When you’re stuck at home with a mountain of books and video games, and it’s all you’ve done for weeks on end, sometimes you need a bloody break from it all. That’s usually when I turn to binge-watching TV shows, usually ones that I have seen before, so I know what I’m getting into, and lately, being able to watch lots of familiar TV serials has been such a marvellously welcome reprieve for my mental health. So, I thought it’d be neat to share some of my indulgences here with y’all in case if you’re also looking for sanctuary in the sort of escapism that marathoning an array of television media can provide.
A few of these may be recognised by some of you as I know I’ve blathered on about them passionately before, like Stargate SG-1 (spoiler alert, oops). I tried to include a little bit of something for everyone, whether you like crime, medical, horror, sci-fi, or even anime. The only one I don’t have on here is historical drama (aside from anime), but I plan on dedicating a whole post to that in the coming weeks since it’s one of my favourite genres, so keep an eye out. Additionally, I wanted to focus the list to one streaming site, and I chose HULU since that has been my go-to place to chill. Recommendations for Netflix, HIDIVE, CrunchyRoll, and Funimation shall be also make their appearances soon.
There are 13 individual serials shared, but I grouped two of them together since they’re connected, which rounded off the list to a total of 12 binge-worthy TV shows. I feel that I should warn you that there are a few legal shows, which is my obsession. I can never seem to get enough of this genre.
If you have any recommendations from HULU that you loved to binge-watch or marathon, please share them in the comments! I’m always on the hunt for more shtuff to check out.
Firefly: This action-adventure sci-fi series only has 14 episodes, but it’s an excellently entertaining show about the crew of the starship Serenity as they evade warring factions and shady agents while travelling unknown parts of the galaxy. It’s a spin-off of the 2005 film, Serenity. This is so easy to binge, which can be mildly frustrating due to the short length of it (it was cancelled). Even so, it’s wonderful quality science-fiction that deserves a watch, especially if you’re a fan of space western sci-fi.
The Good Wife: A legal drama that follows the wife of a politician as she returns to the professional world after her husband gets arrested in the wake of a sex scandal. It has 7 full seasons, which makes it perfect for marathon watching. As I mentioned above, I absolutely adore legal shows, it’s my drug, and this is one that is quite remarkably written. It examines political scandals and the impact that it has on the family members involved, as well as ethics of relationships, single parenthood, loyalty, plenty of drama as it relates to desires versus emotional attachment, and the competitive nature of law firms.
Ally McBeal: Probably one of my favourite shows on the list, this is another legal drama, following the shenanigans of Ally and her former college mate’s law firm where she finds work after quitting due to a sexual harassment scandal. This show is outrageous. It’s outrageously hilarious and outrageous in its depiction of dealing with sex, relationships, and mental health. They just don’t make TV like this anymore and it makes me sad. Sometimes it can be a bit too risqué, but it’s so beyond entertaining and enlightening. There are 7 sevens of this as well. My favourite character is Ling, who is played by Lucy Liu (I’m obsessively in love with this actress; my dream woman) and, honestly, y’all should watch it for her if nothing else.
Elementary: Oh look, another Lucy Liu show. This modern-day Sherlock Holmes retelling is marvellously diverse and that’s one of my favourite traits. Watson is an Asian-American female, Ms. Hudson is a trans woman, Moriarty is also a female, and there are more variances like this. The duo have amazing chemistry as well, and the relationship between Sherlock and his brother is so amusing, which probably wouldn’t be the case if they also didn’t have kick-ass chemistry. If you’re a fan of Sherlock Holmes and crime dramas, then you should binge this. Although, I must admit that the last two seasons were not the best. There are 6 or 7 total seasons.
Inuyasha: An adventure, fantasy shōnen anime series that is considered a classic by many fans of the medium. It’s about a young girl who gets transported to the Feudal Era of Japanese history via a magical well on her family’s property. There are 167ish episodes in the first series and another 24-25 in the second, which is called The Final Act and is also on Hulu. It’s got phenomenally developed characters, complex themes about friendship and love and family, as well exploration of the difficulties of being biracial in culturally conservative communities, great humour, and a devious villain that most of the time you wanna murder and sometimes you can’t help but relate to, but only a tiny bit.
