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Top 10 Shows to Binge Watch This Holiday Season

VO: RB WRITTEN BY: Nathan Sharp
Written by Nathan Sharp The holidays are coming up, and now is the perfect time to catch up on some shows. Welcome to WatchMojo.com, and today we’re counting down our picks for the Top 10 Shows to Binge Watch This Holiday season. For this list, we’ll be recommending shows you might want to binge watch. These will not be popular shows that everyone has already seen – these are underappreciated shows that you could really immerse yourself in over your holiday break. Have an idea you want to see made into a WatchMojo video? Check out our suggest page at http://WatchMojo.comsuggest and submit your idea.
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The holidays are coming up, and now is the perfect time to catch up on some shows. Welcome to WatchMojo.com, and today we’re counting down our picks for the Top 10 Shows to Binge Watch This Holiday season.

For this list, we’ll be recommending shows you might want to binge watch. These will not be popular shows that everyone has already seen – these are underappreciated shows that you could really immerse yourself in over your holiday break.

#10: “Vikings” (2013-)
Watch Instead of: “Game of Thrones” (Again)

Now that “Game of Thrones” has finished its seventh and penultimate season, you’re probably itching for another show just like it: one full of political intrigue, betrayals, and buckets of blood. What should you do? Re-watch “Game of Thrones” for the fifth time? You could, or you could watch the History Channel’s “Vikings,” a series loosely based on the stories of Norse hero Ragnar Lothbrok. It’s nowhere near as ambitious as “Game of Thrones,” but it’s still a good show that emphasizes character and conflict over gratuitous blood and sex (*cough* “Spartacus” *cough*). It also looks fantastic and provides a quick peek into Norse history, if you’re into that sort of thing.

#9: “American Vandal” (2017-)
Watch Because: It’s a Hilarious Mockumentary

Netflix has been pumping out a LOT of shows, so it’s only natural that a few of them fall by the wayside. This was the unfortunate fate of “American Vandal,” a very funny mockumentary about a mischievous student alleged to have spray-painted the cars of the school’s faculty with, uh, anatomical imagery. The show apes the style of “Making a Murderer” and other similar true crime documentaries, but it plays with the conventions and tropes of the genre in entertaining ways. Even if that doesn’t sound all that appealing to you, catch it for Jimmy Tatro’s hilarious and poignant performance as Dylan Maxwell. You’ll thank us later.

#8: “Riverdale” (2017-)
Watch If You’re Looking for: Something Dark but Easy

Who knew that blending Archie comics with a murder mystery would work so well? While the show is gathering popularity on Netflix, it’s still in its (relatively) early days, so the holidays are the perfect time to catch up with everyone else and get in the know. Okay, so the content may not mix too well with the holiday atmosphere, but just suck it up. While the show isn’t in the higher echelons of premium TV, it’s still a fun and eerie teen romp, complete with some gorgeous visuals and surprisingly good acting. The mystery aspect of the show also makes it extremely easy to binge watch, so your holidays should be set.

#7: “Master of None” (2015-)
Watch Because: It’s Relatable for Millennials

While “Master of None” has received a lot of attention (and awards) in critical circles, it’s failed to make the massive pop culture splash it really deserves. The show was created by, and stars, Aziz Ansari and details the trials and tribulations of a thirtysomething dude in New York. It sounds cliché, and it is in a way, but the writing, directing, performances, and surprisingly heavy themes elevate it above shows of a similar nature. While the phrase “speaks to a generation” is overblown, you’d be hard-pressed to find a show that does it better than “Master of None.”

#6: “UnREAL” (2015-)
Watch If You’re Looking for: The Anti-Reality Show

There is certainly a lot of degrading reality television out there today, aaaaand yet those are the shows yet draw millions upon millions of viewers. Shows like “UnREAL,” on the other hand, quietly slip under the radar. It’s a dang shame. “UnREAL” is very much a scathing indictment of the reality industry - now there’s a modern concept; it levels biting attacks on the genre’s lack of dignity, and uses its main character, a fictional dating show producer, to give viewers insight into how the reality sausage is made. With only 20 episodes aired as of the end of 2017, it meants it’ll make for a quick, if depressing, binge – if you get to them before its next season airs in 2018.

