For most, Memorial Day Weekend is a time bifurcated by reverence for those lost and a celebration of those who remain. We bring flowers to graves, talk of the old times, and rub elbows with those we love in the same compressed time period we embrace the sunshine, reconvene with nature, and test our barbecue skills. It’s the springboard into the last days of spring that we need and something that signals the coming changing of the guard.
However, there are those who look at Memorial Day Weekend as a chance to burrow deep into a mound of blankets, order the cheesiest thing they can think of, and Clockwork Orange their way through some serious boob tube. With the broadcast networks officially wound down for the summer and spring cable shows on the verge of closing up shop, as well, it’s a perfect time to catch up on the shows that had been clogging up your DVR or give a quick binge to something you had been meaning to sample.
Which is why KSiteTV has put together five shows that you should catch up on if you’re lagging behind or binge completely if you’re looking to throw an entire TV season at your eyeballs. Since the weekend is a short burst of freedom and opportunity that slips away before you know it, only shows with a manageable episode load have been included. Also featured are links to how exactly you can watch any of these that appeal to you.
Congratulations on making it through yet another TV season, TV fans. Your reward? 5 more shows to add to your already overstuffed list of stuff to watch.
All Night (Hulu)
Cast: Jenn McAllister (Foursome); Allie Grant (Suburgatory); Jake Short (Mighty Med); Brec Bassinger (Bella and the Bulldogs); Tequan Richmond (Everybody Hates Chris); Teala Dunn (Are We There Yet?); Eva Gutowski (Me and My Grandma); Chester Rushing (Stranger Things); Tetona Jackson (Maximum Ride); and Tom Maden (Scream).
Creator: Jason Ubaldi (Youth & Consequences)
Number of Episodes: 10
Why You Should Binge: Hulu’s second venture into teen-centric programming, high school comedy All Night has been one of the pleasant surprises of the spring. Not only is it essentially Can’t Hardly Wait filtered through Instagram and MTV’s Awkward.-era comedy sensibility, it’s a bottle season that follows a group of graduates at their post-grad lock-in party, which makes it more structurally adventurous than it needed to be and all the better for it. The series, filled with likable young performers with varying degrees of mainstream acting success, manages to be a breezy, entertaining watch that puts a new spin on familiar tropes while successfully capturing the complicated emotions that surface upon high school graduation. Given its leanness and the sheer volume of storylines it follows, it doesn’t dwell too much into the sadness and regret that the end of high school; instead, it challenges its characters to make the most of their last night of young adulthood and conclude their high school experience on their own terms.
How You Can Binge: All Night is available on Hulu.
The Bold Type (Freeform)
Cast: Katie Stevens (Faking It); Aisha Dee (Chasing Life); Meghann Fahy (One Life to Live); Sam Page (Mad Men); Matt Ward (Arrow); Nikohl Boosheri (Rogue); Stephen Conrad Moore (The Path); and Melora Hardin (Transparent).
Creator: Sarah Watson (Parenthood)
Number of Episodes: 10
Why You Should Binge: Freeform magazine dramedy The Bold Type could’ve rested on being a fun, fizzy little number that played like Younger‘s, well, younger sister. It had the sparkling cast chemistry, the carefree urbane vibe, and the impressive costume budget to become a flirty “guilty pleasure” (whatever that is) that kept Freeform’s talons into female viewers of a certain demo. Which, granted, the show was able to accomplish during its well-received first season last summer. But The Bold Type isn’t afraid to push boundaries and attempt to do more with its lightweight format than one might expect, as season one followed the burgeoning romantic relationship between two queer WOC and touched on themes of sexual assault, sexism, race, politics, the wage gap, and feminism, all with an unblinking eye. It’s a substantive, ambitious take on a genre that hadn’t really delved into the #woke world yet, which is impressive in and of itself but much moreso given the show never loses its playfulness and sense of hope amidst challenging material.
How You Can Binge: The Bold Type is available on Hulu, Freeform.com, the Freeform app, iTunes, Vudu, Google Play, Youtube, and Amazon, among other places.
Cast: Niecy Nash (Getting On); Carrie Preston (The Good Wife); Judy Reyes (Devious Maids); Karrueche Tran (The Nice Guys); Jenn Lyon (Justified); Jack Kesy (The Strain); Kevin Rankin (Dallas Buyers Club); Jason Antoon (Famous in Love); Harold Perrineau (Lost); Jimmy Jean-Louis (Heroes); and Dean Norris (Breaking Bad).
