We in the Northeast have endured another blizzard, but more pajama time is A-OK with us! Snow days and quiet Friday nights are perfect for binge-watching gripping television shows in the comfort of your living room. If you tend to binge-watch your television shows, you’re not alone.
It may seem counterintuitive in this age of short, quippy social media posts and funny cat videos, but humans have a psychological urge to watch entire seasons of television from start finish — no matter how dark, twisted, and complicated the storylines. According to Netflix, three out of four viewers watch the entire first season of Breaking Bad in one sitting!
Psychologists believe that we binge-watch because we crave an escape from our busy lives. As it turns out, occasionally binge-watching television shows can help alleviate symptoms of stress. So put on your coziest pair of pajama pants, pop some popcorn, and stream one of these binge-worthy TV shows. Doctor’s orders.
Top 10 TV Shows to Binge-Watch Right Now
1. The Americans
Nothing is what it seems on The Americans. To their unsuspecting suburban neighbors, Philip and Elizabeth Jennings are the most boring couple you could possibly imagine. But to anyone who gets in their way — including the FBI — these undercover Russian spies are quick, efficient, and deadly. If you like intrigue, action, ‘80s nostalgia, and brutally honest depictions of marriage, you’re going to love The Americans. Stream on Amazon.
2. Brooklyn Nine-Nine
If you like to laugh and love a little action, Brooklyn Nine-Nine is the breakout hit for you. Starring SNL funnyman Andy Samberg and acting veterans Andre Braugher and Terry Crews, the TV show follows the hijinx of the NYPD’s fictional 99th Precinct. The plot revolves around the professional and personal life of Detective Jake Peralta (Samberg), an immature but talented police officer. Hilarity ensues. Stream on Hulu.
For the sci-fi fanatics, Westworld is a thriller that takes place in a technologically advanced Wild West-themed amusement park populated by android hosts. Westworld caters to high-paying guests, who may indulge in whatever they wish within the park without retribution from their hosts — including murder. The series begins as a routine update in the hosts’ programming causes unusual deviations in their behavior, concerning park staff. A few of the hosts become sentient and learn the truth about themselves and the world they are forced to live in. Stream on HBO Go.
4. Jane the Virgin
Jane the Virgin follows twenty-something Jane Villanueva as she navigates the aftermath of an accidental artificial insemination in her very Catholic household. With plenty of family drama, comedic relief, a steamy love triangle, and crime lord, the telenovela satire packs a lot entertainment into each and every episode. Perfect if you were a fan of the old series Desperate Housewives. Stream on Netflix.
5. Orphan Black
Sci-fi is clearly coming back to mainstream television with shows like Westworld and this hit, Orphan Black. The Canadian series raises questions about the moral and ethical implications of cloning. Con-artist Sarah Manning, one of several identical clones, assumes the identity of one of her fellow matches, police officer Elizabeth Childs, after witnessing her suicide. Viewers can watch the entire plot from start to finish, as all five seasons are now available for streaming. Stream on Amazon.
6. Peaky Blinders
If you enjoyed The Godfather trilogy, know that Peaky Blinders is essentially the British version. Inspired by a real-life gang that operated in Birmingham, England during the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the story follows Tommy Shelby, the gang’s reluctant but passionate leader, who must take over his family business (Michael Corleone, anyone?). Each season is just six episodes, making it very easy to devour in one sitting. Stream on Netflix.
7. Friends from College
Friends from College is a “coming of age” story for a new generation. This intense all-too-real dramedy starring funnyman Keegan Michael Key will resonate with many tightly knit college groups who have tried to keep their youthful connections rolling into their 40s. Filled with anti-heroes, beautifully acted, and endlessly entertaining, each of the eight half-hour episodes can be watched in one evening. Stream on Netflix.
8. Bob’s Burgers
Is it just us, or is everything on television these days dark and twisted? Take an extended break from reality and stream every season of the funny adult animated series Bob’s Burgers. We promise that you will fall in love with at least one of the adorable cast members who feature voice talent from legend H. Jon Benjamin (Archer), Kristen Schaal (Last Man On Earth, The Daily Show) Megan Mullally (Parks and Rec, Will and Grace), Jordan Peele (Get Out, Key and Peele), SNL alum Bill Hader, and Aziz Ansari (Parks and Rec, Master of None) to name a few. The plot follows the hilarious antics that take place in and around Bob Belcher’s family business, Bob’s Burgers. Stream on Hulu.
9. Silicon Valley
A surprise hit from producer Mike Judge, best known for King of the HIll and Beavis and Butt-Head, is Silicon Valley, a witty live-action comedy starring Thomas Middleditch and Kumail Nanjiani. The story follows the day-to-day struggle of Richard Hendricks (Middleditch), a Silicon Valley engineer trying to build his own company within the quirky valley tech bubble. Stream on Hulu.
Network after network is producing gloomy, depressing content but Black-ish on ABC is a much-needed standout family sitcom. Loosely based on the family life of creator Kenya Barris, the show doesn’t shy away from discussions of family, race, gender equality, or politics, but addresses these hot-button topics in a way that is timely, relatable, and approachable. The plot follows family man Andre Johnson (Anthony Anderson) as he struggles to maintain a sense of cultural identity while raising his children in a predominantly white, upper-middle-class neighborhood. Every episode is smart, sweet, and guaranteed to make you laugh until your belly hurts. Stream on Hulu.
For more ideas for how to unwind in your pajamas this season, visit The Pajama Company at our blog, thepajamacompany.com/blog.