The 2016 holidays are almost upon us, and though the new series offerings have thinned, November still offers a few notable premieres worth a catch-up binge.
What it is: Assistant tennis pro David Meyers (Craig Roberts) tries to figure out his future while working at a suburban New Jersey country club in the mid-1980s.
Why you should watch it: “Bittersweet Red Oaks has more Fast Times than Caddyshack in its DNA,” reads the headline of Erik Adams’ A.V. Club review. And with just one season under its vintage canvas belt, this Amazon Originals comedy should be a breeze to binge if you need to catch up before season 2 begins streaming on Amazon November 11.
Where to watch: Amazon
Commitment: About 8.5 hours once season 2 becomes available
What it is: When Alison (Ruth Wilson) and Noah (Dominic West) meet in Montauk at the end of Long Island, the titular affair ensues, destroying their respective marriages to Cole (Joshua Jackson) and Helen (Maura Tierney). Told from four perspectives, season 2 explores the next phase in their lives.
Why you should watch it: The Showtime drama won a best television drama Golden Globe award for its first season. Wilson won lead actress in a television drama Golden Globe that same year, while Tierney took a supporting performance Golden Globe the following year. The Affair‘s third season premieres November 20.
Commitment: About 20 hours
What it is: The quirky residents of Stars Hollow, Connecticut, color the lives of single mom Lorelai Gilmore (Lauren Graham) and her teen daughter Rory (Alexis Bledel) in this heartfelt drama that aired from 2000 to 2007.
Why you should watch it: On November 25, Netflix delivers event series Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life that picks up nine years later with Rory a professional journalist, while Lorelai still runs the Dragonfly Inn. The four 90-minute movies will feature many of the same faces from the original seven-season series, including Kelly Bishop, Scott Patterson, Melissa McCarthy, Jared Padalecki, and more.
Commitment: About 111 hours. That’s over four and a half days of uninterrupted binging — good luck! Try not to clot. (For the record, we do not actually recommend that you watch TV for four days straight.)
What it is: Nearly four full seasons of medieval Nordic muscle slashing and burning across the region and into England and France. Vikings provides an adventurous fictional account of the political and theological development and influence of the northern European pirates.
Why you should watch it: In the season 4 midseason finale in April, Ragnar Lothbrok (Travis Fimmel) growls a challenge: “Who wants to be king!?” Finding out how he got there is a binge worthy of Valhalla! (If Valhalla has a widescreen and considers TV-marathoning an acceptable pastime.) Season 4 returns with three final episodes, starting November 30 on History.
Commitment: About 28.75 hours
What it is: In this bonus binge-watching option, the Peanuts gang learns about Thanksgiving in the Holiday favorite A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving (1973) and, separately, about the first English settlers of the New World in the Mayflower episode of eight-part TV miniseries This Is America, Charlie Brown.
Why you should watch it: A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving is scheduled to air at 8 p.m. ET November 23 on ABC, but you can also find it online. The 1973 Charles M. Schulz special won an Emmy for Outstanding Individual Achievement in Children’s Programming. “The Mayflower Voyagers” tells the story of the first pilgrims to America and how the natives saved their hides.
Commitment: Under 2 hours if you watch only A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving and “The Mayflower Voyagers” episode. About 4.5 hours if you decide to watch the Thanksgiving special and all eight episodes of This Is America, Charlie Brown, which also includes “The Birth of the Constitution,” “The Wright Brothers at Kitty Hawk,” “The Building of the Transcontinental Railroad,” and more.