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To Binge, or Not to Binge 

That's not a question


Binge watching Netflix is an art. An art that I have mastered. Sprawled out on my couch in my house-onesie, my phone in arm's reach for randomly refreshing Twitter and the ability to order pizza without leaving my seat, I have only one goal in mind: watch every episode of whatever show I've randomly decided to obsess over that week.

In my mastery of time wasting, I've found that some shows are better to consecutively ingest than others. Ideal series will have engaging characters who are intensely loveable, totally hateable, or a complex balance of the two, and ongoing narratives that carry over through episodes and seasons. Most importantly, there will be plenty of cliffhangers, because there isn't much that's more satisfying than watching the spine-tingling episode finale immediately followed by its resolution. Sometimes even the pause of the spinning red wheel while the next episode loads can be too long to wait.

Here are a few pretty standard, but excellent suggestions for binge watching. Indulge and watch them front to back. I've included the amount of time it will take you to watch the entirety of the Netflix collection of each show so you can appropriately gauge what you are getting yourself into from the get go.

"Orange is the New Black"

The buzz about this show may be massive, but it's well deserved. When middle-class white lady Piper Chapman's shady past comes back to bite her, she is forced to leave her life behind and spend 15 months in a women's federal prison. This made-for-Netflix series is not only touching, but hilarious and innovative, slowly revealing character backgrounds, and built for binge watching.

Like: "Golden Girls" set in prison.

Duration: 2 seasons, more to come. 21.5+ hours.


While I realize that slightly offensive adult cartoons aren't for everyone, "Archer," a 007 parody with an alcoholic protagonist and a dark dysfunctional tone, is painfully hilarious and a great way to waste an afternoon. With a strong resemblance to another great binging show, "Arrested Development," sharing stars Jessica Walter, Jeffrey Tambor, David Cross, and Judy Greer, and utilizing the same recurring callback joke structures and catchphrases, the further you get into the series the more you laugh.

Like: James Bond meets "Arrested Development" in an adults-only animation.

Duration: 4 seasons. 16.3+ hours.

"Twin Peaks"

With last week's announcement that this cult serial mystery drama will return with new episodes in 2016, it is time to catch up on David Lynch's original master-work ostensibly about the murder of the young, blonde, secret-laden Laura Palmer. Soap-style acting mixed with unsettling content and the exploration of the seedy underbelly of small towns are Lynch's signatures, and with more on the way, now is a good time to revisit this 1990 show.

Like: A John Grisham novel on acid with a great soundtrack.

Duration: 2 seasons. 25+ hours.


Joss Whedon, writer of "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" and the Avengers is a sucker for the supernatural thriller, and he's darn good at writing them. "Dollhouse" follows the endeavors of the highly classified mysterious cyberpunk "dolls" who are inserted with personalities in order to complete missions and then have their memories wiped clean. The sci-fi premise allows for endless insane storylines adaptable to exciting martial arts and bomb defusing, while weaving in one continuous plot. This 2009 series was canceled before Whedon could fully air out the concept, and while the end of the second season gets a little rushed, the threading storyline is intriguing as the characters find out more about the mysterious Dollhouse, who they are, who they were, and the nature of memory.

Like: If Jason Bourne starred in "Alias," with more camp.

Duration: 2 seasons. 22.5+ hours.


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