Confession: I don’t like to watch Television. I know that makes me kind of weird, but that’s me. When I started my first teaching job, my coworkers thought it was crazy that I didn’t have cable. They enjoyed slipping movie and TV references into our conversations to confuse me.
Steph loves watching TV. It helps her unwind. It bores me to no end. When we bought our house, she wanted to put a television in our bedroom. I did not. If I am going to watch TV, I want to be in the living room on the couch or curled up with a blanket in my chair. Often, I need something to do with my hands in order to focus on the television–like knitting, playing cards, coloring, etc. Maybe I have ADD. I don’t know, but if I want to sleep, I want to go to my bedroom and sleep. Not watch TV. Besides, I cannot figure out how to comfortably watch television from the bed. Also, it’s not like Steph watches television all that often, so I didn’t see the need to have a second TV in the house.
So we compromised. And put a television in our bedroom.
When Steph and I met, if I watched television at all, I watched Friends or How I Met Your Mother. That’s it. I watched those two shows on repeat.
Over the years Steph has
encouraged me to forced me to branch out and try different shows.
Truthfully, I have enjoyed several of them. The other day I said, “You are so good at finding shows I actually like to watch.”
“You have no idea how hard I have to work to find something you will watch!” She was slightly exasperated.
In an effort to save some other poor soul who has a hard time getting his or her significant other or friend to watch television with them, I’m sharing a list of shows to binge watch approved by someone (me) who doesn’t like to watch television.
7 Television Shows for People who Don’t Like to Watch Television
Where to watch: Netflix
Average length of an episode: 22-23 minutes
Number of episodes: 236
Friends is a classic. I never watched it while it was on the air. I discovered it because of my first roommate in college. She had the seasons on DVD and enjoyed watching them on repeat, so we watched it all the time.
It’s a funny show and the characters are lovable (my favorite character is Janice Litman). Thanks to the witty humor, you will have a collection of great catchphrases you can use in real life. A favorite of mine:
“I’m not that great at the advice. Can I interest you in a sarcastic comment?”
My students really loved it when I used that one.
The many, many love triangles are fun, but not overly dramatic or emotional (I am not a fan of that kind of thing). Phoebe and Monica compete for a guy in coma, Rachel and Monica literally fight over
Jean-Claude Van Damme, and the bigget one: should Rachel have ended up with Ross or Joey? You really do have to watch from the beginning to the end to be able to create an informed opinion. (I’m Team Joey, by the way. Ross is SOOOOOOO annoying.)
2. How I Met Your Mother
Where to watch: Hulu
Average length of an episode: 22-23 minutes
Number of episodes: 208
I don’t even remember how I came to know and love HIMYM, but I do know that it is probably my all time favorite television show. It seems like the show just kind of captures the stage of life I am in really well and puts a humorous light on it. It’s real and relatable.
I genuinely love all of the main characters, even if Ted Mosby does occasionally really get on my nerves. I have experienced a full range of emotions while watching.
The Thanksgiving episodes are probably my favorites. We will watch all of them during the week of Thanksgiving.
A lot of famous guests make appearances on the show including Katy Perry, Jennifer Lopez, Carrie Underwood, Mandy Moore, Lucy Hale, Ashley Benson, Mike Tyson, Enrique Iglesias, and many others. My favorite special guest is Britney Spears who plays Abby, a ditzy receptionist. The character is hilarious and Britney plays it well.
Finally Marshall and Lily–Marshmallow and Lilly Pad–are the very definition of relationship goals. I love them and their dynamic.
I LOVE the mother. I loved the anticipation of discovering who the mother is and all the twists and turns Ted and his friends encounter on their journey to meeting her. She is PERFECT for Ted.
BUT, the series finale was really irritating. If the final episode had ended at 18:14, it would have been perfect. However, it continued for another 3 minutes and 22 seconds and, in that short amount of time, it almost ruins the whole show.
The final season is truly beautiful and poetic. I am not even ashamed to admit I cried. More than once. I recommend watching until Ted says, “And that, kids, is how I met your mother” and then turning off the television. Pretend nothing comes after that moment. You’ll thank me.
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3. Criminal Minds
Where to watch: Netflix
Average length of an episode: about an hour
Number of episodes: 299 currently; it’s still in production.
I used to complain about how every movie or show I watched ended happily and how that’s not real life and sometimes it would be nice if that was reflected in media.
Enter Criminal Minds.
Sometimes the show is so intense that it keeps me awake at night. The whole plot with The Reaper is terrifying, but gave me exactly what I was looking for. They didn’t catch him right away. It took several episodes.
The whole show is fascinating. You can learn so much about psychology and human behavior. (Yes, learning from a TV show is a plus for me. Learning makes me happy). I have researched a lot of the things I originally heard about while watching this show and learned a lot of very cool things. Because of this show, I’ve learned how to tell when people are lying to me–which is a super useful life skill.
Sometimes I do have trouble binge watching Criminal Minds. It’s a show about how serial killers think–getting in the heads of some pretty sick people–there’s only so much of that I can handle before I’m sad and need a happy break.
