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The 7 best binge-worthy shows TV on right now

Some TV shows are fantastic, but you can only take in one or two episodes at a time. Think Black Mirror and its heavy, thought-provoking, mind-bending subject material and compartmentalized stories in every episode. You need time to mentally digest each one before diving into the next. But other shows are perfect fodder for binging.

What makes a show binge-worthy? It might be the fact that every episode ends on a “must-see-more” cliffhanger. Or maybe the episodes are short and punchy, so it’s easy to just let them play one after another. In many cases, binge-worthy shows flow so beautifully that watching the 5 to 10 hours per sitting is like enjoying a marathon movie night.

So, which shows are the best binge-worthy ones? We have a solid list of contenders for your next obsession.

Cobra Kai

Johnny Lawrence doing the Daniel LaRusso Crane Kick in a scene from season 4 of Cobra Kai.
Curtis Bond Baker / Netflix

In previous years, Cobra Kai introduced a new season on New Year’s Day, a perfect time for binging. With most people ready to relax at home after a big New Year’s Eve party or quiet night at home, it made sense to use that day off to enjoy the five hours of a new season. Now, with five seasons under its belt, fans have become used to watching each new season of Cobra Kai in a single sitting. And thus, Cobra Kai remains one of the best bingeable series.

What also makes it so bingeable is that the episodes are short, and each one ends in such a way that it’s difficult not to hit the “continue watching” button and let the next episode meld right into the previous one. The fact that the show partly focuses on Johnny Lawrence and Daniel LaRusso from The Karate Kid movies reuniting 30-plus years later makes it appealing to nostalgic adults. But the modern-day stories about their kids and a new generation of high school-aged karate students makes Cobra Kai as equally appealing to teenagers, too.

Stream Cobra Kai on Netflix 

The Mandalorian

The Mandalorian in a blue background from the series on Disney+.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Fans can’t get enough of Din Djarin and Grogu and their dangerous and exciting travels together. At first an unlikely pair, the fierce bounty hunter became a reluctant father/protector figure (a role Pedro Pascal knows all too well), and the growing bond between them makes you want to keep watching and see where it goes. At every turn, they must avert danger while trying to find Grogu’s kind and reunite the baby “Yoda” with its people.Fans also want to see when Grogu fully realizes and harnesses the power he possesses, and what that might mean for the future.

With short episodes that are mostly under 45 minutes each and two seasons to date with a third underway, The Mandalorian is quick and easy to binge and catch up with. Even those who aren’t fans of the Star Wars universe (do such individuals even exist?) will enjoy the story, characters, and fabulous visual effects. The show is a sight to behold, and watching every episode back-to-back will make you feel like you’re curled up for a Star Wars marathon.

Stream The Mandalorian on Disney+

You

Joe distraught on the couch, Rhys kneeling over him in a scene from You season 4.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

You is the type of psychological thriller that keeps you guessing the whole way through. This is precisely what makes the show so bingeable — once you start a season, you can’t bear not knowing the outcome. It helps that Joe Goldberg (Penn Badgley) is both charming and thoroughly disturbing; hearing his constant inner monologue draws you in to see where his mind might go next and what impulses he’ll act on.

With Joe attaching himself to a different love interest each season, the stories are largely the same, following Joe’s patterns and rituals. But each is also unique in its own way. The anticipation in every season of You is too great for viewers to press pause before getting to that satisfying ending.

Stream You on Netflix

Severance

Mark going up the elevator at Lumon in Severance on Apple TV+.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Severance has some slow moments, with many episodes that serve as fillers between the much more intense story that’s quietly going on in the background. Because of this setup, fans are eager to continue the story to discover where it’s headed. Will Mark (Adam Scott) ever see his “innie” and “outie” personas clash, after his brain was split to help him focus on work and cope with the loss of his wife? Plus, what is the sinister company Lumon really up to?

With one of the best season finales I have ever seen in recent years, Severance’s first season is, at times, a measured ride to get to the explosive climax. But it’s worth the wait and a perfect show to watch all nine episodes quickly before season 2 is released.

Stream Severance on Apple TV+

The Boys

Billy Butcher and Soldier Boy standing together on The Boys.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

A subtle and clever commentary on society and politics, The Boys is the anti-superhero show for fans who are looking for something a little different. The Boys of the title isn’t in reference to the show’s superheroes, or Supes, who are genetically engineered humans that should be using their powers to do good, but tend to simply cater to the political bidding of a major corporation known as Vought. The Boys are, by contrast, a team of misfit vigilantes hell-bent on taking them down.

There are three seasons to date of The Boys, each of which takes the story in new directions, with twists and turns you will — and won’t — see coming. It’s a fun show that will entertain the whole way through and have you cringing and laughing at the absurdity, vulgarity, and gory nature of it all.

Stream The Boys on Amazon Prime Video

Wednesday

Wednesday Addams with Thing on her shoulder from Wednesday.
Netflix

So good you could probably watch it twice, Wednesday’s inaugural season is just eight episodes long, and Jenna Ortega’s brilliant performance as the title character draws you in instantly. It’s the perfect combination of nostalgia (Christina Ricci, who played Wednesday in Tim Burton’s 1990s adaptations, is among the cast) and 21st Century Gen-Z culture.

The story begins with Wednesday attending a new school, but as strange things keep happening, she is drawn to investigate with the help of some new friends. It isn’t even so much that fans want to find out what happens in the end, but they simply can’t get enough of Wednesday and her dark, monotonous, morbid personality and unintentionally hilarious one-liners.

Stream Wednesday on Netflix

The Bear

Carmen from FX series The Bear in his apron, looking back.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

There’s a lot of yelling, anger, sadness, grief, and sandwiches, but The Bear is deserving of its many accolades to date. This includes a Golden Globe, Critics’ Choice award, and SAG Best Actor award for Jeremy Allen White, who plays the lead character Carmen “Carmy” Berzatto. Carmy is a massively talented, internationally recognized fine-dining chef who returns to his hometown to run his brother’s sandwich shop following the latter’s death by suicide.

Underneath all the drama, arguments, and hostile kitchen scenes, The Bear has a lot of emotional heart. With only eight short episodes in the first season, the food scenes alone are worth watching to pick up some pointers. Once you start watching, you won’t be able to wait to find out if Carmy manages to turn the flailing restaurant around or not.

Stream The Bear on Hulu 

Editors' Recommendations

Christine Persaud
Christine has decades of experience in trade and consumer journalism. While she started her career writing exclusively about…
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