15 Long TV shows to really get into when you have some time on your hands
More television shows are currently being released than ever before. This is mostly a good thing because it gives us more choice, but it also means that we rarely have time to watch anything other than the latest, hyped, tweetable shows. Older shows that you missed for the first time or that you want to revisit may not even take a look - it's just not time.
In the past few months (and probably the next few months), many of us have only had time and no idea when their lives will return to normal. However, this seemingly endless abyss is daunting and it is difficult to know how best to fill it, so many of us do doom scrolling instead of doing anything that we enjoy. At the moment everything is very scary and it is just another task to see something every night.
To help you, we've put together a list of long TV shows that you can immerse yourself in properly, even if it's a new watch. We even messed up a bit that although you may not be ready to get involved in prestige television at the moment, you are doing some easier shows for those days when your attention span is too full to follow an action . We also avoided some of the more obvious shows (The Office US, Friends, How I Met Your Mother, The Simpsons, Games of Thrones) and kept to those you probably heard of, but we just need that extra boost, to finally be seated and watch. Enjoy!
The Sopranos (1999-2007)
Number of episodes: 86
When the Sopranos launched in 1999, it was a turning point that ushered in an era of prestige television that continued into the 2000s. The series follows Tony Soprano, an Italian-American mob boss and family man who tries to reconcile these two lives in his native New Jersey. Not only does it focus intensely on Tony's more glamorous exploits, but also on his mental health, inner struggles, and panic attacks as he navigates through the unique complexities of his life.
All of these things mean that The Sopranos is immersive. It has six seasons and most episodes are an hour long with a structure that defies traditional storytelling. It's hard to say where an episode could end or what it's about or who was murdered this time and why it matters. This is a perfect lockdown observation that absorbs your attention span and fills up all day long if you choose to watch it. In addition, the topic will likely make your own fears seem less important.
New girl (2011-2018)
Number of episodes: 146
Sometimes you want the drama to overcome the boredom of being home. Sometimes you want pleasant stories with low stakes. New Girl, in which Zooey Deschanel perfected her Twee Pixie Dream Girl as crazy teacher Jess, has 146 episodes of it. After Jess discovers that her boyfriend has cheated, she leaves immediately, answers a list on Craigslist, and moves in with three strange men. It's a recipe for a disaster in life, but in New Girl it only leads to fun adventures, will-she-will-not-she and some personal growth.
New Girl is fun and easy. So if you want to invest heavily in the details of interpersonal relationships and quarrels of people living together while having difficulty navigating your own roommate dramas, this is the place to go.
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Curb Your Enthusiasm (Since 2000)
Number of episodes (so far): 100
According to the New York Times and daughter Cazzie's Instagram, Larry David is successful in blocking, which makes sense. The man has made his entire career and personality out of his back, misanthropic, socially ... complex and generally shy away from any human contact. It is also very hygienic.
Curb Your Enthusiasm, which takes Seinfeld's "Show about nothing" framework even further, follows a fictional version of Larry David as he gets into minor difficulties and big arguments with everyone he comes into contact with. It's funny, ridiculous, and there are ten full seasons. It also serves as a reminder - it is never really worth leaving the house.
Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1997-2003)
Number of episodes: 144
Buffy was created by Joss Whedon and is about a high school girl, Buffy Summers (Sarah Michelle Gellar), who also happens to be a vampire hunter who is said to protect the world from evil. It's a classic story of contradicting identities, overwhelming responsibilities, and the always relevant struggles of a girl who wants to focus on school and friends while saving the world.
Though it was over 20 years ago that it first aired, Buffy is still as fun and observable as ever. It's a pleasure to think about it again. Over 144 mostly perfect episodes (not you, season 4) will make you happy that the only way to save the world is to just stay seated.
Number of episodes: 110
The iconic favorite community often doesn't get much love outside of their passionate fandom, which can make them seem rather inaccessible to outsiders. The show created by Dan Harmon focuses on the different members of a study group at a community college: Jeff (Joel McHale), Troy (Donald Glover), Abed (Danny Pudi), Annie (Alison Brie), Shirley (Yvette Nicole) Brown) , Britta (Gillian Jacobs) and Pierce (Chevy Chase).
