The Emmys are over and the winners are in. The only question remaining is: Have you watched 2014's essential TV yet? If not, don't panic, we've got your back. Netflix does too. Luckily for the uninitiated, many of this years Emmy Award winning shows are available to stream via Netflix: Breaking Bad, Sherlock, Louie, Fargo, and American Horror Story. Other winners included Modern Family, The Amazing Race, The Good Wife (all watchable via Hulu Plus), Veep, and True Detective (which you can see on HBO Go). So this long weekend, sit down, loosen your belt, and bust out the popcorn because we've got your guide to catching up with the finest television on Netflix, including key episodes from seasons that shouldn't be missed.
Breaking Bad cleaned up at The Emmys. On a night that most expected would belong to HBO's True Detective, Breaking Bad solidified its place as one of the greatest TV series in history. With Bryan Cranston taking Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series and co-starts Anna Gunn and Aaron Paul winning for Outstanding Supporting Actress and Actor in a Drama Series respectively, the stars of the show were given their just due.
The show also won the Emmy for Outstanding Writing For A Drama Series, for the episode "Ozymandias" (season 5, episode 14) which was a critic and fan favorite. Widely regarded as one of the best episodes of television ever made, it's well worth going back and watching again, or if you haven't watched Breaking Bad, binge-watching your way there. (Netflix has all 5 seasons of the show on demand). We don't want to give too much away but it's breathtakingly suspenseful, beautifully shot, and gut wrenching in its character-driven plot, setting the scene for the series' climactic ending.
The BBC's Sherlock deserved to walk away with the Emmy for Outstanding Writing for Steven Moffat's dexterous yet irreverent style. The show's star, Benedict Cumberbatch, took the Outstanding Lead Actor in Miniseries or Movie Emmy, while Martin Freeman won Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Miniseries or Movie for his role as John Watson. Being a miniseries, Sherlock is only three episodes long per season, and each episode is an investment in viewing, being virtually movie length in time. It seems like arduous watching, but you to captivated to even realize how much time has passed, and at the end of the season, you'll hit yourself for speeding through the the morsels of Sherlock you had.
The Emmy nominated episode "His Last Vow" from season 3 (available on Netflix along with the first two seasons) sees Sherlock and Watson go head-to-head with the seemingly insurmountable obstacle of a truly formidable foe. It's the seasons finale, so we'd suggest snuggling up and sitting in for the long haul with the entirety of season 3.
Comedian Louis C.K. won Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series for the episode "So Did The Fat Lady" (Season 4, Episode 3) on his show, Louie. This episode isn't available to stream on Netflix yet, but that doesn't mean you can't prepare for when it is by revisiting some past episodes. Our pick? "Oh Louie / Tickets" (Season 2, Episode 7), in which Louie attempts to get Lady Gaga concert tickets for his daughter. Structured a little bit like a Curb Your Enthusiasm episode but with Louis C.K.'s signature earnestness, it's a fun place for those who are new to Louie to become acquainted (and for those who already love it to be reminded why!).
American Horror Story
With Jessica Lange taking the title of Outstanding Lead Actress in a Miniseries or Movie and Kathy Bates winning the Supporting Actress in a Miniseries or Movie Award, American Horror Story is officially must watch TV. The show is anthologized—so each season has different characters (the same actors) and a new plot—and while only the first two seasons are on Netflix, the third, Coven, is going to be worth the wait. Coven is about witches (love), but in the meantime we suggest digging your teeth into the first season, Murder House which Lange won the same award for in 2012, and which is about well… a murder house.