Stuck in quarantine? Unsure of when you're going to get out? The combination of working from home, staying at home, and an uncertain future has all of us a little on edge. That's okay. Take your mind off of it with some good TV. We've already covered Netflix and Hulu, and now we're going to take a look at some of the distractions that Sling TV has to offer.
Sling TV is an online service that provides live TV and access to around 50 channels, including some that you would normally need a fancy cable subscription to access. Recently, thanks to coronavirus and everyone working from home and self-isolating, the service has offered a few shows for free. If you want to upgrade it only costs $20 at a minimum for one of two service plans. If you want to go with both services combined, it'll cost $35. Just five days ago, those numbers were $30 and $45, so Sling is lowering the price to get you interested.
Obviously the free options are fairly limited and peppered with more enticing shows you can subscribe for, but that doesn't mean you can't take advantage of a few of the great shows available. In fact, we're starting with three that are very much worth watching. Not only are these shows free, but at least a couple of them were originally only available to watch if you had a subscription to a premium TV network.
You'll only get the first eight episodes of this show on the free service, but adding Starz so you can watch the rest only costs $5 a month. It's a sort of historical fiction adventure that follows a lot of characters from Robert Louis Stevenson's Treasure Island. There are several real-life pirates with fictionalized versions of themselves featured in the show, too, including famous ones like Blackbeard and Anne Bonny. It's a fun show that focuses on the Golden Age of Piracy and has some great production values. After the first eight episodes, you'll be scrounging for a way to finish the rest.
A pirate's life for me
Join a crew, set sail, and start the search for treasure with this underrated TV show from Starz. You'll be able to watch the first eight episodes for free, and by then you'll find the $5 a month for Starz to be trivial just to finish the series.
Free to stream. Another show only available on a premium network, this one being Showtime. The entire series is available for free compared to just the first season for Black Sails. You'll get 11 seasons and 139 episodes you can binge at zero cost. And it's a crazy show to binge, too. The basic premise is a father raising six kids, but he's an alcoholic and is regularly getting into trouble. The kids then learn to take care of themselves and their own problems. What unfolds from that simple summation has become one of Showtime's longest and most successful TV series.
The dad's a drunk, but he's also William H. Macy, so how can you not want to see more? In this show, no one is innocent, everyone causes trouble, and you'll enjoy every second of it as you binge for free.
Free to stream. Lexx really brings me back. This show was a guilty pleasure of mine on the Sci Fi channel back in the day when the Sci Fi channel had only the cheesiest of Sci Fi. Lexx takes place in a crazy science fiction universe that includes undead assassins, robot heads with no bodies, organic ships that feed on planets, and more. It covers multiple universes, multiple Earths, and some of the strangest characters you'll ever see. It's campy, but it's great.
Fire and Water
Originally a Showtime show, I used to watch this on the Sci Fi channel. I think this show falls under the category of "So bad it's good." Especially at this point since the production value does not exactly live up to modern standards. You'll still want to be a member of the Brunnen-G before it's over.
Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown
This is the first series on the list that requires a subscription to Sling Orange or Sling Blue. You can't leave the house, and even if you could you probably wouldn't travel too far from home. So re-watch Anthony Bourdain's show that's all about traveling to new places and explore the sort of places you'll probably never actually see in person. This was an excellent show that won several awards and explored the life, culture, and cuisine of everywhere from Koreatown in Los Angeles to Russia and Lebanon.
Bourdain might not be with us anymore, but his legend lives on. Go back and watch some of the best episodes of this series that explored just about every amazing part of this planet.
The Graham Norton Show
Requires Sling Orange or Blue. One of the most interesting talk shows you've probably never watched if you don't have access to the BBC. You might have seen clips on YouTube, though, as the show's YouTube channel is pretty popular. This is a series that features a lot of celebrities from all walks off life, including comedians for the comedy chair. If you love hearing celebrity stories and just need a little something to laugh at tonight, catch up on the most recent episodes through Sling.
Sit and stay a while
It's a comedy chat show, so it might not exactly be the most bingible thing on Earth. However, spend a couple hours enjoying hilarious stories and anecdotes from British and American celebrities. It's got some adult-themed humor in it, too.
The Good Place
Requires Sling Blue. There are plenty of ways to watch this show, but it's definitely one worth pointing out. The Good Place is a comedy series that will be up there on the list of binge-able shows like The Office and Parks and Recreation long after it has gone off the air. It's an amazingly funny and quirky show that explores the afterlife in a very light-hearted fashion. You'll like it even if it does have the one last dedicated Jacksonville Jaguars fan.
Janet, show me more
This show just concluded its final season, but that doesn't mean it's over. At least, not for perpetual binge watchers who can watch it over and over again. It's always great to be able to go from the start to the finish when you're watching a show all at once.
Requires Sling Blue. Not only is this a perfectly binge-worthy show, I can attest that I have in fact watched it from beginnign to end at least once. Maybe several times. This fantastic series turns the detective periodical on its head with a main character who is neither a detective nor a psychic but kind of pretends to be both. It's like a buddy cop movie that stretches for eight seasons because the best part about it is the interaction between the two main characters, Shawn and Gus, also known as Longbranch Pennywhistle.
I've seen it both ways
Let me tell you, I enjoy this show so much just writing about it right now has got me thinking about re-watching it. There is such a lasting fandom for the show that they've already made one movie and have another one set to air on NBC's streaming service when it is released.
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