The July 4th holiday offers many opportunities to binge: binge eat, binge drink, and of course, binge watch TV.
Many have the 3rd off in addition to the 4th, resulting in a rare, four-day weekend. If you’re looking for something to do while waiting for barbecues or fireworks, the staff at FANDOM offer up their recommendations for shows to binge watch over the holiday weekend.
We’ve broken down our recommendations into three subcategories: new shows, for those who like to keep up with all the latest in pop culture; shows worth catching up on before their new seasons start, and patriotic shows to put you in the holiday mood.
New Shows to Binge Watch
Perhaps the most-talked about show in recent weeks, GLOW follows the drama inside and outside the ring of the fictional Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling. The concept and title alone will intrigue many, and they’ll soon find out it’s a funny, endearing comedy from the same team behind Orange is the New Black. Be sure to check out the accompanying documentary as well.
The Handmaid’s Tale (Hulu)
For something a little more cerebral, check out The Handmaid’s Tale. Hulu’s original series is set in a dystopian future where the environment has been devastated and the birth rate has declined dramatically and the remaining fertile women are forced in sexual servitude by a totalitarian regime. Besides being well-acted, it’s a thought-provoking illustration of what happens when anti-environment and anti-women’s rights legislation is enacted.
Master of None (Netflix)
America was built by immigrants, and Aziz Ansari’s hilariously navigates his professional and personal life as a struggling Indian-American actor. Ansari’s real-life parents Shoukath and Fatima are scene-stealers and the situations that his character Dev finds himself in are laugh-out-loud, slap-your-head outrageous.
Hulu’s original comedy, Casual, has returned for a third season, and it’s a must-watch. After a second season marked by a death in the family and a big house move, Valerie, Alex, and Laura are adjusting to the new normal. The dysfunctional trio are exploring different jobs, partners and unfulfilled passions. But can they maintain boundaries or will they revert to the comfort of codependency? Probably so.
Shows Worth Catching Up On
Game of Thrones (HBO Go, HBO on Amazon)
Season 7 is coming. There’s no better way to catch up ahead of the July 16 premiere than with a good old GoT marathon. Each season is a mercifully short 10 episodes, but if you can only watch Season 6, do it. The last two episodes — the now legendary Battle of the Bastards and The Winds of Winter — are engrossing and satisfying. They set up what will surely be an epic (albeit shortened — seven episodes only) new season (which you can preview above).
Stranger Things (Netflix)
The supernatural series debuted to much buzz last year. With it’s cast of charming child actors and nostaglic ’80s feel, the eight-episode first season will be a breeze to binge watch. Do so now before Season 2 premieres this Halloween.
Twin Peaks (Netflix, Hulu)
Twin Peaks: The Return is proving to be a VERY strange trip back into the story that creators David Lynch and Mark Frost first introduced TV audiences to in 1991. Mysteries abound, and while we don’t expect many answers until the show’s September finale, it’s clear that there’s much more for viewers to chew on than delicious pie and damn good coffee. If you haven’t already rewatched the OG first two seasons — or if you’ve never seen it before — we highly recommend it! The standalone movie, Fire Walk With Me, is actually a bit more germane to the new season and worth watching.
House of Cards (Netflix)
July 4th commemorates the signing of the Declaration of Independence by our founding fathers. Netflix’s drama depicts that not just men hold the power in a series filled with politic intrigue and shocking twists. Kevin Spacey and Robin Wright play a power-obsessed couple.
Independence Day (Netflix DVD, broadcast/cable TV)
After an alien threat threatens to destroy the planet, the President of the United states rallies the nation (what a novel thought in this day and age) to combat the extraterrestrial invaders. The sci-fi blockbuster is over 20 years old, but the special effects and action sequences mostly hold up. And let’s pretend last year’s terrible sequel never happened.
The National Parks: America’s Best Idea (Amazon Prime, Netflix DVD)
If you’ve never seen The National Parks: America’s Best Idea, what better time to give it a watch than the country’s birthday weekend? The epic six-part documentary is Ken Burns at his absolute best. While The National Parks has numerous of breathtaking locations on display, it’s really a story about people — those who devoted themselves to saving some a precious portion of the land they loved.
Captain America films (Netflix, Netflix DVD)
In our opinion, Marvel’s patriotic superhero is sometimes underutilized in the cinematic universe. Sadly, the best of the Captain America trilogy — The Winter Soldier — is not streaming/only via DVD. The third film, Civil War, is streaming though, and worth watching as it introduces Tom Holland’s Spider-Man character, who gets his standalone movie next week.
Also recommended: Saving Private Ryan, The Patriot, The West Wing