Beloved classics like One Tree Hill, Parks and Recreation and Mad Men are available for a good, lengthy binge

By Eric Todisco
April 08, 2020 02:17 PM
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Credit: HBO/Everett; HelenSloan/HBO; AMC/ Everett

If there was ever a time to binge-watch some of the most popular shows in television history, it’s now.

As the country continues to social distance and isolate amid the coronavirus pandemic, interest in television is at an all-time high, with people desperate to find ways pass the time.

With a selection of shows that includes dragons, an island that can travel through time and an omniscient blogger, there’s arguably more than enough television available across the ever-growing list of streaming services to get through these trying times.

Here are the best scripted shows to binge watch while cooped up in the house — and where to watch them.

Game of Thrones

Credit: Helen Sloan/HBO

Controversial ending aside, Game of Thrones is a masterpiece in television. From episode one, it’s impossible to not get enthralled in the Stark, Lannister and Targaryen families’ quests to rule the Seven Kingdoms.

Thrilling moments like the Red Wedding, the Battle of the Bastards and the jaw-dropping fight scene between the Mountain and the Viper are forever staples in GOT history — despite not all of them having desirable outcomes (Ahem, Red Wedding).

Where to watch: HBO Go/HBO Now

The Sopranos

Credit: Will Hart/HBO

The Sopranos gives a jarring look into the life of New Jersey-based Italian mobster Tony Soprano (James Gandolfini), and suffice it to say, it’s anything but dull.

Balancing his role as leader of a criminal organization with being the head of his nuclear family  — cue the incredible Carmela Soprano (Edie Falco) — proves difficult for Tony, setting the stage for six seasons of one of the greatest television shows created.

Where to watch: HBO Go/HBO Now

The Office

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The employees of Dunder-Mifflin Paper Company may be the oddball companions everyone needs to get through the loneliness of coronavirus.

Steve Carell, John Krasinski, Jenna Fischer and the rest of The Office cast deliver 9 seasons of off-the-wall hilarity. It’s an easy binge that will have you laughing all the way through.

Where to watch: Netflix (moving to Peacock in January 2021)

Grey’s Anatomy

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Make Grey’s Anatomy “your person” by indulging in 15 seasons (and counting!) of medical mayhem, inspiring love stories, and heartbreaking farewells. With an ever-changing cast and twist and turns at every corner, Grey‘s is sure to get you hooked from the beginning.

Tissues are highly suggested for this one.

Where to watch: Netflix

Breaking Bad

Credit: AMC

There’s a reason Breaking Bad is highly regarded as the best television series of all time — and his name is Walter White. Bryan Cranston gives the performance of his career in the thrilling AMC series where you just can’t help but root for the teacher-turned-drug-lord, even when he’s being very, very evil.

Even after getting through these wild five seasons, you can continue to binge the Breaking Bad era with El Camino, the sequel film starring Aaron Paul, and Better Call Saul, the prequel series starring Bob Odenkirk and Jonathan Banks.

Where to watch: Netflix

Gossip Girl

Credit: Andrew Eccles/ The CW

You may not be able to spoon yogurt on the steps of the Met, but you can luxuriate in the delicious, occasionally far-fetched dramas of Gossip Girl‘s six seasons. Who needs IRL friends when you’ve got Serena (Blake Lively), Blair (Leighton Meester), Chuck (Ed Westwick), Dan (Penn Badgley) and the rest of the Upper East Side teenagers?

This beloved CW drama is a must-binge now, especially in anticipation of HBO Max’s upcoming reboot. So stop waiting. XoXo, Gossip Girl.

Where to watch: Netflix

Lost

Credit: MARIO PEREZ/ABC

Sure, Lost may not have gotten the best fan reaction after its controversial finale, but there is no denying that this action-packed series changed television as we know it. Time travel, incredible plot twists and cliffhangers that leave us still in awe (“We have to go back!”) are just some of what makes Lost epic all these years later.

Where to watch: Hulu

Mad Men

Credit: Ron Jaffe/AMC

There’s been no period drama in television quite like Mad Men. The AMC series does an impeccable job at highlighting life during the 1960s, including monumental historical events like President John F. Kennedy’s assassination.

While Peggy Olson (Elisabeth Moss) is the underdog to root for, the compelling flaws of Don Draper (Jon Hamm) makes him the true (anti)hero of this story.

Where to watch: Netflix

Parks and Recreation

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Need more laughs during isolation? Parks and Recreation has got you covered. Leslie Knope (Amy Poehler) and the rest of the gang in Pawnee, Indiana never fail to keep up the entertainment — all the while being total hot messes. There has never been a series with more heart.

Where to watch: Netflix, Hulu (moving to Peacock in October 2020)

One Tree Hill

Credit: CW /Everett

One Tree Hill begins with a bitter rivalry between half-brothers Lucas (Chad Michael Murray) and Nathan Scott (James Lafferty) — and evolves into a beautiful nine-season story about friendship, family and love in good ole Tree Hill, North Carolina.

Brooke Davis (Sophia Bush) delivers enough sass and class to fall in love with her from the start. Plus, with the NBA season suspended, sports fans should enjoy the basketball scenes. Go Ravens!

Where to watch: Hulu