It’s almost Labor Day weekend, and for a lot of people that means spending time with family, maybe going to see a movie, or having a barbecue. But for the rest of us, there’s really only one thing to do over a long weekend — or any weekend, for that matter — and that’s watch stuff on Netflix. Who needs human interaction or sunlight when you’ve got a glowing computer screen to keep you company? It’s choosing what to watch that’s the hard part. If you’re in the mood for a TV show but the idea of starting a series with dozens of episodes sounds daunting, have no fear. We’ve got 12 shows right here that you can catch up on in a single weekend — holiday or regular. There are miniseries, light comedies with only a couple of short seasons under their belts, and cult series that were canceled before their time. Watch the trailers and take your pick. And then press play on the weekend.
This modern take on the classic tales of Sherlock Holmes has a miniseries format, with two seasons (or series, as they’re called in Britain) each consisting of three 90-minute episodes. That’s only about nine hours. Totally doable. Speaking from personal experience, I breezed through both series in two evenings. It’s totally addicting, and if you weren’t a Cumberbitch before watching, you can bet your bottom dollar you will be by the end of your binge-watch. Now go catch up so we can talk about that finale!
2. Orange is the New Black
If you haven’t already watched this Netflix original about a women’s prison, you’re really missing out. Also you might be living under a rock. It’s funny and heartwarming and edgy and full of colorful characters. There are only 13 episodes at the moment, and each is about 50 minutes. Perfect weekend binge-watching. They’re already filming season 2, so get watching!
3. American Horror Story
Netflix currently only has the first season of this show, but each season has a completely different story, so you won’t be left hanging at the end with a cliffhanger. The first 12-episode season is about a family who moves into a haunted house and is, in my opinion, superior to last season’s Asylum. It’s less campy, plus it stars the fabulous Connie Britton, which is always a plus. Watch with the lights on.
This series, about a depressed man who sees his neighbor’s dog Wilfred as an Australian guy in a dog suit, is one of the most underrated half-hour comedies on TV right now. Not only is it hilarious, but it’s also appealingly dark at times and frequently delves into the mystery of where Wilfred came from. The first two 13-episode seasons are on Netflix. Season 3 is currently airing, but check your on demand programming to see if episodes are available.
5. Freaks and Geeks
This show about high school outcasts in 1980 is worth checking out just so you can say you’ve watched it. It’s also a fantastic show that was unfortunately canceled way too soon. The entire 18-episode series is on Netflix. Odds are you like at least one member of the cast, from Seth Rogen to James Franco to Linda Cardellini, plus plenty of guest stars who went on to be famous.
6. The Office (British)
If you watched the American version of this show, it’s good to also have the original British version under your belt. And with only 14 episodes in total, it’s a piece of cake to watch. There’s a lot of debate about which version is better. I personally prefer the American, but the British version is still fantastic.
7. House of Cards
Another 13-episode Netflix original, this one about a conniving congressman. It earned a whopping nine Emmy nominations this year, a first for original online programming. Catch up before the ceremony airs September 22 so you can cheer the series on.
8. Top of the Lake
This seven-episode miniseries stars Mad Men‘s Elisabeth Moss as a detective investigating the disappearance of a pregnant 12-year-old girl in New Zealand. I haven’t watched the series myself, but I’ve heard great things. I’ve also heard that it’s so depressing you might want to space the episodes out to properly recover. Still short enough for a weekend, however.
If you like Fred Armisen and humor about hipsters, this show is perfect for you. Fred and co-star Carrie Brownstein play almost all the characters, many of them recurring. The skits are a satirical take on culture in Portland. The show’s perfect for whiling away an afternoon because it’s light and funny, and there’s no commitment involved.
I’ve actually never gotten around to watching this series, which is described as a space Western, but goodness knows I have plenty of friends who rave about it. This Joss Whedon series was canceled after 14 episodes, but you can find out what all the fuss is about on Netflix.
I breezed through these episodes in a couple of days last a few months ago, because I just could not get enough of Louis C.K.’s self-deprecating, often pathetic humor. The show has two seasons on Netflix. They have yet to put up the third season, but I had to suggest the show to catch up on anyway because I think it’s absolutely brilliant.
12. Bob’s Burgers
Cartoons like Family Guy and The Simpsons get all the attention, but this show is totally underrated. It’s about a family who owns a burger restaurant and all the shenanigans they get into. Simple as that. The show’s got a quirky, deadpan style of humor, and it’s also very sweet at times. I’m obsessed, and I need other people to be obsessed with me.
(Lead Photo: BBC)