Netflix provides perfect winter break binge-watching options

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Winter break is only a few stressful days away, and so too is the freedom to binge on Netflix. Depending on moods and interests, Netflix Instant’s offerings can please even the most discerning of customers.

For a soapy departure from reality, check in with campy fan-favorite “Scandal.” Both the series’ plot and its burgeoning star, Kerry Washington, are responsible for carrying a massive and loyal audience. The show’s fans, self-proclaimed “Gladiators,” dominate the Twittersphere, live-tweeting every twist and turn. In the show’s short run it has inspired catchphrases, garnered an impressively increasing viewership and attached Washington’s face to the cover of every major magazine in the country. With the first two seasons available on Netflix, newcomers can easily see what all the hubbub is about. And if a passion for creator Shonda Rhimes comes as a result, there’s always nine seasons of “Grey’s Anatomy” to stream, too.

A darker and much shorter binge-watch, the critically acclaimed miniseries “Top of the Lake” may be an unexpected favorite. In this New Zealand-set Sundance Original, “Mad Men’s” Elisabeth Moss stars as steadfast detective Robin Griffin. The performance has earned Moss countless accolades, including an Emmy nomination. “Lake” has also received recognition for its impressive supporting cast, which includes Peter Mullan and Holly Hunter.

On a lighter note, Netflix also carries many of TV’s best comedies. The service now carries every episode of “30 Rock.” For a good post-finals laugh, Tina Fey and Alec Baldwin deliver in spades. The Liz Lemon train may have departed last May, but the entirety of “30 Rock” is still worth watching, and with all seven seasons only a click away, who doesn’t “want to go to there?” Cult series “Chuck” is also available in its entirety. While it lasted for an impressive five seasons on NBC, “Chuck” never garnered a massive audience. But with plenty of charm thanks to a likable cast, pop culture references galore and an engaging central romance, this spy comedy with plenty of heart is well worth checking out.

Of course, Netflix Original series are also a requisite watch. Audiences and critics alike have been sent into a fre-nzy by the unique and commercial-free shows. “House of Cards” and “Orange is the New Black” were released in February and July, respectively, but this hasn’t impacted their current popularity. With the many great series Netflix offers, a snowed-in Saturday shouldn’t be too harrowing. The break provides ample time to unwind and catch up, so bust out your prison slang or best suit and prepare to binge-watch.

A version of this article appeared in the Tuesday, Dec. 10 print edition. Isabel Jones is entertainment editor. Email her at [email protected]

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