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5 Great Shows to Re-Discover While Avoiding Homework

Jessica Socheski

College students gather around a laptop to enjoy their favorite shows.

TV is the best way to avoid study guides and papers while hanging out with friends instead.

At my first day of new student orientation, a trio of girls and I bonded over the discovery that we not only knew what the Dick van Dyke Show was but we all loved it, too. TV shows have a way of doing that. Whether it is turning around to high five the classmate who just quoted Michael Scott in class or huddling around a computer screen to watch last week’s episode of New Girl, our favorite shows provide an experience to share. They also make for a great 45 minutes or procrastination when that paper due tomorrow is staring you in the face.

TV has always been an important part of the college experience, writes Samantha Suchland from UCLA. While our parent’s generation may have gathered around dorm room antennas to watch the early years of SNL, today’s students still tune in for Saturday Night Live. Except this time around, it’s not really live or even on Saturdays. It’s streamed online when we probably ought to be studying.  

The Shows We Forget About

Sometimes, in the midst of searching through a Netflix queue or local TV deals, it is easy to forget about classic shows that are definitely worth enjoying as reruns. Whether they’ve just recently left the air or date back a few decades, here are five fantastic shows to re-watch or discover for the very first time when you need a homework break.

1. The West Wing

The famous political drama that ran from 1999 to 2006, creator Andy Sorkin’s The West Wing followed the experiences of White House staffers during two terms of Josiah Bartlett’s presidency. President Bartlett, played by Martin Sheen, and his star-studded supporting cast racked up a total of 89 Golden Globes before they left office.

2. Psych

Dule Hill was a cast member on The West Wing, and after his days as the no-nonsense personal, Hill switched gears to join the gang at USA Network’s detective comedy Psych. After eight great seasons, this screwball series wound down last March. Under Santa Barbara skies, psychic detective Shawn Spencer and his sidekick Gus help detective’s Lassiter and Juliette O’Hara solve cases and romp with a number of fun cameo appearances and too many quotable lines to count.  

3. The Bob Newhart Show and Newhart

And now for something completely different. Classic comedian Bob Newhart’s two sitcoms are, in my opinion, some of the best now lesser known character comedies. The Bob Newhart Show followed Newhart’s character of a psychologist with an assortment of patients, a dentist next door and a wife who was a teacher at home. His later endeavor, Newhart chronicled the antics the odd residents in a sleepy little Vermont town where the stuttering deadpanning Newhart character tried to run a bed hotel.

4. Seinfeld

Seinfeld will live forever as one of the greatest sitcoms running for a total of nine seasons before its finale in 1998. Creator and star Jerry Seinfeld plays an up and coming stand up comedian in New York City with a gang of ridiculous friends: Elaine, George and Kramer. The show poked fun at some of the annoying everyday occurrences in a city full of people. Often described as “a show about nothing,” Seinfeld’s humor was driven by superficial conflict and idiosyncratic characters like the Soup Nazi.

5. Lie to Me

Tim Roth starred in three seasons of Fox’s crime thriller Lie to Me. Roth portrays Dr. Cal Lightman, an expert in body language who solves crimes by reading people and is essentially a human lie detector. The show chronicles Lightman and his team as they play mind games to solve crimes.

With all these great and sometimes forgotten episodes out there, college students everywhere can find the perfect show for bonding together or distracting themselves from homework—or bonding over a distraction together.

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