Sabre Video Editor and Film Critic Michael Long has his list of most bingeable shows available on Netflix.
- Freaks and Geeks
Freaks and Geeks aired for one season in 1999-2000. Due to airing on a Saturday night, it wasn’t very popular and got cancelled after one season. It later had a cult following and for good reason. The comedy drama shows a realistic depiction of High School. Each character starts out as a stereotype, but as the show goes on they’re fleshed out and you find out more about them. Another highlight of Freaks and Geeks is the cast that all grew up to be famous. James Franco, Seth Rogen, Busy Philipps, Jason Segel, and Linda Cardellini all star in the show.
Rarely do you find a show with this much chemistry. Friends is filled with iconic moments, great one liners, and comedic situations. However, the question is: Does it hold up? I would say yes. Every once in a while there are cringey jokes or 90’s references we no longer understand. For the most part, though, it is an entertaining sitcom that’ll want to make you want to keep watching episode after episode. Well, you’ll want to keep watching to a point. After season five, I wouldn’t bother watching. After five seasons of young, fresh, hilarious humor, it turns into a dry sitcom filled with boredom and predictable jokes. Essentially, the writers ran out of ideas. So I’d definitely recommend the first 5 seasons. I’d also recommend that the last five seasons be used as torture if you ever need to get information out of someone.
3. Black Mirror
Serving as a modern day Twilight Zone, Black Mirror is one of the most fascinating shows I’ve ever seen. It’s a cautionary tale about our increasing use of technology. Most TV shows or movies have some sort of message embedded in them. Although, usually I finish watching thinking: Is this movie or show really going to make a difference? Was that message really necessary? These questions couldn’t have been further from my mind after watching Black Mirror. This show will give you chills but not just for the sake of giving you chills. It’s to scare our society out of the path we’re heading on. Each episode shows the use of a technology in the very near future. The best part is you can absolutely see that technology being invented and used. Black Mirror basically shows the worst case scenario that could happen through using these technologies. Charlie Brooker, the creator, once said, “Technology isn’t the villain and the people aren’t often really the villain so much as they’re weak.” These innovations in technology are presented to us as improvements to our lives and often hard to resist. However, Black Mirror shows us these technologies’ cons almost always outweigh the pros. I would recommend this show to everyone. I think every single person on this planet should watch Black Mirror. Then, as a human race, we might be able to change our course.
2. Breaking Bad
I’m not sure if ranking this at number 2 is high enough. It’s probably a tie with my number one choice, but if I had to choose between them, I’d give the other show a slight edge. Breaking Bad ran from 2008-2013 and I don’t think any drama has ever topped it. It’s one of those shows where everything works. In essence, it’s about change. Walter White starts out as a pushover high school chemistry teacher bullied by his students, made fun of by his brother in law, and seen as a middle aged dork by everyone in his life. When he finds out he has cancer, he needs a source of money to pay for his treatment. Being the genius chemist he is, he decides to make and sell meth. He also needs someone to help with the business part. He brings in his old high school student Jesse Pinkman to help with that aspect. Jesse is a rude, degenerate drug addict, who was never smart enough to do anything else but sell drugs. Both characters go through a tremendous change throughout the series. While the change is extremely subtle, if you watch an episode from season 1 and then an episode from season 5, it will seem like completely different characters. Spoilers Ahead: Jesse, my personal favorite, becomes a kind-hearted guy who will do anything to get out of the drug game. Walt, on the other hand, becomes an evil kingpin that has almost no care for human life. All he wants is to control his empire. And it’s not just Walt and Jesse that go through extreme developments. Walt’s wife Skyler, brother in law Hank, and many other side characters have great arcs as well. The reason I find Breaking Bad isn’t just the change that happens over the five seasons. The acting is incredible by both Walt and Jesse. They each have a shelf full of Emmys from their performances in this show alone. The scripts and story will want to make you keep watching for 12 hours straight. There are slow parts but they’re all for a purpose. The writers never paint themselves into a corner and keep the show running in the best ways possible. Usually a great show has at least 2 weak season, but not Breaking Bad. All five seasons are amazing. I would definitely recommend this show.
1. The Office
I’m guessing at this point pretty much everyone has already seen this. You know it, you love it: The Office. As I said before, this is very close with Breaking Bad. The Office gets the win simply because I can watch it over and over and still think it’s the funniest, most clever show out there. Seasons 2-3 are perfect. When I say perfect, I mean perfect. From the first episode of season 2, to the finale of season 3, the show has a perfect balance of hilarious comedy and heartfelt moments. But what about the other 7 seasons? Well that’s one aspect of Breaking Bad that is better than The Office. The other seasons of The Office definitely aren’t bad and some are actually great. They just don’t reach the level of perfection that 2 and 3 do. So let me go through them. Season 1: Copying the dry comedy of the British version, season 1 is good but not great. Season 4: Great season with only a few dips in quality. Season 5: Another great season but with 28 episodes, I would say there are 5 that definitely aren’t needed. Season 6: Really good with a great first half and just an OK second half. Season 7: Good with an OK first half and really good second half. Michael Scott’s departure didn’t affect the quality too much in season 7. I thought that last few episodes after he left still were really funny. Season 8: It was OK. They did the best they could without Michael Scott. However, the best without Michael Scott is on the same level of the worst with Michael Scott. Season 9: The only bad season of the Office. You’ll rarely ever laugh and just be bored for most of it. However, the finale was pretty great. So the show has many really good seasons and two that are fantastic beyond words. The show would be really good without those two seasons, but with them, it’s the most bingeable show of all time.