Ever since the dawn of Netflix and other streaming services, we have been exposed to a new era of TV watching, one in which we can watch new episodes of the same show until our eyeballs pop out or until the season is over, whichever comes first. This calls into question the ultimate question: to binge or not to binge?
While some shows, especially newer Netflix originals, are built for the binge era, some shows still remain ideal for the once-a-week viewing. And while some shows are best to watch together in perfect flow while we ignore the outside world for an entire weekend, others are too intense to watch more than two or three at once, and some are so intricate and thought provoking that one per week is all we need to fuel our watercooler talk.
Now that we have established the difference the binge-worthy shows, let’s take a look at 15 hot Netflix shows, some newer originals and some older, still-running classics picked up for people to catch up on, and decide whether or not you should binge on them until your eyes bleed and ears start ringing, or if you should space it out and really take in what you’re watching, lest you become desensitized and have nightmares of Walter White killing your family.
To Binge or Not to Binge, That Is the Question for These 15 Hot Netflix Shows
House of Cards (Binge)
Kevin Spacey’s political drama has us on the edge of our couches one weekend of every spring, simply because there’s no stopping once you start. It makes for a longer wait for the next round, but with the fifth season upon us, we couldn’t be more excited about Frank Underwood’s plans for us, likely pizza delivery and jars of urine by the floor.
Stranger Things (Binge)
The 2016 ’80s-style sensation took us by surprise, only eight episodes, but just enough to reel us in the day it came out and had us talking finales by the start of the following workweek.
Peaky Blinders (Space it out)
Cillian Murphy’s Birmingham scuffle may only be six episodes per season, and with only three in the bag, you’d think that’s chump change for binge watching. But, the episodes are long and weighty and to truly appreciate the show, it’s best not to squander what is possibly the most quality show currently running.
The OA (Binge)
Netflix’s newest obsession for us has already wrapped people around its finger (or barrel, if you like this alluring photo). Although the word is out on whether or not it’s better to binge or not, given that it’s a solid new Netflix show, we see no reason not to.
Bloodline (Space it out)
The two-season family thriller drama is about to wrap with its ensuing third season in May. While the episodes may take the life out of you, Ben Mendelsohn and Kyle Chandler are much better to spend an entire weekend with than your friends.
Making a Murderer (Space it out)
The hottest true crime documentary so far on Netflix is all anyone could talk about, be it their blogs or with their buddies. A truly intense show everyone should sit through, Making a Murderer requires us to really take it in, then breathe through the intensity so we don’t have nightmares about being wrongfully accused ourselves.
Pablo Escobar’s tales of trouble is still just a baby, but its mark seems to be lasting on its loyal viewers. It’s definitely a binge-worthy show if you can handle the intensity, but Netflix should probably slap a warning label or two on this one about every 10 minutes to remind us we’re safe in our homes.
Black Mirror (Space it out)
For a detached series of episodes about modern day’s most terrifying potential, Black Mirror takes all the cake and makes us just terrified of cake. Since all of the episodes stand alone, you can pick up wherever and binge if you like, but we suggest spacing it out, as the intensity of the show will have you hating the likely reality of the world.
Master of None (Binge)
Aziz Ansari knows how to throw down with his comedy, and just like Parks and Recreation, it’s highly binge-worthy, especially if you’re having a shit day or going through a breakup.
The Killing (Binge)
The four-season thriller was a solid binge with its two-season storyline, begging the question, “Who killed Rosie Larsen?” but quickly became a question mark of its own when Netflix took over its original content. My mother binged on this and did just fine, just like any good cop drama is good to binge on, and the Rosie Larsen case keeps you guessing who’s to blame with every episode, no matter how convinced you were with the last one.
William H. Macy’s interpretation of Southside Chicago mooch, who takes not only from the government but also his kids, is pure brilliance in terms of drama and comedy, originality (despite not being the original Shameless) and its ability to please our senses on a weekly Showtime basis. Now that Netflix has picked it up recently, it’s never been more binge-worthy.
Better Call Saul (Space it out)
Vince Gilligan’s spinoff prequel started off slow setting up the characters, but with season two in the bag, we’re hooked, even more now that it’s on Netflix. However, just like Breaking Bad, we need time to process due to the intensity of Gilligan’s ambitious, hard-to-predict storytelling, even if it is a spinoff with goofy Odenkirk. With Gus Fring (and another big Breaking Bad star returning), we know taking our time has never been more crucial.
The Walking Dead (Binge)
Now that’s it’s on Netflix, this AMC zombie classic is still on the run after seven and a half seasons, but even though it’s highly intense at times, the show simply isn’t good enough to not just get it over with. This popcorn series is great when you’re sick or it’s raining, just a quick 72-hour splurge here and there.
It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia (Binge)
With twelve seasons in the bin and at least two more to go, the longest running live-action comedy series It’s Always Sunny continues to tally the taboo episodes on FXX, an now on Netflix. It’s the only thing that makes perfect sense in life, and it only gets weirder as we go along.
Trailer Park Boys (Binge)
When it comes to getting weird, however, this white trash trophy is one of the most original pieces of litter to be picked up by Netflix yet. For a steady diet of cheeseburger picnics and homoerotic, degenerating trailer park supervisors, this is the show to binge on first.