If you’re going to travel on a long trip soon, there are 11 reasons why the journey is going to be awesome — and it’s all on TV. In fact, there are 11 shows you need to binge watch for your next long trip.
Those who know me well know I binge watch shows on long flights, and I’ve been prone to firing up my Roku on weeknights considering there’s so much great TV at the moment.
Too much great TV, in fact, and it’s pretty stressful choosing the right show. Lucky for you, I whittled down the hundreds of trending shows on popular networks, like Netflix, Hulu and HBO, to the top 11 I recommend. I tried to choose a variety of shows, from comedies to dramas, as well as shows that have been, in some shape or form, part of a larger conversation, and I tried to include shows that are sleepers, or the first season of great shows going into their second or third.
Also, none of the descriptions below have spoilers.
Remember, now is a great time to start free trials with tons of networks so you don’t spend any money, like Hulu, Showtime, Amazon Prime and more.
For the record, my favorite shows of all time are Curb Your Enthusiasm, Fargo, The Americans, Veep, The Leftovers, Succession and Breaking Bad (all of which are award winners) if that gives you an idea of what holds my attention. I’m a sucker for well-thought out, character-driven shows, whether it’s transporting me to a whole new reality I would never call my own, or resonate with me in ways that I personally identify (ie: characters who feel lost, feel inspired, etc), but I still go for variety below.
None of these shows below overlap with my story on 9 amazing TV shows to binge watch on your next long flight.
So if you’re going on a 14 hour flight to Singapore, or a train across Canada, make sure you plug into these 11 best shows to binge watch on your next long trip. I highly recommend them!
1. If you like big-budget space shows, try: Lost In Space.
Rotten Tomatoes score: 83%
Lost in Space on Netflix was recommended by my friend Antoine recently, though it came out last year, so I’m not sure how it slipped through the cracks of my radar.
The story follows the Robinson family and their crash-landing on an unknown planet after their spaceship colony aboard a major vessel, The Resolute, had… issues. Lost in Space has a diverse and pretty exceptional cast that I feel were all poached from Disney? They all have that vibe. Anyway, this family falls into absurdly anxiety-inducing, heart-in-throat situations seemingly every 6 minutes. Danger! The show also features Parker Posey, who you wouldn’t know if you’re not a Gen-Xer, and she’s sort of a villain who does terrible things, which makes the show soooo good. Season 2 just premiered, and I’m excited to check it out.
2. If you like *good* shows adapted from Stephen King books (vs. the terrible ones), try: The Outsider
Rotten Tomatoes score: 82%
Honestly, when I saw the trailer for The Outsider on HBO, I wasn’t at all compelled. In fact, if you watch it, it doesn’t seem to delve into elements of the supernatural and horror, which Stephen King is known for.
But then you watch the first episode, and you know they left all the fucked-up shit out for a reason.
Basically, a suburban dude (Jason Bateman) is accused of killing a young boy. The protagonist detective, Ralph Anderson, whose young son recently died, is definitely going to make sure he goes to prison, but evidence shows suburban dude wasn’t even in town when the young boy died. It gets *very* Stephen King from that point on. Think bogeyman-type surprises. The best thing about the show is that the audience is in the same boat as Ralph as the mystery starts to unravel; we know as much as him for every WTF moment as the plot progresses.
The second best thing? The show manages to explore the unknown in a modern world we know, so it doesn’t come across fantastical. Honestly, it makes it one of the best TV shows to bingewatch during Covid-19.
3. If you like rooting for underdogs, try: RuPaul’s Drag Race Season 12
Rotten Tomatoes score: 83%
The only reason I’m mentioning RuPaul’s Drag Race on VH1 is because dozens of people had given up on this reality show where drag queens compete for the title of world’s best drag superstar. I was a little over it too; the format of the show was the same year after year, and there weren’t too many queens I cared about.
This year, however, there’s *so* much drama surrounding the show, what with RuPaul fracking and Sherry Pie being disqualified already for some weird crazy shit she did. The production team did their best to edit out her scenes in the last episode, so you’re sort of watching the drama in real time. It’s a train wreck. But also, there’s a contestant with a mullet… finally, someone I’m rooting for!
4. If you like solid mysteries with shocking twists and genuine WTF moments, try: The Stranger
Rotten Tomatoes score: 86%
I was *screaming* at the TV so hard Ruby was worried. In fact, there are heaps of shocking twists in The Stranger on Netflix, one right after the other, I was physically dizzy at some points. The show based on thriller writer Harlan Coben’s book is about a normal English family being normal, when this mysterious woman appears to tell the husband in private that his wife lied to him about something pretty important. This happens literally in the first five minutes, so from the getgo, you’re caught in this wild, crazy ride til the end.
There’s various storylines happening at once, and everyone connects in some crazy 6-degree way, sort of like Game of Thrones, but with 230 less characters. Anyway, remember Lost? Remember how in every episode, there was that major cliffhanger, so you were like “ok one more episode” because you just had to know what happens?
