Projects · TV

What Is The Most Perfectly Bingeable TV Show Ever?

Voting begins in our One Perfect Binge bracket and there are already tough choices to make. Which shows will you support?
Opb First Round Header
By  · Published on March 28th, 2020

The arguments are underway in our One Perfect Binge project and now, so is the voting. What is the most perfectly bingeable show ever? We’ve assembled 32 contenders that represent a wide variety of genres, television eras, and binge-watch investments. Below you will find each matchup and a final, relatively tweet-length final argument from a member of our team.

For each matchup, you can also vote in the corresponding Twitter poll.

The Bracket

Oneperfectbinge Bracket Round

First Round

The first round features 16 matchups between 32 shows, seeded by our team in a process marked by bloodshed. The left side of the bracket is unofficially known as The Walter White Conference, while the right side of the bracket carries the unofficial moniker of The Admiral William Adama Conference.

Below you will find more information about each matchup and an embedded Twitter poll where you can vote your choice. Polls will be live for 48 hours. As always, choose wisely.

(1) Breaking Bad vs. (16) Fringe

Breakingbad Vs Fringe

The case for Breaking Bad
If you’re into major heists, drug deals gone right, drug deals gone wrong, drug busts gone right, drug busts gone wrong, long sit-down breakfasts, hostage situations, identical twin hitmen, romance, family bonding time, science… Breaking Bad is the show for you. It literally has something for everyone. So if you’ve somehow avoided watching it until now, you better get on it. Seriously. (Aurora Amidon)

The case for Fringe
Fringe came at you like a monster-of-the-week scarefest but left you warped by its deliciously addictive and convoluted forays into parallel dimensions and terrifying mirror-selves. It dared to scream “Science Kicks Ass!” but also delighted in showcasing its potential atrocities. ‬(Brad Gullickson)

Vote Below

(8) Buffy The Vampire Slayer vs (9) Quantum Leap

Buffy Vs Quantumleap

The case for Buffy the Vampire Slayer…
A perfect blend of monster-of-the-week action and more longform storytelling, Joss Whedon’s supernatural saga redefined television in the ‘90s and it remains absolutely enthralling to this day. You won’t hear a better opening credits song anywhere else, either. (Kieran Fisher)

The case for Quantum Leap…
We live in a world where celebrating antiheroes is the new normal, but what if, and stay with me here, we championed someone who instead tried only to right what once went wrong? Quantum Leap gives us that someone embodied in dozens of other lives, and we’re better off for it. (Rob Hunter)

Vote Below

(5) The Americans vs. (12) Community

Americans Vs Community

The case for The Americans
The best TV shows tell a story, one ep at a time, that leads viewers on a journey of emotion, engagement, and reward. The Americans does exactly that from start to finish, and through moments both heartbreaking and horrific it also reminds us of our own fragile humanity. (Rob Hunter)

The case for Community
Surreal and chronically self-aware, Community satirizes the oddities of community college. With classes including “Intro to Senselessness,” extracurriculars like the annual paintball war, and a secret air conditioning school, there’s something for everyone at Greendale! (Kristen Reid)

Vote Below

(4) Twin Peaks vs. (13) Star Trek: Deep Space Nine

Twinpeaks Vs Ds

The case for Twin Peaks
You know, this is – excuse us – a damn fine binge-able show. We’ve had, we can’t tell you how many binge-able shows in our lives and this? This is one of the best. With hypnotic rhythms and a groundbreaking interrogative gait: Twin Peaks is a rabbit hole worth getting lost in. (Meg Shields)

The case for Star Trek: Deep Space Nine
DS9 got real. Never wanting to sugarcoat its stories, the series alienated longtime fans of the franchise but gained new ones by embracing arc-based storytelling. You could never consume only one episode. You had to see Sisko smash Gul Dukat next week, and then the week after that.‬ (Brad Gullickson)

Vote Below

(6) Deadwood vs. (11) Avatar: The Last Airbender

Deadwood Vs Avatar

The case for Deadwood
Guns, gold, glory—David Milch’s three-seasons-and-a-movie magnum opus is a perfect binge for those who love Westerns and those who don’t, developing familiar tropes into nuanced, dynamic characters that will have you hooked in no time. Welcome to f**kin’ Deadwood! (Ciara Wardlow)