One Tree Hill: A young adult drama series mostly about two half-brothers who come from opposite sides of the tracks that work through their differences to built a wonderful family with one another and the loved ones around them. I remember watching this as a teenager and relating to a lot of the issues, such as self-image, dealing with pressures of sex and the pressure to conform outside of things I valued, being of a different social class as my friends, and more. It tackles it with sincerity and it’s marvellous to watch the development of the characters as they navigate high school and then their adult lives later on. Plus, it has phenomenal music. There are 9 seasons total.
Stargate SG-1 / Atlantis: My absolute favourite set of TV shows on this whole damn list. It’s a spin-off/continuation from the Stargate film that released in 1994. SG-1 has 10 seasons and follows the exploits of a team of military folx and scientists as they travel through an alien device that connects different planets with a wormhole. Atlantis is a spin-off the previous with 4 seasons. You definitely have to watch SG-1 to watch Atlantis and can even watch two seasons of Atlantis concurrently with its predecessor. It has superb action, consistent and excellently written episodes, lots of cultural and historical inspiration/representation, tons of diversity, exploration of complex social and political themes, and fabulous humour that complements the more serious undertones. It’s my favourite TV series of all-time for a reason and really shouldn’t be missed, more so if you love sci-fi shows. (Universe isn’t on the list because I didn’t care for it at all.)
Private Practice: A medical drama that is about a group of brilliant doctors who open their own private practice. I liked this medical drama over others that I have seen because it doesn’t take place in a giant hospital (there are episodes that take place there, but it’s not a constant setting) and because of that it tackles more humanistic themes of medical ethics and personal conditions that people visit the doctors for. Combined with the exploration of the personal lives of the doctors themselves, it’s easy to get swept away by all of it and marathon episode after episode. There are 6 seasons.
Ranma ½: A martial arts, romcom, shōnen anime series with 161 episodes about a talented martial artist dude who is cursed to change into a woman every time he’s splashed with cold water, with hot water turning him back. This is such a fun and funny series that is also heart-warming and inspiring. It’s great to binge, particularly if you’re having a bad day or are overwhelmed with sadness because you can’t help but laugh through most of it. It does have tender moments involving family and romance as well, so it’s not just for kicks all the time. Plus, it’s a classic of the medium that all fans of romcoms should visit at least once. Both subbed and dubbed versions are available.
Yu Yu Hakushō: Another martial arts, shōnen anime, but with a supernatural twist. It’s about a teenage martial artist that’s killed after he tries to save a kid. Eventually he’s revived and appointed as a detective of the underworld, where he must investigate cases with demons and spirits within the human world. It has such great action, some memorable characters that can be both stupid, kick-ass, and a bit WTF. Some of the spirits’ stories can be evocative as well, which gives the series heart, and a good number of smiles and chuckles too. The art is really good too. All these things make it so chillaxing to binge. Both subbed and dubbed versions are available.
Sleepy Hollow: A supernatural drama that’s a crime show about a guy named Ichabod Crane. Originally form the Civil War era, he awakes 250 years into the future in the modern world where he must fight against the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse to save the world from doom and gloom, in a nutshell. I’ll admit that I didn’t like the later seasons after one of the main characters is changed around, but up to that point, it’s got suspense, good supernatural elements, it isn’t afraid to get grotesque with the gore and creepier aspects, and has some fascinating twists to the biblical references utilised. Plus, I love the chemistry between Ichabod and Abbie Mills (cop he ends up working with). There are 4 total seasons.
The Strain: Saving one of the best (and grossest) for last. A vampire horror drama that is an adaptation of the novel trilogy originally written by brilliant filmmaker Guillermo del Toro and novelist Chuck Hogan. It’s about a viral outbreak of an ancient strain of vampirism and the head of the CDC, Dr Ephraim Goodweather, who is determined to save humanity from the virus’s destruction. The suspense and the horror is so incredibly supreme. I still can’t eat bean sprouts because of the association I’ve developed between bean sprouts and the virus (you’d have to watch to understand). There are some aspects of body horror to the series as well that when combined with the brilliant writing and atmospheric setting of the world going to shit so fucking fast is… damn, it’s just so fucking good. Although, given what is going on in the world right now, I also understand if the series will be too intense for some watchers. That’s another reason it’s the last one listed. Even so, it shouldn’t be avoided if you’re a fan of horror and want a vampire series that is on the opposite end of the spectrum of romanticised and fetishized representation.
If you enjoy my content, please consider supporting the blog with a one-time donation of $3. All proceeds go to the maintenance and upkeep of BiblioNyan. Thank you. 💙💙