Put the books down and pick up the remote this winter break while you leave finals behind and indulge in the world of television. From fantasy lands to costume dramas and dark comedies, there’s something for everyone on TV.
Here, we share ten shows to binge watch this winter break.
Call it irony (and maybe the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s doing), but Americans can’t get enough of the Brits. Netflix’s The Crown chronicles the ascension to the throne of Britain’s current reigning monarch, Elizabeth II, flawlessly played by Claire Foy, and her tumultuous marriage to Prince Philip (Matt Smith) set against the backdrop of 1950s England. Season Two, which enters the ’60s has just been released!
Better Call Saul
Fans of Breaking Bad will love this AMC spin-off, following James Morgan “Jimmy” McGill, but you don’t have to know the original series by heart in order to follow along. The show starts six years before lawyer McGill (skillfully played by Bob Odenkirk) becomes Saul Goodman on Breaking Bad. The show’s fourth season will air in 2018.
We love this show, focused on the life of Queen Victoria (great-great-grandmother to the current queen of England), for its rich scenery and costuming and lush take on 19th century Europe. Jenna Coleman brilliantly portrays a young Victoria, torn between enjoying her youth and marriage to Prince Albert (Tom Hughes), and ruling her country during the unstable 1830s. Bonus: The show runs on PBS, which is headquartered in Boston! Season two premieres on January 14.
The second season was just released on Netflix after the first season earned it a cult following and Emmy nominations. The show is set in fictional Hawkins, Indiana, in the 1980s and follows a group of kids as they discover the government building in town is really performing tests on supernatural subjects. Fans of 1985 hit classic movie Goonies will love Stranger Things.
Get lost in the dark underbelly of Colombia’s drug world with this Netflix original series now in its third season. Narcos follows drug kingpin Pablo Escobar as he grows his empire and influence throughout the highest ranks of the country.
Game of Thrones
A popular book series long before it became a smash success when it premiered on HBO in 2011, Games of Thrones chronicles the rise and fall of feuding families, as they find peace and make war against each other. The scenery and sets are legendary, as filming locations have ranged from Seville, Spain to Dubrovnik, Croatia. Don’t let seven seasons deter you; the episodes whip by as you endeavor to figure out who is actually friend or foe.
Russians spies in our midst? This popular television show on FX, starring Mathew Rhys and Kerri Russell as Philip and Elizabeth Jennings, follows a seemingly normal couple and their two children in the 1980s…until you discover they’re both KGB spies planted in America.
Politics may not be a laughing matter, but Julia Louis-Dreyfus has us chuckling so loud we can barely hear the next line in this comedy, which portrays the ins and outs of playing second fiddle to the President of the United States. Dreyfus plays Vice President Selina Meyer, who never quite seems to do the right thing, leaving the audience shaking their heads. The 30-minute episodes are quick, so be prepared to go through a season (there are currently six) in one sitting.
One of the smartest shows on television, this ABC comedy originally followed Modern Family in the lineup (it now has its own night), but has stood out in its own right thanks to witty writing. The show follows the Johnsons, an upper middle-class African American family made up of Andre, an ad exec, and his wife, Rainbow, an anesthesiologist (played by Tracee Ellis Ross, who earned a Golden Globe for the part), as they raise five kids in Southern California. The show is semi-autobiographical and based on the experiences of creator Kenya Barris.
Big Little Lies
This Emmy-winning HBO series from writer David E. Kelley stars Nicole Kidman, Reese Witherspoon, Laura Dern, Zoe Kravitz, Shailene Woodley, and Alexander Skarsgard, whose wealthy, picture-perfect lives betray secrets they don’t want exposed. It’s a murder mystery, where not only do audiences not know who did it, they also don’t know who died. After the runaway success of Season One, HBO has officially confirmed a second season is in the works.