It’s been a crazy week. You’ve gorged on festive food, laughed at your weird uncle’s terrible jokes and pricked your feet on so many fallen Christmas tree needles your soles look like pin boards. With all that merrymaking, you’ve likely lost track of what day it is, but take it from us: It’s time to put your party hat back on and give a warm welcome to 2017. After all that exhausting indulgence, you’re probably ready to slump in front of the TV for 24 hours straight. We hear you! Now, sit back and enjoy our top picks for classic shows to gobble — in bulk — on New Year’s Day.
1. Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency
Douglas Adams created the alternative detective and then British TV took it over in 2010, airing four installments over two years. Most recently, BBC America and Netflix took the reins, casting Samuel Barnett as Dirk and Elijah Wood as his unenthusiastic sidekick, Todd. You’d be hard-pushed to find something more entertaining to see in the new year. The eight-part first season is easily digestible in one sitting and will prep you for the 10-episode follow-up due in 2017.
2. Downton Abbey
If you’ve listened to everyone in your life bleat on about the brilliantly addictive, soapy period drama starring Maggie Smith and Hugh Bonneville, but never actually thought to give it a go, now’s the time. Perhaps you were even gifted the first couple of seasons on a DVD and stashed in a drawer — a relic of some long forgotten Christmas. Well, dig it out, dust if off and hit play. We predict you’ll be hooked on the Crawley family’s shenanigans in mere minutes. After a whole episode, you’ll be quoting the Dowager’s best putdowns like it’s 2011.
Downton Abbey has its own YouTube channel to satisfy your binge cravings. Or the aforementioned dusty DVD.
3. The Walking Dead
We’re not going to lie: This show about zombies — even though no one ever actually calls them that — is going to make you queasy. Longtime fans will know this all too well, but if you’re coming to The Walking Dead for the first time, with a sore head and gurgling innards, be warned: Brains and intestines EVERYWHERE. But it’s Jan. 1, so you’re feeling icky anyway. We reckon it’s worth wincing through a few on-screen gut-spills to wallow, long and hard, in this mind-blowing drama, now in it’s seventh season.
Even now, nearly 30 years since it first aired on NBC, the “show about nothing” is really quite something. Seinfeld shifted the whole sitcom genre up a gear, and still manages to make the most modern TV comedies look mediocre. Sure, some opening “bits” by Jerry Seinfeld, the show’s co-creator and star, are dated, but the meat of most of the 169 episodes is fantastically fresh and funny. If you’re in need of an extended laughter session come the day after New Year’s Eve, look no further.
Hulu is the go-to place to catch up with Jerry, George and Elaine … oh, and, can’t forget Kramer and Newman. Or, if you’ve watched each episode dozens of times and they’re emblazoned on your brain’s comedy center, replay from memory.
5. Black Mirror
This British sci-fi series, which offers up stand-alone pieces that play with the idea of how our reliance on technology will alter our future, is now in its third season. 2016 was tough, so looking forward through the lens of the show’s delightfully warped and witty creator, Charlie Brooker, is appealing as we shuffle into the new year. We’re very keen on the idea of a binge-a-thon, and not leaving the house, but if you only have time to watch one installment, we suggest the most optimistic — and by far the most compelling — episode from the recent season, “San Junipero.”
6. Planet Earth
Think you have it tough with a thumping post-party headache? Throw your woes into perspective by imagining being any of the lower-down-the-food-chain critters featured in this searing nature series, which delivers heartbreak and wondrous joy in equal measure. Can’t handle the tough stuff today? Play it safe by watching preview clips of Planet Earth II, premiering on BBC America on Saturday, February 18 at 9/8c, like this one when a sloth swims his way to love.
7. The Night Manager
This explosive six-parter starring Tom Hiddleston and Hugh Laurie was, arguably, the standout series of 2016, so it’s well worth dedicating some of your precious New Year’s day viewing hours. Laurie gives great evil in his role as a posh — and deeply corrupt — English businessman, Richard Roper. And twinkly-eyed Hiddleston (Jonathan Pine) is just the ex-serivceman to bring him down.
8. Call the Midwife
What symbolizes a new beginning better than a freshly birthed infant? And if it’s babies you’re after to get that slate-wiped-clean 2017 feel, this period drama, set in 1950s London, is just the tonic. Based on the memoirs of real-life midwife, Jennifer Worth, this heartwarming show, featuring nuns, high jinks and high drama, has a 43 episode backlog for you to start churning through on Jan 1. And, of course, we can’t get enough of Miranda Hart.
Is this going to be an all day session for you?!Read More