Just like when our teachers used to make us write about our summer vacations for the first day of school, we’re ready to fill our readers in on what we binge watched on our summer hiatus.
Once upon a time, summer hiatus was a death sentence. There was basically nothing on television, so the best you could hope for was a rewatch of your favorite show — in totally out-of-sequence reruns — or a chance to dig through the available rentals at Blockbuster. These days, we have Netflix and Hulu, dvr and full seasons of our favorite series to keep us company. And that’s between all mid-season and summer series that keep summer hiatus from really being a hiatus at all.
Summer hiatus is definitely the best time to binge watch a new series or relive our favorite moments from an old one, though, so read on to see some of our top picks.
Did you binge watch any new series new this summer hiatus? What were some of the winners and losers?
Shana: I have recently fallen in love with Lucifer. If anyone has a hole in their heart where Castle or Bones used to be — especially Castle, to be honest — then watching the hot devil prance around town, insinuating himself into the badass lady detective’s career is exactly what the doctor ordered. There’s a supernatural element to the whole thing because, you know, Lucifer is the actual (hot) devil; but there’s also this great, well-written slow burn love story and some very interesting family dynamics.
Bonus: Lucifer has an amazing cast with some familiar faces. If you’ve ever watched Buffy, you’ll recognize one of the angels as Principal Wood. That same familiar face (D.B. Woodside) played Jeff Malone on Suits. There’s even another Suits veteran, the delightful Rachael Harris, who somehow manages to be even better as Lucifer’s Linda Martin than she was as Sheila Sazs.
All of this is to say nothing of the insane chemistry between series leads Tom Ellis and Lauren German.
So, yeah. My number one summer hiatus binge was Lucifer. It was yet another case of my friends being right when they were like, “Shana, you will love this. It has everything in it that drives you crazy.” Now, let’s just hope that Deckerstar has a better middle and end than Darvey, Caskett, Booth and Brennan, MSR….I really do pick the painful ships to ship, folks!
Erin: I was on a mission to watch everything that actual television God, Bryan Fuller, has created — also known as the “Fullerverse.” I had seen everything except Pushing Daisies and Dead Like Me, so I rectified that over the summer.
I binge watched Pushing Daisies first and immediately fell in love with the magical world and its charming inhabitants. It had the morbidness of Hannibal, the fantasy of American Gods, and the quirkiness of Wonderfalls. The Piemaker and Chuck is one of the most complicated ships I’ve ever shipped! THEY CAN’T TOUCH, FFS! But, somehow it’s delightfully complicated, not excruciatingly complicated — like MSR, for example [insert extreme eye-roll here].
Many familiar Fullerverse faces popped up, which added to my enjoyment: Orlando Jones, Gina Torres, and Beth Grant (as the same character she played on Wonderfalls, Marianne Marie Beattle, proprietor of Muffin Buffalo), to name a few.
The last series in my Fullerverse watch was actually Fuller’s first series, Dead Like Me. Fuller’s fascination with death is apparent on his other shows, like on American Gods and the aforementioned Pushing Daisies. On Dead Like Me, he made the business of death a lot like a mundane office job (complete with insufferable paperwork) while centering on a motley crew of grim reapers. The main character, newbie reaper George, had my heart immediately. Fuller writes sarcastic, apathetic young women really well, and that all started with George. Like Pushing Daisies, Dead Like Me was cancelled too soon, but each of their two seasons are something that I will revisit often.
Let me impart Shana’s words of advice to me: Don’t bother watching the movie, Dead Like Me: Life After Death. I didn’t listen because I have this annoying compulsion to complete things in their entirety, but I did not enjoy it. At all. It made sense when I looked it up and found that Bryan Fuller was not involved with the film besides creating the characters.
The facts were these: I loved Pushing Daisies and Dead Like Me, and my appreciation for Bryan Fuller grew exponentially after completing the Fullerverse.
Anam: I’ve been on a mission to catch up on Supernatural. The goal was to finish this last season before season 12 started, but that never happened because something or another kept getting in the way. Also, there’s the little detail that there are 200+ episodes; and, unlike Gilmore Girls, it’s a show you can’t watch non-stop until you’re done. Supernatural is filled with monsters — no feel-good mother/daughter series here — and horror has never been my favorite genre.
However, I finally succumbed to starting Supernatural last year after friends insisted I watch. Within a couple of episodes, I understood why they wouldn’t let it drop. Two words: Jensen Ackles. That man is god sent. Lord have mercy, he’s gorgeous! And the character Dean Winchester is so delicious.
So, I had to catch up. It just took a while. Luckily, I did it! I’m all caught up and kind of sad I will have to wait a week between episodes.
The verdict? Supernatural is good. Would I binge it again? No. Even Jensen isn’t hot enough to go through that again. There are just way too many episodes, and they have some freaky shit going down. Not to mention, having to deal with Dean or Sam dying — or Cas — is just too much sometimes. I already deal with the insanity that is Shondaland, and Supernatural gets a little heavy sometimes.
Other times, it’s straight up annoying. WTF was season 10? That one took me months to get through.
