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4 Binge-Worthy Television Shows
Prepare the Popcorn!
In my previous binge-worthy Hub, I discussed how five popular anime series were deserving of marathon viewings. This Hub will explore four non-animated series and how they are worthy of the TV summer binge.
Game of Thrones
You Know Nothing, Jon Snow . . .
Admit it, the moment you saw the GoT (Game of Thrones) logo, you started humming the theme song in your head. The HBO series takes George R. Martin's massive fantasy novels into gorgeously worked television episodes, with the first season focusing on book one. Martin's infamously gory and sexual heavy story has become a favorite for many fantasy-driven fans, who longed for the series to become an onscreen presence like Lord of the Rings. With Game of Thrones striding past its sixth season on HBO, here are three reasons why it is a perfect choice for a TV binge session:
1. Fantastic music. The opening credits alone are enough to give a fantasy music lover the goosebumps, but Game of Thrones keeps up the perfect soundtrack throughout each episode, with majestic backdrops for the King and his family, and dark, tense music for battles. Better still, the entire soundtrack is available for free on Spotify!
2. Gorgeous CGI and special effects. If there is one thing that can ruin a good movie, it's bad special effects. When makeup and CGI are used to the movie's benefit rather than to show off a movie's bloated budget, they provide the perfect accompaniment to the story. Game of Thrones holds a good balance between real actors and their makeup or CGI companions, with an example being the Mother of Dragons and her dragon brood, or the White Walkers against their human enemies.
3. Perfect cast. The choice of actors, like the choice of music or animation, is crucial to the show's success. The actors in Game of Thrones, whether good or evil characters, perform almost flawlessly together and have helped earn this show its much deserved praise.
Game of Thrones is available on DVD/Blu-Ray and on HBO.
Game of Thrones Opening
Who's Your Doctor?
A man. A blue police box. Thousands of adventures across time and space. This is Doctor Who, one of BBC's longest running shows, in a short summary. For over fifty years, the Man out of Time has charmed his way into homes across the world and shown us that aliens may not be that much different from us after all. Here are three reasons why Doctor Who makes this list:
1. Fantastic story. Doctor Who is a unique blend of characters, but each story focuses on a single group of people dealing with an issue and whether or not the Doctor will help. His battle against his desire to save everyone versus his desire to uphold the laws of time makes for some of the most emotional moments ever seen on public television.
2. Endearing characters. What makes Doctor Who different from other long running series is its constantly rotating main cast. Instead of relying on the same characters for each season, Doctor Who has set up a pattern of a regenerating Doctor, who takes on a new form each time he "dies." The Doctor's companions also change, with some dying during conflicts, or leaving for various reasons. Instead of replacing the actors and calling the characters by the same name, Doctor Who introduces new characters for the audience to fall in love with (or hate, depending on who you are).
3. Beautiful sets and music. Doctor Who's strange, warbling music sets the stage for a crazy adventure with an equally strange Doctor, and the unique sets are carefully tailored to the needs and time period of each episode. Two good examples are the episodes with Dickens and Shakespeare.
Doctor Who is available on DVD and BBC/BBC America.
WatchMojo's Top Ten Dr Who Villains
Elementary, My Dear Watson
Ever since Sir Arthur Conan Doyle first introduced us to the character Sherlock Holmes, he has been a staple of pop culture, with multiple television and movie incarnations. One of the most popular new Sherlock Holmes is Benedict Cumberbatch's verison on BBC. Cumberbatch embraces the Sherlock persona while giving him an updated, more modern appearance.
Three reasons why BBC's Sherlock is binge-worthy:
1. Memorable characters. With Benedict Cumberbatch as Sherlock Holmes and Martin Freeman as his best and only friend, Dr. John Watson, BBC has created a stunning version of Doyle's stories.
2. Good music/visuals. Sherlock is full of beautiful scenery and music that perfectly pairs with the visuals.
3. Short but movie-length series. Each season of Sherlock is approximately three episodes, with each running about eighty minutes.
Sherlock is available on DVD, Netflix, and BBC/BBC America.
10 Fan Favorite Moments from Sherlock
The Walking Dead
The Walker Revolution
The zombie craze has infected pop culture, from movies to television and books. One of the main series we can thank for this is AMC's The Walking Dead, based on a popular comic book series. The Walking Dead brings the zombie infection to modern America, following a ragtag group as they attempt to survive the Horde and find a cure if at all possible. The Walking Dead has become one of the largest followed AMC series and has even spawned a prequel series, Fear the Walking Dead.
Three reasons why The Walking Dead is binge-worthy:
1. Edgy music/visuals. The Walking Dead does not shy away from creating tension, and this includes its music and visuals. The theme song's quick violin music lets the viewer know they're in for a rough ride. The bleak visuals and gory zombie action complement the edgy music.
2. The Characters. While not all the characters are enjoyable, The Walking Dead is full of characters that have earned love and adoration from their fan base. Memes such as "If Daryl Dies, We Riot," are proof that the writers of the series know how to make enduring characters.
3. An Understanding of the Human Condition. While the actual writing of the series has not always been up to par with other popular series, The Walking Dead has done a good job addressing many issues that everyday people have. The Group is often faced with divided loyalties or dealing with loss, yet they can still find a small ray of hope in the fact that they are still together.
The Walking Dead is available on AMC, DVD and Netflix.
WatchMojo's Top Ten Walking Dead Characters
What is Your Favorite Show to Binge on?
Did You Know?
Game of Thrones has received 26 awards, including a Peabody. It also holds the record for most pirated television show of all time, with one episode having over 4 million downloads.
Dr Who is the longest running current television show besides Star Trek, with an impressive fifty years of episodes.
Sherlock won an Emmy for Best Original Miniseries and holds a 100% on Rotten Tomatoes for Seasons One-Two, with Season Three at 97%.
The Walking Dead has been nominated for 97 awards and received 26 of them, including program of the year from AFI (American Film Institute).