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14 Shows to Binge-Watch on Netflix

Caitlin LaCour

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Opening up Netflix on your Computer or television, you find yourself unable to choose from among the many shows or movies on the site, and finally just end up re watching old favorites. Everyone’s gone through this cycle, but rather than re watching things you’ve already seen, try one of these 14 new shows.

 

Farscape

Surprisingly, not many people have heard of Farscape. What makes this a surprise is just how solid a show Farscape is.

Farscape_LogoThis show is like the crazy brother of Star Trek. It’s got space battles, political intrigue, epic fights, and basically everything you would expect from a sci-fi show. But what sets it apart is the show’s amazing sense of humor and great characters. It’s incredible how well the balance is; the show knows when to be the serious thriller and when to be the playful comedy.

John Crichton (Ben Browder) is an astronaut from Earth who’s space shuttle gets sucked into a wormhole, teleporting him to an alternate dimension. He is rescued by a ragtag crew of escaped alien convicts on their stolen ship. The crew consists of Aeryn Sun (Claudia Black) a renegade officer, Ka D’Argo (Anthony Simcoe) an ill-tempered warrior, Chiana (Gigi Edgley) a thief and con artist, and a few more. Together, the crew travels the galaxy as Crichton studies wormholes in an attempt to return to Earth.

Farscape is such an odd show, and it embraces it’s strangeness in the best possible way. It can be a bit confusing and hard to follow, but it makes up for lack of clarity with some great one-liners and wit.


 

Scrubs

Looking for an emotionally dark and serious medical drama? You’re looking in the wrong place, then.

scrubs-tv-show-rushed-to-broadway-in-a-musical-adaptation-bill-lawrence-and-maybe-zach-braff-involvedScrubs is a light-hearted medical comedy that still manages to have  some emotional moments.  The show takes place in a hospital called Sacred Heart and follows the lives of a handful of characters:John ‘JD’ Dorian (Zac Braff), Christopher Turk (Donald Faison), and Eliot Reid (Sarah Chalke).They are new doctors just out of medical school who are placed as interns in Sacred Heart. Helped along by the sardonic Dr Perry Cox (John C. McGinley) and headstrong Nurse Carla Espinosa (Judy Reyes), the three learn how to survive in the stressful world of medicine while being pushed around by the troublesome Chief of Medicine, Dr Bob Kelso (Ken Jenkins).

The show has a great mix of heart and humor, while still knowing how to maintain the emotional aspect. All the characters have great and varied personalities, and you’ll love watching them grow and learn life lessons while still getting into mischief.


 

Star Trek: The Next Generation

images (1)Are you a fan of cheesy computer-generated special effects and two-note piano scores? Do you love the rich, complex universe of Star Trek? How about space exploration, starship battles, distress signals, techno babble, diplomacy talks, hull breaches, aliens, phasers, lasers, and bald British men? Well, Star Trek: TNG is the answer to your oddly specific desires.

Lead by the poetically adventurous captain Jean-Luc Picard (Patrick Stewart), the series follows the crew of the USS Enterprise as they explore uncharted worlds and galaxies, discovering new creatures and narrowly escaping deadly situations using strategy and laser cannons.

You don’t have to watch the original 1960s Star Trek to enjoy The Next Generation. You just have to have a love of science-fiction and a good story.


 

30 Rock

30 rockWhat’s it really like to live in New York City?

The chaotic life of Liz Lemon, head writer for a fictional comedy show, is chronicled in this hilarious show created by former Saturday Night Live star Tina Fey. Being the head writer for her own show isn’t easy, especially when having to deal with two diva actors, the beautiful and selfish Jenna Maroney (Jane Krakowski) and the clueless empty-headed Tracy Jordan (Tracy Morgan).   Helped along by her boss and mentor Jack Donaghy (Alec Baldwin), Liz (Tina Fey) struggles to balance her crazy work life while trying to fulfill her own goals.

Fans of Saturday Night Live will have a special appreciation for 30 Rock, but the humor is so wide and varied pretty much anyone who watches it will find something to laugh about.


Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt

unbreakable-kimmy-schmidtFrom Tina Fey, the creator of 30 Rock, comes another comedy about a diverse cast of characters in New York City.

