Written By Aké Kibona
We’ve reached that time of year when we’re met with ongoing assignments in our inboxes. Whether you’ve got coursework, take-home, or in-person exams, I understand the stress of deadline season. You find yourself replacing nights out for endless hours at the library. It’s tiring, draining, and not exactly what you want to be doing on a Saturday evening, so I bring you five tv shows for the perfect mid-essay distraction.
1. Archer – Netflix
With 26-minute episodes, Archer is the perfect mid-essay distraction or post-bed relaxation show. The series follows Sterling Archer and seven other agents working for a secret-service agency in America. It’s an animated show that helps you detach from the real world for 30 minutes before returning to the essay looming on another tab. Each season introduces you to a new location, storyline, or character – constantly keeping you entertained. The series is inherently a comedy with sometimes relatively crude jokes, but it acts as the perfect distraction. The short episodes and chaotic, fast-paced energy are excellent when deadline season seems to be slowing down your life.
2. Fresh Meat – Channel 4, Netflix
A British classic, Fresh Meat is a must-watch and holds the answer to deadline season boredom. Following 6 Manchester students randomly allocated into an off-campus house, this show constantly provides laughs and classic university shenanigans. Episodes are a maximum of 25 minutes, which is great if you’ve just finished a 2-hour work stretch. Also, I hate to admit it, but watching fictional university students struggle with essays and deal with uni issues inefficiently only gives me hope and slightly eases the pressure that comes with the mountain of uni work.
3. How I met your mother – Disney +
Most would call this a classic, while others believe this show is slightly overrated. Personally, I think that How I Met Your Mother is one of the best deadline season shows. Set in New York, the show follows Ted Mosby and his friends as he retells the (pretty long) story of how he met his wife. The episodes are short and crazy, each dealing with another unreasonable dilemma they must solve. Apart from Barney, the characters themselves are quite uninspiring, but when brought together in the show, you can’t help but laugh at their mere irrationality and impulsivity. HIMYM requires little to no effort to watch and is perfect if you want to completely shut it off for 30 minutes.
Ps. If you’re not a HIMYM fan, I would recommend Friends, New Girl, or Big Bang Theory because they are all the same show but in different fonts.
4. The Bear – Disney +
Freshly released earlier this year, the bear follows a Michelin-star chef as he returns to run his brother’s Italian sandwich shop in mid-Chicago. The deli is the union of a rundown kitchen and unruly staff. The Bear is a beautiful balance of comedy and drama – providing heartfelt moments in between the chaos of a kitchen. This is the perfect show because every episode is visually stimulating, with episode seven being a one-shot episode. The Bear has a great storyline, some good laughs, and will help visually distract you as you try to beat the clock.
5. Harlem – Amazon
Slightly different from the rest, Harlem is partially educational as it follows four black friends in their 30s trying to navigate careers, relationships, and the politics of modern society. This new creation from Tracy Oliver combines a story of friendship, feminism, and the black experience in the 21st Century. Even though some episodes deal with controversy, you will find yourself easily entertained by these groups of friends and their modern-day dilemmas. All episodes run at 35 minutes, which is the perfect time for a mid-essay break, it also allows your mind to rest without completely shutting off.
Finally, even if those shows don’t particularly interest you, it’s essential that you find something you can do to relax amidst all of the essays and deadlines. There are many more shows out there that are perfect for a mid-essay distraction but didn’t get mentioned on the final list. The best shows would be those with short episodes and easy to watch – usually, they will be comedies.
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