You planned to watch one episode. Just one, to see what all the fuss was about. Seven hours later, you're glued to the television, eating take-out in your sweatpants.
We've all fallen victim to a marathon TV day. And with so many great shows available, in a variety of genres, you're certain to find another binge-worthy show as good as the last. We trolled the Dallas Morning News newsroom to find our reporters' and editors' most addictive TV shows of the moment. (It should go without writing that you should also watch Stranger Things on Netflix. #justsaying)
Here are their favorites.
Adventure Time is a Cartoon Network show set in a post-apocalyptic Earth (called Ooo) where humans are all but gone but there are plenty of people. Many are made of candy or baked goods. Main characters include Finn, a teenaged human; Jake, his adopted brother who is a half-demon magical talking dog; Princess Bubblegum, who created the candy people; and Marceline the Vampire, who has lived for a thousand years as a girl. Plotlines run from psychedelic-goofy to deep examinations of life, death, differences between people, obtrusive government and how crappy parents can be. So, it's not really for little kids. It's a perfect show for bingeing because all of the plot threads are continuing. It's not clear where the story is headed, other than revealing more bits about how Earth went through the Mushroom War to become Ooo. Episodes are available on the Cartoon Network site and on several cable and streaming services including Hulu and Amazon. But a Google search for the name of an episode (the list from all seven seasons is on Wikipedia) will also invariably turn up the full video. --Jeffrey Weiss, staff writer
In Banshee, an ex-con takes on the identity of the new sheriff in town in Banshee, Pa., and dispenses a version of justice that involves a truly incredible amount of facepunching and blood. Banshee is home to an Amish community (and a crime boss with ties to it), a reservation for the Kinaho tribe and an eclectic collection of criminals. The show is equal parts ridiculous and watchable. Jan. 29 is the premiere date for the fourth and final season on Cinemax, but you can catch the first season for free with an Amazon Prime subscription. --Ann Pinson, Guide editor
This show -- ostensibly about family, but more about fabulous -- encourages watching back-to-back episodes, if only to catch up with what everyone else already knows: that it's wheels-off crazy. Go for the fabulousness and stay for the Cookie. Taraji P. Henson's Cookie Lyon might be one of the most indelible TV characters in recent memory. Don't believe me, just watch. Find it everywhere -- on the FoxNow app, on the network website, on Hulu, probably wired directly into your brain if you want it. --Dawn Burkes, Entertainment reporter-TV writer
A moody, atmospheric crime drama, The Fall stars Gillian Anderson as Stella Gibson, a detective superintendent with London's Metropolitan Police who's called in to clean house on a high-profile murder investigation in Belfast. Her job soon becomes much bigger as she discovers the killing is the work of a serial murderer. The show is a fascinating look inside both Anderson's character and the mind of the killer, played with perfect intensity by Fifty Shades of Grey star Jamie Dornan. (That's not a spoiler; by the way; we are up close with him from the start.) Seasons 1 and 2 are available on Netflix. --Amanda Wilkins, audience development editor
You would be forgiven for thinking that a show about a guy whose signature trait is, "He runs really fast" won't hold your interest. But The Flash, based on the DC Comics character of the same name, is one of the best comic book shows to ever grace television. In a time where most superhero media is hopelessly dark (see the recent Batman film trilogy or even The Flash's predecessor, Arrow), The Flash maintains a wonderful sense of fun and excitement throughout its entire freshman season. Find it on Netflix or the CW app. --Britton Peele, geek critic
Singing! Dancing! A dashing hero on a quest to rescue a maiden that actually doesn't want to be rescued from a king that honestly isn't very intimidating. This musical comedy from the duo that brought you Tangled has adventure, romance, swashbuckling and hilarious guest appearances from Weird Al Yankovich, John Stamos and Ricky Gervais. The first eight-episode season can be binged in about the time it would take you to sit through a couple Broadway shows. Season 1 is available for purchase on Amazon Instant and iTunes. Season 2 is available on Netflix. --Britton Peele, geek critic
'The Get Down'
This Netflix original and its supersized first episode nods to all the elements of hip-hop, which play to co-creator Baz Luhrmann's strengths with rhythm, music, color and out-sized emotion. Part 1, which consists of six episodes, is available to stream. As is the soundtrack. Like Netflix hit of the summer Stranger Things, this show pays studious homage to what came before. It's like watching a melange of The Last Dragon, Fame, and The Warriors with some Hoodlum, Peter Pan, Blaxploitation and the best comic books thrown in for good measure. Mind you, it's traditional Luhrmann overkill (Moulin Rouge, Gatsby). But in this case, it's appropriate. Like any DJ learning his craft, the uneven parts are just so many skips and starts. Because this is the story of the birth of hip-hop, an art that was made from spare parts. Read the full review here. -- Dawn M. Burkes, Entertainment reporter-TV writer
