I remember about a year into marriage someone asked us if we loved a new TV show and asked if we were watching it live or waiting for it to hit Netflix/Hulu/Amazon Prime for binge-watching. We kind of felt dumb saying we didn’t really watch TV at the time. We were young professionals working hard at new jobs with long hours, spending every moment we could fixing up our old home that needed every surface updated, volunteering tons of time at church, or spending any free weekend night we had going out on dates, so TV was something that was on hold. We knew the day would come where we’d have one+ baby/babies at home and we’d be spending a lot more time in, and for the most part, we reserved our binge-watching season of life for that time. My friends, that time is now. Oh, how we’d spend some quality (or not quality) time catching up on missed TV time!
Our baby is just enough of a night owl that it’s hard to put him down and head out for a date once he’s asleep, and when he does go to sleep, it’s getting a bit late for a sitter, but it’s still too early to head to bed ourselves. We are finding ourselves with an hour or two together every night, often with a small mountain of laundry to fold, but often just ready to hand out, unwind, and spend some cuddling time together. Plus there’s always ice cream, and with treat called ProYo High Protein Low Fat Ice Cream that tastes great while you’re binge-watching, you can’t go wrong!
Between pregnancy and parenthood, I feel like we’ve becoming streaming junkies who could go back in time and help our former selves with pop culture conversations about television. We’ve also learned the art of picking a new series to watch together and which we’ve adored and vetoed several shows together. I love a good thriller, but don’t do well with graphic violence or shows that hype me up too much so I don’t get that much-needed new-mom sleep, and he’s a fan of enough romance, but there’s only so much he can take.
We’ve learned to love series that are funny, heartfelt, make us think, or just help us unwind, and we’re both sticklers for good writing. We’ve found several we’ve adored and re-watched so we gladly share them as top recommendations. So while we add this mini-date that we do about every other night to our repertoire, it seemed fitting to share our top 10 binge-worth TV shows you’ll both enjoy watching together.
- The Office. You knew that one was coming, so let’s just put it up first. Any show with this high of ratings that can last 10 years and still have fans terribly sad when it ends is one to keep your eyes on! The love story and tension of Jim and Pam and evolution throughout make it just romantic enough to be attached quickly to solid characters, but the more we watch, the more we love all the other characters. Great writing, great cast, and the fact that short episodes allow for more binging or just one quick view on busy nights combined with enough seasons to keep you glued make this one top of the list!
- Parks and Recreation. I remember when it first came out and I watched an episode feeling a bit lost and unimpressed. I think it took a season or two to get its feet wet, but once this show got in the groove and brought on the main cast of characters by season 3 we found ourselves literally falling off the couch laughing multiples times per episode! It’s our most re-watched series and the more we watch it the more we pick up on and enjoy. The cast and humor and amazingly lovable characters make this a must. Just start on season 3, fall in love, and then re-watch from the beginning and you’ll be happy you did if you’re struggling or have struggled. Seriously, my favorite and most quoted show by far.
- This Is Us. Oh, the show that brought us to our knees and made us purchase a Hulu subscription! Speaking of great writing, this show is one I would have gladly taught as film-as-lit in my teaching career! The characterization is amazing, the acting incredible, the plot twists with suspense and a relatability feel make you feel a connection in a way few shows are able to do. We can’t even wait for the next season, and we’re ready to binge-watch season 1 all over again!
- Arrested Development. This was our first binge-watch prior to streaming really being a thing. I owned the series, I loved it, and Jacob loved it too. It’s quirky as can be, it’s funny as can be, and it’s one you can watch several times and still catch new lines and wit. We like to re-watch with the focus on one character each time and laugh at how amazing each is. It’s easy to stream, but we’re still holding onto our DVDs for the time being we love this one so much.
- Jane the Virgin. This is our current obsession, but only being a season into it, it’s still making the list! It’s a bit more PG-13 than many of our other favorites, but the idea of satire on a Telenovela with a strict Catholic girl was just brilliant and there are so many episodes we’ve laughed so hard we’ve cried! It has drama, it has suspense, it has amazing acting and characters, the writing is brilliant, and the first episode will hook you!
- Community. I had several friends say this was a winner, but it wasn’t until we watched 2-3 episodes that we were totally hooked. There are so many brilliant comedians, and the characters and random plots are so good! I’m going to admit, this is one we loved and then got a bit lost for the final season with the writer’s strike, so if you feel the same we’re not judging you! They do some creative writing and twists, and some modern episodes make us raise an eyebrow, but the first four seasons are so amazing and so funny and it’s another 25-minut show that you can easily fit in on those busy nights.
