Thanks to the Internet, we’re living in an age where entertainment is at our fingertips and at the click of a mouse. But like Uncle Ben says, “With great power comes great responsibility.”
Great content is at the ready, but where do we start? What’s worth our time? When we’re ready to binge, ready to decide, what will be that go-to show, miniseries, or anthology to crush in a week? Come on…don’t act like you haven’t done it too.
The Anatomy of Bingeing
Why this list of shows? What’s so special about this group you may ask? What if your style doesn’t fit mine? Ultimately, what does it mean to be “binge-worthy“? According to Cheatsheet.com, there are three key things that make something binge-worthy.
- A continuous, seamless story
- A slow-burn narrative leading to the climax
- An expectation of resolution
Also, we learn the difference between the average and binge-able series and shows:
Your average show keeps your attention by leaving its finale generally open-ended, resolving just enough to meet the minimum requirement for satisfaction. In a binge-watching format though, there’s a certain unspoken promise to your audience, and it usually involves a climactic resolution promised from the very beginning.
What are the best original shows streaming online right now?
Well, thanks to this list, consider that asked and answered. Some of these shows have been on for a couple of seasons or more, while some of them are just coming off their inaugural season. Either way, these shows will guarantee you stay on your couch for hours on end—they’re that good.
Note: this list is in no particular order, it was hard enough picking a short(ish) list. I couldn’t possibly rate these in order!
If you’re one of those people (like me) who loves those true-crime shows, or was stoked to watch Zac Efron play Ted Bundy, then this is the show for you. Seriously. With Season Two just around the corner, now is the perfect time to binge the first season and catch up. The countdown to the August 16 premiere begins now.
This show is one of my favorites right now. And if you know what’s good, it will be one of yours too (trust me). Not only are the actors–kids, by the way–on point, but the story line is insane and the production quality is outta sight. If you’re in for a good, long binge, borrow your nearest Netflix subscription and gobble up all three seasons of this instant classic.
Dead To Me
Fresh off its freshman year, Dead to Me quickly became Netflix’s latest smash hit. A show about murder, loss, betrayal, and friendship (what a combo, right), Dead to Me hits the nail on the head of what a great dark comedy should be. Only ten, 30-minute episodes means you could crush this whole season in five hours…sounds like a killer Sunday (pun intended).
Certainly one of the lesser-known gems on this list, but not to be trifled with. Julia Roberts is stunning as Heidi Bergman, but the real winner here is the cinematography. The story switches back between two timelines and it’s handled with such tender creativity. It sucks you in from the first episode…more like the first minute.
The youngest show on this list is also one of the most epic. This dysfunctional group of Supes and the ‘Boys’ who want to expose them. This show is Amazon’s highest-rated show, according to IMDb, and has proven itself to be the newest in a long line of breakout hits.
Amazon Prime for the win again. I know what you’re thinking: “When did Jim join the CIA, and where the heck is Pam?” Jack Ryan came on the scene a little under a year ago and blew audiences away with a stacked cast, killer writing, and a story that has your heartbeat doing double time. Season Two is just around the corner. So, what are you waiting for?
Big Little Lies
For a show that was supposed to be a one-and-done miniseries, Big Little Lies showed its beloved audience how much they cared and came back for a second season—and crushed it. Season One was already a masterclass of actors. Then, they stepped up for the second…but how? By adding Meryl, Oscar-winning, Streep. Don’t let this show slip by, watch it…watch it now.
Last but absolutely, certainly not least.
Chernobyl was the most epic–yes, I said “most epic”–miniseries I’ve ever seen. HBO knows how to put you on the edge of your seat. By the end of the series, your palms are sweating, your heart is pounding, and your mouth is wide open in shock.
Now here’s the part you won’t believe…it’s only five episodes. Amazing, I know. Arguably, my favorite show to come out in the last five years. The only thing left to do after watching the series? You guessed it, go back to episode one and watch it again.
Okay, so now you’ve got the goods. Get to streaming, report back to us, and we’ll see you when you’re done.