The Binge Watcher’s Guide to Surviving Game of Thrones Withdrawals

Summer may be here, but Winter is Coming. The controversial sixth season of HBO’s Game of Thrones took a bow this past Sunday and while the battle for Westeros...

Summer may be here, but Winter is Coming. The controversial sixth season of HBO’s Game of Thrones took a bow this past Sunday and while the battle for Westeros has only just begun, it’s going to be an agonizing ten months while we diehard Throners wait for Jon Snow and company to return with a Valyrian steel syringe full of dragons and boobies to shoot straight into our willing veins. While you’re waiting for the White Walkers to roll up on your neighborhood, here’s a smattering of binge-worthy fare to help keep the high fantasy monkey off your back.

Friday Night Lights

Before our Sunday nights were dominated by pseudo-Medieval political intrigue and anachronistic pubic hair, one man commanded our respect with a steely glare that made Ned Stark look like Ted Mosby: Coach Eric Taylor. Set in Dillon, Texas, a small town with a fetish for football, Friday Night Lights has it all: stylish sports action, homespun Southern charm, and sexy 30-year-olds playing horned-up high schoolers who pass each other around like a doobie at a Phish concert. Come for Tim Riggins’ boy bangs and puppy dog eyes, stay for the small town drama and high stakes football action that makes Game of Thrones’ Battle of the Bastards seem like The Gathering of the Juggalos by comparison.

The 100

This little gem from The CW came outta nowhere. Generations after a nuclear apocalypse made Earth uninhabitable, the citizens of an international space station find their oxygen supply running low and decide to save their asses by sending 100 juvenile criminals to die on (what I can only assume to be Trump’s) Earth. Surprise, surprise—those sexy teenage scofflaws survive to colonize the only slightly irradiated planet. The show manages to capitalize on the hormonal teenage angst that powers franchises such as The Hunger Games or Divergent without skimping on the moral and philosophical dilemmas you’d expect from Mad Max or The Walking Dead. And did I mention everyone on this show is insanely good looking? Consider a lap pillow for those scenes where the busty and beautiful Clarke goes running through the nuclear forest.

Love/Master of None

Clocking in at one season each (thus far), these Netflix original series pair together like peel n’ eat shrimp and cocaine (just trust me on that one). While both shows deal with themes of romance and rejection, dissatisfaction with one’s life, and hipster fashion blunders, Love focuses on the burgeoning relationship between two dysfunctional assholes while Master of None is a more introspective look at what it takes to grow and mature as a person in a society predicated on selfishness and competition. Equally absorbing and thoroughly addicting, these shows balk at the safety of network sitcoms, dancing on the grave of Friends and taking irreverent selfies with the defiled corpse of How I Met Your Mother. If the words, “he’s not my friend, his cum is still inside of me” resonate with you on any level, clear your Saturday schedule and prepare to cringe binge.

Trailer Park Boys

There are times when you just want to turn your brain off. Some folks turn to fail videos and the music of Toby Keith, while others get off on farting goats and the cultural lobotomy that is NASCAR. For those of you who found Blue Mountain State to be too tame and Here Comes Honey Boo Boo to be overly sophisticated, Trailer Park Boys is the answer to your prayers. The residents of Sunnyvale Trailer Park don’t just like to drink homemade liquor, smoke dope and eat fried chicken—they love it. Ricky, Julien, Bubbles and the rest of these lovable Canadians pave their driveways with hash, get into park-wide gun battles, and run afoul of drunken park supervisor Jim Lahey and his cheeseburger-guzzling assistant/lover, Randy. With ten seasons of depravity on Netflix and counting, you can send your brain on vacation while you “Netflix and chill” with your funny bone. 

Twin Peaks

Picture your grandpa in his underwear, dancing to “Don’t Fear the Reaper” played in reverse while he gums drywall screws and paints himself with chocolate pudding. Got it? Well, you’re not even close to the batshit conceptual weirdness of Twin Peaks. The premise is simple enough: an FBI agent travels to the small mountain town of Twin Peaks to investigate the murder of a teenage homecoming queen. From there, the plot goes off the rails quicker than a roller coaster stuffed with Weight Watchers dropouts. The show relies heavily on style and atmosphere, juxtaposing the natural beauty of the Pacific Northwest with the inexplicable insanity of a Kanye tweet. Don’t get bogged down in trying to follow the plot—just embrace the bizarre and let the early 90s nostalgia wash over you. And remember: the owls are not what they seem.

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