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What to binge watch over the holidays

Need a break from all of that quality time with your family during the holidays? We feel your pain. 'Tis the season for binge-watching TV shows and movies, and if you're not sure where to start, here's a guide.


"Better Call Saul." If you loved "Breaking Bad," you'll get your Jimmy McGill/Saul Goodman fix with this FX prequel. The show returns for its second season in 2016, so now is the perfect time to finish season 1.

"Broad City." The Comedy Central show has exploded since premiering in 2014; lead actresses Abbi Jacobson and Ilana Glazer have been featured in virtually every entertainment publication. The show, produced by Amy Poehler, follows two fairly unambitious, hilarious [actually] broke girls in New York who need to hustle in order to buy $50 Lil Wayne concert tickets. Watch out for cameos by Fred Armisen, Rachel Dratch and Kelly Ripa. The show returns for its third season in 2016.

"Empire." It's been called a modern-day, hip-hop take on the show "Dynasty." If you have any friends who watch "Empire," you already know about Cookie's diva antics and the Fox show's incredible original soundtrack. "Empire" is still in season 2, and is up for two Golden Globes.

"Fargo." Most TV reboots of classic movies don't fare so well, but FX's Emmy and Golden Globe Award-winning series, "Fargo," might even overshadow the legacy of its namesake film. Actors Patrick Wilson and Kirsten Dunst have both been nominated for Golden Globes, and the show has been nominated for Best Limited Series. The show just wrapped season 2, so it won't take you long to catch up.

"Supergirl." This feminist, superhero show just wrapped its midseason finale -- a perfect time to tune in and watch Kara Zor-El as she fights villains and deals with her media mogul boss, Cat Grant.


"A Christmas Carol." Talk about a throwback. The Dickens story has had countless renditions in TV and movies, but nothing beats the 1951 film.

"A Very Murray Christmas." Look out for cameos from George Clooney, Michael Cera, Miley Cyrus and more in Bill Murray's musical Christmas special. Skip this one if you don't enjoy watching Murray just being Murray.

"Beasts of No Nation." This movie is one of the few films creating awards show buzz that can be streamed for free this year; that's because it's a Netflix original. Idris Elba is up for a Golden Globe for this film about a warlord who trains child soldiers in Africa.

Classic sitcom Christmas episodes: Revisit your favorite shows and catch Christmas episodes from "Gilmore Girls," "30 Rock," "The Office" and more.

"Grace & Frankie." Leave it to septuagenarians Lily Tomlin and Jane Fonda to make a hip web series about two women whose husbands have left them for each other. The stars of "9 to 5" have reunited to play two rivals who begrudgingly become friends as their ex-husbands fall in love.

"Master of None." This show is a must for urbane millennials. New Yorkers in particular will enjoy the references to local restaurants and bars, but Aziz Ansari's comedy about life as a 20- or 30-something, complete with hookup etiquette and texting rules, will resonate with all young viewers.

"Narcos." This critically acclaimed Netflix original show picked up two Golden Globe nods recently. The show follows the true story of Pablo Escobar, a Colombian drug lord known as "The King of Cocaine," and the DEA agents who brought him down.

"Nightmare Before Christmas." Re-watch this dark holiday classic about Jack Skellington, the pumpkin king who kidnaps Santa and plans to take over Christmas.


"Casual." If you like the humor of "Juno" and "Up in the Air," you'll probably also like director Jason Reitman's "Casual," which follows Valerie, a single mom who just got divorced after finding her husband with a younger woman. The show focuses on Valerie's life with her brother and daughter and their family dynamics. The Hulu original is up for a Golden Globe for Best TV Series.

The "Friday the 13th" franchise. Sick of Christmas movies? You can catch the first seven "Friday the 13th" movies and have a Jason marathon if the holidays are making you feel a little dark.

"The Mindy Project." After Fox canceled the beloved sitcom, Hulu picked up "The Mindy Project" for a fourth season. Follow Mindy Kaling's character, Dr. Mindy Lahiri, as she balances her love life and professional life -- often as they collide.

"The Wiz Live!" Missed the 2015 revamp of "The Wiz"? Catch it online to see Queen Latifah as the Wizard and newcomer Shanice Williams, who was lauded for her role as Dorothy. Critics called "The Wiz" NBC's best musical yet.

"Twin Peaks." If you consider yourself a TV buff, you need to be well-versed in "Twin Peaks," one of the most influential TV shows ever and the ultimate "dead girl show" (think "Veronica Mars," "The Killing," "True Detective" and even "Pretty Little Liars"). The quirky, dark early '90s show that traces the mystery of Laura Palmer's death still remains relevant, as evidenced by the fact that it will return in 2017 on "Showtime."

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"Game of Thrones." There are already five seasons of this epic TV show so we get that you're intimidated. But if not now, then when else will you have time?

"Home Alone" movies. You can watch the three "Home Alone" movies back to back -- perfect for if you want to binge watch something with your family.


"Transparent." No matter how dysfunctional your family is, rest assured that the Pfefferman family of "Transparent" is much worse. Jeffrey Tambor plays Maura, who recently transitioned to life as a woman, but though "Moppa," as her kids call her, is struggling to navigate her new life, she and ex-wife Shelly are much more stable than their selfish adult children.

"Mozart in the Jungle." Classical music was never meant to be as exciting as it is in this Amazon original dramedy that stars Lola Kirke and Gael Garcia Bernal. Drugs, sex and booze play a part in this show about the fictitious New York Symphony that's up for two Golden Globes.

"Orphan Black." Tatiana Maslany plays dozens of characters on this sci-fi show about clones. The main character, Sarah, tries to solve the mystery as to why they all exist as she evades both the sinister biotechnology firm the Dyad Institute as well as the cult, the Proletheans, who want to assassinate the clones.


Not only are you not caught up on 2015's heavy hitters, you haven't even seen the biggest movies of 2014. Watch Oscar winner "Birdman," on Netflix and "Interstellar" and "Selma" on Hulu.

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