I believe in doing things all the way if you're going to do them at all. If you're going to drink, fall over with your pants down, and if you're going to marathon a show this summer, it should be at least a significant portion of your waking life. After all, what good is a show that was cancelled after two seasons, or one you have to wait an entire YEAR for your next fix? The good news for you is that the complete Lost series is 49 hours, so you could put in a full work week watching it and still have episodes left. And it needs to be all at once; sleep, hygiene, and food neglected until you really are stranded on a desert island with Sawyer, Hurley, Desmond and Charlie. (Let's just pretend Kate's dead because she is so annoying).
If you haven't watched Lost, it's probably because of how dumb and obsessive your friends sounded after watching the first season. Or maybe you tried to watch it three seasons in and were, ba dum bum, lost. But now that it's all over, you're in the perfect place to really GIVE yourself to Lost. That shrill, frantic violin ending each time puts you so far off the edge of the couch that you don't even mind that you just got hooked on polar bears and time travel and you absolutely must know what happened in the next episode with the smoke monster. It's embarrassing but true, and then I won't be able to stop you from talking to me about it. All six seasons are currently streaming on Netflix, so go grab your pajamas and get your dork on.
Natalie Grace Sweet: Kids In The Hall
30 Helens agree, Kids In The Hall is the bee's knees. If you missed the five seasons of this masterful Canadian sketch comedy show when it originally aired in the late '80/early '90s, Netflix will set you straight. This is stripped down, super funny, sketch comedy at its pinnacle, performed by the equally hysterical Dave Foley, Mark McKinney, Kevin MacDonald, Scott Thompson and Bruce McCulloch. It's ridiculous, hilarious and it's socially conscious with many sketches featuring openly gay characters (kind of a huge deal back then). Don't even bother watching other TV shows, just allow the Kids In The Hall to introduce you to Cabbage Head, Mr. Tyzik and the Chicken Lady and fall in comedy love.
Laura Schadler: Pretty Little Liars/New Girl/The Mindy Project/Twin Peaks/Friday Night Lights
As you might know by now, I can literally never choose just one anything. Life is far too complicated for just one favorite movie/band/food/dress/book/color. And television is no exception. For that reason I struggle with which show is my favorite to stream in the summer months. So many ways to answer the question…My ironic answer is Pretty Little Liars, complete with shiny lip gloss, giant baubles and a text message-centric murder mystery that never ever ends. Bonus points for the fact that it’s laughably predictable suspense is full of repetitive horror movie tropes that could lend themselves to a pretty amusing drinking game. Subtract points for the fact that no one will watch this with me and I don’t think I should be drinking alone while watching Pretty Little Liars. My genuine answer is New Girl, a show that refreshingly portrays 30-somethings instead of teenagers, and not only that but depicts them as the ridiculous, immature, hilarious people they often are (I’d also nominate The Mindy Project in this category if I could find it streaming somewhere other than Hulu Plus). I far prefer Mindy to Zooey, but regardless, both of these funny, girl-fronted shows make me happy. Many an episode has me laughing so hard I’m crying. I deeply relate to the thesis statement of both stories, ones where the humor is derived almost solely from the inability of its characters to be grown-ups. My nostalgic answers are the swoon-worthy, heartwarming, paradigm-shifting, Tim Riggins-having, Friday Night Lights, as well as the classic, Twin Peaks, whose conclusion I will one day soon actually see. There you have it-five answers for the price of one! I think I’m going to cancel the rest of my summer plans so I can finally find out who A is, who killed Laura Palmer, further analyze the Lahiri/Castellano, Jess/Nick sexual tension, and watch Tim Riggins drive a pick-up truck and throw a football.
Lizzy Acker: Queer as Folk (UK version)
I'm pretty much an evangelist for the marathoning of TV shows. I grew up without a TV so watching shows on DVD was my first way of really experiencing and getting sucked into a TV world. For me it reflects the way I started consuming my stories: novels. I would stay up all night reading a novel, walk to school literally with my nose in a book, get sent out of the classroom for reading too much. Maybe I have an addictive personality. Okay, I definitely have an addictive personality. Anyway, for this one I decided to go waaay back to one of my first marathoning experiences: the totally sublime Queer as Folk. Though I still have no idea what the name means, I can tell you I devoured this show back when Netflix didn't even have Instant, the year after I graduated from college (2005 soooo long ago). How could I, a 23-year-old straight girl from America, identify so closely with a group of fictional gay dudes in England? Who knows. Maybe it was the character development, maybe it was the drama and romance. But I can say that before I watched this show I seriously didn't even know any gay men and by the time I finished it, all I wanted was to BE a gay man. That and Charlie Hunnam as the world's best twink are enough for you to stop what you are doing, quit your job and devote your life to the compact two series arch of the ORIGINAL and far superior British version of Queer as Folk.
Nate Waggoner: Star Trek: The Next Generation
With the original Star Trek series, Gene Roddenberry set out to create a super-hopeful vision of the future, where racism and sexism had been defeated. Star Trek: The Next Generation was not only post-racial and post-patriarchal, but also tore down the borders of tolerance the original series had invented for itself: one crew member is a Klingon, the kind of normally savage creatures the old-school crew faced off against nearly ever week. Another, Data, is an android. The residents of the ship spend much of their time painting and reading big tomes of classical literature and generally being comfy, space-bougey, and Frasieresque. In 1989, Ronald D. Moore, who would later reboot Battlestar Galactica, started writing for the show, fully embracing the awkward comedy of it and allowing for the kind of dark storylines Roddenberry might not have approved of. This clip reminds me of a great deal of poetry readings I've been to. I like how everyone on the crew is just straight-up mad at Data, who's just trying to share a sweet poem about his pet cat.
Emmanuel Hapsis: My So-Called Life and Homeland