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3 TV shows to binge on during the holiday break

Orphan Black on BBC America
Orphan Black on BBC America
Orphan Black/BBC America

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Now that you've crossed everything off your Christmas shopping list, it's time to relax and get to some TV shows you haven't been able to watch over the past year.

Here with some advice on what’s worth spending hours on your couch is Margaret Lyons. She covers TV for our partners at where she writes “Stay Tuned,” a weekly column about how TV plays into our lives:

Transparent (Amazon Prime) 

The show has become the first breakout hit for the online streaming service, Amazon Prime, and has received some of the best reviews for any new TV show this season. "Transparent" was created by Jill Soloway, who was inspired to make this show after her parent came out as trans. 


There are only 10 half-hour episodes so it's not a huge commitment. Here's Margaret's take:

It's dreamy and beautiful but also really humane and it covers everything about sex, gender identity and family politics. It has this very warm style and I was just completely blown away by that show this year. 

You can watch the first season on Amazon Prime

Orphan Black (BBC America) 

"If you're looking for something more in the sci-fi genre, 'Orphan Black' returns for its third season at the beginning of next year, and it's a fantastic, exciting, different style of show," say Lyons.  Tatiana Maslany -- who was recently nominated for a SAG award -- stars as a woman who discovers she's a clone and plays over a dozen characters with a wide spectrum of nationalities and character traits. 


Here's what Margaret has to say: 

It kind of reminds me of some of my favorite episodes of 'The X-Files,' in that it's dark but also very funny and the characters are really sharply drawn. And there's people who are very paranoid and people who are very blasé and everyone's just trying to figure out how to exist in this world where things you thought were true really aren't.

You can watch seasons 1 & 2 on Amazon Prime

Mad Men (AMC) 

"Mad Men" has been hailed as one of the greatest shows on television right now by TV critics and fans alike, but after seven seasons, the show comes to end next week. If you haven't watched a single episode, now is the time to do so. 


Here's Margaret's take:

'Mad Men' is this sort of definitive show of our era. It predates Breaking Bad and embodies that anti-hero style that's been popular in the past few years, but it also pushes things forward with really developed female characters, ideas that talk about consumerism and American ideals and what it means to be a person. I think it's a show that has a lot to say and I'm always excited to bring people on board. 

You can catch up on "Mad Men" on Netflix. 

If you have a question for "Stay Tuned," you can ask Margaret on twitter (@margeincharge).

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