Labor Day weekend is an ideal time to kick back, relax, and consume digital entertainment for hours on end, but with hundreds of channels and a multitude of fully-stocked streaming services at your disposal the process can be overwhelming.
So, TheWrap tag-teamed with U.S. Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez to create the perfect binge-watching schedule for the holiday weekend. Secretary Perez got us started with some fantastic and intelligent suggestions, and then we went straight for “Saved by the Bell.”
“Labor Day is an opportunity to recognize the invaluable contributions that working men and women make to our nation, our economy and our collective prosperity,” Secretary Perez told TheWrap.
“It gives us a chance to show gratitude for workers’ grit, dedication, ingenuity and strength, which define our nation’s character. At the Labor Department, it also provides an opportunity to reflect on how we can best serve and honor workers in return.”
For him, Monday is still a workday: “I’ll be with the President on Labor Day to meet and speak with working people and thank them for everything they do.”
But for many, Labor Day is a much-needed day off. Secretary Perez had a few viewing suggestions for those of us who haven’t been invited to hang out with President Obama and will instead be streaming media at home.
He recommends binge-watching “Breaking Bad” (Netflix), “Saturday Night Live” (TVLand) and “Seinfeld” (any TBS station at any time of the day), but not necessarily politically charged shows like “Scandal” or “House of Cards.”
“I see enough politics working in Washington that I try to get away from it when I’m at home,” Perez said. “Although my kids were jealous when I met the cast of ‘Veep’ at the White House correspondents dinner.”
Looking for something different? That’s OK, TheWrap has compiled several other thematically appropriate choices for your Labor Day weekend binge-watching pleasure:
“Saved by the Bell”
Lifetime’s “Unauthorized Saved By the Bell Story” is airing on Monday night, but you can watch every single episode of the show that inspired the buzzy biopic first, since it’s now streaming on Netflix. If there’s anyone who would take to the picket line for higher wages and longer breaks, we bet it would be Zack Morris (Mark-Paul Gosselaar).
Don’t lose your head over the excruciating wait for Fox’s newest hit drama to return for Season 2. Hulu has acquired and is now streaming all of Season One. Catch up and be ready for its Sept. 22 premiere on Fox.
New pilots from Whit Stillman, Steven Soderbergh and David Gordon Green are now available on the streaming giant. Amazon has once again offered up their new pilots for fans to watch and vote on. From comedies to dramas to psychological thrillers, there should be something for everyone – at least Amazon hopes so.
“Saturday Night Live”
TVLand is running 12 straight hours of the classic NBC late night sketch show, from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. on Saturday, Aug 30. It’s what’s the Secretary would want!
The ABC sitcom was cancelled too soon, but at least it was given a decent severance package. Encore episodes will air on Logo TV, kicking off with a weekend-long marathon starting on Saturday, Aug. 30, at noon. Oh, it’s on like Donkey Kong (Con)!
“Friday Night Tykes”
If you like your football in tiny, adorable packages, then Esquire has what you’re looking for. The reality show following pint-sized football players and their families will marathon from 10 a.m. – 8 p.m. on Monday, Sept. 1. Do they even pay these kids to tackle each other? Maybe it’s time for them to organize.
The late actor stars in “Good Morning, Vietnam,” the heartwarming tale of a U.S. serviceman who had the difficult job of keeping up American morale with his radio broadcasts during the Vietnam conflict. It hits Netflix Sept. 1. Then celebrate the brilliance of Robin Williams by streaming more of his classic films available on Netflix, like “Jumanji,” “The Bird Cage,” “Hook,” “The Fisher King,” and “Popeye.”
Adam Scott, Jane Lynch and Lizzy Caplan’s short-lived Starz series has a new home on Hulu now. Watch it over Labor Day weekend and be thankful your job isn’t as ridiculously awful as theirs. Then join all the other fans of the show in waiting anxiously for a revival that isn’t likely to come.
“Lord of the Rings”
If movie trilogies that take a full 12 hours to air are your thing, TNT has got you covered. Watch “The Fellowship of the Ring,” “The Two Towers” and “The Return of the King” back-to-back-to-back from noon to midnight on Saturday, Aug. 30. Middle Earth might be out of Secretary Perez’s jurisdiction, but Frodo’s grit and determination should still make him proud.
“The Beverly Hillbillies”
Strike it rich and move the whole family to Beverly Hills! The Clampetts were the living, breathing embodiment of the American Dream. TVLand will air a mini-marathon of the classic black and white sitcom from 9:36 a.m. to 2:38 p.m. on Monday, Sept. 1.
Homer Simpson might be the world’s laziest nuclear power plant safety inspector, but feel free t0 celebrate Labor Day by watching him slack off on the job. FXX ‘s epic 12-day, 552 episode “Simpsons” marathon continues throughout, finally wrapping up Sept. 2.
Animal Planet took the literal approach to Labor Day Weekend this year. The network set up cameras at the Nebraska State Fair’s birthing pavilion and each time an animal goes into labor Animal Planet will break into its regularly scheduled programming so viewers can experience the miracle of life as it’s happening.
“American Ninja Warrior”
For those of us who like to relax by watching other folks work their butts off, Esquire has an “American Ninja Warrior” marathon from 7 a.m. Aug. 30 to 3 a.m. Aug. 31.