Now that school’s out for the Christmas holidays, what could be better than lazing around at home and completing your transformation into a (couch) potato? As any proper sofa-sitting expert will tell you, the best way to attain slothful enlightenment is by upping your TV-binge game. Arm yourself with plenty of snacks, liquids, and blankets: here are seven seasonally-appropriate shows to get you started.
All right, so this isn’t the first show you think of during winter, but it’s a yummy winner. It’s about a diner in Tokyo that opens after midnight and serves tasty food and life advice at the same time. It ran for four seasons, and finished with a year-end round-up that revisits characters from previous episodes as they pass the end of the year and the start of the next.
Selected episode: E10 – the year-end episode. It is a fitting, and moving, end of the series (and year!) summary. However, we recommend watching all of the previous episodes first – they’re only 20 minutes long each, and you’ll appreciate the characters in E10 much more.
This series has seen a bit of a resurgence recently due to Netflix getting the rights and making a four-episode sequel – one for every season of the year. We love the show’s witty banter and the chemistry between the characters that live in Stars Hollow.
Selected episode(s): The newest four-parter, collectively called A Year in The Life. There are four, hour-long episodes, and each corresponds to a season.
Let’s face it – not all of us have the time (or the oven … or the patience) to cook an Instagram-worthy Christmas dinner. Here’s the next best thing; a TV show that profiles the greatest chefs on the planet. Featuring well-established superstars like Massimo Bottura and lesser-known (but no less deserving) people like Korean nun Jeong Kwan, this show will make you want to eat ALL the things you never even knew existed.
Selected episode: S3E01 – Kwan serves up some world-class cooking in a nunnery in South Jeolla province, South Korea. Mmm.
Star Wars' porgs are all the rage this Christmas: but are they cute and cuddly, or better suited to horror films?
When you think of K-dramas (South Korean dramas), you might think of plots involving horrible mother-in-laws and syrupy-sweet romances. Thankfully, Let’s Eat proves to be a happy exception, and has neither of these things. Four single people, who live in the same building, are brought together by their love of food. We can dig that.
Selected episode: E01 – Korean dramas are meant to be watched in order, so watch this one from the first episode.
The basic concept goes like this: a band of people work together to steal from rich businesses and give to the poor. There’s nothing like a modern-era Robin Hood tale to provide feel-good vibes for the holidays.
Selected episode: S3E14 – The Leverage crew infiltrate a mall and pose as Santa and his helpers to pull off a con, defeating an arch-rival and saving Christmas in the process.
The Greatest Showman is a spectacular musical that strikes the right chord about embracing our differences [Review]
This sci-fi show is about an alien, called the Doctor, who has adventures through time and space in a flying blue police box. The Doctor is a Time Lord and, when he (or she!) dies, will change appearance to become a new person. This means a new actor can take on the role – and the next Doctor will, for the very first time, be played by a woman!
Selected episode: S8E08 – The Mummy on the Orient Express is an intergalactic spin on the Agatha Christie murder mystery of a similar name.
The West Wing
This politically-driven show is a bit of an idealistic throwback to better times (basically, before Trump). The politics, led by President Josiah Bartlet (Martin Sheen) and his staff, seems a far-off dream now. It now serves as an escape from the IRL drama that revolves around the person who currently occupies the White House.
Selected episode: S1E10 – In Excelsis Deo is the show’s first Christmas episode. While many other series might have opted for a lighter tone, the writers, led by Oscar-winning scriptwriter Aaron Sorkin, went sombre and reflective, with a plot that isn’t just a Hollywood-fake vision of Christmas.