1. Bob’s Burgers
Nothing can pull you out of your own finals-induced hell like losing yourself in the crazy scenarios that the Belchers always seem to get themselves into! Join Bob and Linda and their kids Tina, Gene, and Louise in this animated, yet adult-themed comedy for the funniest 30 minutes of your day. But let’s be honest, you’re going to end up streaming an entire season!
Image Source: Adult Swim
2. The Crown
The Crown is all about the life of Queen Elizabeth II and her experience with inheriting the throne. If you are in any type of history class, this is technically studying! Plus, it’s worth it to just watch the show for the set and costume design alone. The Crown is actually the most expensive TV show ever made, costing Netflix over $130 million to create!
If you like Bob’s Burgers, odds are you will like Archer because H. Jon Benjamin voices both Bob in Bob’s Burgers and Archer in Archer. If you are a SUPER fan, you might even come across a cross-over episode between the two shows! Archer is all about a narcissistic, sex-obsessed spy who is constantly staring death and the women he would like to have sex with right in the face.
4. The Office
This is a classic! If you haven’t heard of The Office, you have been living under a rock, my friend! This is a Netflix option that let’s your brain relax and unwind. Odds are, you’ve seen every episode already so whether you are reliving old storylines or just need something to play in the background while you cry in the fetal position, The Office is going to get you through your finals.
5. Parks and Recreation
If anyone can cheer you up during a finals breakdown, it is Leslie Knope of Parks and Recreation. She is the optimistic ray of sunshine that we all need in our lives. Watch her attempt to make her hometown of Pawnee, Indiana a better place with one community event at a time!
6. Arrested Development
Let’s be honest, things can get a little tense during finals season. Did you just scream at your mom over the phone because she gently suggested to do the work instead of waste time complaining? Well, I’m about to introduce you to a family that is so dysfunctional you will forget all about your little spat with mom. Watch Michael Bluth struggle to balance life between his crazy extravagant California family and teaching his son good morals.
7. Stranger Things
Finals can really mess with your mind in a very bad way, but so can Stranger Things in the best of ways! This show, inspired by the many science-fiction tales of the 80’s, takes you on a mind-bending journey of finding Will Byers, a boy who has been lost in the “unknown.” Much like your grades are unknown, if you binge the entire season, you will at least have some answers to one aspect of your life.
8. Black Mirror
Black Mirror can only be described as one of those shows that can scare the shit out of you simply by making you think. The best part about this show is that it is composed of stand-alone episodes, meaning they are separate stories that have nothing to do with one another so you can skip around. Every episode is centered around the question of whether or not having so much technology in our lives could have some negative repercussions. Spoiler Alert: They absolutely do.
Friends will be there for you when your grades start to fall! Another classic to binge watch and remind ourselves that finals will come and go but friends are forever. We can’t all be Ross Geller and study until the sun comes up. Sometimes, it’s okay to be a Joey.
10. House of Cards
House of Cards is a show that I recently gave a second chance. The first time I tried watching, seeing U.S. Senator Frank Underwood kill a dog within the first five minutes of the show was too much for me. The dog had gotten hit by a car and Rep. Underwood was demonstrating that sometimes you need to make tough decisions in life. I think the first five minutes are a good metaphor for finals – sometimes we are the dog and sometimes we are the car.
11. Orange is the New Black
Finals are shitty, but at least you’re not in jail! This Netflix original brings us into the world of what it’s like to be in a women’s prison. You thought living in a dorm room was bad? Wait until you get a look at their dining hall!
12. Fuller House
Okay, this one is kind of a joke. We can all agree that this show is horrible but it’s so horrible that you literally cannot stop watching. If you want to feel better about the life you are currently living because of finals, sit back and stream Fuller House.
Paranoia, lies, and dark secrets. And I’m not just talking about your explanation of your GPA to your parents. Bloodline is a show that gets your blood boiling and your finger jumping to click “play next episode.”
14. Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt
If you need a pick-me-up from all of the flash cards and outlines you’ve been memorizing, please do yourself a favor and watch Kimmy Schmidt dance her way through life. In the show she says, “I learned a long time ago that a person can stand just about anything for 10 seconds, then you just start on a new 10 seconds. All you’ve got to do is take it 10 seconds at a time.” Tell that to yourself when you’re studying and you will survive, or at the very least, you’ll have a cool new quote to tell people.
15. Making A Murderer
Wondering if your roommate is going to finally snap and murder you for leaving the lights on until 4 am to study? You might find your answer if you watch Making a Murderer. Follow the life of Steven Avery, a man who was wrongly convicted for a murder… or was he? Watch to find out!
16. Master Of None
Aziz Ansari finally came out with a show of his own and it is brilliant. It is so funny and thoughtful and I actually never ended up watching the last episode because it’s so good that I didn’t want it to end. But don’t be like me! You totally should watch the entire season because you have some procrastinating to do!
17. An Idiot Abroad
Follow Karl Pilkington, an idiot from England, who is sent by his friend Ricky Gervais to travel to different parts of the world and … be an idiot. Not only is he ignorant of others’ cultures and traditions, he is funny, which is a hard combination. Somehow, you end up falling in love with this idiot. An Idiot Abroad is a wonderful distraction from all of the idiots in the library who literally can’t understand the words, “Quiet Section.”
18. Documentary Now
Fred Armisen and Bill Hader, two of Saturday Night Live’s greatest, have come together with this masterpiece that will distract you from the pain and dread in your heart that finals have caused you. Each episode is a parody of an already created documentary. My personal favorite is “Sandy Passage,” which parodies the famous documentary, “Grey Gardens.” It is shot for shot accurate and insanely funny.
Another Fred Armisen creation is Portlandia in which he and Carrie Brownstein parody the life of hipsters in the Portland, Oregon area. This sketch-comedy show is smart and witty as it makes fun of the laid back type. Basically, type of people that are probably studying in the humanities building of your university right now.
20. The IT Crowd
There’s nothing like a British sitcom to help you forget about your finals! The first thing you do when you have an IT problem is to turn it on and then turn it off again, right? So why not turn your brain off for a while and watch this charming comedy!
21. Anthony Bourdain Parts Unknown
This is a completely random addition to this list, but it’s the time of the semester when meal swipes have run out and you are insanely poor and hungry. Somehow, watching this show where Anthony Bourdain travels around the world and experiences different cultures and their food might ease the rumbling in your tummy. Plus, you can learn about other places and cultures so you can feel a little less shitty about not studying for finals!
22. Top Gear
This show comes with a little bit of controversy that can help you forget all about that term paper! Top Gear was once a very popular show in England in which Jeremy Clarkson, James May, and Richard Hammond essentially just played with expensive cars for an hour every week, but Jeremy Clarkson ended up attacking a producer and the show was cancelled. They now have a new show on Amazon, but you can still stream a few seasons on Netflix which are absolutely worth failing your paper for!
23. Criminal Minds
Sometimes you just have to watch a couple episodes of Criminal Minds to forget about your problems. It reminds you that although finals are killing you, they’re not actually killing you. It’s a nice break from reality and Matthew Gray Gubler is actually the most beautiful man to grace this planet.
24. Law and Order SVU
“In the criminal justice system, the people are represented by two separate yet equally important groups: the police, who investigate crime; and the district attorneys, who prosecute the offenders. These are their stories.” Need I say more? Nothing like taking down a sex offender before finally taking down that PowerPoint presentation you haven’t started.
25. Gilmore Girls – BONUS Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life
Gilmore Girls has been a go-to stream for me, especially with the new special Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life. There’s no reason to feel guilty for binge watching Gilmore Girls, because you have to get all caught up before your friends dish out spoilers and ruin the new four-episode season. Plus, Rory Gilmore is a genius and maybe some of that will rub off on you while you watch!