Binge Guide

7 TV Shows You Should Binge-Watch This December

The Expanse, You, Vikings, Marvel's Runaways, The L Word, and Lost in Space are among the month's top binge TV offerings.

by | December 2, 2019 | Comments

This may be the month of Christmas specials galore, but for those looking for less holiday-related fare, a bunch of beloved shows are coming back – and there is plenty to catch up on before these series return. The fan-favorite Vikings are back on History, for one, along with the equally fearsome Midge Maisel of The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel on Amazon Prime. Or if the Great Unknown is more your speed, you’ll be set with Lost in Space on Netflix and The Expanse on Syfy. For more, you’ll have to keep reading for this month’s full offering of binge-worthy returnees. 

Vikings 93% (History)

What it is: In the mood for a meaty, generations-spanning period drama that has violence, politics, sex, and true-to-history recreations to spare? Look no further than Vikings, Michael Hirst’s brilliant follow-up to The Tudors. The heart of the series begins with the rags-to-riches tale of legendary Viking Ragnar Lothbrok (Travis Fimmel) and his rise to power before passing the narrative baton to his children.

Why you should watch it: Vikings is complex, calculated storytelling. Gorgeous, lush sets and production design, committed and gritty performances all around — it is a wonder that the program doesn’t garner awards acclaim on par with Game of Thrones (though it certainly has drawn comparisons). Season 6 premieres Dec. 4 on History.

Where to watch: Amazon, FandangoNOW, Google Play, HuluMicrosoftVudu

Commitment: Approx. 58 hours (for the first five seasons)

The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel 89% (Amazon Prime)

What it is: In 1950s New York City, Midge Maisel’s (Rachel Brosnahan) husband, Joel (Michael Zegen), admits to having an affair and leaves her. Rather than getting back, she gets even, and decides to pursue his dream of becoming a stand-up comedian— which makes sense, because she was the funny one writing his jokes all along.

Why you should watch it: A runaway comedy hit upon its debut, Maisel won top honors at both the Emmys and Golden Globes for its first season — and only bowed this year to Amazon’s other awards-sweeper, Fleabag. But Brosnahan’s star-making performance (and her scene-stealing costars like Tony Shalhoub and Alex Borstein) continue to anchor a series that is smart, funny, and full of heart while also being absolutely timely. Season 3 premieres Dec. 6 on Amazon Prime.

Where to watch: Amazon

Commitment: Approx. 18 hours (for the first two seasons)

The L Word 54% (Showtime)

What it is: From creators Michele Abbott, Ilene Chaiken, and Kathy Greenberg, this Emmy-nominated series (decorated elsewhere by GLAAD for its landmark lesbian, bisexual, and transgender characters) charts the intersecting friendships and love lives of a group of queer women living in Los Angeles.  

Why you should watch it: As heralded today as it is maligned, there’s no denying that The L Word made leaps for LGBTQ representation onscreen upon its 2004 premiere, even if it didn’t always hit its mark. While its first season was Certified Fresh for all its bombastic soapiness and memorable characters, critics didn’t follow it into its subsequent seasons, resulting in years without Tomatometer scores — and its sixth and final season was ravaged with a measly 8%. But the show still has its fans and its merits. Plus, its reboot is sure to revisit the components that first made us fall in love with these ladies while expanding and bettering itself where there is room to grow. Season 7, retitled The L Word: Generation Q, premieres Dec. 8 with returning stars Katherine Moennig and Jennifer Beals on Showtime.

Where to watch: Amazon, Google Play, HuluMicrosoft, NetflixVudu

Commitment: Approx. 70 hours (for the first six seasons)

The Expanse 93% (Amazon Prime)

What it is: Based on the series of novels by James S. A. Corey (the pen name of collaborators Daniel Abraham and T Franck), this space-hopping science-fiction series follows Earth-bound United Nations executive Chrisjen Avasarala (Shohreh Aghdashloo), asteroid belt-dwelling police detective Josephus Miller (Thomas Jane), and officer of an ice freighter Jim Holden (Steven Strait) as they uncover a conspiracy that risks intergalactic peace within disparate colonies and the survival of humanity as they know it. 

