Of the many, many crazy thoughts I had while pregnant, one of my favorites was wondering what to do with all of the “extra” time I would have being awake in the middle of the night with my newborn baby. Maybe I could learn to knit, or organize my digital photos—or perhaps even study conversational French!
But as it so often does, the reality of parenting turned out to be very, very different than what I had imagined. I didn’t have the energy to even think about doing any of those things because sleep deprivation is an evil mistress. What I actually ended up doing was hunting suitable television shows to binge watch.
I watched television shows—specifically because movies were too long. I didn’t want to get sucked into a two hour story because the entire goal was to get the kid fed and back to sleep ASAP. I looked for several things in choosing candidates for which shows to binge watch
- First – The show needed just enough plot to keep me awake as long as I needed to be—but not so much that I had to stay up to see how the show ended. (So Scandal was out.)
- Second – NO loud noises. Big explosions might wake the baby, so no shows with a lot of kaboom. (Sorry, Jack Bauer!)
- Third – Nothing scary or thought-provoking; nothing that would freak me out about bumps in the night or get me thinking about life, the universe, and everything. (So that’s a no for Lost.)
So, to review: it had to be something light and something that—if I fell asleep in the middle of it—I could easily find my place and pick it up again the next night. If you’re facing a few months of sleepless newborn nights ahead, I’m sharing my carefully curated list of TV shows to binge watch—each option matches these qualifications! (By the way, it wouldn’t hurt to hang on to this list for Sleepless Nights, Phase 2: The Sick Kid):
Happiness is hanging out with the Loreleis. And they’re coming back! Squeeeeeeee!!!
This one is appropriate for newborn time because there are a lot of references to…er…how babies are made. But could it be any funnier?
If you find yourself laughing a little too loudly at Friends, you may want to switch to Arrested Development—with its more quirky and subtle ways. Be sure to watch from the beginning though, because much of the humor in this series relies on the viewer’s knowledge of the full range of the Bluth family’s shenanigans.
4. Pride & Prejudice, (the 1996 PBS/BBC miniseries)
Elizabeth Bennet is my spirit animal. To me, this miniseries is the definitive adaptation of her story. This show also proves that Colin Firth is at his best when he’s a little bit damp. (Yum.)
I didn’t think I was going to like this show, but it really made me laugh and quickly became a favorite. It has a lot of flashbacks (and a few flash forwards), so it’s another one you’ll want to watch from the start.
I think it’s about time to watch this one again. Bonus—I’m sure your baby will love hearing you sing along. Don’t Stop Believin’ could turn out to be a wonderful lullaby.
Yeah, it’s a cop show—but it’s a lighthearted cop show. The main character pretends to be a psychic, using his Sherlock Holmes-like powers of observation and deduction to solve mysteries. That’s Comedy Gold, people. You’ll want to bring a pineapple.
This is the only true drama on my list, for those of you who are looking for something to sink your teeth into. It’s a good show that didn’t get good ratings, so you probably haven’t seen it already.