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What's finals week without Netflix?

By Ellie Hudd
On April 28, 2014

With finals week just around the corner, the student narrative about procrastination has reached its semester high point. All of the usual suspects emerge in the face of four to five exams for which a student isn't sure they'll ever be prepared: BuzzFeed, excessive Facebook use, achieving your high score on 20/48 or just plain old television. Along with (or, increasingly, instead of) television often comes Netflix; in a move that seems almost suspiciously timed with finals schedule, the online streaming site recently acquired "Mean Girls," "Rocky," "Braveheart" and "Jumanji" in addition to its current wealth of offerings. But when you've rewatched your favorite movie over and over and it starts to hit you that you've killed more seasons of your favorite show in its entirety than chapters of any textbook you've been assigned this semester, it almost seems like time to... well, study.
While many students seem to favor the all-or nothing approach, wherein they reach an officially designated point where it is "time to study" (and often face some difficulty facing the fact that this point has arrived) and take only short, sporadic, breaks amidst hours of material, I've come to prefer a more 50-50 approach. Though it does mean that you'll need to face the reality of studying that much sooner, trading off a half hour to an hour of studying with an episode of a half-hour sitcom gives you time to take breaks and refocus your energy upon returning to the books. The endorphin burst gained from a bout of laughter doesn't hurt, either.
My current favorite sitcom to binge-watch is "The League." An article by The Daily Campus's own Maurilio Amorim was the catalyst that prompted me to give this show a chance, and I've gotten hopelessly hooked. "The League" highlights the antics of a close group of middle-aged men whose lives seem to revolve around their fantasy football league. Not only is the show hilarious, but it has renewed my old interest in joining such a league, creating even further distractions in my studying patterns. "The League's" half-hour run time is cut down to around 19 minutes in Netflix's commercial-free format, making it perfect to intersperse with an intense period of concentrated studying.
Another Netflix go-to is "Arrested Development." Though this show has a much wider exposure, it only gained its current cult following well after its end in 2007, and many of us were either too young to watch its original run or were wrapped up in the likes of "One Tree Hill" (which is also on Netflix, for those seeking a nostalgic trip). "Arrested Development" truly earns its cult status; the jokes are hilarious and delivered perfectly by a then largely unknown cast, most of whom are now big stars. While I can't speak for the fourth season that resulted from the show's recent reincarnation, I can assure you that "Arrested Development's" original run is well worth the watch. Furthermore, given that it has once again ended, you can watch the show at your leisure (and maybe even do some studying in between episodes) without feeling like you have to "catch up" to an upcoming season.
Finally, those looking for a more serious story to immerse themselves in will not be disappointed by what's online. Netflix recently acquired multiple series of TEDTalks; "LifeHacks" and "Icons" are highlights. Also compelling is CNN's "Crimes of the Century," which offers in-depth, multifaceted takes on the most compelling crimes in recent history; the episode surrounding the Amanda Knox case draws in the viewer with haunting, distorted editing and intriguing details about Knox's time in Italy.
So go ahead and fall down the Netflix rabbit hole; it can help break up your studying and pass your time between exams. Just don't forget to, you know, actually study.

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