You can only watch your favorite TV show on loop so many times before it starts to feel... almost... boring? No matter how beloved the characters or how witty the writing, there's something about seeing the same thing a thousand times that can feel old. No worries. If you're stuck with a little extra time on your hands, there are plenty of quality TV shows just waiting to spend their days with you.
We've put together a list of the best TV shows streamers have to offer — all with three or more seasons, so they're a bit of a time commitment. Whether they're hard-hitting dramas, classic comedies, or trashy reality TV shows (no judgment), there's something here for everyone.
Amy Poehler's 125 episodes of Parks and Recreation will take up a good chunk of time if you're looking to spend a few hours on the couch. Starring a pre-fame Chris Pratt, early Rashida Jones and Rob Lowe back in action, this show is *packed* with talent. Plus, the story of a small portion of government trying to do the right thing and be the best they can be is... refreshing.
Watch Buffy the Vampire Slayer on your #TBT. The Sarah Michelle Gellar-led supernatural dramedy was on-air starting in 1997 and lasted seven seasons before SMG decided she wanted to move on. The first three seasons are peak teen TV as Buffy and her BFFs Willow and Xander navigate slaying demons and going to high school. Seasons four through seven are still quality, though the first three are the best.
Six Feet Under is the dark comedy that reflects our souls. There are 63 episodes of the show that ran from 2001 to 2005, and it received widespread critical acclaim while it was on air. The premise shows a family who runs a funeral home — and frequently talks to the dead during imagined conversation. It's a little weird, but aren't we all?
There are over 200 hours of Love Island U.K. to binge on Hulu. There are even more if you want to watch the international versions from the States or Australia. The reality show brings a group of very good-looking people together to live in the house and hopefully win $50K at the end of it with the other half of their "couple." Some people are really there for love, others just for money, and trying to figure out who's there for what is entertaining (and shocking).
Breaking Bad was such a cultural phenomenon while it was on-air at AMC from 2008 to 2013. The show inspired a movie and series spin-off Better Call Saul but we can start with Breaking Bad. The stacked cast of Bryan Cranston, Aaron Paul, and Anna Gunn and twisty-turning plotline keep viewers on their toes all the time and you will fly through these five seasons.
Another show considered a cultural phenomenon while it was still making new episodes, Jon Hamm's Mad Men still has a strong fanbase to this day. The period show taking place in 1950's NYC showcases a young Kiernan Shipka and the dark side of a booming advertising business. You might just lose yourself in this show.
Another period drama, Keri Russell left her Felicity persona way, way back in the past when she took on this role on The Americans and her performance is genuinely impressive. Playing a Russian spy named Elizabeth Jennings in Cold War era Washington D.C., she and her husband, also a spy played by Matthew Rhys, navigate their various personas while trying to appear like the perfect nuclear family with two children who have no idea about what their parents really do. Every season is just as captivating as the last and your heart will be racing for the Jennings family up until the very last episode.
There are so many episodes of Law & Order: SVU, you could be home for weeks and not have to repeat an episode. While some of us never got over Christopher Meloni's departure after season 12 of the show, I promise there are still great episodes for the following nine seasons. Mariska Hargitay and Ice-T carry that show and they do it well. Not one to watch if you're feeling particularly down (there are that many monsters in NYC?!), but it's definitely a great way to satisfy your boredom.
Schitt's Creek is a hilarious show about bad, selfish people and it will undeniably make you feel better about yourself because at least you're not, like, *that bad*. The show was long thought of as an underrated hit, but the more recent seasons saw an uptick in popularity and it is very possible that Daniel Levy is about to be the next biggest star.
Genuinely convinced that there isn't a single person in the history of the world who hasn't seen every single episode of The Office? It's scary, but they're out there. If you're one of those people and would like to *stop* being a social pariah, watch The Office on Netflix and finally find out what all the hype is about. Sure, it's just a show about a bunch of quirky people working in an office selling paper, but it's also so much more than that. Cringe at Michael's lack of social-correctness and theorize about what the hell Creed is up to. This show will keep you entertained for the rest of your life — mean it.
Dexter was like, the show when it came out in 2006 and it still holds up pretty well. Michael C. Hall is almost too convincing as a serial killer with a code of ethics and watching him trying to avoid getting caught while working with a bunch of cops is just the type of stressful energy we need to keep our minds off of our everyday stresses. It shouldn't work, but it does.
If Love Island is bad reality TV, then Rupaul's Drag Race is it's polar opposite. The show has all the drama we need in our reality shows, but still all the skill and talent we love to watch on TV as a group of drag queens compete to be the best. Plus, you'll learn where half the GIFs you're using online come from.