MY DVR was once filled with episodes of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. That spot now belongs to Grimm. Detective Nick Burkhardt can see creatures from fairy tales that pass as human, first making him think he's crazy and then making him a superhero of sorts as he stops them from wreaking havoc. Supernatural shows are my jam, and this one is like peanut butter. It's smooth, from a name I trust (David Greenwalt), and shown on repeat on TNT. Also, Hulu. --Dawn Burkes, Entertainment reporter-TV writer
'How to Get Away With Murder'
The show follows manipulative attorney Annalise Keating (Viola Davis, excellent as always) and her five interns, who make a living out of letting bad guys and gals get away with crimes. Good thing, because Keating and her students find themselves in the middle of a plot-twisting murder. The show comes from Shonda Rhimes (Grey's Anatomy and Scandal), which means it's deliciously melodramatic -- and nearly impossible to turn off after each episode-ending cliffhanger. Come for light lessons in our screwy justice system, stay for the sexy surprises. On Hulu and ABC. -- Sarah Blaskovich, Entertainment Editor
The devil was tired of Hell. So he's retired to Los Angeles and opened a nightclub, Lux. Follow Lucifer Morningstar, his name a cause of constant double takes, as he starts aiding and abetting a non-believing police detective and finds some humanity. Of course, it wouldn't be Old Scratch if he didn't have an enemy -- or five. DB Woodside (24) plays his brother, who is also an angel (not as fallen) who constantly demands that he go (back) to Hell. Needless to say, Lucifer has Daddy issues, too. Stream on Hulu or Fox. -- Dawn M. Burkes, Entertainment reporter-TV writer
'Man Seeking Woman'
Man Seeking Woman is a perfect vehicle for perpetually awkward Jay Baruchel's quirky charm. It explores the dating adventures of Josh, a 20-something trying to find love in a surreal world that looks a lot like our own at first glance. But his sister sets him up with a troll named Gorbachaka, who attacks him and eats trash out of a Dumpster. And it just gets weirder from there, with situations like a war room of military officials giving advice on texting, as well as a destination wedding in hell (OK, that one might be more realistic). The FXX show was renewed for a third season that'll start early next year. The first season is streaming on Hulu. -- Ann Pinson, Guide editor
'Marvel's Jessica Jones'
One of the most "made for adults" comic book series so far, the Netflix-exclusive Jessica Jones introduces us to a no-nonsense private eye who has given the superhero thing a shot and abandoned it. She's a far more down-to-Earth hero than Captain America, and not just because she indulges in a lot of drinking and sex. Her character arc is fascinating, her villain (played wonderfully by Doctor Who alum David Tennant) is terrifying and her show will have you hitting "next episode" until you reach the end. Find it on Netflix. --Britton Peele, geek critic
'Marvel's Luke Cage'
Whether by intent or happenstance, Luke Cage is the perfect hero at a most imperfect time: a bulletproof black man. Luke Cage (Mike Colter) is a man who finally steps up to be a participant in the world that's changing around him. What he hasn't missed is that, more often than not, that same world seems to be aimed at him. Experimented on during his time in prison for a crime he didn't commit, Cage is on the run until his carefully cultivated life falls apart around him. Then he uses his nigh invulnerable skin and superhuman strength to try to make things his kind of right. The hits come fast and hard and you'll be through the 13 episodes before you know it. And breathless from the pace and with anticipation for Season 2. Read the full review here. A Netflix original. -- Dawn M. Burkes, Entertainment reporter-TV writer
'Making a Murderer'
Bizarre. That's the best way to describe Making a Murderer from beginning to end. The true crime Netflix docu-series, which came out in January, chronicles the oh-so-unlucky life of Wisconsin resident Steven Avery, who spent 18 years in prison for a rape he didn't commit. But just two years after he's exonerated, another woman in his town goes missing, and both Avery and his nephew are pinned with the crime. The case has all the elements -- kidnapping, rape, murder, an unlikely protagonist -- but it's not black and white. Follow the trial and decide for yourself whether Avery did it or whether the police concocted a guilty narrative for him. Folks across the web are still debating. -- Tiney Ricciardi, craft beer and music writer
'Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.'
