Binge-watching has so quickly become a fact of life that it’s hard to believe Netflix’s streaming video service is still less than five years old. And according to its creator, Vince Gilligan, no TV show has benefited from the rise of marathon viewing more than Breaking Bad. Gilligan went so far as to tell Wired that “it’s very possible we wouldn’t have made it to 62 episodes without this creation of these technologies and this cultural creation of binge-watching.” But Breaking Bad is hardly the only series that merits mainlining. In the interest of keeping you occupied during the networks’ long summer programming hiatus, Flavorwire staffers recommend the best TV shows we ever binge-watched.
I started watching Lost the day after the series finale. I managed to avoid six years of spoilers and clues and anything about the show, really, because I thought everyone was absolutely insane for watching it in the first place. Then I watched the whole thing in two months, proving I am just as crazy as everyone else. And yeah, Jack and Kate are the worst. — Tyler Coates
It was the best of the times — actually no, it was finals week, the worst of times. When I found myself unable to recall what “dialectical materialism” was, or what Kant really meant by “Categorical Imperative,” I headed to Hulu Plus and decided to give this show Scandal a try, to give myself a break from the tedious work. And what happened, exactly? Well, between the illicit Oval Office sex, the murder, and Miss Pope’s fiery monologues, let’s just say I went through all seven episodes of the first season in one night, and followed that up with another ten from the second in the next three days. About those grades… — Marcus Hunter
With the possible exception of The Sopranos, my greatest binge-watching experience was also my first. Whereas other shows gave you heroes to root for, a show this subtle drew you in instead with a byzantine web of stringed stories and subplots with no hope of resolving itself. Four hours’ worth, in one sitting, were viewed the night before I ran a marathon when was supposed to be getting sleep. I’ve never been sufficiently at peace relaxed to watch the final episode, so don’t spoil it for me. — Reid Singer
As you may have heard, I recently binge-watched Season 4 of Arrested Development! But frankly, the best marathon television experiences I’ve ever had were with Breaking Bad, a show whose first four seasons I watched in binge sessions. The first two were done back to back as a catch-up measure (I came to the party late), but I found that the gulping-down system, along with the beauty of Blu-ray rather than broadcast viewing (to showcase the series’ stunning cinematography at its sharpest) was the best possible way to watch it. I managed to maintain this method for Seasons 3 and 4, tuning out spoilers and waiting for Blu-ray before consuming the new seasons, and while it certainly paid off, by the time this season arrived, I could no longer maintain my patience. Part one of Season 5 was watched a week at a time, like a real TV viewer, and I’d imagine I’ll be doing the same for part two. Still, that nursing-home explosion packs an extra wallop when it comes at the end of two straight days with Walt, Jesse, and Gus. — Jason Bailey
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What shows have you binged on? I watched seasons 2 to 6 of Oz in a week and I think I did about the same with Superjail