I remember the first time I binge-watched a TV show. I was late to the Sex and the City party when everyone, it seemed, was raving about how smart and sassy it was. It was the summer, I was house sitting for a friend in a gorgeous condo with a fab big screen TV, boyfriend less and sick of dating (thus the perfect subject matter). I bought the box set and devoured it in a couple weekends.
It was such a rush, just me, my glass of wine and Carrie, Samantha, Charlotte and Miranda all suffering through the trials and tribulations of big city dating together. The men we chase we know we can’t have, the ones we don’t want we date anyway and of course, there was Mr. Big. It was like being on some kind of amazing TV drug you couldn’t stop taking. “Just one more episode,” I’d say, forcing myself to bed at two a.m. There were whole afternoons, nights that simply disappeared.
Since then, TV binge-watching has become a national obsession. It’s changed the way we consume TV, even how it’s made. I can’t say I don’t miss those water cooler conversations each week with my coworkers about the cliff hanger our favourite show ended on, or the meetings we spent white boarding the must watch television week. It made us think about what was going to happen, spend the week brewing, stirred our creativity. But now with binge TV I do love being able to immerse myself in the characters and plotlines – it’s more like obsession TV. And TV producers can get more creative – shows made strictly for places like Netflix don’t have to worry about ratings week and end of season cliffhangers. They can be as exploratory as they like.
Say what you will about the old or new way to watch TV, binge watching is here to stay. So if you’re looking for some great TV to cozy up with this fall, here are my 5 must-watch binge TV programs. This is assuming you’ve all watched Friday Night Lights… You have haven’t you?! Best show ever.
Scandal – Who wouldn’t love this ultra high-paced, amazingly-written show with witty pitch perfect dialogue about a former White House Communications Director who turns her talents to rescuing the biggest names in DC from the highest-profile scandals. Kerry Washington is a great actress who, btw, has a juicy affair with the president.
Breaking Bad - A chemistry teacher diagnosed with a terminal lung cancer teams up with a former student to cook and sell crystal meth. How many times have I heard this show described as ‘the best writing on TV’?
Orange is the New Black – A privileged New York woman is sentenced to fifteen months in prison for smuggling money for an international drug cartel as her past crimes catch up with her in this Emmy-award winning series. Unputdownable.
House of Cards – Just saying Kevin Spacey is enough isn’t it? Spacey plays a Congressman in this made-for-Netflix series who exacts revenge on those who betrayed him in Washington with the help of his wife in the form of Robin Wright.
Marco Polo – Another amazing Netflix show (if you haven’t guessed I’m a recent Netflix devotee and LOVE it) “In a world replete with greed, betrayal, sexual intrigue and rivalry,” says Netflix, this series is based on Marco Polo’s adventures. And holy gorgeous is Lorenzo Richelmy as swashbuckling "Marco Polo. It’s worth it for him alone.
Would love to know your binge TV favourites. Also – do you like the way we used to watch TV, or obsession TV? It’s such an interesting debate.
To find out more about Jennifer and her books, you can visit her website or find her on Facebook and Twitter. You can read the first chapter from her latest release, Reunited for the Billionaire's Legacy, a 4* (Compelling - Page Turner) pick from Romantic Times Magazine, here.