Staying home may seem like a nice vacation from everyday life, but after approximately four days of it, you might be getting a little (maybe more than a little) bored. Especially when the world feels so unpredictable. So, if you need a distraction from everything going on, I’ve taken on the daunting task of putting together a list of 12 TV shows to binge while stuck inside all day.
I’ve put a lot of thought into how to organize this list, you could even say it’s become the embodiment of my heart and soul. Or, you could say I’m going a little stir crazy — which is why the shows on this list are a perfect distraction! It includes some re-watchable favorites, a few hidden gems and a new release to keep up with. I’ve also taken the liberty of splitting the list into comedies and dramas, depending on what you’re feeling.
If you absolutely hate this list and don’t agree with my taste at all, please feel free to use your quarantine spare time to craft me a strongly worded letter. My email is in my bio.
1. The Good Place
The Good Place is the epitome of a feel-good show. Who would have ever thought a show about moral philosophy could be so fun and fantastical, and star Ted Danson as an eternal being? It’s truly a forking perfect show. With its witty writing and focus on what we can do to be better people and help those around us, it seems more relevant than ever. The twist at the end of season one is pretty amazing, too. You can find three out of the four seasons on Netflix.
2. The Office
You knew The Office would be on here — I’m literally watching it right now. This show is a classic, you can literally pick it up at any random episode and it will make you laugh, I’ll bet my Netflix account on it. I think I’ve been Pavlov-ed into smiling every time I hear the theme song. Go turn your brain off for a little and watch Michael annoy everyone at Dunder Mifflin, or watch Jim and Pam flirt with each other for a couple of hours. All episodes are streaming on Netflix. Side note: Jenna Fischer (Pam) and Angela Kinsey (Angela) also have a podcast where they re-watch episodes of The Office and talk about behind the scenes stuff, so that’s a fun add on to listen to!
3. New Girl
I honestly believe New Girl is an underrated gem of a series. Sure, it has a bit of a weird reputation for being associated with that whole “adorkable” phase everyone was into in 2012, but it’s honestly such a funny show. If you’re into friendship focused shows with quirky characters that get into weird scenarios (just reminiscing on the time Nick and Schmidt had a ten-year “tinfinity” party for their friendship anniversary and Jess almost got engaged to a guy she just met), then this show is for you. There’s even an episode where the whole group gets trapped in a room while on a cruise ship (3×23) if you need something to relate to. All seven seasons are available on Netflix, so you’ll have a lot to binge!
Okay, I know I said New Girl was an underrated show, but Community is truly a one of a kind gem that not enough people know about. I once even wrote an article about how more people should get into this show, and now’s a perfect time! This show has great writing, a bunch of long-running gags, callbacks and a bunch of fun parody episodes (including Law & Order and Glee). I’d even go so far as to say this show is a parody of sitcoms themselves because of how self-aware it is. Plus, the cast includes stars like Ken Jeong, Donald Glover and Alison Brie. Find all six seasons (and hopefully a movie, one day) streaming on Hulu, and on Netflix starting April 1st.
5. Parks and Recreation
This is another one you probably guessed would be on here, but nothing’s wrong with binging old favorites! How can you not be happy while watching this workplace comedy starring Amy Poehler and Chris Pratt? Even April can make you smile in her own dark and creepy way. I honestly need to give this show a re-watch because I haven’t binged it in a couple of years, so I’ll be watching it right along with the rest of you! Also, how can Chris Traeger not inspire some positivity within you? All seven seasons of Parks and Rec are streaming on Netflix now, so what are you waiting for?
6. Arrested Development
Rounding out the comedy half of this list is Arrested Development. This show gives me the same vibes as Community does, with its witty writing and dedication to long-running jokes. Seriously, it may take a few re-watches of this show to fully catch every joke in the series. I know that Netflix recently rebooted the series and added two more seasons on to its original three-season run, which I definitely need to catch up on as well. Please watch this series if only to experience Tobias Funke — Never Nude and wannabe Blue Man. Confused? It’s a good thing that all five seasons are streaming on Netflix.
