Family, Living

Binge Watch TV Show Favorites!


We all do it. The great TV show binge is what’s getting us through life in the time of corona, and my husband and I have worked out a system of binge watch TV show favorites perfectly paired for just the right amount of action, romance, laughs and tears! We try really hard to find shows that we both are interested in so that we can snuggle up together at the end of the day after the kids are in bed, and that isn’t always the easiest task to fulfill. We also like to start with an exciting, dramatic or intense show followed by an episode of something lighthearted to set our minds at ease (and so that I won’t be kept awake thinking through all the intensity of the first show, ha!). Below are some of our very favorite binge watch pairings if you are in need of a new binge yourself!

*Note: shouldn’t need to say this, but just in case…be sure you check the ratings and reviews for yourself before watching. What is fine for us might not be for you or vise versa, and that’s fine! 🙂

This is our current binge pairing, and we are loving The Last Kingdom! Where have we been?! Pretty intense and gory with a few sexy times thrown in there, but we skip ahead through the parts that are uncomfortable. We are into historical fiction for sure, especially when based on true stories, and this one keeps us on our toes! Uhtred son of Uhtred! New Girl is an oldie but a goodie, and Nick Miller is enough to get anyone laughing and ready to close out the day with a giggle. A good pair.

This pairing is thoughtfully put together in order to maintain the balance of your psyche during the binge. This Is Us punches you in your feels and unearths all the emotions, and then Psych makes you giggle as these two unlikely buddies and detectives solve crimes hilariously. Give Psych a few episodes — it takes a minute and then we loved it!

Both FABULOUSLY ridiculous! Reign follows the (very liberally fictionalized) life of Mary Queen of Scots, but the absolutely fab dresses created by famous designers paired with a seriously awesome soundtrack AND Anne of Green Gables turned sassy, almost-evil Queen of France Megan Follows makes it hard to look away. And then, there’s the iconic Schitt’s Creek full of it’s own cast of fabulousness. One serious-ish, one lighthearted, both fab. And ridiculous.

Two fierce female leads equals one seriously perfect binge watch TV pairing! One of my favorite book series was turned into one of my favorite TV series in Outlander, and I’ve watched it several times over at this point. I finally convinced my husband to see if he’d like it (I created the “made for TV movie” version of it for us by skipping ahead through some of the more awkward sexy times moments I knew were coming 😂), and he actually really got into the story! My favorite part: him being frustrated at the constant cliff hangers and getting to smugly smirk that he’d have to wait till the next night to find out…but he knew that I knew what would happen but wouldn’t tell him! 😉 And you can’t beat Leslie Knope on Parks and Rec. Ron Swanson is my spirit animal, Jean Ralphio is “the woooooooorst,” and I vote Leslie Knope for president!

Both of these binge watch shows provide out of body, out of time experiences. One is more intense and dramatic and will leave you wondering how it the actual heck things are going to resolve themselves, and the other has Kristen Bell. What more do you need? Timeless takes you back and forward and all around in time to solve historical mysteries, and The Good Place is a funny, fictional explanation to the question, “Where do you actually go when you die?” Start with adventure, end with laughs, all while exploring space and time!

A little bit snobby but a whole lot to love, this pairing is perfect for first a dramatic and then a funny take on life in the upper class elite. Downton Abbey is a classic at this point, although I never really knew if we were supposed to actually like Mary…? Frasier is one of our all-time favorites, and it’s always comforting or something to go back to those old school faves.

Two visually stunning British treats! Victoria traces the story of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert, and it’s truly stunning to watch the costumes, set and design. The Big Flower Fight is like Great British Baking Show but with flowers and out of this world designs! Stunning and very British this binge duo.

A day at the office…but no two office places could be more different! The West Wing is serious and dramatic with a few funny moments thrown in, while The Office is just the opposite combo. Two classics, two of our favorites, and a great pair to watch for a workplace binge!

Last but not least, two diminutive female leads who are anything but. The Crown follows the story of Queen Elizabeth II from her childhood to the 21st century, and The Mindy Project follows the story of a sassy and silly NYC gynecologist as she tries to grow up. Both are so good and for totally different reasons!

There you have it! Can you recommend any other great binge watch TV show favorites we need to add to our list? Since we are getting out and about much, a good binge sesh is our current favorite way to wind down the day together, so I’d love to hear if you have any more good combos! Happy viewing, friends!

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  1. Emily H says:

    I just watched the first two episodes of Selena x Chef on HBOmax and it’s perfect to watch after something intense!

