As I have been informed by many of my friends, finals period for some people actually means watching less TV than you would be able to otherwise. As much as they have tried to explain this concept to me, I remain confused. What are you doing all day? Studying? But you still eat right? And breathe? Okay, then I don’t get it…
As I have tried to explain to them, some individuals, myself included, actually see reading/finals period as a great opportunity to spend a few extra hours watching TV as a way of preserving mental sanity. Sure, I still work, but if I’m going to spend an entire 60 minutes working on a paper, I’m gonna need a 90-minute reprise (I already feel like I’ve been writing this article for an eternity).
But in the face of my finals-fueled desire for television, year after year my otherwise most loyal companions—TV networks—fail me. I’m referring of course to mid-season hiatuses taken by all popular series’ in the weeks leading up to and following Christmas. Just when we need them the most.
This holiday (sorry for using Christmas earlier, I’ll try to be more nondenominational) break phenomenon is frustrating, to say the least. Don’t get me wrong, there are some very entertaining holiday films on TV around this time of year (see: the Hallmark and Lifetime channels), but an hour and a half spent watching a widowed father of two find love again is not the same as being able to keep up with characters from sitcoms and dramas I have grown to care about. Around the holidays, I need these deep friendships more than ever.
And how is this a good marketing strategy? I get not airing an episode of Homeland on Christmas Eve–people are busy. But the weeks surrounding the holidays are precisely when working men and women are staying home with their families, college kids are coming back for break, etc. and I have to believe they are turning on their television sets. Sure, people go on vacation, but welcome to the 21st century, NBC. Most people watch shows online, anyways. It’s like these networks are hotels without wifi, which we all know is social suicide.
Moreover, how is interjecting a jarring month-long break into your series good for viewership? I’ve already basically forgotten what was happening on The Mindy Project, but I know that when it comes back in January or February or whatever, I’m not going to be nearly as attached to her Mindy’s latest love interest as I would have back in November.
And it’s only getting worse. New Girl didn’t even have a holiday episode. They stopped after Thanksgiving. Don’t they know that Christmas episodes full of secret santa disaster and holiday party hilarity are some of the most famous of all time? I’m pretty sure I recently saw a Buzzfeed article dedicated exclusively to the best holiday episodes of Friends.
Now I’m getting emotional. Being home for the holidays is great, but so is being able to watch your favorite shows in the comfort of your childhood bed. I can only watch so many It’s Always Sunny reruns before I crave the suspense of watching something of which I don’t already know the ending. Please, major TV network executives, consider this as you work out your 2014-2015 schedules. You’re welcome for the New Years Resolution—now you won’t have to buy an elliptical.