A definitive list of the best series to binge watch ever, by our dedicated couch potato.
As a reminder – To qualify for the list I followed these basic guidelines:
- I watched at least three to five episodes of each show finishing most first seasons of every series on this best series to binge watch ever list. Some shows were so bad that it was not worth watching more than three to five episodes. I gave them a chance. For the majority of the series, I have seen every episode.
- Each of the ranked TV shows could not have more than 30 episodes a season. That eliminated all late-night shows like “The Tonight Show”, variety of programs like “Sports Center”, and singing competitions like “American Idol” and “The Voice”. Also, I didn’t include morning shows like “The Today Show”, etc. If it were a series that aired more than once a week, it was unfortunately just too much content for me to review on the best series to binge watch ever list.
- Each best series to binge watch ever on the list had to have at least three episodes air/stream per season to qualify. This eliminated event TV and made for TV movies but did include some great mini-series on the best series to binge watch ever list.
- No reality competitions or junk reality TV made the best series to binge watch ever list. That is not acting, and they show no real craftsmanship to judge. Those series are almost impossible to review. Variety shows with actual writers like SNL were included.
- Documentaries were accepted, but only if they were season-long documentaries with more than three episodes. I decided the difference between what qualified as a documentary series and a reality series. Reality series generally create situations and observe those situations for the entertainment of the viewer in an on-going manner much like life itself. A documentary series attempts to educate the viewer by presenting facts through a series of observations that are a full product having a beginning, middle, and end. It’s a fine line, but documentaries tend to inform or educate while entertaining.
- Each of the best series to binge watch ever had to have at least three episodes air during the past decade (2010-2019) that I actually saw, but I ranked TV shows from their full body of work of which that I have seen since their inception. This eliminated anything that didn’t have an episode air after 2009 but it also eliminated a few shows like “The Simpsons”, and “NCIS” which although I have seen more than three episodes of; I haven’t seen enough episodes of those shows in the past ten years. In fact, a few series on this list would have been ranked higher, had they just ended earlier before the quality of the show deteriorated.
- Lastly, there is one exception on this list of the shows I have watched this decade but can’t rank: “Sesame Street”. It’s still one of the greatest children’s ranked TV shows of all time. If you have young children, “Sesame Street” should be #1 on this list, if you don’t have young children, why are you watching “Sesame Street”? That’s strange and you may want to seek help.
Don’t see your favorite show? Let us know in the comments…
50. Sneaky Pete (Amazon – 2015 to 2019): Ponch: 10/10 – Best Series To Binge Watch Ever
“Sneaky Pete” is a crime drama series created by Bryan Cranston (Breaking Bad) and David Shore then Graham Yost (Justified). Marius (Giovanni Ribisi) is a conman who befriends his very talkative cellmate, Pete. There is more to Marius than what someone can see on the surface. He is far more than just a common thug; Marius has an almost eidetic memory when it comes to remembering details. Once released, Marius adopts Pete’s identity to avoid his past life and Vince Lonigan (Bryan Cranston), a crime boss who runs a very high stakes poker game. As Pete, Marius ends up working at Pete’s unsuspecting family’s bail bond business as a skip tracer with Pete’s cousin Julia (Marin Ireland). The show is about Pete/Marius trying to keep up on the deception while balancing both lives without getting him or his brother Eddie (Michael Drayer) killed. “Sneaky Pete” has received critical praise despite never being nominated for an Emmy. The first season is by far the best, and the third season is slightly stronger than the second.
The creators of “Sneaky Pete” turned a pretty unbelievable and absurd premise into one of the best shows of the decade. It’s one of the more clever shows on this list and one of the cooler concepts of the decade. This show has no right to be as good as what it is. I waited a very long time before I tried this show out, and I am sorry that I did because I couldn’t stop bingeing. Ribisi ability to make Pete’s con so believable really keeps the show grounded. The pacing and tone of this show is incredible, every time you think it’s going to slow down, it gets faster and more entertaining. Margo Martindale plays Pete’s grandmother Audrey, the matriarch of the family, and the head of the business. Her presence is felt in every scene, as she adds Emmy quality acting to the series. The ensemble cast beyond Ribisi, Martindale, and Cranston are all fantastic giving way more depth to their characters than most shows. The plot is so much fun with so many close escapes and nail-biting tense situations that it overcomes any flaws in the premise’s believability in later seasons. “Sneaking Pete” is one of the more engaging series of the last ten years, and it is a super amusing watch.
