Welcome to XFINITY Watchathon Week! The biggest week of TV catch-up ever kicks off today.
XFINITY is offering viewers access to more than 3,900 hours of critically acclaimed and popular TV series content from March 25-31, including making most of its premium-channel on Demand libraries available to non-subscribers.
During XFINITY Watchathon Week, TV lovers can watch a total of 168 one-hour episodes of their favorite shows, or 336 30-minute episodes of their favorite comedies, and get in on the hottest way to devour TV shows — by binge-watching full seasons in a viewing marathon.
To help you dive in to some of TV’s best shows, here are some of our favorite characters — one for each day of the Watchathon — that are worth getting to know.
1. Carrie Mathison (Claire Danes) and Nick Brody (Damian Lewis), “Homeland”
Occupation: CIA Agent, Marine Sergeant
Why We Love Them: Two seasons in and Showtime’s “Homeland” has already won six Emmy Awards and six Golden Globes, and has been unanimously hailed by critics and viewers alike as one of the best shows on TV right now. The series’ stars Damian Lewis and Claire Danes, along with nuanced supporting players like Mandy Patinkin, drive the clever, fast-paced thriller about a brilliant, unstable CIA officer (Danes) and tormented marine Nick Brody (Lewis), who may or may not have been turned against America by his captors while being held prisoner for eight years in Iraq. The twists and turns, with an unexpected love story thrown into the mix, make this binge-tastic, must-see TV.
Watch: TV Stars Explain How to Binge Watch During XFINITY Watchathon Week:
2. Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln), “The Walking Dead”
Occupation: Sheriff, Zombie Apocalypse Survival Group Leader
Why We love Him: The grim Grimes is not necessarily a lovable character, but Andrew Lincoln is gripping as the husband, father, and lawman of honor thrown into the role of reluctant leader to a group of survivors after a zombie virus wipes out the majority of the population. The struggle to maintain their sanity and humanity becomes just as difficult as fighting off zombies in this new world, and that’s at the bloody, beating heart of the show, which, now in its third stand-out season, is the top-rated drama on television, for both cable and broadcast. Note: It’s not just for zombie lovers.
3. Lady Violet Crawley (Maggie Smith), “Downton Abbey”
Occupation: Dowager Countess, Manor Snarktress
Why We love Her: The scene stealer of the addictive period drama is fun, feisty and full of quotable zingers, with gems like: “I hate Greek drama … you know … when everything happens off stage” and “Don’t be defeatist dear, it’s very middle class.” “Downton Abbey”>Downton Abbey,” the juicy British drama that depicts the upstairs-downstairs world of the aristocratic Crawley family and the servants who work for them, is officially the biggest sensation ever to hit PBS, and really, isn’t that reason enough to check out why millions of people are buzzing about this show?
4. Don Draper (Jon Hamm), “Mad Men”
Occupation: Advertising Executive, Serial Philanderer
Why We love Him: Tall, dark and handsome. Broody, moody and complex. Jon Hamm’s Don Draper is the compelling leading man of AMC’s Emmy-winning drama that surely has piqued even non-watchers’ interest with its multitude of accolades and piles of praise. If you aren’t yet mad about “Mad Men,” now’s your chance to catch up on the stylish sixties series before it returns for Season 6 with a two-hour episode on April 7 at 9/8c on AMC.
5. Hannah Horvath (Lena Dunham), “Girls”
Occupation: Aspiring Writer
Why We love Her: The polarizing, generational HBO comedy has Lena Dunham’s name all over it, as series creator, writer and star, as she and her besties navigate life, love and other assorted disasters in New York City. As the core Everygirl Hannah Horvath (even her name is funny), Dunham is a refreshing departure from the “twentysomething stick figures with no souls” of the “Sex and the City” world; she’s raw, doughy, often-naked and vanity-free in her pursuit of comedy and dramedy on her exploit-filled path to Grown-Upsville.
6. Dexter Morgan (Michael C. Hall), “Dexter”
Occupation: Blood Spatter Analyst
Why We love Him: I know what you’re thinking. Why would anybody love a serial killer? That’s the brilliant conceit of Showtime’s killer drama; Dexter is sort of like the Robin Hood of murderers — he only kills bad guys. Working by day on the forensics team at crime scenes for Miami Metro Homicide, Dexter spends his off-duty hours taking out the trash, literally, and dumping dead bodies in trash bags off his boat, while striving to keep his own inner demons (aka his “Dark Passenger”) a secret from those he loves, namely his police lieutenant-sister Deb and his adorable son, Harrison. And with practically every episode ending with a cliffhanger, you’ll be hooked and will want more now!, so the XFINITY binge-watching experience is perfect for this kind of show!
7. Tony Soprano (James Gandolfini), “The Sopranos”
Occupation: Mob Boss
Why We love Him: The New Jersey mobster was one tormented tough guy, whose family issues and even bigger “family” issues drove him straight into therapy. If you missed “The Sopranos” bandwagon, here’s your chance to discover why the HBO drama is one of TIME magazine’s Top 50 Shows of All Time, why James Gandolfini won three Emmys, and why Tony Soprano (surrounded by a stellar supporting cast) is one of television’s greatest anti-heroes.