With finals coming up, Thanksgiving Break is a necessary deep breath. When we’re not stuffing our faces, we’ll probably spend the fall semester fatigue and obligatory turkey coma on the couch in front of the TV or curled up in bed with our laptops. Every year, there’s the ever-important question: what can I binge-watch over the break but still be able to finish before finals?
As someone who’s spent far too much time scouting out shows, I’ve put together a few options.
If you like late night comedies, you might also like…BROAD CITY
Imagine for a moment that James Franco and Seth Rogen are women whose jokes never fall flat and they’re in a show something like Girls but actually funny.
That’s Broad City.
Formerly a web series from Abbi Jacobson and Ilana Glazer, the show was picked up by executive producer Amy Poehler for Comedy Central.
The irreverent, witty show follows broke twenty somethings Abbi Abrams and Ilana Wexler, best friends and human disasters, and their misadventures on the sketchier side of New York City. From with the first episode, in which the dynamic duo answer a Craigslist ad to clean the apartment of Fred Armisen’s character (who thinks he’s a baby) in their underwear so they can afford Lil Wayne tickets, the two end up in some of the weirdest, most intriguing comedic escapades. It’s downright impossible to not be charmed by Ilana, a self-described “poop ninja” who manages to sleep for hours at a time in her workplace bathroom.
overall run time: almost three hours
rotten tomatoes: 95%
can be found on: Comedy Central (watch NSFW trailer here)
If you like family dramas, you might also like…IN THE FLESH
This zombie show isn’t really about zombies.
These zombies aren’t hunting for human flesh — they’ve been rehabilitated, medicated and returned to their families several years after they rose from the earth and wreaked havoc. Newly-returned Partially Deceased Syndrome sufferers, as the former zombies are called, wear makeup to look more alive and must navigate the social stigma associated with once roaming the city and countryside killing and eating people.
The story centers around the young Kieran Walker, a PDS sufferer, his teenage sister Jem, a decorated hero in the anti-zombie militia, and the community as a whole. The show is more like X-Men than The Walking Dead, forgoing horror or sci-fi specifics to build an oppression metaphor set in a small English town. Fear and grief come together in what Wired calls “The Walking Dead for the thinking man.” For a show about the undead, it has some of the most human stories on television right now.
overall run time: a little more than 8 hours
rotten tomatoes: 93% for the first season, 100% for the second
can be found on: your favorite ethically-dubious streaming site (watch trailer here)
If you like American Horror Story, you might also like…PENNY DREADFUL
After working on the Bond film Skyfall, John Logan and Sam Mendes collaborated on this Showtime series set in Victorian London. A fusion of classic horror tales, Penny Dreadful had an incredible potential to go very, very wrong, but stays on the side of a tongue-in-cheek camp that gives into aesthetically devastating scenes. While the cast isn’t particularly star-studded, the darkly enigmatic Eva Green (Casino Royale, 300: Rise of an Empire) draws the ensemble cast together with her particular magnetism.
Like American Horror Story, Penny Dreadful is a gory, raunchy horror pastiche full of thrills.
While the show largely revolves around the search for Mina Harker and her kidnapper Dracula, other well-known characters like the young Victor Frankenstein, his monster and the utterly debauched Dorian Grey all spiral into each other as the plot drives the characters further into the world of the supernatural and their dark personal histories.
overall run time: not quite seven hours
rotten tomatoes: 78%
can be found on: your favorite ethically-dubious streaming site (watch NSFW trailer here)
Digging through the depths of Netflix for that hidden gem is more exhausting than it should be, but hopefully you can find that new favorite, or at least something to waste a few hours.