Yes, we have entered that awful lull that is post-spring and pre-summer programming. We were riding high on a quick succession of series finales and now is the horrible crash before the frothy fun of summer programs comes to rescue us from nights alone twitching in the dark with nothing to do. But wait, there are plenty of other things to do in life, aren't there? Here are some of the things that you could be doing with your normal TV viewing time and whether or not they are a good replacement.
Read a Good Book
Pro: It makes you smarter, expands your vocabulary, gives you a sense of superiority, and looks better on the subway than a magazine that's mostly pictures of celebrities wearing the same outfit.
Con: Walk up to your co-workers and ask if any of them have read Anna Karenina. You'll probably get silence or, if you work in an especially smart place, you might find one person to talk to. Meanwhile if you walk into the break room talking about the winner of American Idol, everyone will join in. You'll feel popular!
Verdict: Good for your brain, bad for your image.
Go to the Theater
Pro: It's just like television, but with real live people! If you see something with a star in it, that's almost like actually meeting that person in real life. Also, it makes you a little bit more cultured.
Con: You have to sit next to the unwashed masses, and those seats on Broadway are not cheap.
Verdict: Fun if you have the cash.
Pro: You have to eat anyway, why not try something new and delicious and make a night out of it?
Con: It's warm out, and you do not want to be trapped over a hot stove. And you have to eat everything you made and you have to be in your swimsuit in two weeks.
Verdict: Stick to salads from a bag until after Labor Day.
Hang out with Your Friends
Pro: They're your friends, you love them. There is nothing better than the company of other people. Also, they might introduce you to the person who is going to be your next employer or lover or millionaire who will lend you a beach house for the summer now that you pissed the last one off by drinking all his booze.
Con: Whoever said hell is other people was right. And sometimes, they're friends.
Verdict: Being social is never a bad idea, and always better than watching reruns of Friends because nothing else is on.
Pro: There is nothing more decadent than going to the movies in the middle of the week. And movies are just like really long television programs, but with more attractive people.
Con: The scent of that fattening popcorn is too much to resist. And what do you expect us to see right now, anyway? MacGruber? Sex and the City 2? Another movie about Amanda Seyfriend and love letters?
Verdict: Wait until something worthwhile comes out.
Go to the Gym
Pro: You're going to be showing a lot of skin in the warmer months, why not firm up and work out some stress in the process. And since you're not watching pretty people on your television screen, why not watch some of them in real life.
Con: The treadmill is so damn tedious when there is nothing at all to watch on that little TV that is dangling over it! Also, going to the gym sucks.
Verdict: You already paid for that membership. You might as well use it, fatty.
Pro: New shit!
Con: It's expensive, the stores are closed when you're usually watching TV, and if you try to stuff too much crap into your house while avoiding TV, you might end up on it—specifically Hoarders.
Verdict: Like your TV, give your AmEx a much needed rest.
Go to a Baseball Game
Pro: An evening of entertainment, and an excuse to eat peanuts and Cracker Jacks and drink beer in the middle of the week!
Con: The beer is watered down and expensive, as are the tickets. Also, sports? Ew!
Verdict: If you really need something to watch that SportsCenter nonsense is free.