Are you one of those students that can’t study for a test or do any homework without the television on? I know I am. So, if you fall into that category, I’ve compiled a list of the best and worst shows to watch while doing homework:
B E S T
Jersey Shore: If you don’t know by now, this unrealistic portrayal of Jersey girls and guys, and Italians, is in it’s fifth and final season. It was a cute concept in the beginning, and somewhat refreshing-a nice break from The Real World and The Bachelor-but it’s cancellation is nothing to laugh about, because it was due to an abundance of violence between the roommates. Not that I don’t watch it, I do… don’t judge me. I figured I’ve watched it since season one, I might as well see it off. This is the number one show to watch while studying because at five minutes in (possibly less), you will have seen at least one brawl, a hair extension pulled from an unsuspecting guidette’s head, or a cast member’s genitalia blurred. At this point, you should be so overwhelmed with disgust that you turn back to your books.
I Just Want My Pants Back: Ah, broke twenty somethings in Brooklyn trying to find their way in the world and… their pants? That always makes for a good comedy. The variety of characters and promiscuity may remind you of your own group of friends, which is what makes this show so easy to follow, even if you’re only halfway paying attention.
House M.D.: Even though House is an hour long drama, you really only have to watch the first and last five minutes of an episode to understand what happened. In the first five minutes, someone will likely collapse and subsequently be admitted to the hospital. A team of doctors will ponder the symptoms and come up with a diagnosis. As can be seen in shows with similar plot lines, like Law & Order (the detectives always arrest someone in the beginning of the episode, obviously that isn’t going to make for an hour of television) that isn’t what is actually wrong with the patient. There will be about half a dozen more diagnoses in the middle of the show. Then in the last five minutes, when the patient is on the verge of death, the team figures out what is wrong, gives the proper medication and sends the patient home.
Saturday Night Live: If you’re in college, you probably remember All That. I used to do my homework while watching that thirty minute series of skits. SNL is just like that, but now I’m old enough to appreciate the humor. With breakout comedians that are also all over the silver screen (Jason Sudeikis in Horrible Bosses and Kristen Wiig in Bridesmaids), and Andy Samberg, a comedic rapper from the group The Lonely Island, more people are watching now than ever before. SNL is in its 37th season, so the writers must be doing something right. The beauty of this show is that to appreciate the humor in a skit about baby toupees, you don’t have to be glued to the screen for 90 minutes waiting for a laugh.
Breaking Bad: I never thought I would take an interest in chemistry. Basically, Walter White (portrayed by Bryan Cranston) finds out he has cancer and is going to die. At one time he was a successful chemist, but now he’s a less than miserable chemistry teacher. To secure money for his family to have after his death, he starts cooking crystal meth. The best part is that there are no more twists and turns that that (like in Lost), of course when there is a plot development, it’s a good one. If you’re going to watch an episode-and you definitely should-you should pay attention, but you don’t have to be looking at the tv the entire time. Plus, you can always do homework during commercials, right?
W O R S T
How I Met Your Mother: HIMYM is hands down my favorite show on television. It has the magical talents of Neil Patrick Harris-AKA Doogie Houser M.D.-the hilarious one liners of Jason Segel and Alyson Hannigan who’s unforgettable line from American Pie “One time at band camp…” still haunts young adults everywhere. The premise of the show is that Ted Mosby (Josh Radnor) is sitting down with his kids in the year 2030 telling them the long and tedious story of how he met their mother. Each episode is an important event leading up to his eventual to marriage to… well, we don’t know yet. It’s a great show, but because most episodes involve a flashback to episodes in previous seasons, the plot can be very hard to follow if you haven’t seen the show before, and sometimes even if you’re a long time viewer.
Desperate Housewives: This is my number one guilty pleasure. Mostly because my neighbors are not like the women of Wisteria Lane (there certainly isn’t anyone who brings fresh baked muffins to me), but also because these women totally don’t act the way one would think. They’re prim and proper on the outside, but they lead very dangerous lives. In its 8th season, there are only seven episodes left until the series finale, so it’s a little late to start watching, but why not get it on Netflix and watch all eight seasons during spring break? You know you want to. But beware, you will be so enthralled, prepare to neglect your friends, your laundry, and all of you homework.
Glee: Honestly, is there anyone who doesn’t love the combination of dramatic television and singing? You’d be hard pressed to find someone. I was in choir in high school, so I understand the dynamic of the show. But I really respect the writers because they’ve added character traits that real students have (there’s a paraplegic, LGBTQ students, minority students, an overweight girl, of course there are cheerleaders, and bullies) and show them that it’s not bad to be different. Warning: may result in acute urges to sing and dance and/or homework being thrown across the room like confetti.
Awkward: High school all over again. This is the typical story of a teenage girl who has two gorgeous guys seriously swooning over her. This is what all girls want, but very few get. There’s also betrayal by her friends and awkwardly, her guidance counselor. It’s pretty funny watch her parents, who had her at fifteen, give her advice on sex. Season one included many hookups, mean cheerleaders and a… partial body cast. We’ll see what season two holds.
Community: Unlike any other show on television, Community is about a group of students who have formed a study group at a community college, and all of the trouble they manage to get into. With comedy bad boys Donald Glover and Joel McHale (host of The Soup), you’re bound to spend thirty minutes crying from laughter.
Emily Duren is a sophomore and Mass Communications major at Hillsborough Community College in Tampa, Florida. When not in class or studying for her honors classes, Emily is the Editor-in-Chief of The Hawkeye at HCC, and president of the media club. In her spare time, Emily enjoys working out, drawing, reading books, and writing one.