If you are looking for something to keep you occupied while traveling then binge watching one of the 10 best shows of all time can be a perfect solution! Or maybe just binge watch all of them! Here are the 10 Best Shows to Binge Watch on Your Flight!
This list is based on our view of the greatest TV shows of all time, in order from #10 to #1. Additionally, we’ve provided a few shows that didn’t make the top 10, but are still worthy of honorable mention.
Most of these TV shows can be downloaded to your device via popular services like Amazon, Netflix, HBO Go, etc, or streamed in your hotel room.
We also provide a list of the honorable mentions, a few new shows to keep an eye on, and a few that are better than you might expect. Without any further ado, here are the 10 Best Shows to Watch While Traveling.
Best Shows to Binge Watch on your Flight
Here they are starting with #10!
10. The Expanse
Currently seen on: Amazon Prime (formerly on SyFy channel)
Game of Thrones – but in space. That should get your attention! The Expanse is a Science Fiction show that where Mars has been colonized and is now earth’s enemy. A 3rd group known as Belters are stuck somewhere in between mining asteroid belts as society’s outcasts.
A fascinating and expansive look at the future with compelling drama, quality acting and some hard sci-fi. Well worth a peak.
Here’s a more detailed analysis of the The Expanse.
Currently seen on: Netflix
Friends regularly shows up on lists of the greatest TV shows of all time…and I tend to agree. As a high school senior my buddies and I were all immediately interested in the show (and of course we all thought Rachel was hot).
Friends has stood the test of time – finding new life even now. I randomly sat next to a college student on the plane a few weeks ago who informed me that he was binge watching Friends having been recently introduced to it. He was totally hooked.
8. Last Week Tonight (w/ John Oliver)
Currently seen on: HBO
Truth be told, the show I originally had listed here was The Daily Show (w/ John Stewart) – the amazing “fake news” show that managed to lambaste politicians and famous folks without always feeling too (it was a show that both Democrats and Republicans could watch. But…it’s also a show that sort of requires semi-real time watching. Meaning…it’s more funny to have watched it when it happened…not binge watch it.
Fear not…John Oliver’s Last Week Tonight show is pretty darn good (skip the new Daily Show host, Trevor Noah…he’s a douche).
John is unabashedly fearless about lambasting anyone in the political or celebrity universe. He will call out your stupidity with insane levels of accuracy and humor. Always funny.
Some of this classics are:
Currently seen on: Amazon Prime
Even if you’ve seen this series 5 times you can easily stomach 5 more. It’s that good. Arguably it should be a little higher on the list, but wherever it lands on any list it’s a show that stands the test of time.
Well worth watching on your next flight!
6. The Leftovers
Currently seen on: HBO
3% of the world’s population are taken in a Rapture-like event. This show picks up after this horrific event, dramatically showing human reactions to a tragedy of epic proportions. If you are like me, you skipped this show for several years because it “just didn’t look that good” and didn’t want to deal with a “religious drama that Hollywood would screw up.”
This is none of that. This show really doesn’t focus on the religious dogma of this event. In fact, it’s not even clear this is a religious event at all…it might just be science???? Bottom line: it’s compelling drama. Some of the best TV you will ever see.
In particular the second season of this short 3-season series may be one of the greatest seasons of television ever created.
You MUST watch The Leftovers! When you are finished, come back here and leave me a comment about how right I was.
5. The Office
Currently seen on: Netflix & Amazon Prime
Awkward humor abounds and it’s absolutely hilarious. If you ever wanted Dilbert to come alive this is pretty close, but better. While the British version got things rolling, we are fans of the US version of the Office which put out season after season of belly busting episodes.
Binge watch this on your next trip, but don’t laugh too loud.
Currently seen on: HBO Go
The greatest mob TV show of all time is still good all these years later. Compelling characters, interesting plot lines and a mobster who’s seeing a shrink. The Sopranos was an early hit on HBO and remains excellent television. Even if you’ve seen it already…another watching is guaranteed to be worth your while.
3. The Wire
Currently seen on: HBO Go
For years I may have been the only person in America to not have seen The Wire. For some reason I just couldn’t get excited about the show. However, recently I took the plunge…and boy was I missing out. Seasons 3 and 4 may be some of the finest television ever created as inner city schools, drug crime and police politics are interwoven into a masterpiece of American television. Even if you’ve seen The Wire before it’s still worth a rewatch on your next trip.
2. Mad Men
Currently seen on: Netflix
So. Much. Smoking.
And crappy behavior towards women! I can’t even imagine how women worked in the 50’s and 60’s under that sort of environment. Intolerable. Horrible. It’s like #metoo times a million.
But it all makes for very good TV.
Mad Men is a masterpiece, once in a lifetime TV series that captures that nostalgic spirit we all have in the form of an advertising agency. Compelling drama, creative plot lines, great acting, social issues, marital issues, women in the workplace, equality, depression, success/failure, the facades that men put on, climbing the ladder, substance abuse and more.
