– By Tyler Carlos –
It’s the most wonderful time of the year…unless you’re a TV fan.
It’s an unfortunate truth that during the time of year when people have the most free time, pretty much every show on television goes on its mid-season hiatus. And what’s worse, the mid-season finales always end on a huge cliffhanger, giving their viewers separation anxiety they simply don’t want at this time of year.
Luckily, streaming services are here to save the day! With Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, and many more services here to satisfy everyone’s deepest television desires, the Christmas holidays are the perfect time to binge the latest shows you’ve put off until now. But with so many choices, how could you possibly choose?!? Well, here are my top 5 recommendations about what to binge-watch on your holiday, what my Mom calls, “PJ and Coffee Days.”
1) Bodyguard – Netflix
If you’re into heart-stopping thrillers with top-notch acting and intense action, let me tell you, Bodyguard is the show for you. The series was made in association with the BBC, and was a big hit in the UK before it made its way to the states. The series follows a private security officer (Richard Madden, Game of Thrones) who is assigned to protect a controversial politician whose life is suddenly put in jeopardy as she seeks to rise up in the English government.
This is also a perfect show for the break as it’s a mini-series – only 6 episodes comprise this outstanding show. If you haven’t seen any other show on this list, I recommend you check this one out first.
2) The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel – Season 2 – Amazon Prime
Following a tremendous run during this year’s awards season, Amazon’s hottest series The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel is back for a hilarious second season. Picking up right where the first season left off, we follow recently divorced Midge Maisel (Rachel Brosnahan) as she tries to survive life as a divorcee while also pursuing her secret dream to become a famous comedienne in the 1950s.
The first and second seasons are relatively short (only 18 episodes in total), and the comedy in this series shines while also telling a great story of female empowerment and learning to be your own person. If you haven’t already started one of this year’s hottest series, now is the time to do so.
3) My Hero Academia – Hulu/Funimation.com
Trying to mix it up a little bit, here is a series that has recently been gaining a strong following in the United States and is a perfect series for anyone who likes anime. My Hero Academia follows young Izuku Midorya, who lives in a world where 80% of the population has some kind of superhuman ability (called Quirks). Izuku is quirkless, but finds his world turned upside when he is given a power by the greatest hero in the world- All Might. But lurking in the shadows are villains that want to destroy the Symbol of Peace, and they’ll do anything they can to do so.
This series gives a smart twist to the usual superhero story, and any fan of Marvel and DC will almost certainly enjoy this funny and action packed series.
Just a note, the entire series thus far is available on Hulu, but only the first two seasons are currently available with an English dub. If you want to watch the entire series in English, you can watch it on Funimation.com, where you can get start a free trial and binge-watch the series during that trial. If you don’t mind the switch to Japanese, or if you prefer the original with English subtitles, you can watch the first three seasons on Hulu. Season 4 has been announced and is expected in 2019.
4) Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events – Season 3 – Netflix
We are very fortunate that we’ll get to start the new year with such an unfortunate show. After two successful season, Netflix’s original series A Series of Unfortunate Events will be coming to an end on January 1. The Netflix series, which is based on the book series of the same name, has covered the first 9 books in the 13 book series. It follows the unfortunate story of the three Baudelaire orphans as they are shunted from guardian to guardian after the death of their parents in a fire. Always hot on their trail is evil and quirky Count Olaf (Neil Patrick Harris), who is determined to steal their enormous fortune.
As the last season is not yet out, I can only hope it will pick up right where the last season left off (I mean, it left off on a literal cliffhanger). If the first two seasons are any indication, we are in for treat in this final season of this unusual adaptation. If you haven’t picked it up, you only have a few weeks left to catch up.
5) Titans – Season 1 – DC Universe
With superhero mania in full swing, both DC and Marvel have been preparing to launch their own online streaming services. Marvel’s service, which will be a part of Disney’s service, is still around a year away, but DC’s service launched this fall, called DC Universe.
The first series released on DC Universe was Greg Berlanti’s Titans, a live action series following the DC comic book team the Teen Titans. The Teen Titans has been made up of many heroes throughout the years, but it traditionally has a core four: Robin, Starfire, Raven, and Beast Boy. The series focuses on these four heroes from the very beginning before they become a team. This show is a serious step up from the CW’s Arrowverse, as there is a much higher budget (offering better special effects) and the series is much darker and grittier, even venturing into action and language that wouldn’t be allowed on the CW.
If you’re a fan of DC, I would recommend giving this one a try. I understand that it’s another in a plethora of superhero shows, but this one is more on par with Netflix’s successful Marvel shows than the watered down heroes on the CW. Check it out!
As I am writing this article, it’s safe to assume that I’ve already seen the above shows (except for A Series of Unfortunate Events Season 3, but no one’s seen that yet). So, I felt like I should include 2 honorable mentions.
This one has been out for a while, and doesn’t really fit in with the Christmas Spirit, but if you haven’t watched it yet, I highly recommend you check out The Haunting of Hill House on Netflix. Filled with enough ghosts to make Scrooge jealous, this is easily one of the best series of the year. I watched it during the Halloween season, and I had to sleep with the TV on for about a week afterward. But don’t worry, there’s plenty of heartbreaking drama to keep you busy between scares.
So what am I planning to look into? Homecoming on Amazon.
The series has gotten great reviews. Homecoming is the live-action adaptation of a popular podcast of the same name, starring Julia Roberts. I personally don’t know much about the show, which I prefer before I start a series, but it currently holds a 99% on Rotten Tomatoes and I’ve heard nothing but good things. I’m planning to spend at least one “PJ and Coffee Day” checking out this series.
About the Author
Tyler Carlos is a proud nerd originally from Baton Rouge, LA. He completed his undergraduate in Mass Communication from Louisiana State University, and graduated from JPCatholic’s MBA in Film Producing in 2016. In his off time, he enjoys Crossfit, escape rooms, and watching Gotham and This Is Us. His ultimate goal in life is to learn how to fly.