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Bored at home? Try these time-consuming TV shows, books, movies and games

Bored at home? Try these time-consuming TV shows, books, movies and games

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If your life is anything like mine right now, you’re spending a lot of time at home. No trips to the movie theater. No happy hours at the bar. No date nights at your favorite restaurant. Just a lot of time parked on the couch.

Fortunately, thanks to the wonders of broadband Internet, there’s no shortage of media for entertainment during this indefinite period of self-isolation. Here are some very time-consuming TV shows, movies, books and video games to help tide you over.

TV

“The Simpsons”

"The Simpsons"

"The Simpsons"

How long to finish: A bit over two weeks to watch all 679 episodes.

Where to watch: The first 30 seasons are streaming on Disney Plus, and episodes from the currently airing 31st season are available through on-demand services with a cable or satellite subscription.

What it's about: An animated family sitcom that’s maybe the funniest show ever created (at least through Season 9 or so).

“Breaking Bad” and “Better Call Saul”

"Breaking Bad"

"Breaking Bad"

How long to finish: About 4.5 days to watch all five seasons of “Breaking Bad,” the first four seasons of “Better Call Saul” and follow-up movie “El Camino.”

Where to watch: Netflix, with the exception of the currently airing fifth season of “Better Call Saul,” which is available through AMC with a cable or satellite subscription.

What it's about: “Breaking Bad” is about a high school chemistry teacher who starts making meth after learning he has terminal cancer. “Better Call Saul” is a prequel series that follows a shady lawyer from “Breaking Bad.”

“ER”

"ER"

"ER"

How long to finish: A bit under two weeks to watch all 331 episodes.

Where to watch: All 15 seasons are streaming on Hulu.

What it's about: Medical drama about a constantly rotating cast of doctors doing doctor things. One of the doctors is George Clooney.

Other options

“Law & Order: SVU” (21 seasons on Hulu), “Cheers” (11 seasons on Hulu), “The X-Files” (11 seasons on Hulu)


MOVIES

The Marvel Cinematic Universe

Marvel Cinematic Universe

"Avengers: Endgame"

How long to finish: A bit over two days to watch all 23 films.

Where to watch: Most of the franchise is on Disney Plus, with five exceptions: “The Incredible Hulk” and “Spider-Man: Homecoming” are available only through digital rental; “Avengers: Infinity War” and “Ant-Man and the Wasp” are on Netflix; and “Spider-Man: Far From Home” is on Starz.

What it's about: Superheroes beating up bad guys, sometimes as a super-group. Also the highest-grossing movie franchise ever.

“The Lord of the Rings” and “The Hobbit” trilogies

"The Lord of the Rings"

"The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers"

How long to finish: A bit under 20 hours to watch the extended editions of all six films.

Where to watch: Sadly, no streaming service currently carries these movies, but they’re all available for digital rental, and both trilogies are available as physical box sets.

What it's about: Adaptations of J.R.R. Tolkein’s high-fantasy epic series. I’m still not sure how “The Hobbit” — which is a shorter book than any of the three “LOTR” books — got turned into an eight-hour trilogy, but here we are.

“Star Wars”

"Star Wars"

"Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back"

How long to finish: About 25 hours to watch all 11 movies.

Where to watch: Nine of the movies are streaming on Disney Plus. “Solo: A Star Wars Story” is on Netflix, while the most recent entry in the franchise, “The Rise of Skywalker,” is available for digital rental.

What it's about: Space opera franchise that maybe only has five or six actual good movies, but at least those are really good.

Other options

The James Bond franchise (of the 24 films, two are on Hulu, four are on Netflix, and the rest are available for digital rental on Amazon), the Pixar films (although not part of a connected franchise, all 22 films — save maybe the “Cars” sequels — are worth watching; 20 of them are streaming on Disney Plus, with “Incredibles 2” on Netflix and “Onward” available to purchase digitally)


BOOKS

“The Wheel of Time” series

"The Wheel of Time"

"The Eye of the World," the first book in "The Wheel of Time" series.

How long to finish: A bit more than 19 days to listen to all 14 audiobooks.

Where to buy: Audiobooks and ebooks available through Amazon.

What it's about: Robert Jordan’s sprawling high-fantasy epic features thousands of characters, some of whom use magic. If you’re patient, it’s being turned into a TV series by Amazon, but production has been delayed by (you guessed it) coronavirus.

“The Dark Tower” series

"The Dark Tower"

"The Gunslinger," the first book in "The Dark Tower" series.

How long to finish: A bit under six days to listen to the eight audiobooks.

Where to buy: Audiobooks and ebooks available through Amazon.

What it's about: Stephen King’s dark fantasy Western series follows the gunslinger Roland on his quest to reach a dark tower. The massive, 4,000-plus-page series was also adapted into a single 95-minute movie starring Idris Elba. It was bad.

“A Song of Ice and Fire”

"A Song of Ice and Fire"

"A Game of Thrones," the first book in the "A Song of Ice and Fire" series.

How long to finish: A bit more than eight days to listen to all five audiobooks.

Where to buy: Audiobooks and ebooks available through Amazon.

What it's about: George R.R. Martin’s fantasy novels served as the source for the hit HBO series “Game of Thrones.” Unlike “GoT,” Martin’s series is still incomplete. There are two books to come, and Martin is reportedly working on the sixth book in the series, “The Winds of Winter,” during his self-quarantine. But he’s been working on it for nearly a decade now, so don’t hold your breath.

Other options

Discworld (41 books), the “Harry Potter” series (seven books)


VIDEO GAMES

“The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim”

"The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim"

"The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim"

How long to finish: About 30 hours to complete the main story, plus side quests and downloadable content.

What systems it's on: PC, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, Xbox 360.

What it's about: Your chosen-one character has to traverse a massive continent to stop a world-eating dragon. But it’s cool if you wanna screw around doing side quests for 40 hours before getting to that. There are also four earlier “Elder Scrolls” games on various platforms that have about the same amount of content.

“The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild”

"The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild"

"The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild"

How long to finish: About 40 hours to complete the main story, plus side quests and downloadable content.

What systems it's on: Nintendo Switch.

What it's about: The latest entry in Nintendo’s long-running “Zelda” series plops you into a massive open world and tells you to defeat Ganon, with little other instruction. But it’s cool if you wanna screw around climbing mountains and practicing horseback archery for 40 hours before getting to that.

“Minecraft”

"Minecraft"

"Minecraft"

How long to finish: Whenever you get bored.

What systems it's on: PC, any current-generation or last-generation console, iOS and Android.

What it's about: A sandbox world where you can explore and build to your heart’s content.

Other options

“The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt (PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch), “Animal Crossing: New Horizons” (Nintendo Switch)

402-444-3118, cory.gilinsky@owh.com

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