Summer is here! Nothing but long, slow days to fill with a glut of TV shows, especially those of us on staycations or housebound for whatever reason.
If the 2014 summer TV slate isn't doing it for you, thank goodness we have services like Netflix Canada to help us out. If you don't subscribe to Netflix, then you can always go for DVDs/Blu-rays. There are so many TV series worth getting into, past and present, that'll eradicate your summer boredom.
The Huffington Post Canada editors have compiled a list of the most binge-able shows, and we tried to suggest something for everyone -- from the intensity of "The Sopranos" and "The Wire" to the addictive soapiness of "Grey's Anatomy" and "Beverly Hills, 90210."
Yeah, yeah, all your friends tell you how it's the best show ever, blah blah blah. Well you can finally shut them up by watching this amazing series from beginning to end on Netflix. Watch as the mild-mannered Walter White goes from docile high school chemistry teacher to crystal meth kingpin. <em>Seasons 1 - 5 available on Netlix and Netflix Canada</em>
"Orange is the New Black"
Everyone's buzzing about it for a reason: this heartbreaking-yet-uplifting series features an outstanding cast, wonderful writing and an addictive quality rare to most TV shows. Based loosely on the real-life events of Piper Kerman, prisoner Piper Chapman navigates the dangerous, confusing world of women's prison. <em>Seasons 1 & 2 available on Netflix and Netflix Canada.</em>
The ultimate space drama, which focuses on the last remaining human beings in the universe, is an addictive, heartstring-pulling masterpiece. So say we all.
"Buffy the Vampire Slayer"
See where it all began for Joss Whedon and Sarah Michelle Gellar with the beloved cult hit about a teenage girl who fulfills her mystical calling as a Slayer by protecting humankind from vampires, demons and other malevolent supernatural creatures. <em>Seasons 1 - 7 are available on Netflix and Netflix Canada.</em>
"Friday Night Lights"
Don't worry, even if you don't like football, you will love this series about a bunch of misfits playing for a Texas high school. <em>Seasons 1 - 5 available on Netflix and Netflix Canada. </em>
Ellen Pompeo stars in this Emmy-winning medical drama as Dr. Meredith Grey, a young surgical intern (and eventual resident) who's caught up in a swirl of personal and professional passions with fellow doctors at Seattle Grace Hospital. <em>Seasons 1 - 10 are available on American Netflix. </em>
"Game Of Thrones"
Having just recently wrapped Season 4, there's definitely enough to sustain you over a summer. With each episode like its own mini-movie, "Game Of Thrones" is sexy, dark and scintillating. Be warned, however -- it can get quite gruesome. <a href="http://www.tmngo.ca/series/?filter=bG9nZ2VkX2luPTF8cGFja2FnZXM9VE1OLFRNTkV8YWZmaWxpYXRlX2lkPXJvZ2Vycw" target="_blank"><em>You can watch this show on the TMN Go app</em></a>.
"Trailer Park Boys"
Not familiar with the boys of Sunnyvale? If you're Canadian, you should be ashamed. The Trailer Park Boys are rude, vulgar, and all-round awful, but damn if they're not hilarious to watch. We highly recommend. <em>Seasons 1 -7 available on Netflix Canada (plus three movies). </em>
Disbarred lawyer Jeff Winger (Joel McHale) enrolls in a local community college. While there, he forms a study group who eventually learn more about themselves than their course work. <em>Seasons 1 - 4 are available on Netflix Canada.</em>
When the Belfast police are stalled in their investigation of a spate of murders, Detective Superintendent Stella Gibson (Gillian Anderson) is drafted to investigate. Under her lead, the team uncovers an intricate web of lives entangled by the killings. <em>Season 1 is available on Netflix and Netflix Canada.</em>
This highly successful comedy series follows the unique Keaton family as their views on politics and life clash to give us humorous family moments. One of the most popular sitcoms of the '80s, the show launched Michael J. Fox into superstardom.
"The Good Wife"
Julianna Margulies ignites the screen as Alicia Florrick, the political wife whose world is shattered when her husband (Chris Noth) is caught in a sex and corruption scandal. Forced to support her family, Alicia returns to work at a Chicago law firm headed by Diane Lockhart (Christine Baranski) and Will Gardner (Josh Charles), a driven attorney with a passion for justice. <em>Seasons 1 - 4 available on Netflix Canada and Netflix U.S.</em>
"Star Trek: The Next Generation"
Geeks, rejoice! Whether you watched "TNG" as a child, or if you've never seen it before (OK, that's hard to believe), this series is often viewed as the most popular in the "Star Trek" universe. Make it so, Captain! <em>This title is no longer available on Netflix Canada, but it still lives on Netflix U.S.</em>
Arguably one of the best TV dramas ever, start from the beginning as the notorious Soprano family gets started on its rise to New Jersey supremacy.
"Once Upon a Time"
Jennifer Morrison, Ginnifer Goodwin, Josh Dallas and Robert Carlyle star in this fantastical series that follows the travails of a young woman who's drawn to a small Maine town, only to discover that it's filled with the mystical elements of the fairy tale world. <em>Seasons 1 - 2 are available on Netflix Canada.</em>
Another masterpiece from HBO is "The Wire." Though slightly dated, the show takes a look at a group of drug dealers from multiple angles in each season: the cops' point of view, the shipping yard angle, the politicians, the neighbourhood kids, and then the journalists.
