Winter break is finally here! This semester has gone by so fast and after a stressful finals week the only thing I actually want to do this winter break is binge watch all the shows I didn’t have time for over the last semester. Here is your complete guide to everything worth binge watching this winter break and where to find it (legally).
Shameless – Airs on Showtime, Seasons 1-4 available now through Showtime
Starring: William H. Macy, Emmy Rossum, Shanola Hampton & Steve Howey
“Shameless” is based on a British show of the same name. It takes place here in Chicago and follows the dysfunctional Gallagher Family. Frank (the dad) is a despicable alcoholic and deadbeat dad. Their mother is long gone. Fiona is Frank’s oldest child, and she is doing her best to hold her family together while raising her five younger siblings and at times raising Frank too. Lip is next oldest. He is a genius who takes the SAT for the privileged but dumb North Shore kids. Ian is gay and determined to live out his dream to be in the Military. Debbie collects money for UNICEF all year round but keeps it for the family. Carl is a budding sociopath. (He fits at least two sides of the McDonald Triad). Finally, the youngest Gallagher is toddler Liam who is actually black and no one knows how. This show really lives up to its name and is completely bingeworthy. Watch it over break because the fifth season premieres on Showtime in January 2015.
Sons of Anarchy – Airs on FX, Seasons 1-6 available on Hulu & Netflix, Final Season 7 available on FX Now app
Starring: Charlie Hunnan, Mark Boone Junior, Katey Sagal & Dayton Callie
“Sons of Anarchy” is about a motorcycle club that operates out of a small California town called Charming. They dabble in both legal and illegal business from an auto repair shop to gun running and pornography. Jax Teller takes over the motorcycle club from his stepfather and uses the journals of his dead father (another former president) to try to change the ways of his club and discover himself. The show chronicles Jax’s growing concerns for the direction his club is heading and, after he becomes a father himself, the concerns of raising children in the “MC” where rival gangs and clubs are constantly in a war over territory and distribution. All I have to say is that after the epic series finale you’d have to be crazy to not want to watch this popular show!
How To Get Away With Murder – Airs on ABC, Season 1 available on Hulu and the Watch ABC app
Starring: Viola Davis, Billy Brown, Alfred Enoch, Katie Findlay & Tom Verica
“How To Get Away With Murder” is the cherry on top of producer Shonda Rhimes’s TGIT (Thank God It’s Thursday). This show follows brilliant lawyer and professor Annalise Keating who teaches a class she calls “How To Get Away With Murder.” Suddenly she and her law students are entangled in a murder plot and must use what they have learned to get away with murder. This twisty drama leaves you guessing at every corner and in my own personal case convincing me that I am indeed smart enough to attend law school. This show is currently in its first season but is on winter hiatus. It is the perfect time to catch up on the most talked and tweeted about new fall show.
Game of Thrones – Airs on HBO, Seasons 1-5 available on HBO & HBO Go
Starring: Lena Headey, Peter Dinklage, Emilia Clarke & Kit Harrington
Everyone has heard of the Red Wedding and if you haven’t jumped on the bandwagon you have at least seen the hysterical “South Park” parody. Based on the epic fantasy novels by George R.R. Martin, nine noble families fight for control of Westeros. This show starts as the loyal and lovable Eddard Stark leaves his land in the North to serve the King of Westeros and launches a series of events that lead to civil unrest and upheaval all over the realm. Meanwhile the mysterious and dangerous neighbors to the North have started their own war and spread the fear that “winter is coming.” This show is full of violence, sex, and betrayal. So I think it’s a fair assumption to say it has a little something for everyone. Check it out and get in on the craze that is “Game of Thrones.”
Weeds – Aired on Showtime, Every Season available on Netflix
Starring: Mary-Louise Parker, Hunter Parrish, Alexander Gould, Justin Kirk & Kevin Nealon
When Nancy Botwin is widowed and left with two children to raise in the pricey California suburbs she embraces a new profession as the neighborhood pot dealer. Everyone wants what she is selling but Nancy is faced with the challenge raising her children, keeping her new business a secret, evading the DEA and still making it to every PTA meeting so her housewife friends don’t pick up on her new scandalous lifestyle. Nancy starts out as a small time drug dealer but realizes that she has true passion and knack for this life of crime. She abandons her housewife persona and embraces her new MILF drug dealer status. This award winning show will not leave you disappointed and is truly one of the best shows Showtime has produced.
Orange is the New Black – Netflix – Seasons 1-2
Starring: Taylor Schilling, Kate Mulgrew, Natasha Lyonne, Uzo Abudo, Jason Biggs and Laverne Cox
This Netflix Original show is based on the novel by Piper Kerman and chronicles her time spent in federal prison for smuggling drug money internationally with her girlfriend after college. Right before the statute of limitations is up, Piper is ratted out and sentenced to 15 months in federal prison. She leaves behind her perfect fiancé and perfect life only to find out she will be serving her time in the same prison as her ex lover. This series shows how Piper adapts to prison life and tells the stories of her fellow inmates. This is one of the best shows anywhere and if you haven’t already started to watch you really must. It explores complex social issues while keeping a comedic undertone. I watched this show in a matter of days and spent the rest of the year waiting for the second season premiere last June.
Have any other must watch, bingeworthy shows for your fellow readers to catch up on? Leave your favorites in the comments!