It's Memorial Day Weekend, which means a lot of planning and the back-of-the-head notion that you can always flake out if you feel like it, which I quite like. Then comes the binge-watching, because it's a three-day weekend and if you get hung over right away, that's all you've got going on. I like when things like internet dating or binge-watching become something anybody can do without feeling like a mutant—even if you are still kind of being a mutant—so you know what? If it feels good, I say do it.
This week marks the game-changer release of HBO on Amazon Prime, with most of their offerings falling into the categories of either "things you have watched," "things you have lied about watching for so long it kind of feels like you already did," and "things you should probably just go ahead and watch." The Wire, The Sopranos, Eastbound & Down, and particularly Enlightened should do the trick if you feel like going on a real journey this weekend. And if you really want to get into the spirit of things, why not Band Of Brothers?
Also Recommended On Prime: Orphan Black and Louie are halfway through their respective current seasons, and both are hella good in bulk. Hannibal, The Americans and The Good Wife are all coming off majorly hyped seasons, particularly that last, so it might be a good time to get all caught up. The criminally underrated, batshit-crazy Teen Wolf is about to start up again, and any fan can tell you it's worth starting from the beginning, while for some reason Twin Peaks is having a moment, so you might as well jump on that. I haven't seen it in ten years, I'm anxious to see if Audrey and the Sheriff really are as perfect as I remember.
Recommended On Netflix: Orange Is The New Black is about to start up again, so whether you buzzed through the first season the day it came out and barely remember it (guilty) or just feel like catching up for the conversation, that's available. Classics like The Boondocks, The Mortified Sessions, Sherlock and The Fall are pretty rewarding on rewatch. Bates Motel and Luther are even better in marathons.
If you're looking for something quality and off the beaten path, I personally would recommend Continuum, which starts out real dorky but quickly rises to Orphan Black levels of outstanding—particularly in its unapologetic and searingly intelligent, never-boring outlook on corporate and global economics—and The Fosters, which is simply the best show on TV you are not watching, and which returns in a few weeks. (You can also watch Fosters—and Pretty Little Liars, which is fucking awesome and starting up again soon as well—at the ABC Family site.)
Recommended On Hulu: If you like the fast-talkin', realistic political humor of Veep and In The Loop, you should start at the beginning with The Thick Of It. Another short but quality show you've probably heard about but happened just before the arc of online streaming, State Of Play, is a twisty, grungy, funny thriller about the dirty intersection of politics, journalism and criminal investigation that inspired a lot of the stuff we're into now. (Definitely worth circling back around, and not just because it has David Morrissey at his most gigantic/beautiful.)
Recommended On Demand: Veep isn't really necessary for the through-line, it's pretty consistently funny, but they do zip right by in a marathon and you get to see a lot of funny asides, facial expressions and hilarious intonations that you may have missed. I watch every episode like 100 times anyway, but I still like to revisit old ones, which is not something I really do for most shows. I would also recommend House Of Lies and In The Flesh, which are two shows that are NOT what you think they are. House Of Lies is one of the more emotionally riveting and insightful shows on TV, despite the Entourage-y douchiness you may have picked up on when the show was first a thing, while In The Flesh is simply devastating in a way that I can barely even talk about*, but trust me. I would recommend it probably the most out of anything on this list, and I hate zombie shit more than anyone I've ever met.
And finally: I can't tell you where to find these things, but the three things I like most on the international scene, and will probably be rewatching in the next six months, are Denmark's Borgen, Sweden's Äkta människor (Real Humans), and the UK's Black Mirror. The latter two are soft/near-future science fiction—my favorite kind—about personal-servant androids in the first case and a media futurism anthology in the second, while Borgen is simply delicious, like a utopian merging of The West Wing and The Good Wife that isn't even a pretend utopia, just the radically different system of democracy in tiny awesome little Denmark.
How about you? What are you planning on watching this weekend? What do you think the rest of us would like that we haven't yet heard about? Do you find that binge-watching makes it harder to remember things, like I do, or are you better at staying still for a normal adult amount of time than I am? Are you into social-studies science fiction that is basically us, or do you prefer things that are more fantastical? Have you come to a decision about zombies yet?