10 TV Shows That Are Better If You Don’t Binge Them

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Think about this for a minute: When was the last time you clicked ‘Play’ on a TV show and only watched one episode? Outside of the very rare one-episode-per-week release schedule of some TV shows, the consumption of series seems to tilt toward binge-watching. And do you know what? It’s alright. Most TV shows are designed with that idea in mind. Long storylines that demand the viewer to put in more time than they thought they had. If viewers are actually arriving late for their next favorite TV show, the effect is bigger. We’re talking sleepless nights and turning oneself into a couch potato who will do everything but stop watching because they just can’t.

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In retrospect, it seems excessive. And considering how empty you feel after running out of episodes to watch, not binge-watching sometimes sounds like a good idea. In the case of the following shows, watching one episode at a time may actually represent a better experience for various reasons. These are the 10 TV shows that turn out to be better if you don’t binge them.

10 Succession (2018 – 2023)

In the HBO drama juggernaut Succession, the Roys are a family that’s always been under the helm of patriarch and leader Logan Roy. When Logan begins to show signs of his deteriorating health, his children begin to show their thirst for inheriting the power. The show departs from Logan being the bitter old man who won’t let go of power so easily, especially to Kendall, one of his sons who’s shown signs of being capable of taking over, but he’s also shown to be inconsistent.

Succession Is Better If Soaked Up Slowly

The whole journey of the Roys is very, very emotional. Characters transition from season to season, and when slowly digesting everyone’s motivations and goals, you’re basically more forgiving as a viewer. The Kendall of season one, is not the same Kendall of season four, but understanding the development of his downfall is only possible when taking baby steps as you enter the corruption-infested territory. In other words, binge-watching Succession may be too much for some viewers because of how dense the characters’ arcs are. Besides, considering this only lasts four seasons, and it’s so magnetic, you might want to make it last.

Stream on Max

9 Mystery Science Theater 3000 (1988 – Present)

With a run of more than 200 very funny episodes, the legacy of Mystery Science Theater 3000 speaks for itself. It tells the story of a janitor who’s held captive by scientists. Their intention is to make him go through all kinds of B-movies to understand his reaction. To accomplish such torture, Joel builds two androids that accompany him on his ordeal of overcoming the existence of bad movies. In each episode, Joel and his buddies sit in a movie theater and witness them while heavily mocking them.

Why Mystery Science Theater 3000 is Better If Not Binged

The episodes are extremely long (the running time of an entire film), and even though the breaks consist of comedy bits, it’s much better if you take the time and also comprehend the value of the “bad movie” Joel and his robots saw. Each episode is unique in its own treatment of the film they watch, and binge-watching the show will probably make you tired quickly. It’s not that it’s monotonous, but it’s a very niche show that holds its followers to this day but hasn’t done much to expand. Not that it needs to.

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Related: 10 Reasons Why the Colder Months Are the Perfect Time to Binge-Watch Harry Potter

8 The Twilight Zone (1959 – 1964)

In all of its iterations, The Twilight Zone has kept the essence of its format intact. Each episode of the anthology series deals with a sci-fi or horror-based story that puts a character against an improbable or unbelievable situation that always has some kind of supernatural backdrop. But what’s varied since the series’ concept in the ’50s, when Rod Serling created it, is the duration of each episode. Curiously, it feels like the show in the past was fairly more simple considering production value wasn’t actually huge.

Why You Should Take Time Between Episodes of The Twilight Zone

Even though it’s one of the best TV anthologies of all time, and you might want to binge that in a second, the anthology format often means each episode and each story have a value of their own. You’re actually able to validate each episode without discarding it, knowing a new one will start in minutes. Additionally, it feels better to emulate how it was shown in the past, where stuff like Netflix could actually be featured in the show like an impossible form of technology.

Stream on Paramount+

7 Game of Thrones (2011 – 2019)

In HBO’s fantasy drama Game of Thrones, the land created by author George R. R. Martin is witness to the Seven Kingdoms of Westeros fighting for the right to claim the Iron Throne. The series expands on several stories stemming from the very first seasons and ultimately lands in a power struggle between those who remain. Oh yeah, and the living dead. The show lasted for eight seasons, with a grand total of 73 episodes. Each one played like a feature film, to the satisfaction of the show’s fans.

Games of Thrones Is Better as a Weekly Show

There were simply too many characters to observe, understand, and eventually swallow their rotten attitude. Each season is entirely different from one another, and like any other HBO drama, it’s much better to go one episode at a time. The amount of aesthetic details, important characters, and secondary plots make it an ideal one-episode-a-week series that seldom goes for cliffhangers. Seldom, because it’s almost impossible to stop watching after the Red Wedding episode. That one, we’ll forgive you for.

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6 The Crown (2016 – Present)

The Crown
The Crown

Release Date
November 4, 2016

Seasons
6

The Crown is Netflix’s drama epic that tells the story of Great Britain’s monarchy since Queen Elizabeth II took over the kingdom when she was a young girl. The series depicts the inside dynamics of a very complicated family that was forced to deal with the scrutiny of the public because of the agency of the monarchy system in modern society, up to the point of Princess Diana being a disruptive force when designing Charles’ inevitable position as king.

Why The Crown Shouldn’t be Binged

Although it’s, without question, one of the best-produced British shows in recent history, The Crown is also a show that takes its time to deliver the theme in the shift that every season calls for. It’s very slow-burning and will only appeal to some viewers. However, it’s simply better not to binge because continuity is logical in chronology, but the jumps in time are broad and don’t exactly connect when binge-watching season after season.

