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Everyone watches television. There are few feelings that match the satisfaction of finding a show that’s perfect for you and letting your mind escape for thirty minutes at a time. Compelling storytelling, complex and intriguing characters and some of the most visually pleasing scenery can be found throughout hundreds of different shows across decades of television. Now, what happens when there are thousands of options placed right at your fingertips and you only have a couple of hours until life takes back over and your window for relaxation has passed? Fret not concerned readers. I know who you are (not in a stalker kind of way I mean) and I know how to help. If you notice a type of viewer that truly resonates with you, then you’re in the right place. Allow me to be the guide on your personal journey into discovering your television Nirvana.
While some may call it being picky or indecisive, I prefer to see it as making educational decisions and setting a healthy standard for yourself. Unfortunately, those around me don’t enjoy my impulsive need to begin and immediately drop a show within the first episode.There are many, like myself, who’s attention span requires diligence in order to commit fully to a show. With streaming platforms not only producing original shows in waves and acquiring more from every network it can be a daunting task to fully commit. If all you need is a gripping pilot that grabs you by the neck and smothers you from beginning to then these may be for you:
- Broadchurch (2013-2017/Netflix) – An English coastal town is now the backdrop to an unexpected murder of a young boy. Enter David Tennant (Dr.Who/Marvel’s Jessica Jones) as the lead detective on the case? If that isn’t enough to get the dopamine flowing, just watch the first ten minutes . The stakes are raised from the onset and they only ever skyrocket from episode to episode. A digestible eight episodes across three seasons make this a perfect fit for anyone with commitment issues.
- Your Honor (2020/Hulu/Showtime) – Everyone’s favorite meth cooking, kaiju fearing , power ranger collecting actor Bryan Cranston stars in yet another thrilling show that will not allow you to breathe. New Orleans is the gritty backdrop for a judge who must stay one step ahead as he attempts to aid in a cover up of a crime committed by someone close to him. Your only option after each episode is to immediately start the next one. Episodes hit the 60 minute mark , but the cast of intriguing characters and obstacles thrown every which way will leave you wanting more.
Big Ol’ Binger
I know the type. You just think you’re hot stuff don’t you? I admit, there was a time where I too found myself to be superior to all others upon completion of a show with a plethora of seasons to bombard myself with. It was an achievement suitable only for the true elites. Sadly, no one cared about my delusions and eventually I just couldn’t find the time to commit to certain lengths of binging. If you’re the viewer who loves knowing a good thing won’t be coming to an end anytime soon and find yourself using quarantine as the kick starter to binge-dom, then these let these options become your cornerstones.
- WentWorth (2013-Present/Netflix) – Netflix knows how to snatch up the best that the rest of the world has to offer. The Australian counterpart to Orange is the New Black, Wentworth is a darker and more disheartening version of its Orange sister. Each season brings forward even darker plots and characters that are interwoven in multiple story lines that span multiple seasons. With as many stories as there are to tell, they are all told coherently and with as much intrigue and effort.
Unfortunately there are those out there without remorse or a conscience. Those who would choose to begin an episodic journey only to also begin five new art projects, remodel their home and begin the trial stages for a vaccine. Yes, I am talking to you, multitask-er. If there are things to be done that truly cannot wait till AFTER an episode is done (seriously couldn’t wait?) then I have no choice but to offer aid as a connoisseur of television. So against my better judgement, I have gone ahead and decided to find shows catered specifically for these types of questionable tastes.
- Love (Netflix/2013) – A modern day comedy with a blend of romance that doesn’t lean too heavy on either. Unlike sitcoms who have over the top personalities, Love decides that everyone involved is just as awkward and based in reality as you or me. The show won’t exceed any expectations and that’s just fine. You’ll be given three seasons of consistently semi-enticing story-telling with enough moments sprinkled throughout that can be appreciated even if you are pulled away from the screen at times
- Too Hot to Handle (Netflix/2020) – One of the least demanding shows you will ever come across and yet one of the most stupidly entertaining. Like most reality television, most of your attention will not be required to comprehend how each episode will go more or less. Ten hyper attractive contestants are tasked with going 8 weeks in a beautiful beachfront home with just one simple rule – No physical intimacy of any kind. What’s stopping all these horny beasts from complying? A substantial cash prize pool is at stake. Every time their animal-like impulses lead to naughty acts, money is deducted from the pot. And before you ask yourself, “helping” yourself is also barred. Have fun with this one.
In short, no matter how you view your media you should always allow it a chance to succeed. No show maintains perfection throughout its entire run. But if you’re willing to taper high expectations, you’ll come to discover gems waiting for appreciation.