TV freaks, finally there’s a solution to all your binge-watching conundrums.
If TV marathons are a way of life for you, like most of us, bookmark this list especially curated by Mr and Mrs Binge-Watch. Aniruddha Guha, a scriptwriter, and Janice Sequeira, a content creator (both started their careers as film and entertainment journalists) are a crazy binge-watching couple, who thrive more on TV, a tub of popcorn and three kittens, than on food.
You can catch them discussing the most popular and trending shows—from cliff-hangers, season finales, sequels and more—on their own podcast, Mr and Mrs Binge-Watch, once every week on IVM Podcasts. But for all those who miss out on them, we dug an out exhaustive and evergreen binge list for all you couch potatoes in an exclusive tête-à-tête with Sequeira and Guha.
The Americans (2013-2018)
The Americans is a period drama about the complex marriage of two KGB spies posing as Americans in suburban Washington D.C. shortly after Ronald Reagan is elected President. “It is one of those rare shows that was consistent and brilliant from the beginning to the end,” Guha says. He points out that a lot of shows continue beyond their ‘sell by’ date and tend to fizzle out by the end of the series, “But The Americans ends on both a high and a big bang which is still unheard of.”
The Good Wife (2009-2016)
This is a story panning eight years of protagonist Alicia Florrick, played by Julianna Margulies, a disgraced wife, who returns to work as a lawyer after her husband, Peter Florrick, is imprisoned following a scandal. “I love legal shows and The Good Wife tops the list for me because not only about Florrick’s personal battles but also her professional growth and challenges,” explains Sequeira, who has a soft spot for procedural shows where an investigation takes places from a single point of view to culminate in a big reveal.
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A German show where a missing child sets four families on a frantic hunt for answers as they unearth a mind-bending mystery that spans three generations. “Dark is an extremely complex show and there are several characters that you need to keep track of in three different timelines,” says Guha. Additionally, what keeps you spellbound is that the show covers multiple genres effortlessly, whether it is thriller or science-fiction. “The highlight being that it consistently pulls the rug from under your feet!”
Bodyguard (2018- )
A British show that follows a war veteran who after thwarting a terror attack is assigned to protect a minister closely linked to the attack. “It is not an intense watch. As a matter of fact, Bodyguard is a campy predictable show. But it stays with you because of the adrenaline-pumping high it ends on,” says Sequeira. The lead actor outsmarts everyone and saves the day. “It is an easy binge-watch show, not to mention Richard Madden who serves as the perfect eye candy!”
Fargo (2014- )
Inspired by the eponymous 1996 film by the Coen brothers, this anthology series embroils several quirky Minnesotans in different "true" crimes. “It is amazing how the series takes off from the 1996 neo-noir film and makes it its own. Fargo is a quasi-remake of the film with a new story in the same universe,” says Guha. It is commendable how Season 2 and 3 are as good as one, set in the same town, but in different points of time and universe. “If you like dark humor; you will find yourself laughing out at the most inappropriate moments,” adds Sequeira; Fargo is the perfect specimen of Coen brothers’ mastery of Black Humour.
Line of Duty (2012-)
The entire story unfolds as one cop investigates the dirty cops within Scotland Yard. “It is a double whammy of a show since no one has ever delved deeper into the inner machination of the British police,” says Sequeira. The American counterpart of Internal Affairs is well known, however, nothing little is known about AC-12 division. “As the seasons progress, Line of Duty unravels the deeper level of corruption. It is a great piece of writing where all five seasons culminate to one mastermind, incorporating a great story arc,” says Guha. What starts of as a simple plot, evolves layers upon layers to become a complex piece of work.
Making a Murderer (2015-2018)
“Documentary as a genre has seen a rise in popularity. The documentary plays out like a thriller and till date no one knows the real truth,” says Sequeira. A documentary spread across two seasons is not a common occurrence, but Guha justifies that despite Season 2 missing out on the thriller element, the show worked because it encapsulated what the American justice system is all about. It is not just about upholding the law, but also about miscarriage of justice. Making of Murderer is also a great human drama.”
Brooklyn Nine-Nine (2013- )
An ensemble show of the hilarious heroics of New York's funniest police precinct, 99th Precinct. In a time when comedy has changed and evolved and taken on a new life; it is all about being inventive and addressing the issues that surround us, “Brooklyn Nine-Nine is straight-up comedy in its most conventional form and that is why it is underrated,” believes Guha. The show with a quirky setting and an equally quirky set of characters packs in laughs consistently every step of the way.
The Office (2005-2013)
The Office presents a hilarious documentary-style look at the humorous and sometimes poignant foolishness that plagues the corporate world. “It is my all-time favourite show with well-etched characters in Jim, Pam, Dwight and Michael. The show starts off slow but gets better with time. The social commentary of our modern-day life is on-point. It is quite a spectacle how the creators turned it into a mockumentary,” Sequeira gushes. Enough said!
Stranger Things (2016-)
There is absolutely nothing to hate about this show. “It is a great trip down memory lane and with pop culture references that we’ve grown up with,” says Guha with a straight face. Season 1 of Stranger Things had a Stephen Hawking treatment, full of conspiracy theories, while Season 3 had references to the Cold War including a character reminiscent of Arnold Schwarznegger. “Every season of the show, whichever year it is set in, holds true to the historic elements. Even the song Never Ending Story has been a part of our childhoods,” he adds. Ask Sequeira what she thinks is the biggest reason for the show’s popularity and she mentions the lovable child actors that form the star cast. “Season 3 was all about them coming of age and friendships and witticisms,” she adds.
Queer Eye (2018- ) and
Spin-off of the original Bravo TV makeover reality show, a new ‘Fab Five’ come together to serve up hip tips, emotionally charged makeovers and heartfelt reveals that bring out all the feels.
TV legend David Letterman teams up with fascinating global figures for in-depth interviews and curiosity-fueled in a new talk show format. “It is nice to see David Letterman in an easy-breezy comfortable conversation. Both the shows take you through ups and downs of human life, whether you are a celebrity or a common man,” shares Sequeira.
The Patriot Act (2018-)
The Daily Show alumnus Hasan Minhaj brings an incisive and nuanced perspective to global news, politics and culture in his unique comedy series. It is the go-to non-fiction show for Guha. He explains, “We are so used to watching white men talking about issues and causes. And here is a brown man in the US addressing issues that ail him as a citizen and are deep-rooted within the system.” Minhaj’s unafraid and investigative stance tied together with great stand-up bits, graphics and production in The Patriot Act makes it THE show for 2019.
Emmy-nominated series, Chef’s Table introduces you to culinary stars around the world who are redefining gourmet food with innovative dishes and tantalising desserts. “This season has stayed with me because it was not about a particular chef and his/her journey, but more of a master class in understanding how a chef works—the motivation and the collective experience,” explains Sequeira.
Ugly Delicious (2018-)
Critically acclaimed chef, David Chang, leads friends on a mouthwatering, cross-cultural hunt for the world's most satisfying grub. “Ugly Delicious makes it okay to give into guilty pleasures, David Chang has that power. The first episode on pizza goes so much beyond just a pizza. By the end of it you can’t help but crave a slice.”—Sequeira.
BoJack Horseman (2014- )
Meet the most beloved sitcom horse of the '90s, 20 years later. Will Arnett’s voice as BoJack is distinguishable making the character his own and vice versa. “The show tackles complicated issues such as depression, fame, drug addiction, etc. with a very well plotted story arc. This is then backed by well thought out characters. The show is a prime example of how animation is no longer a medium for children,” Guha concludes.
Share with us your favourite binge-worthy series on the telly, in the comments below.