Daylight Saving Time is here again: the days are getting longer and the nights shorter. But with that one hour of time you just lost, you missed out on some great binge watching in your home theater. Here are a few recommended television episodes that will help you eat up the hours — night or day — and catch you up on what you might have missed.
It’s hard not to start here due to the sheer intensity of this hit HBO show. This episode features a scene that reportedly took 25 days to film and used 500 extras, 600 crew members and 70 horses, but it’s the silence underlying the bombast that speaks so loudly. Thousands of men line up across a field from one another, and all you hear at first is a few horses snorting and flags blowing in the wind. It’s a great example of “less is more,” because you know that an epic battle is sure to follow. Check it out here.
This American crime drama is based upon the true crime book Mindhunter: Inside the FBI’s Elite Serial Crime Unit. In it, FBI agents interview serial killers to try to understand how they think. In the first season’s final episode, there’s a chilling scene where special agent Holden Ford stares down a chained killer in a hospital Intensive Care Unit, accompanied by music that slowly grows increasingly more uncomfortable as the tension grows. When the killer grabs him in a hug, a classic Led Zeppelin track fills the speakers and … well, I don’t want to give any more away. Check it out here.
This unusual animated comedy drama stars Will Arnett as the title character, BoJack Horseman. It takes place in a Hollywood populated by humans and tailless anthropomorphic animals. The Season 2 finale ends with an inspirational scene that has BoJack running up a hill to the point of exhaustion, when he encounters a bearded baboon who urges him to keep on going. “Every day gets a little easier,” the baboon says. “But you have to do it every day, that’s the hard part. But it does get easier.” Words to live by. Check it out here.
You can’t go wrong with a good fight scene rocking your home theater speakers and subwoofer. Produced in New Zealand, this series was inspired by the historical hero Spartacus. In this episode, he and fellow gladiator Crixus take on their dreaded enemy Theokoles. What follows is an intense battle scene, accompanied by thundering music. You might want to put the kids to bed first! Check it out here.
There’s a scene in this episode that provides a good example of how sometimes you don’t need any music or action to create something truly compelling: It can be as simple as well-written dialog, excellent acting and a good drama series. Here, Saul (played by Mandy Patinkin) gets into it with Haissam Haqqani (played by Numan Acar), who is a Taliban leader and therefore a high-priority target. Check it out here.
This spooky series is guaranteed to put you on the edge of your seat. It takes place in the fictional town of Hawkins, Indiana in the 1980s, where, under the guise of the Department of Energy, experiments are being carried out delving into the supernatural and paranormal. In the climactic scene of this episode, Eleven, a young girl with psychokinetic abilities, makes her grand entrance — an appearance marked with both tension and relief. Check it out here.
Sometimes you just need to get your GLOW on. This series takes a look at the characters and gimmicks of a fictional 1980s women’s wrestling circuit called GLOW — the Gorgeous Ladies Of Wrestling. The last scene of the very first episode sums things up as we watch ladies with big hair battle each other in the ring, to the sounds of Journey. Check it out here.
This science fiction western series is based on the 1973 film of the same name. Westworld is an amusement park that caters to high-paying fantasies and is populated by android hosts. This episode is worth watching just for its “man walks into a bar” scene alone, where Anthony Hopkins, who plays the co-founder and director of Westworld, invites himself to join Ed Harris for a drink because he doesn’t like to drink alone. As their conversation unfolds, the conflict — and the self-discovery — begins. Check it out here.
What do all these episodes have in common? They all benefit from being watched in a home theater, where the sights, sounds and spectacle all come to life. There’s no better way to enjoy a spare hour!
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