IMDB: 8.2/10 – RT: 96% – Metacritic: 76%
Streaming On: Amazon Prime Subscription
49. Daredevil (Netflix – 2015 to 2018): 10/10 Ponch – Best Series To Binge Watch Ever
“Daredevil” is a modern-day comic book action drama. The series is based on the comic book of the same name and is set in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), sharing continuity with the Marvel films. It was the first in a series of Marvel shows that lead to “The Defenders”, a comic book-like crossover, TV miniseries. Matt Murdock (Charlie Cox) is Daredevil, a blind lawyer-by-day who fights crime as a masked vigilante by night whose powers are his other senses that were heighten when he lost his sight, including an almost sonar vision. Foggy Nelson (Elden Henson) is Matt’s law partner and best friend. Karen Page (Deborah Ann Woll) is Matt’s romantic interest and a justice seeker who seems to head towards danger. Claire Temple or the Night Nurse (Rosario Dawson) is a nurse who helps to heal “Daredevil” and other heroes in the MCU. Wilson Fisk / Kingpin (Vincent D’Onofrio) is the main protagonist. He is a very powerful businessman and crime lord; this pits him directly against “Daredevil”.
In the second season, we are introduced to two new characters that are Marvel anti-heroes: Frank Castle/The Punisher (Jon Bernthal) is a former United States Marine Corps Scout Sniper who is driven to be a killing machine vigilante after the deaths of his wife and two children, who were killed by the mob in New York City’s Central Park. Elektra Natchios (Élodie Yung) is a highly trained assassin of Greek descent who is a former girlfriend and dangerous woman from Murdock’s past. Season three introduces Benjamin “Dex” Poindexter /Bullseye (Wilson Bethel)as A psychotic FBI agent who is able to use almost any object as a lethal projectile. “Daredevil” has been nominated five times for Emmy’s mainly in Sound Editing and Visual Stunts and Effects.
“Daredevil” has the greatest fight scenes of any series on this list and should be the archetype for all comic book television series, highlighted by the greatest fight scene ever filmed in television history in the “hallway scene” of the first season. The show is a wonderful mix of modern noir drama and superhero action. It’s much deeper and well-acted than most superhero series, making DC Comics CW shows look almost unsophisticated. Cox is very believable in the dual role of blind lawyer and hero, showcasing very distinct differences in posture and movements. Henson’s Nelson is much more than just comic relief, he gives the series a lot of heart as Matt’s best friend. Although most critics felt the second season wasn’t as strong, it was my favorite of the three. As a comic book fan, I enjoyed the fan service as they went deeper into the Marvel toy box and think Bernthal is the perfect Punisher. Also, Yung’s Elektra shows a great balance between sexy and dangerous. The real standout of the series is of course the always amazing D’Onofrio who adds layers and sides to the Kingpin character that I don’t think we have even gotten in the comics. Netflix had a lot of subscribers sign up on the popularity of “Daredevil” and the other Marvel series. If “Daredevil” wasn’t as well-reviewed and received as it was, we probably would have not seen the other Marvel Netflix series, and shows like the “Umbrella Academy”. If you love the comics genre, superhero movies, well-acted action, or kung fu films, then I highly suggest watching the “Daredevil” series. It’s some of the best street-level action and comic book related content we have ever had on television.
8.6/10 IMDB – 92% RT – 72% Metacritic
Streaming On: Netflix Subscription
48. Rectify (Sundance – 2013 to 2016): 10/10 Ponch – Best Series To Binge Watch Ever
“Rectify” is a Southern Gothic melancholy drama series exploring the life of Daniel Holden (Aden Young) who is wrongfully imprisoned as a teenager for the rape and murder of his 16-year-old girlfriend. Daniel is released from prison after nearly 20 years on death row following the analysis of DNA evidence proving him innocent and contradicting the original prosecution’s case. The series is the first original series from SundanceTV and was created by Ray McKinnon (“Deadwood”, “Sons of Anarchy”). When Daniel returns to his mother’s home in Paulie, GA he is surrounded by his sister Amantha Holden (Abigail Spencer), who has always believed in his innocence, his mother Janet Talbot ( J. Smith-Cameron), who was remarried to his stepfather Ted Talbot Sr. (Bruce McKinnon). Daniel immediately takes interest in Tawney Talbot (Adelaide Clemens) his new stepbrother Teddy Talbot’s (Clayne Crawford) wife and the main antagonist of the series, pitting the two against each other. “Rectify” had such low viewership over its four seasons that it was never going to be on enough ballots for an Emmy nomination, but it did win the 2014 Peabody Award and was universally praised by most critics.
