For every show that lives a long, healthy life guaranteeing syndication, there are two amazing series that never got a chance to flourish. While the idea of settling down with a one-season wonder might strike trepidation in the hearts of TV fans who subscribe to the more is more philosophy, there are some one-and-done series that are just too good to be ignored. They also come with a perk that their more enduring TV cousins lack — they’re the perfect size for bingeing.
In fact, every show on this list can be binged in a single weekend. If you’ve got 13 hours on your hands and your cabinet is stocked with popcorn, then settle down and stream one of these shows that only lasted a single season. Yes, they’ll all leave you wanting more, but you’ll also end up feeling pretty darn satisfied with what you get.
The world wasn’t quite ready for Joss Whedon’s space western when it debuted in 2002, but the show’s devoted cult following knows Firefly is one of the greats. From its roguish cast of space pirates to those shiny catchphrases, this is one instance where you should believe the hype. Firefly really is that good, and if you time your marathon just right, you’ll be able to squeeze the series’ big-screen followup Serenity into your weekend too.
Before ABC Family became Freeform they ended up with Bunheads, the true heir apparent to Gilmore Girls. Then they canceled it after a single, brilliant season. It’s one of TV’s great tragedies, but don’t let that put you off watching this ode to dancing and second acts.
With a cast that includes Seth Rogen, James Franco, Linda Cardellini, and Martin Starr, Freaks & Geeks is overflowing with talent — and it shows in every single frame. Every episode is a hilarious, heartbreakingly honest depiction of growing up, making this show a must-see for everyone.
4. The Get Down
The rise of hip-hop is at the heart of this dizzying Netflix series from Baz Luhrmann. Despite its electric spirit and stellar cast, Netflix axed the show after one season, leaving behind 11 episodes of stunning TV.
5. Selfie< /h4>
Yes, Selfie has a stupid title, but this wry comedy about connecting in the age of social media is funny, sharp, and, sometimes, a little melancholy. One thing is certain, settling in to watch 13 episodes of John Cho and Karen Gillan’s banter will keep you from checking Facebook for at least a day.
This British import is like Buffy, only way more profane. The series about two demon-killing chosen-ones is at once a sweet story about the power of female friendship and an ass-kicking adventure.
7. Mad Dogs
A boy’s trip goes horribly awry in this one-season wonder that works perfectly as a 10-episode adrenaline-fueled action series.
8. The Fades
The end of the world and the awkwardness of being a teenager collide in The Fades, a six-episode series with an all-star cast and one of the best fantasy premises of the decade.
Do you like Bradley Cooper? Good. Meet this sitcom where he starred as a fictionalized version of Anthony Bourdain.
10. Harper’s Island
Before horror was TV’s it genre, Harper’s Island aired on CBS as a macabre mystery that never got enough love. The basic premise is that a wedding party brings multiple characters to a secluded island where they begin to get picked off one by one. While the show’s no American Horror Story, it is a fun ride.
NBC canceled this incredible drama way too soon. Jason Isaacs stars as a man who is living in two realities, neither of them perfect. It’s a high concept, but it’s one that works. It should be noted that this show has one of TV’s best pilot episodes.
The next time you find yourself looking for something to stream that won’t require a seven month commitment, check out these amazing one-season wonders.