As Autumn kicks into full gear, and the nights and days get colder, it’s time to nestle in with some great TV shows. Internet media powerhouse Netflix may be just the answer to catch up on your favorite shows, commercial free. Nowadays you can watch on your smart television, stream from a blu-ray player, or set top streaming box like Roku or Google Chromecast. Or you can keep it old school and crawl under a blanket with your laptop or iPad.
Netflix isn’t just about movies, or DVD or Blu-Ray rentals. This guy watches his favorite shows in this format without seeing the same adverts over and over. So here’s a list of the best bets for marathon watching for the rest of 2014.
ORANGE IS THE NEW BLACK. If you haven’t experienced the adventures of Piper Chapman, you must add this to your queue now. It features the adorable Taylor Schilling and super talented Kate Mulgrew, not to mention an all women’s prison. Funny, intense and irreverent, you’ll be hooked.
HOUSE OF CARDS. Kevin Spacey and Robin Wright are a U.S. Congressman and his wife, respectively. As Francis Underwood, Spacey is unstoppable in his quest for political power, using wife Claire to an amazing degree. If Government is really like this, I’m moving to Canada.
ARROW. Based on a secondary DC comics character, Arrow follows the exploits of a millionaire playboy (not quite Bruce Wayne, kids) played by the extremely hot Stephen Amell who fights crime with bows and arrows. Seriously, it’s fun and created by openly gay producer Greg Berlanti (“Green Lantern”) (“Broken Hearts Club.”)
BATES MOTEL. Currently in it’s third season, Netflix only has the first, but watch the first episode and you’ll be hooked. Super talented Vera Farmiga electrifies the small screen as Norma Bates, mother to Norman (the adorable Freddie Highmore) with her motherly overbearing control freak is often frightful to watch. Hitchcock would be proud to see his 1960 film re-invented as a series, set in modern day Washington state with the iconic Bates house and motel as a backdrop.
THE WALKING DEAD. Stephen King favorite Frank Darabont (“Shawshank Redemption”) (“The Green Mile”) created this series about a band of misfits fighting in the wake of the Zombie apocalypse. But don’t let the title fool you, this one has amazing effects AND character development. It’s incredibly dark and, perfect for rainy nights.
AMERICAN HORROR STORY. Now in it’s fourth season, only the first two are here, but whether you’re a fan of the genre or not, this is one classily produced show. Each season is a different story and setting, featuring the same actors. Jessica Lange is amazing as always and check out super cute Evan Peters in multiple roles.
ONCE UPON A TIME. Emma (Ginnifer Goodwin) discovers a small Maine town filled with fantasy and fairytale characters. In the 21st century we have the technology to produce a series about fictional people in this slick show. You can’t not watch if you like fantasy.
DOCTOR WHO. I’m including this British import because it’s simply one of the best shows on TV today. England’s longest running sci-fi show was artfully re-invented in 2005 by producer Russell T. Davies (“Queer as Folk”) a featuring a centuries old alien time traveller who moves about in an old Police Box. Admittedly, you DO need some backstory before you begin watching, so once you have the basics, you’ll want to see every episode twice.
BOB’S BURGERS. Not to leave any genre out of this list, I’m including the irreverently funny animated series here. Bob and his crazy wife and even crazier kids are just trying to get their burger joint off the ground, and their exploits are legendary and epic.
HEMLOCK GROVE. One of the newest produced-by-Netflix series is as dark, intense anthology series about two young men coming to grips with the supernatural truth about themselves and family is both gory and frightening. Sexy Famke Janssen together with hotties Landon Liboiron and Bill Skarsgard are enough to watch the show just to look at them. But trust me, you won’t be sorry.
There are many, many more shows and movies to choose from, this list is a grouping of my favorites. One of the best things about the site is that you don’t need to DVR, some minuses are that most shows aren’t up to date with current seasons; they rely on contracts from producing networks and often a few years behind. But with so much to choose from, and about $8 a month for unlimited streaming, this is an amazing deal. And if you’re tired of paying that outrageous cable bill, all you really need is an internet connection and a membership to be off and running into TV fabulousness. Get on that, kids!