Celebrate Leap Year With One Of These Perfect Binge Plans

Photo: Courtesy of ABC.
Okay, folks, I'll be honest. When I pitched this story to my editors, I wasn't really thinking about the fact that February 29 isn't actually going to feel like an extra special day or anything like that. It's an arbitrarily designated period of 24 hours that wedges itself in between February 28 and March 1 every four years. Even more of a bummer was my realization that this year, the 29th falls on a Monday — and, thus, shall feel as shitty as every Monday does. (I truly think this should be a national holiday. Why should we have to sacrifice this rare, random bonus day to our jobs?)
But no matter! We're going to celebrate leap day just because with some damn good television. We could all use a good reason to justify our binge-watching, and I just gave you a great one. You're welcome. So in honor of it being a leap year, here are 15 amazing shows and movies to binge before the month is out. (Or, you know, whenever.)
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1 of 15
American Crime Story: The People vs. O.J. Simpson (2016)

Stars: Sarah Paulson, Cuba Gooding Jr., John Travolta, David Schwimmer, Courtney B. Vance, Sterling K. Brown

Binge-Worthy Because: Whether you remember the trial or not, the double murder of Simpson's ex-wife Nicole Brown and Ronald Goldman is a sensational true-crime story, and one that everybody is talking about. So far, showrunner Ryan Murphy has done a fantastic job bringing the racially charged case to life again. And Paulson is compelling as Marcia Clark, the tough lead prosecutor. (Plus, little Kardashians.)

Time Commitment: 10 40- to 55-minute episodes (six left to air)

How To Watch: FX
2 of 15
Quantico Season 1 (2015)

Stars:
Priyanka Chopra, Jake McLaughlin, Johanna Braddy, Aunjanue Ellis, Yasmine Al Massri

Binge-Worthy Because:
Honestly, it's all about Chopra. Her character, Alex, is smart, strong, and layered — and on-screen, Chopra mesmerizes. The twisty story line is a little bit Homeland, but sexier and more enjoyable to watch. Catch up now, because after that cliffhanger midseason finale, you'll be geared up for the season return on March 6.

Time Commitment:
11 43-minute episodes

How To Watch:
ABC
3 of 15
Chelsea Does (2016)

Stars:
Chelsea Handler

Binge-Worthy Because: Marriage, Silicon Valley, race, and drugs — Handler attacks each complex issue head-on with wit, genuine curiosity, and self-deprecation. Handler seamessly shifts between her personal perspective to other people's stories, as well as the global picture. At one moment, she's talking about her own racist stereotypes; the next, she's interviewing some Southerners who are confident that slaves actually had a pretty nice life.

Time Commitment: Four 70-minute installments

How To Watch: Netflix


4 of 15
You, Me and the Apocalypse (2016)

Stars: Rob Lowe, Jenna Fischer, Mathew Baynton, Gaia Scodellaro

Binge-Worthy Because: This apocalyptic comedy is off-beat, smart, and most of all, hilarious. If you're missing Rob Lowe as Chris on Parks & Rec, see him nail it here as basically the opposite: a swearing, chain-smoking priest. And the cast is refreshing in its realistic diversity. (As in, there are no "token Black guys.")

Time Commitment: Four 43-minute episodes

How To Watch: NBC
5 of 15
House of Cards Season 3 (2015)

Stars: Kevin Spacey, Robin Wright, Michael Kelly, Constance Zimmer, Mahershala Ali

Binge-Worthy Because:
The fourth season premieres on March 4, and we know what we're doing next weekend. But with all of the shifting alliances and speed-plotting (and our speed-watching), it's hard to remember exactly where we left off — save for that pivotal final sequence, of course. Refresh your memory and delight in re-watching the sinister and cynical Frank.

Time Commitment: 13 50- to 60-minute episodes

How To Watch: Netflix
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6 of 15
Mr. Robot Season One (2015)

Stars:
Rami Malek, Christian Slater, Portia Doubleday, Carly Chaikin, Martin Wallströ

Binge-Worthy Because: Odds are you missed this strange, brilliant gem last summer. (I resisted watching it at first based on the network and silly name alone.) From the opening scene, unstable hacker Elliot (Malek) brings you deep into his fascinating, fucked up world. Mr. Robot has a thrilling way of upending your expectations at every turn. The anticapitalism message couldn't be more relevant, either — and Malek is a phenomenal actor. Season 2 is expected to premiere this summer.

Time Commitment: 10 45- to 60-minute episodes

How To Watch: USA
7 of 15
UnReal Season One (2015)

Stars:
Shiri Appleby, Constance Zimmer, Craig Bierko, Freddie Stroma

Binge-Worthy Because: The drama going on behind-the-scenes of Everlasting, a Bachelor-like dating show, is crazier than anything you've seen on reality TV. Alternately dark and funny, the addictive show explores just how far people will go in the name of great TV. Deceipt, manipulation, psychological damage, fabrications, and even death: UnReal is not afraid to go there. And Shiri Appleby is awesome as producer Rachel.

