Friday, November 27, 2020

Entertainment; Top 10 Shows to Binge on Netflix.

March 28, 2020 by  
Filed under Ent.

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( It’s fall and for me that means chilling inside and going through shows I missed out on Netflix. Now, there are a ton of shows to catch up and I’m not one to sit front of the TV and catch stuff when it airs. Plus you have all of Netflix’s shows. So much stuff. Here are ten shows to binge on Netflix.

We’re going with a “binge level” scale from one to three to show how much time you’re putting in. It’s a combination of season length and season pace since some episodes can feel much longer than they actually are or much shorter because so much is going on.

Luther (2010-present, 5 series)

This is a BBC crime drama that was extremely popular a few years back. It’s best known for Idris Elba’s performance and the engrossing story. The thing about Luther is that each season builds off the previous one and the seasons are very short. We’re talking six episodes for the first and four for the rest—except season four.

I’ve sat and watched the show knowing that British dramas have short seasons and ended up wanting more. Luther is no different and while the next season picks up things, it’s runs on short time skips built off the conclusion of the previous season. It’s a dope show and the whole show so far is less than the length of one American season on a large network.

Binge Level: 2 (A Weekend Project)

Daredevil (2015-2018, 3 seasons)

Based on Marvel’s Daredevil comic, it’s a gritty action-drama focused on the blind attorney Matt Murdoch who fights crime as the titular character. The first season is extremely strong and establishes many of important characters very quickly. It just lays good groundwork for how other Marvel-Netflix shows should play out in tone and pace. Plus, they’re all tied in and exist in this grimier part of the overall Marvel Cinematic Universe.

The other two seasons are strong in their own way and the show ended decently enough. I believe it didn’t sit well with me because it was written in stone that it would be the third and final season and all the other Marvel shows were getting axed. That said, it’s one of the better paced shows of the Marvel-Netflix collection with The Punisher being the best paced, in my opinion.

Binge Level: 2 (A Weekend Project)

Top Boy (2011-2013, 2019-present, 3 series)

Unless you were on Twitter when Top Boy arrived on Netflix and heard the buzz—well, initially, it was scuttlebutt—its first two seasons garnered, Top Boy would honestly be one of those sleeper British crime dramas. It’s by no means a bad show—or else it wouldn’t be on this list—but it dropped on Netflix when there were already a lot of British dramas on the platform or others were coming in along with it.

That’s one thing about BBC, they churn out some crime dramas. Top Boy has a lot going for it in a story about Black London youths and those around them become involved in the local drug trade but another thing is the length of this show. The series originally ran for two seasons and was something you could finish in probably a day.

Top Boy drew the attention of Drake who brought it back for a third series and serves as executive producer.

Binge Level: 1 (Brisk)

Longmire (2012-2017, 6 seasons)

I won’t lie to you, initially Longmire seemed like a dry modern crime drama with a cowboy skin. It didn’t seem interesting at all to me. However, it was a pretty popular show on AMC before it was canceled and picked up by Netflix. Longmire kept popping up a suggested show because I watched Hell on Wheels, another AMC shows…with a cowboy theme. I decided “Alright, I’ll check it out.”

Needless to say, Longmire is really good. It’s very well paced and it has that Netflix show length with a British story build in that it just rolls from what happened at the end of the previous season. Meaning, things are explained in the opening episodes and the repercussions of the previous season continue to resonate with the characters and the season’s threat might show up after those initial episodes.

Longmire doesn’t go “Here’s this season’s big bad! Let’s see what he does! He’s so bad” right there in the first season of the new episode. Because of the show’s pace, that season’s big bad is mixed into what’s going on. It’s worth a watch if you have time throughout the week or an uninterrupted weekend.

Binge Level: 3 (Time Sink)

GLOW (2017-present, 3 seasons)

Here we have the first comedy on the list, GLOW. Loosely based on the cheesy and fun women’s professional wrestling promotion of the 1980s, GLOW follows a failed actress as she makes a career change and becomes a professional wrestler. The rest of the characters on the show are different failed actresses and misfits who train and develop their gimmicks—based on a variety of stereotypes—for GLOW’s TV debut.

