10 TV Shows With Enough Seasons to Binge Watch Until the End of Social Distancing
By John Boone
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NBC / The CW / Fox / CBS
So you’ve finished binge-watching Tiger King. Now what?
Maybe you're looking for the binge watch of all binge watches, back-to-back-to-back episodes to fill all those extra hours you suddenly have in your day. If so, look no further than our guide to 10 of the biggest binges you can take on. Because nothing makes time in quarantine fly like 345 straight hours of Law & Order: SVU. (Especially since Friends is not streaming anywhere until HBO Max launches in May.)
The complete seasons 1-39, plus all new episodes of season 40, Survivor: Winners at War, are streaming on CBS All Access.
How long will it take you? Well over 440 hours, or more than two and a half weeks if you watch continuously without stop.
If you need to skip a season: Even the seasons that don't live up to all-timers like Fans vs. Favorites are worth a watch. That said, when you get to season 39 (the unfortunately tainted Island of the Idols), just skip ahead to Winners at War.
Seasons 1-30 are available on Disney+. (The streamer has announced it’s working to correct aspect ratio issues for earlier seasons, to be fixed by the end of May.)
How long will it take you? Nearly 243 hours, or 10 days without any donut or beer breaks.
If you need to skip a season: Feel free to bop around as you get into the late teens/early 20s, which have a lot of guest stars (Katy Perry! Benedict Cumberbatch! The cast of Glee!) but not many classic eps.
Seasons 1-21 are streaming on CBS All Access, along with both seasons of Celebrity Big Brother.
How long will it take you? Think about it this way: Each of the most recent seasons is about 29 hours of bingeing in and of itself.
If you need to skip a season: Season 21 was ultimately marred by accusations of racist and sexist behavior by several houseguests -- including the eventual winner. Best just to rewatch season 10 -- the best season -- twice.
Top Model seasons cycles 1-22 are streaming on Hulu.
How long will it take you? About 198 hours, or more than eight days.
If you need to skip a season: Hulu only has the pre-VH1 cycles, so you don’t have to worry about starting a season where suddenly Rita Ora is hosting instead of Tyra Banks. So pass on cycle 19 ("College Edition"), which is missing Nigel Barker, Mr. Jay and Miss J.
Bachelor Nation has to rely on multiple streamers to get their fix: Jason Mesnick's season is on Netflix, recent episodes from Peter Weber's season are still on Hulu, and Arie Luyendyk Jr. and Rachel Lindsay's respective seasons are streaming on Tubi.
How long will it take you? Just tracking each season down might take you till the end of quarantine. (And that's before factoring in the six seasons of Bachelor in Paradise.)
If you need to skip a season: If you start shilling out for older seasons on iTunes and Prime Video, save your money on season 18, which features the widely agreed upon Worst Bachelor Ever, Juan Pablo.
LAW & ORDER: SVU
Seasons 1-20, along with new episodes of season 21, are streaming on Hulu.
How long will it take you? Somewhere close to 345 hours, or more than 14 days of straight SVU.
If you need to skip a season: Skip season 1. Yes, Mariska Hargitay and Chris Meloni are there from the beginning, but the show is still finding its footing and had yet to install an ADA. Season 3 is an all-time best season, but start with season 2, which is when Ice-T joins the cast.
The complete seasons 1-15 are on Netflix, with season 16 currently available on Hulu.
How long will it take you? Roughly 260 hours, or close to 11 days nonstop. (Even longer if you factor in the six seasons of spinoff Private Practice that are on both Hulu and Netflix.)
If you need to skip a season: Season 8, a very good season, ends with the sort of cliffhanger you only find on Grey’s. But (without giving too much away) it does make for a truly depressing season 9, mired in tragedy and loss. It’s an season of big changes so may be tough to skip, but brace yourself.
Before Grey’s Anatomy, before Chicago Med, there was ER. All 15 seasons of the medical drama (which starred newcomers such as George Clooney) are streaming on Hulu.
How long will it take you? Approximately 250 hours, or more than 10 straight days without any breaks.
If you need to skip a season: There’s an arc from the end of season 9 into season 10 during which Noah Wyle’s Carter travels to Africa that most fans agree can be largely bypassed. When Wyle leaves the show after season 12 -- the last of the OGs -- is also a blow to season 13, softened by the introduction of John Stamos.
Seasons 1 through 14 of the CW's longest-running drama are streaming on Netflix (with the 15th and final season currently mid-run).
How long will it take you? 215 hours, or about nine days if you watch nonstop.
If you need to skip a season: Opt out of season 7, an overall downer of a season that sees Dean (Jensen Ackles) and Sam (Jared Padalecki) take on ancient monsters called the Leviathans and is criminally short on fan-favorite Castiel (Misha Collins).
Seasons 1 through 11 of the franchise's best city are streaming on Hulu.
How long will it take you? 155 hours, give or take, or six and a half days.
If you need to skip a season: Season 4 is the first without Bethenny, and that season’s new ‘Wife, Cindy Barshshop, just couldn’t fill the voice left in Bethenny’s absence. (That said: It’s still a pretty good season!)