Time Commitment: 10 40- to 45-minute episodes

How To Watch: Hulu
8 of 15
Togetherness Season 1 (2015)

Stars:
Mark Duplass, Michelle Pierson, Steve Zissis, Amanda Peet

Binge-Worthy Because: The underrated dramedy Togetherness leads the pack in the rare breed of series made for thirtysomethings. The characters are in challenging places in their lives. Some are in flux, reinventing themselves; others are witnessing their monotonous lives turn stale. Plus, this one's easy to catch up on: Season 2 just started, and the first season is just eight short episodes.

Time Commitment: Eight 25- to 30-minute episodes

How To Watch: HBO
9 of 15
Billions (2016)

Stars: Damian Lewis, Paul Giamatti, Malin Akerman, Maggie Siff

Binge-Worthy Because:
Do you really need another reason besides Damian Lewis? Okay, fine. Giamatti's pretty good, too, as a New York U.S. attorney set on destroying Bobby Axelrod (Lewis), a self-made hedge fund titan. Axelrod is beloved by the city and, despite his unethical tactics, it's impossible not to like him as a viewer. And it's exciting to see their respective wives (Akerman and Siff) not be relegated to passive, secondary roles.

Time Commitment: 10 55-minute episodes (four left to air)

How To Watch:
Showtime
10 of 15
Fuller House (2016)

Stars: Candace Cameron Bure, Jodie Sweetin, Andrea Barber, Bob Saget, John Stamos

Binge-Worthy Because: Lots of us grew up on this sitcom, and it's rare that a show gets a full-throttle reboot over 20 years after it went off the air. And, despite the lackluster reviews it's gotten so far, don't we owe it to our kiddie selves to check in on the Tanner clan two decades down the road? Actually, we're hoping Uncle Jesse (Stamos) hasn't grown up one bit.

Time Commitment:
13 25- to 35-minute episodes

How To Watch:
Netflix
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11 of 15
Love (2016)

Stars:
Claudia O'Doherty, Gillian Jacobs, Paul Rust

Binge-Worthy Because:
This irreverent rom-com, co-created by comedy genius Judd Apatow, is as postmodern as modern love gets. The quirky show takes an unflinching look at flawed people, complicated relationships, and the many shitty parts of life: immobilizing breakups, terrible work situations, full-blown meltdowns, strange sexual encounters, botched dates, alcoholism, and painfully awkward situations.

Time Commitment:
10 35-minute episodes

How To Watch:
Netflix
12 of 15
The Fall Seasons 1 & 2 (2013-2014)

Stars:
Gillian Anderson, Jamie Dornan, Valene Kane, Séainín Brennan

Binge-Worthy Because: Meet Stella Gibson (Anderson), ingenious police investigator and the most feminist character on TV. What's different about this crime series is that it's not a whodunnit. Rather, it's a dark and sometimes scary cat-and-mouse game between Gibson and Paul Spector (Dornan), an unfortunately sexy serial killer masquerading as a family man. Get yourself psyched for the third and final season, airing later this year.

Time Commitment: 11 hour-long episodes

How To Watch: Netflix
13 of 15
The Oscar-Nominated Short Films: Animated, Live Action, & Documentary (2015)

Binge-Worthy Because: The Oscars actually do a decent job of keeping an open mind when it comes to these overlooked categories — culling a diverse variety of short films from around the world. These shorts are edgier, more provocative, and more creative than most of the feature-length fare you'll see. And this is one binge that will make you feel très cultured

Time Commitment: 1 hour, 47 minutes for live action; 1 hour, 26 minutes for animated, and 2 hours, 43 minutes for documentaries

How To Watch: Streaming on most platforms and playing in select theaters
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The Films (& Performances) That Should Have Been Nominated: Beasts of No Nation, Straight Outta Compton, Creed, & Concussion (2015)

Stars:
Idris Elba (Beasts), Michael B. Jordan (Creed), Will Smith (Concussion), O'Shea Jackson, Jr. (Straight Outta Compton)

Binge-Worthy Because:
We don't have to tell you that just because a whole lot of old white men failed to recognize incredible films featuring Black performers does not mean they're not worth the watch. If anything, you should see for yourself exactly how outrageous it is that these movies were snubbed. Each of them is full of powerful, moving, praise-worthy performances.

Time Commitment:
Each film, approximately two hours

How To Watch: Beasts: Netflix
Creed and Compton: Amazon, GooglePlay, iTunes
Concussion: Not yet released
15 of 15
Leonardo DiCaprio's Movies (Here Are A Few To Get You Started)
What's Eating Gilbert Grape? (1993)
Gangs Of New York
(2002)
Catch Me If You Can
(2002)
The Aviator
(2004)
The Departed
(2005)
Blood Diamond
(2006)
Inception
(2010)
Shutter Island
(2010)
Django Unchained (
2012)
The Wolf Of Wall Street (2013)
The Great Gatsby
(2013)

Binge-Worthy Because: We need to celebrate Leo's imminent Oscar win by reliving his on-screen brilliance in a truly ridiculous number of different and difficult roles throughout his career. And if his unbelievable performance in The Revenant doesn't clinch him a statue, we don't even know.

Time Commitment: Each film, two to three hours

How To Watch: All available on most major streaming platforms