TV Over Textbooks

Who needs class when you have these shows in your queue?

By Abigail Kutlas

Netflix. Procrastination. Netflix. Procrastination. At this point, the two are practically synonymous. While binge­-watching night after night is an excellent strategy for forgetting your woes, it can also be an effective way to learn what your homework – and the professor – is trying to teach you. Test out our streaming guide for subjects from astronomy to political science for a guaranteed A – at least in Netflix skills.

The American Presidency


Don't go to The American Presidency. Watch The West Wing. Josiah Bartlet is widely regarded as one of the most admirable presidential characters of all time, and his staff is full of heart. If the idea of sitting through The American Presidency doesn't strike your political fancy, The West Wing will make you wish you worked there.

Plant-People Interactions


Instead of going to Plant-People Interactions, watch VeggieTales. Larry the Cucumber and Bob the Tomato will teach you to never go to bed angry and how to handle adversity. Plus, when you're assigned to take selfies with produce, Bob and Larry will smile alongside you. Whole Foods can't deliver like that.

Intro to Russian Literature


Everyone at Northwestern raves about Professor Morson’s incredible lectures, but that doesn’t change the length of The Brothers Karamazov or Anna Karenina. Anastasia covers the complexities of the fall of the Romanovs and the start of the Russian Revolution in classic children's movie fashion, complete with dancing demons, talking animals and some quality ‘90s animation. Throw in an Oscar-nominated song and musical score and you've got something that will give any professor a run for his money.

European Civilization: Mid-18th Century to Present


Instead, you should watch Reign. Only in its second season, the show isn't too hard to catch up with, especially considering that it has the emotional depth of another CW show, Gossip Girl. With the perfect blend of Catholic-Protestant tension and completely anachronistic fashion (more red carpet, less Mary, Queen of Scots), Reign will cover all the bases of this history class in a pretty package.

Intro to Astrobiology


Watch Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey. This recent revamp of a classic series explains every aspect of our universe through sweet animations, beautiful HD video of planets and the legendary astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson's narration. You'll be able to stargaze with your sweetie or take your parents to Deering Observatory and sound like a genius without ever taking a note.