Binge-watching all seven seasons of your favourite television show might seem like the perfect way to spend your summer, but when you look back on all of the hours you spent not doing very much, you might feel just a little guilty. There will always be that little voice saying you could have gone vegan, yoga instructor or food blogger with really #inspring Instagram captions but instead you’ve wasted your summer in front of a screen. If ignoring that little voice is getting harder and harder, then this list is for you. These ten television shows will not only distract and entertain you, they will leave you feeling productive, engaged, and guilt free too. So let the binge-watching commence!

1. Black-ish

Aside from being entertaining, Black-ish is currently one of the most socially relevant television shows of the year. Recent events in America have been a tragic reminder of the extent to which racism continues to perpetrate our culture and society. Black-ish explores racial prejudice, identity, and culture in a light-hearted context and the show offers a perspective normally overlooked in a white-dominated industry: that of a black family.

black-ish
Black-ish © ABC Studios

2. Buffy The Vampire Slayer

Buffy is the ultimate kickass female protagonist and Buffy is one of the most thrilling showdowns between the forces of good and evil. It will make you laugh, cry, and keep you in a constant state of eager anticipation. Far from being a waste of time, Buffy is a guilt free celebration of the power of women and the allure of vampires before Twilight made them sparkle.

 3. Friends

There are few people who haven’t seen at least one episode of Friends, but having watched all 10 seasons in their entirety is now the modern day equivalent to reading all of Austen or Dickens. Not only is the sit-com an iconic classic which as such demands viewing, it is also so widely popular that it serves as the perfect topic to keep any awkwardly lulling conversations afloat. So Friends won’t only prepare you for the mayhem that is your twenties but it will also prevent any future lapses into uncomfortable small talk.

friends
Friends © Warner Bros. Television

4. Game of Thrones

Another investment in future socialising, binge-watching Game of Thrones will ensure that you are no longer the odd one out, waiting for the conversation to move away from Khaleesi’s, and Jon Snow’s, and other things you know nothing about. If you haven’t travelled as much as you might have liked this summer, the shocking twists and turns of Game of Thrones will leave you almost as exhausted and exhilarated as an around-the-world backpacker.

5. Bob’s Burgers

Animation is a hugely undervalued art form, and ‘Bob’s Burgers’ is a hugely underappreciated show. The humour might be low brow but the blend of witty writing, sassy characters, and unabashed ridiculousness married with the mundane makes the show uniquely irresistible. If animation isn’t your thing, summer is the perfect time to try something new.

Bob's Burgers
Bob’s Burgers © FOX Broadcasting Company

6. Gilmore Girls

The Gilmore Girls reunion is set to hit Netflix on the 25th of November and that means only one thing: there are less than four months left to watch all seven previous seasons. It is time now, more than ever, to either introduce or reacquaint yourself with the town of Stars Hollow and its star residents, the Gilmores. Hot tip – if you don’t want the highly addictive show to start distracting you during term time you should probably just binge-watch it now and tell yourself you’re doing the responsible thing.

Gilmore GIrls
Gilmore Girls © Warner Bros. Studios

7. How to Get Away with Murder

Besides offering some great tips for getting out of bloody situations, the show’s law students are an inspiration for all students. Their ability to balance extra-curricular (committing murders and defending murderers) along with a gruelling amount of schoolwork is astonishing but apparently not impossible. If nothing else, the show will open your eyes to the mastery of lawyers and their ability to manipulate our loophole riddled legal systems.

How To Get Away With Murder
How To Get Away With Murder © ABC Studios

8. Junior MasterChef

Watching eight- and nine-year-olds impress Gordon Ramsay with their age-defying kitchen skills never gets dull, and might make you realise that it’s time to be a little more daring in the kitchen. If a child can perfect filet mignon with sautéed shrimp in under an hour, then maybe you don’t need to resort to ramen noodles for the third night in a row…

9. Keeping Up With the Kardashians

Before you roll your eyes, let me explain. How often do you find yourself joyfully bemoaning reality television and all that it stands for despite the fact that you haven’t watched a single episode of the best that reality television has to offer? Perhaps this summer is the perfect opportunity to really find out what you so love to hate. To be fair, the Kardashian family might live a life which is far from your average reality, but they do confront a whole range of social and family issues (how successfully is debatable.)

10. Ugly Betty

No television show is as rewarding as this one. It’s the timeless tale of someone who works hard to achieve their dreams, overcomes obstacles and finds themselves along the way. Betty celebrates self-worth, creativity, passion, and above all determination. Binge-watching Ugly Betty this summer will be the best decision you make all year and will give you a role model for life.

ugly betty
Ugly Betty © ABC Studios

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