Kimmy Schmidt (Ellie Kemper) is an enthusiastic cheerful young woman who spent nearly her whole life in a underground doomsday cult. After being rescued, she moves in with flamboyant wannabe actor Titus (Tituss Burgess) in his small apartment in NYC. As Kimmy tries to fit in with modern life, she juggles her job working for filthy-rich housewife Jacqueline Voorhes (Jane Krakowski) and her mischievous spoiled son Buckley (Tanner Flood) with optimism and her eagerness to fit into her new life in NYC.

Unbreakable is a much lighter, happier show than 30 Rock. Although the premise involving the doomsday cult makes the show sound grim, it lacks the dark undertones you make expect. Unbreakable is the kind of show that just makes you smile.


 

Futurama

Futurama-01_0From creator of the Simpsons Matt Groening, comes another excellent animated comedy.
Accidentally frozen, pizza-delivery boy Fry wakes up 1,000 years in the future. New York City is now New New York City, and there are flying cars, robots, spaceships, everything you’d expect from the future. Fry is taken in by his sole descendant, Professor Farnesworth, an elderly and senile scientist who owns a cargo delivery service and is given a delivery job. Among the other crew members are the one-eyed independent and bold Captain Leela, flirtatious intern Amy, obnoxious alcoholic robot Bender and a lobster-like alien Dr Zoidberg. Together, they deliver cargo to the far reaches of the galaxy, having plenty of death-defying adventures along the way.

Sounds strange, doesn’t it? It must definitely is, but it most definitely works. The characters are hilarious, the writing is hysterical, and there are even some genuinely emotional moments thrown in. Don’t let the fact that the show is animated turn you off from this amazing show.


The X-Files

Can’t get enough of those corny special effects from the early 90s?

The-X-Files-T-1920x1080_v2FBI Agents Dana Scully (Gillian Anderson), a skeptic, and Fox Mulder (David Duchovny), a believer, team up to solve the mysterious cases inside the X-Files, a file of supernatural and unexplained occurrences. Scully is paired with Mulder to keep him grounded and provide a level-headed view on his conspiracy theories. Although Scully holds firm to her disbelief of the supernatural, Mulder believes wholeheartedly in the existence of extraterrestrial life and will go through great lengths to prove his conspiracies are true.

The X Files is a cult classic, and for good reason. The premise is excellent, the writing is smart, the character are some of the best television has ever seen.


 

Haven

hvHaven is a visual treat, with the beautiful nature setting of Nova Scotia. It’s also got some stellar special effects and a unique story involving magic and mystery. Haven is like the lighter, happier, prettier cousin of the X-Files.

Audrey Parker (Emily Rose) is an FBI Agent investigating the small town of Haven, Maine on a routine assignment. But the longer she stays, the more curious things seem to be. A lot of the residents of Haven have supernatural powers and abilities; a man named Nathan Wournos (Lucas Bryant) has an inability to feel pain, and another named Dwight Hendrickson (Adam Copeland) is a bullet-magnet. As Audrey investigates the strange and dangerous afflicted people, she is helped by mysterious and stoic Nathan, level-headed Dwight, and playboy Duke Crocker (Eric Balfour), the team try to find a way to cure the people of Haven from the supernatural abilities called ‘the troubles’.

Although this show isn’t yet completed, it is still an intriguing watch. Haven is full of charm and elegance, making it one of the most pleasing shows still on air.


 

Bones

Do you love shows with science-y stuff like people performing autopsies and solving murders? How about that will-they-or-won’t-bonesthey vibe between two main characters?

Bones is a mystery-drama with a few elements of comedy. Dr Temperance Brennan (Emily Deschanel) is a talented but introverted forensic anthropologist working with her team at the Jefferson Institute; the eccentric conspiracy theorist Jack Hodgins (T.J Thyne) and awkward nerd Zac Addy (Eric Millegan), along with her aspiring artist best friend Angela Montenegro (Micheala Conlin). When Brennan is teamed with charming yet arrogant Special Agent Seely Booth (David Boreanaz), she gets to experience life outside a science lab as the two solve murder cases.

What it lacks in realism, it makes up for in great characters. Bones is just one of those shows that you either love or hate; give it a chance, just in case it’s right up your alley. Plus, it’s a lot of fun to watch Booth and Brennan develop a great partnership that (almost) rivals the X-Files’ Mulder and Scully.


 

Chuck

Spies, computers hacking, gunfights, explosions, martial arts, secret government operations, this show has it all.

