Bleary-eyed binge watching

Those endless nights of feeding Bubba Two would have been much harder to cope with were it not for our Netflix and Amazon Prime subscriptions. Having ditched Sky because of the monthly cost we have found we much prefer watching TV on demand. Plus Netflix and Prime have an awesome library of shows and films.

In the middle of the night when Bubba Two just wouldn’t be put down to sleep or was embarking on her latest biblical cluster feed my morale has been kept up by the latest must-watch show. I found stuff I never would have tried out and some shows that are now firm favourites.

Here are my fave shows I have discovered to binge watch and make those loooooong feeds a bit more bearable.

Breaking Bad (Netflix)
I was a late arrival to the cult of Breaking Bad but I am now utterly hooked and have watched the whole thing twice. Boring but frustrated chemistry teacher Walter White (played masterfully by Bryan Cranston of Malcolm in the Middle) is diagnosed with cancer. Determined to leave money for his family he forms an unlikely partnership with small-time dealer Jesse Pinkman and sets about using his science skills to cook crystal meth. His pure product impresses the drug kingpins on both sides of the Mexican border but the duo face trouble at every turn as they attempt to climb the criminal ladder with funny and dramatic results. Absolutely addictive, bitch!

Better Call Saul (Netflix)
Breaking Bad’s understated cousin, Better Call Saul looks at how Walter White’s dodgy lawyer Saul Goodman began his practice. The show goes back a few years to show us how Saul, real name James McGill, started out in the law and eventually decided to cross the line between criminal attorney and “criminal” attorney. There are lots of familiar faces who crop up along the way so this is a must for Breaking Bad fans. It’s on season 3 now and still just as good.

The Walking Dead (Amazon Prime)
I struggled to get into this show in the first season but was completely hooked by season two. Season three is completely amazing. The story follows Rick Grimes who wakes up from a coma to find his family gone and a zombie apocalypse has decimated America. Although this is known as a zombie show, and it does have plenty of gory moments to deserve this title, it also has a lot of heart. The story is really about the survivors and their relationships with each other. No one is safe in this deadly new world, so there are plenty of shocking moments along the way. Brit Andrew Lincoln is so watchable in this as the flawed but determined leader who just wants to keep his family safe in a world where nowhere is safe.

Line of Duty (Netflix)
This Brit copy drama has a few daft moments but is pretty addictive stuff. It centres on the work of AC-12, a police anti-corruption squad. Each season focuses on a new investigation into a potentially bent copper but there are also long running storylines that move season to season. A gripping look at police work, although if it were to be believed there are no good cops on the force!

Derek (Netflix) 
Ricky Gervais writes and stars in this comedy that also has lots of heartbreaking moments. Derek is a carer at a home for the elderly. He is the sweetest and most positive person you could hope to meet and has learning difficulties. Told mainly from his point of view with commentary from other staff at the home, Derek is shot in a fly-on-the-wall documentary style that Gervais also used in The Office. The show has so much heart and is absolutely hilarious. The episodes are quite short, roughly the length of normal night feed if you’re lucky enough to get one of those!

The Fall (Amazon Prime)
A cracking thriller sees Gillian Anderson on the trail of a serial killer. Lots of twists and turns. I was itching to watch the next episode as soon as one had finished.

24 (Amazon Prime)
An oldie but still a classic I think. Jack Bauer has lots of very bad days and no time for a loo break in this action-packed thriller. Jack works for he Counter Terrorism Unit (CTU). Each episode occurs in real time and each season has 24 episodes so you follow the story minute by minute over the course of one day. A lot happens in one day in the world of Jack Bauer as he decapitates terror suspects, goes undercover to thwart nuclear attacks and frequently has to bail his daughter out of a mishap. I cannot believe this started more than 10 years ago. I believe it has stood he test of time and is just as enjoyable.

House of Cards (Netflix)
Kevin Spacey completely owns the screen as Frank Underwood, a politician with absolutely no moral compass doing whatever it takes to reach the Oval Office. Frank frequently breaks the fourth wall to talk to the audience in funny and witty moments of commentary as he schemes his way to the top. Robin Wright plays Frank’s ice cold wife Claire. She is just as ruthless as her husband. Together they will step on anyone to reach the top. Full of brilliant performances and gripping drama.

13 Reasons Why (Netflix)
This isn’t one to watch if you’re having a particularly difficult day. It’s all about teen suicide and bullying, not cheery subjects if you’re already weeping into a muslin at 3am. However it is pretty gripping and has some cracking performances from its young cast. The story begins after the suicide of troubled teen Hannah Baker. Fellow student Clay had a big crush on Hannah but never told her how he felt. Clay is shocked to receive a box of tapes featuring Hannah’s voice. In the tapes she seeks to explain the 13 reasons why she decided to take her own life. The way the story unfolds and what happens to Hannah is heartbreaking but the journey is truly moving.

Narcos (Netflix)
A look at the life of drug kingpin Pablo Escobar. This series follows American DEA agents sent to Colombia to try to finally bring Escobar to justice. What’s fascinating about this series is it’s based on real events. Escobar was unbelievably brazen, even building his own luxury prison when he was jailed so he could still live the high life while serving his sentence. Fascinating stuff.

Homeland (Netflix)
Claire Danes is amazing in this CIA thriller about agent Carrie Mathison who fears an American captive has been turned into a terrorist. Damian Lewis is also great as Sgt Nicholas Brody. There are so many twists and turns in this one you will be on the edge of your seat throughout. You’ll be watching the clock for the kids’ bedtime so you can catch the next episode.

The People vs OJ Simpson (Amazon Prime)
Kim Kardashian and her sisters appear as kids in this look at how the OJ Simpson case played out from start to finish. The most famous family in America are linked to the case by their dad Robert, who was OJ’s good friend and one of his lawyers. Starting when the bodies of OJ’s wife Nicole and her lover Ronald Goldman were found, the story follows prosecutor Marcia Clark and OJ’s team as the trial of the century goes to court. It’s another series that is so fascinating because it really happened. Even decades later it’s still shocking that OJ was found not guilty. This provides great insight into what was going on behind the scenes.

Do you have any recommendations? I would love to hear what you’re watching.

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