When my husband and I found out that Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. was being made, we were each excited, but for different reasons: He's a comic-book geek who loves-loves-loves Marvel; I'm a longtime fan of creator Joss Whedon, the sly genius behind Buffy the Vampire Slayer. We watched the first few episodes of the show about the non-superpowered secret agents who back up the Avengers with great anticipation, but my husband got bored: Not enough action, too much talking, not enough actual Avengers, he said. So we moved on. A year or so later, I saw it on Netflix and decided to rewatch on my own. I can't say whether it was the repeat viewing that gave me a better understanding, or if the pacing simply improved as the show evolved, but as a duplicitous character's backstory was slowly revealed, I couldn't watch the episodes fast enough. The next season, new characters broadened the band of secret agents' range of quirks and relationships, and the third season (currently in progress) is so good that my husband's back on the bandwagon. S.H.I.E.L.D. shows off Whedon's wit and humor (the showrunners are his brother and sister-in-law) and the ensemble cast is fantastic. — Sara Frederick Burgos, Guide editor-producer
Even if you don't know much about hacking, Mr. Robot's first season is riveting. Its protagonist, Elliot, is unconventional -- a vigilante hacker self-medicating his anxiety and clinical depression. But while the story is technology-heavy, the basic elements of crime, drugs, corruption and rebellion against an all-powerful corporation are universal. The second you finish all 10 episodes of the debut season, you'll want to jump in and join the rest of us on season two that's airing now on USA. Available on Amazon Prime Instant Video -- Britton Peele, Entertainment editor-producer
I subscribed to Netflix mainly to watch this show, which follows the rise and fall of Colombian drug kingpin Pablo Escobar and the Medellin cartel. I expected to be wowed by Pedro Pascal as Mexican DEA agent Javier Peña. (He was Oberyn, my fave character in Game of Thrones.) But I've really fallen for Brazilian actor Wagner Moura as Escobar. He captures Escobar's charisma and cruelty with such a subtle yet focused energy that it's easy to see how people were pulled into his web. I think I actually said to my husband, "That Escobar had some impressive leadership skills!" The show is available in full on Netflix. --Erin Booke, features editor
Part slacker comedy, part psych evaluation, Peep Show follows two dysfunctional roommates as they navigate the banality of being thirty-something. They're best friends -- who often hate one another -- and over the course of nine seasons they embark on bad romances, doomed careers and horrible life decisions. What makes it different: The show's single camera is often head-mounted for a "peep" into its hilariously self-destructive characters' perspectives. The final episode of this cult favorite aired in December, becoming Channel 4's longest-running comedy to date, and that means the full run is currently available on Hulu and Netflix. --Brentney Hamilton, social media manager
'Person of Interest'
This show is sneaky, y'all. It begins as a typical case-of-the-week procedural with an interesting premise: an artificial intelligence can predict violent crimes by both terrorists (the government takes care of these) and "irrelevant" people going about everyday mayhem. The show follows the team chasing the irrelevants, and again, it's pretty standard at first. But by the third season it has fully shifted into a thought-provoking, tautly written show technology, privacy and morality that has left its procedural beginnings in the dust. Bonus points for great performances by two SMU grads: Amy Acker as Root and Sarah Shahi as Sameen Shaw, who joins the show in the second season. All four seasons are available on Netflix. --Amanda Wilkins, audience development editor
