The holidays are widely regarded as family time, but if you’re lucky enough to have the stretch between Christmas and New Year’s Eve off, there’s only so many hours you can spend with Crazy Aunt Elaine before you start wishing for an alien invasion or some other catastrophic event to put you out of your misery.
The occasional break for me-time is a must if you want to maintain your sanity, and it’s the perfect time to settle in front of the tube (or whichever screen you prefer) and catch up on all the shows you’ve been meaning to watch.
So which ones should you choose? Living in the era of Peak TV, there’s almost too much to pick from. You’ve heard your friends and co-workers extol the virtues of Stranger Things and Westworld, but you may have heard less about some of 2016’s other excellent shows to binge watch. Read on for 10 of our favourites.
Hailed by many as one of the year’s best new shows, Atlanta follows two cousins as they work their way through the ranks of the Atlanta rap scene to better their lives and the lives of their families. The show is versatile in both subject matter and style, never afraid to experiment or tackle hot-button issues. Creator Donald Glover – better known to music fans as Childish Gambino – stars and produces.
Better Call Saul
Forget what you’ve heard about sequels and prequels. Better Call Saul is the rare companion show that doesn’t disappoint. The Breaking Bad spinoff chronicles the earlier life of of Bob Odenkirk’s Saul Goodman, beginning six years before he became the go-to attorney for teacher-turned-meth-kingpin Walter White. The third season of the show will likely premiere in early 2017, so now’s the time to catch up on the first two.
Sick of all the uplifting holiday shit? Black Mirror will bring you crashing back down to reality with its dark, futuristic tales of technology gone awry. The highly praised (and deservedly so) show recently debuted its third season on Netflix, and if you somehow managed to miss the Black Mirror mania then, you owe it to yourself to get acquainted. Just prepare yourself for wanting to end every episode curled up in the fetal position, despairing for the future of humanity.
Meet the most beloved sitcom horse of the ’90s… 20 years later. Set in a Los Angeles where humans and anthropomorphic animal-people coexist, BoJack Horseman is an adult animated comedy/satire about a man (well, horse-man) who peaked too early and must figure out what to do next. The criminally under-appreciated show is both smart and funny, and stars an equally smart/funny cast of Will Arnett, Amy Sedaris, Alison Brie, and Aaron Paul.
Meet the next Making A Murderer. Fans of last December’s biggest binge watching hit have this year been gifted with Captive, a peek into the tense, dangerous world of hostage negotiation. Victims, negotiators, and kidnappers offer an unprecedented look at what it means to be captive as this documentary series reconstructs history’s most complex and terrifying hostage situations.
Billy Eichner and Julie Klausner star as comedians who hate… well, pretty much everything and everyone in Difficult People. This darkly hilarious Hulu comedy follows the BFF duo as they attempt to navigate life in New York City and their irreverent behaviour frequently lands them in awkward situations. It’s the perfect show to watch if the seasonal influx of family time has awakened your antisocial side.
A wrongly accused man given superhuman strength and unbreakable skin in an experiment escapes prison to become a superhero for hire. Luke Cage has received heaps of praise for its performances (Mike Colter, Mahershala Ali, Alfre Woodard), its socially conscious stories, its 1970s style, and especially its killer soundtrack. This is the third Netflix installment in Marvel’s street-level universe, preceded by Daredevil and Jessica Jones. Binge all three if you’re feeling especially disinclined to leave the couch before the new year.
Seven years after vanishing from her home, a young woman returns with mysterious new abilities and recruits five strangers for a secret mission. To some, she’s a miracle. To others, a freak. Only a few understand where she’s been: to the brink of an unseen world. Starring Brit Marlin and Jason Isaacs, The OA is the one to watch if the end of Stranger Things left a gaping hole in your science fiction-loving heart.
The Path follows a family at the center of a controversial movement (they’d prefer you don’t call it a cult) as they struggle with relationships, faith, and power. Each episode takes an in-depth look at the gravitational pull of belief and what it means to choose between the life we live and the life we want. It’s not exactly light viewing, but if you’re down for drama – and a talented cast of Aaron Paul, Hugh Dancy, and Michelle Monaghan – it’s worth a watch.
White Rabbit Project
Kari Byron, Tony Belleci, and Grant Imahara return to screens around the world with White Rabbit Project. The Netflix series sees the trio rank history’s greatest inventions, heists, escapes, and more – while playing with cool tech and weird weapons – and delivering plenty of their trademark hijinks and humour. If you’ve been missing MythBusters, its spiritual successor will not disappoint.