Our family has a tradition each year that includes lots of screen time. I used to hide this little tidbit, as the last thing most of us need is more screen time, right? But we love it. We pick one movie series, and we watch it all. We snuggle up on the couch sharing blankets and quilts, and we laugh together, tear up together and talk about the just-concluded show or movie as we hunt for the next one. We actually talk for months leading up to December about what our show will be this year. It’s just a special time where, as a family unit, we’re one and we’re warm and we’re happy. And, quite frankly, unless someone is sick, we don’t have much time otherwise to watch TV together, so it’s an indulgence to which we look forward.
Apparently, we’re not alone; tons of families do this and I’m just finding this out. That magical time between Christmas and New Year’s, when the whole world seems to slow down, is prime time to embrace your inner couch potato and recharge. For me, usually by this time I’m extroverted out, so this family-only time is especially welcome.
With that prelude, I bring you a bevy of screen time suggestions by way of the StyleBlueprint team! Here are 32 staff suggestions, and not one person picked the same show. Staggering …
Karen Werthan, StyleBlueprint Nashville Sales — “I absolutely loved watching ‘Prison Break,’ and the kids got into it, as well, which was a fun family time. It’s so addictive that you can’t wait for the next episode (and it helps the two brothers in the series are smoking hot!).”
- View “Prison Break” on Netflix streaming.
Meghan Tinker, StyleBlueprint Louisville Sales — “I’m binge-watching ‘Jane The Virgin‘ (JTV) right now! My husband and I can rarely settle on a show we both enjoy. I am into comedy or love stories, while he enjoys the typical ‘man movie.’ We stumbled upon JTV and both enjoy the dramedy! We both usually end up laughing out loud a few times each episode.”
- View “Jane the Virgin” on Netflix streaming.
Melanie Preis, StyleBlueprint Atlanta Editor — “Unfortunately, having two kids under the age of 4 doesn’t leave much time for binge watching TV … or any TV watching! However, my husband and I are totally caught up on the scintillating plotlines of ‘Doc McStuffins,’ ‘Sofia the First’ and pretty much every Disney Junior show.
- View “The Goldbergs” on Hulu or rent the DVDs from Netflix. Rent “The Walking Dead” DVDs or stream from Netflix.
Heidi Potter, StyleBlueprint Louisville Editor — “I am a huge old movie buff, and I love showing all the classics to my kids. We will be watching To Kill A Mockingbird first thing, as my daughter just finished the book. Then on to Roman Holiday and Breakfast at Tiffany’s for an Audrey Hepburn fix. Have you noticed the old school Disney movies like Aristocats (love Zsa Zsa Gabor!), Robin Hood and Dumbo — oh, we love those, too! We bought a new air pop popcorn popper and are getting ready to rev that up over the holidays for all this television watching.”
- View To Kill A Mockingbird, Roman Holiday, Breakfast at Tiffany’s, Aristocats, Robin Hood and Dumbo on Netflix streaming.
- View “New Girl” on Netflix streaming.
- View “Bloodline” on Netflix streaming.
- View “Fixer Upper,” “Property Brothers,” “House Hunters” and “NCIS” on Netflix streaming.
- View “Frasier” on Netflix DVD or Netflix streaming. View “Saturday Night Live: Best of John Belushi” on DVD (or VHS). View “Downton Abbey” on Netflix DVD.
- View “French and Saunders” on DVD.
- View “House of Cards” on Netflix streaming.
- View Love Actually on Netflix streaming.
- View “30 for 30” films on Netflix streaming.
Ashley Haugen, StyleBlueprint Managing Editor — “Depending on just how much downtime you have, you could/should watch the ‘Seinfeld’ series, which is available on Netflix DVD. I introduced ‘Seinfeld‘ to my kids several years ago, and now they can be heard quoting popular lines or likening our daily experiences to ‘Seinfeld’ episodes. The nine seasons spanning nine years are something that everyone should experience at least once. All right, Season 1 was kinda lame, and Season 2 was a little bit lame, as well. But Seasons 3 through 9 are gold, Jerry. Gold!
“The Glen Campbell documentary, I’ll Be Me, is currently available on Netflix. Save this one for when the kids have gone to bed, as you will likely end up in tears, especially at the end. Need further convincing? The film’s soundtrack has received several Grammy nominations. Oh, and Glen’s daughter, Ashley, was our FACES of the South this week.
“And if you’re truly suffering from a fried brain after the holidays, throw caution to the wind and embrace the ridiculous with any of Christopher Guest’s mockumentaries. My favorite? Waiting for Guffman. Fred Willard and Eugene Levy are simply perfect!”
- View “Seinfeld” on Netflix DVD. View I’ll Be Me on Netflix streaming. View Waiting for Guffman on Amazon.
Liza Graves, StyleBlueprint Co-founder — “Every year we pick a movie series to watch, and my entire family loves both the anticipation of the couch-potato life as well as the actual watching. We talk about it for months leading up to December … what will we watch? Over the past several Christmases, we’ve watched all of the Harry Potter series, The Lord of the Rings series, Indiana Jones and, our all-time favorite, which I HIGHLY recommend, the three seasons of ‘Sherlock,’ starring Benedict Cumberbatch. A new episode airs on January 1, 2016, so watching all three seasons (There are just three episodes per season, and each one is 90 minutes. They are more like films than TV episodes.) leading up to the newest release would be fun … or rewatching, which I am highly considering. The new episode will also be at select theaters for two days, January 5 and 6.
“But since we’ve watched ‘Sherlock,’ we’re likely going to watch ‘The Man in the High Castle,’ which just had nine more episodes released on Amazon after a record-breaking number of people watched the pilot in January 2015. It’s based on an alternate history on how the world would be now if Germany, Japan and Italy, the AXIS powers, had won World War II. It’s supposed to be amazing, and we’re so excited!”
Leah Carroll, StyleBlueprint Nashville Sales — “My binge pick for the holidays is a little off the beaten path, but in my opinion perfect for this time of year. It is a docu-series called ‘HUMAN,’ and it can only be found on YouTube. (If you have any streaming devices, i.e. Apple TV, Xbox, PlayStation, etc., you should be able to watch this with no problem.) ‘HUMAN‘ is a three-volume series (with lots of extra extended interviews, as well) created by French filmmaker Yann Arthus-Bertrand, who spend three years collecting stories from more than 2,000 people across the globe. It is so interesting to me to see the different ways in which people not only find, but deal with love and happiness and sadness and heartache and devastation and contentment. Yet, on some very basic, humanistic level, it’s very much the same. I think this film really speaks to me this time of year, as the hustle and bustle of gift buying and holiday parties and being surrounded by friends and family are things that I can sometimes take for granted, in a way that I don’t even realize because of the life I’ve been lucky enough to live thus far. I hear and sometimes see stories of people down the street to across the universe that don’t know some of the basic joys I have in my life, but watching this series I also realize that my way of life is not the only way to be happy, or the way I feel and express love is not the way others do so and sometimes that’s okay (not necessarily the case for the first gentleman in the film, but his story is still a good one to hear). I think overall, this film brings out empathy, and, in my opinion, empathy is one of the best traits to have and to be able to express. When we can see others in a different light, it has the power to change our world and the world of others. I feel like this series is closest aligned to a screen version of Humans of New York, which is one of my favorite blogs of all time. While not as lighthearted as some of the other suggestions, I encourage you to give it a shot, you never know what you might learn! Watch the trailer here.
- View ‘HUMAN’ on YouTube.