Yes, it’s that time of the century when I review the best things of the past decade, because in 10 days we’ll be in a fresh one and we’ll forget all about everything that happened from 2010-2019.9.
Yes. A top 5 for the decade is very short list for a very long period, but let’s face it, you’d lose interest after 5 anyway. Heck, even I probably would. So, let’s do this.
Something we always cover in the course of a good binge, specifically for this list:
- this generally is indicative of the satisfaction level after the full binge. the “circle of life” and completion of the storyline. something to consider when binging is whether or not you’ll be waiting another year or season or whatever for more content. that’s not satisfying at all, a good binge ends with you going “that was awesome” and if there’s a new season, it’s a new story so you’re not really all that upset and can look forward to see what they do next. It’s perfectly fine if your season has a full arc, that’s good writing, but if you cliffhang between seasons, you’re off the list.
- Yes. I’m looking at you Sherlock, Grand Tour, Entourage and Mandalorian. Give me an hour, or I’m going to riot. 30 minute shows have 6 minutes of intro and 10 minutes of outro, so you get 14 minutes of content, sometimes (I’m staring you right in the stupid face Entourage) you get 8 MINUTES. 8. If I can’t even finish a burrito in the time it takes to watch your ENTIRE story arc for that episode, you’re doing it wrong. In the same manner, if your episodes are 90+ minutes, you can watch it once because it’s amazing, then if you want to watch it again it’s actually kind of an arduous experience. You just sit there going “wow, are they still doing this”. It’s a complicated ask, so, sorry writers, I’m picky about runtime. 1 Hour or Bust
- I had to throw out several series because they’re streamed on services that force you to watch commercials. WHAT IS THAT!? I’m streaming to get away from that, but here I am (as recently as this week), trying to binge Warehouse 13 and it got moved to stupid IMDb TV? You have to watch four sections of 3 or 4-commercial blocks. Unfortunately that resulted in me saying “welp, I guess that’s the last time I get to binge that show”. So, please consider this in the future.
- This comes down to personal preference. NCIS has like 93 seasons, leaves you cliffhangers and a somewhat continuous storyline so you get engaged with and attached to characters and freak out when they leave or die. For me, between 6 and 8 seasons is just about the most I can handle unless it’s a show like NCIS where it has a thousand seasons and they’re all generally pretty vanilla, great to watch while cooking (something we’ve talked about) and you can pick up anytime and generally have an idea of what’s up. I will say, conversely, I’m a HUGE fan of a single season mini-series. Damon Lindelof said he has no intent to make anymore Watchmen seasons, and I think that’s perfect. Don’t milk IP and make people eventually hate it. Do it, do it right, and move on to the next thing.
- Is it in this decade?
- I couldn’t find enough shows that I’m completely obsessed with where their entire run was in this decade. BUT they did have at least two years worth of episodes from 2010 and beyond, so it totally counts.
OKAY, now we can begin:
5. From our friends at SyFy, The Magicians! It’s still going (recently renewed for Season 5) – it has magic and sex and language and amazing interpersonal relationships and phenomenal characters. It’s like Harry Potter for Adults, you’ll love Margot, maybe I love Margot. Summer Bishil is amazing (and her mom follows me on Instagram so, we’re basically BFF)
4. From our Friends at NBC, it’s Chuck! Our favorite superhero and herald of NerdHQ, Zachary Levi, brings you a delightful comedic spy thriller. It has 5 seasons (ended too soon, but actually had to be lobbied by fans to be brought back for its final season, and ended in 2012). It’s funny, sexy (thank you Yvonne Strahovski and all of the amazing guest stars) and has such a cool concept that I may have borrowed to write fan fiction that got me advanced standing in grad school. So, thanks Josh Schwartz for your amazing creation.
3. Again from our friends at SyFy, it’s Eureka! Imagine a city of super geniuses and the things they create (including the trouble). This has that, but it’s about so much more. Colin Ferguson plays Sheriff Carter, and the show is actually about him, it follows him for 5 seasons and has some crazy twists and turns. By season 5 the show had done pretty much everything it could to crack 100 episode syndication but it just couldn’t get there, however, I will say it’s on my list because of the concepts and the final wrapup. It has heart, humor, and science fiction, three winning ingredients.
2. From the amazing content creators at USA, it’s PSYCH! It’s one of the funniest shows that you can watch over and over again. It’s a hilarious psychic detective series with a lot of heart and fantastic characters. I quote it, all the time. C’mon son, you need to watch this show!
1. From the BBC, it’s Doctor Who. Yes, it’s probably a cliche for a super nerd to be a Whovian. But that’s me! This is the trailer from where I began, and because of that, I’m going to take you on the journey that I went through to become a fan of Doctor Who. It began with Matt Smith. Watch Season 5 (I think most services call it 501), then go backwards and watch from the beginning of the new Who. There are 6 things you need to know about Doctor Who before you jump in, if you’re not already there.
- Doctor Who is about space, aliens, history, time travel, and love. If you aren’t obsessed with all of those things, this probably isn’t the show for you.
- Doctor Who is about time travel. So there are overlapping timelines and characters that you get to see, so this is one of those series that you really need to watch from the beginning and then in order, and then out of order. I’ll explain below. If you don’t like going “oh, THATS what that was”, then this might not be your show.
- Doctor Who started over 50 years ago, the old episodes teach you nothing about the current version and they took few decades off to have a cuppa and some scones and now they’re back and you really don’t need to watch the old ones. If you’re not ready to invest 12 seasons, this is fine, you can just pick a Doctor and watch their season, this still might be the show for you.
- Doctor Who is an alien madman with 2 hearts, he flies a TARDIS through space and time and he invented the quadracycle. Parts of this show make absolutely no sense, and if you can’t get past it, it’s probably not the show for you. He has 12 reincarnations, allowing the series to give you several actors playing the doctor. Currently Doctor Who is a woman. Doctor Who has companions that travel with him, some you’ll love (Rose, Rory & Amy) some you’ll hate (Donna, Clara- I love them all, but some people are polarized by their writing) but they all have incredible story arcs and in many ways the story is about them, and not as much the Doctor.
- Whovians are a fierce bunch, they all have a favorite doctor, and for most it’s David Tennant, but mine is Matt Smith. In fact my suggested order of watching to become a true Whovian is Matt Smith’s first season, then Chris Eccleston’s full run, then David Tennant’s full run, then the rest of Matt Smith, then Peter Capaldi’s run then Jodie Whittaker’s. We currently have a tremendous crew, I am really enjoying it right now
- Bowties are cool. Just learn to repeat that phrase and you’ll be good to go.