With the TV season almost over and vacation spread before you like an unsullied blanket of free time, you might be in the mood for a TV marathon. Why not make your own? It's the perfect opportunity to curl up and wade into some shows you weren't sure you'd like, haven't had the time to try, or possibly, didn't know existed.
I never thought I'd like this show. I expected shallow stereotypes and uninteresting, girdled women. Well, I was right about the girdles. These women are bright, educated, engaging and rushing headfirst into an evolving world. Combine that with "Pan Am's" glossy costumes and set design, add its irresistible element of soap, and it's a show fitting for a marathon. According to former Pan Am flight attendants, it's also pretty close to their reality. For authenticity, check out some snack ideas from that time period (but for heaven's sake, don't actually try to eat them).
If there was an Emmy for perfect casting, "Leverage" would get it, you know, assuming cable channels from this side of the tracks ever won anything like that. This con-game-action-comedy-thriller from TNT was making revenge sweet long before ABC's "Revenge" hit the airwaves. A string of delightfully improbable plots with popcorn-worthy special effects, the show offers a collection of criminal specialists who take on the big guys for the little guys. You'd definitely want these people for you rather than against you. With "Leverage" currently in its fourth season, you can marathon to your heart's content, or until your eyeballs fall out, whichever comes first.
If you read the title of the show and thought, "eh," then I'm talking to you. This reboot of the classic (which will be celebrating its 50th anniversary) will draw you in with excellent pacing, offbeat story lines and characters who aren't pop-culture references, but actual pop culture. For your "Doctor Who" marathon, I strongly suggest starting with the first season of the reboot and the ninth Doctor. Before you know it, you'll have made your way to the 10th Doctor, David Tennant, who is dreamy on all sides of the pond. And hey, the 11th Doctor, Matt Smith, is not so bad either. Have no idea what I'm talking about? Then this marathon is so very much for you. A fez is optional; don't worry, you won't need it until Series 5.
If you haven't started watching this show, it's time to catch up before it returns in January. Imaginative and escapist, the show builds a believable dual world: one where reality for the rest of us is nothing but a spell for the residents of Storybrooke, Maine. Though most women in the original fairy tales were often in need of rescue, these damsels can handle their own distress just fine. Low on creep factor and high on charm, even the villains offer tantalizing mysteries. Get yourself a basket of goodies and have fun trying to match the Storybrooke citizens with their fairy tale characters.
If you're looking for something darker in your marathon, "Breaking Bad" is the perfect choice. Yes, the idea of a chemistry-teacher-turned-methamphetamine-manufacturer might sound off, but this show offers some of the most remarkable writing and characterization on television. Bryan Cranston's Walter White is complex, unfathomable and transparent all at once (even if he did lose to "Doctor Who's" Rory Williams in the Redeye's Best TV Characters Tournament). Once this show picks up steam, you'll be cursing not spacing it out better and having to wait for the upcoming final season with the rest of us saps.