Bored of books? Fed up with films? Need some new entertainment in your life? How about a television show or three to watch?
From dynamic dramas to chuckle-tastic comedies, there are a wealth of great shows available to dive into and enjoy. Bingeing the boob-tube has never been more popular, and that’s because there is a lot of fantastic array of top TV out there.
But are you stuck for ideas about what to watch? Then you’ve come to the right place.
Below is a list of 50 television shows perfect for bingeing. There’s something for everyone in here – all you need to do is decide what to watch and when to watch it!
First up is a show about a high school chemistry teacher, living with cancer, who produces and distributes crystal meth. The teacher goes into the drug business to secure additional income for his family, and he ropes in a former student to assist him.
Sounds a bit odd, doesn’t it? Well yes, but this is the premise of the truly terrific, Breaking Bad. This five-season series is one of the greatest TV shows of all-time, and if you have still not checked it out yet, then make sure you do!
Next up, Michael Chiklis and Walton Goggins star in this superb crime drama about a corrupt police strike team operating in LA. Over the course of seven seasons, the show explores the depth of the team’s criminal activity, showcasing the lengths that each team mate will go to, to remain one step ahead of internal investigations.
Next on this list is The Wire – a crime series often regarded as one of the finest shows to grace TV screens. The series focuses on the impact that individuals and institutions have on each other on the mean streets of Baltimore, and is regularly praised for its smart storytelling and fine performances.
Making a Murderer
When Making a Murderer made its debut on Netflix in 2015, it quickly became must-see TV. Why? Because of how mind-shatteringly bizarre its story is.
The show is a true-crime docu-series which revolves around the case of Steven Avery – a man convicted of murder. But is Avery as guilty as the authorities say, or has he been wrongfully imprisoned? The show looks into Avery’s case and uncovers some troubling information.
Of all the shows on this list, Ultraviolet is the one that you may not have heard of. The reason for this is because it is a short-lived British vampire series, that only ran for one season comprising six episodes.
But don’t let its limited number of episodes put you off. The show – which stars Jack Davenport, Susannah Harker, and Idris Elba – offers a modern, gritty take on vampire mythology and is thoroughly compelling from start to finish.
White House Farm
Next up is White House Farm – a six-part dramatization based on a real-life collection of murders which took place in Essex, England. The series explores the events leading up to the murders, as well as the aftermath, as the police chase down the wrong suspect.
Often regarded as one of the defining shows of the 1990s, and certainly one of the best sci-fi series of all-time, The X-Files is without doubt a must-watch piece of television. The series – about a pair of FBI agents investigating the paranormal – made household names out of Gillian Anderson and David Duchovny, and was hugely successful during its initial run, boasting many superb episodes.
If you’ve never watched The X-Files, but you’ve been meaning to check it out, now is the time. With 218 episodes & two feature-length movies, there is plenty to get stuck into.
Set in the Star Wars universe, and taking place after the events of Return of the Jedi (1983), The Mandolorian follows the story of a bounty hunter who is sent to acquire a precious asset for a client. But when that asset proves to be more important to the bounty hunter than any reward, he finds himself becoming a target of the Empire.
Game of Thrones
Based on a series of books by author George R. R. Martin, Game of Thrones is a fantasy drama series, about a large cast of characters who live in the Seven Kingdoms of Westeros. The series follows various plot lines, often revolving around political conflicts and ruling dynasties, and showcases some fantastic scenes of action and adventure.
In sci-fi drama series, Quantum Leap, Scott Bakula plays the role of Dr. Sam Beckett – a physicist who travels through time, temporarily taking over the bodies of people from the past. His mission is to correct historical mistakes and improve the lives of all he encounters, and he does it while accompanied by a companion who appears to him in the form of a hologram.
Orange is the New Black
Set in and around an all-female prison, Orange is the New Black is an exquisite comedy-drama, looking at the trials and tribulations of a group of inmates. Although the series centres around lead character, Piper Chapman, the show also throws the spotlight on its supporting cast, and the tricky situations they find themselves in.
Buffy the Vampire Slayer
In every generation, one girl is born a vampire slayer. In the ‘90s, the title of ‘slayer’ was given to Buffy Summers – a high school girl who wants nothing more than a quiet life.
But as Buffy soon discovers, a quiet life is not part of her destiny, and over the course of seven seasons she must battle the forces of evil countless times in order to save the world. And she does it all while being backed by a strong supporting cast, plenty of humour, and some of the sharpest writing around.
And if you love Buffy the Vampire Slayer (which you will), then watching Angel is a no-brainer. Angel is a Buffy spin-off series, about a vampire who runs a detective agency in LA.
Featuring the same great humour as its sister show, plenty of action, and some compelling storylines, Angel is a fantastically fun series. Some claim it is even better than Buffy the Vampire Slayer, but regardless of which show you think is the best, all five seasons of Angel offer some excellent viewing.
