Netflix might not have invented the concept of binge-watching, but the streaming service certainly turned it into a mass phenomenon thanks to its strategy of dropping an entire season of a show at one time.
While some people prefer consuming television one episode a week, I love a good binge-watching session. I am not ashamed to say I tore through Bridgerton season 2 in two batches the night and morning after its release.
The arrival of a new season is the ideal time for a marathon of the show’s previous installment, either to remind yourself what happened or to catch up on something you missed out on the first time around.
My three binge recommendations for April 2022 are among the best shows on Netflix. They run the gamut from a surreal time-bending mystery to an award-winning crime drama to a long-running comedy about friendship.
3 Netflix shows to binge-watch next
1 season to watch — less than 3.5 hours in total length
Approximately one million billion years (and an entire pandemic) ago, Russian Doll thrilled Netflix viewers with its time-looping, head-spinning story about a computer programmer who relives her 36th birthday over and over again. Season 1 debuted way, way back in February 2019, so its long-awaited return is an exciting moment for fans.
Because it’s been such a long time, rewatching the first season is a good call. It’ll give you a chance to remember all the details of Natasha Lyonne’s time-tripping journey. And a binge will prep you for the era-spanning, an intergenerational adventure that occurs after Nadia and fellow looper Alan (Charlie Barnett) discover a time portal in one of Manhattan’s most notorious locations.
This is more of a short-run than a marathon, since episodes clock in around half an hour. You can easily get it done by the premiere of Russian Doll season 2 on April 20.
3.5 seasons to watch — about 37 hours in total length
Ozark is near the top of my list of Netflix series that I’ve been meaning to finally catch up on. When the drama premiered in 2013, I watched one episode and found it to be a pale imitation of Breaking Bad with its story about a seemingly normal, mild-manner accountant (Jason Bateman) who turns to a life of crime.
Yet, Ozark would go on to earn critical accolades and the devotion of many viewers. I started to wonder if I was missing out after Julia Garner won a Best Supporting Actress Emmy two years in a row and Jason Bateman won for directing an episode over entries from Game of Thrones, Succession, Killing Eve, and Handmaid’s Tale.
So, it’s time for me to give it another chance so I can join the global audience in viewing (and discussing) the series finale. Ozark season 4 part 2 drops on April 29, giving me the rest of the month to work through 37 hour-long episodes. Entirely doable!
Grace and Frankie
6.3 seasons to watch — around 41 hours in total length
If someone had recommended Grace and Frankie when it debuted in 2015, I might’ve replied, “OK boomer.” The comedy is about the unlikely friendship between the titular characters, two women in their 70s who get divorced because their husbands have fallen in love with each other.
It’s easy to write off the show as one for viewers of advanced age. I did, at first (though I can be counted as an “old”), and then found myself sampling a few episodes during the height of the pandemic. And I got hooked! Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin are a scream as uptight Grace and free-wheeling Frankie. Their odd-couple antics after moving in together are hilarious and their quest to reshape their lives is often touching.
The rest of the ensemble cast is stellar, too. I didn’t know Martin Sheen and Sam Waterston (the ex-husbands-turned-lovers) could be so funny. Their adult children — June Diane Raphael, Brooklyn Decker, Ethan Embry, and Baron Vaughn —supply a Gen X/millennial source of amusement.
While Grace and Frankie has the most number of seasons out of all my April binge recs, episodes run around a tight 30 minutes. The rest of season 7 arrives on April 29, so you can indulge in boomer humor until then.