12 series every millennial should bingewatch over the holidays
Winter is the perfect time to snuggle up on the couch and bingewatch entire seasons or series all at once. This is even more true since streaming networks are working harder to create diverse casts and highlight new stories in their top line ups.
So, I’ve put together a list of 12 series more than worth the multiple hour investment of a bingewatch broken out by the six newest and six oldest in our rotation.
Here are 6 new series to keep you current on the best television has to offer:
Stranger Things 2
The second installment of Netflix’s Stranger Things was recently named the most one of the most in-demand shows in all of television, with an estimated 15.8 million viewers of its first episode within the first 3 days. And the hype is well deserved. The second season built on the impressive platform of the series’ first installment, deepening its mythology and upping the stakes. If you are among the few people on the planet that somehow hasn’t seen the show yet, get into it. And if you’ve already seen it, then you know it’s worth a second watch.
Full disclosure: this was the series that dominated our Thanksgiving weekend.
The Mist, based on the Steven King novella of the same name, examined a town descending into hysteria after a mysterious mist cuts them off from the outside world. In a lot of ways, it felt like The Walking Dead, but in a much more enclosed environment. But as an added bonus, the cast included Isiah Whitlock Jr., a.k.a. State Sen. R. Clayton ‘Clay’ Davis from The Wire.
While the first season aired on Spike, it has unfortunately been canceled. You can still find the episodes on Netflix.
Outside of Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and FOX’s The Gifted, Marvel’s TV presence is felt on Netflix. At least that was the case until now. Marvel’s newest television series has a home at Hulu. Runaways pulls directly from the cult-classic comic book of the same name and follows 6 teenagers whose parents run a philanthropic organization called Pride. But when they secretly observe their parents performing a ritual and seemingly killing a girl, they band together to figure out what is really going on and soon come to realize that they each have special abilities, ranging from magic to super strength to even mentally controlling a velociraptor. It’s a tad heavy on teen angst, but if you read the comic books like I did, you’ll see this is a faithful adaptation of the source material.
She’s Gotta Have It
Netflix has started producing so much original content, it is on the verge of literally replacing non-streaming outlets. It’s also quickly becoming a go-to place for non-heteronormative entertainment. The newest entrant is a television adaptation of She’s Gotta Have It from Spike Lee. Take caution: reviews are deeply mixed on this one, and I finished the series feeling underwhelmed. This one is undeniably Spike, for better or for worse. However, it is a beautifully shot love letter to Brooklyn, and its eye-candy filled cast is led by the stunning and commanding DeWanda Wise. She’s one to look out for.
Star Trek: Discovery
We’ve got a whole post gushing about just how great this CBS All Access series is (read it here), so there’s no need for me to rehash the show’s merits. But Star Trek: Discovery is a truly amazing work of modern sci-fi that has managed to keep the Star Trek legacy alive without getting stuck in the past. It’s more progressive than its predecessors yet manages to infuse a serious dose of hardcore action into every episode. As annoyed as I am that this is only available under a CBS All Access subscription, it’s worth the price of admission.
Black Mirror, Season 4
Few series get me as excited as Black Mirror does. This genre-breaking and thought-provoking anthology series takes an exaggerated look at society and causes us to question the role technology plays in our lives. You can read my review of Black Mirror‘s season 3 here.
The fourth season of the international success hits Netflix on December 29th with 6 new stories, so consider it an early Christmas present.
Here are 6 less recent series worth catching up on:
Marvel’s Luke Cage
The moment that Netflix hit the sweet spot of Blackness and Marvel goodness was epic. Mike Colter looked like a ripped from the comic books Luke Cage and his outstanding supporting cast including Alfre Woodard, Mahershala Ali, and Simone Missick transcended this show from another comic book adaptation to an artistic ode to Blackness and Harlem.
Open TV is quickly becoming a source for new, inventive, and diverse programming. And its crown jewel is Brown Girls. On paper, its story is eerily similar to that of Issa Rae. Brown Girls started as a web series, depicting characters that are often stereotyped or omitted completely from film. And then, HBO came and picked it up. But where Insecure is very L.A., Brown Girls is all Chicago. And Brown Girls is a much more wide open landscape with one lead a queer South Asian-American and the other a sex-positive Black free spirit.
Watch episodes on Open TV’s beta here.
You know what the biggest problem with Chewing Gum is? There just isn’t enough Chewing Gum. This UK series that has made its way stateside through Netflix is another testament to the importance of diverse storytelling. While creator and star Michaela Coel currently has no plans for a season 3, stating that season 2 reached a “creative peak”, that’s no reason not to enjoy 2 seasons worth of her comedic genius.
Brujos sounds like a series you’d never expect to be made: “a queer-of-color, radically politicized web series following four gay latino doctoral candidates–that are also witches.” And that’s exactly why it’s important. It’s near impossible to even try to put this series in a box, so I won’t try to. But if you’re looking for something different from everything else you see on TV, this is it.
Watch episodes on Open TV’s beta here.
Above all others, this is the #1 show in my household. Regardless of age. This Cartoon Network series follows Steven Universe and the Crystal Gems, a group of alien defectors that have taken responsibility for defending the earth from other invading gems. But what masquerades as a hilarious show that counts Estelle among its voice cast, Steven Universe is incredibly nuanced in its messaging around feminism, queerness, and self-worth.
Now in its 5th season, you can stream episodes through your cable provider, at CartoonNetwork.com, or on the Cartoon Network app.
Dear White People
Dear White People was one of the best series of 2017. It’s 10 episode season was fire from front to back and was able to dive deeper into issues that the film of the same name could only touch upon. If you need a guide, I put together a ranking of the episodes here. But better yet, just bingewatch the whole season and see if my ranking isn’t dead on.
Photo credit: Netflix
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