The case for Avatar: The Last Airbender
It’s rare to find a show as consistently sweet, courageous, and captivating as Avatar: The Last Airbender. How spectacular: to throw yourself heart-first into a series that reciprocates with open arms and rock-solid sympathy. Avatar is #OnePerfectBinge. (Meg Shields)

Vote Below

(3) Lost vs. (14) The Wonder Years

Lost Vs Wonderyears

The case for Lost
Looking to start a big project? You could learn a language or write a novel—or get lost in Lost, the cultural phenomenon about castaways on a mysterious island that spends six seasons and a slew of timelines expertly blurring the line between mindf*ck and just-f*cking-with-you. (Ciara Wardlow)

The case for The Wonder Years
♫ To each new episode, turn, turn, turn
There are 6 seasons, turn, turn, turn
And a time to binge every one, in under 3 days ♫

“In that moment…” we understood The Wonder Years to be the greatest coming of age TV series of all time and a very special story of young love. (Christopher Campbell)

Vote Below

(7) The Twilight Zone vs. (10) Broadchurch

Twilightzone Vs Broadchurch

The case for The Twilight Zone…
The game-changing anthology series seems to only get better with age as we realize how prescient many of Rod Serling’s terrifying tales really were. With an impressive slate of familiar actors, writers, and must-see episodes, The Twilight Zone is the thinking man’s binge-watch. (Jacob Trussell)

The case for Broadchurch…
David Tennant AND Olivia Colman solving a complicated murder case? What’s not to love? Broadchurch has everything you love about British crime dramas and ramps it up to 11. It’s nigh impossible to tear your eyes away from the screen as the drama and intrigue keep building. (Mary Beth McAndrews)

Vote Below

(2) The Good Place vs. (15) Orphan Black

Goodplace Vs Orphanblack

The case for The Good Place…
If you’re looking for a bit more niceness in your TV diet, The Good Place is a perfect escape: it’s got a lovable cast, a subtle but impeccable pun game, and plenty of heartwarming appeals to our shared potential for growth. You need it in your life. And in whatever comes after. (Christina Smith)

The case for Orphan Black…
Sit down and strap in because Orphan Black is a hefty but rewarding binge. Starring Tatiana Maslany as over a dozen characters, the series is a thrilling investigation into the ethical complexities of human cloning. (Kristen Reid)

Vote Below

(1) Battlestar Galactica vs. (16) Hannibal

Bsg Vs Hannibal

The case for Battlestar Galactica…
A story of humanity’s last hope for survival in the wake of a robot apocalypse Skynet could only dream of, Ronald D. Moore’s reboot of BSG intertwines military drama, political intrigue, and religiosity into a show that reinvented how we engage with genre television. (Jacob Trussell)

The case for Hannibal
Part crime drama, part romance, all drop-dead-gorgeous cinematography, Hannibal is both a breakneck chase and a slow burn that propels you forward. And each season finale is meant to double as a series finale, so there are 3 bombshell “endings” to satisfy you along the way. (Liz Baessler)

Vote Below

(8) The Wire vs. (9) The Knick

Thewire Vs Theknick

The case for The Wire
Can you binge a dense, gritty, 60 hour drama? Yes. Should you? Also yes. The Wire is daunting, but it’s brimming with intrigue and even levity, plus a cast of characters you’ll love desperately as they come and go over the years (or, from your perspective, days). (Liz Baessler)

The case for The Knick
Drenched in golden candlelight, lo-fi synth pads, and tragedy, Steven Soderbergh’s dark TV masterpiece is a fascinating glimpse into the lawless wild that was scientific progress at Knickerbocker Hospital in turn-of-the-century New York City. Clive Owen is a magnet to the screen. (Luke Hicks)

Vote Below

(5) The Sopranos vs. (12) Columbo

Sopranos Vs Columbo

The case for The Sopranos
Settle in with television’s favorite New Jersey organized crime family and prepare yourself for six seasons of shocking violence, tense therapy sessions, and some of the most well-directed dream sequences of all time. Riveting, often terrifying, and always with a great sense of humor, The Sopranos is the crown jewel of prestige television drama. (Angela Morrison)