1338847924_3Chuck Bartowski (Zachary Levi) is just a normal guy working a normal minimum wage job at a Buy More, until one day he opens an e-mail from an old college friend, which contains contained a stolen program that downloaded every government secret into his head. Suddenly, Chuck is being watched and protected by two spies; the brooding and dangerous NSA spy John Casey (Adam Baldwin) and the charming and intriguing CIA spy Sarah Walker (Yvonne Strahovski). As Chuck struggles to balance his job with the new dangers that come from having every sought-after government secret in his brain, he tries to keep his new situation hidden from his friends and family alike.

Chuck is a charming show with a unique premise. The show is another example of a good comedy-action blend, balancing serious moments with humor. The characters, especially Chuck himself, are very likable and engaging. The first three seasons of Chuck are great- just be careful venturing past that.


Psych 

psych-showAre you a fan of ’80s movies references and cheesy detective shows? This is the perfect show for you.

This comedy-mystery series stars James Roday as Shawn Spencer, a brilliant but childish man who runs a fake physic detective agency. Using his ‘psychic ability’, Shawn along with his best friend Burton Guster (Dule Hill) solve cases for the Santa Barbara Police Department on the sunny beaches of California.

The true element that keeps this show alive is the incredible writing and character interactions. The humor is whip-smart and extremely clever and witty. The characters are all unique, and you really do get to care for them as you watch them develop.


 

Burn Notice

Another great mystery-action-comedy blend.

Michael Weston (Jeffrey Donovan) is a spy with smarts, looks, and burn_notice-showan arsenal of tools at his side. But his career is ended when he is unexpectedly ‘burned’, which effectively is ‘the covert equivalent of a pink slip’. Now stuck in the town of Miami, Weston spends his time doing odd undercover jobs for anyone who’ll hire him while trying to find who put the burn notice on him. Helped along by his ex-girlfriend and spy Fiona Glenanne (Gabrielle Anwar) and his friend and former spy Sam Axe (Bruce Campbell), Michael uses his extensive knowledge and skill to help ordinary people with their extraordinary problems.

Fans of ‘Chuck’ and ‘Psych’ will also enjoy Burn Notice. Blending a mix of action, intrigue, and comedy, Burn Notice has something for everybody. Prepare to root on Michael and his gang as they uncover secrets and espionage on the sunny beaches of Miami.


 

The Office: US Version

officeThis popular show has a huge fanbase, and for good reason. Highly quotable, hilariously awkward, and filled with great personality, The Office is a show that appeals to everyone.

Michael Scott (Steve Carrell) is the naive and childish boss of a paper company, making trouble for his employees: Dwight Schrute (Rainn Wilson), an exceedingly loyal and eccentric salesman with a love of weaponry, Jim Halpert (John Krasinski) a witty guy with a love of immature pranks, Pam Beesly (Jenna Fischer) a kind and motherly secretary, and many others. But you can’t really describe each character in a few words; each is so well developed, with flaws and strengths, great personalities to get attached to.

After you get past the awkward cringe-inducing first season, you’ll find a solid show that’ll have you laughing the whole way through.


 

3rd Rock from the Sun

3rd-rock-from-the-sunHave you ever wondered if aliens were hidden among us, disguised as us, learning how to be us? Than this is the perfect show for you, you paranoid weirdo!

3rd Rock from the Sun is a comedy show about a ‘family’ of four aliens from outer space who’s mission is to study human life by becoming humans themselves. Lead by the eccentric High Commander Dick Solomon (John Lithgow), the four struggle to understand and adapt to the strange and exciting world of humankind.

This show is another hilarious example of excellent characters and writing. Each character is unique and hysterical. For example, combative Sally Solomon, the Officer of Security, was chosen to be a human woman because she ‘lost the bet’. Tommy (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) the Engineering Expert is the oldest in the group, but was put into the body of a teenage boy. And empty-headed Harry (French Stewart) is just there because they had an extra seat on the ship. Even the human characters have their quirks; Dr Mary Albright (Jane Curtain) is a college professor with a wild streak, and Nina Campbell (Simbi Khali) is a sarcastic secretary.

3rd Rock is a perfect example of a ’90s sitcom done right. The normally annoying canned laugh-track doesn’t get in the way like it tends to do in other shows.

 

 

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14 Shows to Binge-Watch on Netflix