Nothing Good on TV Anymore? Here are 7 Shows to Binge Watch
It’s that time of the year again: Midseason finales are wrapping up, and soon we’ll have an empty few weeks with no new episodes of our favorite TV shows until the new year. One by one, shows like The Walking Dead, Agents of SHIELD, The Flash, and more are closing up shop for 2015, leaving us pop culture junkies with nothing new to watch in the interim. It makes for a cold, dark winter, thanks to the inevitable cliffhangers that each series utilizes to keep us excited for their 2016 return.
Meanwhile though, we have to watch something, right? Luckily, there’s a universe’s worth of streaming platforms out there, each of which hosts entire seasons of shows you likely haven’t seen yet. It’s these shows that keep us warm during the TV-less holiday season, filling our entertainment void with the sweet nectar of undiscovered television. So strap in, call Mom about getting that Netflix password, and stock up on blankets.
1. The Almighty Johnsons –– Netflix, 3 seasons
The Almighty Johnsons may be one of the best shows you’ve never heard of. Having aired for just three seasons (followed by a brief re-airing on Syfy), the New Zealand-based show follows the exploits of the titular Johnsons, a family of Norse gods reincarnated in human form. As they attempt to regain the full extent of their godly powers, they engage in a cat and mouse game with a force determined to stop them at every turn, infusing both dramatic and comedy elements in along the way.
2. Daredevil — Netflix, 1 season
You’ve probably read all about why you should watch Marvel’s debut Netflix series, so let us be the latest in a long line to tell you: Watch this freaking show. It’s everything Daredevil was meant to be, and offers up redemption for the ill-fated movie by the same name in 2003. This time around, they brought in the big guns creatively, with Season 1 headed up by Drew Goddard (The Cabin in the Woods) and Steven S. DeKnight (Spartacus). Both Goddard and DeKnight come out of the Joss Whedon school of writing and directing, and their skilled creative hands make Daredevil one of 2015’s best new shows.
3. Luther — 4 seasons, Netflix
Idris Elba is quickly finding himself atop the list of A-list British actors, and is even rumored to be under consideration to succeed Daniel Craig as the next James Bond. That rise to fame all began years ago though, first on HBO’s The Wire, and then on BBC’s detective drama, Luther. For the latter of the two, Elba plays a hot-headed yet brilliant detective who will anything to accomplish his goals. Think The Shield, only way more British in ever way possible, and that’s essentially Luther. With 4 seasons to marathon, you won’t be short on ways to occupy your time picking this one.
4. Fargo — 2 seasons, Hulu
Loosely based on the Coen Brothers film by the same name (and we really mean loosely), FX’s Fargo manages to outstrip its source material in terms of sheer entertainment value. It features an all-star cast, composed of Martin Freeman, Billy Bob Thornton, Bob Odenkirk, Colin Hanks, and Kirsten Dunst. It’s basically True Detective, if the HBO show featured people with charming Midwestern accents, way less McConaughey-esque nihilism, and the same level of chilling true crime vibes. With all of Season 1 and every episode of the still-airing Season 2 on Hulu, it deserves a place at the top of your Winter streaming list.
5. Powers — 1 season, Playstation Network
As one of Playstation’s inaugural streaming shows, Powers holds a special place among the world of on-demand television. It imagines an alternate world in which a handful of people possess superpowers, but is far from the idealism of the Marvel/DC world, finding itself firmly in the “adults only” camp in terms of its target audience. Starring Sharlto Copley (District 9) and Eddie Izzard (Hannibal), it’s an interesting twist on a genre that could use a fresh take.
6. iZombie –– Netflix, 1 season (Season 2 on Hulu)
Based on the graphic novel by the same name, iZombie delivers a zombie narrative miles away from something you might see on The Walking Dead. The main story follows Liv Moore, a doctor-turned-zombie working in a police morgue. As she tries to find a cure for her condition, she uses visions triggered by the brains she eats to help the Seattle PD solve crimes. It’s a bizarre concept that works surprisingly well, and on an intellectual level, it demands very little of you.
7. Jessica Jones – 1 season, Netflix
Rounding out Marvel’s Netflix empire for 2015 is Jessica Jones. There’s a strong argument to be made that it beats out even its predecessor, Daredevil, in terms of overall quality, tackling sensitive themes like rape and abuse in a surprisingly effective comic book context. It’s about as ambitious as we’ve ever seen a show in the superhero genre get, and for that, it’s worth a 13-episode binge-watch session.
Follow Nick on Twitter @NickNorthwest