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19 TV Shows To Binge Before 2017

Just a bunch of gems you can legally stream.

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And anybody with a streaming TV service knows that the best way to zone is to fire up a full series and hit "Continue Watching" until the literal end of the world (or at least until you get hungry).

So if you've already swallowed the typical diet of Stranger Things and House of Cards, here's some ideas on what to hit next.

Including my own faves along with some A+ recommendations from BuzzFeed readers and staff.

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1. Outlander

Starz

I should just say that love this show and I love Sam Heughan’s Jamie Fraser more than life, and now that that’s out of the way, let me tell you why you should love it too.

First of all, it’s got everything you look for in an hour-long fantasy drama, by which I mean sex. And, you know, some swordfights thrown in. Second of all, it’s an excellent and accurate retelling of its source material (Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander series). Third, it’s just a really compelling historical/sci-fi drama with incredible character development and plenty of grit that takes on an extra layer of life beyond the books, which is not something a lot of adaptations can say.

Find both seasons on Amazon Prime now.

2. Please Like Me

Amazon Prime

It took me ages to get around to watching this after a friend recommended it, but GUYS. Do not make the same mistake I did. Stop what you’re doing and binge this delightful, hilarious, bittersweet, and relatable-as-HELL series RIGHT. NOW.

Australian comedian Josh Thomas is both creator and star of this wickedly funny drama, which also features his adorable real-life dog John, so what more could you want? Honestly though, this show manages to hit the nail on the head when it comes to just about everything: sex, friendship, mental health, family relationships, growing up, and finding yourself.

It’s super lovely – please like it.

Watch it on Amazon Prime (UK) and Hulu (US).

3. Chef's Table

Netflix

Lyle says Chef's Table is “weirdly addictive. It doesn’t matter if you can’t cook. It doesn’t matter if you’re only 60% sure what a radish is or if you think haute cuisine is pretentious and obscene and a symbol of everything that’s wrong with the world.

“It’s worth watching for the bizarre, intricate dishes, the intense, obsessive chefs, and the grandiose statements they make about, I dunno, trying to extract the soul of an egg. Much like the Olympics, it’s best enjoyed while eating something cheap and miserable, and while telling yourself that anyone with that level of dedication and talent must be unhappy underneath it all.”

Find it on Netflix in all territories.

4. Crazy Ex-Girlfriend

Netflix

That Rachel Bloom was not nominated for an Emmy for this show is a crime. That the incredibly fun and smart full first season is currently streaming on Netflix in the UK is a miracle (season 2 is airing week by week now). With a tongue-in-cheek but nuanced look at love, mental health, and friendship, it’s a killer way to binge your way through the weekend and yet feel ~cultured~ at the same time.

Claire is crazy about it, too: “It’s hilarious, and it has songs, which are also hilarious. Very good way to forget about the world for a bit.”

Be warned: The theme song will never be unstuck from your head.

Find it on Netflix (UK, US).

5. Preacher

Amazon Prime

This irreverent, darkly funny, and completely bonkers show made my summer. Based on a cult comic, Preacher combines religious and horror mythologies with sci-fi alien shit and time travel. It’s totally weird and completely absorbing.

The killer cast includes Dominic Cooper as Jesse, a broody conman turned (possessed?) preacher, a BRILLIANT Joseph Gilgun as Cassidy, an Irish vampire/new BFF, and Ruth Negga as Jesse’s old partner-in-crime/the baddest of bad women, bow down.

Watch it on Amazon Prime (UK).

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6. Reign

CW

So look. Reign is neither ambitious nor historically accurate, but trust me, it’s the marathon watch you didn’t know you were missing. This reimagining of the French royal court circa the times of Mary Queen of Scots is a strange and wonderful masterpiece combining elements of The Tudors, Game of Thrones, and Gossip Girl. It’s weird and a little bit baffling. I don’t know how to explain it and I don’t know what to say except that it’s PRIME binging material because it requires very little of your brain, does not require pausing for bathroom breaks, and yet is somehow incredibly compelling.

And do you know, I actually learned a shit-ton about 16th-century France, Scotland, and England by watching it because I kept having to google all of the things that didn’t seem quite right.

Watch it on Netflix (UK, US).

7. Roadies

Amazon Prime

Created by Cameron Crowe and starring Luke Wilson and Imogen Poots, Roadies is a light and lovely hour-long dramedy with just enough to keep you going but never enough to stress you out, which I really appreciate between intense episodes of Mr Robot, for instance.

But what’s REALLY great about Roadies is the soundtrack and musical guests – you’ll have to suspend your disbelief that the fictional Staten-House Band somehow always has a new, well-known opening act for every show on their tour, but it’s worth it for acoustic Halsey sets and killer performances from John Mellencamp, Reignwolf, the Head and the Heart, Lucius, and more. (Also Rafe Spall’s equally pitiful yet annoying AF puppy dog eyes have quickly cemented themselves as a national treasure).

Watch it on Amazon Prime (UK).

8. Fleabag

BBC

Natalya says: “It’s the first TV show I’ve ever seen with a female lead who is unapologetically selfish and chaotic, like Don Draper but funny rather than really serious and brooding. She’s actually kind of really unlikable but also really likable. In that way it’s really feminist, I think.

“It’s one of the first times I’ve come across a lead female character (other than maybe Piper from Orange Is the New Black) who is allowed to be deeply flawed in a true moralistic way. Also, it’s really funny and well-filmed, and the intros are really hilarious but artistic too. It’s just a testament to BBC Three staying on top form after moving to online only.”

