What to binge: Escape into these fantasy TV shows

See who ends up on the iron throne on "Game of Thrones," one of the long-running fantasy TV shows available to binge watch.  File Photo by John Angelillo/UPI
1 of 3 | See who ends up on the iron throne on "Game of Thrones," one of the long-running fantasy TV shows available to binge watch.  File Photo by John Angelillo/UPI | License Photo

April 28 (UPI) -- When the real world gets too tough to bear, it's nice to escape into a fantasy world. A movie is only two hours of escape, maybe three. A TV show can give you days and weeks if it's at least three seasons. Here are some of the best fantasy shows to escape into while streaming at home and where to find them. All have at least three seasons available.

The Magicians -- Syfy, Netflix


Escape into Brakebills University, where the students learn to harness the powers of magic. It's sort of like Harry Potter -- if Hogwarts were a college. The show depicts grown-ups with magic, not kids, but they're still in school. Catch up on the first four seasons on Netflix before the fifth and final season premieres on Syfy.


Game of Thrones -- HBO

It's the most obvious and most popular, but Game of Thrones gives you eight seasons in the kingdom of Westeros. Even if you already know who wins the game, you can escape into the day-to-day life of the Lannisters, Starks, Snows and Targaryens. Plus, it'll be fresh in your mind when HBO premieres the prequel, The House of the Dragon.

Hercules and Xena -- Syfy, DirecTV

Here are two for the price of one. Unfortunately, only the first season of Hercules: The Legendary Journeys is streaming, and you have to pay for it. But, Kevin Sorbo's irreverent ancient myth spun off Lucy Lawless as Xena. Her entire series is streaming on Syfy, with two seasons on DirecTV. Hercules makes enough cameos that you'll get your fill of both.

Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events -- Netflix

Netflix adapted all 13 of Daniel Handler's Lemony Snicket books over three seasons of the show. Neil Patrick Harris stars as Count Olaf, an evil stepfather type trying to claim the family fortune of the Baudelaire children (Malina Weissman, Louis Hynes, Presley Smith). No matter to which fantasy realm the Baudelaires escape, Olaf shows up in a new disguise, trying to get them.


Once Upon a Time -- Netflix

When Emma Swan (Jennifer Morrison) visited Storybrooke, she learned that the fairy tales of legend were real. Snow White (Ginnifer Goodwin), Rumplestiltskin (Robert Carlyle), Peter Pan (Josh Dallas) and the Evil Queen (Lana Parrilla) were all characters. Later seasons introduced Elsa (Georgina Haig), Merida (Amy Manson) and Mulan (Jamie Chung).

Stranger Things -- Netflix

Stranger Things takes you to the Upside Down, where the Demogorgon has a hold over Will Byers (Noah Schnapp). Even when you're not in another dimension, you're in the 1980s with Mike (Finn Wolfhard), Dustin (Gaten Matarazzo), Lucas (Caleb McLaughlin), Max (Sadie Sink) and the telekinetic Eleven (Millie Bobby Brown). It's a trip to the past with kids who loved all the classic '80s fantasy movies, only they're living one.

Outlander -- Starz

Based on Diana Gabaldon's books, Outlander transports you to 18th-century Scotland, but only because Claire (Caitriona Balfe) gets there by time travel, it's fantasy. Witness her epic romance with Jamie Fraser (Sam Heughan) as they live through history's tumultuous battles. By Season 4, they've arrived in the American colonies just in time for the Revolutionary War.


The Good Place -- Netflix, Hulu, DirecTV and NBC

The Good Place is the afterlife. Eleanor (Kristen Bell) dies and goes to what Michael (Ted Danson) tells her is The Good Place. Over four seasons, Eleanor and her afterlife friends Chidi (William Jackson Harper), Tahani (Jameela Jamil) and Jason (Manny Jacinto) visit many corners of the afterlife, including returning to Earth for a spell, with the help of afterlife guide Janet (D'Arcy Carden). The first three seasons are on Netflix. The fourth and final season currently is on Hulu, DirecTV and NBC.

Supernatural -- Netflix, DirecTV, The CW

The Winchester Brothers (Jensen Ackles and Jared Padalecki) had many adventures battling evil demons -- 15 years of adventures, to be exact. As The CW's longest running show, that's a lot of escaping into their fantasy world. The first 14 seasons are streaming on Netflix. All 15 are on DirecTV and the current, final season is on The CW app.

The Handmaid's Tale -- Hulu

Gilead is probably the least enticing fantasy realm on this list to visit, other than perhaps Westeros if you're not a Lannister or Targaryen. Still, it's awesome to see Offred (Elisabeth Moss) take them down. In the future, she is one of the fertile women kidnapped to breed for the wealthy but sterile. Offred leads her other handmaids to rebel against The Commander (Joseph Fiennes) and his wife (Yvonne Strahovski) and helps many escape while she continues the fight. It's based on Margaret Atwood's book.


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