Sunday, July 05, 2015

5 summer binge-watch recommendations


There are several TV series that will give you a good reason to stay indoors this summer

With summer in full swing and the heat wave demanding that you stay indoors, there aren’t many entertainment options on offer at the moment. But on the bright side, now would be the perfect time to indulge in some binge-viewing, watching a couple of exciting television shows that are bound to engross you and ensure that the next few weeks just fly by. Here are several series that can help you quench your thirst for entertainment in the coming weeks:

Doctor Who
Ever since its 2005 revival, Doctor Who has been busy turning people who are indifferent to sci-fi into rabid geeks who can’t seem to shut up about screwdrivers and time machines. If you’re feeling left out from all the fun, then you can simply rectify the situation by catching up on all the adventures of the Time Lord in his various incarnations. Don’t be daunted by the almost overwhelming number of episodes of the long-running science fiction drama. Yes, the British show first premiered in 1963, but if you don’t want to go all the way back to the ‘60s, then the 2005 reboot serves as a good starting point. Make your way through the eight series since the relaunch, and follow the Doctor as he explores the universe in his TARDIS and regenerates from Christopher Eccleston to David Tennant to Matt Smith to Peter Capaldi. If the people around you are particularly unlucky, then by the end of the month, you will have morphed into one of those annoying fans who can’t stop debating who the best Doctor, companion, and showrunner are! In which case, we apologize to your loved ones in advance.

Better Call Saul
He’ll fight for your rights when your back’s to the wall! The return of everyone’s favourite shady attorney Saul Goodman (Bob Odenkirk) earlier this year in the Breaking Bad spinoff Better Call Saul was an absolute delight, and if you haven’t seen the first season of this black comedy yet, then you have to devour these ten episodes as soon as possible and find out how James McGill became the seedy lawyer who eventually got sucked into Walter White’s world. And let’s face it, the show will basically serve as a gateway drug to Breaking Bad, because as soon as you finish watching it, you’ll find yourself seeking out the BrBa box set and binging on one of the best TV series ever made. Terrific story, terrific writing, terrific acting, terrific music, but be warned: once you press play, you won’t know where the day/week/month went!

Modern Family
Based on how often it has been showered with awards and accolades, Modern Family is clearly a favourite among the critics. What has made it such an acclaimed success? Find out by delving into all six seasons of the mockumentary comedy series which follows the lives of Jay Pritchett’s (Ed O’Neill) family. 144 episodes have aired so far, which means the show guarantees hours and hours of comedic fun and is very likely to cure all – ok, most – blues. And if nothing else then Modern Family’s crazy antics will make your family seem sane in comparison.

Mad Men
We’ve recently had to say goodbye to Don Draper (Jon Hamm), the mysterious, ruthless ad executive whose name is familiar to everyone under the sun at this point. But with the series just ending weeks ago, there can’t be a better time to watch all the 7 seasons of Mad Men from start to finish. Yes, it’s a little slow for some people’s taste, but there is general consensus that the drama is very well made. People seem to appreciate the show’s portrayal of life in the 1960s as well as its attention to detail with respect to the outfits, soundtrack, and ambience, and its multidimensional, often flawed characters. If period dramas are your thing, then Mad Men will have you hooked in no time.

Mark Gatiss and Steven Moffat’s take on Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes has been a match made in television heaven. And whether you have or haven’t seen the mystery drama before, it’s never a bad idea to have a marathon viewing session of the series that puts a modern spin on Doyle’s famous stories. While there have only been three Sherlock series with three episodes apiece so far, each of them are nearly one and a half hour long, so the show will have you engrossed for hours and is particularly suitable for intense weekend binging. If you are in the mood for some interesting mysteries executed with brilliance, then make sure you spend some time in the company of the famous sleuth and his doctor friend while basking in the awesomeness of Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman.

- By Sameen Amer

Instep, The News on Sunday - 5th July, 2015 *

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