How to be Less Producti- I Mean, What Shows You Should Binge Next on Netflix

Listen, I get that it’s the beginning of the semester and you’re trying to do homework and whatnot. But, counterpoint - and hear me out - don’t. Instead, read this article, open up Netflix, and give in to your overwhelming desire to do absolutely positively nothing but glue your eyes to a screen and let your brain rot. (I am, of course, kidding. You should always do your school work. And no, I’m definitely not saying this because I have to promote healthy habits to have this article approved. Glad we cleared this up.) However, when you do go on the occasional Netflix binge, I am literally begging you to start watching some new shows. Don’t get me wrong - I like The Office and Friends as much as the next person. I argue about the ending of How I Met Your Mother sometimes and I am eagerly awaiting Season Three of Stranger Things just like you are. But, let’s be honest with ourselves. Our Tinder bios are oversaturated with Michael Scott Quotes, real humor is all-too-often confused with referencing Ross and Rachel’s break, and quite frankly, it’s sad. So, the following is a list of the best shows for you to binge next. You’ve probably heard of most of them already but maybe haven’t clicked on them yet; here’s why you should.
  • Dark (TV-MA)
If you’re a fan of Stranger Things, you’ll probably love Dark. There are a lot of similarities: missing children, ominous forests, a mysterious power plant. However, Dark involves unique elements such as multiple timelines and intricate family histories, and arguably has an even better storyline with unexpected twists. It was originally filmed in German, so the English is dubbed over, but it’s honestly not that noticeable. If you’re looking for a great drama that is filmed extremely well, this is a must-watch. Binge it here
  • Big Mouth (TV-MA)
I’ll be honest; this show is uncomfortable. It’s supposed to be, though. It’s irreverent, vulgar, and most of all, absolutely hilarious, but every so often you remember that it’s about 12 and 13 year olds going through puberty and you feel extremely weird watching it. Despite this, it is a relatable and hilarious show about the struggles of puberty and trying to maintain at least some shred of dignity throughout middle school. Don’t watch it with your parents (unless they’re super cool), but definitely watch it. Binge it here
  • BoJack Horseman (TV-MA)
Speaking of irreverent comedies that you shouldn’t watch with your parents (again, unless they’re super cool), BoJack Horseman is a must-watch. Like Big Mouth, it’s gotten pretty popular, so you may have already seen it, but I wanted to include it nonetheless. As the theme song says, BoJack is a washed up actor from a popular 90s television show and is attempting to navigate his wealthy but unsatisfying life and also regain the spotlight. This show is hilarious but also gets extremely deep and makes you feel extremely connected to characters, despite many of them being unrealistically animated animals. Binge it here
  • Tidying Up with Marie Kondo (TV-PG)
This is the sole show on this list that isn’t either hilarious or dramatic, but I think it deserves to be here. Marie Kondo is amazing at helping people unclutter their lives, and is especially great at being sympathetic to her clients while also being realistic about what they should get rid of. She shares great tips for viewers to organize and remove clutter from their lives, some of which I have even followed myself, and it’s honestly just fun to watch. Plus, who doesn’t love a good before and after recap at the end of a show? Binge it here
  • A Series of Unfortunate Events (TV-PG)
If you’re really struggling to stop watching How I Met Your Mother, maybe watching a show that at least has Neil Patrick Harris in it will help, and you’d be hard pressed to find a better option than A Series of Unfortunate Events. You’re all probably familiar with the original book series by Lemony Snicket, and you’ve undoubtedly heard of the Baudelaires, at least through some obscure pop culture reference. Watching this show, if nothing else, makes you feel young again, watching the Baudelaire orphans thwart and outsmart Count Olaf at every turn. I won’t say it’s a groundbreaking show, or that it will blow your mind - but it’s fun. And sometimes, when school work has you down, you just really need some fun. Binge it here
  • Sex Education (TV-MA)
As the son of a sex therapist with no boundaries, Otis has learned a thing or two about relationships and intimacy - but never from his own experience. Along with a classmate, he begins an underground business providing advice to other high school students on how to improve, or begin, their sex lives, all the while hiding his own inexperience in the area. With a fantastic supporting cast and a willingness to take on serious issues in a humorous manner, this British comedy is a fantastic watch. Binge it here
  • Love (TV-MA)
Love: nobody understands it - not me, not you, and certainly not Gus or Mickey. The two main characters of this raunchy comedy find themselves thrown into each other’s lives after a chance meeting at a gas station, and, as you would expect, confusion and awkwardness ensue. Gus is hard not to love; he is the stereotypical nice guy with absolutely no game, whereas Mickey is the rebellious loose cannon who frightens but amazes him. I know, I know: this pair isn’t exactly original, but the dialogue between them and the shenanigans that they get into are still entertaining, and that’s why I recommend this show if your brain is fried and you need a mindless comedy to turn on. Binge it here
  • You (TV-MA)
Before anything else, I feel extremely obliged to say that this show is problematic, to the point where I debated including it in this list. It runs the risk of giving young people - young men, in particular - an unhealthy and dangerous idea of what is okay to do in pursuing and maintaining a relationship, as it manages to cause many viewers to sympathize with a literal stalker, and it is important to recognize this clear issue. Having said this, the show is produced extremely well and has an extremely intriguing plot that draws you in further with each new episode. I do think that if viewed in the correct light, it could shed light on real issues that some people face in unhealthy relationships, but I worry that this will not be the received message. At any rate, I would still recommend it for the dramatic entertainment and intense storyline, but I also recommend that those who have been in abusive relationships watch with caution, as it may trigger unpleasant memories. Binge it here
  • Patriot Act with Hasan Minhaj (TV-MA)
Hasan Minhaj never fails to entertain in this Netflix take on a late night show. After making a name for himself as an actor, stand-up comedian, and senior correspondent on The Daily Show, he has landed his own show in which he tackles everything from the rise of streetwear brand Supreme to the assassination of journalist Jamal Khashoggi. You can never be sure what to expect each week when you turn his show on, but you can definitely expect to laugh. Plus, you’ll learn something new and become more informed about what is going on in the world, which can be your excuse for not studying. Binge it here
  • Mindhunter (TV-MA)
Everybody loves a good crime drama, especially one with an awkward but analytical lead. Holden Ford and his unlikely colleague Bill attempt to understand the inner workings of killers. What makes them do what they do? Are they born murderers, or is it learned? In their efforts to gain a deeper understanding of the mind of a murderer, the two get dangerously close to the murderers themselves, and regularly find themselves in some unsettling situations. This show isn’t obnoxiously violent or gory, but it’s bloody and unpleasant enough that I wouldn’t recommend that you watch it with your 8-year-old cousin. Overall, it’s a great watch, especially if you’re into crime, mystery, and psychology. Binge it here There you have it: ten reasons to put off your homewo- I mean, ten shows you should watch when and only when you’ve finished your homework. This list is by no means comprehensive, but I’ve personally enjoyed every show on it, and I think it’s a great starting point to begin watching something new. So, go forth, cook some popcorn, and get to procrastinating.
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