7 amazingly well written and addictive TV shows to binge over the holidays

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Katheryn Winnick in Vikings. Photo courtesy: The History Channel

The holidays are here and if you don’t want to battle the weather and long lines at the movie theater, let us suggest bingeing on some great TV shows that may have been off your radar. These shows have amazing writing are certainly addictive!

1. Vikings (History Channel)

I initially skipped this show because I thought it would be all raping and pillaging. Of course, there is some of that, but the characters are rich and compelling. Created by writer Michael Hirst (The Tudors), the lead character Ragnar Lothbrok (Travis Fimmel) is incredibly complicated and three-dimensional. In the show, he goes from being a simple farmer to the Viking king and has a surprising amount of humanity. Also, the female characters in the show are just as strong and complex as the male characters. Lagertha (Katheryn Winnick) is a “shield maiden,” meaning she goes into battle with the men, having been trained in sword fighting. Her refined skills allow her to dominate the men in battle and is based on research of Viking history. Vikings can be streamed for free with Amazon Prime.

Alia Shawkat in Search Party (2016). Photo courtesy: TBS

2. Search Party (TBS)

This dark comedy about self-absorbed millennials pokes fun at all the stereotypes the younger generation has warranted. Dory (Alia Shawkat), leads a group of her former college friends on a search when buddy Chantal (Clare McNulty), mysteriously disappears. Though hilariously vapid and distracted, this group of friends have a lot of heart and keep the show grounded in reality. Co-creator Michael Showalter (Wet Hot American Summer), adds his brand of rascally humor for which he’s famous. Stream full episodes at TBS.com.

Phoebe Waller-Bridge in Fleabag (2016). Photo courtesy: Amazon

3. Fleabag (Amazon original)

If you like dry-witted British humor, you’ll love this show about a grief-riddled young woman who tries to connect with others through inappropriate sex and over-sharing. Starring award-winning playwright Phoebe Waller-Bridge, whose family gave her the nickname “Fleabag” in real life, the show was nominated for “Best Comedy Series” at the 2016 Critics Choice Awards. Stream on Amazon Prime.

Mike Colter and Jaiden Kaine in Luke Cage. Photo courtesy: Netflix

4. Luke Cage (Netflix)

Based on the Marvel comic book character, Mike Colter (The Good Wife), plays superhero Luke Cage, reprising his character from Jessica Jones. Similar to Superman, Luke is geeky, all-American and yet, very powerful and strong-willed. The show explores what it means to be an African-American superhero, while straddling the line between having fun and dealing with important social issues. Rosario Dawson crosses-over from Daredevil to continue her character Claire Temple. See on Netflix.

Matt Smith and Claire Foy in The Crown. Photo courtesy: Netflix

5. The Crown (Netflix)

This lush take on the life of the real Queen Elizabeth II stars Claire Foy (Wolf Hall) as a 25-year old newlywed struggling to forge a relationship with Prime Minster Winston Churchill (John Lithgow). With the British Empire in decline and war looming, the young queen faces monumental challenges during her reign. The most expensive TV show of all time (the budget was $130 million!), the attention to detail is simply grand. The scene where Elizabeth mingles with elephants in Africa is simply delightful. See on Netflix.

http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2016/11/02/inside-netflix-s-130-million-the-crown-the-most-expensive-tv-series-ever.html

John Turturro in The Night Of (2016). Photo courtesy: HBO

6. The Night Of (HBOgo)

This murder-mystery unravels slowly but is incredibly reflective and calculating. Just when you think you have the answer, the story twists in very surprising yet believable ways. Starring Riz Ahmed (Rogue One) and John Turturro (The Big Lebowski), the show examines how a murder investigation can go terribly wrong. The Night Of has been nominated for three Golden Globes.  Watch on HBOgo.

Claudia O’Doherty in Love. Photo courtesy: Netflix

7. Love (Netflix)

Created by Judd Apatow (40 Year Old Virgin), Lesley Arfin (Brooklyn Nine-Nine) and  Paul Rust (Arrested Development), this dramedy is both a raw and funny take on marriage in the modern age.  Mickey (Gillian Jacobs) has a misguided sense of entitlement and Gus (Paul Rust) is hilariously socially inept, making the characters relatable and accessible in a way that most TV couples are not. It’s almost as if two characters from Freaks and Geeks grew up and got married. See on Netflix.

Let us know what shows you’re bingeing in the comments section below.

author-avatar

Shanee Edwards graduated from UCLA Film School with an MFA in Screenwriting and is currently the film critic for SheKnows.com. She recently won the Next MacGyver television writing competition to create a TV show about a female engineer. Her pilot, Ada and the Machine, is currently in development with America Ferrera’s Take Fountain Productions. You can follow her on Twitter: @ShaneeEdwards

1 Reply to "7 amazingly well written and addictive TV shows to binge over the holidays"

  • comment-avatar
    Cyber Dave December 30, 2016 (9:03 am)

    Thanks for the reviews, Shanee. I often get caught up in Korean historical fiction on Drama Fever. One of my favorite is called “Faith” and involves a modern day plastic surgeon who is teleported back into 16th century Korea by a knight of the king, to save the life of the king’s wife.

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