We are in the age of binge watching. Yes, seemingly everyone is talking about "their" show. The show that they can't live without. In fact, one might go so far as to conclude that serial content, both traditionally-aired and streaming, is replacing the ways we watch our media content. Not just changing, but in fact, replacing. But one thing is for sure. People love "their" shows.
Here are the top 10 shows that you should binge watch right now.
10. Ozark - Available on Netflix, Ozark is a dark and compelling story of how a Chicago family can get themselves into some deep, hot water by not understanding that greed also fuels the rural Lake of the Ozarks. Ozark delivers dark drama and plays with the themes of greed and family loyalty.
9. White Famous - Available on Showtime, White Famous, starring former SNLer Jay Pharoah, is a hilarious look at the entertainment business told from the perspective of a young black comic. As Floyd Mooney, Pharoah portrays a young man that is trying to navigate life, love, loyalty, morality, and his quest for success. The show is a much watch simply for its freshness, but also because it is simply some enjoyable television. It reminds me of Entourage, but with much more depth.
8. Mad Men - This show, although no longer in production, is worthy of a binge. The style, a show that really feels like it was made during the time it depicts, gives it an undeniable charm. Jon Hamm, as the charming but hard-to-love Don Draper, delivers and Emmy award-winning performance while draped in the sharp suits of the 60s. It is one of those shows that when it went out of production many a fan didn't know what to do with themselves. Mad Men is available on Netflix.
7. House of Cards - House of Cards, available on Netflix, is no longer in production due to some unforeseen circumstances, but the episodes that are out there are spellbinding. This show grabs you by the scruff as fast as any dramatic content out there. House of Cards gives the viewer a very realistic peek behind the curtains of Capital Hill. This show would be further up the list had they not had to cancel production due to Kevin Spacey's attempt to be lead character Frank Underwood in real life.
6. Get Shorty - Although I'm not a big fan of the remake, this version of Get Shorty completely outpaces the original film starring John Travolta. The wink-wink, nudge-nudge coolness of the Travolta performance is replaced by a gritty hilarity that finds the core emotion in a story about a small-time criminal's attempt to make it in the movie business. Although the cast is not made up of superstars (Ray R0mano being the biggest name) and it is only available on Epix, it is a show that will not disappoint.
5. Breaking Bad - The enthralling performance of Bryan Cranston is undeniable as a high school chemistry teacher, after a cancer diagnosis, who decides to start producing meth as a way to leave money for his family after his death. Available on Netflix, Breaking Bad is just one of those perfect shows, like the perfect book, that always makes you want to see what happens next.
4. Stranger Things - Occasionally a show comes along that just breaks the mold, or in this case, breaks one mold while recasting another. Stranger Things, available only on Netflix, breaks the mold of the typical horror film or supernatural drama by delivering a story that truly doesn't allow the viewer to guess what is coming next. It recasts the mold of early Steven Spielberg films with its 80s charm that makes you first, fall in love with the characters, and then, takes you on a emotional roller coaster with your new found friends. Stranger Things isn't just recommended, it's a must see.
3. Better Call Saul - As Jimmy McGill, Bob Odenkirk delivers a nearly flawless performance in this prequel to Breaking Bad. Watch with pure joy as Jimmy McGill slowly becomes the morally corrupt lawyer Saul Goodman. I've really never seen a show more tactful in its tongue-in-cheek humor. Better Call Saul is available on Netflix.
2. SMILF - This is the best new show of the year. SMILF, available on Showtime, follows the life of Bridgette Bird as she attempts to raise her young son, Larry, as a single mom. It really doesn't sound that exciting does it? Well, it is one of the most finely written shows I've ever seen. Any writer that is considering a show idea, should watch this show just to get a better understanding of the old saying "write what you know." Every moment of this show makes the viewer feel like their on the inside looking out at the world through Bridgette Bird's eyes. Rosie O'Donnell gives a wonderful performance as Bridgette's mother. It's graphic at times, but so is reality.
1. Game of Thrones - Best show ever made. Enough said. Watch it on HBO.
Honorable Mention: Shameless, Deadwood, The Walking Dead, Curb Your Enthusiasm, Narcos, and there are others. This is the new Golden Age of Television.