Midterm season is upon us, and thus everything is terrible. Yalies are currently trapped in a vortex of studying for tests and complaining about February. But, like a siren calling to you from a distant shore, TV can distract you from all of life’s most pressing troubles. So cuddle up with a dining hall mug of hot chocolate and a Netflix account and watch a few great episodes. It’ll make your hypothermic limbs hurt less.
Here are the best procrastination shows for …
Pre-Meds: “Jane the Virgin”
“Jane the Virgin” is a delightful show on the CW (not actually an oxymoron), currently in its first season. A telenovela with a healthy, hilarious dose of self-awareness, “Jane” takes up the question: What if a smart, spunky virgin was accidentally inseminated with the sperm of a super hot guy? It’s great for pre-meds, who may be most in need of a light comedic distraction during midterms. Plus, “Jane” imparts some great medical advice: Don’t accidentally inseminate the wrong patient.
Global Affairs Majors: “The Americans”
The Cold War is still going strong, despite rumors to the contrary. At least on FX. “The Americans” is set in the 1980s, in a suburb of Virginia. Keri Russell and Matthew Rhys are Russian KGB agents who pose as — you guessed it — Americans. They wear glamorous wigs, craft ingenious disguises and have lots of crazy sex. You know, diplomacy.
Final Cut Also-Rans: “MasterChef Junior”
If you like watching Gordon Ramsay yell at adult chefs but wish those adults were children, then you are a terrible person and also you would enjoy watching “MasterChef Junior.” Ramsay is actually pretty nice to these kids — and it’s not hard to see why. They could be cooking in Michelin-starred restaurants, using absurdly difficult techniques to prepare unpronounceable ingredients. Nothing brings on a Midterm-Season Existential Crisis like watching 11-year-olds who are already more talented than you will ever be.
People Sick of the Cold: “Better Call Saul”
This one is also great for people who loved “Breaking Bad,” since it is — egads! — a prequel to that behemoth of a series. But “Better Call Saul,” which focuses on Walter White’s seedy lawyer, Saul Goodman, is a very different show: more satirical and less suspenseful. It’s a black comedy with a seething core of cynicism, about lawyers, clients and pretty much everyone else. Most important: The show is set in Albuquerque, which is a very sunny place. Remember the sun? Me neither.
Everyone: “Freaks and Geeks”
If you’ve never seen “Freaks and Geeks,” a wonderful one-hit wonder of a series, then the busiest part of the semester is the perfect time to start watching. Starring Linda Cardinelli, Jason Segel, Seth Rogen and erstwhile Yalie James Franco, “Freaks and Geeks” follows two groups of Michigan high school students in 1980. The Freaks — sullen, smug and druggy — and the Geeks — dweeby and decidedly pre-growth spurt — struggle through adolescence with a poignant humor. Watch it and return to a simpler time, a time before college, when all you had to worry about was crushing social pressure.