TV

5 shows you can binge – start to finish – on Labor Day

Image: TNT

Labor Day is Monday, Sep. 5 and that means an extra day off work. It could also mean an extra day to binge-watch! Here are five phenomenal TV shows that you can completely binge – from start to finish – on the upcoming holiday.

1. Ultraviolet

This 1998 sci-fi show is begging to be binged. It has vampires, one of the most underrated TV heroes ever, Stephen Moyer and Idris Elba. What more could you want? Ultraviolet is dark, spooky, wonderfully acted and brilliantly written. No other show has ever told a vampire story like this. And it only has six episodes, so you could theoretically watch the entire series before lunch. And after lunch you might start looking over your shoulder.

2.  The Player

The best of last fall’s new shows was cut down in its prime. The Player starred the peerless Philip Winchester (now set to star in NBC’s Chicago Justice) as the completely awesome Alex Kane, a security consultant who’d stop at nothing to bust the bad guys – and find out what happened to his ex-wife. Not only was the show jam-packed with thrilling stunts and fights but it also had a remarkable cast. Aside from Winchester there was Wesley Snipes, Damon Gupton (Bates Motel) and Charity Wakefield (Wolf Hall), all of whom hit their notes. There are nine episodes in the complete series but by the time you get to the end you’ll be desperate for more.

3. Agent X

Speaking of shows that didn’t get any respect, we come to TNT’s Agent X. Ten episodes of more property destruction and physical harm than some seasons of 24, and that’s meant in the very best way. This show just charged through with reckless abandon and it was impossible not to get swept up in the ride. Jeff Hephner was an absolute beast in the title role of John Case (not his real name), who literally sacrificed everything to protect the country while also being funny and charming in a way you don’t see from many action heroes. If you want to watch a breakout performance while a lot of things get broken, this is your show.

4.  Kidnapped

Several years ago NBC came up with a serial drama called Kidnapped that should have been a hit, except it wasn’t. And it’s hard to figure out why. The show had an all-star cast including Dana Delany (who’d go on to do Body of Proof), Timothy Hutton (now on American Crime), Jeremy Sisto, Linus Roache, Delroy Lindo and Carmen Ejogo. Kidnapped may not have been a potboiler but it was reasonably well-written and you can get all thirteen episodes on YouTube or DVD. Plus, for Law & Order fans, it includes this great scene where Jeremy Sisto punches Linus Roache in the face:

5.  The Divide

If you want to binge a show that’s going to stick with you well after Labor Day then you need to be introduced to The Divide. The Divide was the best show on issues of race, community and justice since The Wire, but no one watched it because it was on WeTV, which is known for airing Bridezillas. Scandal‘s Tony Goldwyn was the co-creator alongside Academy Award nominee Richard LaGravenese, while Damon Gupton (yes, from The Player) and Marin Ireland were gangbusters in the opposing lead roles of a D.A. and a law student both looking into the same murder case. This show was almost perfect and yet it only went eight episodes; luckily those eight episodes are available on iTunes or Amazon Instant Video.

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Brittany Frederick

Brittany Frederick is an award-winning entertainment and sports journalist, screenwriter, and novelist. She was named an honorary analyst for Section 20 (#StrikeBack), and when she's not working with TV heroes, you can find her trying to be one in real life on the Verizon IndyCar Series. You can reach her at her official website (brittany-frederick.com) and on Twitter @tvbrittanyf.

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