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Books and TV

8 TV Shows to Binge Watch: From Costume Drama to Adult Animated Series

There are so many resources available now for watching TV shows – network channels, premium cable, streaming providers like Netflix, Hulu and Amazon Prime – it’s not surprising that some of us are missing out on great television. There is simply too much to weed through. Having stumbled on some great programming over the past few months, I thought to share some of the TV shows to binge watch that we’re enjoying at my house. Some may be obvious – but some are hidden gems.

I am only listing shows we are actually watching – not necessarily the ones that are receiving rave reviews and are all the rage around the water cooler. These suggested series are available for “binge watching” so you can catch up on what you’ve missed. In most cases, I selected shows with three seasons or fewer behind them, so catching up won’t be too daunting. Warning: A few of these trailers contain adult language  – so be careful if you are at work or around children! 

Amazon

Bosch: Based on the Michael Connelly novels, Bosch is an LAPD homicide detective haunted by the death of his mother. Neil Genzlinger of The New York Times wrote that, despite an “impossibly long list of brooding, taciturn small-screen police detectives,” Bosch “proves gripping” because its “plotting and pacing…draw you in…like a good page-turner.” Season 4 is currently being written, so you can catch up now on seasons 1-3.

Mozart in the Jungle: The story was inspired by Mozart in the Jungle: Sex, Drugs, and Classical Music, oboist Blair Tindall‘s 2005 memoir of her professional career in New York.  The series stars Gael García Bernal as Rodrigo, a character based on conductor Gustavo DudamelMalcolm McDowell as the conductor emeritus of the New York Symphony, and Bernadette Peters as the Symphony’s president. You don’t have to be a classical music fanatic to thoroughly enjoy the show’s dynamics. It has been renewed for a fourth season, so catch up on 1-3 now.

Les Petits Meurtres D’Agatha Christie (English Subtitled): Not sure how we came across this, but I am so glad we did. The Decider calls it “one of the slickest and sexiest takes on her work…Les Petits Meurtes d’Agatha Christie is a gorgeously shot series that adapts some of her lesser known tales for the screen.” The wardrobe design, set design and casting make it a pleasure to watch, despite having to follow the subtitles. By the end of each episode, I feel I am fluent in French. Watch the police commissioner’s assistant, Marlene, a tall, French version of Marilyn Monroe, steal every scene. J’adore. You’ll have to stream using ACORN TV through Amazon – or MHZ. New episodes can be found on TV Monde, but there are no episodes currently listed. Stay tuned for updates and catch up on the previous seasons while we wait.

TV shows to binge watch

Click for a Preview

Netflix

Grace and Frankie: Starring Jane Fonda, Lily Tomlin, Sam Waterston and Martin Sheen. Jane and Lily play two reluctant friends who are brought together by the news their husbands are in love and plan to divorce them to marry each other. The first season had mixed reviews but it was entertaining enough to keep me (and my husband) tuned in for seasons 2 and 3. Those seasons also received greater critical acclaim including a few award nominations. It’s definitely worth a watch.

Versailles: This drama originally aired on Ovation, but is now available on Netflix. If you like costume dramas, (Yes, please!) this is your lucky day. It’s 1667, and the 28-year-old king of France, Louis XIV, is building the greatest palace in the world – Versailles. Lots of high drama from Louis’ cross-dressing brother, unfaithful wife, mistresses and practically every courtier who is “forced’ to reside in the gilded palace. Lots of nudity. Lots. The series has been renewed for a third season, so enjoy seasons one and two now.

FX

Taboo:  The series, set in 1814, begins with James Delaney (Tom Hardy) returning to England after twelve years in Africa. He has fourteen stolen diamonds, and has inherited a parcel of land in North America that the East India Company wants to acquire at any cost, preferably over James’ dead body. This is one of the shows my husband started watching and I thought I would ignore/hate. I found myself drawn in, despite the occasional violence, by Tom Hardy’s performance and the quality of the production. Give it a try for at least three episodes and see what you think. Only one season is currently available, but it has been renewed for a season two.

FXX

Archer: We found this adult animated series late in its life, as it is slated to end after 10 seasons and just began season 8. However, I thank my lucky stars we did find it. Wickedly funny, you can watch each episode several times and catch jokes (especially double entendres) that didn’t click the first time. Sterling Archer, the main character, is a James Bond type spy who works for the “International Secret Intelligence Service” (ISIS) in New York City. Archer has received critical acclaim and been called “jaw-droppingly funny and brilliantly voice-acted…with a wonderful, perverted world, rich with running gags and meta comedy.” Great late night viewing.

IFC

Brockmire: Currently in its first season, Brockmire stars Hank Azaria as a famous major league baseball announcer who had an embarrassing and very public meltdown on the air after finding his wife in an extremely compromising position. After ten years abroad, he wants to reclaim his career, but the best opportunity he is offered is calling minor league baseball games for the Morristown Frackers. The small American rust belt town has seen better days – and is well suited to the wreck that is Jim Brockmire. Amanda Peet plays the team’s owner and romantic interest for Brockmire. The show has been renewed for a second season.

Hope you find TV shows to binge watch that you hadn’t considered before on this list! Make a batch of Prosecco cocktails and grab that remote!

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