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?