Your Guide to Effective Recess Week TV Bingeing

As NUS students, your time is precious. Between finishing your readings, going to lectures, completing your lab reports and rehearsing next week’s presentation, we know that you can barely keep up with streams of wonderful TV shows (curse you, Netflix).

But then again, finding the right show just for you may sometimes feel like looking for a needle in the haystack. As a treat to the month of love (and the increasing school craziness on top of recess week), we compile a list of worthy TV shows and tell you how much investment you need to make when following these series.

The Legendary Shows Everyone Watches

Watching these shows is like investing in Blue Chip Companies. It’s time consuming, but you are guaranteed a satisfying return. You can get invested in the story because they are not cancelled early. Plus, you definitely have friends who would have watched them before, so you can spend hours together debating plot lines.

1. Friends [Ended]

Why it’s awesome: Friends ran across a decade when fashion evolved dramatically – when baggy clothes were cool and every woman wanted to have ‘The Rachel’ haircut.  It defined pop culture and even transformed slang in the U.S. Although it is considered an old show, the six friends are so heartwarming that you would not mind spending hours just to watch them bicker with one another.

Time you need to spare: 3 Days 11 Hours (10 Seasons) Concentration level needed: 1/5

2. Breaking Bad [Ended]

Walter White (Bryan Cranston) and Jesse Pinkman (Aaron Paul) - Breaking Bad _ Season 5B _ Gallery - Photo Credit: Frank Ockenfels 3/AMC
Walter White (Bryan Cranston) and Jesse Pinkman (Aaron Paul) (Photo by Frank Ockenfels 3/AMC)

Why it’s awesome: Walter White is probably the most famous anti-hero in history of television. His journey of transformation from goody two-shoes chemistry teacher to drug kingpin was groundbreaking. Breaking Bad is considered by many to be one of the torch bearers of the third golden time in television.

Time you need to spare: 2 Days 5 Hours (5 Seasons) Concentration Level needed: 5/5

3. How I Met Your Mother [Ended]

LOS ANGELES - AUGUST 29: "Who Wants To Be A Godparent" "” When Lily and Marshall can't decide on godparents for Marvin, they put the gang to the test to see who would make the best one, on HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER, Monday, Oct. 15 (8:00-8:30 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network. Pictured left to right: Jason Segel, Alyson Hannigan, Josh Radnor, Neil Patrick Harris and Cobie Smulders (Photo by Cliff Lipson/CBS via Getty Images)
Pictured left to right: Jason Segel, Alyson Hannigan, Josh Radnor, Neil Patrick Harris and Cobie Smulders (Photo by Cliff Lipson/CBS via Getty Images)

Why it’s awesome: Everyone who followed the show is still discussing the controversial ending with a big sigh. But this show, by a long shot, should not be defined by its ending. The shows was strong on continuity and produced uncountable pop culture references such as Legen-wait-for-it-dary and The Cheerleader Effect, not to mention all the awesome songs by Robin Sparkles/ Dagger. While the show’s success is often compared that of Friends’s, we definitely can have more than one tight-night group of crazy friends in our heart.

Time you need to spare: 3 Days 4 Hours (9 Seasons) Concentration Level needed: 1/5

Best Consumed By Binging

These shows use an anthology format or are serialized (i.e. shows which are plot heavy) with no more than three seasons. You can catch up on them in one sitting and enjoy the heated discussion about the show’s progression with your friends.

1. True Detective (Season 1) (HBO) [Ended]

True Detective

Why it’s awesome: One of the best anthology seasons ever produced. We follow two detectives played by Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson tracking down a strange case of serial murders over many years.

Time you need to spare: 8 hours (1 Season) Concentration level needed: 5/5

2. Orphan Black (BBC America) [Ongoing]


Why it’s awesome: The show that only got its lead actress (Tatiana Maslany) a very deserving Emmy nomination last year. Orphan Black is one of the best sci-fi series out there, which without fail produce unpredictable rollercoaster thriller every other episode.

Time you need to spare: 22 Hours (3 Seasons) Concentration level needed: 4/5

3. House of Cards (Netflix) [Ongoing]


Genre: Political Thriller

Why it’s awesome: Kevin Spacey. First Netflix original series. Cut throat political drama.

Time you need to spare: 1 Day 10 Hours (3 Seasons) Concentration level needed: 5/5

The Absent-minded Watching

You can enjoy these shows while doing your homework or just during your destressing routine. You can even watch these light (but still excellent) programmes by playing 1.5x times the normal speed.

1. Parks and recreations (NBC) [Ended]


Why its awesome: Endearing show about Leslie Knope (Amy Poehler), a staff member of Indiana Parks and Recreation Department as she manoeuvres government bureaucracy in order to climb the career ladder. It follows the camera interview format of another legendary show, The Office.

Time you need to spare: 1 Day 22 Hours (7 Seasons) Concentration level needed: 1/5

2. Jane the Virgin (The CW) [Ongoing]


Why it’s awesome:: A delightful show about a virgin woman who was accidentally artificially inseminated under bizarre coincidences. The self-aware nature of the show with running commentary on Latino culture and community propelled Jane the Virgin to be a different kind of dramatic comedy show.

Time you need to spare: 23 Hours (2 Seasons) Concentration level needed: 2/5

3. Arrested Development (Netflix) [Ongoing-sort of]


Why it’s awesome: Arrested Development was sent to the TV graveyard and resurrected by Netflix with a slightly different format. The show tells the story of highly dysfunctional family and their responsible son and sole breadwinner of the family who was arrested for white-collar crimes. Arrested development rewards people who follow the episodes closely by putting in a lot of historical context in the episodes.

Time you need to spare: 1 Day 4 Hours (4 Seasons) Concentration Level needed: 2/5

Which shows are you planning to catch up on this recess week? Let us know in the comments below or on our Facebook page!