If we are being honest, we have all Netflix-binged at one time or another. As defined by Wikipedia, binge-watching is “the practice of watching television for a long time span, usually of a single television show."
With Netflix’s easy-to-use and personal platform, wasting eons of time on your favorite TV show has never been easier. As long as you have a Wi-Fi connection and a log in, the most drama-filled and action-packed shows are at your fingertips for endless viewing.
BuzzFeed did a study in 2015 and accounted for 33 of the best TV shows to binge-watch. The list contained everything from modern hits like "The Walking Dead," "Breaking Bad," "House of Cards" and "Orange is The New Black" to classics like "Friends," "The West Wing" and "The Office." These are my personal top five binge-worthy shows on Netflix right now.
1. "Stranger Things"
"Stranger Things" came out during the summer of 2016 and was instantly a hit. With only one eight-episode season, the episodes fly by, jam-packed with mystery, suspense, love and cringe-inducing drama. Netflix really did a good job with the show, using high-tech editing to make every camera shot look as real as if you were standing next to Will in the first episode or sitting with Joyce as she battles the world that is trying to convince her that her son is dead. The thriller sci-fi show has a cast of talented actors who all develop thoroughly throughout the eight episodes. Renewed for a nine-episode season in 2017, the cliffhanger from season one had me clenching my teeth with wide-eyes. "Stranger Things" makes use of many small plot lines, all of them coming together in the final few episodes. I would give it an A rating, but I wouldn’t recommend It to anyone who doesn’t like sci-fi.
"Friends," a classic from the '90s, is fun and down-to-earth with its humor and drama. Following a group of six friends, the 10 seasons are easy-watching and the character development is amazing to see, as it was actually filled over a span of 10 years. Sometimes the episodes are slow-moving or just seem to fill time, so its binge-worthy qualities aren’t as present. Although it has a lot of drama, it takes a couple episodes for you to figure out what happens. I would give it an B+ rating. Although the characters do have my heart, "Friends" is a long series with only a few really shifting events throughout.
3. "Parks and Recreation"
"Parks and Recreation" follows Leslie Knope and her adventures as she struggles through working for the Federal Park System. Through relationships and friendships and hilarious characters, "Parks and Rec" had me laughing for hours. Some episodes are slow moving, but the characters soon become your friends and you will surely join the #LeslieKnope2016 trend. With characters played by Amy Poehler, Chris Pratt, Nick Offerman and Aziz Ansari, you will be laughing, crying and rolling your eyes the whole series. I would give "Parks and Recreation" a B- rating in being binge-worthy because it is so slow-moving, and sometimes you just have to step away, even if you do love the characters wholeheartedly.
4. "Gossip Girl"
"Gossip Girl" is a roller-coaster of a series. Within season one, you see practically every character kiss every other character, along with secrets and characters that will have you hitting “next episode” for literally hours. Within the few episodes, the plot is so thick that you are neck-deep into what B and S will get themselves into next. The cliffhangers are phenomenal, and the underlying question of who Gossip Girl really is will make you stick it out till the end of the series. Although it is extremely cheesy and a little racy at times, "Gossip Girl" gets an A for its binge-worthy rating because of its nonstop drama and drastic plot twists.
5. "The X-Files"
"The X-files" follows two FBI agents as they encounter otherworldy problems in each episode. Mulder and Scully have a dynamic unlike any characters seen in sci-fi shows today. The show began in 1993 so the sci-fi qualities are not quite as good as the ones you would see today, thought it is still highly entertaining. The first two seasons don’t really follow a strict series plot, simply changing theme from episode to episode, but the characters are endearing and the show is entertaining. I wouldn’t recommend it to anyone who is squeamish or doesn’t like the thought of extraterrestrial life. I would give it a C+ binge-worthy rating because a lot of the episodes just differ slightly and have a lot of the same theories, but they did revamp the series in early 2016, and it is a good pastime if you’re into aliens.
According to Media Netflix Center, between October 2015 and May 2016, Netflix analyzed more than 100 TV series and how quickly people finished the first season. The average completion for the first season was five days. The average hours per sitting was two hours and ten minutes. This is more than 10 hours a week spent on a mindless action.
Although binge-watching may seem like the best idea ever on a lazy Saturday afternoon, sitting for long periods of time is not healthy. More than likely, you are not only sitting but also snacking mindlessly, or avoiding other tasks and responsibilities.