  2. Julie says:

    I love this! Have you seen Polldark? It’s up there with outlander as one of my favs!

  3. Darline says:

    Have you watched the coroner and in the dark? We watch united we fall and my kids shows lol Alexa and Katie or family reunion

  4. Gabriela Lopez says:

    Gilmore Girls and The Rain! Like you mentioned 1 serious and 1 light hearted to end the night.

  5. Beth Markley says:

    This is a great list! I wish I could add to it but we don’t get much TV time together. I hope we can make more time for us soon. x

  6. Caisie Gray says:

    Love this! I love To watch Friends after This Is Us. My favorite shows but I cannot go straight to bed after feeling so sad!

  7. Joanna Stephens says:

    These are some great shows!! I have a few more suggestions I think you might like: Witcher, Cursed, Carnival Row, and FRONtier. Outlander is my all-time-favorite though and I first heard about it from you on instagram, so thank you for introducing that gem to me!

  8. Kim Scaglione says:

    Uhtred son of Uhtred ! My husband and I loved the last kingdom! I totally watched all of reign and got my mom and aunt into it as well when I saw you were watching it over again. I am now excited to try some of your other recommendation and maybe if I pair with a comedy then I won’t feel the need to leave my husband in the dust and stay up all night to keep watching because of the dang cliff hangers. How did we survive having to wait a week for the next episode?

  9. Ashley says:

    You mentioned outlander a couple weeks ago on Instagram and now we are hooked on it!! Love the drama and historical combined shows!!

  10. Tamara_r3 says:

    These are all really good. The Downtown Abbey and Frasier pairing is perfect!! Well done!

  11. Katie says:

    Scandal + Superstore !

  12. Nikki Donahoo says:

    Outlander + Parks & Rec is my favorite suggestion! (My husband and I chose the Parks & Rec theme song as the music for our recessional when we got married! 😂) Haven’t seen Outlander, but you might have just convinced me to give it a chance!

  13. Taylor says:

    Outlander & Parks n Rec are my two favorite shows of all time! I love the idea of pairing them up to balance out the intensity. We always stay up way too late because we are suckers for the intense cliffhangers 🙈 Excited to check out the other pairings!

  14. Wendy Martinez says:

    We just finished Longmire (loved) and are looking for a new show to binge. Thanks for the Reccs.

  15. Brittany says:

    If you like Anne or Green Gables, watch Anne. I know it’s already on your list, but I had to say Outlander because it’s amazing! I also enjoyed Call the Midwife, and for something different I enjoyed Dark. 🙂

  16. Stephanie F says:

    Nothing to add, but I love the pairing of Downton Abbey and Frasier!!

  17. Nicole says:

    Yellowstone + The Office for us right now.

  18. Brittany says:

    I read an article about how good Canadian comedies have been lately (I mean, Schitt’s Creek was amazing) and they kept mentioning Kim’s Convenience. Check it out! It’s on Netflix. So many giggles and so much family love over the seasons. Totally worth it!

  19. Amy says:

    Great idea!! I love how you end with a comedy 😆. Now I have some new shows to add to my list.

  20. Ashley says:

    Funny enough. Going through these I haven’t seen a single one of these shows. Any recommendations on which pair to start with?

  21. Omg! This is such a great list! We also have to watch a comedy after and drama or else I will have nightmares. We paired Jack Ryan and Senseless (Mini Driver insane mom comedy) thanks so much for this post!!

  22. Jenny says:

    I don’t have any suggestions, but I appreciate the ideas! Thanks!

  23. Rachel says:

    I love this! My husband and I need more shows we can watch together and these pairings are so great!

  24. Lauren says:

    We’ve been doing Homeland but I’m with you in needing something lighter before sleep—our go to is Chopped or I Love Lucy!

  25. Lisa welch says:

    They don’t really “go together” like you’re examples, but Workin’ Moms in Netflix and Down to Earth with Zac Efron on Netflix!!! — Lisa — IG name- lcwelch86

  26. Sarah says:

    My husband and I do the same thing!! Right now we watch Criminal Minds then switch to The Office before bed.

  27. Hunter says:

    Loving these pairings! Parenthood was a good mix of drama, comedy, and all the feel-good stuff. Such a good show.

  28. Courtney says:

    Based on all these picks, I think you’ll like Madam Secretary!! Political, but also family dynamics, and a little bit heart warming, all wrapped up in one!