Seasons one through three are the OGs, and Veronica Mars is one of the OG teen detectives. Like Nancy Drew, Veronica is an amateur detective who's strangely more equipped to solve mysteries than the law enforcement officers hired by the town. Veronica, however, lives in Southern California with her dad and her dog and solves cases that her dad, a private investigator, is hired to solve. Usually behind his back. She's feisty and independent and the type of woman we should have running our country! But alas, we'll have to take her on our TV screens if we can't have her IRL.
One Tree Hill is one of the greatest teen soap operas ever. Point blank period. Sophia Bush has grown into a full-on icon since her time on The WB-turned-CW show and it stars other familiar faces like Chad Michael Murray and Hilarie Burton. The show has love triangles, stalkers, fake pregnancies, car crashes (both real and metaphorical), and a literal teen wedding — and no matter how unbelievable the storylines become, the show is A+.
A complete 180 from One Tree Hill is Downton Abbey. It's got all the drama — but in an early 1900s English family living in a mansion. The show starts with the sinking of the Titanic and follows a fictional elite family through many well-remembered historical events. Maggie Smith is in it playing a snarky old lady. Need I say more?
This is one of those shows that is largely considered to be the GOAT of TV and indelibly changed the way TV would get made, so if you've got the time to watch six seasons, watch The Sopranos. It got canceled and un-canceled, aired from 1999 - 2007 and was nominated for the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Drama Series in every year it was eligible. The show follows a group of Italian mobsters in New Jersey. Maybe that explains why Jersey gets such a bad rap.
Another show considered to be one of the best of all time, The Wire shed a light on the drug scene in Baltimore as it was told from the perspective of both the cops and the drug dealers and people affected by the illegal drugs business. The Wire stars a pre-mega-famous Idris Elba, but honestly, the whole cast list is mega-famous. You can't really call yourself a TV expert unless you've watched The Wire.
One of the most popular TV shows of all time, Game of Thrones was the show everyone was talking about during the seven seasons it aired. Tragically, its final season is thought of as its worst by far, but with a fantastical fictional universe and acting greats, a bad final season shouldn't keep you from watching this iconic show.
Issa Rae is one of the biggest stars on the planet right now, and that's thanks to her HBO show, Insecure. Following two young black women living, working, and dating in L.A., Insecure is just as entertaining as it is eye-opening. During one episode, Issa takes a gig working as a Lyft driver and I promise you will always tip your Lyft driver after watching it.
We had to include an animated show in this list. After all, Bob's Burgers is the perfect boredom-solver if you've got hours and hours to kill. With ten season and almost two hundred episodes, the Belcher family will make you laugh a ton, but it's also surprisingly heart-warming at times.
Riverdale saved The CW. Yeah, we said it. The show also made Lili Reinhart, Camila Mendes, KJ Apa, and Cole Sprouse the biggest young stars on the planet. If you want to keep up with the youth, you need to watch this soapy teen drama set based on the Archie comics. With a spin-off Katy Keene and companion show, Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, if you like Riverdale, you'll have *weeks* of TV viewing.
Queer Eye is the ultimate uplifting, easy-going show to spend a couple hours on. The Fab Five for this reboot are Karamo Brown, Bobby Berk, Antoni Porowski, Jonathan Van Ness, and Tan France and each has a personality that perfectly complements the other four. The five takes people in need of a mental, emotional, and physical makeover and completely changes their lives for the better. Come for the visual makeovers and home remodels, stay for the conversations about police brutality, racism, and other hot-button topics.
If One Day At A Time surges on Netflix, the streaming platform might be a little salty because they snubbed the show when they decided to cancel it after three seasons despite critical acclaim and a passionate fanbase. The sitcom showed a Latinx family and discussed a lot of topics that modern communities are navigating, but did so in an accessible and humorous way. After Netflix axed the show, it was picked up by Pop TV — and the writers even put a sly dig toward the streamer during their Pop TV premiere.
If you want to laugh a couple days away, watch Broad City. Starring Abbi Jacobson and Ilana Glazer, the chemistry between the two leads is what makes this show about two millennials living in Brooklyn so hilarious. It can be absurdist in the best way, but it's also completely relatable.
Grey's Anatomy is the perfect way to pass some time, particularly due to the sheer number of episodes it has. As the seasons have gone on, the show has gotten increasingly soapy but one thing remains: Ellen Pompeo. There have been hospital shootings, plane crashes, and about a thousand doctor deaths — not going to lie, if Grey-Sloane Memorial was a real hospital, it would definitely be haunted.
Following three millennials working for a women's magazine à la Cosmopolitan, we have a staff writer, social media manager, and fashion intern. We see them striving for career growth while trying to let loose and explore their sexualities with romantic interests. It's an easy watch for young millennials who will definitely relate to the themes in this show.
One of the longest-running shows of all time, Supernatural is about to air its 15 and final season finale. The Jensen Ackles and Jared Padalecki show has been praised for the way in which it's evolved since season one, throwing fans for a loop with some wildly meta plotlines. Jensen and Jared have said they're not opposed to coming back to the world of Supernatural in the future... so who knows if the 15th season will really be its last forever?
