Binge Challenge: The best shows to binge in one day
If binging was an Olympic sport, we at SNIPdaily would be on the podium taking gold. We’re hardcore bingers and regularly do multiple seasons of a show in a day. Our record is just under 23 hours for watching every episode of the BBC’s Sherlock. By the end, we had Benedict fever.
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Netflix has made binging the norm. Stranger Things seasons are regular binge-fests, with eager fans like Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos sitting through a whole season.
Whether a binging novice or pro, there’s nothing like completing a great show back-to-back. Below are our binging conquests and the time it’ll take you to match us.
After Life (Netflix) – 3 hours
The easiest show to consume on this list is Ricky Gervais’ After Life, a poignant comedy about a man on the brink of suicide. It is a three-hour sprint through mental health, depression, and self-destruction. If you like Gervais or his works, this should not be missed and is perfect to get your binge on.
Difficulty: Very easy to get through. Only 6 episodes, each at 30 minutes. Audience rating of 93 percent.
Chernobyl (HBO Now / Go) – 5.5 hours
A binge-worthy show needs to keep your ass glued to the seat, and Chernobyl does that and more. It’s a gripping and harrowing dramatization of the 1986 nuclear power plant failure in Ukraine. With performances so believable, it feels like a movie quality docuseries that’s impossible not to binge through. You’ll be watching its last episode before realizing you’ve not moved for five hours.
Difficulty: Easy to get through in one sitting. Only five episodes, each lasting slightly more than one hour. Audience rating of 98 percent.
Fleabag (Amazon Prime Video) – 5.5 hours
If you want a raunchy female-led comedy, then Fleabag is the pinnacle of shows currently available. There’s a compelling storyline behind the lead character’s actions, which makes it more than just about shock value. From family dysfunction to dealing with grief, the way Fleabag handles these themes is unique. The show is both an oddity to watch and incredibly binge-worthy.
Difficulty: Easy to get through in one sitting. Only two seasons with six episodes each. Episodes last around 27 minutes. Audience rating of 92 percent.
Sex Education (Netflix) – 6 hours
Sex Education is a teen drama that takes on taboos without coming across as a politically-correct lecture. The son of a sex therapist helps teenagers get through their sexual problems, for a fee. It’s simple, but its characters are rich. There’s an innocence to the lead and his love life that’s beautiful to watch. It’s funny, charming, and definitely not to be missed on your binge list.
Difficulty: Easy to get through in one sitting. Only one season with eight episodes, each lasting 45 minutes. Audience rating of 95 percent.
Extras (Netflix) – 6.5 hours
Ricky Gervais knows how to make great short shows that meld comedy genius with deep-rooted, positive messaging. The first season of Extras is pure comedy, while the second season evolves into a bigger arc that hits a home run in the end. Some of the biggest celebrities appear in Extras, from Samuel L. Jackson to the late David Bowie. Whether you binge or not, just make sure this show is on your watchlist.
Difficulty: Easy to get through in one sitting. Only two seasons with 13 episodes total. Each episode lasts 30 minutes, and the show has an audience rating of 93 percent.
The Good Place (Hulu) – 19 hours
The Good Place is full of twists, quirks, and an evolving storyline that takes us where no one could expect — to Hell and back. The fact all four seasons can be watched to completion makes this an enticing binge. Each season’s cliffhanger will help keep you motivated, but be warned: take breaks in the middle of a season, not at the end. Getting to the end of a season is often a bigger carrot than starting the next season, regardless of the cliffhanger. Good luck.
Difficulty: It’s 51 episodes running across four seasons makes this a one-day challenge despite each episode only lasting 22 minutes each. The show has an audience rating of 87 percent.
Episodes (Netflix / Showtime) – 20.5 hours
Matt LeBlanc plays a hyper-Hollywood-ized version of himself cast in a show where its creators don’t want him. Episodes is a tragic comedy playing on the negatives of fame and fortune for those in decline on the periphery or behind the scenes. Many of Episodes‘ key moments will stick with you long after the binge is over. It’s well worth the 20.5-hour burn — just get the pizza and energy drinks ready.
Difficulty: Very hard. Its 41 episodes across five seasons make this a challenge for any binger. Each episode runs for 30 minutes, and the show has an audience rating of 89 percent.
Stranger Things (Netflix) – 20.5 hours
Until recently, Stranger Things was the Internet’s most in-demand show. It’s only just been knocked off its perch by The Mandalorian, which will end up on this list once the first season is complete. Yet, even then, Stranger Things will remain the best show to binge. Watching all episodes back-to-back over 22 hours (with breaks) is eye-opening. You see new connections and references adding to its perfection. Binge on it in time for Season 4, although that looks unlikely to hit until 2021.
Difficulty: Very hard. It’s 33 episodes, three seasons with episodes lasting roughly 50 minutes. The show has an audience rating of 91 percent.
Luther (Amazon Prime Video) – 21 hours
This list needed some Idris Elba, and The Wire cannot be binged in one day. However, Luther can and has all the quality you need from a gritty crime drama. That’s if London, gangsters, corruption and serial killers excite you. The show tells the story of a larger-than-life detective on a crusade to do right by his own moral compass. Luther is a complex character, and the show is a challenge to binge, so plenty of coffee is required.
Difficulty: Very hard. It’s 21 episodes, five seasons with episodes lasting one hour. The show has an audience rating of 86 percent.
Sherlock (Netflix) – 22.5 hours
It took 24 hours to watch Sherlock with breaks. It was the second show binged after Stranger Things. Binging is a cheap time filler that’s ideal when the family goes away for the weekend to in-laws you can’t handle.
Sherlock is another show set in London, this time based on the greatest detective of all time. This retelling stars Benedict Cumberbatch and delivers fantastical, surreal solutions to crimes. Showcasing the deductive genius of Sherlock against brilliant criminals is addicting. As a fan of House, Numb3rs, Scorpion, and other genius-led shows, Sherlock is top billing.
Like Luther, binging Sherlock is not easy unless you’re a fanboy of the subject matter or leads. Luckily, I’m both when it comes to this show. Sherlock remains the most difficult binge completed and will only be topped when season four of Stranger Things drops. Its 30-hour challenge is accepted.
Difficulty: Very hard. It’s only 15 episodes, but its four seasons have movie-length episodes lasting towards 90 minutes each. The show has an audience rating of 83 percent.