"Parks and Recreation"
In this droll comedy, an employee with a rural Parks and Recreation department is full of energy and good ideas but bogged down by bureaucracy.
Olivia Pope leads a team of Washington, D.C., lawyers who specialize in making scandals disappear. As they secretly handle crises at the highest levels of government, the dysfunctional team must also cope with problems closer to home.
This gritty drama focuses on the tension between a group of corrupt but effective cops led by Detective Vic Mackey, a captain with the burden of bringing them down as well as reducing crime in her district, and a city councillor out for his own political gain. <em>Seasons 1 - 7 are available on Netflix and Netflix Canada.</em>
"Top of the Lake"
When pregnant, 12-year-old Tui tries to kill herself in a freezing New Zealand lake, Detective Robin Griffin (Elisabeth Moss) has plenty of questions for the girl. But when Tui suddenly disappears, Griffin finds herself knee-deep in small-town secrets.
The sensational murder of the high school homecoming queen strips the veneer of respectable gentility from the picturesque rural community of Twin Peaks to expose the seething undercurrents of illicit passion, greed, jealously and intrigue. FBI agent Dale Cooper and Sheriff Harry S. Truman join forces to investigate the crime and discover a town full of secrets. <em>Seasons 1 & 2 are available on Netflix Canada.</em>
"The West Wing"
Aaron Sorkin's powerful political epic chronicles the triumphs and travails of White House senior staff under the administration of President Josiah Bartlet (Martin Sheen). The acclaimed ensemble cast features Stockard Channing, Allison Janney, Rob Lowe, Richard Schiff, John Spencer and Bradley Whitford as members of the president's inner circle. <em>Seasons 1 - 7 are available on Netflix Canada.</em>
As one of our HuffPost Canada editors says, this show was practically <em>made</em> to binge-watch. Why not spend your summer months with Jack Bauer? WHY NOT SPEND YOUR SUMMER MONTHS WITH JACK BAUER?
"House Of Cards"
The political drama is full of intrigue, great acting and a fun look into a world we're not privy to (usually). Also, if you're at all a fan of Kevin Spacey or Robin Wright, you'll love this show. <em>Seasons 1 & 2 available on Netflix Canada.</em>
Joss Whedon battled Fox over the intense darkness of this sci-fi series about programmable people, and the casualties are the first half-dozen episodes. Still worth watching for the character development and narrative seeds, but rest assured the show gets better and better until the stakes are so high you'll weep that it didn't get six seasons and a movie. <em>Seasons 1 & 2 available on Netflix Canada.</em>
"The Facts Of Life"
Man, the '80s certainly did it right. This show about a group of young girls (yes, they're supposed to be teenagers) at boarding school is true heartwarming, wholesome entertainment from the days of yore. Worth revisiting, for sure. <em>Seasons 1 - 9 available on Netflix Canada.</em>
This sci-fi favourite was only around for one season, but people are still talking about it. Get it on the conversation and watch the 14 episodes. It's worth it, trust us. <em>Season 1 available on Netflix Canada.</em>
"Beverly Hills, 90210"
The teen show that begat all other teen shows (we're excluding "Degrassi"), "90210" is legendary for a reason. Aside from great stories and relevant issues -- drugs and sex among them -- it never stops being entertaining, even when you realize most of these "teens" are in their late 20s. <em>Seasons 1 - 6 available on Netflix Canada.</em>
Imagine if Veronica Mars was a washed-up, middle-age, alcoholic dude detective instead of a overachieving female high-schooler and you get the gist of this critically-acclaimed cult FX series. Starring Canadian actor Donal Logue, the short-lived 2010 show similarly mines the dichotomy of a film noir aesthetic in sunny southern California and the post-Great Recession class war. Though cancelled after a single 13-episode run (a crime, really), at least it tells a complete season-spanning story.
"Freaks And Geeks"
Young James Franco! Young Jason Segel! Young Seth Rogen! That's probably enough to get you into this zany dramedy from 1999. Too bad the show was cancelled before it even finished airing its 18-episode order. <em>Season 1 available on Netflix Canada.</em>
On first glance, this show looks a bit ... heavy. Star William H. Macy seems like he's seen better days. But rest assured, this one's a beauty to binge simply because of the ever-building drama. The show has a soap opera quality that will keep you hungry for the next plotline. <em>Seasons 1 - 4 available on Netflix Canada. You can also watch this show on the <a href="http://www.tmngo.ca/series/?filter=bG9nZ2VkX2luPTF8cGFja2FnZXM9VE1OLFRNTkV8YWZmaWxpYXRlX2lkPXJvZ2Vycw" target="_blank">TMN Go app</a>.</em>
Like sci-fi? Like "The X-Files"? Like <strike>Pacey Witter</strike> Joshua Jackson? If you responded "yes" to any of those, you'll love this series. <em>Seasons 1 - 5 available on Netflix.</em>
"Six Feet Under"
This is one of the most emotionally devastating shows that ever aired on TV. "SFU" has a significant ability to reach that dark, dark area in your soul that you thought was closed off forever. Nope, it's not. Live with the Fisher family (in the funeral home) for five seasons, and you'll understand where we're coming from.