  29. Victoria Cook says:

    I love this!! We determine whether we’re watching a comedy or drama by how late we want to stay up 😂 We just finished Bless This Mess and it was so good!! Community is a great comedy as well; similar humor to Parks and Rec and The Good Place. Parenthood is like the best of both worlds, one minute it’s hilarious, the next minute it’s making you cry.

  30. Emily C says:

    I feel the same way you do, I need something fun after a heavy show, especially now. My current pair is The West Wing followed by The Golden Girls (GG is on Hulu). Since The West Wing is already on your list, maybe the drama pair for The Golden Girls could be Zoe’s Extraordinary Playlist or Council of a Dads (both are on NBC or HULU) Side note – I’m so glad Timeless is on your list!!!! I LOVED that show way more than a person should admit they like something on TV.

  31. Jodi Turpin says:

    Great job on your pairings. I feel the same way. I need to end on a light note each evening. Especially if I can giggle. Thanks for sharing!

  32. Melissa May says:

    Yellowstone! Best show on television! And of course, Kevin Costner is amazing! Must see! And Call the Midwife is wonderful! Love it!

  33. Heather Kessler says:

    These are so good! I seriously love most of these and watch them or have rewatched them a few times. I haven’t actually watched these two together but 24 (I know it’s not a historical drama; more of a political drama) and Seinfeld would be good together! 24 would get your mind wondering if Jack will be able to save the world and then Seinfeld you could just laugh at the show about nothing.

  34. Kathryn T says:

    Hubs & I have been bingeing Ozark + Below Deck shows. So random but both so binge worthy!

  35. Taryn Hawkins says:

    I love these pairings!! I’m the same way, I love watching a good intense show but I have to end the night on a happy/funny note. And something familiar is a good bonus I want to try your Downton/Fraisier pairing – two great shows! We’re doing a Blue Bloods/Friends pairing right now – loving the New York vibe in both but balances out heavy/intense on Blue Bloods and lighter/funnier on Friends! ❤️

  36. Amber Hudson says:

    Great list! I also love The Americans (on Prime video) and The Goldbergs (on Hulu). Both set in the 80s but The Americans is a spy drama and The Goldbergs is a relatable comedy. Both SO GOOD!

  37. Erika says:

    No way! I thought we were the only ones that did this! Love this!

  38. Lauren says:

    This is brilliant!!!!!

  39. Bri says:

    Hi Erin! Great post. One question—why do you refer to the sexy parts of the shows as uncomfortable? Especially if you’re watching them with your husband?

  40. Jessica says:

    These are great!! We’ve been pairing The great British baking show and the office… nothing similar but one makes us laugh and one makes us hungry 😂

  41. Jessi says:

    Yes! I too cannot end my night without something light hearted! I finally gave in and watched Game Of Thrones (so heavy) and ALWAYS had to follow with Schitt’s Creek (which is just the best thing ever)! Great list- can’t wait to try some I haven’t seen!

  42. Kim says:

    We love, love, love the show Psych! Such a great family show with great ’80s references.

  43. Ali says:

    I adore the historical shows as well. Lately I’ve been watching murder mystery or dramas which seem to all come from the BBC network. But recently binged Outlander and loved.

  44. Danielle says:

    If you like The Last kingdom then you have to watch Vikings. It is awesome.

  45. Cindy says:

    I love the idea of pairings! I am more drawn to the dramas or more intense but totally agree and am enlightened by the ending with a fun or lighter viewing before bed!! Thanks for the selections and the tip!!:)

  46. Cindy says:

    Cotton and Stem!!! Such a fun idea with tv binge pairings! Can’t wait to try a few and view:)

  47. Lindsay R says:

    I’m a recent fan of The Office. I can’t believe I’ve never seen it before! I can proudly say, I’m obsessed!
    Perhaps a combination could be NCIS and the Big Bang Theory (all work together and friends).
    Oh and p.s., there is a show on netflix, Friends from College, it was only two seasons but a dramady if you will.

  48. Rachel says:

    My husband I and do the same thing! We work so hard to find shows that we can watch together after the kids go to bed. One of our absolute favorites – like we binged all the seasons during quarantine- is Younger! It’s on Hulu and is SO great! My husband and I both loved its great mix of humor and drama!

  49. Phoebe says:

    I love and have binged many of these shows myself. I have to say my favorite pairing was Downton Abbey and Frasier. The speech in both is so eloquent. Frasier is one of my favorite comforts. I agree with your Mary confusion. I decided I like her with Matthew and when she’s not with him…we’ll… she’s just not very nice.