Stream on Netflix

5 Hannibal (2013 – 2015)

hannibal
Hannibal

Release Date
April 4, 2013

Seasons
3

Bryan Fuller’s Hannibal is based on the universe of Thomas Harris’ Hannibal Lecter novels, but doesn’t exactly focus on one of them. It simply draws its characters and puts them in a modern plot where FBI special agent Will Graham forms an almost romantic relationship with Dr. Hannibal Lecter, a psychiatrist who uses Will’s weakness to enter his mind and twist it to his will. Oh yes, and Lecter also likes to munch on people.

You Need Time to Think About Hannibal

During its three seasons of pure nightmare fuel, Will and Hannibal’s relationship radically changes. It just won’t make much sense, as continuity isn’t exactly a thing on the show. Besides, you should just take your time with it because of the visual backdrop the film’s based on and the aesthetic value that will make you feel like you’re witnessing something historic. It’s almost tragic how no service attempts to even pick this up and bring it back to TV.

Stream on Tubi

4 Twin Peaks (1990 – 1991, 2017)

Twin Peaks tells the story of FBI Special Agent Dale Cooper as he heads over to the town of Twin Peaks to investigate the cold-blooded murder of a young girl called Laura Palmer. At first, it looks like a murder case that will be solved quickly once Cooper makes some people talk, only Twin Peaks isn’t exactly a normal place. He will find out the hard way. And viewers will find out about the twisted mind of David Lynch.

Twin Peaks Is a Little Too Wild to Binge

Twin Peaks is, um, the peak of ’90s television, no pun intended. Chances are, you won’t see anything from that period that’s better than Lynch’s murder mystery. However, it’s not a friendly show. Fans of David Lynch should know. Twin Peaks is a mystery show that relies heavily on a surreal backdrop that you never know how Lynch will use to make the story more interesting, or if it’s just a playful addition of something unnecessary to the story. In any case, we have to warn you against binge-watching something created by David Lynch. You should let it simmer and capture you whenever it’s supposed to.

Stream on Paramount+

3 The Office (2005 – 2013)

TheOffice
The Office (U.S.)

Release Date
2005-00-00
Cast
Steve Carell , Jenna Fischer , John Krasinski , Ellie Kemper , Rainn Wilson , Angela Kinsey , Melora Hardin , Rashida Jones , Mindy Kaling , Creed Bratton , B.J. Novak , Ed Helms , Brian Baumgartner

Seasons
9

In the American version of The Office, a mockumentary is being made about the workers of a paper company called Dunder Mifflin. They’re led by their very peculiar manager, Michael Scott, who finds himself able to fall into every kind of idiotic situation, making the show a full-blown sitcom. It’s hard to find a rewatchable show like this one.

Binging The Office Will Become too Much

Yes, we’re aware we are including a sitcom on the list, and those are especially tailor-made for binge-watching. However, in the case of The Office, the show’s full of details you might want to make sure you get, and let’s be honest, sometimes the characters are just… too much. If The Office had been released in today’s era of television and season episodes had been released all on the same day, it wouldn’t have been as successful. Also, it’s simply a great show, and you might want to take your time to watch all of them, even though we’re pretty sure when you finish, you’ll go right back to the beginning and start episode one again for another rewatch.

Stream The Office on Netflix

2 The Wire (2002 – 2008)

The Wire
The Wire

Release Date
June 2, 2002

Seasons
5

HBO’s epic crime series The Wire tells the harrowing story of Baltimore’s underbelly of crime and how it permeates every aspect of society, including law enforcement agencies that find themselves dealing with crime and its organizations. Every season of the show seems to migrate towards a different microcosm in the city’s underground. Some consider the show to be one of the best series ever produced on modern television.

Why You Should Take Your Time with The Wire

Even though it isn’t an anthology series, the show plays better when you take your time to observe the radically different situations that arise in every season. The Wire is a detailed journey through a murky version of reality, seen through the eyes of participants who can’t bring themselves to be idealistic. They have to deal with a jarring truth that sometimes calls for the worst in them. In other words, it’s too heavy to binge, as it’s common with HBO’s drama shows.

Stream The Wire on Max

Related: 20 Franchises With Exactly 5 Movies That Are Perfect for Binging

1 Fargo (2014 – Present)

Fargo
Fargo

Release Date
April 15, 2014

Seasons
3

Created by Noah Hawley in 2014 and inspired by the film of the same name by the Coens, Fargo is an anthology drama series that, in each season, explores different characters and their stories. What they share is a natural connection to the world of crime, intrigue, and murder in a small town. Justice is often delivered, but not to those who deserve it. In the sea of modern crime shows, Fargo is near the top spot.

Why You Should Never Binge-Watch Fargo

It’s usually better not to binge on anthology shows because it just doesn’t make sense. There are usually no cliffhangers, and stories tend to be slow-burn gems. In Hawley’s Fargo, every episode is rich in detail, and most importantly, there are no random events. This requires your full attention. And once you let each event simmer for a few days, you will remember us for having recommended taking your time to watch this one. The show is undeniably much better when you give yourself the time to let each season progress with its ups and downs, and you take the much-deserved breaks this show requires from viewers.

Stream Fargo on Hulu

To stay in tune with the spirit of TV shows that should be given the chance to simmer, here’s a video on Netflix miniseries that you can watch right now:

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