We have spent nearly six months in semi-quarantine, as of this writing.
I’ve blown through most of the things I had on my “list to watch”, so I started searching for longer shows I couldn’t blow through as fast as the IT Crowd (on Netflix, took a week) or Kim’s Convenience (also Netflix, binged over a holiday weekend).
So here are some nice long series with 100+ episodes you shouldn’t (but probably could) knock out in a week while on quarantine, vacation, when you’re sick or over a weekend when you’re really over it.
Forged In Fire (Hulu, reality) – 140 episodes
This show is one that Duke and I have gotten into when coronavirus had us all scrambling to find something to do at home. It’s basically Chopped, only instead of food, it’s random pieces of metal, and instead of cooking it, THEY ARE BLACKSMITHS. It’s fire and metal and swords and occasionally you yell “DON’T QUENCH IN THE WATER” and not wholly unlike Great British Baking Show, you’ll feel like a blacksmithing expert in about 8 episodes.
Cutthroat Kitchen (Hulu, culinary reality) – 150+ episodes
This is chaos in a kitchen, and there’s a whole mess of it to indulge yourself. Alton Brown hosts a culinary circus, where contestants start with $20k and bid on sabotages for their competitors and last chef standing only wins the money they have left.
Criminal Minds (Netflix, crime drama) – 299 episodes (though seasons 13-15 are missing from Netflix)
A fictional series covering the Behavioral Analysis Unit (BAU) at the FBI, Criminal Minds covers a different case each week, with the incomparable Penelope Garcia (one of the best characters on tv, IMHO) as their tech support…a woman who can find anything in any imaginary database know to imaginary man. (I do not recommend an extended binge when you live by yourself or go into the woods a lot….)
Brooklyn 99 (Hulu, crime comedy) – 143 episodes
This is a ridiculous crime show focused on the (fake) 99th precinct in Brooklyn NY, starring Andy Sandberg and showcasing a lot of talented comedians. It can get a little juvenile at times, but I enjoy Andre Braugher (from Glory, Homicide: Life on the Streets and City of Angels) as Captain Holt and admire how he can keep a straight face the entire time.
Supernatural (Netflix, supernatural thriller) 300+ episodes
As this show heads into its final season here in 2020, if you haven’t already gotten hooked on this spooky show, now is the time. The story of the Winchester brothers Sam & Dean (both very nice to look at) and their “family business” of “saving people and hunting things” is perfect fall television watching. Wendigos, vampires, werewolves and more fall to the creative monster-fighting abilities of these two hottie brothers and their crew. Castiel is a special favorite of mine, since the man who plays that role lives in my town and I GISH and he’s just great.
Futurama (Hulu, adult cartoon) 140 episodes
Duke keeps trying to get me hooked on the shows he likes and only two have stuck…like Futurama. Yes, it has butt/fart jokes, which are not normally my cup of tea. Yes, it’s weird and crass. Yes, it’s made by Matt Groening who made the Simpsons, which I do not care for. I can’t explain it. I enjoy it immensely.
Star Trek: The Next Generation (Netflix, space drama) 178 episodes
Here’s the second show Duke got me hooked on. I don’t know how he did it, since I have resisted Star Trek and remained a staunch Star Wars fan for my entire lifetime. Somehow, the lure of Captain Picard and the space shenanigans and constant danger they are all in (as well as the android comedy that is Data trying to figure out how to be more human) took me by surprise. Half the time, I have no idea what’s happening but I like it. (Dammit, Wesley.)
Community (Netflix, comedy) – 110 episodes
Like Parks & Rec but slightly weirder and more bizarre, Community is a story about a disgraced lawyer trying to get his degree at a college that’s barely accredited. What starts as a Spanish study group morphs into something more like a family, with epic paintball fights, a pillow/blanket fort docudrama and multiple puns and costumes from the Dean.
The Blacklist (Netflix, crime drama) – 143 episodes
I struggle to describe this show, but Wikipedia says: The show follows Raymond “Red” Reddington (James Spader), a former U.S. Navy officer turned high-profile criminal, who voluntarily surrenders to the FBI after eluding capture for decades. He then helps them capture a bunch of criminals he’s worked with (and who are listed on his “black list”) in exchange for immunity for the reason he knows said criminals. There’s a very long running storyline I found hard to look away from, otherwise I had to keep going back episodes to figure out what the holy heck I missed.
Bones (Hulu, crime drama) – 246 episodes
Bones is the nickname of Dr Temperance Brennan, a forensic anthropologist who works for the Jefferson Institute (a fake organization, based on the Smithsonian). She solves crimes by looking at the bones or remains of badly decomposed bodies, assisting local police with hard-to-solve cases. She’s also VERY smart and a little socially awkward, which I appreciate because I too am socially awkward and a little bit smart.
So there you have it – 10 shows that should keep you busy until at least Christmas.
If you have a long-running show you enjoy that’s not on our list, leave it here in the comments! We can always use more options when Duke and I are discussing the evening’s programming.