The case for Columbo
Put on your most wrinkled trench coat, start chomping on a cigar, and sit down on the couch with your definitely very real wife. It’s time to enjoy TV’s greatest detective, the one and only Columbo. (Anna Swanson)

Vote Below

(4) Parks and Recreation vs. (13) Nathan For You

Parksandrec Vs Nathanforyou

The case for Parks and Recreation
Welcome to Pawnee, home of Lil’ Sebastian (RIP), Indiana’s smallest park and the most lovable crew of municipal government workers in the history of television. Once you get past the slightly awkward first season, it is nothing but non-stop laughter, waffles, and heartfelt moments between people who genuinely love each other… except maybe Jerry. (Angela Morrison)

The case for Nathan For You
The genius of Nathan for You is that it somehow manages to tap into pretty much every single thing we love about modern media. Whether it’s going viral, stranger-than-fiction true stories, or good-old-fashioned cringe-humor, the show has everything you could possibly ask for when it comes to TV comedy, packed into joyous thirty-minute episodes. If you’re bored, sad, or just due for another laugh, (hell, it’s not a bad time for one), head to Hulu or Comedy Central and start binging. You won’t regret it. (Aurora Amidon)

Vote Below

(6) The Office vs. (11) Veronica Mars

Theoffice Vs Veronicamars

The case for The Office
From awkward dinner parties to office romance, The Office is a side-splitting look at workplace culture. From the office suck-up to the awkward boss, this show marries comedy and tenderness to make its characters feel like family. So embrace that new family and dive in! (Mary Beth McAndrews)

The case for Veronica Mars…
With its addictive mix of teen drama and noir tropes, this short-lived series inspired enough devotion to be resurrected twice, and it’s never too late to join the fan club. Starring the delightful Kristen Bell as the titular teen sleuth, Veronica Mars is prime binge material. (Ciara Wardlow)

Vote Below

(3) Mad Men vs. (14) Adventure Time

Madmen Vs Adventuretime

The case for Mad Men
The ’60s might be the most catalytic period in modern American history and Mad Men doesn’t sell a minute of it short. Brimming with in-depth history, costume and set design worth the binge time alone, and a world of brilliant, complex characters, it’s made for getting lost in. (Luke Hicks)

The case for Adventure Time
A happy post-apocalypse that dishes out joy in 12 minute bites, Adventure Time’s magic gives way to vast mystery and lore in tiny clues and massive revelations you never know to expect, but that’ll leave you building theories and becoming more and more immersed as you go. (Liz Baessler)

Vote Below

(7) Seinfeld vs. (10) Veep

Seinfeld Vs Veep

The case for Seinfeld
For a show about nothing, Seinfeld has given us everything. Iconic catchphrases, ridiculously cringe-worthy scenarios, and four characters whose selfishness and pettiness will make anyone feel better about their own worst impulses. (Angela Morrison)

The case for Veep
If you’re in the mood for an HBO series about ruthless backstabbers fighting for control over the land while contending with a woman who goes mad with power and betrays those closest to her, you have a couple options. If you want the one with a good finale, you have Veep. (Anna Swanson)

Vote Below

(2) Bojack Horseman vs. (15) Flight of the Conchords

Bojack Vs Conchords

The case for Bojack Horseman…
BoJack Horseman is a meaty but manageable 77 sitcom-length episodes that, through the existential despair of a selfish, drug-addled celebrity horse and a bottomless supply of entertainment industry quips will make you laugh as often as it leaves you sunken in contemplation. (Luke Hicks)

The case for Flight of the Conchords…
Who said Flight of the Conchords is too short for this list? Did Steve tell you that, perchance? …Steve. If you want to laugh yourself stupid in the funniest, most meticulously crafted rabbit hole you can find yourself briefly wandering in, you simply can’t do better. (Liz Baessler)

Vote Below

For more, read our One Perfect Binge essays and follow @OnePerfectShot on Twitter.

Related Topics:

Neil Miller is the persistently-bearded Publisher of Film School Rejects, Nonfics, and One Perfect Shot. He's also the Executive Producer of the One Perfect Shot TV show (currently streaming on HBO Max) and the co-host of Trial By Content on The Ringer Podcast Network. He can be found on Twitter here: @rejects (He/Him)