Slip into something comfy because you'll be couch-bound for a while.
16 Binge-Worthy TV Shows With Five or More Seasons
Slip into something comfy because you'll be couch-bound for a while.
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.
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 five 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.
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.
You know the drill. It’s Game of Thrones, one of the biggest shows in television history, with one of the most controversial final seasons of all time. You probably watched it at the time but if you didn’t, here’s a refresher: the fantasy world of Westeros is plunged into turmoil when the King is murdered and every different faction, from his scheming late wife Cersei to his long-suffering hand Ned Stark – and his family up in the north – and a young Targaryen princess Daenerys, who is rumoured to be the mother of dragons, begin to vy for the throne. And in the game of thrones, famously, you either win – or you die.
This is it. The motherload. There is a phenomenal 18 seasons of Grey’s Anatomy, comprising an astonishing 388 episodes – and it’s still going. That’s right, Grey’s might have premiered more than 15 years ago, but it’s still going strong, with star Ellen Pompeo as Meredith Grey still at its very centre. Creator Shonda Rhimes says that as long as Pompeo continues to want to make the medical drama that turned her into a global household name, then she will keep writing it, and it looks like Pompeo will want to keep wearing surgical scrubs at Seattle Grace for many, many years.
5. How To Get Away With Murder (2014-2020)
How To Get Away With Murder is another delicious and bingeable Shonda Rhimes show, she of the many seasons and multi episodes. As far as seasons go, How To Get Away With Murder keeps it tight, with just 10 episodes of this addictive, sudsy drama about a criminal law professor, played by Viola Davis, whose crew of eager, precocious students are drawn into an actual crime in the first season – which is finally wrapped up in the sixth season, which premiered in 2020.
Shonda Rhimes is also the creator of Scandal, an over-the-top and totally obsessive melodrama about political fixer Olivia Pope (Kerry Washington) who heads up a ragtag group of problem solvers… while carrying out an illicit affair with Fitz, none other than the president of the United States. Scandal strung out the drama for seven intense seasons – seven seasons of Kerry Washington swathed in neutral-hued cashmere layers and clutching enormous glasses of red wine – until it took its last bow in 2018. Secretly, we love to dip in and out of this show every now and then. It’s still so much fun to watch, and we miss it. If you’ve never watched it, the first season is some of the silliest and most addictive stuff ever put on television.
Seasons: 6… and two movies!
Ah Downton Abbey, how do we love thee? Let us count the ways. Over six seasons – and two movies, the second has just been released in cinemas in April 2022 – Downton Abbey made us fall in love with the Crawley family ruling the Upstairs of Downton Abbey, as well as the foibles of their employees Downstairs. For fans of cosy, warm English television, there was something special about the gilded brilliance of this classic period drama. Plus a cast that included Dame Maggie Smith, Hugh Bonneville, Michelle Dockery, Lily James and Laura Carmichael didn’t hurt, either.
They really don’t make ‘em like The Good Wife anymore, do they? This series premiered in 2009 and wrapped up in 2016 and between then produced some of the best network television in recent memory. It’s easy to forget this type of series, now that we’re living in the streaming age (short seasons, no commercial breaks). But The Good Wife is a perfect example of everything good about network tv. A simple premise built around a procedural: what if the wife of a disgraced politician had to go back to the law degree she left 15 years ago in order to support her family? And what if, in the process, she becomes reacquainted with the one that got away from her university days, and proves herself in the courtroom, all while the drama surrounding her husband continues to evolve. The Good Wife was a compelling courtroom drama, a watchable family saga and a glossy, Chicago high society fable. We love it so much.
Episodes: 153… And a four-episode Netflix special
When Lorelai Gilmore (Lauren Graham) was 16, she gave birth to baby Rory (Alexis Bledel). Now, 16 years later – and after years of estrangement from her own ritzy parents, who didn’t support her when she became a teen mum – Lorelai and Rory begin to rekindle those relationships, now that Rory is attending a posh high school and being thrown into the world her mother thought she had left behind in order to make a new life in the quaint Connecticut town Stars Hollow. Gilmore Girls remains some of television’s greatest comfort food, a series that is so easy to watch and warm that it’s like spending time with some of your best friends.
This Is Us is a sprawling generational saga about two families and their various children, starring an incredible cast including Mandy Moore, Milo Ventimiglia and Sterling K Brown. This Is Us has been true tear jerking and emotional television for the past six years, but in bad news for fans of the show, the producers revealed that this season, the sixth, will be its last. It’s time to bid farewell to the Pearsons.
The first season of Outlander introduced us to Claire (Caitriona Balfe), who accidentally time travelled back from her present-day in post-WWII Scotland all the way back to 1743, to a country on the brink of civil war. There, she stumbles into the path of the dashing Jamie (Sam Heughan), and a time-travelling, multi-dimensional, era-spanning love story ensues. This romantic period drama is all-engaging and all-encompassing television, full of mystery and passion. The sixth season is currently airing on Foxtel and Binge now, but there are more in the works. And given that the book series that this is based on by author Diana Gabaldon is still being churned out, we imagine that this show will keep going for a while.
Billions is another show that is still on the air, with the promise of more to come. This show is like Succession dialed up to a million, set in the ritzy world of New York hedge funds and led by Bobby Axelrod (Damian Lewis), a financier at the top of the world, and Chuck Rhoades (Paul Giamatti), the US attorney constantly on his case.
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.