Classic TV reruns offer most reliable work escape

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TV Tuesday

As college students, most of us have mastered the art of procrastination. It takes a special talent to ignore a mound of homework, assignments, projects and papers while they stare at you from your desk. Unquestionably, television has helped us develop the skills we need to be true procrastinators. But what happens when we’re procrastinating and it isn’t prime time? We rely on that oh-so-genius invention known as the rerun.

These are the shows that have proven their brilliance and stood the test of time. This week in TV Tuesday, we celebrate such shows.

‘Scrubs’

Without a doubt the greatest of the syndicated comedies, “Scrubs” has become a mainstay on Comedy Central, WGN and other networks, with its first eight seasons providing a wealth of content for programmers to choose from. The zany, off-the-wall antics of Zach Braff and company make for easy viewing and easier laughs, whether or not you follow the show regularly. I started watching “Scrubs” in its third season, thanks, in large part, to reruns.

‘The Office’

Despite audience misgivings as of late and the steady decline in quality the show has experienced, “The Office” still has its early seasons, which are full of laugh-out-loud moments and the heartwarming “will-they-or-won’t-they” exploits of Jim and Pam.

‘Friends’

Although I personally think “Friends” is one of the most obnoxious sitcoms of the 1990s, I can’t help but watch it when it’s on. Maybe there’s nothing else on at the time, or maybe I have some sort of strange connection to Chandler Bing (we’re both devastatingly unfunny, although we also both think otherwise), but everybody’s favorite group of, well, friends provides an entertaining distraction at the very least.

‘Home Improvement’

Tim Allen’s sitcom pretty much defined what the early 1990s were about: family, flannel and Bob Vila. “Home Improvement” launched the career of Jonathan Taylor Thomas, outlined the interests of every suburban father (cars, sex and food) and became one of the easiest-to-syndicate television shows of all time.

Anything on Bravo

Outside of “Top Chef,” I’m not a big fan of Bravo, but my girlfriend is, and based on the fact that her television is tuned to that network around 90 percent of the time, I’ve found that the channel has a wealth of interesting programs to choose from. Personally, I’m intrigued by the “Real Housewives” series. That may be embarrassing to admit, but when it’s on, I can’t look away.

‘Leave It to Beaver'

“Leave It to Beaver” is the epitome of the post-World War II sitcom, when life was full of money, increasing house sizes and the nuclear family. Ward and June Cleaver are the ideal parents (he’s a businessman, she’s a housewife), they sleep in separate beds and no matter what their kids do, they’re available to turn it into a lesson and provide unconditional love. It’s a pretty unrealistic view of the world, but it’s hilarious — even in black and white. And in a time of uncertainty about everything from safety to the economy, we could use a little idealism.