How to survive until good television is back

By: Mel Sundquist

Issue Date: 2/18/08

The writer’s strike is officially over. However, goodness knows how long it will be until we get some new episodes on the air.

Until then, we have to find a way to make due without our favorite stories.

1. Get a hobby. Find something to do that keeps your mind off of your vacant television screen. Learn to roller-skate. Make macramé plant-holders. Trim hedges. Knit a sweater. Just find a way to keep busy during prime time.

2. Make your own drama. If you are so accustomed to living with languishing lovers, medical mysteries, courtroom conundrums, and suburban comedy, you’ll just have to create those situations without the help of Hollywood. Convince yourself that your roommate has a disease that only you can cure. Turn that spring fling into a whirlwind romance that you can regret later.

3. If you simply can’t do without television of some sort, go to ABC and NBC’s websites. They have a really great online episode viewer, so you can catch up on all those shows you didn’t know you liked until now. And each commercial break is only thirty seconds long.

4. Learn to love reality television, because it may be all you get for the next few weeks. Dance War and America’s Next Top Model may just be the funniest things to ever be shown on television, Survivor can assuage your need for interpersonal drama, and there are about a thousand game-shows broadcasting now that can help you hone your useless-trivia skills.

5. Read books. They don’t come in nice, tidy, half-hour packages, but they can be just as (or more) interesting than television.

6. Take those extra couple hours that the strike has given you every night and actually study. Do what you always punish yourself during commercial breaks for not doing.

7. Recruit a couple friends or neighbors and make your own television. If you have a camcorder, use that. If not, cut a rectangular hole in the front of a large box, trap a roommate in there, and let them be your entertainment.

8. Expand your film knowledge. Jump on the Netflix bandwagon and go to town on those classics that you’ve never seen before. Or head to the UVSC bookstore, which sells “previously viewed” DVD’s for six to ten dollars.

9. Whatever you do, don’t panic. Your favorite stories will be back on the air soon.

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