We all like to sit down over Christmas and immerse ourselves in a great TV show. But with programming schedules being notoriously terrible at this time of year it can be difficult to find something truly enjoyable to watch, that’s why I’ve compiled this list of four great shows for your binging pleasure.
The best TV shows to binge watch over Christmas
1.Westworld (IMDB – 8.9/10) (Rotten Tomatoes – 88%)
Based on the 1973 movie of the same name written and directed by acclaimed novelist Michael Crichton, Westworld is a sci-fi/western thriller, a genre that has never really been convincingly delivered… until now!
The story takes place in a high tech, wild west themed amusement park populated by robots. Wealthy guests pay to enter the park and live out their fantasies without fear of retaliation from their android hosts. But all is not what it seems and the plot thickens when some of the androids begin to malfunction.
With a stunning performance throughout from the legendary Anthony Hopkins as well as a noteworthy performance from Ed Harris, this show achieved the highest viewership rating for a TV premier since 2014.
HBO have renewed the show for a second season, set to hit our screens early in 2018, so why not catch up on this fantastic drama before the season two premier.
2. Fargo (IMDB – 9/10) (Rotten Tomatoes – 97%)
Although based on the Academy Award winning Coen brothers classic Fargo, this show does not revisit any of its storyline but instead tells new stories with the occasional reference to the events depicted in the original movie.
Described as a black comedy crime drama, each season of the show, of which there are now three, tells a different tale with a new cast. With performances from many big names such as Billy Bob Thornton, Martin Freeman, Kirstin Dunst, Ted Danson and Ewan McGregor, this show is truly binge-worthy.
Keeping to the weird and kooky style which the Coen’s did so well in the original, helped I’m sure by the fact they worked as executive producers on the show, all three seasons are a delight to watch. Originally aired on FX but now available on Netflix you can watch this show back to back undisturbed by advertising of any kind.
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3. Stranger Things (IMDB – 9/10) (Rotten Tomatoes – 94%)
As a basic rule of thumb, I tend to avoid any show with the word supernatural in its synopsis, so when I heard people talking about this Netflix original I was sceptical to say the least. My scepticism grew further when I heard that most of the cast were child actors, but eventually I caved to curiosity and decided to give stranger things a try, and I couldn’t have been more pleasantly surprised.
The show is set in the fictional town of Hawkins Indiana, in the 1980’s, where Joyce Byers’ (Winona Ryder) son, Will (Noah Schnapp) goes missing in unusual circumstances. Adamant he is not dead, as many believe, she launches an investigation into his disappearance and uncovers more than she bargained for.
This show won critical acclaim for pretty much everything it did including characterisation, plot, pacing, soundtrack, directing and writing as well as its homages to 1980s film genres.
If you, like me, are sceptical about supernatural thrillers staring child actors then this shows gripping storyline and a stand out performance from Millie Bobby Brown as Eleven will, without a shadow of a doubt, change the way you feel.
With both first two seasons available to stream on Netflix you have plenty of time to catch up with this captivating show before the release of the third season, expected towards the end of 2018.
4. True Detective (IMDB – 9/10) (Rotten Tomatoes 74%)
In my opinion there are far too many police drama shows on TV. Most of them have similar plots and revolve around stereotypical two-dimensional characters. Having said that back in 2014 we saw the release of one of the darkest and most original police dramas ever to grace our screens, True Detective.
Season one stars Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson as a pair of Louisiana state police homicide detectives, and chronicles their pursuit of a vicious serial killer over a 17-year period.
The writing in this show is impeccable and is matched by the fantastic acting of both Harrelson and McConaughey, who also earned themselves executive producer credits on the show.
Unfortunately, the second season of True Detective, starring Vince Vaughan and Colin Farrell, and set in California was somewhat of a flop and, despite maintaining high viewership on HBO, was nowhere near as watchable or critically acclaimed as season one. Despite this, in August this year HBO greenlight a third season of the show which is still being written. I, for one, eagerly await its return with the hope that it lives up to the high standards of season one.