Binge-watching multiple seasons of a TV show in a night or two seems to be a special talent of mine, and of my sisters for that matter. In my lifespan so far, I seem to have consumed a lot of TV in a very short amount of time, and I am always on the look out for the next TV show that will force me to choose between sleep and downloading the next episode on my extremely portable and cute Samsung tablet (I gave up my iPad due to its non-existent free streaming capabilities; and even though I am no longer a student, I don’t believe in paying for anything if I don’t have to). Whether it’s based on a recommendation by family or friends, or the flight response encountered in the face of looming exams, when I start watching a TV show I become completely obsessed and removed from the real world until I have finished watching every last episode. I am not sure if this is something that many are familiar with, but it’s a similar feeling to being a happy vegetable. You don’t feel like doing anything and have resigned to your fate: that this TV show is going to occupy most of your life for the next few days. And you don’t quite mind; in fact, you feel quite blissful about it.
The following 13 TV shows took over my life at certain periods to the detriment of friendships; academic achievement, sleep and some may even say overall health. I cannot say I have any regrets. Being a potato is great. And so, the countdown begins:
13. The Mindy Project
The Mindy Project is about the life and woes of gynaecologist Mindy Lahiri and her ups and downs with her string of lovers – the sexy lawyer guy being especially memorable. The show is cute and quirky; and being only 20 minutes in length per episode, it’s great to watch during your lunch break when you’re feeling anti-social. Not sure why people think I am similar to Mindy – I am literally nothing like her at all. Apart from the fact that I am brown and Asian and petite – but after that all similarities end. I swear.
12. 8 Simple Rules
I love this show because I spent so much time watching it growing up and always remember laughing out loud to it. The show never get’s old either and is great to watch with family. The family/sister-dynamic is also very easy to relate to – especially when you have gazillion siblings of your own.
11. Sabrina the Teenage Witch
Who doesn’t want magic powers? And Salem the talking cat, Harvey and two cool Aunts who let you do whatever you want (kinda)? Again, this is a show I watched on loop growing up and it reminds me of the 90s and all other nostalgic things that come with it.
10. Grey’s Anatomy
Hot doctors ahoy! So much drama and tension in this show it’s hard to stop watching it once you get started. It’s a good thing that this show is in no way representative of what it is like to actually work in a hospital or I may have continually regretted my career choices. Also, McDonald’s should have started serving McDreamies and McSteamies years ago. They should also hire me as their Queen for providing them with such an ingenious marketing idea.
9. Game of Thrones
I watched this show during the week before I was to fly out to Borneo in 2012; it was also the week at the end of which my best friend was due to get married. I watched all the seasons in one go without moving from my seat in our dining room and didn’t sleep for about two days. I told my Mum I was doing job applications.
This is a new show that I have recently started watching on the recommendation of my younger sister who is a history buff. It’s a milder version of Game of Thrones – I mean, a really mild version. Anyone who knows me knows that I am obsessed with history and love anything to do with the Tudors, Victorian era, industrialisation etc. Reign is about Queen Mary of Scots and her ascent to the throne through her marriage to the Dauphin of France, Francis. The show takes many liberties with historical facts, but that only adds to make the period drama more exciting in my opinion, especially with the introduction of the bastard brother Sebastian or Bash * swoon *. This show is currently my guilty pleasure and I would highly recommend it to anyone experiencing withdrawal symptoms from Game of Thrones.
7. Devious Maids
Created by the producer of Desperate Housewives, and documenting the lives of four Latina housemaids in Beverly Hills, I watched two seasons of this show in the span of a few days at the start of this year. I preferred this show greatly to Desperate Housewives as the characters are a lot more relatable (although not necessarily less desperate) and the storylines are ridiculously dramatic to the point of ludicrousness. With cute guys and unpredictably predictable storylines, the show requires little to no brain activity and is great to binge to.