Pretty soon her studies go into the unreal and self-referential, with the episodes examining meta-concepts to tell a bigger story about television itself. Community is fun, often heartwarming and usually at least a little bit weird. It's easy to bang, so don't be put off by the seemingly impenetrable fandom - community like community college has something for everyone.
Number of episodes: 121
It's easy to forget the massive impact Lost had on television. At a time when people had the time to watch an episode of a show and then spend the rest of the week dissecting it, it was Lost Gold. After a group of people crashing on a desert island, Lost is on the surface trying to figure out what happened and get to safety. In practice, however, it's about so much more: the subtleties of the characters' background stories, complex conspiracy theories, monsters, time travel, and basically everything that is a little creepy that they could get away with.
As its quality deteriorated over the seasons, it is still worth diving deep into. The show itself will keep you busy for a while, but if you've never seen it, delving into the underground world of lost conspiracy theories will keep you going until the lock ends.
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Mad Men (2007-2015)
Number of episodes: 92
Mad Men, created by Sopranos writer Matthew Wiener, is often celebrated as a milestone for television. However, if you missed it for the first time, it's never too late. Mad Men played in a fictional advertising agency in New York in the 1960s and revolved around the misconduct of Don Draper (Jon Hamm), a handsome creative director who just likes to drink and twirl around. Of course he has a nice background story.
Mad Men is well written, funny and beautifully shot. The complexity of everyone's interpersonal and professional drama will invest you, and as the show progresses, character development is a valuable payoff for your time. By the time you are done, you may have developed a Scottish habit that tries to imitate Jon Hamm.
Number of episodes: 180
If you haven't seen Seinfeld yet, feel ashamed. But still: No matter if you are a beginner or if you are looking at it again and again, there is no better way to kill time than Seinfeld. Larry David and Jerry Seinfeld's Seinfeld, known as "Show About Nothing", gave birth to modern comedy as we know it. Without Seinfeld there would be no friends, no, it's always sunny in Philadelphia, nothing where the characters get away with, just sniffing around and arguing with each other.
That's why Seinfeld is really ideal. For one thing, Seinfeld, Elaine (Julia Louis-Dreyfus) and George (Jason Alexander) really don't do anything and avoid doing anything if they can help. They don't really like making contacts, working, or talking. It's about the many ways we can waste time and avoid people. Seinfeld, like David, is also averse to Germaphobe and human contact: who is better for the pandemic mascot?
9. The X-Files (1993-2018)
Number of episodes: 218 episodes
The X-Files are a necessary watch, but they're also very long and (literally) dark, which, with our destroyed attention spans and the option of so many better things, may have made it easy for you to avoid them . However, what doesn't change is that it's really good. There are so many episodes that you can dive deep into the episode despite the bad last seasons. According to FBI agents Fox Mulder and Dana Scully, who are working on the X-Files solution, the larger mythology of the series is about aliens and government conspiracies, but in "Monster of the Week" episodes it plunges into other things, such as cryptids , Vampires, ghouls and the Loch Ness Monster.
The X-Files are funny, cute, immersive and absolutely necessary. I urge you to see it and not to fall in love with Mulder and / or Scully, who will let you die so they can get together. A new watch will not only keep you busy with the consequences itself, but also with nocturnal Wikipedia rabbit holes.
Modern family (2009-2020)
Number of episodes: 250
Some of the shows on this list are fairly difficult or complicated to follow. At the moment, however, many of us are stressed and our attention spans are fried. So if you just want something light and light that takes weeks to complete, Modern Family is perfect. Modern Family is a mockery of different branches of a family revolving around the patriarch Jay Pritchett (Ed O’Neill).
During his eleven seasons, Modern Family was also praised for portraying topics such as LGBT families, parenting, and growing up. The slow burning over 11 years means that if you tend to feel really involved in the life of the family and the growth of their children, but in a package with very low stakes and little trauma.