You’ll binge The Stranger within a day, guaranteed.
5. If you gave up on The Walking Dead two years ago, try: The Walking Dead
Rotten Tomatoes score: 81%
The Walking Dead on AMC got frustrating. That Negen storyline lasted forever, death scenes got super graphic, and eventually, viewers didn’t care what happened to any of the characters because they were all doing dumb shit or betraying each other or doing dumb shit.
Once The Walking Dead lost about 10 million viewer in season 8, it got good again. The show returned to why people fell in love with it in the first place: it had a lot of heart and it had a story to tell that revolved around humanity in the zombie apocalypse rather than torture porn. If you gave up on the show like me, get back into it. It’s good now. Like, Negen’s a prisoner and Carol has long hair. CRAZY. Anyway, it’s one of the best TV shows to bingewatch during Covid-19.
6. If you like Brooklyn 99 or The Good Place, try: Superstore. It’s one of the best TV shows to bingewatch during Covid-19
Rotten Tomatoes score: 90%
Superstore on NBC/Hulu is my favorite comedy literally nobody watches. It’s fucking hilarious. It captures behind the scenes drama set in a Wal-mart type megastore, with a cast of dumb, weird, silly, shady, egotistical or delusional characters working on the floor. It’s not groundbreaking or revolutionary comedy by any means, it’s just this feel-good, fun show involving workplace politics, immigration, interoffice relationships, etc.
The writing is clever and sharp, and I can just picture the writers having a blast with it. Superstore is in its 5th season, so you’l have plenty of it to last you days. Beware: I found myself oddly trudging through the first season, but was inexplicably compelled to continue. I’m glad I did.
7. If you love Regina King and Jean Smart, try Watchmen
Rotten Tomatoes score: 95%
Watchmen on HBO was my favorite show last year. It takes place in the distant future in the Watchmen graphic novel world, where being a vigilante/superhero is outlawed. I really don’t want to get into the plot because it’s one of those shows where it’s best you don’t know what’s going on. Everything that comes as a surprise is a huge surprise, and it gives a quite relevant look at the history of racism.
Anyway, the story unravels in this batshit crazy, “out there” direction, and it’s one of the most imaginative superhero shows that really has nothing to do with superheroes. I LOVED Regina King (the protagonist) and Jean Smart. They’re reason alone to watch this best TV show to bingewatch during Covid-19.
8. If you want a lens into current Gen X high school sexcapades, try: Sex Education
Rotten Tomatoes score: 94%
Sex Education on Netflix truly goes for the jugular. Some of the scenes are so forward, it leaves you as giddily uncomfortable as the characters, who are exploring their sexualities and the realities of sex in high school. The show is HILARIOUS and poignant and heartwarming and even achingly sad. It’s yet another show I think was perfectly cast, and every single character, whether you love them or hate them, is adorable. You just sort of root for everyone. It’s like a feel-good family show if your family can handle the subject.
9. If you think your favorite sitcom is the best ever, try: Happy Endings
Rotten Tomatoes score: 78%
Happy Endings on Hulu isn’t a new show, but it’s my favorite comedy ever, and nobody has ever heard of it. It’s like Friends but with millennials, some entitled, some jobless, but all delusional. It’s absurd, slapstick humor, reminiscent of Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt and 30 Rock. You can’t snooze, you have to really pay attention because the jokes just come one after the other. It’s sarcastic, and the story always wraps up nicely at the end. It’s definitely my favorite sitcom that sadly ended after the 3rd season.
Speaking of which, if you’re going to watch just one season, do season 3, which is the best, and received 92% on Rotten Tomatoes.
10. If you like zombie shows that feel like cartoons, try: Santa Clarita Diet
Rotten Tomatoes score: 89%
Santa Clarita Diet, which was also sadly canceled after the third season, on Netflix, is like a cartoon in human form. It’s just sort of outrageous and deadpan with Drew Barrymore as a zombie who eats people, and her family and loved ones are looking for ways to keep her from not eating their neighbors. But hey, it’s also about marriage! And love! And betrayal! And viruses! Honestly, one of the best TV shows to bingewatch during Covid-19 since it’s hilarious, brainless and sadly only 3 seasons!
11. If you like space shows that are more like hot people doing stupid things in space, try: Another Life
Rotten Tomatoes score: 6%
I’m probably the only person on Earth who loved Another Life on Netflix. It’s not original; the show basically mashes up storylines from other sci-fi shows and movies like Arrival and Interstellar) but honestly, I did not care. Sometimes, after a long day, I just want to watch a brainless show, and Another Life gives instant gratification. No slow and pointless scenes, just one surprising hit after the other with intense fights, suspense, intergalactic drugs, betrayal, a threesome and at least two comas. If you’re ADD like me, it’s perfect. At the end of the day, it’s entertaining, especially if you want to watch a brainless show on a binge. Go for it!
Are these the best TV shows to bingewatch during Covid-19? Let us know your recommendations below!
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