Catherine shares favorite series that you can stream from beginning to end on Netflix
In an era when going to the movies means a nearly $20 per person outing on the weekends, television has made a comeback with great writing and notable cinematography. In an era when DVR is the norm and most of us skip through commercials, when we stay home to watch 10 episodes in a row and not feel bad about it, everyone is looking for their next binge on Netflix. All of us know the uber popular original series House of Cards and Orange Is the New Black, but who has the patience to wait for the next season? We want to stream and know how stories end on our schedule. Luckily, Netflix is a black hole of streaming pleasure, but where to begin? No matter how many shows you rate, there will always be ones you forget and won’t show up under “suggestions.” There are the addicting Breaking Bad and Lost, but wait… there’s more! Here are seven canceled shows that deserve a second look.
Saved by the Bell (1989-1993)
Notable Cast: Mario Lopez, Tiffani Amber Thiessen, Zack Morris (I mean Mark-Paul Gosselaar)
I discovered Saved by the Bell on Netflix on a #tbt while a couple of my friends and I were trying to relive the ’90s. Growing up I felt like Zack Morris, Kelly Kapowski, Lisa Turtle, Jessie Spano, Samuel “Screech” Powers, and AC Slater were my pals. They taught me life lessons, like not to do drugs (a la Jessie’s caffeine pill addiction… “I’m so excited!”), and I was always rooting for Zack and Kelly (I knew they would get together in the end). What’s great about the show is that it is still relevant in pop culture today; I spotted at least three Kelly Kapowski tees around town last week.
– Ben Biscocho
Melrose Place (1992-1999)
Notable Cast: Heather Locklear, Laura Leighton, Marcia Cross
In later seasons it becomes the soap opera of good looking 20-somethings, but it legitimately starts as a believable portrayal of life as a post-collegiate who’s just moved to Los Angeles (your friends becoming your family, money problems, struggling in the workplace, and dating losers). Especially since ’90s fashion is making a come-back, you’ll want to revist their OG style—your mom’s jeans, crop tops every day, small floral print, and shorter hair styles—and wish you knew their secret to smooth skin and nonexistent under-eye bags.
Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1997-2003)
Notable Cast: Sarah Michelle Gellar, Alyson Hannigan, David Boreanaz, Michelle Trachtenberg
The first four seasons are sheer perfection, with the best love story ever told as the central plot. I mean, talk about raised stakes (pun intended) and lots to lose. Buffy and Angel epitomize the modern-day tromancgidy (tragiromance? romangedy?). Their story is sweeter, sadder, and sexier than Romeo and Juliet ever could dream to be. Then the series gets even more badass and kickass when it includes an awesome musical episode (“Once More, with Feeling”) and tackles taboo issues like lesbian witches.
If you make it to the end, congratulations. But it’s not over yet. An additional few seasons were printed as comic books for us Buffaholics to enjoy (available at Skylight Books in Los Feliz).
Freaks and Geeks (1999-2000)
Notable Cast: James Franco, Seth Rogen, Jason Segel, Busy Philipps
A mere one season (18 episodes), this series still has a cult following fourteen years later. Freaks and Geeks is how Judd Apatow launched the careers of these and other comedic fixtures. Franco, Rogen, Segel, and Philipps doing what they need to survive in high school in the ’80s? Recipe for a classic.
– Suggested by Colleen Viana
The West Wing (1999-2006)
Notable Cast: Allison Janney, Martin Sheen, Rob Lowe
Amazing writing that grants a look into a world we have limited access to and handles issues that ring true in any era. Simply the best drama series ever.
– Lionel Milan
Arrested Development (2003-2013)
Notable Cast: Jason Bateman, Portia de Rossi, Will Arnett, Michael Cera
With an all-star comedy cast, it’s hilarious and smart and shows dysfunction within a group of people. It’s totally exaggerated but somehow still believable. Best part? Last year Netflix brought back new episodes to further satiate.
Lipstick Jungle (2008-2009)
Notable Cast: Brooke Shields, Lindsay Price
Projected at the time to be the next best thing after Sex and the City (it was another Candace Bushnell brainchild after all), this series lasted a mere two seasons after SATC set the standard for female shows. A smart show about women trying to balance career and personal lives, this series would probably do better now than it did five years ago. Appealing to generation Y in post recession America, Lipstick Jungle portrays the struggle of women’s success in a male-dominated world and grapples with the question of truly having it all… when your passion comes first.
– Suggested by Tin Abalos
What is your favorite canceled series available to stream on Netflix?
Catherine Abalos is founder and editor of The Single Diaries.