The Survival Binge

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It’s that time of year when you’ve had it, really had it. Rockaway is Siberia without the charm.

It’s Rocka-pocalypse Now. 

How grim is it?  Last week The Rockaway Times had bad news on the front page.

I started thinking about heading south but there were too many potholes and the bridge was backed up. And then in the middle of a protest over a proposed homeless shelter, I got a text from a  friend in Florida asking for Netflix recommendations. I said things must be pretty boring if you’re in warm, sunny Florida and you want to curl up and do some binge-watching. He said he’s a night owl, which means he’s still up at 7:30 p.m. Happy hour ends there at 3.

I envied him, but not for his warm surroundings. The luckiest people are the ones just getting on the Netflix and Amazon Prime train and just getting into the original stuff these services offer. Most of my fellow shut-ins are starving for new shows and get tremors just from thinking they might have to watch network TV and shows with laugh tracks.

You won’t be shocked to know I judge people on what they watch. I try to hide my disdain for people who like The Big Bang Theory. Actually, I don’t hide my disdain and can’t even control the reflex that makes me blurt: It’s not funny!

I’m here to give recommendations and you can judge me. If you disagree with any of my picks, we will not agree to disagree. You will just be wrong.

I am not including Breaking Bad. I just never got hooked. I watched a couple of episodes and it was pretty good but I couldn’t see cutting off all forms of communication with the outside world to catch up on the five seasons the series ran for. I won’t judge you on that one unless you tell me it’s better than The Wire. No, it’s not.

In no particular order, I said in no particular order (don’t be judging me), I’ll list a bunch of faves that will take the edge off, if you’re in need of a binge-watching fix.  Oh, one helpful viewing hint: it helps to put on Closed Captions (go to your settings and figure it out). It’s not like you have to read every line as in a foreign film, but Closed Captions is a nice little crutch that helps you navigate through the occasional heavy accents, slang, and mumbling of some characters.

Some series are good for couples (generally those with a strong female lead) such as Broadchurch, The Fall, and Happy Valley. Oh, I guess I should have said, most of my recommendations involve somebody getting knocked off.  Or a lot of somebodies. Which is one reason why the overrated The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel is not on my list.  I tried it. Watched two episodes. Smirked once or twice and then bailed.

You’ll have to figure out if something’s on Netflix, Amazon or cable but if you want to hurry the winter away you could do worse than Ray Donovan, Peaky Blinders (closed captions a must!), The Killing, Black Mirror, Shetland, Luther, Hinterland, Ozark, Sneaky Pete, Justified, Safe, Marcella, The Code, Secret City, and Paranoid.

I just listed about 20 shows, most with several seasons. Maybe I’ve wasted my life. And if you’re ok with wasting yours, go ahead and binge. Oh, season three, True Detective, it’s kind of a snore.

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