Winter is here ... and binge-watching television shows is a great way to escape the snow, ice and biting wind. It's easy to spend an entire weekend curled up on the couch enjoying a good story. And you know what? It feels great.
Until Monday morning.
When settling down to binge-watch shows, sometimes we have a tendency to cycle back to shows we already know and love.
"I would've felt more productive if I watched a show I'd never seen before," said Lauren Abdelkader, Media Consultant for Serendipity Media, West Michigan Woman's parent company.
We've compiled a list of binge-watch-worthy shows for your consideration. Because winter is hard.
Jake Peralta (Andy Samberg) is an immature—though talented—NYPD detective in Brooklyn's 99th Precinct. Accustomed to doing what he wants, he comes into immediate conflict with his new commanding officer, the serious and stern Captain Ray Holt (Andre Braugher).
Frank and Gracie
Two unlikely friends (Jane Fonda, Lily Tomlin) are brought together after their husbands leave them ... for each other.
Six 20- to 30-somethings live in the heart of New York City. Together, they hang out in a coffee shop and navigate adulthood—failed relationships, pet monkeys, ugly naked neighbors and all!
"It's a classic and only the BEST SHOW EVER! I know so many people who haven't seen it, and it makes me cry. Real tears."
—Courtney Van Hagen, Art Director
Jess (Zoey Deschanel) is an offbeat teacher who moves to Los Angeles after a bad break-up ... and into an apartment loft with three single men. They find her unusual, but they support her. Most of the time.
"It's such a quirky and cute show, and I guarantee you'll fall in love with every single one of the characters."
—Kelsea Rounds, Production Coordinator
It's called a "mockumentary" and depicts the everyday lives of office employees working for a mediocre paper company in Scranton, Pennsylvania, under the unorthodox management of Michael Scott (Steve Carell).
"I've introduced the series to many kids, and they love the humor and can't wait to see what Michael will do next."
—Lisa Young, Marketing Director
Orange is the New Black
Piper Chapman (Taylor Schilling), a woman in her 30s, is sentenced to 15 months in prison after being convicted of a decade-old crime: transporting a suitcase full of drug money for her international-drug-smuggling girlfriend. And guess who Piper finds in prison?
"A comedy-drama that has become Netflix's most-watched original series for a reason ... You will laugh. You will cry. And you will most definitely binge."
—Caitlyn Albrant, Marketing Coordinator
Amazon Prime, TVLAND.com
Liza Miller (Sutton Foster) is a suddenly single, 40-year-old mother trying to get back into the working world—only to discover that no one will hire her because of her age. After a 20-something guy at a bar mistakes her for younger, she tries to pass as 26 and lands an entry-level job in the career of her dreams.
"It honestly is hysterical because she's trying to be a millennial, but is a true Gen X'er. LOVE IT!"
—Kasie Smith, President
Amazon Prime, Netflix
Liz Lemon (Tina Fey) is the head writer of a sketch comedy show, but she has to deal with an arrogant new boss (Alec Baldwin) and a crazy new star (Tracy Morgan)—all while trying to remain sane and successful.
"Because Tina Fey is a freaking genius."
—Lauren Abdelkader, Media Consultant
We're not bad people, but we did a bad thing: A family of adult siblings in the Florida Keys have a lot of dark secrets, revealed when their estranged brother comes home.
The British Empire is in decline, the political world is in disarray, and Queen Elizabeth II is a 25-year-old newlywed faced with the daunting prospect of leading the world's most famous monarchy while forging a relationship with the Prime Minister, Sir Winston Churchill.
Game of Thrones
HBO Go, HBO Now
Nine noble families fight for control over the mythical land of Westeros. Oh, and a forgotten race returns after being dormant for thousands of years ... and they're hell-bent on destruction.
"For those of you who aren't into movies like Lord of the Rings, this show is nothing like it. Yes, it takes place in a time where there are kingdoms fighting for a throne. But before you know it, you will be that person just dying to find out who is going to take over Westeros!"
—Megan Ross, Audience Development Coordinator
House of Cards
Majority House Whip Francis Underwood (Kevin Spacey) exacts his vengeance on those he feels wronged him. That is, his cabinet members. Including the President of the United States.
"Other than amazing acting and writing, the best part about it is that it offers such a disturbing perspective on Washington, D.C., politics that it will make even a Trump presidency seem less awful."
Amazon Prime, Netflix
Donald Draper (Jon Hamm) is a creative genius of one of New York's most prestigious ad agencies at the beginning of the 1960s. Creative, mysterious genius, that is. His brilliance belies a troubled childhood and his confidence masks the insecurities evidenced by his many vices.
"True story: I spent the better part of last winter binge-watching this show."
Frank Gallagher (William H. Macy) is an alcoholic living in a perpetual stupor while his six children deal with life in the south side of Chicago.
"No matter how dysfunctional you think your family is, they will never compare to what you see in the show."
In a small town where everyone knows everyone, a young boy disappears, and his mother, a police chief and his friends must confront terrifying forces in order to get him back.
"I'm not traditionally a sci-fi kind of gal, but was almost immediately sucked in by the throwback to the 80s."
—Jill Carroll, Marketing Manager
This Is Us
This is real. This is love. This is us. This drama follows the lives of Rebecca and Jack Pearson (Mandy Moore, Milo Ventimiglia) and their triplets. From the early stages of their marriage to the their triplets' adult years, this show portrays the hardships and struggles of raising a family.
"This show is for everyone—for your 15-year-old daughter, your husband, boyfriend, grandmother ... everyone."
Written by Cassie Westrate, staff writer for West Michigan Woman magazine.