Joe Locke and Kit Connor take the lead in this delightful and optimistic teen drama, about two high school students who find love, after developing a strong friendship. The LGTBQ+ series is based on the Alice Oseman graphic novels of the same name, and is one of Netflix’s most successful shows.
Parks and Recreation
Set out as a satirical political mockumentary, Parks and Recreation is a hilarious sitcom about a government department that oversees leisure activities within the fictional town of Pawnee, Indiana. The show is made up of an ensemble cast that includes Amy Poehler, Nick Offerman, Aubrey Plaza, Rob Lowe, Adam Scott, and Chris Pratt.
The Twilight Zone
Oddball scenarios, devilish darkness, and weird and wonderful storytelling can all be found in The Twilight Zone – an excellent sci-fi anthology show which is still as good today as it was when it first aired. The series – which dates back to 1959 – serves up a conveyer belt of stories, many of which play out as morality tales, with creator and narrator Rod Serling on hand to top and tail each episode.
In British sci-fi series, Doctor Who, an alien time lord, known as The Doctor, travels through time and space getting caught up in various historical and cultural adventures along the way. The Doctor has the ability to regenerate when his/her life comes to an end, and this quirky little plot detail has helped this brilliantly imaginative series become one of the longest running shows in British history.
Should you watch it? Yes.
But here’s a bit of advice. Doctor Who is essentially split into two eras: Classic Who (1963 – 1989) and New Who (2005 onward). My advice is you begin with New Who, as this is the more contemporary take on the show, and if you find yourself wanting more, dip back into Classic Who at a later date.
There are plenty of great medical dramas to get stuck into, but if you want to watch the best, then it has to be ER. Running for fifteen seasons, and a total of 331 episodes, ER mixes medical jargon with engrossing drama, and it made stars out of George Clooney and Noah Wyle.
And from the best medical drama of all-time, to one of the best-loved sitcoms: Friends. The show revolves around the lives of six friends, is filled to the brim with humorous dialogue, and was quintessential viewing during the 1990s.
I don’t need to tell you anything about this series. It was that popular that there are very few people on the planet who don’t know what Friends is.
Set over a period of ten years, Smallville follows the story of high school student, Clark Kent, as he learns important life lessons on his journey to becoming Superman. Tom Welling takes on the role of Clark, but it’s Michael Rosenbaum and Erica Durance who steal the show as Lex Luthor and Lois Lane respectively, in this appealing and easy to watch sci-fi drama.
There are many great murder-mystery shows out there which I could recommend to you, but arguably one of the best (if not THE best) is Columbo – a series about a dishevelled, yet brilliant detective who is a true force to be reckoned with.
So, what makes Columbo so special? Well, apart from actor Peter Falk’s performance in the title role, it is the unusual way in which each episode of Columbo plays out. Bucking the trend from standard murder-mystery shows, Columbo reveals the identity of the killer at the beginning of the episode, with the investigation following afterward.
The Legend of Vox Machina
Based on characters originating from the wildly popular role-playing series, Critical Role, The Legend of Vox Machina is a superb animated series about a rag-tag group of fantasy characters and the adventures they find themselves caught up in. The series mixes sword and sorcery, with slick scripts and excellent voice acting, and presents a highly enjoyable romp featuring dungeons, dragons, and everything in between.
Batman: The Animated Series
There’s little more to say about Batman: The Animated Series that hasn’t been said countless times before by critics and fans, but for those who are completely new to the show, Batman: The Animated Series is THE BEST BATMAN SHOW OF ALL-TIME. It is also one of the greatest cartoons of all-time too.
What makes this show so good, and so popular with critics and audiences alike, is that Batman: The Animated Series boasts superb storytelling, great characterisation, and an excellent voice cast. The show presents the definitive version of the Dark Knight, and if you’ve not watched a single episode, you really need to jump on board, as this easy-to-binge series boasts some fantastic stories.
Set around an Italian-American family living in New Jersey, The Sopranos is a crime drama which focuses on storylines connected to the mafia. The series ran for six seasons, totalling 86 episodes, and even though the show finished airing back in 2007, it is still regarded as one of the most critically acclaimed dramas of all-time.
In South Korean thriller, Squid Game, people who are down on their luck are invited to take part in a game with a huge monetary jackpot. They can win big, but there is a downside – this is a game of survival, where there can only be one winner.
Powerful, mesmerising, and at times heart-breaking, Squid Game is a TV show you won’t want to take your eyes off. The series was a big hit for Netflix when it made its debut in 2021, and once you’ve watched it, you’ll know why.
Rick and Morty
Rude, crude, and incredibly inventive, Rick and Morty is a devilishly addictive animated show about a mad scientist and his grandson. The series provides plenty of laughs, with gag, after gag, after gag being fired at the screen, but the brilliance of Rick and Morty can be found in its never-ending supply of ideas and creativity.
