Weekend Binge Guide: September 2015

Have the weekend free? Going out is overrated! Binge-watch one of these shows instead:


If you want to laugh:



Fresh Off the Boat

See all reviews for Fresh Off the Boat

Maybe it's because in 1995, I was exactly the same age as Eddie Huang is supposed to be on the show, but Fresh Off the Boat gives me the nostalgia giggles. Yeah, I'm old enough now that period shows are flashbacks to eras in which I've lived, but hey, the mid-90s were also a hilariously funny time. But it's not the period details that make me chuckle (if anything, they just make me want to find out where I can still buy a Chipwich), it's the Huang family — especially Jessica, played by the amazing Constance Wu — with their take on how to make it in America that makes me laugh so hard it hurts (that means I've earned my Chipwich, right?).



If you want to cry:




See all reviews for Rectify

This is the kind of show that stays with you for days after you watch each episode. It's understated and quietly lovely in a very under-the-radar kind of way, but man, if it doesn't make you cry ugly. It's by turns ambiguous (Daniel Holden is released after a prison sentence for a crime he may or may not have actually committed), aching (he tries — and mostly fails — to put his life back together), and infuriating (everything is just so damn hard). If Fresh Off the Boat is a comedy about the American Dream, Rectify is a tragedy about its broken promise.



If you want to scream:




See all reviews for Fortitude

If you're looking for gore, this is your show. If you're looking for creepiness, this is definitely your show. If you're looking for a lingering sense of dread that accompanies you wherever you go for months after watching the last episode, boy, is this ever the only show you should watch. What could cause a horrific (almost vomit-inducing) series of murders in an Arctic research town? I'm not going to ruin the show, but the show might ruin your appetite.




If you want to think:



The Moaning of Life

See all reviews for The Moaning of Life

Those familiar with Karl Pilkington need no explanation, but the rest of you might. Basically, this round-headed Englishman got caught up in Ricky Gervais' orbit and became a wisdom-spouting phenomenon. He's an incredible grump who is nevertheless prone to almost-zen pronouncements on life. The Moaning of Life takes him back on the road (sidenote: if you've never seen his original travel series An Idiot Abroad, definitely start there) to understand cultural views on birth, love, marriage, death, and other parts of life. It's astoundingly funny — and tremendously insightful.




Leah E. Friedman is the editor of SideReel.com. You can follow her musings on Twitter.


1 comment

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Sep 11, 2015 6:28PM EDT

This needs a "binge guide" tag so I can read them all! (and maybe you could add the shows to lists every week, "If you want to laugh", "If you want to cry", etc?) x

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