When The Twenty-Three came out, I did a list of my favourite TV series to binge watch. The list still holds up, I think.
My name is Linwood, and I binge.
I binge a lot. There is no greater joy than discovering a show several years after it’s already been on. Two, three, four seasons! So what if you never got to be part of the water cooler discussions when it first aired. Now you can consume it, episode after episode, like chapters in a book. Those other people, who watched it when it was first airing, and had to wait seven days for their next fix, they envy you.
All the shows I’ve consumed this way, and loved, are not on this list, but these are definitely the high points. They’re not in any real particular order, except for shows in he number one and two spots.
They. Are. The. Best.
So, here’s the list:
23. 24: Those numbers side by side look confusing, don’t they? This is the show that launched binge-watching. Jack Bauer never had time to go to the bathroom, and neither did we.
22. Happy Valley: One of the best police dramas I have ever seen. Ever.
21. The Night Manager: Riveting. Hugh Laurie is even nastier than he was as Dr. House.
20. Alias: Early J.J. Abrams. The first three seasons go by in a blur. Pure entertainment.
19. Better Call Saul: The Breaking Bad prequel is pure genius.
18. Friday Night Lights: Except for a minor stumble in season two when they introduced a murder plot, this drama built around high school football in Texas is magnificent, even if you don’t care about football or Texas.
17. The Wire: Like you don’t already know. The Amsterdam storyline is my favourite.
16: The Good Wife: A series we ignored for years. Then we watched the first one. Hooked.
15. Sherlock: The writing and acting are electric.
14. Sense8: Okay, not for everyone, and I’m still not sure what’s happening on this Netflix series, but compelling, and visually stunning.
13. Homeland: You think (spoiler!) that once Brody is gone, the show will flag. Instead, it gets better.
12. True Detective (season one): Did I mention, just season one?
11. The Night Of: This stunning series written by Richard Price has me scared no one will read books any more.
10. St. Elsewhere: Okay, I don’t think anyone offers this offbeat hospital series for binge-purposes, but wow. I loved it.
9. The Americans: The most underrated show currently on TV.
8: The Leftovers: The second most underrated show currently on TV.
7. Six Feet Under: I felt gutted when this one ended. Although, I think we can blame it for all the other shows that now feature interactions with dead people.
6. Fargo: Every bit as quirky and fun as the movie on which it is based.
5. House of Cards: When Netflix drops a new season, well, there goes the weekend.
4. Bosch: The Amazon-produced cop show based on Michael Connelly’s character is the only real police detective drama on the tube these days.
3. Seinfeld: It doesn’t matter how many times you watch it. It’s always funny.
2. Breaking Bad: The most unpredictable crime show ever made. I NEVER could tell where it was going.
1. Lost: The finale upset some people, but I was in awe from beginning to end. Mythic. The only thing that’s come close to this kind of experience since has been The Leftovers.