TV & Film

What TV shows you should be binge-watching right now

Summer is in full swing. You’ve gone to the pool parties, had the lemonade and hot dogs, and now as temperatures rise, it’s your chance to do some guilt-free binge-watching. Here are my recommendations for the shows you have to check out. Power up your Netflix, and let’s get to watching.

Bryan Cranston and Aaron Paul star in "Breaking Bad." Photo courtesy of
Bryan Cranston and Aaron Paul star in “Breaking Bad.” Photo courtesy of

Breaking Bad

Starring Bryan Cranston, Aaron Paul, Anna Gunn

I have a confession to make: I haven’t actually seen a single episode of “Breaking Bad”, but you can’t talk about binge-watching without mentioning “Breaking Bad,” and “Breaking Bad” is what it is because people took notice after the first few seasons hit Netflix. Centered on a high school chemistry teacher who begins cooking and selling crystal meth, “Breaking Bad” became an icon of modern television. Get caught up before the Emmys in September where the AMC drama is expected to be a major player.

Friday Night Lights

Starring Kyle Chandler, Connie Britton, Taylor Kitsch

I know you are probably sick of seeing “Friday Night Lights” on every TV “list-icle” ever created, but there’s a reason why “FNL” is so universally loved. The superbly- acted football drama offers suspense, laughter, and tears in every episode as it chronicles the lives of the citizens of Dillon, Texas. The small town setting may be fictional, but the characters and their stories feel remarkably real, and best of all you don’t have to be a football fanatic to fall in love with this fan favorite show.

Arrested Development

Starring Jason Bateman, Michael Cera, Jeffrey Tambor

Jason Bateman stars as the straight-and-narrow Michael Bluth, the middle son of the affluent Bluth family who has to take over the family business after his father is imprisoned. I wasn’t a big fan of the Netflix-produced fourth season, but even so with only 68 episodes, you should have no problem speeding through the quirky and inventive comedy.

Robin Wright and Kevin Spacey star in Netflix original series "House of Cards." Photo courtesy of
Robin Wright and Kevin Spacey star in Netflix original series “House of Cards.” Photo courtesy of

House of Cards

Starring Kevin Spacey, Robin Wright

Two words: Kevin Spacey. Even if you don’t want to watch the Netflix-produced drama for the juicy political storylines, brilliant writing and direction, or Robin Wright’s stone-cold glare, watch for the master class that is Kevin Spacey, who stars as a charismatic congressman out for revenge—the perfect Fourth of July treat.

30 Rock

Starring Tina Fey, Alec Baldwin

Tina Fey stars as Liz Lemon, the awkward writer of a sketch comedy show (sound familiar?) who has to put up with lazy writers, the diva demands of the show’s stars, and the medaling of her self-obsessed boss. The later seasons don’t have the same charm, but you’ll find yourself so taken by Fey and Baldwin’s on-screen chemistry you’ll stay put to what happens (and to see which a-lister will pop in for a surprise cameo).


Starring Anna Torv, Joshua Jackson

A television drama centered on a female FBI agent who is forced to work with an institutionalized scientist in order to rationalize a brewing storm of unexplained phenomena. “Fringe” offers intricately plotted cases, establishes it’s own mythology, and has a kickass female at the forefront, the show never received the viewership or awards show credibility it deserved, but don’t let that stop you from binging this beloved sci-fi cult classic.

Kristin Chenoweth and Anna Friel star in the cancelled "Pushing Daisies." Photo courtesy of
Kristin Chenoweth and Anna Friel star in the cancelled “Pushing Daisies.” Photo courtesy of

Pushing Daisies*

Starring Lee Pace, Kristin Chenoweth

A pie-maker (the adorable Lee Pace), with the power to bring dead people back to life, solves murder mysteries with his alive-again childhood sweetheart, a cynical private investigator, and a lovesick waitress (Chenoweth, who won a much-deserved Emmy for the role) ABC pulled the plug (pardon the pun) on “Daisies” after two delicious seasons and I still haven’t recovered from the heartbreak. Each episode centers on a crime the pie-maker looks to solve and blends mystery, romance and comedy while managing to pull at your heart strings—a show as sweet as a slice of your favorite piece of pie.

The Good Wife*

Starring Julianna Margulies, Josh Charles, Christine Baranski

There are a slew of cable dramas that deserve the last spot on my list, but I’m going with “The Good Wife,” a network series with enough sharp dialogue, Emmy-winning performances, and sexual tension to compete with any show HBO has to offer. Alicia Florrick (Julianna Margulies) is the wife of a disgraced politician who decides to reboot her law career (at a firm owned by her former flame). You’ll find yourself rooting for Alicia, but it’s her co-workers and their intricate cases that really capture your attention.

*Sadly, Netflix hasn’t caught up with the brilliance of these shows, but you can check out all of the seasons DVD.

Tweet me your binge recommendations and make a case for your favorite shows @ShadanLarki or @ShuffleOnline.

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