Sci-fi series always walk a delicate line between being some of the best and the worst TV shows out there. When done right, sci-fi doesn’t just take us to other worlds or alternate dimensions but makes us reflect on our own lives, too. On the other hand, when done poorly it can be not just campy, but downright terrible (sometimes even terribly funny). We’ve put together a list of five entertaining sci-fi series for you to binge watch this weekend. So be sure your router is ready, your fastest VPN is turned on, and you have some good snacks prepared.
1) The X-Files
The X-Files isn't just a show, it’s a phenomenon. The TV series hits every genre from aliens to ghosts and “demonic fetal harvesting.” If you have seen the show, it’s definitely worth revisiting. The early episodes are full of 90s nostalgia including pictures of Bill Clinton in the FBI office, brick cell phones, and more. The show stars David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson as Fox Mulder and Dana Scully, two FBI agents investigating the “X-Files” or unusual cases.
The two perfectly pair each other as Mulder seeks to find the truth at all costs even as it leads to paranormal and extreme situations. Scully is the voice of science and reason balancing Mulders sometimes crazy, but often accurate ideas. The show is a fantastic combination of a sci-fi and crime thriller.
Available for Streaming on Fox.com. You will need a VPN if you’re not in the USA.
2) Star Trek: The Next Generation
You can stream five of the different Star Trek series on Netflix. So, you do have many options. And while many fans argue over who is better on Captain Picard vs. Captain Kirk, Star Trek: The Next Generation is an excellent blend of what made the original series great while fixing some of the comically bad scripts and sets from the original.
What sets The Next Generation apart is the fact that it’s a different kind of sci-fi. This is definitely the thinking man’s sci-fi show. It’s less about laser fights and more about mysteries. Some of the most intense action is often dialogue, but that’s what makes it unique. The show centers around Captain Picard portrayed by the legendary actor Patrick Stewart. And, while he doesn’t have the comic flair of yelling “Khan!” he makes a compelling lead character.
Available for Streaming on Netflix.
Our first two choices were to hit you up with a little nostalgia. Now it’s time for something a little more current with Westworld. This show, which began airing in 2016 and just wrapped up its second season, has received overwhelmingly positive reviews from critics. The show is set in the titular Westworld, a less than average amusement park. Intended for wealthy people, the park allows its visitors to live out any fantasy through virtual consciousness. They are allowed to indulge in whatever their fantasy is, no matter how extreme with no consequences.
The show is based on the acclaimed Michael Crichton novel of the same name, features an all-star ensemble cast including Ed Harris and Anthony Hopkins, and has won a ton of awards across the industry.
Available for Streaming on HBO Go. If you have HBO through your cable provider, you can stream from the App. If you are outside of the US, however, you will need the fastest VPN possible to get the best quality on this stunning series.
4) Black Mirror
If someone hasn’t said to you recently, “this is just like something out of Black Mirror,” then you must be living on a deserted island. This massively popular series features stand-alone dramas or mini-movies. In many ways, it is a modern adaptation of the “Twilight Zone” with different plotlines that explore the different ways technology is impacting and will impact our society. The show is suspenseful and satirical with each episode feature its own unique cast of characters.
Since Black Mirror is a standalone series, you can watch it in any order you like. Some of the fan favorites include “San Junipero,” “Nose Dive,” and “The National Anthem.” You can also search for episodes by themes you are interested in such as dystopia, technology, nationalism, and more.
Available for Streaming on Netflix.
Firefly is a cult classic. And, you can watch the entire show in just one weekend. Set 500 years from now, Firefly’s backdrop is in the aftermath of a universal civil war. The show follows the crew of a transport ship that will take any job it can get. Firefly is where sci-fi meets Western as the crew faces numerous challenges on the frontiers of space including the Reavers, human-eating monsters out in space.
The show is considered as being way ahead of its time. Even though it only has one season, fans love it. It spawned an entire media franchise including a film Serenity that answered many of the unresolved plot questions.
Available for Streaming on Amazon Prime.
Streaming the Best Shows to Watch Over the Weekend
These five incredible series will give you more than plenty to watch over the weekend. In fact, the X-Files has 201 episodes and Star Trek: The Next Generation has 178. The most important thing is being sure you’re able to watch them. Depending on where you live, some content may be geo-restricted. That’s why it’s essential to have the fastest VPN possible. That way, you can watch the show in HD and not see that frustrating “99% loaded” screen for hours on end. They're also important if you decide to go on one of those free streaming sites, which are often packed with potential malware. VPNs protect your privacy and computer so you can enjoy these fantastic TV shows. Happy watching!