As a wrestling fan myself, I enjoy this show. I knew what GLOW was originally and the corny gimmicks a lot of the wrestlers had and to see a TV show based on it was going to be right up my alley anyway. Right now, it runs for three seasons of ten episodes each. Since the third season dropped in September, there’s plenty of time to binge this before the fourth and final season drops—whenever that will be.

Binge Level: 2 (A Weekend Project)

Black Mirror (2011-present, 5 series)

This sci-fi anthology has a massive following on Netflix. You’ve probably heard it mentioned several times on social media or referenced in memes, so there’s really no reason to go too into it. What I will say is that often times, Black Mirror hits a little close on current events, politics, and technology and how it can all go array. You’d think “That’s a little outrageous” but Black Mirror skirts a real-life event by inches. It’s wild.

Technically, Black Mirror would be a 2.5 or “A Weekend Time Sink” but the show’s pacing can make most episodes seem much longer than they actually are. Very few episodes just come off as “Wow, that was short.”

Binge Level: 3 (A Time Sink)

Dear White People (2017-present, 3 seasons)

I loved the film Dear White People and when I heard that there would be a Netflix series I figured “This should be good!” Sure enough, that first season was well worth watching. It was true to the film and covers Black student social life and political engagement at the fictional Ivy League college Winchester. It’s my number three comedy-drama behind GLOW and our next entry. Each season is broken up into “volumes” of ten episodes, so it won’t be daunting to binge. The fourth and final season drops in 2020, so you have time to get around to it.

Binge Level: 2 (A Weekend Project)

BoJack Horseman (2014-present, 6 seasons)

This is a list of mostly straight up dramas but our third comedy-drama happens to be my favorite on Netflix. BoJack Horseman is a cartoon about an animorphic horse—BoJack—who is an over-the-hill actor whose peak was on a hot 90s sitcom. Since then, work hasn’t come his way regularly and he was pulled into to alcoholism, drug use, and depression over time. He has a number of failed relationships and his whole life is just a mess.

A newcomer in his life, Diane Nguyen, serves as the ghostwriter for his life story and is pulled into many of BoJack’s situations. Without giving too much away, it’s an extremely good show that explores many serious topics without making light of them and without being a constant downer. BoJack Horseman hits that sweet spot between the two where you’ll laugh and get hit with some of the situations.

Binge Level: 2.5 (A Weekend Time Sink)

Narcos (2015-2017, 3 seasons)

The original Narcos show was overall favorite drama on Netflix. It goes into the 1980s and 1990s Colombian drug trade and the initiative to bring down the cartels. It’s not a stretch to say that each season topped the last pace-wise. Narcos existed in this area where it had a steady but not slow pace yet things happened each episode. So, it wasn’t just subtle talking for roughly 50 minutes.

After the series ended with its third season, a new show Narcos: Mexico dropped in 2018 and goes into the Mexican drug trade. You can honestly watch them separately since the show makes sure you know how the Mexican cartels are tied with the Colombian ones. It’s not just “We sure hope you watched Narcos!”

Binge Level: 2.5 (A Weekend Time Sink)

Mindhunter (2017-present, 2 seasons)

I love true crime. Podcasts, books, articles, finding out what made these people do what they did—all of that. Mindhunter is a crime drama that starts in the 1970s before the term “serial killer” became the go-to term to describe the people the FBI duo of the rookie Ford and the veteran Tench. After years in the FBI, Tench teaches and carries out his investigations in the textbook way that the Bureau has done for years. Holden believes there should be a new, modern way to do this and to see how serial murderers think.

This takes them on a cross-country trip from the late 1970s into 1980 as they teach local police departments these new methods. Along the way, they do interviews with a few arrested serial killers—the guy who plays Edmund Kemper is incredible—while the whole time Dennis Rader (better known as The BTK Killer) is active. But because he is unusual for the FBI’s Behavioral Sciences Unit’s developing methods at the time, he’s flying under the radar.

Mindhunter is very similar to Narcos in being a historical crime drama and have a similar pace. There’s a build in story thanks to the investigations but stuff happens every episode, so there are no dry episodes.

Binge Level: 2 (A Weekend Project)

Staff Writer; M. Swift

This talented writer is also a podcast host, and comic book fan who loves all things old school. One may also find him on Twitter at; metalswift.

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