It’s a show that should be on your bucket list.
1. Breaking Bad
Currently seen on: Netflix
In our opinion, Breaking Bad is the single greatest television show ever created. We got started on it late…after the series was over. Once we started we couldn’t stop binge watching episode after episode.
Fortunately I was traveling so I could consume massive amounts of it. I think I finished the series in like 3 weeks or something.
High School Chemistry teacher gets cancer, cooks meth. Chaos ensues.
- The Americans. Russian / American cold war spy drama about Russian spies living in the United States. Really solid acting and storylines and 7 seasons to binge watch while traveling. Currently Seen on: Amazon Prime.
- Alias. An old time favorite. Jennifer Garner does a great job and you get early performances from Bradley Cooper. Spies. Costumes. CIA, etc. Currently Seen on: Amazon Prime.
- 24. Jack Bauer. That’s all that needs said. 🙂 Currently Seen on: Amazon Prime.
- Fargo. A TV show in the same vein and style as the great movie. It’s pretty darn awesome! Currently Seen on: Amazon Prime.
- Rescue Me. Post 9/11 NYC fireman dealing with aftermath of the horrific tragedy. It’s so good. Currently Seen on: Amazon Prime.
- Game of Thrones. We are not huge fans of this show (although we were at first), but the insane amounts of unnecessary nudity/sex drove us away. That said, it has compelling story lines and acting. And dragons. Frickin dragons! Currently Seen on: HBO Go.
- House of Cards (but only the first 3 seasons). The first 3 seasons are really strong portrayals of horrible human beings manipulating the US political system. Compelling drama and great performances. But man the show goes south after the first three seasons. Currently Seen on: Netflix.
Shows that are better than you’d expect at first glance
- Peaky Blinders. A period piece that mixes post WW1 England with a blue collar gang. Insanely good soundtrack of modern, perfectly timed music to accompany really good acting. You will blast through this series too quick! Currently Seen on: Netflix.
- Boardwalk Empire. Another period piece, but set in the American Prohibition Era. Incredibly beautiful cinematography and compelling acting. Currently Seen on: HBO Go.
- Generation Kill. An HBO original about Recon Marines in Iraq. It’s the single most accurate portrayal of Marines on Television in a long time and perfectly captures the goofiness of Marines with their heroism plus lots of classic Military stupidity. Currently Seen on: Amazon Prime.
- Billions. Paul Giamatti delivers a stunning performance amidst a crafty plotline of billionaires and big NYC money! Currently Seen on: Showtime.
- The Circus. A documentary of sorts about the 2016 election build up and a few years after Trump is elected. Really nicely done on all fronts. Currently Seen on: Showtime via Amazon Prime.
- Formula 1 – Drive to Survive. A reality show about the world of Formula One racing. I am NOT a racing fan in anyway shape or form, but this show hooked me in immediately. Worth a peak. Currently Seen on: Netflix.
- Narcos. Pablo Escobar and the DEA. Solid show, worth your time. Later it switches to Mexico and the story of DEA agent Kiki Hernandez. Currently Seen on: Netflix.
- Homeland. As a Marine I always get bent out of shape seeing non-Marines play Marines on shows because they get it all wrong. There’s plenty of that here, but if you can get past that (and most can) there’s a great show here with excellent performances by Mandy Patinkin and Claire Danes. Currently Seen on: Showtime.
- Homecoming. A surprisingly good show from Amazon Prime which has plenty of duds. Julia Roberts stars in a show about vets coming back from Iraq who are drugged by the government. Brilliant cinematography. Currently Seen on: Amazon Prime.
Shows to Skip
- Tin Star. The first season was ok, but the second season was a total mess. If you are really really bored and have churned through everything on the above list, ok, but aside from that, pass. Currently Seen on: Amazon Prime.
- Jack Ryan. Don’t get me wrong. It’s ok. Just not great. And I can’t un-see Jim Halperin from the Office. Currently Seen on: Amazon Prime.
- Hap & Leonard. This show had some promise, but at the end of the day it falls flat. Pass. Currently Seen on: Netflix.
- Travelers. A great premise (time travel to save the world), but the plot is a little flat and there are tremendous problems with the storyline. Currently Seen on: Netflix.
Closing Arguments (and don’t you have some shows to watch???)
There you have it. There are so many good shows on TV these days you will have no shortage of television to watch on your next trip. So get traveling and get binge watching!
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John Oliver? Really. This is all a matter of taste but I’d add Downton Abbey, NCIS, Ozark, The Crown and yes Jack Ryan. Honorable mentions. Hawaii Five-O, CSI.
Good call on Ozark. I do like that show a lot and the others are worthy additions.
My concern is the content of some of these shows. “Breaking Bad” is a masterpiece, but when I Googled shows to watch on a plane I was looking for good recommendations that wouldn’t have possibly inappropriate content in case a kid or prude could see my screen.