Image courtesy of StockSnap via Pixabay
It seems I never have time to catch up on shows that I find interesting, so I plan to spend some time over the holiday break to do some binge-watching. I thought I’d share some of the shows that I’ve enjoyed in the past as well as a couple of new ones I’m looking forward to.
Note: Some of the older ones may be taken for granted, but if you skipped over them, you may want to go back and check them out. Also, keep in mind that this list is varied across genres, and you may find something further down more to your liking.
Once Upon a Time
One of my all time favorites is Once Upon a Time. Most people have heard of it, but not everyone gave it a chance. It’s a story about fairy tale characters that were brought to our world (a world without magic) as a curse. It starts off with them not knowing who they really are and volleys back and forth between their past and present. It’s a format that can be confusing and even frustrating for some, but I enjoyed the puzzle of it all and making connections between them.
I think most fans will agree that the first few seasons were best, but I saw it through to the end. Just so you know, Season 6 was in many ways the final season of the show as it wrapped up the storyline for almost all of the main characters. Season 7 was a bit of a reboot and was met with mixed reviews. I wrote about the show, recapping individual episodes between Season 3 and Season 6, on thecelebritycafe.com, some of which I’ve linked to in the Once Upon a Time section of Reviews. All seven seasons are currently available on Netflix.
I discovered LOST because it was produced by the same showrunners of Once Upon a Time, Adam Horowitz and Eddy Kitsis. Once Upon a Time was full of LOST throwbacks, such as the Apollo candy bar, and featured many of the same actors and actresses. I wanted to see what the references were all about, and once I started watching it, I couldn’t stop.
LOST was presented in the same fashion (or I suppose since it came first, I should say Once Upon a Time was presented in the same fashion as LOST), bouncing back and forth between the past and the present. In many ways, the plotline was so convoluted that it was hard to make sense of it, but I found it entertaining nonetheless. You can binge LOST on Hulu.
Reign is a period drama that explores the lives and relationships of Mary Queen of Scots and Elizabeth I. It includes other characters of interest such as Catherine de Medici and Nostradamus. As far as being historically accurate, it’s notorious for how much it got wrong. There are a ton of articles that address this fact. For example, a lot of the characters’ backstories and love triangles were invented, and even the costumes were inaccurate. However, it did get something right. As www.themarysue.com points out, when it came to the struggles women (even women of power) faced at that time, Reign depicts authentic ambitions and roadblocks. I, for one, like how it displays the power and influence that women had which is often misunderstood.
Again, this show is not historically accurate in most of its plotline. That being said, it is intriguing and entertaining as a drama. All four seasons of Reign are still available to binge on Netflix.
The Last Kingdom
The Last Kingdom takes place in Anglo-Saxon Britain and presents the conflict between the Saxons and the Vikings, or more precisely, the Danes. As with many historical fiction pieces, there is some accuracy, but not all of it based on actual events. It addresses real historical figures such as Alfred the Great and real events, but focuses on the drama and romance that most audiences find entertaining rather than attempting to be a fleshed out documentary. In fact, according to Bustle, The Last Kingdom is based on The Saxon Stories, a set of novels written by Bernard Cornwell, and appears to be more concerned with adhering to the novels than historical facts.
The HeroDotUs History Blog lists some of the things that are inaccurate in The Last Kingdom, including costuming and appearance. Despite its inaccuracies, The Last Kingdom does a very good job of presenting life during the 9th century and the culture of the Anglo-Saxons and the Danes. Season 3 just dropped on Netflix, and I can’t wait to binge and share!
I discovered The 100 when I was looking for something to fill the void left by the end of Once Upon a Time. I avoided watching The 100 for a long time, because the premise struck me as something I wouldn’t get into. It’s a post-apocalyptic tale of juvenile delinquents sent to Earth to determine if it is inhabitable after generations of humans living on a mashup of space stations. It turns out that The 100 is a beguiling drama that I’ve come to obsess over as much as if not more than Once Upon a Time. It’s full of plot twists and character development that keeps it fresh.
All five seasons of The 100 are currently available on Netflix. If you haven’t seen it, go watch it! If you’ve been waiting for Season 5, go watch it! Just – go watch it!
Stranger Things is sci-fi at its best, at least in recent times. Perhaps I feel that way due to its retro setting. If you haven’t seen it yet, Stranger Things takes place in the 1980s and is full of nostalgia. It not only captures the culture, it recreates the feeling of classic sci-fi flicks. Full of strange events that combine classic tropes ranging from psychological thriller to government conspiracy to the supernatural and even a little horror, Stranger Things has something for everyone. It’s cheesy, a little bit scary, and definitely intriguing.
Stranger Things is a Netflix original series. The first two seasons are available, and Season 3 just wrapped up filming. Radio Times shared some more information regarding the upcoming third season.
Dr. Who‘s rerelease, beginning in 2005 is a must see. Seasons 1 – 11 are available on Amazon Prime (1 – 10 are free for members). Season 11, starring Jodie Whittaker as the 13th doctor, is currently underway. There’s not really much I can say about Dr. Who other than if you haven’t seen it, you should. Except, I can tell you, just in case you haven’t heard, for the first time since the reboot, there will not be a Christmas episode this year. However, it appears there will be a New Year’s special instead. You can read more about that on www.inverse.com. Hopefully, it will show in theaters, since that’s become a traditional outing for my family.
Of new interest to me is Manifest. To be honest, my interest is primarily due to the fact that it stars Josh Dallas (a.k.a. Prince Charming from OUAT). It’s a supernatural mystery about an airplane that goes missing and then suddenly returns five years later with the passengers having only experienced a few hours.
I wanted to follow Manifest from the airing of the premiere, but was unable to. That’s why I plan to catch up this week. I also plan to review episodes as I watch them, and then hopefully can do so each airing going forward. Manifest airs Monday nights on NBC, and is available to binge on Hulu.