TV series to binge now that it’s summer

Words by Maeve Kerr-Crowley

To binge is a human right. To re-binge is a luxury.

There is no love more enduring than that between a television enthusiast and the decade-old series they’ve watched a dozen times.

I’m going to take an educated guess and say that The Office or Parks and Recreation may have just popped into your head. Me too. Because both (or all three if you count both versions of The Office, but who does?) are very entertaining shows with great rewatch value.  

But, because we’re big fans of branching out and giving underrated content a chance, I’d like to propose a radical idea: what if you watched something else?

What if you spent your long weekend or questionable awake-til-3am night in bingeing something you haven’t seen more times than you can count? What if you memorised new witty quotes to sprinkle throughout conversations and Instagram captions?

There’s a whole world of great shows out there, gang. All you have to do is open your heart to them. 

To help you, here are a few of our favourite binge-worthy TV shows. There are funny shows, spooky shows, shows that’ll make you cry – but don’t worry, we won’t waste your time with anything that has less than five seasons. 

The X Files
11 seasons, 218 episodes

When was the last time you watched The X Files? Not recently enough, I’d wager. It might be a little gross sometimes, and a little weird all the time, but that’s exactly what you need in a show you’ll be devoting well over 150 hours to. It keeps you on your toes. You’ve got engaging main characters who’ve stayed iconic for more than two decades, spooky vibes and the most in-depth exploration of the world’s obsession with all things supernatural, possibly ever. If a sleepless week’s worth of episodes isn’t enough, there’s also a couple of movies you can throw into the mix. 

8 seasons, 120 episodes

James Roday and Dule Hill ham it up, vampire-style, in the Oct. 26 Halloween episode of “Psych.”

For your dose of goofy feel-good comedy, I enthusiastically suggest Psych. Self-awarely presenting itself as a funny man’s take on The Mentalist (7 seasons, 151 episodes), the series combines all the appeal of a police procedural with the rewatchability of a campy sitcom. Bingeing the show will also allow you to pick up on more of its incredibly thorough running gags (I’ll send you on your way with the knowledge of a pineapple, hidden Easter egg style, in almost every episode), and tribute episodes referencing things like Twin Peaks (3 seasons, 48 episodes), Clue and The Shining.

Grey’s Anatomy
16 seasons, 349 episodes and counting 

Not all binges are feel good binges. Sometimes, you need to sit in a dark room with lots of snacks and, every 40 minutes or so, just sob. Grey’s Anatomy perfected the on-screen art of extensive, repetitive heartbreak. It’s all about making you laugh one minute, getting a bit McSteamy the next, then killing off a beloved character to round out the experience. Plus, the show’s been renewed for another season, so if somehow you get through 16 seasons and live to tell the tale, you won’t be greeted with the crushing knowledge that there’s nothing left to live for. 

Schitt’s Creek
5 seasons, 66 episodes and counting

Schitt’s Creek has a less prolific episode count than others on this list, sure. But I’d argue it’s actually the most rewatchable of them all. In a way that only a small town-centric show can, it’s got a delightfully dysfunctional cast of characters to rival the quotability of F.R.I.E.N.D.S (10 seasons, 236 episodes) or Seinfeld (9 seasons, 180 episodes). I challenge anyone to watch even one episode and resist incorporating a Moira Rose impersonation into their bag of party tricks.

22 seasons, 1,087 episodes and counting

Yes, I’m serious. Sometimes you just want something wholesome and nostalgic to stare at while you complete a task or lie on your couch in a funk. If you’re a fun-loving nerd, Pokémon works every time. Sure, you could watch some new, ‘grown-up’ content and feel less like you’re wasting your precious adult time. Or you could just let yourself have fun. If you’re going to indulge, however, you’ve got to really lean into it. Open your mind to the poignant social messages and sing along to ‘Double Trouble’ or the ‘Pokérap’ at the end of every episode. 

8 seasons, 178 episodes

Because they have similar binge energies, I tossed up for a while over whether to mention Charmed or Buffy the Vampire Slayer (7 seasons, 144 episodes), and I maintain that neither would have been the wrong choice. But Charmed is my personal favourite and also has more episodes. So, it wins. It’s an easy watch with all the charm (ha) the late ’90s/early ’00s had to offer. Things kind of peak around season 6, but the momentum you’ll have gained by then will easily carry you through the show’s happy-tear-inducing finale. 

6 seasons, 110 episodes

Community is a lounging-on-an-extended-break kind of binge, where you can just sit and chuckle to your heart’s content. You’ll set out on your voyage, eagerly awaiting a specific episode you remember particularly loving, but every episode that comes on in between will be just as good, and you’ll think, “How did I forget about this one?” And that will happen about 110 times. If that’s not enough content, I also recommend looking up blooper compilations on YouTube, because watching Donald Glover ad-lib is a bit of a life-altering experience.

7 seasons, 137 episodes and counting

Reality TV lends itself perfectly to being watched intensely over a short period of time. There’s something thrilling about ignoring your life and responsibilities to obsess over somebody else’s. Catfish: The TV Show is particularly gripping thanks to the rollercoaster of emotions it takes you on – you’re horrified, then you’re having a good laugh, then you’re kind of creeped out, then you’re like “Aw, love exists?” If, however, you’ve chosen to boycott the show after notorious silver fox Max took his leave, I would also recommend indulging in some Vanderpump Rules (7 seasons, 145 episodes) or just delving into the Great British Bake Off back catalogue (10 seasons, 94 episodes). 

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