You’ve got three days off work – why would you want to spend it outside being cold when you could be cosily binge-watching the best of Lightbox in the comfort of your own home?
Some people spend their public holidays in the fresh air, having ‘experiences’ and meeting ‘people’. To them, I say: please stop. The Palace has hereby decreed that the best way of celebrating the birthday of Queen Elizabeth II is simply to stare at a screen for three days straight. I mean, if you were to ask the Queen what she’s got planned this weekend I’m pretty sure it involves ordering in some Nandos and settling down for a marathon session of Hollywood Medium with Tyler Henry.
It’d be treasonous not to follow her example, so prepare to command your tiny realm with the best of Lightbox’s binge-worthy options for your long weekend viewing pleasure.
If the Queen reckons her family have pulled some crazy stunts in their time, wait until she meets Viking chieftain Ragnor and his mates Ivar the Boneless and Sirgurd Snake in the Eye. Vikings follows these Norse warriors as they rampage their way through Europe, leaving a trail of mayhem and chaos and genuine beard envy in their wake.
Vikings is the show with everything: romance, history, intrigue and adventure. It’s also beautifully filmed and the facial hair is outstanding. Break down your shield wall and let the Vikings invade your home this weekend, because what else do you need from a television show, you animals? Nothing. The answer is nothing.
Bingeability factor: 2 seasons, watch ’em both for guaranteed safe path into Valhalla
There’s nothing better than an all-singing, all-dancing TV marathon, and Rise is here to put the jazz hands into your long weekend. Fans of Glee need to kick-ball-change their way into this musical drama series set in a small town high school theatre troupe, where folk aren’t best pleased when a new teacher makes big changes. Chuck in a ton of teenage angst, some internal school politics and a few snazzy song and dance numbers, and Rise becomes the ideal binge watch.
Rise stars Rosie Perez and Moana’s Auli’I Cravalho and because it’s inspired by a true story, you’re learning valuable life lessons while lying on the couch in your pyjamas. Spirit fingers, everywhere.
Bingeability factor: 10 episodes, so achievable you’ll spontaneously burst into song.
There’s no better way to pay tribute to HRH than binging on the show that made her grand-daughter in-law a household name. Legal drama Suits is filled with beautiful people doing questionable things, and I’m not just referring to Louis Litt’s love of mudding. The banter is brilliant, the deals are dodgy and after watching seven seasons in a row you’ll lose all understanding of who’s suing who for what and why. Don’t panic, the main thing is that Sir Harvey Specter always comes out on top. Mmm, Harvey.
Bingeability factor: 7 glorious seasons and 316 mentions of the word ‘bullshit’
We’ll never be royals, so let’s get caught up in the love affair between Jamie Fraser and Claire Randall in time-travelling drama Outlander. Prepare to reach Reverend Curry excitement levels over the fire and love emanating between these two hot potatoes, whose romance transcends a 200-year time gap and three seasons of questionable wig choices. Come for the Scottish romance, stay for the Jacobite rebellion, the gory medical scenes and Tobias Menzies smoking a pipe.
Go on, fall through the stones and into Outlander’s arms, or maybe just grow your hair and live in a cave for the long weekend. Worked out fine for Jamie, it’ll work out fine for you.
Bingeability factor: 3 seasons, 42 episodes, a thousand astonishing wigs.
This incredible BBC drama boasts more star power than Windsor Cathedral during a royal wedding. Who needs George Clooney in a shiny suit when you can have Benedict Cumberbatch in tights, amirite? The Hollow Crown boasts a stellar cast including Tom Hiddleston, Judi Dench, Sophie Okonedo and John Hurt, and scored BAFTAs aplenty for its acting, costumes and all-round awesomeness. This is Shakespeare as it should be, rich and sumptuous and overflowing with all the crazy stuff that happens when bunch of blokes go power-crazy for a shiny hat.
Bingeability factor: 2 seasons, 19 episodes, one big sparkly crown.
I could watch Nicola Walker (Spooks, Last Tango in Halifax) on screen all day, every day. She’s her typically brilliant self in British thriller Unforgiven, where she pairs up with Sanjeev Bhaskar to solve cold case crimes. Walker plays DCI Cassie Stuart, a clever and compassionate detective who weaves strands of evidence together to solve crimes committed decades earlier. Bodies are dug up and lives begin to unravel, but Nicola Walker never stops being awesome. Unforgotten was called ‘the detective show you didn’t know you needed’, and now you know, there’s no excuse. Watch it. Watch all of it now.
Bingeability factor: 2 emotional seasons, 1 body in a suitcase, countless furrowed brows.
You can binge all these and more on Lightbox:
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The Spinoff Weekly compiles the best stories of the week – an essential guide to modern life in New Zealand, emailed out on Monday evenings.