14 Shows to Binge Watch Over Thanksgiving Weekend

Variety Staff
Variety

For many, the holidays are a time for family bonding, feasting… and binge-watching. The long Thanksgiving weekend provides a perfect excuse to catch up on some TV. As you nurse your turkey food coma, consider gobbling down some of our recommendations, all of which are available to stream over the holiday weekend.

“The Crown”
Where to watch: Netflix
Time commitment: 10 hours
Reason to binge: This drama follows the rivalries and romances that shaped Queen Elizabeth II’s reign. Fans of “Doctor Who” will enjoy seeing Matt Smith back on the small screen — portraying Phillip opposite Claire Foy’s Elizabeth.

“This Is Us”
Where to watch: Hulu, Yahoo
Time commitment: 8 hours
Reason to binge: The NBC series is only halfway through its freshman season, but it’s one of the most powerful dramas on TV. Be warned though — it’s heavy, and might bring down the holiday festivities.

“Stranger Things”
Where to watch: Netflix
Time commitment: 8 hours
Reason to binge: If you missed the supernatural series that everyone was talking about, here’s your chance to catch up. If the ’80s nostalgia doesn’t delight, the young ensemble cast will.

“O.J.: Made in America”
Where to watch: ESPN app
Time commitment: 7 hours
Reason to binge: No, not the FX miniseries where Cuba Gooding Jr. played O.J. Simpson (though that’s worth a binge on its own). This is the Ezra Edelman-directed “30 for 30” documentary, which clocks in at seven hours but is worth each minute. Edelman’s look into the Trial of the Century provides the necessary context that stretches back long before Simpson even put on cleats, revealing a gaping cultural wound that, if the current state of the nation is anything to go by, has yet to heal. The five parts are available to stream (after you log in with your cable provider) on ESPN’s app.

“Party Down”
Where to watch: Hulu, Starz
Time commitment: 10 hours (5 hours per season)
Reason to binge: Are we having fun yet? If you haven’t seen comedy classic, do yourself a favor and check it out. Top-notch actors Adam Scott, Lizzy Caplan, Ken Marino, Jane Lynch, Ryan Hansen, Martin Starr, and Megan Mullally anchor the cast, and “Party Down’s” stellar combination of character-driven subtlety and L.A. satire is just about perfect. Starz’s Season 1 marathon starts 7 p.m. Nov. 24, and Season 2 kicks off at the same time the following day.

“Spartacus: Blood and Sand”
Where to watch: Netflix, Starz
Time commitment: 13 hours
Reason to binge: It’s basically “Downton Abbey,” but with more nakedness and beheadings. No, really, “Spartacus” has more than its share of melodramatic violence, but it’s perceptive about human nature and the workings of power, and once you get past the rocky first couple of episodes, it’s an addictive adventure yarn as well. Starz is re-airing the entire first season at 1 p.m. Nov. 26.

“The Path”
Where to watch: Hulu
Time commitment: 10 hours
Reason to binge: Hulu’s psychological thriller revolving around a new age-y cult boasts mind-blowing performances by stars Aaron Paul, Hugh Dancy, and Michelle Monaghan. Catch up with Season 1 before Season 2 bows on Jan. 25.

“Billions”
Where to watch: HuluShowtime
Time commitment: 12 hours
Reason to binge: Will Paul Giamatti’s hard-nosed federal prosecutor Chuck Rhoades finally snare Damian Lewis’ hedge-fund king Bobby “Axe” Axelrod? Prep for the opening bell of Season 2 of Showtime’s “Billions” on Feb. 19 by catching up with Season 1.

“Search Party”
Where to watch: TBS
Time commitment: 5 hours
Reason to binge: It’s a TBS comedy about a group of post-millennial 20-somethings investigating the disappearance of a former college friend. No kidding. Star Alia Shawkat makes you want to learn what happens next.

“High Maintenance”
Where to watch: HBO Now
Time commitment: 3 hours
Reason to binge: HBO has scored with a slice-of-life comedy about a Brooklyn pot dealer who delivers herbal solace to high-end stress cases. Just inhale deeply and go with it.

“Berlin Station”
Where to watch: EPIX
Time commitment: 6 hours
Reason to binge: Epix’s original series efforts are off to a good start with this high-gloss spy thriller that makes great use of Richard Jenkins, Michelle Forbes and Richard Armitage. Half of the season has already aired, so now’s the perfect time to pull into the station and catch up.

“Atlanta”
Where to watch: FX Now
Time commitment: 5 hours
Reason to binge: Donald Glover’s series set in the ATL is a lot more authentic than any “Real Housewives” show can be. With Glover signed to the Han Solo “Star Wars” spinoff, it may be awhile until we see Season 2.

“American Horror Story: Roanoke”
Where to watch: FX Now
Time commitment: 10 hours
Reason to binge: The sixth installment of the anthology was mercifully only ten episodes, and placed several “AHS” vets at the center of the Lost Colony of Roanoke’s wrath.

“Black Mirror”
Where to watch: Netflix
Time commitment: 6 hours (Season 3)
Reason to binge: A sci-fi anthology series that is both scary and thought-provoking and one of our critics’ favorites.

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