#5: “Big Little Lies” (2017-)
Watch Because: It’s an Emmy-Winning Miniseries

As short as “unREAL” is, “Big Little Lies” is even shorter: there are only original episodes, so you can cover this in a day should you be up for the challenge – note however that talk of a second season began in mid-to-late 2017. Back to the original miniseries though, it is adapted from Liane Moriarty’s novel about an idyllic community with an undercurrent of deception. The miniseries made a relatively light splash on HBO, but it made a killing at the Emmys by winning eight awards, including Outstanding Limited Series. The show is funny, thrilling, and disturbing, and features some stellar acting by an all-star cast, which includes Nicole Kidman and Laura Dern. And if you’ve read the book, then watching the show is a no-brainer.

#4: “Black Mirror” (2011-)
Watch If You’re Looking to: Escape the Christmas Spirit

We can’t think of a show that will put you in a more depressed mood, meaning that “Black Mirror” is perfect for the holidays! Plus, it has a Christmas-themed episode: win-win! Having previously started and aired on Britain’s Channel 4, it’s actually its third season release on Netflix that put Charlie Brooker’s show on the map. However, it remains woefully underappreciated in the pop culture zeitgeist, which probably has something to do with that relentlessly dour tone. The show is “The Twilight Zone” for a new generation, as each episode and story mixes horror, science fiction, and biting satire into a thought-provoking and consistently bleak experience. Happy holidays!

#3: “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” (2013-)
Watch Because: You Want to Laugh and/or You Liked “The Office”

Now that both “The Office” and “Parks and Recreation” have ended, you need another comedy to fill that empty hole in your heart. Enter “Brooklyn Nine-Nine,” a sitcom about the lives of New York police officers that boasts a fantastic cast, including Andy Samberg, Chelsea Peretti, Terry Crews and Andre Braugher. The show was created by Dan Goor and Michael Schur, two funny biz veterans from “The Office” and “Parks and Recreation,” and it retains a similar style of comedy. While “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” hasn’t attained the popularity of their previous shows, it is every bit as funny.

#2: “The Crown” (2016-)
Watch Because: You’ve Been Putting It Off

We know what you’re thinking: you’ve heard so much about the first season of “The Crown” and how it’s JUST SO GOOD, but you’ve just. . . never gotten around to it. Yeah, it looks pretty decent, but it’s also probably a boring period piece with a slow story. You’ll get to it later, right? Well, now is the perfect time to sit down and finally watch. And watch it all. Because the costumes, sets, and overall production design make for stellar eye candy; and the performances, particularly those of Claire Foy and John Lithgow, give the show serious substance to go along with the style. Trust us, it won all those awards for a reason.

Before we unveil our top pick, here are a few honorable mentions.

“Daredevil” (2015-)
Watch Because: You’re a Fan of Superheroes

“Shameless” (2011-)
Watch If You’re Looking to: Feel Better About Your Life

“Mr. Robot” (2015-)
Watch If You’re Looking for: Cinematic Television Drama

#1: “The Good Place” (2016-)
Watch If You’re Looking for: Very Clever Comedy

“The Good Place” is yet another Michael Schur creation, which centers around Kristen Bell’s Eleanor, a miscreant who is accidentally sent to a Heaven-like afterlife. Upon realizing that it was a mistake, she tries to change her ways so as to fit into - and stay in - the utopian society. Both Kristen Bell and co-star Ted Danson, as the supernatural creator of The Good Place, are hilariously charming, and the show is a highly original take on the modern sitcom. Each episode also ends on a cliffhanger, which makes it perfect binge-watching material. With only half of the second season having aired as of the end of 2017, you’ll be able to catch up over the holidays, and enjoy one of the best comedies on television when it’s set to start back up again in 2018.
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