Desperate Housewives (2004-2012)
Number of episodes: 180 episodes
It's really amazing that there has never been a pandemic episode "Desperate Housewives" (or the entire season). The show about the life and lies of a group of women living in a cursed cul-de-sac dealt with pretty much everything else: murder, deception, tornadoes, plane crashes, fires, dark secrets. After friend Mary Alice (Brenda Strong) kills herself, her friends work to find out why someone wants to die with such a perfect life. From then on, Wisteria Lane is a breeding ground for shady activities, and nothing seems to be on the perfect road. Oh, and Mary Alice's omnipresent spirit tells the series.
Desperate Housewives is perfect for watching lockdowns as it is so far from any version of the reality in which each of us lives. While there are some assignable issues like grief and heartache, it mostly exists on an airplane that is so absurd that it is completely distracting from your own problems. In addition, your own burdens are somewhat pale in comparison.
It's always sunny in Philadelphia (since 2005)
Number of episodes (so far): 154
It's always sunny in Philadelphia made history as the longest running live action comedy series ever. Not every season is perfect, but it comes pretty close. It's the story of four morally reprehensible friends who own a bar: Charlie (Charlie Day), Dennis (Glenn Howerton), Dee (Kaitlin Olson), and Mac (Rob McElhenney). A little later, the actual Danny Devito is a main character. It's always sunny is an absurd, dark, weird study of morality that mostly appears on the right side of the story.
His characters are absolutely selfish and avoid any moral advancement in pursuing what they want that day. Their escapades lead them into the darkest pits of humanity and although they are often punished for their behavior, they will do it again tomorrow. There are many episodes, most of which are funny, and if nothing else, you feel better when you make bad decisions, e.g. B. stay in bed all day or forget to call your family.
Gilmore Girls (2000-2007)
Number of episodes: 153 episodes
Your days at the moment are probably pretty much the same. You wake up (late), you try to do something (you don't), maybe you take the government-prescribed walk or get some groceries. You may be lucky enough to have a friend nearby who is a meter from the park. Who knows. Gilmore Girls, created by Amy Sherman-Palladino, fall victim to the same level of saminess, but instead of being depressing, it's strangely soothing.
If you're watching something exciting, you're likely to itch, but Gilmore Girls, who mainly focuses on the argument between a teenage Rory Gilmore (Alexis Bledel) and her immature mother Lorelai (Lauren Graham) in the claustrophobic city of Stars Hollow, it’s gentle enough to calm this urge. Very little happens at Gilmore Girls and you will lose whole days if you wait.
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Number of episodes: 96
Like many shows with many episodes, Dexter deteriorates quite dramatically over the years. But unless you are particularly sensitive right now, it is worth looking to the point where you can no longer stand the quality. Dexter is loosely based on the novel Darkly Dreaming Dexter and is about a blood splatter analyst who, in his downtime, copes with trauma from the murder of ... murderers. Of course he has his reasons. After seeing his mother murdered, Dexter was adopted by a police officer and trained in the art of killing and escaping. Obviously, however, this leads to some sticky moral problems.
Dexter is dark, but it's also very kitschy, funny, and ridiculous. Even if the quality drops, it maintains a sense of humor that somehow still makes it visible, no matter how twisted and unrealistic the storylines become.
The O.C. (2003-2007)
Number of episodes: 92
There is no good excuse The O.C. not seen, but if you haven't done it yet, I'm jealous: there is so much to look forward to. Created by Josh Schwartz, The O.C. takes place in a completely fictional version of Newport Beach in Southern California. The surface is about problems of rich people, class tensions and the first heartache. But there is much more: After sweet, friendly, Jewish defender Sandy Cohen decided to bring teenage Tearaway Ryan into his house, Ryan Orange County is forever bothering - some (me) would do something for the better.
The dramas in The O.C. are ridiculous, the fights dramatic and the outfits hideous, but it's still an incredibly cute (and very fun) new watch. While some think season four should be deleted from history, others (me) think that this is a revelation. If you get this far, you can decide for yourself.
For more TV recommendations, check out our article on the best box sets to get you started.
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