Binge Guide

Your Weekly Binge: Superhero Satire, Detectives Old and New, and A Sitcom Worth Saving

What's the RT staff watching while stuck at home? We're giving you a new weekly guide to inspire your next big binge.

by | March 17, 2020 | Comments

Like much of America, the Rotten Tomatoes staff is working remote right now, doing the responsible thing and “social distancing.” And like much of America, and the world, we’re spending a lot of our time – when we’re not working, of course – catching up on the shows and movies waiting for us on our watchlists, and digging around the various streaming services to find previously undiscovered gems. Every week for the next little while, we will be highlighting what our staff members are watching while at home in the hope that we’ll inspire you to discover something new and Fresh, and that you can watch along with us. 


The Boys: Season 1 (2019) 84% (Amazon Prime Video)

Before the series returns for season 2 this summer, catch up on the Certified Fresh first season of the alt-superhero series, in which the villains are (mostly) the characters with powers. A thoroughly satisfying binge, The Boys season 1 requires fewer hours than most workdays – and is a helluva lot more fun. The series stars Jack Quaid as unassuming nice-guy Hughie Campbell, who crash-lands into a world of vigilante vengeance after a superhero inadvertently kills his girlfriend. Karl Urban is unhinged head superhero-hunter Billy Butcher, and Antony Starr is large-and-in-charge super-powered a–hole Homelander. Erin Moriarty, as powered up-and-comer Starlight, brings the humanity, while Elisabeth Shue’s Madelyn Stillwell is corporate greed incarnate. – Debbie Day, Senior TV Editor

Where to watch: Amazon

Commitment: 8 hours


Rick and Morty 94% (Cartoon Network)

It’s hard not to fall in love with this hilarious, absurd, and sometimes viscerally disgusting animated sci-fi show that’s actually a painfully accurate depiction of family drama and dysfunction. The plot is simple: A boy and his narcissistic, alcoholic, scientific genius grandfather go on an adventure every episode. But meta references, deep cuts, and heartache come at you fast and each season warrants multiple viewings, so you may just find yourself binge-watching the four-season series more than once. Wubba lubba dub dub, indeed. – Sara Ataiiyan, Review Curator

Where to Watch: Adult Swim, Hulu, Amazon, Google Play, Vudu, iTunes

Commitment: Approx. 15 hours


The OA 84% (Netflix)

Seeing is definitely believing with The OA, a slightly bonkers, but mostly totally brilliant metaphysical mystery. It’s not a show you can fold laundry to; from epic dimension-hopping dance moves to deeply felt character moments, The OA lives and breathes in its constantly spiraling lore. And boy, does it spiral. Creator/star Brit Marling is captivating as Prairie, a missing young blind woman who is found with her vision restored – and whose discovery shakes a small suburban town. The cast around her is equally capable: Jason Isaacs, Phyllis Smith, Sharon Van Etten, Emory Cohen, and Paz Vega are great, and joined by the glorious Zendaya in the show’s second season. The series is probably not for everyone, but those willing to learn its movements will find rich rewards in each passing chapter of Prairie and company’s entangled tales. Though it was unfortunately cancelled after its second season, The OA is worth watching if you’re looking for a show that will truly challenge your expectations, both of the medium and reality. Or if you’ve just finished Watchmen and are looking for a new show that features strange cephalopods. – Haña Lucero-Colin, TV Curation Manager

Where to watch: Netflix

Commitment: Approx. 16 hours


Marcella 65% (Netflix)

Marcella
(Photo by © Netflix)

Anna Friel is brilliant in the lead role of DS Marcella (pronounced Mar-chella) Backland, a London detective who returns to the force after a decade-long leave just as a serial killer returns. With her dissolving marriage and unexplained blackouts, she may be more of a mystery than the case she’s trying to solve. Marcella is a dark British crime drama that has a suspenseful first season, followed by a slightly slower second season, and is well worth the 16-episode, two season-investment (even with a cliff-hanger ending). And, with a rumored third season in the works, it’s a great time to play catch-up – Jennifer Jevons, Senior Social Media Strategist

Where to watch: Netflix

Commitment: Approx. 16 hours


Columbo  (Amazon Prime Video)

Columbo
(Photo by Courtesy the Everett Collection)

