Binge Facts: A drug-by-drug break down of TV’s most addictive shows

Published December 14, 2018

Finding something new and exciting to watch has become a momentous task, no matter how much effort streaming giants, cable TV networks, and The Big Three (CBS, NBC and ABC) put into creating grade-A content; it’s easy to stay within the confines of the binge comfort zone, watching aimlessly as an entire season of Friends unravels before your eyes.

From addictive reality television to decadent period pieces, there’s a show for everyone. Yet the question remains: What should you actually watch? Like any decent drug, TV is an addictive time commitment; like any decent doctor, we want to let you know what you’re getting yourself into. Here, five shows that could deserve your attention, side effects and all. Warning: binge at your own risk.

SCHITT’S CREEK (POP / Netflix)

This underrated show keeps it all in the family. Produced and directed by Daniel and Eugene Levy, the father-son duo accomplish something that not a lot of purported comedies do: they make you laugh. Noteworthy is Catherine O’Hara’s exuberant portrayal of Moira Rose, a fallen soap opera star doomed to live in ruins, and her relationship with her eccentric and selfish kids. Johny Rose, played by Levy senior, bought the town as a joke for his son’s birthday. Oh, and there are fabulous wigs.

VANDERPUMP RULES (Bravo) 

Reality TV isn’t for everyone, but this show is. A spinoff series from The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, this trashy service industry drama follows Lisa Vanderpump as she tries to herd the sexually-frustrated wannabe actors that work at her Sexy, Unique, Restaurant (SUR). They drink too much, have sex with each other, and fight all the time – how can anyone resist?

ROOM 104 (HBO)  

This anthology series created by Jay and Mark Duplass is completely unpredictable. There are no recurring characters besides an old, dingy hotel room where psychedelic rituals, murders and other oddities take place. In the world of Room 104 there are no rules, except the ones set by the Duplass brothers — each episode was filmed in three days and all within that one room. It’s the perfect escape from your family and real life altogether. 

MARVELOUS MRS. MAISEL (Amazon)

Set in the late 1950s, this show — from the mind of Amy Sherman-Palladino of Gilmore Girls fame—tells the story of Miriam Maisel, the quintessential Upper West Side Jewish housewife. When her jerk of a husband ditches her to pursue his comedic aspirations, Maisel discovers (plot twist!) that she’s actually the funny one, and dives headfirst into the smoke-filled nightclubs of downtown New York.

ELITE (Netflix)

Where did all the good shows about wild youth go? (No, Riverdale — a dark adaptation of the Archie Comics — doesn’t count.) Enter Elite, Netflix’s response to the black hole Gossip Girl left in the TV landscape. The Spanish drama-series is set in Las Encinas, a fancy private school, ruled by a mean girl and a suave-but-douchey jock that don’t like outsiders infiltrating their world. It’s daring, decadent, and exceptionally fun.