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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.

“If we do manage to sneak a few minutes of TV time away from the kids, we’re totally into all things ‘The Goldbergs.’ Seriously, it’s like the best show on TV and perfect for anyone who grew up in the ’80s, has a controlling (yet loving) mom, or pretty much anyone with a family. Also, we’d be remiss not to include ‘The Walking Dead,’ especially living in Atlanta. Just gotta make sure that one gets turned off mighty quick if a preschooler comes strolling by!”
  • View “The Goldbergs” on Hulu or rent the DVDs from NetflixRent “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.
Anna Marchetti, StyleBlueprint Nashville Associate Editor — “‘New Girl!’ Having spent the majority of my 20s living with roommates, I find it incredibly relatable. It’s smart, funny and easy — all the things I look for in a show when I’m ready to binge watch. Not to mention, I have a girl crush on Zooey Deschanel.”
Elizabeth Gerber, StyleBlueprint Louisville Client Success Rep — “‘Bloodline.‘ This Netflix original series is mysterious, dramatic and suspenseful. The show centers around a family in Florida Keys who each have their own secrets/demons. The cliffhanger at the end of Season 1 will leave you anticipating the release of Season 2 in 2016. Take it from me, who wisely chose to start this series in the middle of finals last semester, I was left picking my jaw up off the floor. (Don’t worry, I passed my finals and graduated college.) The holidays are the perfect time to get up to speed before Season 2 comes out. I’m currently re-watching the series and it is just as stressfully enjoyable the second time around. Oh, and did I mention Kyle Chandler is in it? Total dreamboat!”
Alex Hendrickson, StyleBlueprint Nashville Staff Writer and Associate Editor — “With a family of six girls, we often find ourselves binging on HGTV shows. A few favorites are ‘Fixer Upper,’ ‘Property Brothers‘ and ‘House Hunters.’ They are the perfect mix of mindless and entertaining — great for a lazy, gray day with the gals. Another family favorite is ‘NCIS.’ Hunker down because there are 13 seasons, all of which are on Netflix. We guarantee you will fall in love with Gibbs and the team, causing you to dedicate your holiday break to following this drama that follows special agents from the Naval Criminal Investigative Service.”
  • View “Fixer Upper,” “Property Brothers,” “House Hunters” and “NCIS” on Netflix streaming.
Margaret McClintock, StyleBlueprint Nashville Client Success Rep — “My oldest brother has been bugging me to watch ‘Frasier,’ so I think that’s what I’ll be queuing up this Christmas season. I’ve also got SNL Best of John Belushi on my list, which I’m pretty sure my parents have on VHS. May have to bring back the box of videos as well as our trusty (and incredibly dusty) VHS/DVD player. But my favorite series we’ve ever watched as a family is definitely ‘Downton Abbey.’ The luxe nature of upstairs life contrasted with the grittiness of downstairs life, and the stunning portrayal of the era’s evolving fashion for all classes make it one of my favorite shows of all time. Just thinking about it makes me want to watch from the beginning in preparation for the final season premiere in January.”
Lauren Helmer, Birmingham City Editor — “I love to pour myself a glass of wine and curl up to some classic British comedies. I like ‘The I.T. Crowd,’ ‘Fawlty Towers,’ ‘The Mighty Boosh’ and, of course, ‘The Office,’ with Ricky Gervais, but I could watch ‘French and Saunders‘ a hundred times. Comedy partners Dawn French and Jennifer Saunders perform hilarious sketches, such as a spoof of ‘That’s Hollywood!’, supernumeraries in the opera Carmen, ‘Schoolgirls,’ ‘Nibbles,’ ‘The White Room’ series, ‘Irish nuns at the Vatican’ and parodies of Bjork and Madonna, among many others. They just crack me up. I always feel so happy after watching those two ladies. You just can’t go wrong with wine and brilliantly funny women. It’s a winning combination!”
  • View “French and Saunders” on DVD.
Anna Ballowe Aldag, StyleBlueprint Birmingham Client Success Rep — “My youngest brother, Anderson, loves everything Netflix, and he will tell you all about it! In order to join in on his fun (and also to be able to have a conversation with him), we are going to binge watch his favorite Netflix show, ‘House of Cards,’ over the Christmas break. Yes, we are going to attempt to watch all three seasons!”
  • View “House of Cards” on Netflix streaming.
Stacey Wiedower, StyleBlueprint Memphis Editor — “Every year on Christmas Eve, my husband and I make appetizers for dinner, pour glasses of wine and pop Love Actually into the DVD player. In the prekid era, it was a romantic night to ourselves before the Christmas Day family craziness. Now that we’re parents, the tradition has evolved to include our son. The three of us eat dinner together, and once our son is safely asleep and dreaming of elves and reindeer, my husband and I wrap presents and play Santa while Love Actually plays in the background. It’s my favorite holiday tradition!”
Beth Brooks, StyleBlueprint Market Analyst — “The series that always captivates our family is the ‘30 for 30‘ ESPN series. Our TV time is dominated by sports, whether it is college football (ACC & Army vs Navy are our favorites), Baltimore Orioles and Toronto Blue Jays baseball, Wake Forest and Duke basketball, and the extended family is in a very competitive Fantasy football league, all for bragging rights. So when we are not watching sports, we are watching shows about sports and ESPN’s ’30 for 30’ is by far our favorite. So many life lessons, and so many inspiring stories. The best part is it works for all audiences young and old. And if you are lucky enough to see them as a repeat, it’s okay because you always catch something you didn’t see the first time.”

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.

“For you holiday road warriors, might I recommend you jumping on the podcast bandwagon, starting with Season 1 of ‘Serial.’ It is seriously addicting and will see you to your destination entertained and awake! Other great ones are ‘This American Life (any episode, really),’ ‘Radio Lab’ and ‘Stuff You Should Know.'”
You’re all ready for some quiet time. If this recharges you, we hope you get that time!
Fall in love with Tennessee farmhouse, decked out for Christmas (and barefoot boys running with their dog!) Read here.

Fall in love with this Tennessee farmhouse, decked out for Christmas (and barefoot boys running with their dog!) Read here.

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