Columbo is the comfiest, coziest show about murder ever made. Every episode, a guest celebrity (ranging from Leonard Nimoy to William Shatner to Ruth Gordon) offs another member of high-society out of passion or premeditated personal gain. Enter L.A. Police Lieutenant Columbo, played to bumbling perfection by Peter Falk, whose insistently circuitous speech and drab appearance lulls crooks into a haughty sense of false superiority. The show reverse-engineers the whodunnit structure by revealing the murderer and the motive in the opening of each episode, with most of the episode framed from their point of view. The joy is in watching how they’ll get caught. The other joy is, of course, Falk himself. The brilliant conceit of his character is that he is always in “character” – how much of Columbo’s lack of social graces and apparent incompetence is real, and how much of it is a front to lure suspects out? You never see any of Columbo’s personal life (though he frequently mentions a never-seen wife); he exists only within the context of the crime. I see shades of this type of character drama in Breaking Bad’s Saul Goodman (imagine if we never got to meet Jimmy McGill) or The Dark Knight’s Joker (we never see him at home base or making plans, only executing them). Five must-watch episodes are “Murder by the Book” (directed by a 24-year-old Steven Spielberg), “Suitable for Framing,” “A Stitch in Crime,” “Any Old Port in a Storm,” and “Try and Catch Me.” – Alex Vo, Editor

Where to Watch: Amazon Prime Video

Commitment: 100 hours


One Day at a Time 99% (Netflix)

There’s no better time to binge One Day at a Time, the modern remake of Norman Lear’s classic sitcom that centers around a Cuban-American family in gentrifying eastern Los Angeles. The series ran for three seasons on Netflix before the streamer gave it the ax and, after fan outcry, was saved by Pop TV. Before season 4 premieres on that channel on March 24, give the first three seasons a binge: the show is heartfelt, hilarious, and shows the old multi-camera sitcom format can work if you have the right people behind of and in front of those lenses. Speaking of: Rita Moreno is a flamboyant standout as scene-stealing abuela Lydia, while Justina Machado gives a star turn as matriarch and military veteran Penelope. Bonus: The show is feel-good (we need that) and kid-friendly. – Joel Meares, Editor-in-Chief

Where to watch: Netflix

Commitment: Approx. 19 hours


Castlevania 93% (Netflix)

This video-game adaptation follows warrior, a wizard, and a half-human half-vampire prince as they battle Dracula and his minions. And we know what you’re thinking: most video-game adaptations are not great – we love them, but Assassins Creed isn’t winning Oscars anytime soon. That said, recent movies like Detective Pikachu and Sonic the Hedgehog have shown us glimmers of hope in the genre, and on the TV side, Castlevania is by far the best of what we have to offer. A faithful adaptation of the beloved Konami game series, the Netflix series expands the world of the labyrinthian game from the ’80s into a compelling adventure with incredible voice performances and thrilling fight scenes. With the last two season rated 100% Fresh, critics agree its worth a watch and now would be the perfect time to start the series as season three was just released. Perhaps you could dust off your old Nintendo or download the original game afterwards if you are feeling suddenly nostalgic. – Jacqueline Coley, Editor

Where to watch: Netflix

Commitment: 9.5 hours


Check out our regular March Binge Guide. Thumbnail image Ali Goldstein/Netflix, Netflix, Jan Thijs/Amazon Prime Video

