12 Binge-worthy TV Shows With Five or More Seasons
Don't you hate it when you're binge-watching a new show only to reach the end and realise there are no more episodes? Sometimes it's a matter of simply waiting until the new season is released, but what's really tough is accidentally devouring the first and only season of a gone-to-soon series of which there will never be more episodes (see: Freaks and Geeks, Firefly, Bunheads).
There's nothing better than getting stuck into a really good TV series. In this age of social isolation, with more time spent at home craving quality entertainment to help us through each day, we recommend actively seeking out shows with at least four seasons. In the olden days, you might have bought a DVD boxset, or even rented one from your local video store, but with the invention of streaming there are dozens if not hundreds of quality series at our fingertips. From critically acclaimed classics to 90s hits and long-running comedies that offer hours upon hours of lols, our list of binge-worthy TV shows with four or more seasons is a goldmine of viewing inspiration. Slip into something comfy, you'll be couch-bound for a while now.
Even if you watched it and loved it when it aired, it's probably time you rewatched Mad Men. It's been called the ultimate pandemic rewatch, and like so many period pieces, writes critic Matt Zoller Seitz, it's "as much about the era in which it appeared as the era in which it was set." For anyone unfamiliar, here's an overly simplified elevator pitch: New York, 1963, Don Draper is a handsome advertising executive with a dark secret. One of the best shows of all time, with so many iconic moments (Peggy in the hallway, sunglasses on, cigarette dangling) and relatable characters (we are all Pete Campbell at some point), Mad Men has enough style and substance to pull you deep into its world for its entire seven seasons.
Idris Elba plays detective chief inspector John Luther, and that alone is enough of a reason to binge this British crime series. Luther is as much a character study of the dark and damaged psyche of its protagonist as a pulpy serial killer who-done-it that will keep you on the edge of your seat. Ruth Wilson (The Affair) plays the amoral foil to Luther on his quest to find meaning in a bleak world.
You probably know someone who loves to say things like "I can't believe you've never seen Breaking Bad." They're annoying, yes, but they have a point. Beloved by audiences and critics alike, this epic series tells the story of a mild-mannered high school chemistry teacher who is diagnosed with cancer and starts making meth in order to pay for treatment and provide for his family. It's an iconic fall from grace story that has you constantly undecided about who the good guy is, if there even is a good guy at all. Watching Breaking Bad week to week was often torturous, so rest assured you'll never have to wait inordinate length of time to find out what happens next. And once you're done, you've got at least five seasons of spin-off Better Call Saul to turn to.
Jerry, Elaine, George, and Kramer: name a more iconic foursome. Seinfeld is quintessential New York in the '90s via prime-time TV. A few strong tonal shifts make rewatching Seinfeld's from the beginning more interesting than simply watching an episode here and there on free-to-air repeats. Unlike Friends, and despite what critics have said in the past, Seinfeld remains good almost the whole way through—until the two-part finale, that is, which is necessary viewing but not the archetype of a great Seinfeld episode. For the best this show has to offer, watch The Soup Nazi or The Fusilli Jerry.
This Australian series follows the exploits of Cleaver Green (played by the always brilliant Richard Roxburgh), a self-destructive barrister with a penchant for defending guilty clients. Rake is incredibly funny, with an assortment of endearingly flawed characters to keep you company.
Some say Weeds should've ended much sooner than it did, but others (me) say when it comes to the trials and tribulations of California widow-turned-weed-dealer, the more the merrier. It comes from creator Jenji Kohan (Orange is the New Black) with the infinitely watchable Mary Louise Parker in the central role of Nancy Botwin, and with half-hour episodes it's not hard to get through multiple seasons in just a few sittings.
This crime drama is one of the highest-ranked series of all time and, like Mad Men, bears new relevance upon rewatching. The Sopranos is full of iconic characters and style icons, and is essential viewing for fans of the mob genre. Lorraine Bracco, who played the mob wife in the Goodfellas, appears throughout the series as mob boss Tony Soprano's therapist. Aside from the organised crime of it all, it's the pathos and nuance in the performances that will keep you fixed on all six seasons right until the bitter end.
The definition of a cult classic, Buffy still has die-hard fans and newcomers alike obsessed – and it's been nearly two decades since it ended. Our hero is Buffy (Sarah Michelle Gellar), a California high schooler who discovers she's been chosen by fate to be the slayer of vampires, demons, and other forces of darkness. Academics have done PhDs on this seminal text, and yet it is irresistibly fun to watch (and rewatch), with incredible '90s fashion and iconic lines that will quickly become part of your vocabulary.
Press play and switch off. If you're after a throwback show that was ahead of its time in terms of shrewd cultural commentary, this isn't it. Friends is like a time capsule and is best appreciated for its silliness, as well as the comedic performances of its six leads. There's a sweet spot if you're looking to binge just a few seasons—start in season four and stop after seven and you'll get the best of the show's writing and the most laughs.
Somewhat of a surprise hit, this recently finished Canadian series comes from Eugene Levy and his son, Dan Levy, with comedy genius Catherine O'Hara and delightful newcomer Annie Murphy rounding out the main cast. They play the Roses, a once-wealthy family whose fortune is stripped away leaving them nothing but small town they once purchased as a joke (its name, of course, is Schitt's Creek). You'll quickly fall in love with the family and the kooky townspeople they meet on their riches to rags journey, and with the comedic sensibility rarely seen in modern comedy.
Broad City is a seminal comedy about two women in their twenties thriving and surviving in New York City. It's a highly relatable and sometimes surreal take on friendship and personal discovery. Order a pizza and dive on in.
With just four seasons, this is a cheat entry, but it's so good we're breaking our own rule. The lead detectives from the the Malmö and Copenhagen are forced to work together when a homicide investigation falls under the jurisdiction of both police agencies. The Bridge is a Nordic noir take on the Odd Couple trope, which is somehow incredibly warm despite the constant winter and relentless death. This crime series is exceptional for a few reasons, namely the performances of Sofia Helin as Swedish homicide detective Saga Norén and Killing Eve's Kim Bodnia as Martin Rohde. Its four seasons ran between 2011 and 2018 and spawned five international adaptations.
For more binge-worthy streaming content, here are 19 shows and movies to watch with your sister and 7 of the best mother-daughter offerings on Netflix.