Everyone wants to spend their summers lying in the sun on a relaxing beach, but for the unexpected thunderstorm or the unbearable heat wave, television can be a girl’s best friend–especially using on-demand services like Netflix, Hulu Plus, and Amazon Prime. Of course there are always reality shows to check up on, but these top five dramas will keep you wide-eyed and begging for more.
Set in the early 1960’s, we zoom in on the life of Don Draper, a creative director at Sterling Cooper advertising agency in Manhattan. Draper spends his days working, drinking, womanizing, and occasionally checking in on his cookie-cutter suburban family. As the following six seasons unfold, we learn more about his not-so-perfect family, his various affairs with city women, his colleagues at the ad agency, and his secretive past. The show is not only gorgeous to look at, but it gets you thinking about how things have changed–but also stayed the same–since this iconic time in America’s history. The seventh and final season is expected to air next April.
All girls–even good girls at one point or another–have a thing for a bad boy, right? Meet Walter White: loving husband, proud father of a teenage son with cerebral palsy, high school chemistry teacher, and recently diagnosed with inoperable lung cancer. As a way to cheer him up, Walt’s brother-in-law and DEA officer, Hank, takes him on a drug bust and Walt notices a former student of his, Jesse Pinkman, fleeing the scene. With hefty medical bills rolling in, Walt beings to panic about his family’s future financial stability. When Walt learns how much money the DEA raked in from the drug bust, he contacts Pinkman and dips his toe into the hazy world of cooking and distributing methamphetamine. The four seasons that follow may give you heart-palpitating anxiety attacks, but it is oh-so worth it. Tune in to final episodes of season five on August 11th.
In a post-apocalyptic world, zombies have taken over all major cities and only a few uninfected citizens remain on the run for their lives. Former sheriff’s deputy Rick Grimes reunites with his wife and son and takes on the leadership of the group they are traveling with. Aside from battling brain-hungry “walkers” on a daily basis, members of the group must also grapple with the drama of everyday life and the ethical dilemmas that come along with risking your own safety for the good of society… or what’s left of it. Watch out for the return of the zombies when the fourth season airs in October.
Travel back in time to England circa 1912 to Downton Abbey; the estate and home of the wealthy Crawley family headed by the Earl and Lady Grantham and their full staff of servants. The first season begins with news that the heir to the family estate has died in the sinking of the Titanic. The majority of the first season revolves around rekindling relations with the Earl’s distant cousin Matthew Crawley and his mother, along with the drama of the three Crawley daughters in search for suitable husbands. While the day to day drama of the upper class may not interest everyone, the secrets and betrayal of the servants’ lives is sure to engage any viewer. Murders, back-stabbing sisters, and secret affairs collide in this old-fashioned soap opera. The fourth season is expected to air in January, 2014.
Even If you’ve already seen social media spoilers of what happens in this blockbuster series, it’s still worth it to dive head first into Game of Thrones. In a fantasy medieval times, we are introduced to the honorable Stark family of the North. Within the first few episodes, it becomes apparent that there has been a murder at the Capitol in King’s Landing and Eddard ‘Ned’ Stark, the head of the family, is forced from his home. Stark is called upon by his dearest friend, King Robert, to work for him amidst the abrasive Lannister family to protect Robert, the throne, and the fate of the seven kingdoms. Across the seas, Viserys Targaryen and his sister Daenerys are working diligently to return to King’s Landing with an army to reclaim the throne that was stolen from their father. While it may seem overwhelming at first to keep track of all of the different families and houses and cities, you’ll begin to understand the rivalries and allies as the show goes on. In the meantime, you won’t be able to help yourself from falling in love with the characters and wishing death upon some of the others. The fight for the throne will return in 2014.