Once we head towards the end of the semester it’s commonplace to hear students describe their workload as “swamped.” As we all attempt to finish an entire Semester’s worth of work in just three weeks.
Under this stress, there’s really nothing better than a good procrastination tactic, and one of the best is watching a good television show. Something to eat at your entire weekend, leaving you three hours to write a ten page paper and study all the bones in the body, or whatever kids are studying these days. That’s what we’re looking for here, and what I’m here to provide! Here are the three types of shows to procrastinate best with on Netflix.
1) A Comedy: “The Office” and its Knock Offs
You either love “The Office,” or you’re the jaded friend who likes to make fun of anyone who likes it. Which is fine, everyone has their preferences!
But, if you are a fan of “The Office,” chances are you’ve seen each episode a fare few times, making it a great bit of white noise for the busy work the end of the semester provides. A perfect show for the bottom of our list, as it provides the possibility of ignoring the textbooks TBR (To Be Read) piling up on your bed in favor of a particularly funny episode. It’s a show that you can also easily tune out during boring portions (basically anything past Season 7).
Once you hit Season 7, when Steve Carell packed his bags to hightail it into the movie industry, there are heaps of other shows just like “The Office” that provide the same experience described above. Try “Parks and Rec” if you need to focus a bit more on your paper, or “How I Met Your Mother” for a show you can completely press mute on. Easy solutions.
The only issue with this type of show is the separate, episodic nature of each episode. These shows simply don’t get you to rush to the remote and tell Netflix, “Yes I’m still watching!”
Usually it’s just a “wait and lay in bed until one of your roommates gets close enough for you to ask them to hit next” type of experience.
We’re looking for a show to waste an entire evening of possible productivity, therefore we need to trick our brains into believing that, “We didn’t see that coming,” even if we totally did.
2) Teen Hits: “Gossip Girl,” “The Vampire Diaries” and More
Honestly, If I’m trying to avoid homework there’s nothing better than a show you’ve already seen twice completely through. Once when you were 13 and boys were “IT,” and then a second time when the adult years hit and you’re able to laugh about the blindness caused by teen hormones.
These shows, like “Gossip Girl” or “90210” and the likes have a simple enough story line for you to mindlessly watch. Though you might not notice it, each episode follows the same basic climax structure. Look at “Gossip Girl” for instance. You could watch the first episode for an introduction, then jump to Season 5 and be all up to date, as the characters still don’t know who runs the Gossip Girl account that posts all the character’s secrets online.
We watch to relive the nostalgia of having free weeknights to sit and watch an entire season of the “Vampire Diaries” while filling out a Spanish worksheet, ignoring that we’re no longer in high school and we actually have to give a presentation tomorrow that’s worth 40 percent of our grade. But Damon and Elena are finally together, so who cares?!
The issue with these shows is that they get incredibly boring a few seasons in, as you feel like you’re watching the same person screw up countless times. The writers also choose not to grow their characters over each season, as they’ll always need new material for the 100th episode. Thus, with our lack of that 13 year old mindset, we often relent and get back to actual homework. Unfortunately.
3) Crime Dramas: Specifically of the British Variety
If we’re looking for a show to cause nothing to be done in an entire evening this is it. British Crime Dramas are the exact reason I stayed up till four a.m. the night of my 8 a.m. Chemistry exam.
One said show was “Broadchurch.”
Picture this: Olivia Colman pre-Oscar and David Tennant post-Doctor Who. The perfect combination of talent to make this show so much greater than fantastic.
For those unaware, “Broadchurch” is about the death of a young boy in a tiny, close-knit community on the coast of the U.K. The kind of community where everybody knows everybody and thus relationships crumble as the investigation reveals never-before seen secrets about every member in the town as the two detectives (Coleman and Tennent) race to find the truth.
It’s brilliantly acted, and a major plus of a British TV program is that every actor looks like a regular person. Thus, the whole story looks so realistic that you’re completely on the edge of your seat waiting for what’s about to happen next. And with “Broadchurch” spanning three seasons and 24 episodes, you could easily spend an entire reading day curled up with this show. This is while obviously completely ignoring that you have a laundry list of homework to get done; I’m sure it could wait another hour. I mean, what’s one more episode!