7. Grey’s Anatomy
If you like drama, messy relationships and inner (highly dramatized) looks into the lives of surgeons, you need to binge Grey’s stat. Even if you’ve seen this series before its probably worth a re-watch due to the sheer amount of seasons there have been — you’re bound to forget something after two million episodes. Whether you’re team McDreamy, team McSteamy or team how has Meredith even survived this long, the doctors at Seattle Grace, wait no — Seattle Grace Mercy West… Or, maybe it’s Grey Sloan Memorial Hospital now? Whatever, this show has been on for so long the hospital has been renamed almost as many times as Shonda has (SPOILER ALERT!) killed off important characters. But the fact that people keep coming back, again and again, means that this show is just undeniably good and binge-worthy. All fifteen (and counting) seasons are available on Netflix.
8. Gossip Girl
If you haven’t heard yet, Gossip Girl is getting a reboot so right now is literally the best time to immerse yourself in the luxurious world of the late-2000s Upper East Side. I started re-watching this truly drama-filled show recently and it’s honestly been one of the best decisions of my life, 10/10 would recommend. Also, watching how insane Blair, Chuck, Serena and basically everyone else except for Nate are can really make you feel better about yourself. Nate is literally the only one who deserves anything in this world. Also, Joe from You is in it if you forgot what his true origins are. Spotted: You binging all six seasons in one sitting. At least thank Netflix first. Xoxo, Gossip Girl.
9. The Vampire Diaries
I’m not going to lie, The Vampire Diaries was my show back in the day. It premiered right in that sweet spot of the Twilight bred vampire obsession, and TVD really went above and beyond to check off every box. Hot vampires? Check. High school drama? Check. Love triangles? Triple check. If you weren’t fighting over Delena vs. Stelena, what were you even doing? I’m pretty sure I originally watched like four seasons of this show in two weeks, so why not make it an official challenge to see who can binge more than I did in a shorter amount of time. I swear, once you get started it won’t be hard at all. All eight seasons are available on Netflix right now!
10. One Tree Hill
Whenever I think of shows like Gossip Girl and The Vampire Diaries, One Tree Hill is always my next thought. If there were an Olympics for most-binge-able 2000s/early-2010s teen drama show (specific, I know, but also an amazing genre) these three would dominate the field. OTH is the holy grail of teen shows because of its ability to blend wild plotlines with grounded characters that feel like real people (Brook Davis forever). I’ll tell you right now, some of the twists later on in this show are truly only something you could think of sleep-deprived at 3 A.M. But, that doesn’t mean they’re not delightfully fun and addicting. Once you start watching Lucas and co. you won’t be able to stop. All nine seasons are streaming on Hulu!
Shameless is a show I got into more recently but binged my way through like a champ. This show seamlessly blends together drama and comedy through the absolutely insane and dysfunctional, yet still loveable, Gallagher family. Shameless is a show that will keep you on your toes with all the crazy things the characters do — stealing babies and lying about cancer to scam a charity just some of them — and it’s really easy to binge once you start. Even though I just got into this show like a year ago its easily became one of my favorites since, and I’m sure it won’t take long to become one of yours too. Please do yourself a favor, while you’re locked inside like Sheila, and use this time to binge all nine seasons on Netflix!
12. Little Fires Everywhere
So, Little Fires Everywhere is a new show that just dropped its first three episodes on Hulu. Therefore, I haven’t been able to watch it yet, but when has anything starring Reese Witherspoon and Kerry Washington ever been bad? According to Hulu, the series is based on Celeste Ng’s 2017 bestselling novel and “follows the intertwined fates of the picture-perfect Richardson family and an enigmatic mother and daughter who upend their lives.” It continues to say, “the story explores the weight of secrets, the nature of art and identity, the ferocious pull of motherhood – and the danger in believing that following the rules can avert disaster.” Bottom line: it sounds absolutely perfect and I will be watching it as soon as I’m done writing this. Find the first three episodes streaming on Hulu right now!
Now that you have 12 amazing shows to watch, what are you waiting for? Happy binging!