Elite hearkens back to the peak soap opera years: it’s dramatic, intense, and incredibly compelling to watch. The show focuses on a group of students at a very exclusive university, complete with bullies and dark characters. But tying it all together is a juicy murder mystery guaranteed to keep your attention. This is a Spanish-language show, so English users have a choice between subtitles or dubbing — trust us, go with the subtitles.
Younger (Hulu, 5 seasons)
We wish we could give everyone a winter break so they could watch this funny, fantastic show in its entirety. Forty-something Liza (the effervescent Sutton Foster) pretends to be 26 to secure a job at a publishing company. Not only is there a divisive love triangle (pick a side, we dare you), there are plenty of nods to books and the publishing world — perfect for English majors. And the episodes are less than a half-hour long! Score.
House (Amazon Prime, 8 seasons)
Amazon Prime carries every season of House, which may be a bit overwhelming. But House is like Friends — you can put any episode on from any season and you’re good to go. (That might be where the Friends comparison stops.) Plus, when Dr. House convinces you that your leg hurts due to some South African beetle virus, you can visit your family doctor while you’re home!
The Fall (Netflix, 3 seasons)
Ho ho ho, you want crime? You want cat-and-mouse tension? You definitely want The Fall. Yes, that is Jamie Dornan from 50 Shades of Grey as Paul Spector, but don’t expect roses and private planes — this guy’s a serial killer. (IMO, that would have made 50 Shades a lot better….) Gillian Anderson is Stella, the detective hot on his trail. And all communications between the two, from physical messages to terse phone calls, are incredibly charged.
Walter Thompson/Comedy Central
Broad City (Hulu, 4 seasons)
January marks the premiere of the fifth and final season of Broad City, so catch up while you can! The series follows two New Yorkers and best friends Abbi and Ilana as they live their very relatable millennial lives. Working at a co-op, hoarding coupons, looking for a hit: Anyone familiar with being broke while trying to stay relevant will commiserate with these ladies.
Bodyguard (Netflix, 1 season)
An import from across the pond, Bodyguard surprised many with its Golden Globe nominations. Be ahead of the curve and watch before the ceremonies on January 6. Bodyguard is a tense thriller (not the Whitney Houston-Kevin Costner movie) with Richard Madden giving a great performance as an army vet struggling with PTSD while doing his job as head of security for a member of Parliament. You might know him as Robb Stark from Game of Thrones, but you’ll soon see him as PPO David Budd.
Pushing Daisies (Amazon Prime, 2 seasons)
Did the end of 2018 take every last ounce of life force from your body? We feel you. Bring some of it back with the cheeriest, most colorful show out there. It’s about making pies and waking the dead — but not in that weird creepy zombie way, promise. Lee Pace and Anna Friel as Ned and Chuck are seriously swoonworthy. And Kristin Chenoweth sings! What more could you want? (And if Pushing Daisies doesn’t float your boat, try one of creator Bryan Fuller’s other offerings on the service — Dead Like Me and Hannibal are equally fantastic!)
Black Mirror (Netflix, 4 seasons)
Here’s another show to catch up on before Season 5 premieres … soon? (Here’s when we think it’s coming back.) If you haven’t already watched this, what are you waiting for? It’s a chilling look at the role technology does — or could — play in our lives, and it can often be terrifying. Don’t be intimidated by the number of seasons either; each one only has a few episodes. Soon you’ll be contemplating how to break your phone into six thousand pieces and move to an abandoned bunker.
Killing Eve (Hulu, 1 season)
It’s on everyone’s Best of 2018 lists, so if you haven’t seen it yet, get ready. This show about an assassin hunting down an intelligence agent is delicious and dark, but tempers it with real feeling. Sandra Oh is a delight as Eve, but Villanelle (Jodie Comer) is truly terrifying — and has the best clothes. That fluffy pink dress! *chef’s kiss*
The Great British Baking Show: The Beginnings (Netflix, 2 seasons)
Ah, yes, a perfectly presented dessert of a binge. Light and fluffy and oh so sweet, The Great British Baking Show: The Beginnings goes back to when the series first began airing in its native England. The old hosts, Mel and Sue, are here, as well as global treasure Mary Berry. Watch as a whole tent full of people create delicious desserts under stressful conditions — but somehow without getting stressed themselves? There’s no yelling, just calm, yummy zen.
You (Netflix, 1 season)
We’re cheating just a tad with this one, as it won’t be released on Netflix until December 26. But start gathering your supplies now, because this is a winter break must-watch. Gossip Girl‘s own Penn Badgley stars as Joe, just a regular guy … who happens to be a crazy stalker. No big deal, right? This is the perfect amount of crazy to convince yourself that your family really isn’t that bad, it could be worse. And maybe you’ll have leftover cookies or pie to watch it with!
You've finished your exams (or, if you're a working stiff, your final project of 2018), and you're back in your old room at your family home. What now?
You could prepare for the new year and get ahead on your reading and projects — or you could binge some TV! With so many services available for streaming, you're guaranteed to find something to keep you company during these long winter nights. You can also use it as an excuse to escape extended family dinners — just say you have "work" to do.
Click through the gallery above for our TV suggestions you can start watching right now. Grab a fuzzy blanket, snag some snacks, and dive in.