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Seven series to help you survive the shutdown

You have too much time on your hands.

Here to help.

Here are seven series guaranteed to get you through the worst of times, the best of times, any time you need some quality viewing.

“Happy Endings” (ABC, 2011-2013, three seasons, 57 episodes): It’s just six misfit friends trying to get by. No, not that show. Here, the jokes and pop culture shots soar at warp speed. You may find it, as Penny (Casey Wilson) would say, “A-MAH-ZING.” Here’s just the start to one of its great episodes, when a prank on Max (Adam Pally) takes a dark (but hilarious) turn:

“The Wire” (HBO, 2002-2008, five seasons, 60 episodes): “The Wire” is often cited as the single best drama ever made for television. Fact check: True. You owe it to yourself to visit creator David Simon’s dark, twisty saga set on the unforgiving streets of Baltimore. No one is innocent, yet no one is unredeemable. Idris Elba and a young Michael B. Jordan (“Creed,” “Just Mercy”) are among the many now-familiar faces to star.

 

“Black Sails” (Starz, 2014-2017, four seasons, 38 episodes): This intense, action-packed prequel to Robert Louis Stevenson’s “Treasure Island” is set decades before the novel and focuses on a group of pirates, some real, some fictional, in 1715 West Indies. The action sequences are beyond cinematic quality. (Watch the storm sequence in episode 3.2 and wonder how anyone in the cast survived.) It stars Toby Stephens (“Lost in Space”), Tom Hooper (“Umbrella Academy”) and Jessica Parker Kennedy (“The Flash”).

 

“The Office” (NBC, 2005-2013, nine seasons, 201 episodes): You miss your co-workers. Or maybe you need to be reminded why you shouldn’t miss your co-workers. “The Office” is the perfect therapy, with needy boss Michael Scott played to perfection by Steve Carell. In this classic clip, Michael suffers an embarrassing injury in pursuit of a delicious breakfast at home.

 

“The Comeback” (HBO, 2005, 2014, two seasons, 21 episodes): In this cutting yet bittersweet send-up of Hollywood, B-star Valerie Cherish (creator and star Lisa Kudrow, “Friends”) chases another round of fame in an industry that is indifferent to her. Almost a decade passed between the first and second seasons. Here’s hoping we don’t have to wait another ten years for the next chapter in Valerie’s misadventures.

 

“Rome” (HBO, 2005-2007, two seasons, 22 episodes): Before there was “Game of Thrones,” there was “Rome.” Two soldiers (Kevin McKidd, “Grey’s Anatomy,” and Ray Stevenson, “Thor: Ragnarok”) in 49 BC struggle to survive as they cross paths with the likes of Julius Caesar, Mark Antony, Cleopatra and more. Creator Bruno Heller has a cunning way of twisting history to serve this enthralling saga.

 

“Friday Night Lights” (NBC, DirecTV, 2006-2011, five seasons, 76 episodes): You think it’s about a small-town high school football team, and you wonder how interesting that could possibly be. “Friday Night Lights” is more than that. It’s about adults trying to lead decent lives; it’s about young people trying to escape poverty. Stars Kyle Chandler and Connie Britton capture one of the most meaningful marriages ever depicted on TV. Almost a decade after the series ended, we still wonder how Coach Taylor, his family and his earnest athletes are faring in the world today. (This is the second series starring Michael B. Jordan to make the BingeDeep shutdown survival list. That man knows how to pick his roles.)

 

 

 

 

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