- Downton Abbey. Shocked? We were too! I thought this would be a watch-while-husband-is-traveling-for-work kind of show, but he sat through the first three episodes with me one quiet Sunday and after the first scandal hits we were both so hooked! I’ve heard a lot of couples enjoy this one together. Watching the fictionalized historical events with characters you love and unexpected turns from the view of all classes is just super interesting!
- Brooklyn Nine-Nine. Once we had Hulu we couldn’t resist starting this one and binge-watching it in a matter of weeks. It’s a good thing this series is still going because it’s one we just can’t consume fast enough! I love the humor, the characters, the recurring jokes that build, and we’re sure to laugh out loud at least once in every episode. Plus the actors are all amazing and believable and it’s a great blend of Andy Samberg silly with interesting stories.
- The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. Tina Fey can do no wrong in my book, but this show is particularly witty, clever, and brings in every modern reference you can handle in the most subtle and hilarious ways. The unique characters aren’t something you’ve seen on other shows, and the premise is just so funny! We can’t wait for the next season this month!
- Modern Family. We love the Pritchetts and all the families shown. The characters are great, there’s always something laugh-out-loud funny, I’ll admit I’ve cried in a few touching episodes (Mitch and Cam not getting a baby when I was doing infertility treatments, oye it spoke to my soul), and it’s another easy one to watch on busy nights.
- New Girl.We’re just starting it, which shock so many couples I know who adore it. It takes me a little time to get over laugh tracks, and I just haven’t bonded as quickly, but I can see where a few more episodes in we’ll be big fans. But due to the amount of couples I know who love it, it totally makes the list.
- The British Baking Show. Another shocker, but this seemingly polite and tame show is full of suspense and really interesting to watch, particularly if either of you enjoys baking. We learn a lot, we feel inspired, and it’s reality TV at its best. But if baking isn’t your thing, we’ve both enjoyed The Voice and Survivor for reality TV as well, and maybe should get their own bullet points too.
- Friends. We’ve watched a few together, we love the characters and the premise, but it’s one we can somehow always shelf for later. It’s also from that era where gen x edgy sex talk was all the rage, and I feel like a hypocrite saying that with some of the others above, but it’s one that we seem to notice more than other shows and that makes us more inclined to find other comedies to watch that are a bit more of modern humor. But of course, that doesn’t stop us from pulling up episodes now and then and quoting them like crazy!
- Lost. I may be biased since the series finale was the first time Jacob and I held hands and cuddled, but it’s just an amazing cerebral show with just enough suspense, but not too much to keep me up all night! We had some of the best thought-provoking conversations while watching Lost, and it’s perfect for the nights you need more than just a show to unwind with.
- 24. We’ve binge-watched Jack Bauer like crazy, but not together. At this phase of life, it’s just too much of an adrenaline rush for us as busy parents, but it’s one we’ve talked about and both really enjoyed. I know other adrenaline junkie friends who don’t veto violent shows like I do love The Blacklist, Scandal, and Breaking Bad. Jacob has watched at least two of those without me and always lets me know when I’m ready to get past the vivid nightmares they cause he’ll gladly re-watch them with me!
So guess what we love to do while we’re binge-watching to make it feel like a real date, add ice cream! I mean if there wasn’t food was it really a date? Clearly, if you’ve been around these parts the six+ years of this project you know our thoughts on that one. But I’ve found one that I just adore that’s making grabbing a pint of ice cream a much better option, ProYo High Protein Low Fat Ice Cream. I tried it for the first time for a collaboration, and it was love at first spoon! The taste is so good, but the fact that it’s a smarter choice in ice cream makes it a slam dunk. As someone who has to watch their sugar intake, it’s so awesome to have something that tastes incredible but also is low-glycemic, and has 10g of protein per serving. It’s all the great stuff too if you need something gluten-free, soy-free, non-GMO, or low-fat. Honestly, I’m in love and I don’t even feel bad binge-eating while binge-watching!
If you want to try it out too, there’s a BOGO coupon right now, you can take advantage of this online coupon Buy 1 ProYo High Protein Low Fat Ice Cream and Get 1 Free now through 7/7, while supplies last. You can find them nationwide at your local Kroger store, which is Fry’s for us and our other Arizona peeps. Use this store locator to find one near you.
So there’s our current fave ice cream, current watch lists we have on repeat, and current confession of just how much TV we’re watching these days. And we’d love to hear your confessions, what TV shows have you binge-watched with your significant other that you’d gladly watch again you loved them so much?
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