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We all do it. It’s OK, honestly. Sometimes, when we should be doing something constructive, all we really want to do is sit in our pants, eat Doritos (other brands are available) and watch Netflix for hours on end. And that’s fine. In fact, I’m going to enable you further – he’s the top five shows I painstakingly binge watched just so I could recommend them to you, without spoilers. I’m nice like that.

Stranger Things

Chances are you’ve already watched this, but if not, for the love of all that is holy go do it. Do it now, leave work or put your kids to bed early.

A master class in story telling, Stranger Things had me the minute it mentioned Dungeons and Dragons – one of my favorite things. That said, even without it, the show would have hooked me by the end of the first episode anyway. Everything about the show is brilliant – the casting, the direction, the story, everything.

This is quite something coming from me, because I am admittedly the biggest wimp in the World. I can’t even watch horror movie trailers, seriously. Yet Stranger Things does creepy in such an awesomely brilliant way I didn’t even realise what it was doing (until I went to bed and it was dark, that is).

 

Once Upon a Time

I’d never heard of this til a few months ago, when someone suggested to me I should give it a go. My love of fairy tales made it a no brainer once I’d read the synopsis; fairy tale characters trapped in the real world under a curse only one person can break? Yeah, I’m in.

Once Upon a Time takes fairy tales and gives them all a unique and dark twist, which makes the show less about castles and mystical creatures and more about dark magic, deals with a devil (of sorts), and life threatening situations. There’s currently six seasons, with around 20 episodes each, so it’s not a small undertaking, but it’s well worth it, even if by Season 4 you’re wondering how many bad guys they can keep finding before they run out and everyone ends up living happily ever after.

 

Marco Polo

I’m genuinely sad there’s not going to be a third season of this show. While some brand it convoluted and trite, I think it’s bloody brilliant. Like a Mongol Game of Thrones, I guess (though not in Thrones’ league, I should point out).

Marco’s story of his time with Kublai Khan is an in depth tale fraught with divided loyalties, difficult decisions and a hell of a lot sex. If you can look past the immense amount of gratuitous nudity which sometimes feels a bit like they’ve thrown a naked woman in just for the sake of it (much like Thrones…) there’s a story with much to tell within the two seasons the show lasted. There’s also a short spin-off about the blind monk Hundred Eyes, which is well worth watching for a bit of background on one of the best characters in the entire show.

 

Crazy Ex Girlfriend

It’s easy for the title and synopsis of this show to put you off watching it. It very nearly did, for me, but being the selfless soul that I am, I pushed through to find out if it was worth watching. Short answer – yes, it is.

Crazy Ex Girlfriend sounds like it should be a consigned-to-the-bargain-bin rom-com starring J-Lo, but it’s actually a cleverly written, nuanced, witty comedy… with singing. Don’t let the singing put you off, bear with me.

Yes, they sing. However, somehow rather than coming across as contrived or out of place, it actually fits – and it’s funny, to boot. But the best thing about this show for me, is the main character, Rebecca. There’s not pretenses of her being perfect in the show, she’s a successful lawyer who isn’t really happy with money and success alone, which instantly makes her likable. And throughout her story, as much as she does things you can’t help but think you should dislike her for, you just can’t do it. You want her to get what she wants and you want her to be happy. It’s a fabulous show.

 

Brooklyn Nine-Nine

You’ll probably need some comedic relief after all that serious drama, and this show will fit the bill nicely. Brooklyn Nine-Nine is a comedy drama following the professional and personal lives of a precinct of slightly inept police officers.

The writing is great, the characters are brilliantly cast and it’ll make you laugh – what more could you ask for?

Honorable mentions of course, go to Orange is the New Black, Breaking Bad, Better Call Saul and Black Mirror… to be honest, I could go on all day. Now if you’ll excuse me, there’s a bag of snacks and a new series with my name written on it!

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