Watch it on BBC Three (UK).

9. The 100

CW

If you, like me, love a good bout of teen television binging but also, like me, enjoy quality and character development, I found you a show! Based on the YA book series of the same name (BASED, THOUGH – it’s quite different), The 100 follows a group of juvenile delinquents who are dropped to a post-nuclear-war Earth a few hundred years from now to test if it’s safe for the non-delinquent members of their space station to inhabit.

So OK, yes, you’ve got to get on board with the concept, and recognise it's got it's issues, but once you do The 100 is really, really good and asks a lot of complex questions about morality and human nature – it’s like Lord of the Flies on steroids, and it’s DARK, so be prepared for the showrunners to kill off your darlings.

Seasons 1 and 2 are available on Amazon Prime UK.

10. Z Nation

SyFy

BuzzFeed user FirstClassKiller offered this up as an alternative to The 100, quoting this Tumblr post to list the show’s many pros: “Has a POC woman as the leader, [and] a bisexual woman who struggled with PTSD as the second in command. Has an original plot, despite being set in the zombie apocalypse. The kinds of zombies vary. Casts actual Native Americans and Mexicans to be in the show. The humor is actually good and there’s always something in every episode to make you laugh. They make references to actual zombie lore all the time.”

I mean, I’m sold.

Watch it on Netflix in all territories.

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11. Dramaworld

Viki

This adorable little show is the perfect lazy watch. Dramaworld follows Claire, a college student and Korean-drama addict who gets sucked into her favourite television show to help the two leads fall in love. Except something’s not right in Dramaworld, and instead of providing a happily ever after, Claire finds herself trying to solve a murder mystery.

Find it on Netflix in all territories.

12. Lady Dynamite

Netflix

Definitely an underrated gem on Netflix. Fans of Arrested Development will get a serious kick out of this super-meta, smart AF, and truly, hilariously, weird half-hour comedy starring comedian Maria Bamford, who plays a fictionalised version of herself in a strange and delightful comment on shows about comedians playing fictional versions of themselves.

It’s a bit intense and can be a bit of a mindfuck, so consuming an episode or two is about all I can handle at one time – but that actually makes it a brilliant changeup from Netflix’s binge culture, and it also means you can enjoy it and still have time to get other stuff done.

Watch it on Netflix in all territories.

13. Unreal

Lifetime

If you loved Fleabag, this one’s for you. The comedy on this show is so depressingly dark I’m not entirely sure it’s ever actually funny, but somehow it’s impossible to look away from. This is mostly thanks to compelling as fuck performances by Shiri Appleby and Constance Zimmer, who play deeply, deeply (no, like, seriously DEEPLY) flawed women. The show itself is a satirical look at reality matchmaking shows, and asks a lot of interesting and uncomfortable questions on sexism between women, intersectional feminism, and what it means to be a powerful woman in the male-dominated entertainment industry.

Seasons 1 and 2 are currently available on Amazon Prime (UK).

14. Class

BBC

Ailbhe says: “Check out YA Doctor Who spinoff Class on BBC iPlayer. It's very watchable and pop-culture-heavy – think a British Buffy, with added Tumblr. The first episode is written by Patrick Ness (The Rest of Us Just Live Here), which should give you an idea of the tone. If you weren’t a Doctor Who fan before, it’s not going to swing you – but if you’re keen already, it’s very enjoyable.”

Watch it on iPlayer (UK).

15. Black Mirror

Netflix

I watched the the news season of Black Mirror on Netflix in its entirety when it landed on Netflix, and oh my god, it hurts so good. It's also great if you’ve only got an hour or so to kill as none of the episodes are linked, so you can enjoy the show in bite-sized servings.

Watch it on Netflix in all territories.

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16. Red Oaks

Amazon Prime

This dramedy set at a country club in the '80s is perfect easy watching. It follows David, an NYU student who’s lost his way after high school, and the entire gang of kids he graduated with who haven’t quite figured themselves out either.

Watch it on Amazon Prime.

17. The Last Kingdom

BBC

I recently binged the shit out of this underrated Netflix epic. Based on the book by prolific British novelist Bernard Cornwell, The Last Kingdom follows Uhtred, a Saxon-born warrior raised by Vikings on a quest to regain his English land and avenge his adoptive father. It’s perfect if you’re a GOT or Outlander fan going through a dry spell, and it’s only eight episodes so you can polish the whole thing off in a weekend. (Be warned, the leading man has nearly unbearable hero-with-a-hot-head complex, but it’s still good fun and the supporting cast more than make up.)

Watch it on Netflix in all territories.

18. Lovesick

Netflix

“The second season of Lovesick (formerly Scrotal Recall) is made up of eight 30-minute-long episodes," says Alicia, "So you can easily smash it out in an evening if you are that way inclined (I am). It’s a really funny, touching look at three best friends managing their deliciously entangled love lives. The music is great, the acting is great, and it’s so British. I adored it and need Season 3 ASAP!”

Watch it on Netflix in all territories.

19. Orphan Black

NEtflix

“Tatiana Maslany is amazing in it, and she just won an Emmy too,” says Kassy. Kassy is RIGHT. Maslany kills as 80% of the cast of this sci-fi show about a cloning experiment gotten out of hand, and it's impossible not to get invested in the arcs of every single one of her varied portrayals. Not to mention it's full of mindblowing twists and turns to keep you on the edge of your seat no matter how many episodes you watch at once.

Watch it on Netflix (UK).

Comment below or @ me with your suggestions for the best shows to stream and you could be featured in my weekly series next year!

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