Considering getting a bit of cosmetic surgery? You may change your mind after watching Nip/Tuck.
The medical drama-cum-psychological thriller, follows the story of two plastic surgeons and the lives they lead. Over the course of 100 episodes, the show delves into some dark places, but always maintains a streak of black comedy to keep things ticking over nicely.
The Golden Girls
It doesn’t matter if you grew up watching The Golden Girls, or you are a complete newbie, the US sitcom about four elderly women who share a house in Miami, is as hilarious now as it has ever been. Thanks to its cutting wit and razor-sharp dialogue, the show delighted audiences for 180 episodes, and it is sure to delight you too!
The Toys That Made Us
Want to rewind to the ‘80s and ‘90s to learn about some of the most popular toy lines of the past? Then you need to watch The Toys That Made Us.
Each episode of this Netflix documentary series focuses on one iconic toy of yesteryear (Transformers, Barbie, etc), detailing its journey from conception to prized plastic plaything.
In 24, Kiefer Sutherland takes on the role of Counter Terrorism operative, Jack Bauer. His mission is to foil terrorist plots in the US, by any means possible, and over the course of multiple seasons the show explores how this line of work takes its toll on his character.
But it’s not just Bauer’s journey that makes 24 so compelling, the show’s unique storytelling technique makes this series so interesting too. Each season takes place over the course of 24 hours, with events happening in real-time, so when you watch one hour of the show, you’re also watching one hour in the day too.
Devised as a reboot of the late 1970s sci-fi show of the same name, the ‘00s version of Battlestar Galactica is an exquisite slice of science fiction storytelling, not to be overlooked. As with its predecessor, Battlestar Galactica focuses on humanity’s battle with a cybernetic race of beings known as the Cylons, and the issues surrounding this war.
For those keen to check it out, Battlestar Galactica (Mark II) kicked off in 2003 with a two-episode mini-series, before continuing with a four-season run shortly after.
Masters of Horror
If you love horror but have never watched Masters of Horror, then you’re in for a treat. Masters of Horror is an anthology series, showcasing a collection of spooky stories from some of the greatest names in the industry.
Each episode is essentially presented as a mini-movie, with a famous director calling the shots for each tale. These directors include John Carpenter, Stuart Gordon, Joe Dante, and Dario Argento, to name but a few.
In Ally McBeal, Calista Flockhart takes on the title role, playing a young lawyer in this Boston-based legal comedy-drama. By day she works alongside her quirky colleagues on some unusual and intriguing cases, while by night she dreams of finding Mr. Right.
If Ally McBeal has previously passed you by, now is the perfect time to take a look. The show offers a great mix of comedy, drama, and music, and serves up a whole lot of fun throughout its five-season run.
Starring David Boreanaz and Emily Deschanel, Bones is a crime procedural comedy-drama, centred around the partnership between an FBI Special Agent and a forensic anthropologist. Across the course of 12 seasons, and 246 episodes, the pair investigate unusual murder cases, while growing romantically closer in the process.
Set in Northern Ireland, The Fall follows the story of a Metropolitan Police Superintendent as she investigates a serial killer who is preying on young women in Belfast. Starring Gillian Anderson and Jamie Dornan, this slow-burning story ran for 17-episodes between 2013 and 2016, and makes for gripping television.
It’s A Sin
Russell T Davies is a superb writer, who has worked on many great shows (including Doctor Who), but arguably his finest show to date its It’s A Sin – the British mini-series, which details the UK’s response to the HIV/AIDS crisis between 1981 and 1991. The series revolves around the lives of a group of friends, who find themselves coming to terms with an unknown virus, that is ripping through the community at an alarming rate.
Bold, uncompromising, and incredibly emotional, It’s A Sin is a powerful piece of television that puts audiences through the wringer, and back again. It is without doubt a masterpiece, with Davies presenting a real-life account of human tragedy, that needs to be seen to be believed.
Bonkers, baffling, but always brilliant, this British anthology show, is a work of pure genius. Inside No.9 is written by Reece Shearsmith and Steve Pemberton, and cleverly blends together horror, comedy, and drama.
Each episode runs around 30-minutes in length, and features an almost entirely new cast. The only recurring theme is the presence of Shearsmith and Pemberton, and the idea that each story is connected to the number 9 (usually the number of the room or building where the story takes place).
Think you know everything about sex? Think again.
In this highly enjoyable teen drama, a high school student takes on the role of a sex educator at his school. Over multiple seasons he dishes out advice, often with insightful (and hilarious) consequences, all the while trying to navigate his own love life.