Why you should watch it: We see enough social and political turmoil here on Earth to know that if and when we expand our humanly horizons to other planets in the solar system, tension is likely to continue. Here, it just makes for great TV with timely allegorical themes to spare. Season 4 premieres Dec 13 on Amazon Prime.

Where to watch: Amazon, Google Play, MicrosoftVudu

Commitment: Approx. 26.5 hours (for the first three seasons)

Marvel's Runaways 86% (Hulu)

What it is: Creators Josh Schwartz and Stephanie Savage leave their mark on the Marvel Cinematic Universe with this hit Hulu series based on the comic of the same name, which follows a motley group of super-powered teens who unite to stop their supervillian parents.

Why you should watch it: By this point, you know what you’re getting with an MCU project, but Runaways still manages to have a few surprises up its sleeve. Led by a cast of a excellent young actors and featuring a unique spin on the hero-villain narrative (and exploring relationships between friends and family in the process), the streaming series is a welcome addition to the already well-trod Marvel empire. Its third and final season premieres Dec. 13 on Hulu.

Where to watch: Amazon, FandangoNow, Google Play, Hulu, Microsoft, Vudu

Commitment: Approx. 20 hours (for the first two seasons)

Lost in Space 68% (Netflix)

What it is: A classic story of the sci-fi genre, 2018’s Lost in Space reboot finds new ways to tell the tale of the Robinson family, a clan of space colonists who must adapt to survive after their ship gets flung off course (living up to the series’ title) and crash lands on an alien planet.

Why you should watch it: The original Lost in Space is one of those series that every sci-fi lover should watch simply because of the influence it wielded over future series in the genre. But this new reboot — bolstered by state-of-the-art visuals, new characters, and uncharted territories — is an upgraded entrant to the canon that deserves a binge all its own. Part Swiss Family Robinson, part Star Trek, Lost in Space has something for everyone. We vote you make it your unlikely family binge this holiday season. Season 2 returns Dec. 24 on Netflix.

Where to watch: Amazon, FandangoNow, Google Play, MicrosoftNetflix

Commitment: Approx. 8.5 hours (for the first season)

You 93% (Netflix)

What it is: You’ll find yourself yelling at your television in equal parts frustration and enchantment with this Penn Badgley–starring hit. The former Gossip Girl actor plays Joe Goldberg, an unassuming (albeit attractive) bookseller who moonlights as the psychotically obsessive stalker of NYU student and aspiring writer Guinevere Beck (Elizabeth Lail).

Why you should watch it: You is just the latest example of a cancelled series finding second life on Netflix. While the thriller series cornered a niche audience upon its premiere on Lifetime, it was cancelled after one season. Then it hit Netflix late last year, became a word-of-mouth water-cooler hit, and was picked up for a second round, which should be intriguing enough to get you to at least hate-binge this soap-drenched stalker drama. Season 2 premieres Dec. 26 on Netflix.

Where to watch: Amazon, FandangoNOW, Google Play, NetflixVudu

Commitment: Approx. 8.5 hours (for the first season)

Like this? Subscribe to our newsletter and get more features, news, and guides in your inbox every week.

