Binge watching is exhausting. The thought of trying to spend a week watching nine seasons of “How I Met Your Mother” just to be bitterly disappointed at the end, or even a couple of days watching Walter White spiral into madness over five seasons is too much for me.
If you go to school, have a job or just don’t have a lot of time, bingeing anything that is over a day’s worth of watching really isn’t an option. So I have selected a few short shows that you can binge watch in under a day without having to test how long you can stay awake before you start hallucinating.
1. “East WillyB”
“Welcome to Bushwick Baby!” This critically acclaimed web series centers around the Puerto Rican community in Bushwick, Brooklyn that is struggling to adjust to the influx of hipsters flooding into the neighborhood. The show follows Willie, a local bar owner, who is attempting to win back his fiancee from his arch nemesis and rival bar owner, while trying to preserve Bushwick’s unique culture in the face of rising rent and fewer customers coming in.
The show features an array of vibrant and eccentric characters who are all trying to deal with the change in their neighborhood in their own way, whether it be by incorporating yoga into a bar setting or hysterically screaming real estate agents. This silly and brilliant series offers biting commentary on gentrification while providing a fresh, authentic representation of a new generation of Latina/os.
How long will it take to binge watch?: 1 hour (seven episodes)
Watch the whole series on YouTube.
2. “The IT Crowd”
It’s British. It’s weird. And it’s mothereffing hilarious. “The IT Crowd” focuses on a three-man IT team stuck working in the crappy sub-basement of a multi-billion-dollar company. Outcast by the rest of the company and with nothing to do but answer customer service phone calls, the team is often left to their own devices which leads to hilarious antics.
The crew is made up of Roy (Chris O’Dowd), who does every he can to avoid doing any work, Moss (Richard Ayoade), a socially inept technical genius, and Jen (Katherine Parkinson), who managed to become head of the IT department even though she doesn’t know the difference between software and hardware. While it’s hard to describe the show’s unique humor, it’s surreal at times, laugh-out-loud funny and brilliantly written.
How long will it take to binge watch?: 10 hours (25 episodes)
Watch the whole series on Netflix.
3. “Samurai Champloo”
Mugen, an impulsive rogue who is quick to temper, and Jin, a reserved and stoic rohin, end up being recruited by a young girl named Fuu to help her on her journey to find “the samurai who smells of sunflowers” after she saves them from certain death.
Throughout their travels through Edo-era Japan, they never fail to be caught up in some sort of trouble whether it be with seductive assassins or beatboxing gangsters. The frequent fight scenes are always exciting to watch. Hip Hop culture plays a huge part in this show from its soundtrack to its character designs. This show is too badass to skip.
How long will it take to binge watch?: 10 hours (26 episodes)
Watch the whole series on Netflix or Hulu.
4. “Luther” (Season 1)
“Luther” as a whole is good, but the first season is so incredible that the others pale in comparison. Starring the oh-so-handsome (and hopefully future James Bond) Idris Elba as John Luther, the show centers around a brilliant detective who struggles with his volatile personality and often ends up breaking the law in order to enforce it. While he is well-known within the police department for getting the job done, his dedication to his work has taken a toll on his marriage and overall quality of life. His compulsive obsession with catching criminals makes him unable to cope with genius and psychopath Alice Morgan (Ruth Wilson) getting away with the murder after he is unable to prove her guilt. They eventually establish an uneasy relationship where she becomes his confidant and gives him hints as to how criminals think to help him with his other cases.
The brilliance of this show stems from everything and everyone lying in a moral grey. There is no real right or wrong in this show, just a bunch of people looking out for themselves.
How long will it take to binge watch?: 6 hours (six episodes)
Watch the whole series on Netflix.
5. “Mister Sprinkles”
Long ago, in a land far far away called 2007, there was a cancelled-after-one-season show called “Acceptable.TV” created by pre-Community Dan Harmon. “Acceptable.TV” consisted of several 2.5-minute shows per episode, and the audience had to vote on which show they wanted to see next episode (the ones with the most votes would continue and the others would be canceled). One of those shows that lasted all the way from the pilot to the final episode was a brilliant little gem called “Mister Sprinkles.”
The dark animated comedy revolves around a cat-in-the-hat-like character who was once loved for showing kids they can still have fun inside on boring rainy days. Now, in a world where computers and videos keep kids entertained in the rain, Mister Sprinkles is no longer welcome and is unable to cope with the fact that children don’t want him anymore. One bad rainy day leaves Mister Sprinkles with a bullet wound and sets off a downward spiral filled with insane asylums, prison gangs, homeland security and some pretty heavy-handed stuff. Even with such an absurd concept, the show tells a very human and captivating tale about trying to find yourself in a world that doesn’t want you.
How long will it take to binge watch?: 21 minutes (eight episodes)
Watch the whole series on VH1.com.