The Enfield Haunting
Based on the book This Haunted House by Guy Lyon Playfair, which in turn was based on a supposed real-life event in the UK, The Enfield Haunting is a British horror drama about the infamous ‘Enfield Poltergeist’. Running just three episodes in length (ideal for short, sharp bingeing) the series is an engrossing, spooky little treat, starring Timothy Spall, Juliet Stevenson, and Matthew Macfadyen.
Only Murders in the Building
In Only Murders in the Building, Steve Martin, Martin Short, and Selena Gomez play the role of three amateur sleuths, who find themselves at the centre of a murder mystery in their own apartment block. While trying to crack the case, they set up their own podcast to document their discoveries, leading to some intriguing and often hilarious situations along the way.
The World According to Jeff Goldblum
In this fabulous docu-series, actor Jeff Goldblum travels around the US learning about all manner of things – from denim and RVs, to tattooing and ice cream. Putting his own unique spin on things, in the way only Goldblum can, he transforms mundane subject matter into fascinating television.
Sons of Anarchy
An outlaw motorcycle club becomes the focus of this next show, which is an action crime drama starring Charlie Hunnam, Ron Perlman, and Katey Sagal. Sons of Anarchy ran for seven seasons between 2008 and 2014, providing 92 episodes of binge-worthy television in its wake.
Inspired by creator Lisa McGee’s own experiences growing up in Northern Ireland, Derry Girls is a British sitcom about a group of high school friends trying to navigate their way through adolescence during the 1990s. The series is set to the backdrop of the Troubles in Northern Ireland, is both heart-breaking and hilarious in equal measures, and is topped off with an excellent soundtrack.
Life on Mars
In British crime drama, Life on Mars, police officer Sam Tyler is knocked unconscious in 2006, only to find himself in 1973 when he wakes up. Is he stuck in a dream world or has he travelled back in time?
Ashes to Ashes
Set around a decade after the events of Life on Mars (see above), Ashes to Ashes is an ‘80s-set sequel series, which follows another police officer. This time it is Alex Drake who finds herself experiencing a new reality, while desperate to return home.
Continuing the theme of British crime dramas with this next show – the Idris Elba-starring series, Luther. The show follows the story of Detective Chief Inspector John Luther – a police officer who solves crimes, but finds himself getting mixed up with a murderer named Alice Morgan.
Marvel’s Wanda Maximoff takes centre stage in this frightfully clever mini-series, set within the MCU. WandaVision centres itself around sitcoms, taking inspiration from some of the most famous comedies of yesteryear.
The Chef Show
Inspired by the 2014 film, Chef, The Chef Show is a documentary cooking series presented by film director Jon Favreau and chef Roy Choi. The series follows the pair as they travel around the US learning about different cultures and cuisine, and each episode includes sequences in which Favreau and Choi prepare dishes guaranteed to make the mouth water.
The premise of this show is very simple: Five guys from the LGBTQ+ community spend a few days with a member of the public who is stuck in a rut. What follows is lots of advice, plenty of self-affirmation, a few life-improvement tips, to help get them back on track.
The whole run of Queer Eye is incredibly bingeable, which is why it’s on this list. But if you’re really not sure it’s for you, just watch the very first episode and I guarantee you’ll be hooked by this incredibly positive series.
And finally, if the above list of TV shows isn’t quite enough to satiate your appetite, then make sure to leave plenty of room for this last series: Hannibal. The show – based around the Hannibal Lecter books written by Thomas Harris – is a psychological horror-thriller not to be ignored.
Mads Mikkelsen takes on the title role as the eponymous cannibal, while Hugh Dancy, Laurence Fishburne, and Gillian Anderson round out the cast. Expect a glossy show, filled with tension, suspense, and a glorious game of cat and mouse between Hannibal and the FBI.
To save you having to scroll back up, here is a list of the 50 TV shows to binge.
- Breaking Bad
- The Shield
- The Wire
- Making a Murderer
- White House Farm
- The X-Files
- The Mandolorian
- Game of Thrones
- Quantum Leap
- Orange is the New Black
- Buffy the Vampire Slayer
- Parks and Recreation
- The Twilight Zone
- Doctor Who
- The Legend of Vox Machina
- Batman: The Animated Series
- The Sopranos
- Squid Game
- Rick and Morty
- The Golden Girls
- The Toys That Made Us
- Battlestar Galactica
- Masters of Horror
- Ally McBeal
- The Fall
- It’s A Sin
- Inside No.9
- Sex Education
- The Enfield Haunting
- Only Murders in the Building
- The World According to Jeff Goldblum
- Sons of Anarchy
- Derry Girls
- Life on Mars
- Ashes to Ashes
- The Chef Show
- Queer Eye
Thank you for stopping by It’s A Stampede! to read this post about the best TV shows to binge watch – I hope it has inspired you to check out these classic series. For more posts, be sure to check out the recommended reads below.