5 shows you should binge watch and how to do it

From 'House of Cards' to 'Masters of Sex,' some shows are just made to be seen non-stop

Waiting week to week for a new episode of your favorite show is a thing of the past, an archaic form of television. Now, it’s all about binge watching. Thanks to websites like Netflix and Hulu, we now have access to thousands of television shows at a click, and it’s completely transformed our watching experience. Whether you’re procrastinating on a paper that’s already due or wasting away on a winter day, here are five shows worth binge watching right now:

Provided by HBO

The show: “House of Cards”

Streaming on: Netflix

Ideal viewing: With your headphones plugged in — you don’t want to miss any of Kevin Spacey’s Southern Carolina accent. Have your smartphone readily available to look up certain political jargon or refresh on exactly how Congress works.

“House of Cards” was specifically written to binge watch. Each episode seamlessly flows into the next, taking the viewer on a journey through the sinister side of Washington, D.C. that has captured the minds of Americans since the days of “The West Wing.” In the first season, make your way through the web of secrecy and deception of our nation’s capital. The second season is also still relatively timely — it critiques the 2013 government shutdown and the U.S.’s relations with foreign countries, particularly China.

The show: “Game of Thrones”

Streaming on: HBO GO

Ideal viewing: At night, in the dark, with the volume turned up and preferably with someone who has read the books and can explain what’s going on in the story and why the Red Wedding happened.

“Game of Thrones” is like nothing else on television. Human lives are not worth anything in this fantasy world, sex is not privileged and everyone is doing it everywhere. Women are victors and partly run this world. When you start “Game of Thrones,” you immediately envelop yourself into the cult, so be prepared to neglect everything else in your life.

The show: “Mad Men”

Streaming on: Netflix (Up to season 5. Douches.)

Ideal viewing: Martini or whiskey neat on hand, maybe a pack of cigarettes to smoke or just for show. Bar food like peanuts or pretzels. Men should be clean-shaven and in suits, and women should wear shift dresses. (Okay, maybe put on comfy clothes, but it’s always fun to get in the spirit of things!)

“Mad Men” may be one of the best television shows ever, and Don Draper is one of the most surprising and complex characters ever written for the medium. The show touches on a lot of political, cultural and societal issues and tensions during the ’60s. We see the characters react to civil rights activism, the assassination of John F. Kennedy, Martin Luther King, Jr. and Robert Kennedy. The way the show depicts women and how females were treated in the 1960s, especially in the workplace, is incredible. Additionally, the costumes and sets are amazing to get lost in. Don’t be surprised if you find yourself taking fashion inspiration from Don or his cohorts.

The show: “Scrubs”

Streaming on: Netflix

Ideal viewing: With your best friend, of course! #JDandTurk4ever

For some reason, comedies are more difficult to binge watch — maybe it’s because their stories and plots are less linear than dramas — but “Scrubs” is fun to watch continuously for hours. The show invests us in its characters and makes us want to know what happens next. Watching JD, Turk and Elliot start as lowly interns and bloom into beautiful butterfly doctors is like watching your own best friends succeed.

The show: “Masters of Sex”

Streaming on: Showtime On Demand

Ideal viewing: Alone, and feel free to light some candles.

“Masters of Sex” tells the story of two groundbreaking 1950s and 1960s sex researchers. The cast is amazing, especially with Lizzy Caplan as the scene-stealing Virginia Johnson. Also, there’s a lot of sex.

This list can easily continue, but these are just a few suggestions to get you started. So sit back, grab enough snacks to last at least four to six hours, enough fluids to keep you going and, if you’re really committed, maybe even grab a bed pan and enjoy your binge-watching spree!