“Rectify” is like no other show I have ever seen. It’s emotionally draining. It’s the emotions and the unspoken word pauses, in between the dialogue, that is so moving. Aden Young is riveting and portrays Daniel with a unique mix of pensiveness and hope. Young’s performance is so incredible that you would think he was in jail for a few years to better understand the role; Young is able to convey fragileness and subtle nuances in his performance that most great actors aren’t even capable of. Young’s supporting cast are all superb as well, especially Spencer who gives a fiery performance, and by the end of the series you wish was your sister. “Rectify” isn’t for everyone. Some viewers will find the material slow and hard to watch because it’s so sad, but much like the films “Manchester by The Sea” and “Life Is Beautiful”, “Rectify” stays with you, really making you appreciate what you have in life. The series rewards its audience with the gift of movie quality drama and very touching heartfelt television; it’s a true achievement. The Television Academy’s overlooking of “Rectify” and especially Young’s performance is the biggest snub in the history of the Emmy’s.
8.3/10 IMDB – 95% RT – 88% Metacritic
Streaming On: Netflix Subscription
47. The Mandalorian (Disney + – 2019 to Present): 10/10 Ponch – Best Series To Binge Watch Ever
“The Mandalorian” is a live-action space Western series created by Jon Favreau (“Iron Man”) and directed by Taika Waititi (“Thor Ragnarok”, “Jojo Rabbit”) the first-ever live-action “Star Wars” TV series. Set in the “Star Wars” Universe, “The Mandalorian” takes place five years after the events of “Return of the Jedi” and 25 years prior to the events of “The Force Awakens”. The story follows the Mandalorian bounty hunter Din Djarin (Pedro Pascal), and his exploits beyond the reaches of the New Republic. He is a gunfighter and skilled warrior who is sometimes referred to as “Mando”, a nicknamed used to refer to all Mandalorians, a clan of warriors who never remove their helmets. Mando is joined by “The Child” (Performed by various puppeteers and CGI) a member of the same unnamed species as the Jedi master Yoda with similar “Force” abilities. “Baby Yoda” is found and protected by the Mandalorian while being targeted by other bounty hunters at the request of “The Client”. “The Mandalorian” has not been eligible yet for Emmy contention but is highly acclaimed and is rumored to be nominated in 2020 for several awards.
“The Mandalorian” is the best “Star Wars” property since “The Empire Strikes Back”. It’s every “Star Wars” fan’s dream and the best action series, with the best effects and fighting of any TV series, ever made. The series has a summer blockbuster budget and it shows in every scene. It’s like they made another trilogy and just cut it up into a TV series. Even if you have never seen a “Star Wars” film before, you could still enjoy “The Mandalorian” if you enjoy Westerns, Sci-Fi, Fantasy, and Samurai films. It even has some space Horror elements in some episodes like “Aliens”. It is still really easy to follow because there isn’t a whole lot of dialogue, but the plot and production offset any lack of any oral communication. If you want a deep drama, this isn’t the show for you but the amount of detail put in by the creators alone makes “The Mandalorian” a must-see for any television buff. “The Mandalorian” is the reason to subscribe to Disney+, this series is worth the money. The best compliment I can give “The Mandalorian” is that this is the one show on this list that will be popular and watched repeatedly by fans many years from now long after other series lose popularity.
8.7/10 IMDB – 93% RT –70% Metacritic
Streaming On: Disney + Subscription
46. Silicon Valley (HBO – 2014 to 2019): 10/10 Ponch – Best Series To Binge Watch Ever
“Silicon Valley” is a tech-comedy series created by Mike Judge (“King of the Hill”, “Beavis and Butthead”), John Altschuler, and Dave Krinsky. The series focuses on Richard Hendricks (Thomas Middleditch) an advanced coder and CEO of Pied Piper, a small company he starts up in Silicon Valley California in the home of his minority partner Erlich (T.J. Miller) with other employees and friends Nelson “Big Head” Bighetti (Josh Brener), Bertram Gilfoyle (Martin Starr), Dinesh Chugtai (Kumail Nanjiani), and Donald “Jared” Dunn ( Zach Woods). The series also stars Amanda Crew as Monica Hall, Pied Pipers eventual CFO, and Matt Ross as Gavin Belson the CEO of Hooli (a parody of Google or Yahoo), and Pipe Piper’s main competition and series antagonist. “Silicon Valley has been nominated for 40 Emmy awards winning twice and including Outstanding Comedy Series every season it was eligible.
“Silicon Valley” is quite literally and figuratively the smartest and possibly the best-researched comedy of all time. “Silicon Valley” writing makes “The Big Bang Theory” look like a kid in a remedial class and “Silicon Valley” is actually smart and funny. It’s a brilliant show that helped make stars out of most of its cast, who all have excellent comedic timing. The show does a great job of really showcasing a start-up, showing how hard it is to get off the ground in Silicon Valley giving you an inside look into the American Technology sector. All the characters are a satire on how the public views programmers and “Silicon Valley” is just that, the best Technology comedy series or show about programmers we will ever see.
8.5/10 IMDB – 94% RT – 84% Metacritic