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Five shows to binge in January

Posted: 1:27 PM, Jan 02, 2019
Updated: 2019-01-03 14:05:45Z
Bandersnatch.jpg

Looking to camp out on the couch and take down a show that will keep you up way too late and help you procrastinate from doing more important tasks? Here are five shows to stream.

BLACK MIRROR: BANDERSNATCH

Premise: An interactive, movie-length episode of the mind-bending sci-fi series. You're asked to make choices for the character and your paths can lead to multiple endings. The story, set in 1984, follows a teen programmer who deals with a mental breakdown as he comes close to his dream of getting his first game published.

Stars: Fionn Whitehead, Will Poulter, Asim Chaudhry,

Service: Netflix.

Why it's impossible to stop watching: While this is more like a movie or an extended episode of a show than a series unto itself, it's easy to binge-watch over and over again, as you make new choices that yield wildly different results. It's fun to watch with friends, bicker about what choices to make, as well as talk to others about their decisions and how things turned out for them.

SEINFELD

Premise: The 1989-1998 "show about nothing" redefined the sitcom genre and remains quotable to this day. It follows Jerry Seinfeld playing a version of himself, as he deals with his struggling career and wacky friends.

Stars: Jerry Seinfeld, Julia Louis-Dreyfuss, Michael Richards, Jason Alexander.

Service: Hulu.

Why it's impossible to stop watching: Everyone seems to have their favorite "Seinfeld" episode. But how do you know which one is truly the best unless you've seen them all? There are few better ways to spend an afternoon than chuckling through a few episodes of one of TV's greatest shows. The writing from Seinfeld and co-creator Larry David, who would go on to spearhead "Curb Your Enthusiasm," hardly ever lets up.

PSYCH

Premise: The 2006-2014 mystery/comedy, which originally aired on USA Network, follows the exploits of a pair of police consultants -- one who pretends to be a psychic -- who use their wits to crack cases.

Stars: James Roday, Dule Hill, Maggie Lawson, Kirsten Nielson. Corbin Bernson.

Service: Amazon Prime Video.

Why it's impossible to stop watching: Roday is the star attraction as prankster/goofball Shawn Spencer, who fakes out criminal masterminds and torments his straitlaced coworkers and father. The mysteries are cleverly designed and often surprising, and there are loads of quotable moments. There's even a musical episode.

TRUE DETECTIVE

Premise: Each season takes on a new grisly crime, with a new cast and setting.

Stars: Vince Vaughn, Matthew McConaughey, Woody Harrelson, Rachel McAdams, Colin Farrell.

Service: HBO Go.

Why it's impossible to stop watching: Most hail season one, which stars McConaughey and Harrelson, as the series' high point. But there are many proponents of season two, which features Vaughn and Farrell. Both are gritty tours de force, with edgy cinematography and raw, brutal performances. The new season, which stars Mahershala Ali and Stephen Dorff, debuts Jan. 13, and promises to maintain the series' standard.

ESCAPE AT DANNEMORA

Premise: A miniseries about a 2015 prison break, involving a married prison employee involved in a sordid love triangle with the escapees.

Stars: Benicio del Toro, Patricia Arquette, Paul Dano, Bonnie Hunt.

Service: Showtime Anytime.

Why it's impossible to stop watching: Patricia Arquette loses herself in the role of Joyce "Tilly" Mitchell, who is seduced by the audacious plan cooked up by the inmates, and ends up being instrumental to their plot. Del Toro is outstanding as Richard Matt, who lures Tilly in with bravado and megalomania. Director Ben Stiller dispenses with his trademark comedic skills to prove himself adept at orchestrating gripping crime drama.

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