How to binge watch your way through fall break


Gilmore Girls

Photo courtesy of Netflix

Story by Abigail Miller/Contributing Writer

As difficult as it is to believe, fall break is officially here.

After a week of midterms, mid-semester papers, projects and plenty of stress over grades, MTSU students finally get a four-day weekend to just breathe and relax.

For many students, myself included, this is the best time to catch up on some much-missed Netflix television. However, four days goes by a lot quicker than it sounds.

Who wants to waste precious TV time on trying to decide what to watch? The answer: No one!

Luckily, I’ve put together this helpful list of the best shows to binge over break, with options including horror, comedy, drama, reality and everything in between.

“Supernatural”

Number of seasons: 11

Where to watch: Netflix

It’s October, which is basically synonymous with the words “Halloween” and “horror.” That means this list absolutely had to start with a horror show. Beloved cult series “Supernatural” follows the Winchester brothers cross country as they hunt ghosts, demons, vampires and anything else that goes bump in the night. If you aren’t already hooked, you are practically guaranteed to fall in love with the Winchesters after watching the first episode. The show is filled with scares, laughs, tears, classic rock jams and meta moments (even an entire episode referring to the actors’ real lives), so it definitely lives up to the hype.

Although, you’ll hardly have enough time to catch up in order to watch season 12 premiere Thursday, Oct. 13, at 8 p.m. on The CW.

“American Horror Story”

Number of seasons: Six

Where to watch: Seasons one-five are available on Netflix and Hulu. Season six episodes are still airing and are available on FX Now after they air on television.

Another horror necessity, “American Horror Story” may be the easiest show to binge watch on the list. The series is presented in an anthology format, meaning that every season has a different plot, location and theme. Because of this, the seasons can be watched in any order without being too confusing — you can start from the beginning with the fan-dubbed “Murder House,” jump right in the middle with season three, “Coven,” or begin with Lady Gaga’s Golden Globe Award-winning performance in “Hotel.” Just be prepared for some serious scares.

Season six airs Wednesday nights at 9 p.m. on FX.

“Parks and Recreation”

Number of seasons: Seven

Where to watch: Netflix and Hulu

Despite surprisingly low ratings during its 2009-15 run, this beloved sitcom is considered to be one of the greatest of all time. It’s full of laughs, inspiration and relatable characters. Each actor is unique in their own delivery and style, but they all work together so seamlessly that it’s impossible to not fall in love with them. Overall, this Amy Poehler-led comedy is extremely clever, with plenty of quotable, iconic lines and brilliant political satire. Go “Treat Yo’ Self” and check it out.

“Friends”

Number of seasons: 10

Where to watch: Netflix

One of the most recognizable series on this list, “Friends” is an iconic piece of ’90s nostalgia. It made “How you doin’?” a popular phrase. It gave the world “the Rachel,” one of the most popular haircuts for women at that time. The characters are fun and relatable, and the situations they find themselves in are definitely amusing. If you’ve never watched an episode, now is the time to start. And if you’re already a “friend,” now is a good time to revisit Central Perk.

“The Blacklist”

Number of seasons: Four

Where to watch: Seasons one-three are on Netflix, and season four episodes are available on the NBC website after they air on television.

While crime thrillers are easy to find on television today, “The Blacklist” is a little bit different than the others. James Spader shines as a high-profile criminal who assists the FBI in tracking down the world’s most dangerous criminals in exchange for immunity for his own crimes. This series will keep you on the edge of your seat, with plenty of tense action, heartbreaking moments and lots of mystery.

Season four airs Thursday nights at 9 p.m. on ABC.

“Cutthroat Kitchen”

Number of seasons: 13

Where to watch: Currently, there are only four seasons on Netflix, but there are other episodes on the Food Network website.

Sometimes, fictional stories with imaginary characters just don’t cut it. Sometimes, you just want to see real people sabotage each other until one is crowned victorious. For days when you’re in this sort of mood, “Cutthroat Kitchen” is the perfect answer. This show, hosted by Alton Brown, features professional chefs competing in three rounds of intense cooking challenges. However, this isn’t just any cooking competition – the contestants have the opportunity to buy sabotages in order to give themselves an advantage over their competitors. I promise you’ll be hungry for more after the first episode.

The Netflix Marvel Universe — “Daredevil,” “Jessica Jones” and “Luke Cage”

Number of seasons: “Daredevil:” two seasons; “Jessica Jones:” one season; “Luke Cage:” one season

Where to watch: Netflix

(Okay, yes, this is technically three shows, but they are all tied together! However, you can stick with just one of the three options if you would prefer.)

Superheroes are definitely still having a big moment in pop culture, and Marvel has practically taken over the world with their films. However, the Netflix programs based on some of their (formerly) less-popular characters are where their storytelling really shines. Now, Matt Murdock, Jessica Jones and Luke Cage are three of Marvel’s (and Netflix’s) most popular crime fighters. Their shows are perfect examples of how to successfully write empowering characters without oversimplifying situations or making the characters too flat and one-sided. They all have their own strengths and weaknesses and, despite having superpowers, are far more realistic than most characters in crime shows.

“Breaking Bad”

Number of seasons: Five

Where to watch: Netflix

This highly awarded series (16 Emmys!) is an absolute must-see. The crazy-popular crime drama follows a middle-aged chemistry teacher through the world of cooking and selling meth, and each step is more thrilling than the last. If you’re looking for a series with complex characters, brilliant use of symbolism and a genius ability to blur the line between hero and villain, then this is absolutely the show for you.

“Gilmore Girls”

Number of seasons: Seven

Where to watch: Netflix

This beloved family “dramedy” is hilarious, heartwarming and coming back soon. In November, Netflix will be releasing a miniseries, “Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life,” and it is time to watch (or rewatch) the original seven seasons in preparation. It’s arguably one of the most talked-about entertainment events of 2016, and fall break is a perfect time to catch up and fall in love with Stars Hollow and all of its wacky residents.

“Lost”

Number of seasons: Six

Where to watch: Netflix

Few other series have intrigued, confused and shocked fans as much as “Lost.” With elements of science fiction, mystery, comedy, horror and drama, this series has something for everyone. The plot twists and cliffhangers are unexpected and guaranteed to keep you on the edge of your seats, the mythology is fascinating and the sets and locations are gorgeous, but it’s the characters that really make the series great. It is, above all, a character driven series, and it is nearly impossible to not get sucked into their stories.

Now that the options are narrowed down, it’s time to break out the popcorn, pick a show and get to binge-watching!

To contact Lifestyles Editor Olivia Ladd email lifestyles@mtsusidelines.com.

For more updates, follow us at www.mtsusidelines.com, on Facebook at MTSU Sidelines and on Twitter/Instagram at @Sidelines_Life.

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