4. New Girl
Where to watch: Netflix and Hulu
Average length of an episode: about 25 minutes
Number of episodes: 146
I discovered this show while I was on maternity leave. There wasn’t a whole lot I could do besides watch TV. I was recovering from an emergency c-section and had twin infants. I didn’t get the hang of tandem feedings until they were big enough to hold their own bottles, so feeding took forever–especially since Gryffin didn’t even like to eat. It felt like when I wasn’t feeding or changing babies, I was pumping, so I couldn’t do much of anything except watch television.
Steph told me I was not allowed to watch Friends and How I Met Your Mother on repeat for 8 weeks. In my Mom-Brain-sleep-deprived state I forgot she couldn’t stop me while she was at work, so I randomly clicked on New Girl for absolutely no reason. I was immediately hooked and when I finished all of the seasons the first time (well, all available on Netflix or Hulu–series finale aired May 2018) I immediately went back to the first episode and started over.
New Girl is hilarious. I laughed until I cried more than once watching this show about a group of 30-somethings trying to figure out life, but Season 4, Episode 6 “Background Check” is by far my favorite. The first time I watched it, I started it over before moving on to Episode 7. Twice. And made Steph watch it when she got home from work.
The characters play a game called “True American.” The actual rules are never explained, but I really want to play.
When I watched the series finale of this show I was very impressed. I have never seen a show ending done as tastefully and perfectly as New Girl. It was a fantastic way to end the show. (The writers of HIMYM could take some notes).
Where to watch: Netflix
Average length of an episode: about 43 minutes
Number of episodes: 53
Quantico is my most recent favorite show. Not only are most of the main characters women, many of them are women of color, and all of them are bad ass.
The twists and turns in the plot of this show are phenomenal. Every time I thought I had it figured out, the carpet was pulled out from under me again and I was back at square one. It is rare to find a show that does this to both Steph and me, but Quantico is it.
Unfortunately, the show has been cancelled, so the final episode of season three is now the series finale. I am heartbroken about this. I love the way this show challenges my thinking and requires that I pay attention to every single detail.
6. The Ranch
Where to watch: Netflix
Average length of an episode: about 30ish minutes
Number of episodes: 50 so far; it’s still in production
I never imagined Ashton Kutcher and Sam Elliot could star in the same show and it turn out so good. I mean, they’re both great actors, but they are so different, and that’s what makes this show great. It captures the relationship between a parent and child who do not understand one another very well.
I didn’t expect to like the show because it’s so “redneck,” but it’s well balanced. Also, if you ever wanted to know exactly what my dad is like, look no further than Sam Elliot’s character, Beau Roosevelt Bennett. Whoever created Beau had to know Dad. There’s no other way they could have possibly gotten it so spot-on.
Several of Ashton Kutcher’s costars from That 70s Show make appearances throughout the show, which is a lot of fun.
Don’t watch this show if you aren’t a fan of strong language. Personally, I love expletives and don’t understand how to show a truly strong, emphatic emotion without them. Curse words are to sentences what lights are to a Christmas Trees. It’s how you give it that little bit of extra.
In all seriousness, though, they drop the f-bomb a lot, so if you are truly bothered by that or don’t want your kids to hear it, don’t watch.
Where to watch: I don’t know anymore.
Average length of an episode: 43 minutes
Number of episodes: 77
Leverage is a modern-day-Robin-Hood meets Batman story. A group of “bad guys” come together and fly under the radar to provide vigilante justice.
The characters are quirky and make the show a lot of fun. Each of them is a specialist in their “field”: a thief, a grifter, a hacker, and a hit man led by a former insurance investigator who does not have a criminal past; white knight turned dark knight.
While watching I am often convinced there is no way they are going to pull of the hoax, but they always come through. It is a very creative and fun show.
I almost didn’t include it in my list because you can no longer stream it on Netflix, so if you want to watch it, you have to pay for it on Prime Video or buy DVDs/BluRays. It’s worth the money, though, so I included it. I wouldn’t say that about just any show.
There are a few more shows that I like to watch occasionally, but don’t necessarily like to binge watch. You may like them:
- Will and Grace–I want to be Karen when I grow up, but I can’t call this show binge-worthy. Occasionally the plot is terribly boring and Grace gets on my nerves so bad. I can’t watch more than an episode, maybe two, at a time.
- The Good Place–I love what I have seen of this show, but I need to see where it is headed before I can say it’s binge-worthy. It’s hilarious, though.
- The Golden Girls–What television list is complete without The Golden Girls? And who doesn’t love Sophia Patrillo?
- Grey’s Anatomy–I have a love-hate relationship with Grey’s. Sometimes I just love it and could watch it all day. Other times I find it terribly annoying and can’t stand it. Also SPOILER ALERT!!! how is there even a plot now that there is no Dr. Derek Shepherd?
What about you? What is your favorite show to binge watch? Tell me in the comments!
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