Ho Ho Ho! Welcome to the SECOND ANNUAL guide to Holiday Binge Watching! First, a link to the first annual guide, with some convenient updates-
It’s all still in there, and it’s all still golden! So if you haven’t seen them, watch The Leftovers, the Shield, Alias Grace, Rectify, The Night Manager, and Justified. In addition, The Patriot (on Amazon Prime) has a second season now ... and Sense8 has a fan-service-y finale. Okay, so the question is ... that’s all good and stuff, but what NEW ADVICE do I have?
That’s right- there is nothing like a month devoted to getting good and drunk, avoiding your family and friends, and binge-watching massive amounts of television from the comfort of your sofa where the bad people can’t hurt you. At least, um, that’s how I celebrate the holidays! So, here’s some suggestions for you to celebrate your holidays the Loki13 way- alone, and with a distinct lack of sobriety.
You love inside Hollywood jokes, but more than that, you really think that the true spirit of Christmas is crippling depression and poor life choices.
Watch BoJack Horseman (Netflix).
This show can be a tough sell for many reasons; it’s animated, it has anthropomorphic talking animals, and it’s more “inside baseball” Hollywoo(d) references- especially at first. But perhaps because of the “ha ha funny animals,” this show gets darker and more real than almost anything on TV. Sure, it can be one of the funniest things around- the background visual gags alone are worth the price of admission. But few shows have ever even attempted a dementia episode as tragic and beautiful as the one BoJack Horseman pulled off.
Watch this show; you will not be disappointed.
You need to laugh, because Uncle Goober just launched into his five-hour, “Trump is the best and lives on illegal and libtard tears” speech that will only end when he passes out due to over-consumption of rum and eggnog.
Watch American Vandal (Netflix).
Dick. Dick. Dick. Dick. Dick. Dick. Dick.
There were only two seasons, because Netflix is moving everything in-house. But the two seasons are ... perfect. After you watch it, you can never listen to Serial in the same way again.
Dick. Dick. Dick. Dick. Dick. Dick. Dick.
You don’t have time to commit to a full series, because you need to go move that Elf on the Shelf. .... I’m just saying that this is preparing children for a surveillance state. I’m not judging, I’m just saying.
Watch the Ballad of Buster Scruggs (Netflix).
If you had told me, five years ago, that the Coen Brothers would be releasing movies straight to Netflix, I would have laughed, and then killed you. Because I was a bad, bad man five years ago. Still, surprising! Is Buster Scruggs the best Coen Brothers movie? No, of course not. But is it The Ladykillers? No, it is so much better than the nadir. It is a solid, fun, enjoyable collection of vignettes. And ... maybe the best direct-to-Netflix movie yet (Roma isn’t out yet).
Again, it’s not their absolute best movie (Barton Fink, fight me). But it is an enjoyable 2+ hours.
You just miss out on the zeitgeist, and want to know what everyone has been talking about. Hey, did someone get elected President? I hear that might have been a big deal.
Watch the Americans (Amazon Prime) and Halt and Catch Fire (Netflix).
Remember that halcyon era of not-too-long ago, when there was a show on TV called The Wire, now generally thought of as one of the best tv shows of all time? Well, let me tell you a story- I remember when the first season of that show came out, with no fanfare, and I happened to catch it late at night, and I loved it. Because I loved Homicide, Life on the Streets, and this was similar, but better. And I can tell you that while critical reception increased over the next few years (except the last season), this was never a “water cooler” show. Sure, people later caught up to it- but people weren’t talking about it at the time like, say, Game of Thrones.
Anyway, that brings me to two of the most criminally underrated shows that recently finished- The Americans and Halt and Catch Fire. You can’t make people watch something ... but if you’re going to watch something that is both good and entertaining, you’d be hard pressed to top these two shows. My only advice is that while The Americans starts strong and stays strong (from Tusk on!), Halt and Catch Fire’s first season is a little more uneven, especially if you aren’t as familiar with computer history. Bear with it- the payoff is extraordinary.
You wish you were all stoned, but you don’t have any marijuana. Or, you have a lot of marijuana, so very much of the sticky icky, and you need something to watch.
Comrade Detective (Amazon Prime).
Explaining this show does it a disservice. Hear me now and believe me later- watch Comrade Detective.
Other Options to Avoid Your Family and Other People:
The Expanse (Amazon Prime) Perhaps the best pure sci-fi on right now; although Altered Carbon (Netflix) definitely has a great look and budget.
The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel (Amazon Prime) Fully deserving of all the accolades.
Orphan Black (Amazon Prime) If you never watched it, now is your chance; it gets ... less good in later seasons (in my opinion)
Glow (Netflix) So very, very good.
Crown (Netflix) You already watched this, didn’t you?
The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina (Netflix) Sometimes, Riverdale just isn’t enough. This show isn’t good, but it is great.
So have fun and get your drink on!