actually cut people open unless you literally have a medical license.
9. The Walking Dead
Thirteen million people can’t be wrong. “The Walking Dead” is the most watched thing on television today outside of football, and for good reason. The special effects are gloriously gory and the show’s drama is built on the concept that anyone could die at any minute. Early on, melodrama dominated and the black characters were rarely given a line. Now in its fourth season, “The Walking Dead” is full of strongly developed characters and, of course, hordes of gnarly decaying zombies.
10. Gossip Girl
“Gossip Girl” is every girl’s ultimate guilty pleasure. Between the beautiful clothes, breathe-taking sites of New York City and, of course, the equally stunning cast, it truly does make for the perfect binge-watch. “Gossip Girl” is all about the inner circle of New York City’s most elite and privileged families. The show is so well done that by the end of the first season you are begging to live on the Upper Eastside. Trust me, it is really hard not to get caught up in all the drama and pizzazz. I mean, come on, who wouldn’t want a best friend relationship like Serena and Blair, to be walked into your own cotillion with Nate Archibald on your arm, or to meet the mysterious yet kind of sexy Chuck Bass. I know you’ll love it. Xoxo, Gossip Girl.
Top Ten Tuesday is a list that will vary weekly, created by members of the Stony Brook Independent Staff. Have an idea for a Top Ten list? Email [email protected]