  50. Erin Lemke says:

    Gahhh! I love this! What a genius idea! I would whole heartedly recommend “The Americans” set in the 80s during the Cold War…about Russian spies living among us and blending in here in the US…so, so good! Hard to stop at just one episode!😉
    Also, highly intense but SO interesting and follows the history of a real life event…Chernobyl. Amazing! It will leave you with your jaw on the floor and so frustrated by the people in charge and their poor decision making skills…super intense, so you might need a couple of light shows to follow…especially since you know these are real people and it really happened.😬 Enjoy! And thanks for the ideas!!!❤️

  51. Stephanie Johnson says:

    We do the same thing. Serious, then comedy.
    Lately, our comedy has been “life in pieces” (it’s kind of a modern family style sitcom) . I like all of your suggestions.

  52. Erin Lemke says:

    Oooo I almost forgot…Community! So good, so clever and so quirky and funny! A great pairing for either of my intense suggestions.🤪

  53. Carly Cook says:

    I have heard so many good things about Reign!

    Also I love all these pairings! Some go SO well together. My husband and I have been into Lucifer lately and then we turn on New girl or schitts Creek after for a giggle! We’re the same as you guys! We would rather end our days laughing!

  54. Lisa says:

    Madame Secretary & The Good Cop,

  55. Christina says:

    Definitely recommend Jack Ryan and the marvelous mrs maisel both amazon prime originals

  56. Jessica says:

    Love the pairings!!! Have you watched the umbrella academy?

  57. Pam T. says:

    Our current pairing is “Homeland” and “Good Bones.” Both shows have been available for years, but we started watching them when they were added to Hulu. 😀

    And I don’t know what I’d pair this with, but since you love “Parks & Rec” and “The Office,” then you have to watch “Brooklyn Nine-Nine.” Give it a chance for Andy Samberg & the writers to get comfortable and then it is fantastic!

  58. Renee says:

    I totally have to do this too! I can’t handle too much drama – in entertainment and real life. 😆 I’ve paired The Handmaid’s Tale with Brooklyn 99. Kind of a direct opposite of authority!

  59. Kara says:

    This is pretty much everything that my husband and I watch too! I’m currently on season 3 episode 3 or new girl! 😍 Finished Downton Abbey again, and Lost Kingdom, but still making our way through outlander! Such great shows!

  60. Deanna says:

    Great comedy to end the night on is The Big Bang Theory!

  61. Kennady says:

    We binge watch HOUSE. It’s like Grey’s Anatomy but way less people die and the main character is a sarcastic grumpy man who is actually pretty funny 😂

  62. Abi says:

    I have no idea why you’ve paired theM…. but often after watching a scary or serious show I tell my husband I need a happy show before I fall asleep!!!

  63. Karen Holliday says:

    If you like historical fiction, I highly recommend Poldark! Soooooo good!!

  64. Kristen says:

    I like watching dramas especially historical storylines but the past few years I have quit every drama show mid series. I tend to find the dramas too heavy and can’t sleep at night either. I’m definitely going to try pairing with a comedy before bed. I’ve been wanting the The Last Kingdom for a while but would never start it for this reason. Maybe now I’ll finally finish The Crown and Poldark too. Thanks so much!

  65. Katie says:

    Some of these shows are my all time favorites (Psych may be my number 1)!!! I can’t wait to start some new ones. This is a FANTASTIC idea!

  66. Cassandra says:

    Have you seen Madam Secretary? That’s a good binge worthy drama!

  67. Lori wood says:

    Poldark…… Hart of Dixie. Poldark is a lighter version of Outlander. (Which I know you love) Hart of Dixie is a light hearted romcom. We’re able to go to sleep after it. Both are great!

  68. Oooo! The Good Doctor with Speechless!!! (Autistic Doctor drama and comedy about a family with a son who has cerebral palsy, neurotic over protective mother and under achieving father and two hilarious neglected siblings.

  69. Chelsea G says:

    Oh my gosh!! These are so amazing and such a good idea! I have such a hard time wanting to start a new drama because I get too caught up in it and get a bit anxious. So ending the day with a lighthearted pairing is genius!!

  70. Leah says:

    I’m not sure if this combo makes sense, because it’s two totally different time periods (but I like both, so….)
    Lost in Space + When Calls the Heart
    Because close-knit family/friend group trying to make it through hardship? Sure, why not 😂

  71. Tia Miller says:

    Mash and Scrubs would be a a great combo

  72. Lizzy N says:

    I love Flashpoint and Big Bang Theory, as a pairing! So does my husband!
    Also Leverage and will and grace!