"The Golden Girls"
Ironically, this show never gets old. Sure, some of the humour is outdated, but my goodness, these ladies certainly take the piss out of each other and it's a joy to behold. Nostalgia alert!
Are you ready to take on this monolith? Seen as a pillar of modern TV, this show about a bunch of people stranded on an island (or <em>is</em> it an island?) has become the epicentre for conspiracy theories and wild, out-there ideation. Take it on, if you dare.
Want to know what all the recent fuss is about? (Look how young Kristen Bell looks!) "Veronica Mars" follows the young student as she goes from high school to college, moonlighting as a private detective under her policeman father's tutelage.
This oft-maligned comedy is knee-slapping funny. (Personal anecdote: I watched it for the first time on a plane and burst out loud so many times people became afraid of me.) You'll enjoy the hilarious failures of this group of caterers, who would all rather be doing anything else.
"Skins" (U.K. Version)
You're probably thinking, "WHAT?!" But truly, it's like "Degrassi" multiplied by 300, set in the U.K. Don't bother with the U.S. version -- go for the real deal. <em>Seasons 1 - 6 available on Netflix Canada.</em>
NEXT: Summer 2014 Top 10 New Shows
<strong>Premieres:</strong> Wednesday, July 9 at 9 p.m. ET on Global/CBS <strong>Why We Wanna Watch:</strong> The premise is so insane we have to watch it. Halle Berry plays an astronaut who's been out in space for 13 months and somehow she comes home pregnant. How did it happen?! Also, it's Halle Berry. C'mon.
'Bachelor In Paradise'
<strong>Premieres:</strong> Monday, August 4 at 8 p.m. ET on ABC <strong>Why We Wanna Watch:</strong> This 'Bachelor' spinoff brings us back to the days of 'Temptation Island.' This series consists of six episodes featuring a bunch of singles on a lusty, sexy island. We're sure they'll find the love they're looking for.
<strong>Premieres:</strong> Friday, May 30 at 12:01 a.m. on Netflix Canada/Netflix U.S. <strong>Why We Wanna Watch:</strong> In Season 1, we saw a whole new side to comedian Ricky Gervais. It was touching! Now we want more, and rumour has it the second season is even better than the first.
'Big Brother 16'
<strong>Premieres:</strong> Wednesday, June 25 at 8 p.m. on Global/CBS <strong>Why We Wanna Watch:</strong> The cast of 'Big Brother 15' (pictured here) was the most racist, disgusting reality show cast of all time -- and that's saying a lot. We basically want to watch just to see if that ante can be upped. Surely the new crop won't be as bad, right?
<strong>Premieres:</strong> Sunday, July 30 at 10 p.m. ET on FX Canada/FX <strong>Why We Wanna Watch:</strong> This much-hyped show (shot entirely in Toronto) has some big names in it and behind it, including Corey Stoll (pictured, from "House Of Cards") and the horror man himself, Guillermo del Toro. When a mysterious illness breaks out in New York City (brace yourself, the premiere is a doozy), the CDC must do everything it can to stop it from spreading.
'Halt And Catch Fire'
<strong>Premieres:</strong> Sunday, June 1 at 10 p.m. ET on AMC <strong>Why We Wanna Watch:</strong> Remember 'Hackers'? This new show has a touch of that. 'Halt And Catch Fire' takes us back to the '80s, when personal computers were still a new thing. It focuses on a group of people/tech whizzes who seek to take over the burgeoning industry. Hello, espionage!
'Orange Is The New Black'
<strong>Premieres:</strong> Friday, June 6 at 12:01 a.m. on Netflix Canada/Netflix U.S. <strong>Why We Wanna Watch:</strong> After 'OITNB' left us with that cliffhanger of Piper beating the crap out of Pennsatucky, how can we <em>not </em>salivate for Season 2?
<strong>Premieres:</strong> Thursday, July 31 at 8 p.m. ET, ABC <strong>Why We Wanna Watch:</strong> From the producers of 'Lord Of The Rings' comes this out-there reality show, which pits people against medieval obstacles against a fantasy backdrop. Picture role-playing games in real life, with all the trimmings.
<strong>Premieres:</strong> Sunday, June 29 at 10 p.m. ET on HBO Canada/HBO <strong>Why We Wanna Watch:</strong> Can't get enough of post-apocalyptia? Neither can we. Set post-Rapture, two percent of the population randomly ups and disappears. This show deals with the aftermath and the attempts by everyone else to cope.
<strong>Premieres:</strong> Friday, May 30 at 10 p.m. on Global/NBC <strong>Why We Wanna Watch:</strong> John Malkovich plays the pirate Blackbeard. We don't need to say anything else.
NEXT: Best/Worst Internet Speeds In Canada
Average download speed: 1.67 Mbps Source: <a href="http://ispspeedindex.netflix.com/canada">Netflix Canada ISP Speed Index</a>
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