Thumbnail image courtesy of © Netflix, © Amazon Prime Video

Tag Cloud

DGA Mary Poppins Returns serial killer IFC Films Schedule Mystery versus Walt Disney Pictures Spring TV SundanceTV Binge Guide spy thriller toy story adaptation CBS All Access discovery Anna Paquin Turner romantic comedy Showtime Spectrum Originals Winter TV RT History rotten movies we love teaser finale cartoon Watching Series Martial Arts Animation ABC transformers batman Shudder aliens vampires Fox News Pirates VH1 Interview mockumentary werewolf TCA Awards Tour Photos Mary Tyler Moore hispanic FOX New York Comic Con DC Comics Premiere Dates Sci-Fi Classic Film zombies Tumblr period drama 2018 Family medical drama quibi Toys comic IFC cancelled television Stephen King Infographic National Geographic LGBTQ Holidays E3 DC streaming service Country hist Christmas biography HBO Comedy television canceled TV shows golden globes Hallmark ITV sitcom sequel Apple TV+ elevated horror APB Pet Sematary boxoffice Disney+ Disney Plus First Reviews Epix technology Captain marvel TLC TCM animated Holiday Food Network Bravo cancelled Turner Classic Movies MTV travel GLAAD GIFs cults blockbuster Cannes PaleyFest TCA 2017 ESPN Television Academy BET Tomatazos war 24 frames NBC Character Guide Thanksgiving Star Trek Vudu Comics on TV WGN Apple TV Plus 2020 21st Century Fox 71st Emmy Awards CBS 2016 Music psychological thriller Polls and Games Universal game show Shondaland doctor who OWN Fall TV Heroines Black Mirror Superheroes Women's History Month richard e. Grant TV renewals YA series Disney Plus Superheroe politics revenge anime docudrama zero dark thirty political drama Lifetime Christmas movies Crunchyroll award winner strong female leads Trivia Warner Bros. Drama christmas movies Mudbound Arrowverse Creative Arts Emmys Box Office historical drama CW Seed PBS Emmy Nominations NYCC Writers Guild of America police drama Rocky YouTube Disney Channel kids foreign crime thriller RT21 Best and Worst spain VICE Ghostbusters Quiz Action latino Peacock President Hulu Mary poppins Mindy Kaling book Netflix Summer First Look crossover Lionsgate Sundance Now tv talk WarnerMedia disaster MSNBC Acorn TV Election Film Festival ABC Family Britbox The CW 2019 spider-man screen actors guild Sundance Disney streaming service Countdown 2017 TruTV Extras singing competition Musical Masterpiece jamie lee curtis cooking Teen Disney TV Land ratings DC Universe facebook Dark Horse Comics CMT slashers Western Comic Book romance Winners SXSW TBS ghosts Elton John Esquire The Walking Dead Podcast mutant Opinion CNN what to watch Pop Sony Pictures Horror Nominations Columbia Pictures 2015 Super Bowl San Diego Comic-Con The Arrangement harry potter Syfy south america X-Men dragons space Marvel social media Valentine's Day spanish language El Rey Chilling Adventures of Sabrina Ellie Kemper Trophy Talk joker Calendar binge based on movie cops A&E Sneak Peek The Witch Video Games video TIFF SDCC Cartoon Network cancelled TV shows miniseries spinoff canceled thriller Amazon comics Musicals Paramount Network Nickelodeon American Society of Cinematographers Rocketman Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt Trailer Spike Cosplay anthology Tarantino Year in Review The Purge witnail Kids & Family stand-up comedy Paramount name the review FX unscripted See It Skip It Marathons Rock Grammys Song of Ice and Fire YouTube Red BBC Film Avengers Nat Geo theme song dramedy Pixar true crime halloween GoT Amazon Prime Video Reality Competition independent FXX Red Carpet psycho free movies dc MCU crime Rom-Com Crackle dceu Comedy Central Oscars TV indie streaming Netflix Christmas movies talk show Lucasfilm renewed TV shows Biopics Adult Swim zombie Hallmark Christmas movies supernatural Awards cinemax 007 Marvel Studios Set visit Lifetime green book HBO Max Endgame Logo festivals game of thrones natural history E! BBC America USA Reality DirecTV Certified Fresh screenings USA Network 20th Century Fox movies Star Wars YouTube Premium 45 casting children's TV TNT science fiction Marvel Television robots LGBT cars Pride Month Chernobyl adventure Fantasy AMC cats nature Starz breaking bad justice league Ovation Brie Larson History sports Emmys A24 cancelled TV series Amazon Prime crime drama comiccon diversity Apple composers Freeform blaxploitation sag awards