7 TV Shows for Winter Binge-Watching

A friend confessed he was a TV addict. Throughout his life, TV raised him, comforted him, and lulled him to sleep. He had to start restricting how much he watched to maintain some self-control.

I came away from the conversation with the opposite conclusion. "TV is awesome," I thought. "I should watch more of it."

And so I did. Here are the 7 TV shows helping me get through the winter.

The White Lotus, Season 2

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I wasn't initially interested in watching Season 1 of The White Lotus because a bunch of whiny rich people acting entitled and mistreating the workers at a Hawaiian resort didn't exactly sound appealing, but I had to watch season 2 since it's set in Sicily and my kindred spirit Aubrey Plaza stars along with other stellar actors. Season 1 has the themes of wealth and privilege, and season 2 focuses on sex and infidelity. From November to December, my Sunday evenings revolved around this show, and it was fun to tune in live and read up on other viewers' outlandish theories every week. Season 2 leaned more into the murder mystery, with multiple bodies washing up on the beach in the first scene. The last episode was absolutely wild. I've watched Season 1 since then, and it was fine, but Season 2 was perfection: cast, locations, cinematography, costumes, soundtrack—everything! Not to spoil anything, but it was nice that the hotel staff didn't get screwed over this season.


TV shows for winter binge watchingPin

The White Lotus left a void for intelligent TV with a good balance of comedy and drama. I decided it was time to rewatch HBO's Girls. The first episode aired in April 2012. I used to tune in religiously every week until the final episode in 2017. It was such a raw, honest, and funny look at being young, lost, and entitled. I binged all 6 seasons recently, and...it's even better on rewatch! Lena Dunham is a comedic genius and I realized she is also a superb actor. It's interesting to see the old technology on the show, the first iPhone, Macs, and the old Twitter page design. Of course, Jessa owned a flip phone and was too cool for Facebook. The first season is really special (my favorite scene is from episode 2 when Hannah is getting poked by a gynecologist and goes on a neurotic Larry David-esque ramble about the pros and cons of getting AIDS. "Maybe actually I'm not scared of AIDs. Maybe I thought I was scared of AIDs, and what I really am is...wanting AIDs." And this scene with Elijah never fails to crack me up.) I also like the 4th season, when Hannah attends the Iowa Writers' Workshop and proceeds to piss off all the other writers in her class.


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Entourage ran for 8 seasons on HBO from 2004-2011. It didn't interest me for the longest time because a bunch of grown men riding on the coattails of a Hollywood actor sounded a bit cringe. But I needed something light and fun to watch in January and this fit the bill. This show is 100% a male fantasy of LA, the way Sex and the City is for women and New York. What men want: fancy cars, loads of cash, constant partying, and a revolving door of hot chicks to bang, all without consequences. We can make a drinking game of how many times a character mentions wanting to "get pussy." It's crazy what shows used to get away with back in the 2000s. Jeremy Pivens' slick agent Ari Gold is so cancelable nowadays, although his character made the show. The celeb cameos are always fun. They even managed to get James Cameron, Gus Van Sant, and Martin Scorsese to play themselves. Actors also spoofed Harvey Weinstein and Werner Herzog. The show has a good track record of predicting real Hollywood movies made after it ended.


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I wanted to watch this show when it first came out in 2021, but it was only available on PeacockTV at the time. It recently moved to Netflix, so I finally got to stream it just when I ran out of new shows to watch. Girls5eva is about four middle-aged women who were once part of a one-hit-wonder girl group in the '90s. (The fifth member Ashley died in 2004 from a freak infinity pool accident.) After their old hit single gets featured in a song by Gen Z rapper Lil Stinker, the women reunite to stage a comeback. Andrew Rannells, who plays Elijah on Girls, is also in this as a former boy band member. The show is created by Meredith Scardino, a former SNL writer who also wrote for Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. Tina Fey is a producer, so Girl5eva fits into that surreal 30 Rock/Kimmy Schmidt sitcom universe. The comedy writing on this show is sharp and specific, with so many jokes per minute, which I was pleasantly surprised by. The cast seems like they're having a blast in their roles, and the songs are a riot.

Curb Your Enthusiasm, Season 11

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As Larry David shops around his new sitcom Young Larry to different networks, he gets blackmailed into casting a young Mexican short-order cook to play the female lead, a Jewish character. The whole plotline revolving around the bad amateur actress Maria Sofia Estrada, played by rising star Keyla Monterroso Mejia, made this season for me. Even Cheryl Hines gets roped in as Maria Sofia's acting coach, but ends up getting slammed to the ground along with Ted Danson.

Another thing I learned from this season is that I really don't want the pressure of "middling" at dinner parties. And never joke about partaking in hotdog eating contests.

Fleishman is in Trouble

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I watched this limited series because this article in The Cut piqued my interest and the cast is top-notch: Claire Danes, Jesse Eisenberg, Lizzy Caplan, and Adam Brody. Based on the acclaimed 2019 novel by Taffy Brodesser-Akner, who also wrote the show, Fleishman is in Trouble mostly follows how a divorced father (Eisenberg) is dealing with the sudden disappearance of her ex-wife (Danes, who is really one of the best actors of her generation), until we get an episode from the ex-wife's perspective, which turns the story on its head. Sure, some of the problems the characters experience are very New York-centric, but it's a sobering examination of status anxiety and mid-life burnout. This show is more intense than the trailer lets on. In fact, I wouldn't blame people for finding it to be a total bummer, but it makes for good self-comtemplation. How much money and status is enough? What makes marriage worth pursuing? What makes life meaningful?

Outer Banks

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I watched the first two seasons of Netflix's Outer Banks last year. Season 3 dropped last week so of course I binged it ASAP. It's set in a community on the coast of North Carolina, divided between the "Pogues" and the "Kooks," the working class and the wealthy residents. A group of teenagers, Pogues, are on a quest to find lost gold after ringleader John B's dad goes missing on a similar mission. I find the first season to be the most compelling, as we learn about the characters, their backgrounds, and what drives them. It is somewhat realistic compared to season 2, which dissolves into soap opera with extended Michael Bay-esque action sequences. By season 3, I had little expectations of realism and knew to suspend belief whenever the kids managed to escape or outwit professional assassins. The treasure hunting is always fun though, and the series concludes in a satisfying manner, although season 4 was just announced, and I'll be tuning in for more hijinks, however far-fetched.

Also check out my other post 7 Underrated Sitcoms.

Which TV shows have you been binging? Let us know in the comments below.


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