6 Better Things to Do Than Watch the Third Presidential Debate
It’s Wednesday and I have some good news: watching the Third Presidential Debate is not compulsory! Many People of the Internet have been complaining about how horrible it will be to watch the Third Debate, yet are also actively preparing to watch the Third Debate (albeit peeking through their fingers and with a sick bag at the ready.)
But, People of the Internet, YOU have freedom to Just Say No to this Toxic Dumpster Fire! You actually do not have to watch something that will make you physically ill. If we want to claim we are better than this sad, sick reality show, we have to tune out of this sad, sick reality show.
I’m pretty sure that’s what Cat Grant would tell you, anyway.
1. Go Outside!
Yes, I know, it’s hopelessly old fashioned but some fresh air will do you good. Go for a run, take the dog for a walk, or go play tennis (do you even know how good it feels to legally smash something when you are frustrated or angry?) Although I’m too old to chase after Pokemon, if that’s your thing, tomorrow night could be a good night for catching those little animated furballs. If any of this appeals to you at all, go!
2. Read the Comic Prez (DC)
The revival of DC’s Prez is the most scathing portrayal of American politics that I have ever seen in comics. (And I would have written that 18 months ago before we even knew what direction this eventual mess would take.) Prez exists in 2036, in an America where people vote on Twitter and Facebook, people can drone Middle Eastern children from the couch, and citizens turn to “Sickstarter” to pay for the outrageous cost of medical care.
Prez follows the curious trajectory of “Corndog Girl,” a 19-year old who is actually named Beth Ross. Corndog Girl becomes a viral sensation after the circulation of a video of Beth burning her braids in the deep fryer at work. Ross quickly becomes a write-in candidate (just like the real-life joke-candidate Deez Nuts), who is very surprised to find herself elected president. Ross navigates a complex world full of evil corporate and political hacks who use humiliation and exploitation to control everyday people.
Sound familiar? Hit too close to home? You may be surprised by how much you enjoy watching this teenage girl rise to the occasion. Prez was originally going to be a 12 issue run, but unfortunately, DC put it on ice due to lack of interest. Based on our current reality, they may have bailed on it way too soon.
3. Watch Last Man on Earth (Fox, Hulu)
Now in its third season, Fox’s Last Man on Earth is a brilliant comedy about the end of the world as we know it. Will Forte stars as Phil Miller, the lone survivor of a world virus that has killed just about everyone.
The amazing pilot is 22 minutes of Phil coping with his fate by drinking and swimming in a giant margarita pool, communing with volleyballs and basketballs, and looting the White House for paintings and such.
This pilot is fantastic, but could it really develop into a viable series? The answer is a resounding yes.
Last Man on Earth never forgets it’s a comedy, but it does acknowledge the bleakness underlying the show’s premise. The characters of Last Man ponder life’s big questions while also driving the DeLorean from Back to the Future and visiting the late Cher’s Malibu beach house. The show really hit its creative stride in season 2 and is on a tear in season 3. Worthy of a binge-watch.
4. Watch Life Itself (Netflix)
Roger Ebert was the most influential movie critic of the last 50 years. Don’t believe me? Check out Life Itself, the fabulous documentary based on Ebert’s memoir of the same name. The documentary is structured like an At the Movies argument between Gene Siskel and Roger. It explains how Ebert turned film criticism from something reserved to intellectuals into a pastime for everyone. It covers his enormous body of written reviews, his friendships with great directors, and how his inner voice became more illuminated when he lost his outer voice after receiving treatment for thyroid cancer. Above all, Life Itself will reinvigorate your love for the magic of movies.
5. Watch the Battlestar Galactica Miniseries
Battlestar Galactica was one of the best TV shows to ever air on American television, yet there are still skeptics who think this can’t possibly be true. This is a drama set in space, after all, so how could it measure up to something like Breaking Bad? Frankly, it blows Breaking Bad out of the water and it measures up against every show currently on the air.
The setup is apocalyptic: Cylons nearly destroy the human race. The 50,000 humans left are floating through space in search of a new home. What’s left of the military must protect the people, preserve scare resources and attempt to outrun the cylons (who by the way now look like humans and are hiding amongst them). The civilian fleet is in search of a mythical location called earth. There are tensions between the government leadership and military leadership, and clashes between civilians with their civic institutions, the cylons and each other.
No show has tackled philosophical questions like BSG. Issues like bioethics, free will, destiny, duty and responsibility are woven deeply into the plot. BSG asks us to consider how we respond to these issues in a way that is more timely than ever. The fate of humanity is at stake and characters have strong convictions and often disagree. Use The Third Debate to get yourself acquainted with the miniseries that kicked off the series. You won’t be able to stop watching.
6. Watch Another Period (Comedy Central)
My recommendations are a bit heavy on seriousness (these are heavy times), so let’s go in a non-serious direction. Another Period is a mashup of Downton Abbey and Keeping Up With the Kardashians. It is hilarious and also gross, broad, specific, disgusting and silly. In other words, prepare to laugh at everything, even when you wish you wouldn’t.