10 TV shows to help you binge through the blizzard

Here's about six months of binge viewing if you want to go all the way with me on this.

Here are 10 TV shows or productions that can help you joyfully binge your way through the blizzard. I've seen or done them all, and you can access them through various on demand services.


1. "Shades of Blue." This will only give you two hours of viewing, because it's a new series with only two epsiodes that aired. But get warmed up for the serious binge watching with this new NBC cop drama starring Jennifer Lopez and Ray Liotta. Barry Levinson directs, which should be enough. But Lopez is outstanding as a very troubled detective. This is the sleeper of the season. It's too good for network TV and should be on cable -- really.

2. Not enough snow for you, how about "Fargo," the FX series with Billy Bob Thornton in Season 1 and Kirsten Dunst in Season 2? And why not go totally nuts and get the movie, with Frances McDormand, which is even better? McDormand, one of our best actors, was just remarkable in this. Guess that's why she won a Oscar. And everybody in the film sounded like the people I grew up with in Wisconsin. Yeah, hey.

3. With the premiere last week on Showtime of "Billions," a series about billionaires (Damian Lewis) and elected officials (Paul Giamatti) behaving badly, why not consider a Damian Lewis film festival? Take your pick: HBO's "Band of Brothers," Showtime's "Homeland" and "Forsyte Saga" on PBS. Any one of the three is a TV feast.

4. And then, after you've seen how terrific Paul Giamatti is in "Billions," you'll want to see him in the PBS mini-series "John Adams." And why not the film "Sideways"?

5. "Orphan Black." If you haven't seen this BBC series with Tatiana Maslany, you are in for a treat. Once you buy in, it's bye-bye snow. Three seasons. Season 4 starts in April.

6. "Doc Martin."  If an escape to a a seaside village in Cornwall sounds nice right about now, then "Doc Martin" is the series for you. You can find all seven seasons at Acorn.TV, plus the two movies that preceded it. And if that isn't enough Martin Clunes for you, check him out in the Brit original  "Men Behaving Badly."

7. With a six-episode reboot of "The X-Files" arriving Sunday night, how about a Gillian Anderson mini-fest? Start with BBC "Bleak House" and  then go to "The Fall." No, start with "The Fall." She was marvelous in that one, and I cannot find anyone outside of me and my wife who saw it. Sorry, no David Duchovny festival as far as I am concerned.

8. Are you ready for "House of Cards" in March? if not, catch up the show that made Netflix a household name.

9. Are you ready for HBO's "Veep" this spring? Even though it is no longer made in Maryland, it's still the best satire TV has produced in a long, long time. And this is a political season.

10. If you did not see HBO's "Show Me a Hero" from David Simon and Bill Zorzi this summer, treat yourself today. It's urban, East Coast and filled with the kind of conflict and social problems we seem incapable of handling as a society any more. There is nothing escapist about this production, but it will instantly absorb you in the politics and people whose lives it explores. It might also make you more understanding of people who do not look like you -- no matter what you look like. Oscar Isaac recently won a Golden Globe for his performance. Like I said in my preview back in August, his is the TV performance of the year in a movie or mini-series. And while you are at it, check out his performance in "A Most Violent Year."

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