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10 Great TV Series to Binge Watch

Got some time? It’s worth watching as many episodes in a row of these shows as you can

The Sopranos (©HBO/Courtesy Everett Collection)

Steven Van Zandt, James Gandolfini and Tony Sirico. — Everett Collection

The Sopranos

Set in the violent world of New Jersey-based mobsters, HBO's six-season series ended, controversially, in 2007. It focused on the sometimes morally ambiguous but usually flat-out criminal dealings of mob boss Tony Soprano, and featured his fellow wise guys and colorful family, including Edie Falco as his wife, Carmella.

Bingeworthy because: It's a pop-culture landmark, a status cemented by the outstanding performances of the late James Gandolfini as Tony Soprano; the fact that Gandolfini makes his character sympathetic and appealing demonstrates the immense talent he had. Falco is truly convincing as the conflicted spouse.

Friday Night Lights (NBC/Photofest)

From left: Taylor Kitsch, Minka Kelly, Scott Porter, Zach Gilford, Kyle Chandler and Gaius Charles. — NBC/Photofest

Friday Night Lights

Based on the book and film of the same name, the five-season series, which wrapped in 2011, centers on a high school football team in the fictional small town of Dillon, Texas, but it's the players, their families and the challenges they face that give it heft.

Bingeworthy because: Kyle Chandler, who plays Coach Eric Taylor, and Connie Britton, who plays his wife, bring depth to their characters and heart to the show by portraying a marriage and a deep caring for community that will make you want to go live there, preferably with them.

Jeffrey Tambor and Jason Bateman in Arrested Development. (Sam Urdank/Everett Collection)

Jeffrey Tambor and Jason Bateman — Everett Collection

Arrested Development

The FOX network's three seasons of this sitcom (2003-2006) starring Jason Bateman, Jeffrey Tambor, Will Arnett and Portia de Rossi centered on the once-wealthy but always dysfunctional Bluth family. It was canceled but, to its rabid fans' utter delight, has been revived by Netflix, which served up 15 new and hilarious episodes in May.

Bingeworthy because: Fans and many critics count it among the funniest sitcoms ever to appear on TV. Once you watch a few episodes, the obscure jokes and weird asides start to make sense and you become an insider. Then you'll be forever hooked.

Carol Memmott is a celebrity profiler and book reviewer whose work has appeared in USA Today, People and the Chicago Tribune.

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