As we’re getting into the last month before the LSAT, it’s time for some fairly intense studying. You should be doing your practice in long, uninterrupted chunks; gone are the days of half-assedly doing LR in front of the TV, just getting in a game or two on the bus, or doing reading comp high. Now is the time for focused marathons. But those marathons can tire you out, and you’ll still need breaks here and there. And what we all do, of course, is watch TV. Since I don’t have actual cable, I watch everything on Netflix Watch Instantly. Unless you’re reading this on paper, because someone printed it out for you (and I’m guessing there would be a good story behind that), then you’re probably a member of the 99% of people in the country who have Netflix and some device that streams it to your TV.
Netflix Watch Instantly only has a small fraction of their total DVD library for streaming, but there is still a pretty good selection of diverting entertainment, perfect for a short LSAT break. Though you have to be careful. Watch Instantly has some of the greatest movies ever made (Barry Lyndon, Punch-Drunk Love, Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan), but an entire movie is way too long for an LSAT break. Also, some of the TV shows are just too serialized, so if you watch one, you can’t stop, and before you know it you’ve watched an entire season of Lost in one sitting. So I’ve gotten together some good TV shows that hopefully won’t pull you in for more.
Party Down – This show is on Starz, which no, isn’t a porn channel. I know it sounds like one. The show is about Hollywood failures who work in catering. And it’s pretty hilarious. Also, they actually release new episodes on Netflix as they come out. And there are usually boobs.
Better Off Ted – I recently discovered this show, and was fairly surprised that something this good came from ABC. It’s a comedy about a gigantic corporation’s R&D division. The show was created by the guy who made Andy Richter Controls the Universe, and it has a lot of the same surrealist sensibilities. It’s witty, entertaining, and, best of all, each episode is fairly self-contained, so it won’t be as hard to get back to work. It’s also probably going to be cancelled. So get it while it’s hot.
The Life of Birds – This is one of the greatest nature documentaries ever. I know you’re probably thinking “birds? Really?” Oh yes. If you like watching animal planet, then this probably isn’t for you, because you’re probably a moron. You won’t find any stupid anthropomorphizing voice-overs here, just David Attenborough soothing telling you about a duck that kills her own babies when they are deemed too weak. There isn’t a narrative arc to these (obviously), so they’re perfect for individual consumption. The Life of Mammals is also available, which, too, is pretty damn fantastic.
As long as we’re on the subject, I think we can all agree that Sigourney Weaver and Oprah Winfrey should both be beaten for re-narrating Attenborough out of Planet Earth and Life.
Arrested Development – Look, if you haven’t seen Arrested Development yet, then you should really postpone the LSAT and make this your number one priority. In terms of your personal development, quality of life, and just making you a better person, watching this show will do more for you than anything else ever. But even if you’re not one of the 9 people who has missed out on this masterpiece, then re-watching these makes for a perfect 22-minute LSAT break.
Firefly – I almost feel a bit wary about recommending this. The episodes are mostly self-contained, so you don’t have to watch one after the other, making it good for an LSAT break. The only reason I hold back is that watching this show can cause crippling depression. Why? Because it’s insanely good, but got cancelled after the first season. Watching either Firefly or Arrested Development can cause you to want to kill a Fox executive for canceling them, and that might make it hard to pass the character and fitness part of the Bar exam a few years from now.
What about all you guys in the inter-nets? What’s the best thing to watch for an LSAT break?