What to binge-watch over the holidays

Sure, the holidays are supposed to be for family time, but sometimes you need a break for some “me time.” That means it’s the perfect opportunity to cut down on the chatter, settle in front of the tube and catch up on your favorite shows. You might even let your family join you. Here’s what you should watch. 

“Atlanta” (FX on-demand): “Atlanta,” on FX, is different from other similar comedies targeted at millennials in that it focuses on the young black male experience. Protagonist Earnest doesn’t have a glamorous job as an editorial assistant at a cool magazine; in fact, the Princeton dropout doesn’t even have a home and lives with his ex-girlfriend. But Earnest lives up to his name as he tries to manage his cousin’s burgeoning rap career.

“Black Mirror” (Netflix): Warning: Binge-watching “Black Mirror” might make you want to curl up in fetal position while you worry about the world. But the series, which is mostly dystopian and focuses on the sinister side of technology, is very compelling in that it envisions a future that does not seem very far away at all.

“Fleabag” (Amazon): Fleabag, the protagonist of the eponymous show, is selfish and irresponsible, but it’s hard not to feel a little sorry for her as the young woman runs a failing cafe in London and deals with the aftermath of her roommate’s sudden death. Watch her try to pick up the pieces and navigate love, sex and wicked stepmothers.    

“The Great British Bake Off” (Netflix): Maybe you want to take a break from baking Christmas cookies and you just want to see other amateurs have a go at it. Regular people on the “Great British Bake Off” compete in increasingly difficult challenges -- ending with some truly special desserts in the “Showstopper Challenge” -- all under the watchful eye of Mary Berry and Paul Hollywood.

“Insecure” (HBO): Like “Girls,” HBO’s “Insecure” is about selfish young women -- but this time, the show also addresses the unique struggles of black millennials. Viewers will see the show’s protagonist, Issa, struggle to keep her sanity as the token black woman at her non-profit office while also tackling typical twentysomething dating problems.

“Lovesick” (Netflix): Some people long to get in touch with their exes, and for Dylan, he does exactly that in “Lovesick” -- but only to tell them he has chlamydia. See Dylan fumble through his sexual history in this British comedy that was originally released under the cringeworthy title “Scrotal Recall.”

“The OA” (Netflix): A young woman resurfaces after being missing for seven years, and the formerly blind protagonist won’t tell her adoptive parents or the FBI why she can see again or what caused all the scars on her back. The Netflix series is being touted as the new “Stranger Things.”

“Red Oaks” (Amazon): David is an aspiring filmmaker and NYU student who works as a tennis coach at a posh country club in suburban New Jersey in the 1980s in this Amazon original series. It’s not all smooth sailing for David, whose parents are in the midst of a divorce while he’s trying to sort through his own hairy dating situation.

“Star Trek” (CBS All Access): Excited for the “Star Trek: Discovery”? Maybe you don’t have time to watch all 75 episodes of the original series, but you can try now that they’re all available to stream on CBS All Access. Beam yourself up to the Enterprise by watching the 1960s classic.

“This is Us” (NBC on-demand): NBC’s “This is Us” examines the different generations of the Pearson family, weaving together a story of that transcends time. The show is set in several different eras, touching on the past and present of the characters, which include a set of three siblings -- two surviving triplets and an adopted brother. 

“Transparent” (Amazon): Fans have seen the characters of “Transparent” evolve, but Maura Pfefferman has even further to go. The third season finds her considering gender reassignment surgery -- a move her kids are struggling to understand. Meanwhile, Maura’s ex-wife, Shelly, is working on her one-woman show: “To Shell and Back.”

“Twin Peaks” (Netlix/Hulu/Amazon/CBS All Access): If you always wanted to watch “Twin Peaks” but never got around to it, now is the perfect time. The early 1990s show is coming back in 2017 for a third season, so even if you have seen it before, a refresher on the mystery of homecoming queen Laura Palmer’s death and the quirky characters of the Pacific Northwest logging town certainly won’t hurt.

“Westworld” (HBO): It’s not coming back until 2018, but HBO’s “Westworld” was definitely one of the hottest shows of the year, surpassing even the first season of “Game of Thrones” in viewership. Immerse yourself in this sci-fi series set in a future where people spend tons of money to vacation in a Wild West-themed park with hyper-realistic androids that seem to be getting too smart for their own good.

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