'Show Me a Hero'
This six-part mini-series co-created by David Simon (The Wire) shines an often harsh light on the true story of political turmoil surrounding a public housing development in Yonkers, New York, in the late '80s and early '90s. Maybe that all sounds a bit dry as descriptions go, but the miniseries is mesmerizing. The stories of citizens on both sides of the public-housing issue, power-hungry city officials and other central figures are woven together in such a way that you'll be leaning in, nearly breathless during the final few episodes. And if you enjoyed Oscar Isaac as the charming and confident Poe in Star Wars: The Force Awakens, see him ace his totally different lead role here as a conflicted young mayor. His performance will gut you, as will Catherine Keener's. It's available to stream on HBO Go and HBO Now and also available on DVD, VOD and Blu-ray. --Hunter Hauk, music critic
Steven Universe is set on a parallel-universe Earth that was invaded by aliens about 6,000 years ago. The invaders are Gems, literally rocks, who sought to suck out the Earth's life force to create more Gems. A few of them rebelled and successfully defended the Earth. They remain here now. The "Steven" of the title is a hybrid human/Gem who is now in his early teens and just discovering his powers. (His human dad's last name is Universe.) The show explores/explodes gender roles -- all of the Gems are female, including several bad-ass warriors -- the definition of family, and the responsible use of power. There are also silly and sweet moments that relate to Steven being incredibly sheltered and naive. (Think young Goku from the original Dragonball series.) Thus far, the show has aired more than 70 12-minute episodes that appear to be building toward a new war between the earthly defenders -- the Crystal Gems -- and the Gem homeworld. So it's a great time to start bingeing. Episodes are available on the Cartoon Network site and on several cable and streaming services including Hulu and Amazon. But a Google search for the name of any episode (the list is on Wikipedia) will also invariably turn up the full video. --Jeffrey Weiss, staff writer
'Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt'
Anything created by Tina Fey -- a Sarah Palin sendup on SNL, a sitcom, a memoir, probably an omelette -- has to be good, so I Netflixed Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt with giddy anticipation. Which was fitting, because Kimmy is played with Up-With-People cheer by Ellie Kemper, aka Erin from The Office. In the premiere, Kimmy is freed from an underground bunker after 15 years of subjugation by a cult leader. Though she emerges with the chipper spirit of a songbird, it's clear this bird is broken; when she has her first post-bunker sexual encounter, she assumes a hilarious/horrifying position that speaks darkly to what she's been through. But don't worry about our Kimmy. As the addictive theme song says, females are strong as hell. --Mike Wilson, editor
You have to admire a show that has to work hard to out-satirize real life. With HBO's Veep, you sometimes wonder whether you've happened upon a closed-circuit viewing of the actual White House. Veep chronicles the political career of Selina Meyer (Julia Louis-Dreyfus) as she and her entourage stumble their way Inside the Beltway. It's kind of a hybrid Seinfeld-Curb Your Enthusiasm-West Wing comedy with a tremendous supporting cast in Anna Chlumsky (Amy Brookheimer, chief of staff); Tony Hale (Gary Walsh, personal aide and purse caddy); Reid Scott (Dan Egan, director of communications); and Timothy Simons (as Jonah Ryan, the punching bag/political liaison). Don't miss Allen resident Brad LeLand's recurring role as Arizona Senator Bill O'Brien. The dialogue is rapid-fire sharp with coarse language and the darkest and bluest of humor. The zingers will have you reaching for the pause button. -- Tommy Cummings, arts and culture digital producer