Labor Day Holiday

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It has BEGUN! The glorious three day weekend signifying the end of Summer. When I think of Labor Day weekend, five things come to mind:
  1. Barbeques
  2. Shopping sales
  3. Vacations
  4. Football is around the corner
  5. TV Marathons

You can bet that Andy has already scheduled the obligatory bbq on Monday (Seeing as his idea of a perfect summer day includes him manning the grill with a craft beer in his hand!…. Don’t get me wrong, if you mistook me for complaining, I am 100% excited for all the delicious foods he will be serving up!)

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We are also AS equally excited that the Football season is upon us! (You know Preseason doesn’t count) We are both in Fantasy Leagues and Sundays are booked throughout the remainder of the year with us rooting for our favorite teams. Yes, we don’t just watch football in our house; we celebrate it!

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Unfortunately, I will NOT be participating in any of the labor day sales events or going on any fantastic vacations this Labor day, but you can bet that I will most likely be sucked into a tv marathon. Like clockwork, if I have not scheduled out my holiday weekend, I will fall prey to my love/hate (ok, mostly love) relationship with the Television. I have stumbled upon and fell in love with some of my favorite shows by accidently finding or creating a marathon! There is something so rewarding about not having to wait a whole week for the next episode or more importantly, a whole SEASON! Everyone is guilty of it, some of us just don’t feel that guilty about it!

So in honor of the Labor Day holiday, I decided to make a list of 10 of my favorite shows that I’d recommend for a marathon weekend (without sacrificing your WHOLE weekend on the couch)!

1. Orphan Black
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This BBCA drama about orphans who find out they are clones has become a breakout hit after it’s first season! Tatiana Maslany shines playing multiple characters with such distinct personalities, characteristics, and accents that it’s hard to believe it’s the same actress in all roles. But this new series isn’t all about the actors, with a fresh plot and twists that keep you guessing each week, the writers should be commended on this strong show. With only 10 episodes in the first season, it’s a show you can quickly catch up on, but will keep you waiting until the spring for the second season.

2. The Americans
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Starring the lovely Kari Russell and Matthew Rhys, this 1980s-set FX drama centers on two KBG agents posing as a married couple in Washington, D.C. during the Cold War. So much more than a typical spy drama, The Americans actually has you rooting for the couple and draws on a relatable family dynamic. The tension is both darkly comic and emotionally insightful. One of the most talked-about new dramas of the year, it will keep you at the edge of your seat and with only 13 episodes in the first season, it’s a breeze to get through.

3. Party Down
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This brilliant Starz comedy was sadly cancelled at it’s prime after only 2 seasons but has kept it’s buzz through a cult following. With a comedian cast of Adam Scott, Jane Lynch, Ken Marino, and Megan Mullally, this boisterous comedy follows a group of aspiring actors, writers, and lost souls who work for a catering company while trying to make their big break in Hollywood. Each episode follows this troop to one of their catering gigs and the antics always follow. The off-beat writing and  smart comedy stylings make this show  a worth while watch. At only a half-hour per episode, the laughs are abundant in all 20 episodes. If it leaves you wanting more? There are talks of a movie script being developed with the main cast to reprise their roles in the future. (Let’s keep our fingers crossed!)

4. Homeland
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Only a month away from returning with it’s 3rd season, this critically acclaimed Showtime hit and award winning series is a no brainer must on any binge marathon list. This show was actually a binge watch for my boyfriend and I earlier this year and after the first episode, it was clear there was no going back. In a post 9/11 world where the threat of terrorism is more Imminent and real, this exhilarating thriller centers on a troubled CIA operations officer and her investigation of an American POW who she believes has been turned by al-Qaeda and is working as a terrorist on US soil. Claire Danes and Damian Lewis brilliantly capture these morally ambiguous characters and their turbulent lives. A game of cat and mouse that centers on fear and suspicion, this show is a nail-biter wrapped in 24 brilliantly written episodes.

5. Game of Thrones

I’m sure if you haven’t heard of this show, you are living under a rock. With a built-in fan base from the novels HBO struck gold with this fantasy drama. With too many characters and actors to credit, the entirety of the cast is immensely talented and worthy of what screen time they have. Game of Thrones is not only visually stunning but boasts originality in it’s plot that is so sparse these days. Through multiple storylines of intrigue and morally ambiguous characters, the series explores corruption, civil war, feminism, social hierarchy, and misogynism in a both dark and ethereal setting. At 3 seasons and 30 episodes, it’s a little more of a commitment for your weekend, but is easily the cheapest vacation you can take without leaving your couch.

