5 shows you need to binge watch

Cast of Orange is the New Black. (Handout)

Cast of Orange is the New Black. (Handout)

Steve Tilley, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 12:42 PM ET

On Monday night’s Season 2 finale of  The Following (CTV, Fox), no one is safe. Not charismatic serial killer Joe Carroll (James Purefoy.) Not dogged former FBI agent Ryan Hardy (Kevin Bacon.) Not Hardy’s earnest sidekick Mike Weston (Canada’s own Shawn Ashmore.) Not even... you know, all those other characters on the show.

OK, confession time – I’ve never seen a single episode of The Following. It’s one of those shows that people seem to really enjoy, and that fans have recommended, but that I just haven’t worked my way around to.

Know what that means? BINGE TIME!

Thanks to PVRs, TV on demand, digital downloads and streaming services, it’s never been easier to devour entire seasons – nay, entire series – in one sitting.

Sometime after Monday’s season finale of The Following (and sometime before the third season, which was recently given the green light), I’ll set aside some time to binge-watch The Following. Meantime, here are five other shows that make for great TV gorging.

The Office (U.K.)

Unlike its long-running American cousin, the original British version of The Office lasted just two seasons, with a paltry 12 episodes, plus two Christmas specials. But while Steve Carell’s Michael Scott could be boorish and clueless, Ricky Gervais’ David Brent was on a whole other level of painful awfulness. If you’ve never seen the show, it’ll only take you six hours to digest the entire series.

Firefly

Wedged between Joss Whedon’s two biggest successes – Buffy the Vampire Slayer and The Avengers – this sci-fi Western starring the perfectly cast Nathan Fillion was axed by Fox before its first and only season ran its full course. It remains one of the great TV cancellation tragedies, but it’s a show well worth seeing, and difficult not to consume in one long sitting. And once you’re done, you can watch the show’s sequel movie, Serenity.

Lost

Another confession: I faithfully watched the first five seasons of Lost, dissecting every new clue about the survivors of Oceanic flight 815, but when the sixth and final season rolled around, I got busy and just PVR’d the episodes each week. And then never watched them. I literally don’t know how the series ends, and now I’m at the point where I just want to start over from the beginning. But Lost is an excellent binging show because it’s so much easier to keep track of what’s going on when you absorb it all at once. Assuming you’re OK with taking a week off work to do it.

Orange is the New Black

Frank Underwood and House of Cards get plenty of attention, but I defy anyone to watch just one episode of this Netflix original series about a woman’s prison and the funny, frightening, sad and amazing people in it. Season 2 debuts June 6 on Netflix, and as is their way, the entire season will be available at once. Which means one binge followed by another.

Game of Thrones

HBO’s fantasy drama is one of the best shows on TV, but also one of the most complex, something that’s not helped by the huge gaps between each season that make it difficult to remember which character was where and being menaced by (or having sex with) whom. With Season 4 off to a roaring start, this would be a good time to go back to how it all began, and revisit all those characters who are no longer with us. Assuming you can handle sitting through the Red Wedding again.

Twitter: @stevetilley

steve.tilley@sunmedia.ca


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