The ultimate binge-watching bucket list

James Gandolfini, as Tony Soprano, smokes a cigar while he stands in pool, in a 1999 publicity still for the HBO's series 'The Sopranos."

Story highlights

  • EW lists top 5 shows to binge watch
  • List ranges from "Battlestar Galactica" to "The Wire"
  • Fans will need plenty of time with so many episodes
Binge-watchers, consider these shows the first five items on your to-do list — but be ready to lose some sleep.
"Battlestar Galactica"
The '70s sci-fi campfest rebooted as a post-9/11 allegory, BSG follows the remainder of humanity on a journey to the darkest reaches of space. Along the way, the nascent society contends with the treatment of prisoners of war, whether democracy is an absolute good, religion as a salve or an opiate...and some really angry robots. (75 episodes)
Watch It On: Amazon, Hulu Plus, iTunes, Netflix
"Friday Night Lights
Maybe you presumed the show, about a small Texas town that gathers in the name of football, would be too earnest? Wrong! There are big dreams, breathless action, and broken and mended hearts, with Kyle Chandler and Connie Britton — each at the top of their excellent games — as Coach and his guidance-counselor wife. (76 episodes)
Watch It On: Amazon, Hulu Plus, iTunes, Netflix
"The Sopranos"
Tony Soprano and his family's hunger for money, sex, power, and delicious-looking plates of pasta launched a new age for TV. Every season is basically self-contained, so hop around depending on which relationship you'd like to see Tony explore: His mother gets most of season 1, his wife takes season 4, and his own tortured psyche lords over season 6. (86 episodes)
Watch It On: Amazon, HBO Go, iTunes
"The West Wing"
This is the messy, invigorating, absorbing world we like to imagine lurks within the White House's hallowed walls. Yes, it's about tough-as-oak President Bartlet and his idealistic staff, but it's more about a family of colleagues we'd love to see every day at our own workplaces, and the Aaron Sorkin dialogue we wish would come out of our mouths. (156 episodes)
Watch It On: Amazon, iTunes, Netflix
"The Wire"
''You haven't seen The Wire?!'' shrieks that guy who won't stop talking about how David Simon's sprawling depiction of urban life in Baltimore is the best drama ever. What can we say? He's right. Each season tackles a different institution — from the police to City Hall to the school system — and together they form a stunning social tapestry. (60 episodes)
Watch It On: Amazon, HBO Go, iTunes