by Brandon James Anderson
Since last week, cable network FXX has been running every episode of The Simpsons in chronological order around the clock. Chances are you already know this since the marathon has been promoted, seemingly nonstop, on television and social media. The idea of playing every single episode of such a long-running and beloved show is certainly a smart decision as it provides viewers something to binge watch during the summer on traditional television.
FXX’s The Simpsons marathon aside, the best way to binge-watch shows is still through online streaming services. With Labor Day upon us here are some shows, all available on Netflix, to invest your time in, or waste your time on, this holiday weekend:
Late summer was typically when AMC aired this critically claimed drama, which made it one of a few reasons to even turn on a television the past few summers. Those who watched this past Monday’s Emmy Awards may have gotten a bite of the nostalgia bug watching the show take home numerous awards, including Outstanding Drama Series, and Best Actor for Bryan Cranston, Best Supporting Actor for Aaron Paul, and Best Supporting Actress for Anna Gunn. Luckily, the entire series (including last year’s amazing final episodes) are available to relive on Netflix.
Netflix has steadily built itself up as a prime place for original content the last two years. Earlier this week, the company released its first original animated series, BoJack Horseman, starring Will Arnett as a talking horse whose heyday (pun intended) as a beloved 1990’s sitcom star are well behind him. Oh, and the aforementioned Aaron Paul also stars as BoJack’s permanent house guest, Todd, a human.
The show is as crude as any episode of South Park or Family Guy, yet it can be as funny as the former and far more clever than the latter. If you enjoy It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia and 30 Rock, you will very easily find yourself enjoying this show.
The Office / An Idiot Abroad / Derek
Ricky Gervais, like a fine wine or a tall glass of warm English ale, is an acquired taste. While some find him grating, annoying, and insufferable, others find Gervais to be one of the smartest and funniest humans on earth (count me in the latter camp). Netflix recently added the British (i.e. original) version of The Office. Those who enjoyed watching Steve Carrell give cringe-inducing performances as Michael Scott in the American adaptation will be in awe of Gervais’ David Brent.
An Idiot Abroad is a travel series starring Gervais’ friend, Karl Pilkington. Gervais and writing partner Stephen Merchant star in the series as well, though typically only at the beginning of each episode. Still, the exchanges between the three friends are often highlights of the show. As for Pilkington, his misadventures across the globe as he reluctantly visits new places and experiences different cultures is quite entertaining to witness unfold.
Lastly, Derek is a Netflix original that stars both Gervais and Pilkington as nursing home employees. The show takes some getting used to, but it provides enough subtle humor (along with warmth and heart that’s uncharacteristic of the Gervais “brand”) to make it worth one’s time.
If your time to devout to wasting away on your couch this weekend is limited, Netflix has original shows that can be binge-watched in a single afternoon. One such show is The Fall which stars Gillian Anderson as a detective sent to Belfast from London to review an investigation of a series of murders. At only five episodes, the show’s first season is short enough to watch in a day and the show’s premise is solid enough to keep viewers interested.