Tag Cloud

disaster Pride Month halloween unscripted doctor who Nat Geo 2019 Black Mirror 2020 science fiction Chernobyl Trophy Talk Amazon Studios Women's History Month singing competition zombie series 4/20 Awards worst movies true crime Pet Sematary concert Film Festival Holidays Stephen King Grammys Nominations Martial Arts tv talk Freeform Winners binge dragons justice league diversity Rocky Sneak Peek ABC Family universal monsters Fall TV TCA 2017 richard e. Grant TCA Winter 2020 Countdown elevated horror NYCC blockbuster BBC America kids BBC crossover nbcuniversal nfl Sundance TV LGBTQ ITV serial killer films Fox News Cosplay OneApp comic Comedy natural history 72 Emmy Awards independent cartoon children's TV Pop robots Comedy Central dramedy VH1 Hallmark Elton John discovery scary movies adaptation Animation Musical news Universal sitcom adventure Video Games San Diego Comic-Con Vudu politics HBO Britbox Funimation Sundance Now canceled remakes spider-man The CW Trivia Mary Poppins Returns hollywood award winner First Reviews Action TruTV hispanic aliens FXX GLAAD Endgame book Ghostbusters cats emmy awards toronto golden globes cults green book harry potter Black History Month Oscars medical drama Schedule Lionsgate venice facebook Podcast Discovery Channel Valentine's Day cops supernatural Apple Ovation Mystery YouTube spanish language TBS Tomatazos Spike Travel Channel laika Star Wars Marvel Avengers reboot travel DC Comics latino Musicals TV Opinion talk show SDCC anime Disney Channel Cannes A&E VOD Paramount slashers BBC One Song of Ice and Fire See It Skip It movies DC Universe YA classics Biopics APB BET Hear Us Out MSNBC HBO Go chucky TV Land Masterpiece Teen psycho dc free movies Election die hard El Rey Baby Yoda Shudder Mudbound New York Comic Con scorecard Extras Chilling Adventures of Sabrina space Winter TV Christmas christmas movies SundanceTV joker Columbia Pictures Warner Bros. Summer sag awards TCM what to watch breaking bad stand-up comedy directors TLC asian-american Year in Review 21st Century Fox game show Drama National Geographic IFC Films Character Guide spain rotten movies we love critics mutant Rock MTV festivals football LGBT docudrama anthology DC streaming service Logo Disney Plus Sony Pictures Hallmark Christmas movies CNN political drama Holiday biography Walt Disney Pictures Best and Worst sequels FOX HBO Max psychological thriller Photos toy story GIFs werewolf Awards Tour Premiere Dates A24 hist Star Trek Mary poppins crime cinemax animated video Horror based on movie FX on Hulu Crackle Pirates SXSW comiccon Sundance Tumblr Television Academy Binge Guide History zero dark thirty The Witch MCU Calendar TCA Awards canceled TV shows cancelled Arrowverse nature Country FX Hulu technology stop motion Syfy comedies Apple TV+ 71st Emmy Awards ABC crime thriller WarnerMedia war Netflix period drama The Arrangement 2016 game of thrones Writers Guild of America WGN Watching Series franchise Adult Swim IFC indie dogs TNT 2018 television BET Awards parents CBS Marvel Television all-time Academy Awards obituary RT21 20th Century Fox blaxploitation worst TIFF documentary Nickelodeon Tubi Shondaland 45 Epix cars CW Seed Disney streaming service Certified Fresh Captain marvel X-Men jamie lee curtis Disney Dark Horse Comics zombies Turner Classic Movies PlayStation cancelled television twilight Emmy Nominations finale documentaries transformers Bravo Cartoon Network revenge Reality Sci-Fi romance indiana jones sequel PBS Super Bowl rotten foreign reviews screen actors guild boxoffice mockumentary Brie Larson E3 versus criterion Disney+ Disney Plus Western Peacock Lucasfilm screenings Set visit satire CBS All Access ratings best thriller movie Comics on TV Comic Book Turner Film OWN PaleyFest fast and furious batman composers Starz Trailer spinoff Food Network Quiz President quibi historical drama cooking USA Network VICE First Look Emmys cancelled TV series Polls and Games Pop TV teaser Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt cancelled TV shows comics Lifetime Paramount Network Mindy Kaling theme song Interview Family stoner renewed TV shows TV renewals Netflix Christmas movies 007 romantic comedy Pixar USA dceu Heroines Showtime E! 2015 Lifetime Christmas movies Red Carpet Superheroe south america a nightmare on elm street Crunchyroll GoT DirecTV Creative Arts Emmys ESPN Spring TV strong female leads superhero sports Kids & Family child's play DGA name the review RT History Acorn TV Marvel Studios Thanksgiving Amazon 24 frames Esquire streaming witnail Box Office NBC Amazon Prime Reality Competition Television Critics Association Amazon Prime Video miniseries mission: impossible Infographic social media ghosts Marathons video on demand YouTube Premium Superheroes Music vampires Spectrum Originals Mary Tyler Moore spy thriller Ellie Kemper casting festival CMT Rom-Com TCA AMC crime drama Anna Paquin Tarantino BAFTA The Purge Apple TV Plus Rocketman American Society of Cinematographers dark police drama YouTube Red Toys The Walking Dead 2017 Classic Film Fantasy