5 great shows you should binge-watch over break

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It’s been a few weeks since the fall semester ended, and in that time, many of you have probably been burning through all of the shows you’ve been putting off watching until now, or have watched all of the shows and movies that the numerous “Top 10 _______ of 2013” lists have recommended.

What to binge-watch next? Fret not. The Daily Clog has you covered, offering a few recommendations to help you make the most of your break:

“Hannibal”

NBC’s innovative, beautifully gruesome drama hasn’t garnered as many awards as it should have, but its unique (and terrifying) visual style and compelling character interactions will reel you in and keep you watching. “Hannibal” introduces viewers to the complex relationship of FBI criminal profiler Will Graham (Hugh Dancy) and his psychiatrist/obvious cannibal Hannibal Lecter, brilliantly portrayed by Mads Mikkelsen. The game of cat-and-mouse between Graham and Lecter — in which Lecter is always one step ahead and Graham slowly spirals into insanity — plays out through a series of grisly murders, leaving you wondering how the show could get away with such meticulously crafted scenes of horror while maintaining the addictive plot of a cop drama. Marathon the first season before the second premieres in February.

“Orange is the New Black”

Netflix blew everyone away this year with its lineup of original programs (and fan service to “Arrested Development”), but “Orange is the New Black” was by far one of the most intriguing shows of 2013. The show’s hilarity and excellent storytelling have already been critically acclaimed this year (and rightly so), but one simply cannot watch a few episodes of the first season at a time. Luckily, every episode is available for streaming online. This is a show that demands to be viewed all in one sitting, with each episode focusing on the lives, actions and struggles of the different inmates in a women’s prison while telling the story of Piper Chapman (Taylor Schilling), a law-abiding New York socialite who serves 15 months for trafficking drugs for her girlfriend Alex (Laura Prepon), who is serving time in the same prison.

“Orphan Black”

This show fell under the radar for a lot of people, which is a shame because it’s one of the best shows of this year. “Orphan Black” is worth checking out not only because it sounds cool, but also because it also focuses primarily on issues that not many shows cover at all  — namely, the ethical implications of human cloning. Tatiana Maslany plays a number of characters that all stem from a batch of cells cloned in the ’80s who come into contact with one another, seemingly with the same question in their heads: “Who are you, and why do you look like me?” When one of her characters (con artist Sarah) witnesses police detective Beth Childs (another clone) commit suicide, a web of conspiracy and murder follows surrounding the many characters Maslany plays.

“Sons of Anarchy”

It’s Shakespeare’s “Hamlet,” but it takes place in the Central Valley and swaps out Danish nobility for a morally corrupt motorcycle club! At the center of the drama is club vice president Jax Teller (Charlie Hunnam) and his growing concern about his position and the actions in which he has been complicit — drug and gun smuggling, murder and the disdain for the consequences of the club’s illegal actions that club president/co-founder Clay Morrow (Ron Perlman) and Jax’s mother (an amazing Katey Sagal) conduct. As Jax tries to get out of the activities he’s known his whole life, he finds that, as always, it’s never that easy. The show just concluded its incredible sixth season, but the previous five are all available on Netflix instant streaming, perfect for your binge-watching pleasure.

“Pushing Daisies”

Delightful, morbid and definitely cancelled way too soon, “Pushing Daisies” is about a pie-maker named Ned (Lee Pace) who has the ability to bring the dead back to life simply by touching them. However, there are conditions to his power, such as if he touches the newly resurrected thing again, it stays dead for good, which creates problems for any and all interactions he has, especially with his childhood sweetheart Chuck (Anna Friel). Ned, Chuck and private investigator Emerson Cod (Chi McBride) strike up a deal where they bring dead people back to life, find out who killed them and collect the eventual reward. The show only lasted two seasons before being cancelled, but is still a clever and wonderful meditation on life and death.

Contact Youssef Shokry at [email protected]