If you’re like me, your’e dreading the impending barrage of Rio Olympics television coverage and what it will do to the other free-to-air networks. Seven have already announced all of their FTA and digital channels will be non stop Olympics, Channel nine will probably opt for Big Bang Theory repeats and Network Ten…well they’ll do want they want and continue with their standard schedule.
So then we find ourselves aimlessly channel surfing trying to find something to watch in between episodes of The Bachelor Australia hoping to find a gem we’ve not yet seen. This is where the following list of recommended shows to binge during the Rio Olympics will hopefully come in handy.
Schitt’s Creek / Seasons 1 and 2 / Comedy / 2015 –
Now currently on hiatus after two seasons (season three is currently filming) Schitt’s Creek has a familiar premise of the fish out of water scenario where the fish is the ultra wealthy Rose family and the water being an unscrupulous business manager that left them with nothing but a small middle of nowhere town (and the Roses new home) named Schitts Creek that Rose patriarch Johnny (Eugene Levy) purchased as a gag gift for his son David (Daniel Levy). Forced to forgo all their luxuries, the Rose’s must endure life as they never knew it until Johnny is able to sell the town to nab back some much needed dollars.
Why you should binge: Comedy legends Eugene Levy and Catherine O’Hara back on screen together for starters! Plus it’s funny, heart warming and very ship-worthy, you’ll fall in love with “is he or isn’t he” David and his spoiled sister Alexis (Annie Murphy) will either make you uber jealous or scratch your head in wonderment.
The Jinx: The Life and Deaths of Robert Durst / Season 1 / Documentary / 2015
With the popularity of Making a Murder being so overwhelming, many people might be looking for something just as absurd and something just as intriguing. The Jinx delves into the mystery surrounding the 1982 disappearance of Durst’s first wife Kathy along with the murder of his best friend Susan Berman and neighbor Morris Black. The six part documentary series is told from Durst’s point of view and you’ll be left gobsmacked when things start to unravel and truth’s start to come out.
Why you should binge: It’s like the opposite of Making a Murderer where we all (for the most part) assume Steven Avery’s innocence but are left fuming at the US justice system but here, Dursts’ guilt is obvious right from the go but the police can’t seem to nab him. it’s an incredibly powerful look into how power, money and influence can keep things hidden.
Fuller House / Season 1 / Comedy / 2016 –
Sure there’s some nostalgia that surrounds this updated version of 80’s sitcom Full House that those not yet to watch may think be corny, but in fact, Fuller House is such an easy show to watch, you’ll make your way through all 13 episodes in a breeze. DJ Tanner (Candice Cameron) is back along with younger sister Stephanie (Jodie Sweetin) and best friend Kimmy Gibbler (Andrea Barber) who all join together to live in the house they grew up in. If Carly Rae Jepsen’s updated theme song doesn’t get you, then seeing the return of the old Tanner family (minus the Olsen twins as Michelle) will.
Why you should binge: It’s a very easy show to settle into, doesn’t take itself serious and throws uber shade at the missing Olsen twins plus who didn’t love Full House?! It was staple viewing growing up in the 80’s!
Looking / Seasons 1 and 2 + finale movie / Drama / 2015-2016
I’ll be very blunt, the first season of gay themed drama Looking killed me. It frustrated me with its slowness and un-eventfulness but Looking’s slow paced look at the lives of three gay men living in San Francisco is worthy of a binge session. Patrick (Jonathan Groff) has a stable work life but can’t get his romantic life on track, Dom (Murray Bartlett) is trying to clasp onto his youth with younger men and casual work while Augustin (Frankie J Alvarez) is a struggling artist with a drug addiction that’s spiraling out of control.
Why you should binge: It’s probably one of the more honest looks at the daily lives of gay men than we’ve ever seen to date and the acting by the leads – especially Groff – is understated and genuine. Once you move onto season two, the pace picks up nicely from season one and finishes off with the recent Looking: The Movie.
Playing House / Seasons 1 and 2 / Comedy / 2014 –
Maggie (Lennon Parham) is heavily pregnant, had just thrown her husband out for cheating and best friend Emma (Jessica St. Clair) ditches her job in Hong Kong to move in and support her. This hilarious look at what best friends will and can do for each other is honest and real and funny. As best friends off screen, Parham and St. Clair bounce off one another with such ease one could be forgiven for forgetting this was a scripted comedy.
Why you should binge: Filled with laughter and outrageous moments, Playing House is just fun to watch. Pure and simple, plus Maggie and Emma’s friendship offers up some major feels that will keep you moving onto the next episode.
The Staircase / Season 1 / Documentary / 2004
Another true crime documentary that falls into the Making a Murderer and the above mentioned The Jinx category where you can’t stop at just one episode. Offering up two main themes – The investigation into a very complicated murder and the defense and prosecution teams who are trying to construct winning cases, The Staircase is told from the viewpoint of worried widow/cold blooded killer Michael Peterson, and details the case around his late wife who was found at the bottom of their family home staircase in a pool of blood.
Why you should binge: While this 8 part series ends rather abruptly, this case of a woman dead at the bottom of a staircase isn’t as clear cut as it first seems. The family secrets and compelling connections that are revealed as time goes on will only leave you questioning your own mind on Peterson’s guilt or innocence.
Broad City / Seasons 1 to 3 / Comedy / 2014 –
Abbi Abrams (Abbi Jacobson) and Ilana Wexler (Ilana Glazer) are best friends in their 20’s living the high life in NYC. Abbi works in a gym as a cleaner but has hopes of making her way up to personal trainer, Ilana works….well we never really find out what she does but it involves lots of sleeping in the toilet and spinning on her chair. With meaningless jobs, a very short supply of cash and virtually no shame, their day to day experiences lead them down some bizarre and unexpected paths.
Why you should binge: It’s like Girls but funnier, and you don’t want to cause physical harm to any of the characters. Broad City is wildly outrageous, crude and shocking in it’s approach to 20-something life in New York and the friendship between Abbi and Ilana will make you wish you had something similar, but with a more stable love life, professional life and cash flow.