Things to do during the writers’ strike


I didn’t realize how much I

missed series television until Wednesday, when I found myself getting

excited about Thursday’s premiere of Lost. A lot of people have

been looking forward to it, I know, but I, well, lost interest in the

second season and didn’t really miss it. Even Elizabeth Mitchell

couldn’t get me back into it.

Then I saw Whitney’s blog at

Pop Candy about

TV shows she’s discovered during the strike. So I asked myself, “Self, what

exactly have you been doing during those prime television watching hours?”

Once I stopped waiting for an answer (I’ve been taking my medication,

I promise), I realized that I’ve entertained myself pretty well — without

watching a single minute of Celebrity Apprentice.

Like Whitney, I’ve discovered

a few shows that I never would’ve watched otherwise. Discovery Channel’s MythBusters has become a favorite. I’m not sure


OK, Kari Byron‘s not

the only reason. The show is a geek’s dream come true. The MythBusters

team creates experiments based on urban legends, rumors and popular

beliefs to determine which ones are true, feasible or ridiculous. Episodes

I’ve seen have tested movie myths like whether a lock can be broken

with a handgun, whether a person can fall through several layers of

awnings and survive and whether grabbing onto a vine could save you

from sinking into quicksand. Cool.

I also happened upon a show

on Starz called Head Case, starring Mrs. George Stephanopoulos

herself, Alexandra Wentworth, as Dr. Goode.

How did I not know about this

show? Wentworth plays a “celebrity therapist” with clients

like Jason Priestley, Ione Skye, Jane Kaczmarek

and Alanis Morrisette (who knew Alanis was so funny?). Head

is not exactly an original concept, but it has some genuinely

comical moments. (Clip is rated NSFW for F bombs.)



To have your own virtual therapy

session with Dr. Goode, check in here. I’d take her over Gabriel Byrne

any day.

Speaking of Byrne, are you

watching In Treatment? I tried watching the first episode with

Melissa George
, but she reminded me so much of Jenny on The L Word

that I had trouble taking her problems too seriously. Strange show.

I also discovered AmericanLife TV

, which

runs classics like Lost in Space, The Mary Tyler Moore Show and

St. Elsewhere
. Monday night, ALN ran a tribute to Suzanne Pleshette

with a Bob Newhart Show marathon. RIP, Emily.

In the non-television category,

I’ve found several new websites to explore. Nowheremen is an online missing person mystery.

Derek, who vanished right after college graduation in 2002, leaves a

message online every Tuesday with the hope that someone will rescue

him. I knew I would be addicted the moment I saw this ASCII portrait

of Derek.

If you’ve ever wondered what the

Buffy the Vampire Slayer
editors left on the cutting room floor,

check out BuffyWorld,

where you’ll find shooting scripts for every Buffy episode.

It’s amazing how easy it is

to return to the Buffyverse. Scenes like the teaser from Episode 119, Season

, will break

your heart all over again.

Let’s see. I’ve also taken

a ukulele lesson or two online via the Ukulele Store video page. (Yeah, I play the ukulele. So?) I’ve

spent hours convincing myself how smart I am while feeding the hungry


Free Rice. And

I’m always happy to see an update of the Best of Craig’s


Of course, I’ve been reading more than usual, too, but I’ll just

mention one book series that I have fallen in love with:


Other graphic novel lovers

have been telling me for years to read Fables; now I know why.

The comics feature familiar fairy tale characters who call themselves

Fables. They have been forced into exile by “The Adversary”

and are living in New York City, trying to fit in with the rest of the

world. Download Vol. 1 at Vertigo’s site and let me know what you think. If

you like Fables, you’ll love the spin-off, Jack of Fables.

Here’s a preview of the February issue. My, my, my.

What have you been doing during

the strike? Any new television discoveries? What are you reading? Have

you uncovered any web treasures?

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