Defy boredom during the ‘hunker down’ period with a bounty of entertainment options

It can be easy to become bored when we stay indoors for an indefinite amount of time. Thankfully, there’s plenty of entertainment to be found just a few mouse clicks away. Avoid becoming stir-crazy with a few recommended entertainment options, from TV shows to video games.

Graphic by Michaeline Collins.

TV shows

“Westworld” follows the story of a futuristic Wild West tourist park. Patrons come to the park to live out their fantasies and can be who they aren’t in the real world. What makes the park work are the robot “hosts.” What does it mean when they start deviating from their programming?

“Westworld” just started its third season, so it’s the perfect time to get caught up. “Westworld” is available to stream on HBO.

“Formula 1: Drive to Survive” explains what it takes to succeed as a driver in one of the biggest racing events in the world. See behind-the-scenes interviews with drivers as they push themselves to be the best in the 2018 and 2019 Formula One World Championships. Don’t let this seemingly niche series scare you off, though. It’s not so much about the rules and minutiae of Formula One, but about people striving to be the best in their field. “Formula 1: Drive to Survive” is available to stream on Netflix.

Comedy classics such as “The Office” and “Friends:” I find that it can be comforting to return to a show with familiar characters that I may have watched dozens of times. Whatever TV shows that are beloved or nostalgic to you could help during this uneasy time. The workplace comedy “The Office,” starring Steve Carell and John Krasinski, is an easy choice when I’m bored or just want to put something on in the background while I’m doing something else. All nine seasons of “The Office” are available to binge on Netflix.

“Friends” is a sitcom that aired from 1994-2004. As the name implies, it’s about a group of friends going through life and their antics. Some of the comedy hasn’t aged well, but there are still a few highlights to be found in the series, such as when they’re trying to help Ross move a new couch up his apartment building’s stairs. Ross desperately instructs everyone to “pivot” repeatedly when the couch becomes stuck between the railings. Tensions run high and Chandler, being the comedic relief, repeatedly exclaims “shut up, shut up, shut up!” “Friends” is available on YouTube TV and fuboTV. Both services require subscriptions.

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Reddit describes itself as “the front page of the internet.” It’s basically a giant forum where users submit content, such as pictures and videos, or create threads to discuss different topics. Users can leave comments on posts and submit their posts to subreddits, which are communities for anything you can imagine, from specific video games to the art of flying whales. Users can subscribe to these subreddits to see all the submitted posts. Here are a couple of subreddits that I’ve spent countless hours scrolling through.

The ContagiousLaughter subreddit is filled with plenty of hilarious videos that will no doubt make you laugh along with the people in them. One of my favorite videos is titled “Ready for Impact.” It features a guy rolling down a long hallway on a scooter board. When he gets a couple of feet away from the entrance to his dorm room, his friends close the door and the guy hits his head. There are also plenty of wholesome videos, such as a toddler laughing at his dad’s accent.

ContagiousLaughter has something for everyone, regardless of their style of humor. I recommend sorting by the “top links from all time” and scrolling through the best of what the ContagiousLaughter subreddit has to offer. The ContagiousLaughter subreddit is best enjoyed late at night when reality is blurred and a case of the giggles is setting in.

The aww subreddit is a community for anything that makes you say “aww.” The posts are mainly GIFs and pictures of pets, but also includes other animals and people, such as a baby having a babbling conversation with their dad. The aww subreddit is a nice compliment to the hearty laughter you’ll enjoy from ContagiousLaughter.


Video games

With the threat of COVID-19 keeping almost everyone indoors, what better time to play some video games? New or old, it doesn’t matter, as long as we can escape reality to fight hordes of virus-like demons and live on nearly abandoned islands. Wait… that sounds familiar.

Doom Eternal is the sequel to the 2016 Doom reboot. It promises strategic, yet fast-paced first-person shooter combat and plenty of gore. Doom Eternal ups the ante with a heavy metal choir and the initial reviews sound like it improves on the first game in almost every single way. At a time when we might be feeling a little helpless, Doom Eternal is there to give players the power to kick some demon butt. It’s available on PC on Steam and, Xbox One and PlayStation 4 for $59.99.

Animal Crossing: New Horizons was recently released on March 20 and is the first Animal Crossing game to be released on the Nintendo Switch. The player travels to a deserted island with the help of Nook Inc., a company run by a business-savvy raccoon and his two sons. The player gradually builds a house for themselves on the island and can decorate it however they like. Eventually, a few from a list of dozens of villagers will start to appear, such as Beau, the lazy deer.

There are plenty of activities to engage in, such as fishing, bug catching and digging up fossils. It’s kind of a life simulator, but if you lived on a deserted island with several sentient animals with unique personalities. Animal Crossing: New Horizons is available on Nintendo Switch for $59.99. You can buy a digital copy through the Nintendo eShop or choose between a physical or digital copy on the Nintendo Online Store website.

Backlog: There’s no better time to play those games that you’ve been meaning to get around to but just haven’t found that time. Now that we have nothing but time, it can be a good opportunity to finally get around to playing last year’s innovative detective murder-mystery computer-role-playing game Disco Elysium or Capcom’s Resident Evil 2 remake. Disco Elysium is available on PC on Steam and GOG for $29.99. Resident Evil 2 is available on PC on Steam, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One for $59.99.


What now?

Hopefully, you found something that interested you in this list and can use it to occupy some time. There’s no shortage of great entertainment options to be found out there. So while there may be some delays in new content, there’s always a plethora of new favorites waiting to be found in the past.