Sometimes life gives you lemons and you should make lemonade but instead you find yourself camped out on the couch, aimlessly watching yourself into oblivion. It happens to the best of us so we figure that you may as well be watching something decent rather than re-runs of America’s Next Top model. The series listed here take some serious commitment (i.e. time out from doing actual life) but trust us, it will be worth it.

 

Game of Thrones

No points for originality on this one but there is a reason why this was the most watched show of 2016. I don’t care if you don’t like fantasy, think blood is gross and can’t handle topless women on screen every five minutes. I’m not a fan of any of those things either yet I’m completely obsessed with this show. There’s no rhyme or reason to it, it’s just good.

Kit Harington as Jon Snow in 'Game of Thrones'

Downton Abbey

We were a bit (a lot) late to the party on this one and only started watching it late 2016 so thankfully avoiding spoilers wasn’t too difficult – unlike with GOT where we decided to store a bunch so we could watch them back to back only to overhear all the juicy bits in the office. Never again. Downton is so bloody twee and I love it for that. I think we started watching this as a result of missing the UK and it totally satisfied our cravings for awkward class humour, posh accents and lashings of tea. The storylines are actually really intriguing and the characters are brilliant. Maggie Smith is perfection.

Maggie Smith as Violet Crawly in 'Downton Abbey'

Breaking Bad

You either love it or hate it. Some people really struggle with the first season but both of us loved it from the get go. I mean the premise is pretty awesome. A cancer suffering high school chemistry teacher turns to cooking crystal meth as life insurance for his family? Gripping stuff. As you probably know this gets hella dark but it’s the television equivalent of a car crash that you just can’t look away from. The transformation of Walt and the dynamic between him and his prodige Jesse is what keeps you committed til the bitter end.

Bryan Cranston (Walter White) and Aaron Paul (Jesse Pinkman) in 'Breaking Bad'

Peep Show

This is a particularly fantastic show to watch if you’re feeling a little bit down about yourself. There is absolutely no way that your life can be as tragic as Mark and Jeremy’s pathetic South London existence. No matter how many times you’ve watched an episode you will still laugh out loud. Guaranteed. If you only watch one episode ever (which I hope you’d never do) then make it ‘Holiday’ from Season 4. There’s an incident with a dog called Mummy that sums up the weird hilarity of the show to a tee. Also worth a watch for the amazing support characters Super Hans (Jeremy’s drugged up other best mate) and Johnson (Mark’s quintessential managerial type boss).

Robert Webb and David Mitchell in 'Peep Show'

House of Cards

This was like our gateway drug to becoming full blown Netflix addicts. Kevin Spacey is the actual best at playing Frank Underwood, the Machiavellian character that you love to hate (but probably love more than hate). Frank’s wife Claire (played brilliantly by Robin Wright) is also a fascinating character. You’ll find yourself seesawing between rooting for her as a badass strong female figure and then thinking she’s a downright evil bitch. Given the state of US politics at the moment it really does make you think about the awful scheming that goes on to get to the oval office and the show is a little more chilling to watch now. The first episode of season 2 still wins as the most shocking moment perhaps in television history.

TV's political badass Frank Underwood played by Kevin Spacey in 'House of Cards'

Line of Duty

This is a relatively new addition to Netflix that was recommended to us by some British pals. It follows the actions of an anti corruption police unit in England and it may just be the best crime drama you’ll ever watch. Seriously, the storylines are so clever and every twist and turn plays into this incredible web of deceit making for a very satisfying watch. There have been four seasons released so far and each have outdone themselves so I have high hopes for season five which sadly won’t be coming out until 2019. Waaah.

Adrian Dunbar, Martin Compston and Vicky McClure chase bent coppers in 'Line Of Duty'

Friends

Bit of a retro one but sitcoms just don’t come any better than this do they? We had a bash at a screenwriting class for fun one weekend and they had a few Friends scripts there. You really appreciate just how clever those writers were when you read the words and the characters almost jump out of the pages. The ongoing storylines and in jokes are what make this series so special and give it so much more heart then your average American sitcom. Don’t tell me you didn’t cry when Monica proposed to Chandler!!

The cast of 'Friends'

Fire up the telly and say goodbye to productivity for at least the next two months.

Also because we are actual TV whores we had a few other special mentions that didn’t make the cut. Definitely worth a watch once you’ve conquered the above:

The Crown, Mad Men, Broadchurch, Transparent, Master of None, Narcos, Orange is the New Black, The Killing.