6. The Vampire Diaries
I watched this show in one go during my third year of university after I had got back from skiing in France and all I wanted to do was hibernate and eat potato based products; far too much socialising abroad and sitting in a coach for about 18 hours meant that I did not want to leave my room or talk to anyone for a long while. And this is pretty much what I did. I downloaded all the episodes on my laptop, brought several bags of chocolate and crisps, rolled into my duvet like a rolling pin and watched all the seasons in one go. Damon Salvatore and the unexpected twists with Elena’s doppleganger in the first few seasons are pretty gasp worthy. I’ll leave it at that. Oh, and I’m Team Damon all the way.
This show actually made me look into the possibility of becoming a corporate lawyer. I even went to the Cambridge Careers Service seeking advice on it. Glad I moved on from that swiftly -_-. Harvey Specter is probably one of the main reasons why this show is so addictive. Arrogant, douchey and positively smug – it’s all anyone’s ever wanted. To be honest, you can’t help falling in love with all the characters in this show; the writers really do deserve high praise for this. The show is fast-paced and keeps you on edge with its constant twists and turns and with Mike’s true identity always on the line. The show no doubt has the positive effect of making the viewer more ambitious at least. That, and the desire to have a photographic memory, grrr.
4. Prison Break
I can’t remember exactly when I consumed 4 seasons of this in 4 days, but it was most likely during the summer break inbetween unidays. Michael, again similar to Mike in Suits, is extremely intelligent and has an incredible memory. He puts himself in the same prison as his framed brother who is on Death Row in order to help him break out. I loved the premise of the show, the grime of prison life and Michael’s unshakably good character. I am starting to feel that I should revisit this show again soon :).
I watched 10 Seasons of Smallville in 4 weeks during Michaelmas in my fourth year at uni to the detriment of all my uni work. I’m not sure if I’ve ever felt more like a potato. I’m not sure how I functioned frankly either but I didn’t care; I was obsessed with finishing the whole series and nothing else mattered. Up to Season 7 the show just about made sense and then after that every ounce of anything in the realm of possibility falls apart and the show becomes pretty stupid. I still forced myself to watch it though. I will always pine for Chloe and Clark- the relationship that never was; I also enjoyed how Lana had to be full of kryptonite like a tank before Clark was actually able to move on, as he could no longer physically go near her… I mean, seriously -_-.
2. Charmed, especially Seasons 1-3
Again, a group of sisters and magic powers, what more could anyone want? Absolutely love this show, and watched it growing up and then binged on it during my sixth-form years. I liked the first 3 seasons the most when Prue was still alive and running the show. Always loved Shannen Doherty as an actress and growing up thought the character of Prue was such a great role model: strong, independent, supportive and doesn’t take crap from anyone. She also has the best powers- telekinesis and astral projection. This show will always hold a special place in my heart because my best friend loved White Lighter Leo (just as much as Clark from Smallville now I think about it!). Every time I see or come across this show it reminds me of her memory and growing up together.
1. One Tree Hill
And finally, we have number 1. I pretty much did no work in second year due to prioritising watching this show over writing my essays. It’s everything you need in your life really- love triangle, cute boys, lots of pining, lots of literary references, lots of dark edgy art, music, sport, more pining, friendships being broken and mended, life, loss, finding yourself etc. Oh, and Chad Michael Murray as Lucas Scott <3. Again, Seasons 1-4 were the highlight but after that it sort of lost its charm for me because it delved into the trials and tribulations of adult life. The silent and unrelenting love story between Lucas Scott and Peyton – well, let’s just say we’ve all been there. It’s one of those coming of age/teenage shows that anyone can watch and relate to some part of it- if not all. Makes you feel warm and fuzzy and angry with the world all at the same time.
So there you have it, my Top 13. I have How to Get Away with Murder, Mad Men, ER, Orange is the New Black, Scandal and Extant on my current list of shows to work through.. am I missing anything? Comment below.