4 Free Series To Binge On

So, I binge. I binge a lot. I binge-watch whole series of TV shows to make it bearable to do the dishes, clean, and cook; I binge-listened to This American Life and Snap Judgment to make my last two jobs — editing product photos and chopping fruit — more bearable. I binged my way through Jenna Marbles’ videos in my free time a few years ago. In the last year-and-some, I’ve binged through “Adventure Time,” “Archer,” “Breaking Bad,” “Orange is the New Black,” the first two and a half seasons of “The X-Files,” the first season of “Twin Peaks” (now I have to watch the rest of it), and the first two seasons of “American Horror Story.” I binged on “Game of Thrones,” then I proceeded to binge through the Song of Ice and Fire series, and now I have to wait until the goddamned spring to get more Westeros.

So imagine how happy I am when I find something new to binge on! I recommend all of the above (of course — if they had sucked, I wouldn’t have watched entire series of them). I’m having to get craftier with my bingeing, resorting to new forms of media and some very old relics of my childhood. Here are the four series that I’m bingeing on now or will be bingeing on soon:

1. Zelda Dungeon’s game walkthroughs. My boyfriend watches gaming tournaments on YouTube and I never understood why that would be fun, but then I started watching the walkthrough videos for Ocarina of Time and now I’m stuck in a Zelda k-hole. I watched through the OoT walkthroughs, the Twilight Princess walkthroughs, and now I’m working through Majora’s Mask. I consulted the Hyrule Historia Zelda universe timeline, and now I’m thinking that maybe I should watch all of the walkthroughs in chronological order, starting with Skyward Sword. IT’S THAT BAD. I will defend this obsession by saying this: First, Zelda always takes a long time to play through, and you can’t do anything else while you’re playing it, so it makes more practical sense for me to watch the walkthroughs so that I can simultaneously do other things. Second: I used to loooooooooove watching my dad and sister play Zelda, so this is a blast for me. Sometimes playing is more stressful. Because third: All of the Zelda games have an actual narrative. They’re incredibly imaginative, they pull a lot from mythologies and theologies from Japanese tradition in particular but from other cultures as well, and they have compelling plots, subplots, and characters. It’s like watching an animated TV show, except the storyline has higher stakes. Zelda Dungeon’s webmaster Caleb Simpson is insanely knowledgeable about the series and is a really fun host and guide to listen to.

2. The Serial podcast. I hope you all have heard about Serial by now, but if not, it’s a sort of spin-off podcast from This American Life that’s investigated and written by TAL’s Sarah Koenig. Each season is going to take as long as the story needs, and each episode is going to take as long as that portion of the story needs — so the first is about an hour, the second is thirty-six minutes, the third is twenty-eight, and all of them focus on a different part of Koenig’s investigation into the 1999 murder of Baltimore high schooler Hae Min Lee and the resulting conviction of her former boyfriend, Adnan Syed. It’s like long-form This American Life; you get the production and writing values from the mother series, but you get to go so much further into the investigation. You have to listen to the episodes in order, so start with the first episode, “The Alibi.” It won’t be a long binge since there’s only three episodes so far, but it’ll get you hooked.

3. Are You Afraid of the Dark? on YouTube. Hoooooooly smokes, guys. Every single episode of “Are You Afraid of the Dark?” is now on YouTube. That show is nigh quantitatively creepier than “American Horror Story.” I don’t know about you, but I’m starting with “The Tale of the 13th Floor” because that freaked me the FUCK out when it first aired, and then moving on to “The Tale of the Dollmaker” because DITTO.

4. Mike Pesca’s The Gist podcast from Slate. I only just started listening to some of Mike Pesca’s work and I just love, love, love The Gist. If I’m going to listen to a news and current events podcast, I’m going to want to laugh my way through it, and The Gist is perfect for exactly that purpose: Pesca treats his subjects with the respect they deserve, but he’s sharp and witty and, when appropriate, has hilarious observations to make about either the events or the way they’ve been reported.

Happy watching and listening!

[Daily Dot]

[Images via Zelda Dungeon YouTube/Serial/Slate/YouTube]

Give me a holler on Twitter.