Regardless, the series had its highlights — lots of comedy, lots of drama, lots of Jensen — so I’m glad I got through it and can be on the Winchester bandwagon come season 13.
So, if you’re looking to pour countless hours into watching a show, I highly recommend Supernatural. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll seriously question your life choices, and you’ll suddenly feel the need to hunt monsters in the hopes of running into the Winchester brothers — or even their dad.
Luci: I had so many plans for this summer, but life got in the way. So, I didn’t catch up on all the shows I wanted to. But what I did watch was fantastic. Like Shana, I binge watched Lucifer; and let me tell you, the Castle fan in me was in heaven. The tone in Lucifer is so very reminiscent of old school Castle; and it has all the elements that made me fall in love with Castle all those years ago that I burned through all episodes like wild fire.
I also binge watched The OA from Netflix. I started it because I was bored, and it took me an episode or two to get hooked. But boy, was that show GOOD! I can’t even really talk about it without spoiling anything, but do yourself a favor and, please, go watch it. It’s amazing.
I finally caught up on Outlander, too. I’m a book fan, but I had fallen behind on the television series at the beginning of season 2. Now, I am all caught up; and I definitely urge you to go watch it, too. Outlander is a time travel show, set in 18th century Scotland, with absolutely fantastic photography, beautiful costumes, beautiful people and gorgeous landscapes. The entire thing is just gorgeous to look at, and it has an intense love story at the center of it. So, what’s not to love?
You can check out how much we love Outlander here.
And last, but definitely not least, I am finally watching Game of Thrones. It took me a while to get into it — and I only decided to give it another chance due to peer pressure — but now that I really got into it, I totally see what the fuss is all about. But I’m still in season 2, so no spoilers, please!
Next question: Did you binge watch any old favorites?
Shana: Real talk time! Normally, hiatus would include at least two major, major binges from my “to binge” list, which is basically an ever-growing, never-ending list of series that my friends want me to watch.
But something amazing happened that got in the way of all that in 2017.
One night, I was channel surfing and discovered some random network playing an ER marathon. ER, one of my first die-hard loves. Even after all of these years, that series has me drowning in feels.
I can’t begin to explain how important ER was as a series — and still is. But when I had the chance to dvr all of these marathons, both on the weekend and during the week, then catch up on large numbers of episodes at my leisure? I absolutely dropped everything.
Who needs new series or sleep, when you can just cry about the same old thing for your entire life, anyway?
Case in point: Hathaross: OTP of OTPs.
Erin: With the announcement of Curb Your Enthusiasm’s premiere date, I decided a full rewatch was in order. The series, which follows TV writer Larry David around as he gets into the craziest and most awkward situations imaginable, is like freebasing Seinfeld. The 90s sitcom was one of my first television obsessions, so the concept of Curb was pretty much a dream come true for me.
It even had cameos from the cast and an actual Seinfeld reunion show within it! Not only was I getting a new favorite show, but I got something resembling a return of an old favorite. (And now Curb is returning…so this is like some sort of television Inception.)
The amazing guest stars don’t stop at the Seinfeld cast. Many celebrities, like Mekhi Phifer, Bob Odenkirk, and Bea Arthur (as Larry’s mother), portrayed offbeat characters. Some big names even played themselves, such as Martin Scorsese, Rosie O’Donnell, and Ben Stiller.
The “you ever notice?” humor of Seinfeld, combined with Larry David’s penchant for getting mixed up in (and sometimes creating) cringe-worthy chaos, made for a unique series that was a blast to rewatch. I can’t believe we are going to be blessed with more.
Anam: Considering how long my list of to-watch-for-the-first-time shows are, I should be saying, “No…ain’t nobody got time to rewatch old favorites.”
However, after the year-long Supernatural binge-a-thon, I needed a lightweight, feel-good show that I know and love. Something reliable. Something I know wouldn’t be so drama heavy and cause heart palpitations — aside from wanting my OTP to hurry up and get busy. If you haven’t caught my drift, I’m talking about Gilmore Girls. Sometimes, you just need a little Lorelai Gilmore in your life to get away from it all.
There’s a reason why Gilmore Girls was brought back last year. It’s the type of show that can stand the test of time. Generation after generation, you can relate to it. Either you had that relationship with your mother, or you wish you did. Personally, I see my own relationship with my mom mimicking Emily and Lorelai’s bond — moreso than Lorelai and Rory.
Aside from that, watching Lorelai and Luke dance circles around each other is still frustrating. Even knowing the exact moment that they get together, you still wish you can climb into the TV and push their faces together. To be able to create a show that can be watched time and time again — sometimes without a break in between — is a monumental feat.
Amy Sherman-Palladino went in with the vision of creating a show about a mother and a daughter that were more friends than parent/child. That little spark turned into one of the greatest shows of all time. This is a show I want to share with any future child I may have. It’s even a show I can watch with my parents — it got my dad hooked, which is saying something.
Gilmore Girls stood the test of time, and it’s still going strong. On days when you need a feel-good show, this one fits the bill.