Writers strike means gutter ball for college students

As I sit here writing, the heat of finals week is starting to bear down. Finals signify a light at the end of the tunnel where college students know that a finite time exists until they’re free of school obligations for the month of winter break. Unfortunately, finals week also brings with it an unholy amount of papers, projects, and presentations. How do college students press on through the near-insurmountable amount of work? Well, looking forward to break always help. But personally, second semester brings with it one of my favorite times of year – new television season premieres.

Knowing that my favorite shows will be up in the new year and ready to serve me a fresh batch of episodes helps me get through finals week and speeds me through winter break so I can readily await the embrace of my favorite characters.

But not this year.

The continuing writers strike means that my favorite shows will be on hiatus well into the new year. And while I understand and appreciate the struggle writers face, I’m torn between that understanding and the craving for new material.

For those who have been out of touch with the entertainment world, the strikes are happening because television writers are upset that studios are not paying them for any of the big profits that popular shows make. Writers don’t get paid extra for internet content because studios consider it ‘promotional material.’ Also, screenwriters don’t see a dime for any of the box sets that are sold of television shows. It only makes sense that they should be allowed to share a fraction of the revenues for the material that they’re helping to produce. Getting paid more for creating a popular product should only force writers to make more quality shows.

In addition to food, the normal college male’s life revolves around television. It marks the passage of days. It provides us with some kind of goal to reach without having to do anything. And it’s also a weekday communal event. College students like to get together and socialize. Usually this takes the form of parties on the weekend. On most weekdays, however, partying is usually not a wise idea. In its place rest two other reasons to socialize – studying and television. Of these two options, study get-togethers are not the preferred avenue. Getting people together for an hour or two of television provides a viable social outlet during the week where we students can come together and watch our favorite shows.

And, personally speaking, the shows I watch are extremely well done. Series the likes of 24, Battlestar Galactica, and The Shield are not mindless entertainment, but rather engaging, thought-provoking dramas that generate serious discussion afterwards. For me, some of the conversations that I have about good television are far more engrossing than the average classroom discussion I have in college.

So now, not only will my social life remain deficient, but my academic pursuits will lack padding as well.

Am I lost? The curtain of darkness tugs at my vision as finals close in and I’m left with little hope of new seasons. I suppose there are other events to look forward to during the holidays. Hopefully I’ll make it through somehow. But don’t worry, I’m not desperate enough to turn to reality TV. Not yet at least.

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