Top 5 Procrastination-worthy TV Shows

BY PAMELA FOOHEY

Congratulations! Classes are almost over. Unfortunately, the end of classes brings studying for exams and frantically trying to finish final papers. In the interest of not thinking about or doing these things, here are my top 5 procrastination-worthy TV shows. They are subjectively ranked based on completely arbitrary factors including: genuine merit and addictiveness; the number of times each is shown every day to maximize procrastination; hot male or female leads to maximize day-dreaming during those times you are actually studying; use of any type of legal setting so that you may feel you are learning some law while viewing; and times they are shown so you can impress your friends by how late you stayed up studying.

1) “X-Files” on TNTIn terms of my arbitrary criteria, “X-Files” undoubtedly rises to the top. Shown from midnight-6am Monday and Tuesday nights on TNT, what is better than spending 12 hours every week drooling over David Duchovny (or, I suppose for the guys, Scully)? Moreover, you will learn about alien invasions, government conspiracies, and how to trust no one-all of which undoubtedly will come in handy during and after exams. And, as an added bonus, TNT is about to cycle back to the first season, so you can watch all nine years of paranoia in sequence. “David Duchovny, why won’t you love me?”

2) “Law & Order: SVU” on USAAt first I hesitated to put any “Law & Order” on this list because it is just too legal. Even though one of my criteria is a legal setting, I believe the less accurate the legal setting, the better. No need to get bogged down in reality. Then I remembered “SVU” rarely has anything to do with the law. It’s more the Benson and Stabler running around with guns and trying not to fall in love show. Kind of like a newer version of “X-Files.” Needless to say, I think that is awesome. My description does not do the show justice. With engaging guest stars and intriguing plots, “SVU” tries to and usually succeeds in tackling some very timely issues in a way that makes the series extremely addictive. Also, it airs every day, sometimes three or four times, usually late at night. If that isn’t enough to satisfy your “Law & Order” craving, or if you just want more law in your procrastination, the original “Law & Order” is on everyday at 7pm on TNT and “Criminal Intent” is on USA just about every time “SVU” is not.

3) “Boston Legal” on ABCWhile you may think “Boston Legal” violates my “just too legal” ban, once you watch for five minutes, you will realize that it has nothing to do with law. The latest in David E. Kelley’s wacky masterpieces, “Boston Legal” is an updated version of “Ally McBeal,” minus the co-ed bathrooms. William Shatner is out of control as the gun-wielding, politically incorrect Denny Crane, so out of control, in fact, that he won an Emmy last year for his performance. The addition of Candice Bergen as the secretive, subtly-seductive, and powerful Shirley Schmidt brings even more to an already all-star cast. Although it only airs for one hour each week, violating the viewing maximization criterion, that one hour is just as satisfying as several hours of any other show. As an extra bonus, the plot lines are so unrealistic that you will be amazed at how much law you really know. Sit back and relax with a glass of scotch and a cigar. You’ll soon realize that the answer to any question is either “Denny Crane” or “I’m Schmidt.”

4) “ER” on TNTThe fact that “ER” was the first medical drama automatically gets it into any top 5 list. Although its addictiveness has waned in recent years as it has turned into the first prime-time medical soap opera, the initial seasons truly were must see TV. And it is those seasons that are shown over and over again on TNT. There is nothing like starting a day of studying with two hours of Carter, Dr. Ross, Dr. Green, and Nurse Hathaway. Just in case you were thinking of switching careers, there is just enough gore and true-to-life medical messes to make you not want to transfer to the med school.

5) “Star Trek: TNG” on SPIKEThere really is no point to procrastination without the occasional dose of “Star Trek.” Recent enough not to have completely cheesy special effects, but old enough to remind you that you are watching a show from the 80s, “TNG” just might be the pinnacle of the “Star Trek” series. Regardless, the chance of catching an episode featuring the Borg, Q, Lwaxana Troi, or the Ferengi at their pre-“DS9,” money-grabbing, hunch-backed, scurrying like rats prime is too good to pass up. Like “SVU,” if the three hours of “TNG” on every day is not enough, SPIKE also shows a couple hours of “DS9” before “TNG.” Who knows, maybe your exam will have a “Star Trek” issue-spotter; seriously, it’s not unheard of and you don’t want to be unprepared. In short, resistance is futile.

Pamela Foohey, 1L, enjoys TV way too much.

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