Want to binge all these shows? Here's exactly how long it'll take – and how to prepare.

Here’s how long it will take to watch some of the most bingeable shows

Want to watch Friends but not sure how much time you’ll have to commit? Never fear, Sam Brooks has you covered with how long it’ll take to watch some of the most bingeable shows (and what you’ll need to do to prepare for your binge).

Want to know a fun fact? If your full-time job was watching Shortland Street and you started watching it from the beginning right now, you would actually never finish it because of the speed at which they’re still making it. You’d just have an endless stream of never-ending Ferndale antics to watch!

Thankfully, there’s a bunch of shows on TVNZ OnDemand that you can comfortably and safely binge without having to lead a completely different life. I’ve got a list of not only the most bingeable shows, but exactly how long it’ll take to watch them and what you’ll need to comfortably devour them.

My Mad Fat Diary

What is it? A gentle, funny, and very real show about Rae (Sharon Rooney), a 16-year-old, 16 stone girl who gets out of psychiatric hospital and has to reconnect with people around her. Jodie Comer (Killing Eve) also stars!

How long will it take? 16 hours.

How do I prepare? A box of tissues split down the middle due to the fact you’ll be crying and laughing in equal measure (tip: freeze some teaspoons and put them under your eyes to reduce any swelling).

Secret Diary of a Call Girl

What is it? Billie Piper (Doctor Who, star of underrated hit song ‘Honey to the Bee’) stars as Belle, a high-end call girl in London. It’s saucy, sexy, and Piper is seriously great in it.

How long will it take? One day and nine hours.

How do I prepare? Tie your remote to your hand, lest you have to mute the sex scenes and explain to your flatmate who shares a wall with you that yes, you’re watching a critically-acclaimed BBC drama and not porn.


What is it? A black comedy/drama (depending on where you stand) about five manicurists in Florida who decide to enter a life of organised crime when they start laundering money. You know, as you do! Niecy Nash and Carrie Preston star.

How long will it take? One day and five hours.

How do I prepare? One day and five hours is more or less how long it’ll take for those acrylic nails you bought to dry, so put a (metal) straw in a pitcher of punch and settle in.

Go Girls

What is it? Only New Zealand’s favourite hour-long drama set on the North Shore! Starring Jay Ryan, who you’ll recognise from It: Chapter 2, and a billion other things.

How long will it take? Two days and one hour.

How do I prepare? It’s a New Zealand show, so be a bit patriotic. One litre of Kiwi onion dip, five packets of ready salted chips – minimum – and some buttery Marlborough chardonnay.


What is it? An Australian prison drama that starred national treasure Danielle Cormack before moving to a more ensemble vibe for its fifth season onwards. It makes Orange is the New Black look like Dora the Explorer Goes To Prison, a fictional TV show that should not exist.

How long will it take? Two days and 10 hours.

How do I prepare? Wire-cutters hidden inside a cake. Wait, maybe that’s how you prepare to get out of prison. Just the cake, then!

The Nanny

What is it? Fran Drescher plays a nanny from Flushing, Queens in this unimpeachably perfect show that represents the very best of the 90s and nothing else. I may be biased.

How long will it take? Three days and one hour.

How do I prepare? Follow the Instagram page ‘What Fran Wore’ and get your thumb ready to furiously scroll through outfits you wish you could wear.

Fresh Prince of Bel Air

What is it? Well, it’s a story all about how a guy’s life got flipped turned upside down… you know what? You know the rest of it.

How long will it take? Three days and two hours.

How do I prepare? By scrubbing the theme song and everybody who thinks they’re cool for memorising it from your brain. That’s just something you should do anyway, though.


What is it? A ridiculously successful show about four friends who manage to have functional relationships despite all being quite terrible people. It’s very dark, very funny, and brought Julia Louis-Dreyfus into the spotlight, which we will always be thankful for.

How long will it take? Three days and 18 hours.

How do I prepare? Soup! Lots and lots of soup. If you’ve seen the show, you’ll get this reference. And if you haven’t, better set those three days and eighteen hours aside bucko!


What is it? If you don’t know what Friends is, I worry how you got to this page in the first place. But on the plus side: you’ve got 10 seasons of Friends to look forward to!

How long will it take? Five days and one hour.

How do I prepare? Read this handy article on accurate titles of Friends episodes!

Dawson’s Creek

What is it? The source of the crying Dawson meme. Oh, and the earnest, smart, quietly groundbreaking teen drama that brought us James Van Der Beek, Katie Holmes, Joshua Jackson and Michelle Williams who have all gone onto four very different careers since.

How long will it take? Five days and eight hours.

How do I prepare? A box of tissues, because after a few seasons of this you’ll be making your own crying Dawson meme.

The Big Bang Theory

What is it? Bazinga! The most-watched sitcom of the past decade, where four nerds live with a pretty blonde. Has a lot more heart than you might remember it having.

How long will it take? Five days and 19 hours.

How do I prepare? A dictionary, so you can watch along and be as smart as Sheldon. And only five days of watching!

The Mentalist

What is it? Simon Baker helps the police solve crimes, despite being a fraudulent medium. He knows what you’re thinking. Yes, you. Right now. Even though the show finished up in 2015, he knows. Also, he’s chasing the serial killer who killed his wife and child, naturally.

How long will it take? Six days and seven hours.

How do I prepare? Put your stylish tinfoil hat on to protect you from Simon Baker’s blue steel gaze. 

The West Wing

What is it? A political drama from Aaron Sorkin that introduced us to the difficult sport known as ‘walking and talking’. Martin Sheen stars as a fictional president that is eminently preferable to the one the world’s got now. 

How long will it take? Six days and 10 hours.

How do I prepare? Get on your treadmill so you too can do the Sorkin walk-and-talk. Fitness and entertainment! Who said bingeing was bad for you?


What is it? The king of all medical dramas. It made stars out of George Clooney and Julianna Margulies and is so stressful and addictive that it makes Grey’s Anatomy look like a decaf latte. 

How long will it take? 13 days and 19 hours.

How do I prepare? Yeah, this is one that you’ll have to commit to. No half-steppin’ here. Quit your job. Break up with your partner. Leave your pet with a loved one. Get yourself as many packets of chips and non-perishable foodstuffs as you can. And get one of those big chairs from WALL-E. You belong to E.R now and you’re in for six seasons of Clooney and nine more seasons of some of the most handsome and pretty people to grace a fake hospital. Outside of Shortland Street, of course.

You can watch all these shows on  TVNZ OnDemand.

This content was created in paid partnership with TVNZ. Learn more about our partnerships here

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