6. The Walking Dead
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Only in the middle of its 3rd season, The Walking Dead has become a phenomenon in the zombie genre. Intense and extremely well written, AMC’s horror drama is set in a zombie apocalypse where a small group of survivors search for a safe haven and struggle to adapt while maintaining their humanity in a hostile world. With other survivors becoming a bigger threat than the zombies themselves, this series relays on character development and relationships to explore human nature when the structures of society have collapsed. Andrew Lincoln and Norman Reedus are most successful in their character dynamics, but the entire cast shines through cutting edge story telling. Like Game of Thrones, The Walking Dead has followers from the graphic novel it was adapted from, but has made a name for itself by parting ways with some of the plot developments from the comics. The Walking Dead returns to finish it’s 3rd season in early October, so this weekend is a perfect time to catch up on all 30 episodes.

7. New Girl
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Want a break from all the drama? Need something a little more silly and sweet? New Girl is a perfect show to get acquainted with. Fox’s quirky (yea, I said it) sitcom starring Zooey Deschanel as an adorable school teacher trying to get herself situated in life while living with her 3 male roommates is both funny and heart-warming. Although a lot of the comedy is over the top and slapstick, the antics of this quartet are relatable to those experiencing/have experienced that quarter-life crisis stage. Not to mention I am a sucker for pop culture references and this series is swimming with them! While Zooey Deschanel can be a little hipster and not for everyone, I highly suggest watching for the ensemble cast which really hold the show to such high standards. New Girl begins it’s 3rd season in September and is only a half hour per episode, but boasts a whopping 49 episodes to get caught up!

8. Breaking Bad
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Seriously, THE BEST SHOW EVER WRITTEN. Unlike Homeland, Andy and I took it slow and caught up before the final 8 episodes of the series began earlier this month. The AMC hit about a chemistry teacher with cancer who turns to cooking meth to support his family is dark and brooding. Original and filled with twists and turns the writing is just phenomenal and the character development of Bryan Cranston‘s Walter White and Aaron Paul‘s Jesse Pinkman are captivating.  A masterpiece of television programming I can’t wait to see where this show ends. At 57 episodes, it is most definitely one of those shows you will lose hours of your life to, but so very very worth it. (And even better, all 4 seasons are available on netflix!) Just remember to breath and take your blood pressure medication!

9. Damages
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When this legal thriller first began on FX, my mom and I couldn’t get enough. Unfortunately after 3 seasons, it was dropped by the network to gain new life at DirecTV. Well, since either of us had DirecTV, it became a holiday binge show to catch up on the final 2 seasons. The series revolves around the complicated relationship between Patty Hewes, a brilliant and ruthless lawyer and her fresh out of law school protégée, Ellen Parsons. Glenn Close and Rose Byrne are a fantastic ying and yang in their respective roles while each season tackles a new case at the law firm. Over all 5 seasons, countless actors joined the show as characters entangled with Hewes and Associates, but the stylized storytelling from a nonlinear narrative and the countless twists in plot are what separated the legal series from other shows in the genre. If you are looking for a smart and poignant series, Damages is well worth watching all 59 episodes.

10. Veronica Mars
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And then there was my guilty pleasure. I don’t know about you but the cancellation of this show in 2007 wrecked me and my girlfriends in college. Veronica Mars was such an inspiration to me because of the strong and independent female lead they explored in the show. The series that started on UPN and moved to the WB (for those who are too young to know that would be what is now the CW), was a modern day Nancy Drew Mystery. It centers on a witty teenager, Veronica Mars,  who is a part time private eye in her town of Neptune. The show begins with her family’s loss of status after her best friend’s murder caused her dad to lose his job as sheriff. Of course, there is so much more to the story, but I would do the show injustice to vomit up the plot in a small paragraph. Trust me, look it up and watch it! Kristin Bell is smart, charming and manipulative as Veronica and her dialogue is filled with sarcasm and sass! The series is a relatable crime drama filled with an ensemble cast of characters that keep you entertained. Thanks to Kickstarter (yea, I donated money), the long awaited movie will be released next year!! So this may be the best time to binge watch all 3 seasons and 64 episodes! I am :)

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