A guide to post-midterm binge-watching


Ah, the sweet smell of red ink and tears: the leaves are changing, daylight is saving and students all around campus are either receiving their graded midterms or eagerly awaiting the disappointing grades to come. Either way, there is a fair chunk of time to kill before professors are done grading and start assigning work again.

You could fill this time catching up on old readings, working on extra credit or reminding your friends and family that you are still alive. Or, you could do what your willpower-sapped brain is telling you to do: take a class in Media Immersion.

Since I also study at the University of Poor Life Choices (go Sloths!) here is my recommended curriculum, expertly designed to squander your post-midterm rest period.

Post-Apocalyptic Fiction

It is almost time, my friends. The sequel to Bethesda’s massively successful “Fallout 3″ will be released on November 10 to the eager hands of millions of post-apocalyptic game junkies. Rest assured, the game will include as much content as you need to ruin your GPA and your social life. In fact, with 111,000 lines of dialogue, the game can probably take the place of your actual life “” while Trinity doesn’t let us live off campus, they can’t stop us from living in far-future nuclear shantytowns!

The game builds on the open-world environment and gameplay from “Fallout 3,” adding an overhauled power armor upgrade system, dedicated weapon modification features, expanded crafting mechanics and the ability to build and run your own settlement.

If you like power-nerdom as much as you like power armor, you can order the deluxe Pip-Boy Edition, which comes with (surprise) a wearable version of the eponymous electronic companion that “Fallout” players use for maps, inventory and other useful information. The real Pip-Boy can actually hold a couple of different kinds of smartphones in it (recent-generation iPhones and Samsung Galaxies are supported), which makes the wrist-strapped gadget even cooler than a cell phone holster, if that’s even possible.

The Bureaucracy of Espionage

If you’re less of a gamer but still like sitting in the dark and staring at a glowing screen, you can’t go wrong in heading over to your nearest multiplex to watch “Spectre,” the Daniel Craig Bond movie everyone hopes will top the first three.

While Casino Royale was great (thanks, Mads Mikkelsen!), “Quantum of Solace” left many Bond fans unimpressed and “Skyfall,” while a mostly-great, standalone adventure, turned into adultified Home Alone at the end.

In short, Spectre is where everything is expected to come together “” for those who don’t know, within the James Bond universe S.P.E.C.T.R.E. is a huge criminal organization with ties all over the world. But after a period of Bond movies, the group dropped off the map as a villainous entity for the spy franchise.

For the Daniel Craig film coming up, the organization returns as James Bond tries to unravel the mysterious threads tying his past adventures (read: the plots from the first three movies) together.

So, instead of cracking open those next chapters to prepare for finals, watch this movie and work your way backwards until you see Sean Connery’s sweet, sweet chest hair. Then argue about which Bond was best on internet forums until you’re ready for the next assignment.

Applied Political Studies

I hear some of you saying “Senpai Dylan, what if we want to learn something while we binge? Do you have a class for that?”

Don’t worry students, I have just the thing. Your first assignment is watching all of “House of Cards,” a show that gives a brutal examination of both Kevin Spacey’s southern accent and the American political system at the micro level, exposing all of the grimy cogs and greased wheels that turn whims into laws.

As a palette cleanser from the cynical Cards, next queue up Parks and Recreation. After you finish all 7 seasons, you might have a brighter opinion of those working at the lower levels of government bureaucracy and have gathered some smart, thinly-veiled commentary about our political system to boot.

Finally, take a trip back in time to the early 1980s and watch “The Americans,” an espionage thriller show about a two spies from the Soviet Union posing as a married couple in Virginia. This show will bring sadness back into your life while also educating you about Cold War politics “” the show is kind of a downer, so it’s a great segue back into the sad reality of finals!

If you’ve followed these instructions and purged your class knowledge in favor of pop culture information, I guarantee you will pass my personal final exam. Your final exams? No guarantees.