  73. Aurora says:

    Love this idea! Never thought about ending with a comedy but makes sense!!

  74. Destiny says:

    This was amazing! Thank you! We always hop around when shows get too serious and we need break, what a great idea to pair them.

  75. Josephine says:

    Game of Thrones – the big bang theory
    A breath of fresh air after been watching hundreds of people die

  76. Rebekah says:

    Haven’t thought of pairings since streaming became a thing. We being wine show and move on to the next (can you tell I’m one of those people who doesn’t like my food to touch? 🤣). We are currently watching Schitt’s Creek, so we will definitely have to check out Reign, too!

  77. Anna says:

    You picked almost all of my favorite funny shows! The other funny show we love is The Middle.

  78. Jocelyn Moore says:

    We do the same, serious then funny, but we did not take the extra step to make them have the same feel. We just always go back to the office if nothing else has peaked our interest.
    I LOVE Gilmore Girls, and it’s not too heavy, and can get my husband to binge it every so often. We also think that the Goldbergs is one of the most underrated sitcoms. It is so funny and great 80’s nostalgia.

  79. Rhonda says:

    Definitely some of my favorites in there and maybe one or two I’ll need to check out! Thanks for the fun post!!

  80. Shelby says:

    Turn is so good! That was our latest binge! My husband watched it when it first came out, and we watched it together when it came to Netflix. It’s so well done!

  81. Val says:

    Oh my goodness! My husband and I are the same way! We love an intense drama but always have to lighten it up with the Tonight Show or Seinfeld. Some of these I’ve watched and loved, I’ll have to check the others out. Thank you for the recommendations! (Although with how late our kids are up lately… I’m lucky to get even 1 show in! ☺️)

  82. Amber Gonzales says:

    Love these recommendations! Lately my husband and I have been watching Grey’s Anatomy (first timers!) + Life in Pieces. The medical stuff in Grey’s Anatomy can get a bit too stressful for my husband haha, so he likes to take a breather with something funny!

  83. Nicole says:

    What network is Reign and Victoria on? I would love these, but have never seen or heard of them before. Thanks!

  84. Lexi says:

    Oh my GOSH this is hilarious- my husband and I do the same thing! We will watch some crime doc then flip over to the Office, The Goldbergs, or Parks & Rec. I love that you put this all out there in such detail. Haha!!

  85. Lauren says:

    We are really enjoying Stranger Things and then Friends right before bed! Thanks for the recommendations!

  86. Beth says:

    I have totally been binge watching Outlander! I don’t know how I was late to this party… but I started season 1 like 3 weeks ago and almost done season 3🙄 so good! And the cliffhangers cause me just to watch another! (Still working on getting my husband hooked on it 😉)

  87. Dalana says:

    Poldark (on Amazon)! But I don’t know what to pair it with.

  88. Trisha says:

    Love all the binge pairings! My husband and I are rarely interested in the same shows. But my recent favorite is a Netflix original called Sweet Magnolias, I think you’d love it!

  89. Lacey perez says:

    Thanks for sharing! My favorites- outlander and the last kingdom! Currently I’m watching how to get away with murder… not sure how I feel about it yet!

  90. Sue Hardesty says:

    Such a good idea. And glad to see one of my favorites here-Parks and Rec!

  91. Sue Hardesty says:

    Such a good idea. Happy to see one of my favorites on here too-Parks and Rec!
    Thank you.

  92. Katie says:

    I thought of a pairing of two shows we like. 911 and Brooklyn 99. The title similarities alone they also pair nicely because you get the drama of a LA fire station in 911 and then the hilarity from the NYC detectives in Brooklyn 99

  93. Meredith Low says:

    I laughed out loud because my husband and I have the exact same routine! So funny. Right now we are watching Blindspot (on Hulu) and Community.

  94. Kristin says:

    Hi! Thanks for these recommendations. We are binging Sons of Anarchy right now and I need a pairing for it. It’s quite intense and I am having a hard time sleeping after I watch it. It’s quite addictive so we have been watching it every evening after bedtime. Maybe I’ll try Schitt’s creek. We haven’t watched that one yet.

  95. Audra says:

    We are watching “Poldark” and “Everybody Loves Raymond”. A post-Revolutionary war drama about a guy defending his family name. And a goofy comedy whose family he can never get away from:) lol!

  96. Shawn says:

    Thanks for the recommendations! Never thought to watch this way!
    Try Poldark + Virgin River

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