Winter is here. Maybe it’s cold and you’re stuck indoors, or maybe you’re enjoying some unseasonably warm weather (thanks, El Niño!). Regardless, it’s the perfect time — with many TV favorites on hiatus until later this month — to catch up on all those shows you’ve been missing.
Consider jumpstarting your sofa session with these 10 binge-worthy selections.
With The X-Files returning to the small screen this month with a six-episode miniseries, there’s no better time to revisit FOX’s classic sci-fi series. Nine seasons and two movies is too much of a commitment? You’ve got options. You could go the mythology route and watch this list of episodes which tell the overarching story of Mulder and Scully investigating the alien conspiracy. Rather stick to the fun stuff? Watch the Monster of the Week episodes which typically deal with some type of supernatural/paranormal activity and are separate from the mytharc stories. If you’re a completist you could watch all nine seasons and two movies.
BINGE TIME: 155+ hours
The sixth and final series of Downton Abbey has begun airing in the States. If you’re unfamiliar with the British period program, which chronicles the life and times of the Crawley family and their servants, there’s no time like the present to catch up on seasons 1-5. And if you’ve been there all along, why not revisit the drama of Mary/Matthew, Anna/Bates, and Carson/Mrs. Hughes, all over again — not to mention all of the amazing shade thrown by the Dowager Countess.
BINGE TIME: 52+ hours
Agents of SHIELD (Season 3)
I’m going to assume you’re one of the many viewers who started watching Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. when it debuted in 2013, and then gave up somewhere along the way. You’ve been burned before, and you’re reluctant to give the show another shot. That’s fair, but it’s time to come back. Really. Don’t bother picking up where you left off. Just start with the much-improved third season premiere and go from there — the show finally feels like it’s firing on all cylinders. It’s 10 episodes so far. You’ll be glad you did.
BINGE TIME: 7.2 hours
Everyone’s (finally) talking about The 100. It’s taken two seasons for The CW sci-fi drama to really catch on, but we’re joining the growing chorus to tell you it’s time to get into it. Loosely based on the book series by Kass Morgan, The 100 is a dystopian drama about a group of RIDICULOUSLY ATTRACTIVE juvenile delinquents who are sent to Earth to see if it’s survivable in the wake of a nuclear holocaust. The third season starts on January 21, so go now.
BINGE TIME: 20+ hours
Star Wars Rebels
You’ve seen The Force Awakens, and now you want more Star Wars in your life to pass the time until Rogue One and Episode VIII. Check out Star Wars Rebels. The Disney XD animated series is set five years before the events of the original Star Wars trilogy, so there are a ton of throwback nods despite a brand new cast of characters. Fans of The Clone Wars will dig the most recent season, which unites the Rebels with beloved heroes from that series, while continuing to edge the story closer to the events of A New Hope. In fact, the show resumes in January with an appearance by Princess Leia.
BINGE TIME: 11+ hours
Confirmed! Marvel is NOT messing around when it comes to their Netflix shows. Jessica Jones is the second in their low-key “Defenders” series, following last year’s binge hit Daredevil, and it’s a special kind of awesome. Krysten Ritter owns everything in her portrayal of the troubled heroine, and Mike Colter makes a suitably badass MCU debut as Luke Cage. And we can’t talk about Jessica Jones without mentioning David Tennant’s uber-creepy turn as Kilgrave. If you know, you know. If you don’t… prepare to binge.
BINGE TIME: 11 hours
Fargo (Season 2)
Fargo has been a hit with fans and critics since debuting last season on FX. And while the off-beat series was widely appreciated from the get-go, I have to admit that the first season just wasn’t my cup of tea. The same can’t be said of the second 10-episode season, which hit the spot. The story follows a South Dakota beautician (Kirsten Dunst) and her husband as they cover up a hit-and-run. There’s a murder mystery, small town organized crime, Ted Danson, and UFOs. You’re sold.
BINGE TIME: 8.5 hours
You’ve probably seen Daredevil, but I recently rewatched it after Jessica Jones made me hungry for more Marvel/Netflix grittiness. It’s even better the second time. In case you somehow missed it, the show’s first season (13 episodes) tells the story of attorney Matt Murdock, blinded in a tragic accident as a boy, who is imbued with extraordinarily enhanced senses. Murdock sets up shop in his old neighborhood of Hell’s Kitchen, along with his parter and BFF Foggy Nelson, and fights against injustice — mostly in the form of his nemesis, the dangerous and powerful Wilson Fisk. There’s another season coming in March, so if you haven’t seen season one, get on it!
BINGE TIME: 11+ hours
Master of None
I expected to love Aziz Ansari’s Master of None, but it still managed to exceed expectations by proving to be one of the most delightfully funny, real, and occasionally heartwarming shows of the year. The Netflix comedy stars the Parks and Rec alum as Dev, a 30-year-old actor trying to make it in New York City while dealing with friends, family, and romantic entanglements. If you’re a fan of Ansari’s brand of comedy, don’t sleep on Master of None.
BINGE TIME: 5 hours
The Leftovers (Season 2)
Hey, remember when you enjoyed season one of The Leftovers so much that you felt like slitting your wrists? We’re not saying TV has to make you feel happy to be enjoyed, but the first season of the HBO drama was particularly soul-sucking. If that’s kept you from watching the second season, which ended in December, then we’re here to tell you it’s safe to watch without refilling your prescription for antidepressants. All of the drama, suspense and mystery is back in season two, but the writers have dispatched with the often overwhelming darkness of its first outing. And the show is much better for it.
BINGE TIME: 10 hours
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