Oh, the irony. It's that time of year again, when we're finally liberated from the shackles of academia and are free to actually waste time doing things like watching TV. But TV land is about to embark on its yearly hiatus, leaving us with nothing to do but read a book, spend time with our loved ones or some equally unappealing activity. We are left to reminisce though, on the moments we have wasted in the past year on television and the delightful distractions easily preventing us from getting that A in any class we're taking.
Here now is a year in review of shows more welcome than anything else you had to do on any given day of the week.
Prison Break: Wentworth Miller, who you might've seen emoting his one look in Mariah Carey videos, does it for a full hour on Prison Break. The premise and the prison politics are very compelling, and the full body tattoo of prison blueprints is pretty kick ass. The show recently ended its first act, with, of all things, a cliffhanger. Catch the re-runs if you haven't seen it and want to see what the hype is all about, as they're sure to air during the holidays, seeing as how Fox has cancelled nearly everything else on their weekdays.
Arrested Development: Speaking of shows cancelled by Fox, this brilliant program is now one of them. Critically acclaimed to the hilt--a.k.a. jinxed--the show is forever immortalized on DVD. Watch them. They will make you happy.
House: British actor and comedian Hugh Laurie takes on the role of a deadpan, cynical, sarcastic American doctor with a cane. Each show involves some weird-ass medical condition and Laurie taking the piss out of it. There is nothing more watchable. Omar Epps and some really cute British guy also star.
My Name is Earl: Jason Lee stars in this show as a red-neck, trailer-trash, Tom Selleck 'stache-sporting guy who finds out about karma from Carson Daly, wins $100,000 and starts a list of all the wrongs in his life he'd like to right. Shows have included Earl taking a guy he used to bully to a gay bar to help find him a boyfriend and atoning for stealing beer from a golfer.
The Rick Mercer Report: Always good for a laugh, also provides the lazy with an easy opportunity to catch up on Canadian politics. Highlights from this year include a parody on the Iginla/Naslund Nike commercial, with Mercer dodging pucks being shot at him by Stephen Harper on a rooftop, who later does the kicking-over-the-garbage-can-full-of-pucks move, resulting in the funniest thing ever. Mercer also took the Prime Minister to Canadian Tire for some caulk to weather-proof 24 Sussex Drive.
Lost: Forget everything else on Wednesday nights. Wednesday nights are an event because of Lost. What's the show about? Who the hell knows but it's cliffhanger city, which would be a weird city. It is and continues to be a total mind-fuck but we must all be masochists because it's so damn awesome. If you don't have a clue what I'm talking about DVD is your new best friend, my friend. Watch the first season, catch the re-runs of the second and join the ranks of the confused.
The O.C.: Old looking teenagers, scandals aplenty, and a quirky emo kid. Highly addictive. It also has pretty good music.
Everybody Hates Chris: Fans of Chris Rock's standup routines will appreciate this show, bringing most of his jokes on his childhood to life. The acting is pretty solid but it serves as a visual medium for Rock's dominating narration, which even sans profanity is still dynamic and engaging (read: hilarious) as any of his live performances.
CSI: The original is still the one to watch. Death and intrigue in Las Vegas just beats all.
Numb3ers: No one watches TV on Friday nights but if you ever have to, Numb3ers is a Jerry Bruckheimer production whose story doesn't require week-to-week commitment. The adorable, neurotic David Krumholtz plays a math professor who helps out the FBI. Cop cliches and deus ex machinas in the form of the professor's genius abound.
Hockey Night in Canada: Western alienation comes in many forms. For HNIC, it comes in the form of a gazillion Leafs games. It's good TV though, whether the Flames get a game on there or not, hating the Leafs is fun and should they ever play the Oilers, it's a total hate-on. Though Chris Cuthbert has left, the play by play is still good, thanks to the dulcet tones of Jim Hughson, known best for his voice contributions to the NHL video game franchise.
Saturday Night Live: It undoubtedly has lowered in quality over the years but the hosts are occasionally worth watching. The music acts aren't always terrible either and there are some promising new cast members such as Bill Hader and Andy Samberg, who is something like an Adam Sandler.
Desperate Housewives: It's too overexposed for you to not know what it's all about. Dead crazy boyfriends, missing crack-children and Teri Hatcher being annoying sum up the second season.
Family Guy: The lewd, un-PC, gratuitous laughs continue for its fourth season after being brought back from the dead. Hopefully, it's a precedent for the return of Arrested Development.
Extreme Makeover Home Edition: It's an incredibly cathartic experience just watching this show. Guaranteed to make you cry every time.
Grey's Anatomy: Attractive doctors plus weird medical cases such as a pregnant man and porn as pain therapy. Good TV.