Creator: Eliot Laurence (The Big Gay Sketch Show)
Number of Episodes: 10
Why You Should Binge: Vibrant and vicious in equal measure, TNT crime dramedy Claws plays like a feminized hybrid of Breaking Bad‘s financial desperation and Justified‘s sense of place. Following a group of Florida nail technicians laundering money for a local crime family, the series drapes itself in silliness, both from the outlandish supporting cast and the delightfully goofy ensemble chemistry, to disguise its central rawness and how timely its premise, of women willing to do whatever it takes to support their families, really is. For all the kooky plot twists it throws at you and the unpredictable tone it can sometimes have, Claws is a show of survival, a gorgeously directed tale of blue collar ennui that shows the motivation behind criminality isn’t monolithic. Seeing how everyone came into this specific circumstance, and why they stay despite danger both intrinsic and extrinsic, is an in-your-face sociology lesson packed with the type of bold energy, tongue-in-cheek soapiness, and fierce performances (particularly from lead Niecy Nash) to make for a hell of a binge watch.
How You Can Binge: Claws is available on Hulu, TNTdrama.com, iTunes, Vudu, Google Play, and Amazon, among other places.
Dynasty (The CW)
Cast: Elizabeth Gillies (Victorious); Nicollette Sheridan (Desperate Housewives); Nathalie Kelley (UnREAL); James Mackay (Battle of the Sexes); Robert Christopher Riley (Hit the Floor); Sam Adegoke (Switched at Birth); Rafael de la Fuente (Empire); Alan Dale (The O.C.); and Grant Show (Devious Maids).
Creator: Richard and Esther Shapiro (Emerald Point N.A.S.) created the original, with Sallie Patrick (Revenge), Josh Schwartz (Gossip Girl), and Stephanie Savage (Hart of Dixie) overseeing the reboot.
Number of Episodes: 22
Why You Should Binge: After taking a few episodes to get its bearings, The CW’s reboot of ’80s soap Dynasty has shown itself a monument to viewer patience, quickly getting itself together to become a catty, chaotic piece of welcomed escapism. Fronted by a ferocious performance from Elizabeth Gillies that only gets deeper and more humane as the season wears on, Dynasty is the rare broadcast soap that revels in a gasp-worthy plot twist while keeping everything grounded in character. The damn near operatic plot twists, seeping in self-aware campiness, and narrative pivots that can come anytime and double back when they see fit all stem from a story about a dysfunctional family corrupted by the obscene wealth at their disposal struggling with living in the limelight. Granted, I understand those uncomfortable with the idea of watching rich people fight over insignificant nonsense in this economic/political climate, but Dynasty has shown itself unafraid to interrogate the Carringtons, their place in society, and the bodies left in their wake, something that gives its storytelling a distinct edge.
How You Can Binge: Dynasty is available on Netflix, iTunes, Vudu, Google Play, and Amazon, among other places.
Cast: Laura Ramsey (The Ruins); Sarah Goldberg (Barry); Craig Horner (Legend of the Seeker); Nick Clifford (Masters of Sex); John Patrick Amedori (Dear White People); Jessy Hodges (Graves); and Drew Sidora (The Game).
Creator: Emily Fox (Girlfriends’ Guide to Divorce)
Number of Episodes: 10
Why You Should Binge: The lone cancelled show on the list, dearly departed Hindsight is one of my favorite one-and-dones of the decade. A romantic dramedy about a woman in her 40s about to get remarried who wakes up on the morning of her first wedding 20 years prior, Hindsight is in the same family as Being Erica and Drop Dead Diva, two fellow female-fronted dramedies who played with themes of time, regret, and self-acceptance. It’s simultaneously a non-pandering celebration of ’90s nostalgia with an amazing soundtrack and a wibbly wobbly timey wimey take on a universal “what if…” that everyone has thought about. Going back to a time in your past when things started to go wrong or when something didn’t work out the way you thought sounds ideal once you gain the perspective that age brings, but Hindsight, in its attempt at proving the fallacy of its premise, argues the value of looking forward, forgiving yourself, and learning from your past mistakes.
How You Can Binge: Due to music rights issues, Hindsight isn’t available on any streaming services, but the full series is up on iTunes, Vudu, Google Play, and Amazon, among other places.