This classic show will get you feeling nostalgic for years' past. Cory and Topanga were the first OTP, and Cory and Shawn's bromance has been #goals since the '90s. What started as a goofy show about quirky middle schoolers became a surprisingly heartfelt show that followed the three BFFs through high school and into college. We'll never get past was became of Shawn and Angela, but this show still rocks.
Oy, with the poodles already! With seven seasons and four movie-length revival episodes, you might be watching Gilmore Girls for a while. Lorelai and Rory's relationship is what mother-daughter dreams are made of and watching both date around while looking for The One was an emotional roller coaster. The revival definitely gets some flack for not quite living up to the OG, but we'd do pretty much anything to have more Rory and Lorelai in our lives.
If you want to watch a deeply relaxing cooking show, The Great British Baking Show is for you. Watching bakers put together truly beautiful creations with their posh British accents is the perfect way to spend a few hours. It might ignite your sweet tooth, though, so make sure you've got snacks before biting into this Netflix streamer.
Even if you're trying to find an escape from the political drama of today, The West Wing might be the repreive you're looking for — simply because the political system on display on the show is so different from what we know today. Still, it finds ways to shed light on issues that still persist today, so you can feel like you're getting smarter by binge-watching several episodes.
This sweet Freeform show depicts the lives of a married lesbian couple and their mix of five kids — one biological, some adopted, and some foster kids. There's a juicy plotline where the foster sister and brother are into each other, which is a lot, but they figure it out. There's also a spin-off that shows the two daughters as twentysomethings in L.A., so if you love The Fosters, you'll have more to stream.
I don't want to wait... for our LIVES to be over! You'll be singing along the opening theme song every time it plays. Actually, no you won't, because Hulu sadly didn't get the rights to the Paula Cole song. Though that definitely brings the show down a few notches, the various love-triangles and dramatic plot lines are perfect for soapy drama to waste your time.
Though we need to disclaim that the patriarch of the Camden family is played by Stephen Collins is a self-admitted pedophile, if you can get past the fact that he's so terrible and in almost every scene, there are a ton of 7th Heaven episodes to spend your time. Following a pastor's family, there are so many young actors like Jessica Biel and Tyler Hoechlin.
With a little bit of change of pace, we have Awkward., a scripted MTV show about an "awkward" girl who becomes well-known in her school for an alleged suicide attempt (it really was just an accident) and a fling with the most popular guy in school during summer camp. But with the help of her absurd BFF, Tamera, she'll get through and so will you. You're welcome.
The cast of Younger is full of talent including Sutton Foster, Hilary Duff, and Nico Tortorella. Sutton plays a recently divorced forty-something-year-old who pretends to be 24 in order to re-enter the work force in the publishing industry. The fact that she's lying to her new friends (and lovers!) becomes a massive ethical dilemma, but she could lose everything if she comes clean.
Vikings on the History Channel is fictional but it has been praised for its historical accuracy, though naturally — there have been some "creative liberties" taken with the viking community. The show garnered a passionate fanbase and boasts a 92% certified fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes. There is apparently a spin-off in the works called Vikings: Valhalla.
Though all eight seasons are vastly different, a few common themes run throughout: fabulous acting performances, creative storylines, oh — and it'll svare you sh*tless. The first season, titled American Horror Story: Murder House, captivated audiences. Other seasons like the third, Coven and Hotel starring Lady Gaga have been stand-outs. It's an anthology season, but some of the seasons do connect, so putting together the puzzle pieces of these seasons is half the fun of watching AHS.
The Flash is a spin-off of fellow CW show, Arrow, but some would go as far to say that it's actually better than the OG. Plus, they're still making new episodes of this one, so we're partial to that. Starring Grant Gustin, this show is a classic superhero program but with a whole lot of heart and unmatchable chemistry from the ensemble actors. Though some of the time-traveling aspects of the show can be confusing to follow, it's well worth spending a bit of time with Barry and his crime-fighting vigilante pals.
Sometimes it feels like we're living in Black Mirror, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't lean into it and watch the British TV series. Each episode is completely different, so you don't necessarily have to watch in the order that they've been posted on Netflix. In fact, we'd recommend you *don't* start with the very first episode. It's pretty disturbing (they all are, TBH).
AMC's The Walking Dead is a complete cultural phenomenon. Don't get too attached to characters because a lot of them will die, but if you've been secretly preparing for that zombie apocalypse, you may as well get some pointers from the best of the best
Time travel back to the '70s while watching Stranger Things. This is the show that launched the careers of Millie Bobby Brown and Finn Wolfhard and you'll see why after watching their performances. It can get pretty spooky, but watching a bunch of kids literally save the world in a crisis is pretty empowering considering the world we're living in at the moment.