As hard as it is for us all to face, slowly but surely, summer is coming to an end.
Soon, the nights will be drawing in, the weather will take a turn for the (even) worse, and on the weekends, you’ll peer out of your curtains, take one look at the grey and drizzle and think, ‘not today’.
In other words, it’s that time of year where long stints of TV and movie watching become even more appealing than normal.
With that in mind therefore, we’ve put together a brief guide to help point you in the direction of the very best TV and movie marathons you may wish to complete:
Lord Of The Rings
Extended editions – 11 hrs 34 mins
Arguably no other film series is more tailored to the movie marathon format than Peter Jackson’s epic fantasy trilogy.
The three individual movies do work as films in their own right of course, but in reality it’s all one enormous adventure that needs to be seen as a whole.
Now, when planning your marathon, you may find yourself debating whether or not to go for the theatrical cuts or the extended editions.
Well, I’m here to tell you right now, if you don’t do the extended editions in all their glory, you’re just letting everyone down.
Clocking in at just shy of 12 hours, get this bad boy started in the morning and you can be mourning Boromir by lunchtime and facing Helms Deep before tea.
Original – 6 hrs 22 min. Prequel – 6 hrs 58 min. Total – including Rogue One (2 hrs 13 min) and Force Awakens (2 hrs 15 min) – 17 hrs 48 mins
When it comes to binge watching Star Wars movies, you first need to tackle the crucial conundrum of which movies to include and then in what order to take them.
If you’re a purist and only wish to watch the original trilogy, you need only set aside 6 hrs 22 mins. If you find yourself, for whatever reason you care to fathom, to opt purely for the prequel trilogy, you need just shy of 7 hrs.
However, the option that truly stands out is to take on the whole lot in chronological order.
Get the prequels out of the way, then enjoy Rogue One, follow it up with the original trilogy, and finish off with Force Awakens.
In total, this takes you around 17 hours and 48 minutes.
If you can think of a finer way to spend a day, then I don’t want to know about it.
19 hrs 59 mins (including extended editions)
The Potter movies also lend themselves perfectly to an all-day marathon.
Runtime-wise, they offer a challenging but achievable option that will really force you to embrace the marathon experience.
At just shy of 20 hours, you’re basically committing an entire day to this endeavour.
And personally, in this situation, I’m a ‘start early’ kind of guy.
Get up at the crack of dawn to blast through the so-so Chris Columbus ones, and then load up on caffeine later on for that post-1am Deathly Hallows stint.
Back To The Future
5 hrs 43 mins
Simply put, this is the most straight forward and manageable movie marathon going.
If you have an afternoon free, it would frankly be foolish to do anything but watch all three Back To The Future movies.
The meticulously plotted storylines of all three movies are so cleverly intertwined that watching them all in one go allows you to appreciate the mastery involved even more.
Perfect viewing at any time of the day.
The first three Indy movies combined offer up another wonderfully appealing runtime of pretty much bang on six hours. I mean, you could throw in Crystal Skull as well, but why ruin a lovely afternoon?
They may be three stand-alone movies, each with its own distinct story and tone, but Raiders, Temple and Crusade are all romping adventures that will keep you riveted from start to finish. It’s escapist cinema at its very best.
Save this one for a rainy day and bask in every whip-cracking moment.
Band Of Brothers
11 hrs 45 mins
In my humble opinion, this is the finest mini-series in TV history.
Steven Spielberg and Tom Hanks’ World War II drama is utterly compelling viewing, covering the trials and tribulations of Easy Company from their formation at Currahee all the way through the horrors of Bastogne.
It’s obviously a fairly weighty subject matter to tackle all in one go, but it’s such gripping TV that even at just shy of 12 hours in length, the time will fly by.
It’s undeniably a considerable undertaking in terms of time span however, so you will want to get started fairly early on in the day in order to ensure you fit everything in.
Stranger Things Season 1
Around 7 hrs 20 mins
The first season of Stranger Things may of course be a launching off point for a wider story that will continue with the forthcoming second season, but it’s also very much its own self-contained 8-part science-fiction mystery.
Clocking in at just over 7 hrs, this Netflix hit is crying out to be binged watched with the lights off, curtains drawn and volume up loud.
Take an evening to soak in every nostalgia filled moment of eerie strangeness.
True Detective Season 1
Roughly 8 hrs
The nature of True Detective as a show – an individual self-contained series that doesn’t intertwine in any way – lends itself perfectly to the marathon format.
You need not worry yourself with the uneven second season and can instead just watch the eight or so hours of brilliant, edgy, southern-Gothic darkness unfold.
Watching both McConaughey and Harrelson’s characters develop across the season in one fell swoop also allows you to fully appreciate the incredible performances they both delivered.
You may want to set aside a half hour of lighthearted comedy for after this one though, just to take the edge off slightly before calling it a night.