1. Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life
This is quite possibly the most anticipated post-Thanksgiving Day release this year. Netflix is releasing all four 90-minute episodes of the Gilmore Girls revival on November 25, so make some coffee, gather your leftovers, and settle in for a six-hour reunion with your favorite folks in Stars Hollow.
Shameless is pretty much the anti-Gilmore Girls. The show takes place in urban Chicago and centers around the incredibly dysfunctional Gallagher family. Just when you think these beautifully flawed characters couldn’t possibly find worse choices to make or sink past their latest rock bottom, they somehow always manage it. Why is it the perfect post-Thanksgiving binge? Well, for one thing, no matter how awkward or heated your family dinner will get, the Gallaghers will definitely make your family feel like a Norman Rockwell painting.
3. Love Actually
Love it or hate it, this movie is a classic holiday film that’s not really about the holiday itself. It’s just a giant, feel-good romantic comedy packed with every rom-com trope you can imagine and for that we are grateful, actually. Plus, there’s that part where Hugh Grant dances around. We love that part.
4. Soul Food
Soul Food is not a holiday-themed movie, and yet it speaks to all of the things we cherish about the holidays. It’s about family, food, and the ties that bind us all, through the best and worst of times.
5. Home Alone
For those of you ready to jump right into Christmas movie mode, you can’t go wrong by starting off the season with Home Alone. Writer John Hughes and director Chris Columbus manage to take some pretty dark themes, like child neglect and home invasion, and turn them into a light-hearted comedy that gives you the warm fuzzies. It’s a classic for a reason, and it’s safe to watch with the whole family.
6. Friday Night Lights
I know what you’re thinking — if you actually cared about football, you’d be watching the actual sport on Thanksgiving weekend. Friday Night Lights is one of the best shows in the history of television partially because it transcends the typical sports show cliches. What you get is an incredibly written, acted, and directed drama about the people in a small Texas town that just happens to revolve around a high school football team. The struggles, heartbreaks, and triumphs will pull you in and make you feel more than you thought possible, even about a high school football championship.
Much like your leftover turkey, Bloodline is a deliciously crafted slow burn that will leave you wanting more. This Netflix original series is a dark thriller about the secrets lurking behind the smiles of a seemingly perfect, close-knit family. Come for the stellar cast, stay for the gripping family drama.
Whether you’ve seen every episode a thousand times, or you’ve never seen it once, Friends is a perfect food-coma binge. You can start from the beginning, pick a few fan favorites, or watch the holiday-themed episodes from each of the 10 seasons.
9. The West Wing
Feeling a little disillusioned by our current political climate? The West Wing might just be the thing you need. Incredible cast, razor-sharp writing, and a POTUS we can all believe in is definitely something we would all be thankful for this year.
10. One Mississippi
With only six episodes, One Mississippi is a perfect one-day binge. This fearless tragicomedy follows a woman (Tig Notaro) back to her hometown to deal with the sudden death of her mother. It sounds like a bummer, but the uniquely witty and honest writing make the show a surprisingly funny breath of fresh air.
From Amy Sherman-Palladino, the same woman who brought you Gilmore Girls, Bunheads is the perfect chaser to your GG revival binge. Sutton Foster plays Michelle, a Las-Vegas showgirl who, after a series of unexpected events, finds herself living and teaching dance in a small coastal town alongside her mother in law, played by the one and only Kelly Bishop. The show is a freaking delight, and the dance sequences are fantastic. Plus, you might recognize a few faces from Stars Hollow along the way.
Time to break out the tissues. This show will make you cry until you have no tears left — without relying on crazy plot-twists or manufactured sentiment. It’s just a beautifully honest and relatable show about family relationships.
13. Die Hard
“Yippee-ki-yay, motherfucker!” This might not be the movie to watch with your nana, but it is exactly what to watch after having a drunken Friendsgiving with your crew. It hits the spot for anyone who doesn’t mind a little Christmas spirit in the background while watching shit blow up.
14. Bridget Jones’ Diary
Bridget Jones is everyone’s favorite singleton, and her very first movie, based on the wonderfully clever book by Helen Fielding, reminds us all why we love her. Like so many of us, Bridget finds herself reevaluating her life and her goals as she stumbles through the holiday season and into a new year.
15. The Holiday
The Holiday is a sweet little gem that’s just right for a post-Thanksgiving, pre-Christmas viewing. Whether you’re feeling nostalgic about holidays past or wondering what this season holds for you (maybe an unexpected romance?), this charming rom-com is just what you need.
This one goes out to those of us who are ready for Christmas the second we finish dessert on Thanksgiving. Bring on the candy canes, the Christmas music, the lights, and fill your heart with the joy of Buddy the Elf! HE KNOWS SANTA.
Once again, we have another Christmas movie in disguise. Gremlins isn’t really about the holiday specifically, but it is about the best worst gift ever wreaking havoc on Christmas Eve. And honestly, it’s a just ton of fun wrapped in a bundle of nostalgia.
18. The Ref
Dysfunctional family dynamics? Check. Christmas themes? Check. Perfectly cast, very dark comedy about a would-be Christmas Eve burglar who winds up taking the world’s most annoying married couple hostage and becoming their default marriage counselor? CHECK. Everything you need for a Black Friday on the couch.
19. While You Were Sleeping
What’s a sleepy, post-holiday couch session without a little Sandra Bullock? While You Were Sleeping is sometimes forgotten, but well worth the watch. The unlikely premise about a young woman who accidentally finds herself pretending to be engaged to a comatose man she’s never actually met, being embraced by his family, and ultimately finding that romantic spark with HIS BROTHER — with the holiday season as the backdrop — is a surprisingly solid rom-com with all of the feels.